After that first needle-like enjoy, O’Rourke confronted one symptom after the following: intense bouts of fatigue, drenching night time sweats, vertigo, mind fog, cartilage tears, belly ache right through her length…the listing is going on. And but, all her labs seemed OK—so with every passing symptom, docs rattled off attainable reasons.
The ones electrical shocks? Almost certainly simply actually dry pores and skin, mentioned her dermatologist. The belly length ache? Possibly it’s endometriosis, her OB/GYN proposed. “I’m going to by no means put out of your mind when she mentioned, ‘It does not actually topic until you might be seeking to get pregnant,’ which was once odd, as it mattered to me—I used to be in bizarre ache!” O’Rourke recounts. After which there’s the irritating, You’re most certainly simply stressed out! excuse. O’Rourke heard all of it.
After searching for out consultants—integrative docs, acupuncturists, ladies’s well being consultants, and rheumatologists—she was once belatedly recognized with autoimmune thyroiditis. “So I’ve Hashimoto’s, which is an autoimmune thyroid situation,” she says. “In the way in which of the rollercoaster regardless that, I did not get totally higher after being handled for this thyroid illness. So my physician mentioned to me: ‘Glance, I feel you simply have to simply accept that your existence is rarely going to be how it as soon as was once. You will serve as at 80% ceaselessly.’”
After all, that’s a irritating and horrifying consequence for someone to listen to, however nonetheless, O’Rourke was once made up our minds to resolve her signs. “I used to be nonetheless ill, so I simply saved looking for solutions.” In any case, she ended up with an infectious illness physician who did a complete panel and recognized O’Rourke with Lyme illness. “So I then underwent radical antibiotic remedy for months and months—that right away did get me a lot better from the place I were, and but even then I did not get totally higher,” she says.
In any case, after seeing a heart specialist simply this previous spring, O’Rourke discovered that she has a genetic situation known as Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: “It is a workforce of connective tissue problems, the place you will have a gene that implies that you do not make collagen in the way in which everybody else does,” she explains. “Your collagen is extra frail, extra fragile, and much more likely to rip.”
All of sudden, all her signs made sense: The cartilage tears, the fatigue, the neurological problems. “It is much more likely to guide you to have dysautonomia, or issues of the autonomic fearful machine, through which your veins do not adequately constrict whilst you get up, resulting in faintness, dizziness, and mind fog.”
O’Rourke in any case gained her analysis—but it surely took a couple of 20-year length for her to in any case get solutions. “Ten years when I first went to the physician pronouncing, ‘One thing’s fallacious when I am getting my length,’ I were given recognized with endometriosis,” she says. “5 years after that, I were given the autoimmune analysis, after which two years later, so 17 years after the primary Lyme signs, I used to be handled for Lyme illness.” She poses: “Why had it taken see you later to get reputation and analysis for what was once happening with me?”