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I'm wondering if there's something wrong with me, or if it's just chronic exhaustion

(53 Posts)
CinnabarRed Mon 05-Nov-12 13:57:59

I'm not sure whether to go to the GP, or just wait to see if my health improves when (if) my sleep does.

By way of background I have three DSs under the age of 5. None of them sleep well and I haven't had an unbroken night of sleep in almost 5 years (on the handful of occasions when all three have slept through I have woken anyway). It may well be that this is the root cause of my symptoms, and I would be delighted if that were the case! I also work FT.

I am 37.

I am permanently exhausted. I find it hard to concentrate. I am frighteningly forgetful.

I wake up tired.

My whole body aches when I get up from sitting, from my heels up to my shoulders. I hobble for several steps before I can walk normally.

My feet and hands tingle/go numb. I think my tingly hands are due to carpal tunnel syndrome, which comes and goes. I'm not sure about my feet - my GP thought it was a trapped nerve and suggested wearing flat shoes which helps somewhat, although my little toes are still numb.

We went to a theme park on Saturday and I had to go to bed at 7:45PM when we got home.

My DM has multiple sclerosis, and I worry that I may have it too.

Is how I'm feeling normal, under my circumstances? Or should I go back to my GP?

TigerFeet Wed 07-Nov-12 14:19:15

I was much the same, turns out I have a fairly severe Vit D deficiency.

I would go to your GP and ask for a full set of tests, just to rule out any underlying causes. I did this and wasn't expecting to get anything other than the all clear as my life is pretty hectic and dd2 isn't a great sleeper (nothing like the OP's ds though sad ).

I'm wondering if I've had it for a few years and just never realised. I can't go in the sun for long, I'm very fair and burn easily plus I had a pre-cancerous growth removed from the skin on my arm about 4 years ago so I'm probably a bit OTT with the factor 50. It's the UVB rays in sunshine that trigger your body to manufacture Vit D. DO you think you get enough sun?

Symptoms for me are tiredness, general aches and pains that can't be pinpointed, poor concentration - the same as being run down. I'm also being treated for depression, which can also be a symptom of vit D deficiency.

Your dh needs to help out more. Regardless of whether your tiredness has an underlying physical cause or not, he's taking the piss a wee bit imo.

Mayisout Wed 07-Nov-12 18:02:46

As other poster said it isn't necessarily laziness. My DH never got up to the DCs, I was a light sleeper and always heard the first squeak.

But he did get up once when the new puppy had the squits after chewing a lamb bone all evening grin - my ears were just not tuned to puppy yelps!

But your DH could do say weekends, when he isn't working the next day, you shouldn't be doing it all. He could see the early riser, or do one night in the week and the weekend.

Missing the odd night is absolutely not the same as the relentless weeks of broken sleep with small DCs.

Get your health checked too but you won't feel magnificent if you still aren't getting adequate sleep.

CinnabarRed Wed 14-Nov-12 14:15:47

I saw my GP today who has sent me for an emergency neurologist appointment at 9AM tomorrow morning.

She has also done a whole battery of blood tests - so many, in fact, that she couldn't order them all on one form and had to complete two shock!

Will let you know how that goes.

digerd Wed 14-Nov-12 15:42:03

GP today and specialist appt tomorrow at 9am - wow you have a special dr there.
Let us know what the neurologist said - never been seen by one of those myself.

DinosaursOnASpaceship Wed 14-Nov-12 16:02:20

I am sorry you are feeling so rough and im glad the doctor is on the ball and you are going to be seen so quickly.

I have seen a neurologist and just to put your mind at rest it's not as scary as it sounds. He just asked a few questions, tapped my knees, stroked my face - testing reflexes I think. And that was it. He made a referral for an MRI which I have next week. I was scared before my appointment though as I had no idea what to expect.

