I’m sick and scared–more tests and more waiting

I saw the endochrinologist yesterday, and although I went in hoping to leave with answers, I walked out with more questions, more fears, and more worries about my health.

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I would like to start this post by grieving the loss of another Canadian soldier, Bombardier Karl Manning, who died in Afghanistan this week. The forces and the rest of the country mourn his loss.

Yesterday was my visit to the illustrious Dr. White, an endochrinologist in Vancouver with a sunny face and a glowing reputation. I was there over an hour, where he detailed the possible conditions and diseases I could have, the next steps of my treatment and the prevailing concern over the fact that my heart was essentially running a marathon as I sat in the office chair. “WHOAH!”, was the response to his testing of my pulse and my heart medication was instantly upped by almost 120%. “Whoah” is never what you want to hear when it comes to your health. To say the very least, we were not off to a good start.

Some of my mounds of bloodwork came in and it appears my parathyroid is okay. But tumours and enlargement of my thyroid still remain, so I’ve been set up with a thyroid scan and biopsy, to confirm or deny cancer speculations and Grave’s disease concerns. As of 15 Jun, I should have definitive answers. Answers that seem so far away.

Right now, it appears Grave’s is the most likely option due to the length of time that I’ve been suffering with this, and to be honest, I’m not sure which disease upset me the most. Grave’s disease is an autoimmune disease that I will cope with for the rest of my life and struggle to balance my medications with my hormones and my energy level. The options are surgery, radiation (in the form of a drink) to kill my thyroid and a lifetime of hormone replacement medication, or medication to suppress my thyroid that will need eternal adjustment and change. To be honest, I’m scared.

You know what’s funny in all this? Back in September, when I had my knee surgery, the doctors didn’t want to continue because my heart rate was at a bit of a dangerous level. So I had to have an ECG before they would put me under the anesthsia. The doctors think I was likely sick even way back then, but I had chalked it all up to overdoing it with school, work and moving. Let this be a lesson learned to myself: Always listen to your body when you think something is wrong. All this time, it was trying to tell me something and I was too busy to listen. Perhaps I could have been on the mend by now and with my family as I try to heal. But I am lucky for amazing medical treatment, quick appointments and even quicker testing. Please believe me when I say that I know how lucky I am for that kind of service.

Once treatment starts, I should start returning to some semblance of normalcy after about six months, and then it will be months of adjusting my medication. But hopefully my nails will stop painfully pulling away from my skin, my hair will stop falling out, my energy level will let me get up off the floor, my heart will stop running me off my feet, and I will breathe normally, in and out, with a pulse hovering around 70 instead of 140.

Today was scary and I left the doctor’s office angry at the world. I grumbled at my parents as they tried to ask questions. I snapped at Mark as he expressed concern. I exerted my rage on the road until I realized I shouldn’t be driving and instead, I should be eating chocolate in the safety of my apartment, where no one else can be affected by my anger. In that apartment, people understand me, books understand me, and I’m not sick, I’m just myself, healthy and singing to my favourite music as I sip a glass of wine amoungst the bubbles in the tub.

Kelly