Join Date: Mar 2012
Chronic fatigue, tired behind the eyes, back problems
I recently joined this forum to post in another thread, but I thought I'd share something to see if anyone else has experienced anything similar. Basically I had a host of symptoms which to the best of my knowledge are often attributed to chronic fatigue directly, but in my case they turned out to be caused by my back. While I could write pages on my chronic fatigue related experiences (I'm in my late 40's and have had chronic fatigue for over 30 years) I'll try not to make this too long....
Around 4 years ago I was so sick most of the time I started to wonder how long I could live while feeling so bad. I was waking up with two or three pounding headaches per week, I had breathing problems, constant heartburn, heart palpitations, I couldn't eat, I felt bloated all the time, I couldn't stay awake and digest food at the same time, in fact sometimes drinking a glass of water would make me want to go to sleep. And I had chronic, chronic fatigue, if that's possible....
I'd also been on dexamphetamine for a couple of years (I don't know if it can be prescribed for chronic fatigue everywhere) and while for the first couple of years it'd worked great, even the dex was no longer the solution. In fact I was waking up, taking my morning dose of dex, then giving up half an hour later, going back to bed and sleeping through it. I got to the stage where I was sleeping through my whole daily dose of amphetamines before I'd start to wake up, then I'd take my daily dose again over what was left of the day just to stay awake.
Worst of all though, was the "tired behind the eyes" feeling. I'm sure many long term chronic fatigue sufferers are familiar with it. That heavy feeling which sits behind your eyes making you want to close them 24/7 and you can't think, because that's all you think about. I'd got to the stage where not only was the dex no longer getting rid of it, when it did eventfully wake me up the tired behind the eyes feeling would get more intense to the point I'd want to scream. It almost felt tangible, like I could shove a couple of fingers into my eye sockets and pull it out.
I also had ongoing back problems. Nothing too major, just the result of a childhood mishap which had put my pelvis and back out a bit and I'd grown up with it that way. It wasn't until I was in my early 30s I started feeling any back pain, just a little in my lower back due to my pelvis being out of whack. Which gets me to the point of the story.....
I'd been going to various chiropractors and physiotherapists etc for years, some which helped keep my back stable, some which made it worse, some which I should have sued for incompetence. Eventually I settled on someone I liked as he kept by back fairly stable and I visited him regularly for several years. Meanwhile, I kept getting sicker and kept attributing it to the chronic fatigue.
Then one day I decided to try another chiropractor who'd been recommended to me by a friend. I'm not even sure why, as most friend-recommended chiropractors had turned out to be the ones I most wanted to sue in the past, but I went to see him anyway. He looked at some recent x-rays of my back, told me about all of my health problems (aside from the chronic fatigue) and what was causing them. I told him about the chronic fatigue and the never ending "tired behind the eyes" feeling. He told me he could fix it. I thought I'd found another quack.
Turns out, he was no quack, he could actually fix my back. It took about a year for it to became stable (mainly because I'd worn so much of the cartilage in my hips away) but it was obvious from the get-go he was doing something different. After the first couple of visits I felt so bad I almost wanted to die, but I knew it was a "good bad" and my body was re-adjusting. After the second visit I think I may have even had a mini-nervous breakdown. Within a few weeks though all of the problems I'd been attributing to chronic fatigue had gone. No more headaches, no more reflux, no more heart palpitations, I could breath again, I could eat without needing to sleep, but what amazed me most, the "tired behind the eyes feeling" I thought I was stuck with for the rest of my life went away.
I don't know why my back problems, which weren't all that bad in the overall scheme of things, were causing me so much trouble. I have a theory that because of the chronic fatigue my body could no longer deal with something a healthy person's body could just "push through", but after all these years it turns out my health problems weren't being caused by the chronic fatigue after-all. I still have chronic fatigue, even though originally it improved so much I thought he'd cured that too, but it was just my body adjusting to the changes and I settled down to being tired again..... but without the "tired behind the eyes" feeling. In fact the chiropractor took me back in time 30 years, or at least it feels like it. I wasn't sick any more, I no longer had major health problems, I was just really tired all the time like I was when I was 17. Fortunately though, the dexamphetamine (or modafinil when I take it instead) once again fixes that and I spend most of my time feeling fairly "normal". When I stop taking the dex/modafinil for short periods (which I do occasionally to give my brain/body a break), I sleep for days at a time.
Anyway, that's my story. I just thought I'd post it to see if there's anyone else out there with health problems they'd contributed to chronic fatigue, as most of mine seemed to be accepted "symptoms" of the condition, only which turned out to be really caused by back problems..... or by something else.