It is all in the eyes

“It first started with a severe headache. Then my glands in my neck felt painful, which made my neck feel all stiff and  difficult  to  move.  My  throat  felt  sore,  and  I  had  a  temperature.”  She  tried  to  remember  how  she  had  felt  8 months  prior  to  her  visit  to  me.  Her  pale  fingers  played  nervously  with  the  sheath  of  blood  reports  she  had  done, neatly held together by a blue paper clip. “I have been to so many doctors. If you don’t mind, I have become very sceptical!  Everyone  has  a  different  idea  of  what  could  be  wrong  with  me.  My  blood  tests  indicate  a  low  immunity and some sort of infection. Otherwise, the results for my liver, kidneys and thyroid are normal. I just feel so tired all the time. I used to play a lot of sport, work very hard and on top of that, I had a busy social life! Now all I want to do is sit. I have even had to ask for unpaid leave to get away to be quiet.”

Not once, while pouring out her story of woe, did any emotion show on her face or changed her voice from a type of  monotone.  She  was  very  pale,  her  hands  and  feet  cold  and  clammy  when  I  had  greeted  her.  Her  style  of dressing was one of comfort with no regard for colour or form. Serviceable, worn-in running shoes sat on her feet. Not very flattering for a young woman, I thought. Maybe she felt so worn out that she had stopped caring about her appearance,  which  of  course  is  quite  normal.  Her  eyes  fascinated  me.  They  were  intensely  blue,  with  a  piercing, sharp look which missed nothing. I noticed that she took in my office at a glance when she had entered. Satisfied with  what  she  saw,  she  had  proceeded  to  look  for  advice.  Maybe  her  deadpan  voice  and  face,  and  her  dressing down, was a bit of a camouflage for an exceedingly bright intellect. Interesting, I thought.

“Would  you like  to read  the  pathology  reports?”  she offered  the  sheath  of  laboratory reports  to  me.  I  scanned  the test results and came to the conclusion that she was correct. Somehow there was an ongoing infection in her body and her white blood cell count was low. This would result in a compromised immune system. “I must tell you that I saw one doctor who gave me numerous antibiotics. When I started to develop thrush in my mouth, ears and vagina I realised that I was being overmedicated and stopped taking the drugs immediately. I have been using acidophilus capsules for a while for the thrush. It seems to be helping.” She passed on more information in a monotone.

Somehow  the  idea  that  she  could  be  suffering  from  glandular  fever  and  burn-out  started  to  look  like  the  possible cause  for  her  constant  exhaustion.  None  of  the  blood  tests  indicated  a  positive  reading  for  all  different  types  of viruses which could cause glandular fever, but all of her symptoms pointed to a recurring infection.

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