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Well, Bugger Me! Got Myself a Doggone Diagnosis…

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Lazy Cows, Kendal
Image by Luke Robinson via Flickr

It’s official: I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/M.E. I’m in shock and it’s mostly because of actually getting a diagnosis. It’s only taken 11 months. And seven years. Yeah, that was always depression as well… And I’ve already had a run-in with someone who thinks ME is just ‘Lazy Cow Syndrome’. Can’t wait for word to get around and the bitchy finger-pointing to start… God, I love my life! ūüôā

Anyway, I have to see my GP on 4th July to discuss possible drug treatments and I’ve just been¬†referred to an Occupational Therapist for – well, who knows, whatever it is that OT’s do.

On a brighter note, I’ve been doing some research for the book and I thought I’d share: niche dating sites. If golfing is a huge part of your life, for example,¬†it stands to reason that you’d want to¬†date a golfer. Why, then, trawl through hundreds of general profiles when¬† you could just join a golfing dating site?

And believe me, there’s a niche dating site out there dedicated to fulfilling all your needs, requirements or plain old kinky desires.

Ten Incredibly Specific Niche Sites:

1. Adopt a Guy ~ every girl loves shopping, right? Guys fill out their profiles and sit on the ‚Äėshelves‚Äô until a gorgeous girl comes along and pops him into her ‚Äėshopping trolley‚Äô, and only then, is he allowed to spark up a conversation. Is this girl power or just girl power gone bonkers? Great for shy guys or female control freaks.

2. Date My Pet ~ in case you’re worried about the whole bestiality issue, this site just concentrates on matching mutual pet-lovers. I think. But then, couldn’t that cause potential problems? Suppose I met The One I Just Couldn’t Live Without and my dog and his cat hated each other. Or suppose my pussy just
gobbled up his pet mouse. What then? Would True Love conquer all? Or would we all end up in step-pet’s therapy?

3. Ugly Bug Ball ~ because beauty is all in the eye of the beholder (or the severely intoxicated), this is for the more aesthetically challenged amongst us‚Ķ A site dedicated to purely ugly people. How liberating! You‚Äôd never need to shave your pits, ladies, or keep your acne under control. And if he ever complained, you could snarl, ‚ÄėI‚Äôm beautiful on the inside, remember?‚Äô

4. Trek Passions ~ for anyone with an interest in science-fiction ‚Äď no, an obsession; you‚Äôd have to be besotted to want to spend your days discussing lien abduction and doing that strange Vulcan sign thing with your fingers. But, as they say on the site: Love Long and Prosper.

5. Pounced ~ this is the place for anyone who enjoys dressing up as an animal, and ouncing¬†on an equally hairy mate ‚Äď or ‚Äėfurry‚Äô as they like to be called. Yeah,¬†I¬†know, but it takes all sorts. And can‚Äôt you just imagine the ads: Lonesome Rabbit in Need of New Hole. Wolf in Sheep‚Äôs Clothing Seeks Lamb for Breakfast.¬†¬† Hairy¬†Brown Bear Wants to Dip his Paws in your Honey. Randy Dog Needs¬† Somewhere Safe to Bury His Bone…

6. Positively Singles ~ are you hampered by Herpes? Scuppered by Syphilis? Clammed-up through Chlamydia? Or gummed up with Gonorrhoea? Do you worry you’ll  never find The One because you slept with way too many of The Others? Well,  help is here! You need never again fret about passing on your sexually transmitted disease to users on this site because they already have them! How cool is that?
A match made in Heaven…

7. Cougar Date¬†~ yep,¬†¬†this one’s all about¬†¬†young men dating¬†older women.¬†I can kind of see the attraction ‚Äď a Toy-Boy‚Äôs going to be¬†cuter and more¬†virile than say, a fifty-year-old, bald and beer-bellied bloke, but c’mon,¬† some of these guys are eighteen. What on earth would you talk about? Lady Gaga? And where would you go on a date? Homework Club?

8. Instant Quickies ~ feeling horny? Do you fancy an instant, uncomplicated  shag? Well, look no further than the McDonald’s of dating sites РInstant  Quickies, the place where you can find and hook-up with a consenting mate for the night. (Or early afternoon if you have to be home to do the school-run.) And if you see someone you like and he suddenly disappears, don’t worry, he’ll be popping up again next week on Positively Singles.

9. Uniform Dating¬†~ ooh! If you fantasise about being rescued from a natural or¬†a thug-made disaster by a hunky guy in uniform ‚Äď and let‚Äôs be real: what woman¬†with a pulse doesn‚Äôt? ‚Äď then this is the site for you. Pages and pages of¬†¬†testosterone-fuelled Alpha males. Oh, be still my twitching knickers.

