• Dooley - My Story

    Hi, my name is David, my friends call me Dooley (short for Dr Doolittle as I talk to animals too much) and this is my story.

    About a year ago I caught some sort of virus and after a week of feeling horrible and snotty I went to my doctor just in case it was something more serious. But it wasn't, she said it was a nasty virus going round and to take it easy, rest up and I would get over it in a couple of weeks. Well to cut a long story short, I never got better.

    I had a range of symptoms including stomach problems, headaches, abdominal pain, weight loss, and of course fatigue. It took quite a while before anyone took my complaints seriously, but eventually I started having tests to make sure there wasn't anything serious behind some of the symptoms.

    During this early stage the other complication was migraines. I started getting migraines when I was about 14 and they weren't too serious, although I still had drugs to take which made them manageable, but after I got sick the migraines changed radically.

    One night I got a really bad one, I took my drugs but they had no effect and I was in so much pain I started having trouble breathing. Thatís when my wife called the ambulance. The ambulance took me to hospital and they injected me with pethadine, which stopped the pain and put me to sleep thankfully.

    After that episode I was put on a drug called nortriptyline which limits the frequency of my migraines, and also given some tramal to take if I got another one.

    Aside from all that drama going on, the rafts of tests continued! I had loads of different blood tests, they stuck cameras in all sorts of places, took tissue samples from my stomach and intestines, I even had this cool test where they give you some stuff like chalk to drink and then x-ray it as it travels the length of your digestive system. But guess what? Every test came back fairly normal. I got so sick of hearing: "well there is some slight inflammation, but itís not abnormal..." or "you are at the low end of the normal bracket" or just plain old negative test results.

    So life continued, and eventually I was given the "ME" or "CFS" title.

    So now the emphasis is on management, or so Iím told, and I am doing small tasks each day but trying to not overdo it or I crash for a while. I was in the middle of a joinery apprenticeship until getting sick, so hopefully when I recover I will be able to finish and then the world is my oyster. For now I take each day as it comes and look forward to feeling normal again one day soon.