List of Symptoms

I don't think people are clear what I'm going through, based on some recent comments.

It's currently not too bad. As I keep telling people, I'm "fully functional", so keep that in mind as you read this. Also, my mental state is 100%. No fogginess, no forgetfullness (no more than usual).

I just spent quite some time looking for medical terms for my symptoms. There aren't any that I like, other than a few that are less than helpful... but I'll use those where I can, and describe things as I observe them everywhere else.

I'm going to use a 10-point pain scale. 1 is "no pain". 10 is "maximum pain"... the pain after which one goes into shock. It's moot to measure above this... getting a hot poker in the arm may not be as "painful" as disembowlment, but is it worth measuring at that level? No. You just shut down, there. I watched my wife reach that level during childbirth. It's not fun.

  • I sleep a lot. This week, it varied from 8 hours (and I woke up unsatisfied) to 13 hours (and I woke up wishing I could sleep more, but functional). When I'm awake, I feel tired... not to the point where I'm afraid I will spontaneously fall asleep. ...It takes me a good 30 minutes to actually get to sleep, because of discomfort and the need to quell the mind. I have used the word "fatigue" for this, and I think that's wrong.
  • My muscles hurt. This is called "myalgia", which is not to be confused with fibromyalgia. Right now, I'm at a 3. This is typical, though some days are a constant 4, but more days are a 2. So, at complete rest... it hurts, but not much. At rest, I will spontaneously get little throbs of higher pain, but nothing beyond a 4.
  • I get cramps. They are brief... I don't usually need to go through the "relax the muscle, then stretch it slowly" routine. They do hurt, but to varying degrees: from 4 to 6 on the scale. These "real cramps" happen about 1-4 per day. They're usually in the calf... sometimes in the thigh, occasionaly in the groin, rarely in the back, arms, hands, and neck. The rare ones hurt most. All cramps invariably cause me to shout out in pain, and I usually violently flinch.
  • Sometimes, I feel like I'm *about* to get a cramp. It comes in the form of a sudden, sharp pain, but not terrible: 3 or 4. I wince visibly. This causes me to flinch, to immediately stop the use of the muscle (say, dropping down a few inches in stance to shift weight from one leg to the other). Rarely, these "warnings" actually lead to a cramp. ...Like the other day, I was rushing down the hallway of our house, and got a "warning", so shifted to the other leg--which then gave a warning: I was doomed. Both calves cramped. Ouch. Anyway, these "warnings" are very frustrating, because they're not real cramps, and they happen very frequently (pretty much every time I stand up or sit down... sometimes when I'm just walking, often when I'm using my arms too much, and so on).
  • I have what I believe could be termed "perceived muscle fatigue". Meaning, when I'm doing something like... brushing my teeth... my arm will start to burn and I feel like I just can't continue the motion. Factually, I can, it just increases the pain. This is also very frustrating. It sets in within a few seconds, and the pain increases until I stop... depending on how long I hold it, it can reach up to a 5 or 6 on the scale (it holds there for as long as I can endure that level--which is high enough that I'm whimpering), but I have to be pretty determined to go much past 4. :) Resting for a few seconds allows me to have a second go, but I don't last as long... and it keeps getting worse. (As I'm typing this, in fact, I'm resting every half-sentence or so for a few seconds.) Note that this doesn't always happen. Sometimes, I can walk a mile without much trouble. I managed to "mow" the front lawn yesterday... but that hurt a lot (5). Sometimes, I'll decide to "check" how long I can hold my arm up, and I won't have any problems at all! ...It seems to be random, though some days are better than others. It also depends on what muscles I'm using and how easy it is to "shift" to other muscle groups to compensate.
  • I have joint stiffness, slowness, and a lack of agility which I still believe is best described as feeling like I just came in from the cold. It affects my typing speed, my ability to pick up small objects, shuffle cards, speak clearly (though people have been telling me I sound fine, so this may be more perceptual than real), tap to music, play the piano, brush teeth (barring the fatigue, above), and sundry other little things. Frustrating but not debilitating.
  • I'm cold. It's over 90 degrees today, and I'm perfectly comfortable wearing my fleece pull-over over my T-shirt, under which I have a second t-shirt. If you've seen the news, you know it's been about 100 degrees out lately... in that heat, I do take off my fleece. ;) But I almost never sweat.
  • Hypersensitivity of my hands and feet. I don't know what that's about. They're tingly, and I feel like I can sense every nook of my socks and every bump in the texture of the keyboard. This seems counterintuitive to the "clumsiness" that one would have coming in from the cold, but there you have it.
  • Hypercholesterolemia. Clearly.
  • Anxiety. It comes in waves. I usually get rid of it with logic within a few minutes--at most an hour.
  • Slight (and I mean SLIGHT) visual disturbances. I see things moving out of my peripheral vision much more than usual, I see stars now and then (just one or two), I sometimes focus more slowly than I feel I should, and I'll occasionally have a "throb" of vision, where--if I'm reading text, say--it will appear that a cluster of three or four words will "bulge" out at me, as if magnified. Kinda like a lens effect in Photoshop, or one of those "magnifying glass sphere" screensavers. ;) I don't think much of these: I suspect they are side-effects of tiredness, and they are MINOR. (Notice how I'm stressing MINOR.)

That's it. That's an exhaustive list of my current condition. Despite advice not to, I've done some Wikipedia digging, and I'm conviced that my symptoms do not match any known diseases well enough to self-diagnose any of them, because I do NOT show key symptoms of any of them--just these silly, piddly, side-effecty type things that could mean anything... and there are a girth of things to test. I'm glad that my neurologist has ordered such a swath of tests, since there's just a metric buttload of things that could be wrong, and it would be nice to exclude them.

I'm still not willing to discount environmental causes, and I'm still not willing to discount psychological causes. And if I were a betting man, my money would actually be on the latter, combined with something that's creating the hypercholesterolemia.

Wow, that took WAY longer to type than I expected, so I've really gotta boogie back to work. Eep.

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