10. Daily Diapers ~ okay. So here‚Äôs the thing ‚Äď some people like wearing¬†nappies. Yep. And rubber pants. And even babygros. They even like to soil themselves. And be bathed, dressed and fed liquified mush by their partners. It‚Äôs fun.¬†Relaxing, apparently. If this appeals to you and you‚Äôre not quite sure where you‚Äôd find a¬†like-minded playmate, log onto Daily Diapers and, er‚Ķ go, poop!

Doesn’t it make you just wanna go and sign up?

Speechless. Completely Speechless…

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Cover of "Speechless"
Cover of Speechless

I don’t know whether to laugh, cry or throw a tantrum; I went to the docs today, armed with my new book – marked to page 96 – and psyched up for a fight. I¬†was resolved¬†to use whatever weapon necessary to present my case – tears, mega-strops or staging a sit-in. And if I ended up on a psychiatric ward, then¬†so be it. At least I’d get out of cooking dinner.

‘Hello, Tiny. How are you feeling today?’

‘Still breathing…’ I answered.

‘Well, I’ve just been re-reading your notes and looking at the test results and I think it’s time I made a Chronic Fatigue referral. How do you feel about that?’

Erm… Gobsmacked. Speechless. Confused.

‘Well, I know you’re the doctor, but I honestly don’t believe this is depression.’ Nope, that didn’t quite answer the question, but my brain had kind of reverted to Planned Speech mode.

‘No, I don’t think it is either.’

‘Huh? Huh?’

When any patient¬†presents with fatigue, we always consider depression as primary diagnosis, especially when there’s previous history.’

And who made up that rule? Hitler?

I was honestly too shocked to say anything except a mumbled Thanks, as I left the surgery. It’s been ten months! Ten fucking months! I’ve been arguing with them for at least eight of those months. Unbelievable. Eldest son is home from uni in a fortnight: he’s got a third of a degree in that time! And I’ve got another two or three months’ wait for an appointment.

Speechless. Completely speechless.

* Sorry, guys. I’ve written this badly – I’m relieved about the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome referral; it means they’re taking me seriously. I just find it incredible that they’ve hammered on about depression since September and then, today my GP just casually says it isn’t. I’m glad, just amazed because I’ve been telling them is wasn’t depression for the last eight months! Talk about irony!¬† Oh, and I promise to write one non-medical-non-whiney post this week. I bet you’re as sick of my health as I am!!*

The Good, the Bad and the Metrosexual…

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Good news: I’m still alive! Bad news: it’s been so long since I posted, I’ve forgotten how to write.

Thank-you all so much for your messages and comments. I hope to be back in action soon…

Latest test results all came back clear which is great because¬†it means I don’t have tumours, diabetes or any¬†of the¬†other stuff that they were testing for. I’m not menopausal or vitamin B12 deficient, and I don’t have thyroid problems.

Trouble is: I’m no closer to a bleedin’ answer, and in some respects, I’m getting worse. I have to rest in between¬†changing a double duvet cover. I can’t lift a¬†3 kilo bag of dog food. Last Friday night I slept for 18 hours out of 24 and then spent the rest of¬†Saturday slobbing¬†on the sofa because I literally couldn’t get up without the world spinning. And I seem to have developed an unhealthy obsession with Robert Pattinson.

Actor Robert Pattinson after the Twilight Saga...

Image via Wikipedia

¬†As you know, I like my fantasy men mean and meaty, not lean, clean and metrosexual,¬†so I’m quite worried about this new symptom. Perhaps my brain has atrophied from lack of use. Or maybe it’s because I’m definitely not menopausal, maybe my unwithered eggs are screaming for last-chance impregnation and have fixated¬†upon the young male of the species. I suspect it has more to do with the fact that, while prostrate on the sofa, I read the whole of Water for Elephants – in between¬†snoozing, of course – and Master Pattinson¬†adorns the front cover.¬†In my poorly state, I seem to have got him confused with, well, a romantic hero. Scary.

I¬†adore this book; it’s a beautiful love story set in a 1930’s circus. I could explain the plot, but I have Durr-brain, so I’ll make this easy and probably more entertaining:

Ahhh…

So where do I go from here? Apart from re-reading the old Twilight series, of course. Don’t judge me; I really can’t help these perfectly normal teenage obsessions, you know. In fact it’s not really an obsession at all until I start following him on Twitter, or plastering his juvenile mug across my pink bedroom walls. But where was I? Oh yeah, medical stuff. My GP has now decided that I have to wait a month for all medication to leave my system and then try another anti-depressant before she’ll refer me to a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME clinic or whatever the hell it’s called this week.

