Tina’s Story

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | July 28th, 2011

My story starts 10 years before I was ever told I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Epstein-Barr virus or Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I was 23 years old and in University. I had transferred schools after nearly completing a French Degree and decided to switch majors. I began to notice that year that I would panic about things. I didn’t have panic attacks; I just couldn’t handle stress very well anymore, normal stress. I was moody and irritable. I also noticed that I was very sad for no apparent reason. I would be sitting in lecture hall and I would get this overwhelming need to cry. I would be standing in line at the store and again, I just wanted to cry. I then started to have trouble sleeping. A friend suggested I go to the doctor and see what was wrong.

“I was moody and irritable.
I also noticed that I was very sad for
no apparent reason.”

I went to my doctor and she put me on Prozac. I remember looking at the prescription but I couldn’t read it. When I picked it up at the pharmacy I realized what she had given me. I had just read about Prozac in my Psychology text book. I remember thinking to myself “Am I going crazy?”, but I continued taking it and didn’t question it. The only symptom it helped was the crying. I no longer felt like crying but every other symptom was still there. I still just didn’t feel myself. I was on Prozac for 3 years and I gained 65 pounds when I decided to stop. It wasn’t helping and I kept gaining weight.

Over the past 13 years I have been on and off of antidepressants. It has been a roller coaster of emotions, side effects, and withdrawal effects. I have felt very alone and very lost. I kept searching and researching to find out what was wrong with me. Where can I go for help? I needed an answer because deep in my heart I knew that what the doctors were telling me was wrong. It just didn’t make sense. When I would explain to my family and friends what depression and anxiety was, deep down I knew that was not what was wrong with me.

“Over the past 13 years I have
been on and off of antidepressants.
It has been a roller coaster of emotions, side effects, and withdrawal effects.” 

In the beginning of 2002 I was struck by an incredible fatigue. I just woke up one day to the beginning of 3 of the most hellish years of my life. I was 33 now and working. I noticed that my energy level had dropped drastically. I would sleep all the time, but I never woke up rested. I began going to doctors and they found nothing. I got pregnant in May of that year and chalked up the need to keep sleeping to being pregnant. I practically slept through the whole pregnancy. I was sleeping 15 to 16 hours a day. I had my daughter in February 2003. My mom stayed for the first 3 months and when she left I thought I was going to die. I had a baby to take care of and I was so, so fatigued. I cried everyday and prayed for the strength to do what I had to do. It was so hard because I didn’t even have the energy to get out of bed. My husband helped, but he was gone 12 hours of the day. Those days when he wasn’t home were the longest.

I went to doctors again and they put me on more antidepressants. The drugs didn’t help me at all. I kept pushing them to run tests. They tested me for everything; Lupus, MS, Parkinson’s disease, Diabetes and anything else they need to weed out prior to diagnosing you with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I remember the day my doctor told me that I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the Epstein-Barr virus. He simply said that we don’t understand CFS and that there is no treatment.

“He simply said that we don’t understand
CFS [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] and that
there is no treatment.”
Again, I felt so alone and so lost and I began to search and search. What was even harder was the way the doctors dismissed what I was telling them. They, on many occasions, made me feel so stupid that I would go home and cry. There were also many times I felt like people close to me didn’t believe what I was telling them. They didn’t understand the hell I was going through and some offered little support. It was my husband, my parents and my best friend that supported me the most and kept me going.

Finally, the day came for which I had been praying and praying. My mother had come back to help me, this time for 6 months, it was 2 weeks before she was scheduled to fly home. My best friend called me with information about a clinic in Houston, Texas that she had been reading about on her flight home from a business trip. The article talked about everything I had been going through. It was as if it was written about me. I decided to call and it was the turning point in my life. I finally was talking to someone who understood what I was going through. She didn’t make me feel stupid, she validated my deep feelings that there was something else wrong with me…it was my hormones. I was so excited that I booked my appointment and my husband and I flew to Houston to meet with Dr. Ellsworth on June 10, 2004 at the Hotze Health and Wellness Center. I cried when he told me I was going to get better. I never ever thought I would hear those words from a doctor.

“I cried when he told me I was going
to get better. I never ever thought I would
hear those words from a doctor.”

I spent 4 hours at the clinic and they gave me a treatment regimen that has given me back my life. I am on Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, consisting of Progesterone, Armour Thyroid, Cortisol and DHEA. I am on a vitamin supplement program and eating much better. I am also going to do a Yeast-free diet which will treat my Irritable Bowel Syndrome and restore my body with the natural healthy protective bacteria that years of taking antibiotics has killed.

I am feeling better than I have ever felt before. I am a completely different person. It has truly been a life-changing experience.

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