My Father's Mystery Illness
One of the hardest things to deal with in life is never having answers. Going through the never-ending cycle of doctors not knowing; I'm reaching out for help. My father (53) has been struggling with a mysterious illness over the last 20 years. This illness has triggered, or "flared up," at 3 identifiable points in time.
First, in 1999, my father first noticed symptoms such as sore and swollen lymph nodes in his neck, followed by fevers. He was emitted to the hospital and stayed for about 3 weeks until he made a recovery while being treated. What the treatment was or how symptoms subsided is unknown.
The next occurrence was in 2007, 8 years later. The first symptoms were the same as in 1999, including sore and swollen lymph nodes in his neck, followed by fevers. This time, he suffered from this illness for 2-3 months. After countless doctors, continuously searching for help, he found an Infectious Disease Specialist (ID) who was able to help him. The ID ended up giving him a 10-day prescription for Penicillin, ultimately curing his symptoms entirely.
In November of 2022, it came back. The symptoms were the same. He got a 5-day prescription for Azithromycin (Z-Pak), which almost cured him fully. However, he ended up “relapsing” and regaining symptoms 6 days after they wore off.
During November, his lymph nodes were swollen. First, his lymph nodes were swollen in his armpit. Later, the soreness and swelling traveled to the side of his neck.
A very important thing to mention is that all of these "flare-ups" are triggered by stressful events, happening at immense peaks of stress (stress-induced).
As of currently (January 2023), he has had sore and swollen lymph nodes, chills, extreme weight loss (from 190-166), loss of appetite, mild fevers, light sensitivity in eyes, sore & sensitive eyes, physical weakness, and fatigue.
Some of his blood work is showing low white & red blood cell counts, inflammation in his blood, and mild blood count in his urine. Although, the mild blood count in his urine is assumed to be from the Azithromycin prescription in November.
The biggest mystery in all of this is that antibiotics have been used to treat the symptoms. While these symptoms resemble those of viral infections, my father has tested negative for multiple bacterial infections. Yet, antibiotics are curing his symptoms. I have speculated that this illness could be an autoimmune disease because symptoms have come back every 8-15 years. My goal in writing this is to hopefully gather ideas as to what this could be, and find a way to help him. Below are his current prescriptions and medical history. Please if anyone can help us in any way, we'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
Medical History (his parents' medical history not fully known):
High blood pressure