Your sleepless nights sound awful. Ds3 is a terrible sleeper and the only way I've found to cope is to have him in the bed with me. I don't have a partner anymore but when I did I would often leave him to sleep on the sofa - he always slept through ds crying and never got up with him. Ds4 is due at the end of January and I am dreading the sleepless nights. I function at the moment as I go to bed at 7.30pm with ds3, and often sleep during the day with him when he naps. I don't know how to advise you or help you but you have my sympathy.

fuzzpig Wed 14-Nov-12 16:15:51

Excellent news about the referral and blood tests. Hopefully it won't be long before you find out what's going on smile

CinnabarRed Wed 14-Nov-12 16:50:41

GP today and specialist appt tomorrow at 9am - wow you have a special dr there.

I know. My private health insurance company has also been excellent. My GP gave me the names of 2 neurologists at the local private hospital. I called my PHI provider and they gave me an authorisation number on the phone and confirmed that one of the two neurologists is already on their system so is pre-approved for payments from them. So I called his secretary, who'd just had a cancellation for tomorrow and offered it to me there and then. My GP is faxing her referral overnight.

It would have been a wait of around 3 months for an NHS consultant. My GP said that if I had PHI then now was the time to use it. So I did. I'm very lucky to be in a position where private care is a possibility.

Blood test results due next Tuesday.

CinnabarRed Wed 14-Nov-12 16:52:06

Dinosaurs - that sound tough. I hope you have family and friends supporting you. 4 sons is very special.

DinosaursOnASpaceship Wed 14-Nov-12 18:31:34

I'm lucky, I don't work so don't need an active mind every day and can rest and take it easy whilst ds3 plays. I go to bed very early of an evening and mn on my phone until I fall asleep. I couldn't cope in your position, I think you need a medal!

Four boys is brilliant. I have it all planned out, I'm going to have a builder, plumber, electrician and an interior designer and between the four of them they can build me a house! A few flaws to the plan - ds2 wants to deliver pizza hmm but I live in hope smile

CinnabarRed Wed 14-Nov-12 18:58:18

I certainly don't deserve a medal! I'm one of those who find working less stressful than looking after young children.

And your plan still works with a pizza deliverer involved - they've got to eat, you know!

2old2beamum Wed 14-Nov-12 20:23:11

CinnabarRed Although a lot older than you but like you have 2 SN's children your symptoms replicate mine to a "T"
In desperation I went to GP had blood tests and like Tigerfeet my vit D was rock bottom and also calcium levels were very high. I was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism and am now waiting for parathyroid surgery
Good luck for tomorrow

Spookey80 Wed 14-Nov-12 20:26:38

Glad you went to GP. Keep us posted. Good luck.

DinosaursOnASpaceship Thu 15-Nov-12 08:06:35

I hope your appointment goes well this morning smile

Hattie11 Thu 15-Nov-12 08:12:41

You sound a lot like me. I have rheumatoid arthritis plus 4 children who seem to have organised a rota of night wakings between themselves.

I have to really look after myself else I suffer really bad - not just arthritis aches but also exhaustion and the fatigue u describe - like have been doing a full work out.

Hattie11 Thu 15-Nov-12 08:14:01

Oops sorry didn't realise there was page 2 glad u getting seen to x

ppeatfruit Thu 15-Nov-12 10:16:58

One easy thing you could do is look at yr. wheat intake, DH gets terrible fatigue,bad temper and bloating if he eats wheat (when he doesn't he's like a different person).

So many things have wheat in them but the supermkts. are getting better with the wheat free bread, pasta etc.

For the pains you could also try not eating any pork products. DH cured his disabling pains just by giving up pork products !! Also maybe a kelp supplement and linseed oil could help.

CinnabarRed Thu 15-Nov-12 10:51:48

Just got back from the consultant.

It was very much as Dinosaurs described - he took a detailed medical history and then did a battery of reflex-based tests on my arms, legs and eyes.

The great news is that he found no evidence of systematic central nervous system damage, and ruled out MS there and then. I'm so relieved! I hadn't realised quite now worried about MS I was.

