Yesterday afternoon I was trying out one of the single-use thermometer strips I have for work, just to remind myself how to use them. It told me that I had a mild fever. I confirmed it on my regular thermometer. That got me thinking about how strange my body has been acting over the last few years.
In 2015, after weeks of having an intermittent mild fever, I developed a severe bacterial pneumonia that required several days of IV antibiotics. It seemed to be out of the blue; there was no cold or other mild respiratory infection that preceded it. That is very odd for a physically healthy person my age. Since then, I’ve had a couple of bouts of what seemed to be viral pneumonia (less severe symptoms, no significant fever). Any time I have a cold now (like I did a few weeks ago), I get a lot of chest congestion that makes breathing difficult.
Around the same time, I started getting migraines that involved a lot of nausea and sometimes vomiting. I don’t get them often, and they don’t seem to be triggered by anything that I can identify, but they’re not something I’d ever had before that. I ended up getting a migraine yesterday evening, just before I was supposed to see a client for work. Luckily she ended up needing to reschedule, because I felt like I was in the process of dying.
In the last year or so, I’ve had vertigo, including rocking vertigo (a sense of the ground rocking); again, this is something I’d never had before. Often vertigo is linked to inner ear issues, but with the pattern it’s taken for me it seems more likely to be psychiatric in origin. I’ve also had some odd perceptual disturbances, and even more so than the vertigo there seems to be a pattern consistent with psychiatric causation.
Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong in a physical sense. It’s not health anxiety; if anything, my health professional training makes me more inclined to brush these things off as vague and non-specific. The thought sometimes wanders into my head that maybe I have a brain tumour. That thought doesn’t make me worry; if anything, it gives me a sense of relief to think that there could be something that would naturally cut short my life. It’s not that I’m suicidal, I just don’t have a desire to live a long life. I also don’t care sufficiently to push my doctor to order imaging tests that really don’t seem warranted.
Does your body do strange things sometimes? Does it seem linked to your mental illness?