Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Forum

CFS? Polycythemia, Gallstones, Severe Fatigue, What's Wrong?


I'm a single, full-time father to three teenaged sons, a successful, work-from-home freelance writer. My life is grand, full of love and happiness.

However, about eight months ago, it was like the light's were just turned off on me -- massive fatigue set in, a significant loss in my ability to focus and concentrate, body aches, an occasionally racing heart. I'd never had any problems like this before.

I went to a doctor, who ran a series of blood tests, which revealed an elevated hematocrit -- not severely elevated, but well above normal. That yielded the diagnosis of polycythemia which, if you know anything about, is a condition almost always caused by something else. A CT scan of my abdomen revealed a 3-cm gallstone, a 2.7-cm hemangioma on my liver, but everything else looked good. My EKG was good. Everything else was normal. I'm set to do a sleep study in a couple of weeks to rule out sleep apnea, a condition I am doubtful that I have.

But I feel terrible almost all the time -- severe fatigue, tremendous difficulty concentrating and focusing (and, of course, getting my work done), body aches (especially in the left shoulder), etc. My doctor last week prescribed Vyvanse to help boost energy levels and focus, and that seems to help a little bit, but only a little bit. I'm doing my very best to keep it all together for my sons, who have no idea I'm feeling this way.

In 1992, I had a congenital blockage removed from my right kidney, resulting in function of about 15% on that side. In 2010, I was diagnosed with Chrones Disease, but have had no problems and taken no related medications since that initial illness. I have suffered for several years with erectile dysfunction, which is treated, usually effectively, with Viagra. I am on no other medications, have never had any troubles with depression or anxiety.

I am absolutely determined to feel better. I have far too much I want and need to do in this, not least of all raise three good men. By the by, I'm a 43-year old male, in good shape, practice yoga regularly (or did, until the last couple months). I would DEEPLY appreciate any thoughts or comments on what the heck might be happening here. Thank you so much.
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replied April 13th, 2014
You can try B12 sublingual tablets, coffee. How was your testosterone level? Generally MDs don't give a hoot about chronic fatigue. They will just say you are depressed. I have had chronic fatigue for a while, I have found something that helps but you should try b12 sublingual tablets and sleep study first.
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replied September 24th, 2014
Polycythemia, gallboadder disease, bad red cell morphology
Similar picture but far worse gallbladder disease (it was highly infected & bigger than a football with irregular thickening and polyps .. and NOW the thing is both porcelain and inoperable).

So for at least 6 years now my docs have told me I have twice the normal hemocrit in nearly every test. I have no idea how I managed to have 130% normal for 3 tests in a row once. I also have FMS,CFS and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (hard to deal with when you love hard science). My blood morphology is also all wrong, and that probably induces me to make more red cells (my guess since no doctor is being responsible about this)..

I have very thick blood. All the way back in about 1999 (14 + years ago) I saw the images from a PC linked microscope. I was a part of a trial of a natural health product (long before the polycythemia was in my labs). My blood was a mess. The cells looked like old bent bottle caps, in big masses (stuck to each other) with far too much fibrin. Nobody should have blood that looks like cotton candy & bent and broken bottle caps for red cells.

Then in 2001 (working in the kitchen) I accidentally stabbed myself in the side of my right index finger up next to the large knuckle with a steak knife. It went in to the bone - and it did not bleed at all. Not one drop even when I squeezed hard (just a purple line).

Here it is 13+ years after the knife in the finger, and not one doc will treat me for this. No hospital is willing to bleed me. They won't put me on meds. I know this is very dangerous and could cause a stroke. I (of course) have high blood pressure treated with meds *AND* since no normal blood pressure med can treat polycythemia related hypertension alone (I amfairly sure that is why it is high) I take some herbs that thin the blood slightly and increase oxygenation. Since I went onto the herbs I bleed a more when cut, and I also stopped waking up in the middle of the night with massive burning pain in my hands (which is a serious bad sign in polycythemia, which all of my DOCS were TOLD about and utterly ignored and are STILL ignoring). How do any of these people manage to graduate?
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