Thursday, September 19, 2013

An Appointment, An Explanation, A Diagnosis, Testing, & A Resolution

Where to begin? What I have to say, could fill up several pages. I feel I must say something, but I shy away from saying something that might be wrong, or possibly negate another person's pain, which is not my intent. I talked to a sister of mine a while back. I love talking to her! And as we were discussing current events which are hurting us, I said, something to the effect of, "ugh, I can't believe I am pouring out my minuscule problems to you, yours are so much more painful. I should just be grateful for what I have, and try to let go of what I could lose." And her response was so lovely, so compassionate, so TRUE. She said, "I don't think we need to compare our hurts. Life hurts sometimes, we feel pain, and it doesn't matters whose pain we believe is worse. What matters is that we feel pain, and we ought to support each other in our pain." So, there you go, I am going to try to live by that.

So, all summer, and a few months before that, I have been feeling really tired, just unnaturally fatigued and exhausted and worn out. I blew it off, thinking that I just wasn't recovering as quickly from the birth of my latest princess. I thought, well, I have five kids, they are busy creatures, we are all busy, it's just going to take a little longer to recover. But as the fatigue and exhaustion continued, and I felt myself feeling worse, and worse, I started to consider other causes. The finally straw was when I noticed my heart would be racing, for almost no reason whatsoever. I have been eating right, and trying to stay active, me getting healthier, why wasn't I feeling better???? I finally dragged myself to call my fabulous Dr., and schedule an appt. I show up to that appt, and get all the preliminary stuff done, weight, height, pulse, etc. my Dr. works with a university and provides on the job training to medical students. So the student comes in and does her assessment things,  again with the pulse, reflexes, etc. she asks me if I have ever been told I had a heart murmur, well, no. She steps out, then a bit later, she and my Dr. come in. My Dr. listens, and agrees, I have developed a heart murmur, and she also agrees with the student that my thyroid is enlarged. Great, what does that mean? She sends me off for bloodworm and stuff, which I do. Then, we start the waiting game.

A couple days later, I get a phone call that it looks like I have Graves' disease. Well, that doesn't sound good. I mean, who puts "graves" in a disease unless it is bad? So, I get off of the phone and have a panic. I research all of the symptoms. One of which is "unexplained weight loss." You mean all that work I did was all for nothing? It was all from this disease? I could have been living large, and I still would have lost the weight. Grrrr! I lost a total of 81 lbs in about 8 months. It has been great, I felt like I was really looking good, and that I had "changed my stars" and changed my path and direction, only to find out that the path was already changing, and while I helped a little, the disease was doing most of the work. I feel like the biggest fraud in the history of weightless. I was ashamed, and still am, to a degree, I felt like I had cheated somehow, that somehow, all my work and effort didn't count, because I had had a secret accomplice on the inside. How could I continue to write this blog? How can I continue to show my face around here when I didn't earn this position, and etc. and I still struggle with those feelings. I worry that anybody who I have touched with this story, will see this as some grand charade, and look down on me for it, and believe I didn't play the game right, and a small part of me believes that they are right, I did cheat. And there is a lot of ashamed associated with these feelings.

But I am not a cheater. I have to remind myself of this every day. My Dr. ordered meds for me, three, to be exact, and I take them dutifully. I don't want Graves' disease to control my life, I don't want to lose the life I have to it either. So I try, and I fight the nausea and the headaches and the dizziness, etc. and I try to get through the day, and just survive. After the first week, I feel better, and better. The I get sick again, so off to the Dr. for an infection, then some other blood-work that needs to be done and I schedule a thyroid ultrasound too. Blood-work is expected to take a week to come back, so we wait on that, this waiting is so fun!!! Not.

Thyroid ultrasound is exactly that, an ultrasound of your thyroid. Mine looks good, slightly enlarged, but no nodules or anything like that. So, off I go to wait some more. About a week or so goes by, and I get the phone call on my blood-work, there is no graves-specific antibody they can find, so I wait some more. Today I see an ENT, who tells me I need to see an endocrinologist, after, of course, I sat in an exam room of his for an hour and a half. :P So, we wait some more.

. . . To be continued

What I do know:
the two meds I am on are really helping, I feel

1 comment:

  1. Don't think for one minute that all your hard work doesn't show!!!! Graves disease or not, you have worked so hard on your goals the past 8 months and that is something to be proud of! Now if you had been secretly eating Ho Ho's this whole time then that is another story.