The fog of too many possible causes

Some possible sources of my fatigue: PCOS, side effect from meds, hypothyroid, low iron, chronic pain, connective tissue disease, some unknown cause.  Gee, that really clears it up, doesn’t it? [insert needed sarcasm emoticon here]

I’ve been depressed lately.  It’s frustrating.  I’ve been depressed before, so I know what to watch for, and it’s not extreme right now – I’m not suicidal or anything.  I’m just in a long-lasting funk.  It’s come and gone recently, especially over the last few weeks.

I’ve been worrying about my future.  What if I can’t go back to work?  How will I make ends meet?  I’ve looked at apartment listings online. I could save money by moving to the suburbs.  I could save more by moving out of state.  A 3-bedroom house in Boulder rents for less than my not-at-all-fancy 1 bedroom apartment near Boston.  But moving away from my support system, my family, my friends, my doctors, my home?  I’m just not ready for that, even though the climate here is lousy for me.

These are very legitimate concerns, especially as my back-to-work followup with my rheumatologist is approaching, even though I’m obviously not back to work yet.  I know that I’m thinking things through rationally.  I’m worried, but not over-worried.  I’m bored, but managing to mostly stay busy.  I’m frustrated, but that’s nothing new.  So why am I feeling this way?  It doesn’t make sense!

Today I felt great.  I felt uplifted as soon as I got out of bed, which was odd, since I’d woken up early from odd and scary dreams.  Still, once I got up I felt really good.  Why was today different?  I thought that if I could figure out why I felt so good today, I could replicate it.  Sounds reasonable, right?

As I thought about it while walking outside, feeling especially good, it hit me all at once, really hard.  DUH!!!  It’s sunny out today!  We’ve had a lot of gray weather, and today is sunny!  I feel like such a moron.  Ironically, because I was depressed and focused so much on a few specific areas of my life, I completely forgot to watch for my seasonal affective disorder, which seems to have been the cause of the depression.  Now let’s be honest, I’m probably experiencing some depression from everything I’ve been going through lately, but I think that is at a level that I’m comfortable with.  It’s when it started getting worse (as the days got more overcast) that I got worried.  And now I’ve finally figured out what was going on.

One of the difficult things about these illnesses is that any given symptom can have many possible causes.  It’s so hard to keep track of the possibilities, and when we lose track, it can be disorienting.  I’m grateful to have figured out where this one symptom seems to be coming from, but what about the other symptoms?  What about the other people who can’t trace theirs?  There’s so much work to be done.  I hope it happens sooner rather than later.  In the meantime, I’ll be watching the weather forecast and hoping for more sunny days soon.

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