Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Illness after Rape


I have been meaning to continue my series on Secondary Survivors Not Understanding and I will however since that post in August I have not been well at all.

To be perfectly honest I have not been in the best of health since the rape that is one reason it is so imperative that I post about Illness after rape so if just by chance others are sick after trauma, sexual assault, or rape.    
While my rape may not be the exact cause of my illness (which is unknown at the moment) during this time of sickness I have discovered a few things that I thought I would share.

First off a brief synopsis, of course as many know I was raped in 2008 and was dealing with many things.  I was not completely well both physically and mentally.  In May of 2010 I came down with viral meningitis, with the meningitis for about 7 to 10 days but have not been completely well since.  Everything from fatigue, rashes, diarrhea, etc.  After the meningitis I had a positive Lyme disease test and a positive West Nile virus test, I was treated for both but both the titers came back negative, so the doctors said I did not have either and they were a false positives.

I have had test after test done since May 2010 to check different areas they all came back fine.  My doctor at the time was going to send me to Mayo.  It was recommended to me to switch clinics to see if a better one (according to many) could find out more before going to Mayo, so I did.  This clinic does focus on the normal stuff but also practices functional medicine.  I am not a doctor so just click the Wiki link and it will tell you more about functional medicine.

Since I have been on and off (more on than off) sick since the rape and much worse since the meningitis the new clinic doctors have done many tests and I do trust them, which is rare.  I realize doctors are busy and have many pressures, so patient/doctor time is not what it used to be.

What is interesting is that my psychologist, my doctor that prescribes my mental health medication (which by the way I am off all but one now ……….YAY!)  and my medical doc and chiropractor (just started seeing one in August of this year, due to recommendation, my first time, very interesting), do not think that I have many mental health issues (although there are still a few creeping around:), they all think it is physical.  Long story short (too late), I am down to two tests left that they may think may be the culprits Lyme disease and adrenal fatigue/cortisol test.

I had to cover a little history but now onto the main stuff - adrenal fatigue and rape.  Some of my doctors seem to think that possible due to the stress from the rape and meningitis that my adrenal glands might be shot and may be the cause of my odd but debilitating symptoms.  To read more about it go to adrenal fatigue on Wiki.

While there can definitely be no science to pinpoint if the stress of the rape can lead to illness (at least in one my situation) , I wonder could it have put me through so much that my body was tired out.  Also, add in a little meningitis and we have bad cocktail.

So yesterday I had a cortisol test to see if my adrenal glands are functioning properly.  The Cortisol stim test is a bit long but not bad.  They draw blood, then inject cortisol, wait 30 minutes draw again, then wait another thirty minutes and draw again and done. 

I thought this was important to share because as many know stress can be the cause of many illnesses.  The trauma of rape is a huge stressor and could in fact, in my mind anyway, weaken the immune system and perhaps make you more susceptible to many things.  In fact while reading up on adrenal gland problems a trauma is on many of the lists of things that can shake your adrenal glands up.

I should find the results of the Cortisol test on Wednesday or Thursday of this week so I will keep you posted, however if anyone had any information on illness after being raped or adrenal fatigue after rape I would love to hear about it!

Victoria Placeo