Archive for May, 2014

I had Graves Disease that went into remission. However, ever since having Graves, I have had trouble with my b12 levels. For the past 3.5 years I’ve been battling many weird symptoms that at first were treated seriously: had an MRI to look for MS due to numbness in my cheek and thigh. I had an upper and lower GI (gastrointestinal) scope to look for digestive issues and causes of malabsorption (also low in vitamin D, calcium and magnesium as well as iron, which as 10).

Despite having had a blood test where my b12 levels were 115, and despite severe macrocytic anemia, my doctor didn’t think anything of these levels. I had b12 shots monthly and my symptoms seemed to get a little better, but very, very slowly and never completely went away.

I started looking at other causes of my pains and ended up with a fibromyalgia diagnosis by my doctor and a prescription for anti-depressants, which I weaned myself off after about a year on them. My pains never went away and my doctor started becoming really insulting by always asking, “Are you anxious?”  Well, yes, because a) my symptoms aren’t going away, and b) you treat me like a hypochondriac.

Last summer my friend told me how she started injecting herself, so I thought I’d give it a try. My injection schedule was irregular, but I did see steady improvements. However, when things started to go downhill at March break of 2014, I didn’t suspect my B12 levels at first.

My symptoms

The pain started to grow, especially in my neck and my back. There was a pain that wrapped around my rib cage, just above my bra line, especially on the right side of my body (I use my mouse with this hand), and I sit at a computer a lot.  One of my stranger symptoms was sweating in my right shoulder blade area, near the spine. I think this is an area that was just highly irritated due to using my mouse a lot. The sweating seemed to run up into my face – my jaw muscles were always very sore and irritated. I’d try to massage them and they would hurt for days.   Pain in my upper arms was constant and my arms would fall asleep as I lied in bed reading.  My feet would also hurt walking on them in the morning. My hips ached too, especially the right side.  I also had terrible swelling in my fingers and sometimes feet.  And weirdly, it affected my digestion. I would get diarrhea. Sometimes food seemed to irritate my stomach.  The slightest movements would hurt my spine and I’d get photo-sensitivity. Even, occasionally, mild urinary incontinence.  Finally, tinnitus and insomnia were two of my earliest symptoms.  Oh, and really bad hot flashes and cold shivers. Freezing cold butt and feet. And, I know my TSH level during this time remained “normal,” between 1-3.

Finally, I suspected B12 and started injecting daily for the past 4 days and again major relief in the pain, with still lots of naggling pains that I suspect will take some time to disappear.  I also feel almost worse after the first few shots. My tongue tingles, my face tingles. I feel tired and lethargic.  However, I remember from before, this does get better as your body starts to heal. I also remember how long it takes to return to normal energy levels, and even longer to feel “normal”, if you ever make it back there. However, I am very happy to be self-injecting. It’s super cheap, too. I pay $7 for 10,000 ml of B12 which lasted me almost a year last time, but now I know I need to inject much more frequently to be symptom and pain-free.




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