I replied with a few choice sweary words and just thought Fuck it! I give up!¬† I’m wasting the bit of energy I have¬†got, fighting doctors and it’s pointless.¬†I may well not have Chronic Fatigue, but I certainly do have chronic fatigue, so I ordered a book, written by¬†a CFS¬†sufferer who also happens to be¬†a GP.¬† And today it arrived, and there on page 96, it says CFS should never really be mistaken for depression because of the basic clinical differences between the two. And it lists ’em all! Yep! all the¬†points I’ve been arguing since bloody September!

Hahaha! The bitch will be mine!

Give ME Strength…

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Okay, here’s the thing: the-bastarding-endocrinologist-I-saw-yesterday-was-a-feckin’-wanky-condescending-smarmy-head-stuck-up-his-own-arse-self-righteous-arrogant-egoistic-pompous-supercilious-git-with-an-I-Am-God-You-Are-Dog-Poo-stinking-bloody-attitude!

 There. I said it. Bastard.

‘So,’ he said, ‘I’ve read your notes and reviewed¬†the blood test results, and I can’t see anything wrong with you.’

Oh.

‘So why am I sleeping all day? Why do I have wonky blood readings? Permanent exhaustion? Low blood-pressure?¬†Palpitations when I walk upstairs? Why do I ache? What’s causing the pain?’

‘Let me ask you something. Why are you so convinced you have Addison’s disease?’

Huh? Now call me neurotic – I’ve been called worse things – but the only way he could’ve¬†known I was concerned¬†about the accuracy of the SynActhen test findings, was if my GP had stressed it in her referral letter. So now, I’m getting the picture: he’s got me pegged as a difficult, Munchausen’s Syndrome patient or a raving hypochondriac. Great.

‘I’m not. Who said I was? I queried the cortisol levels in the test. I thought¬†they were supposed to double. I questioned¬†whether they were accurate enough to¬†exclude further investigation.¬†There’s something wrong with me and I need to find out what it is. I don’t give a flying monkey’s arse what¬† the diagnosis is, I just need to find out what it is, so I can address it. I’m forty-four, not eighty-four! I’ve got things to do, books to write! I don’t enjoy feeling this wretched all the time, you know!’ By this point I was all high-pitched and quivery-lipped.

A toddler girl crying
Image via Wikipedia

‘Well, it’s not Addison’s. I’ll run a couple more tests to check your hormone levels and pituitary¬†gland, but I’m not expecting to find anything wrong. Here, ‘ he said, shoving my symptom list back¬†across the desk, ‘take this with you when you see Professor Pinchin. I think you’ll find you’ve ¬†got Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.’

Notice he said, when and not if  you need a second referral.

‘Just before you go, have you thought about taking anti-depressants?’

Arrrrgggggghhhhhhh!

It takes 45 minutes to drive home from the hospital. I made it back in 26. I was steaming!

More Fast and Furious: Music from and Inspired...

Image via Wikipedia

Where do these doctors get this I Am God mentality? Do they teach it in medical school? Alongside ‘How to humiliate, patronise and thoroughly piss-off a patient’?

I did what I always do when I need de-stressing: I shouted at The Ex. And then I marched into my doctor’s surgery, demanding to see my GP.

‘We’ll just had a cancellation, Tiny. It must be your lucky day!’

Yeah, right.

I repeated the whole conversation to my GP. By this point I was wailing with frustration.

‘I’m hanging on by a fingernail here, and now I have to wait three weeks for the results of these new blood tests and then another four months for a second referral! I can’t cope! And now I’m crying! I never cry! I just want to feel better!¬†And nobody believes me! You all think I’m just lazy or a moaner! I need some help here! I need somebody on my side!’¬†Tears were coursing down my face, mingling with snotty snot bubbles.

‘To be honest, I always thought we were looking at Chronic Fatigue, but we have to rule out everything else first. You need to rest, my love. Take a year off from work, avoid anything stressful.’

‘And how, exactly, am I supposed to do that? I’m a single parent, the only breadwinner in the house?’

‘Look, I know you’re upset. We’ll get to the bottom of this, but in the meantime, would you consider taking an anti-depressant?’

‘I’ve been on anti-bloody-depressants since September. Double dosage since Christmas!’

‘Oh, well, they don’t seem to be doing much to help…’

‘That’s because this isn’t fuckin’ depression!’¬† Yet!

Arrrrgggggghhhhhhh! 

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