I'm new here!
Hi! My name is MikoTolstoy. I'm here as an RN struggling with my own (suspected) undiagnosed chronic illness. My health has been on a steady decline for the past 5+ years, and I am now in our early 30s, trying to find answers to get my life back on track.
I went from a young, vivacious professional with a bustling, busy, social life, who ran 3 miles per day, took trips, learned hobbies, made friends, and felt on top of the world, to someone who is still technically "young", but barely has enough energy to get out of bed, has to sit for breaks whilst making her morning coffee, and can barely do more than go to work three times per week and do the laundry.
I have previously been using all of my "spoons" at work to care for others, but I am now losing the ability to even do that - and I want to prioritize myself, my partner, our pets, and our future children. In my current state, there's no way I can possibly bring children into the world with a healthy conscience, which is what I truly want, and that genuinely breaks my heart.
I have already lost so much time passively accepting the lack of answers that I have received, and I refuse to let this undiagnosed mystery disease alter the course of my life any further.
To this point, I've received nothing but mental illness diagnoses: depression (exhaustion, achiness, heaviness), ADHD (brain fog, executive dysfunction, lack of motivation), anxiety (physical body tension, avoiding over stimulating environments, fear of "falling short" in so many ways, loss of self-esteem) & PTSD (accurate after spending two years as a COVID ICU nurse). These diagnoses may all be appropriate in their own ways, but they are not the root cause of my suffering - they are likely a secondary manifestation of whatever hitherto unknown physiological cause is resulting in my debilitating exhaustion and inability to recharge.
I want to find answers, get through this phase of my life, build a family, and get back to work using my medical background to help those who are suffering from a lack of answers and a plethora of pain - just like I have been. I love medicine, I love the people I work with, and I love watching patients get better - but answers don't come for those who don't fit neatly into western medicine's "box" of pre-established problems, diagnoses, and treatments. We are in a whole new realm when it comes to helping patients with chronic pain and chronic illness, many of whom have been neglected and medically gaslit for far too long. We, as a profession, need to do better, and I want to help myself, then turn towards helping others. My first step is coming here to learn.