There does seem to be some localised nerve damage in my hands and feet. I have to go back tomorrow afternoon for more tests which will look at how well my nerve cells transmit electrical currents. I'm not clear on whether it will focus on just the local issues or be wider, but as it's due to take an hour it sounds quite comprehensive.

I then go back to see him next Thursday when he'll discuss both my electric test and my blood test results.

Interestingly, he talked about vitamin D a lot, both in the context of MS and more widely.

He's been involved in a recent study which demonstrated an almost complete corrolation between incidence of MS and sunlight exposure, factoring in cultural differences (so, for example, that Scandanavian coutries get less sunlight than Scotland but have more of an outdoors culture which more than compensates). He is also involved in an ongoing genetic study which has demonstrated that people with MS show variations in 4 key genes which are associated vitamin D absorption/inhibition.

Pure speculation on my part, but given my DM has MS, I wonder if perhaps I share some of her genetic variations - not enough to trigger MS, thankfully, but enough to mean that I'm not as efficient at absorbing vitamin D as the norm?

Thanks to everyone who has posted. I'll keep you informed.

(ppeatfruit - interesting that you mention diet. I'm really ignorant about these things. Do you know if wheat, pork, kelp and lindseed have anything at all to do with vitamin D?)

ppeatfruit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:16:38

I'm not sure about that Cinna the medics said that to DH as well; but he spends much more time in the sun than me 'cos he has olive skin. I'm much healthier than him 'cos I take my health seriously. D.H. is off and on but he has def. given up pork which has made a huge difference !!But as I said the diet thing can totally cure many more things than most people have any idea about!

The linseed oil and starflower oil is for EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) which we all need more of. Also the kelp has most vitamins in it.

ppeatfruit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:19:47

Oh also Evening Primrose oil is another good EFA.

CinnabarRed Thu 15-Nov-12 15:01:26

Right. I don't have kelp or linseed oil to hand, but I've just taken a multivitamin. Off to the shops later to see what I can get from Tesco.

Pork is easy - I hardly eat it anyway.

Wheat is a bit harder, not least because I love baking my own bread. I think I'll try the other things first, and look at cutting wheat out if I'm still struggling.

ppeatfruit Thu 15-Nov-12 15:51:01

I make my own bread with Kamut flour or spelt it's easier because they don't need kneading grin my mum uses spelt flour in her breadmaker too. So you don't have to give up bread at all!! You'll get linseed oil in Tesxxs.Kelp too or spirulina (that's another type of kelp)

ppeatfruit Thu 15-Nov-12 15:52:54

There's a good book out called 'Wheat Belly" by William Davis M.D. which is frightening about the symptoms of wheat intolerance. BTW

CinnabarRed Mon 19-Nov-12 11:43:40

Just a quick update about the tests I had on Friday.

I had various uncomfortable but not painful electrical shocks put through both hand and both feet. I then had needles pushed into various muscles in my legs while I had to contract and relax the muscles - that hurt a lot!

It turns out that I have severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands. I will have to have operations on both wrists, ideally deferred until DS3 can walk; my neurologist wants to look at the results in detail before deciding if it can wait.

I also have the equivalent to carpel tunnel syndrome in both feet. This is reasonably rare so doesn't have a name as such. It's less severe than in my wrists, and may resolve itself with cortisol injections rather than operations.

I still have my blood test results to collect, but I'm now hopeful that we've got to the bottom of the tingling/numbness.

I also threw my toys out of the pram with DH over the weekend. I told him that I can't live with the exhaustion any longer and that short term fixes like napping at the weekend aren't good enough. We've agreed that we'll self-refer back to the private sleep clinic that help us manage DS1's night-terrors to get help with DS2 and DS3.

fuzzpig Mon 19-Nov-12 12:05:06

Excellent news (well sort of - in that you have an answer!)

And good for you for laying into your h about it. Hope you get the support you need now. smile

fuzzpig Mon 19-Nov-12 12:06:29

The foot version is called tarsal tunnel BTW - my mum had it mildly, before that I didn't even know it existed!

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