Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Retired Bridgeburner: 30 Day Chronic Illness Challenge

This is something new for me, a challenge to blog for TRB every day for a month rather than just once a week. I also thought this would be a good opportunity for readers to get to know me a little better in somewhat quicker fashion than reading my more essay-like posts.

I'll still write longer posts as usual when ideas come to me, but expect a post a day for the next 30 days and I'll see how constructive I can make them.

Day 1

Introduce yourself. What illnesses do you have? How long have you had them?

I'm Hannah. 23 year old Brit living with my partner in historic Jorvik.

Tea monster, fantasy fanatic and spoony. Arguably spent far too much time slaying dragons.


I have Fibromyalgia with associated Costochondritis and relatively mild Interstitial Cystitis. I also have some sort of undiagnosed bowel issue (I personally believe it's a food intolerance of some kind, and I'm saving up for some lab tests to start the ball rolling to that end.)

It's hard to pin down when they appeared precisely. I started up with bowel problems and general malaise and tiredness just over two years ago, and because we have IBD in the family I spent about a year under a Gastroenterologist who unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you wish to look at it) found nothing. After the first six months or so the fatigue worsened and general all over aching and pain began to be an everyday occurrence. Phases of poor memory and concentration started to recur around this time also.

Around a year ago I developed what seemed to be an incredibly virulent and recurring UTI. Five courses of antibiotics later and it refused to vacate the premises. After a long battle I managed to obtain a referral to Urology, who listened to me talk through the chronology and symptoms for five minutes and diagnosed me on the spot.

I firmly believe if it hadn't been for an accidental (and fateful) change in the GP rota at my surgery the Fibormyalgia would be undiagnosed to this day. After listening to me the new GP did some reading about chronic pain conditions and came back to me with the pressure point test. A couple of minutes of me virtually bouncing off the walls later and we had our answer.

At the moment I'm taking Amitriptyline for the Interstitial Cystitis and a somewhat demanding exercise routine has been the only relief for the Fibromyalgia so far.

So there you have it!


  1. Isn't it odd how its locums or new GPs who tend to be the ones who take the time to find these things for us? It's also due to a stand-in doctor at my surgery that I was referred to a specialist for the pressure test. He originally thought I had arthritis, but no matter, he took me seriously and made the referral. It was from there I got my diagnosis.