Endocrinology 101

Had the endocrinologist appointment yesterday. Great guy. I don’t usually like doctors very well – since I don’t like being cut off mid-sentence – but this doctor has a wonderful manner and spent about an hour with us, I think. He wants me to be tested for subacute thyroiditis and Addison’s Disease. That’s the short version. He’s also interested in investigating the non-classical adrenal hyperplasia diagnosis I got in Michigan somewhat further. I am fine with all of this. I will go in for tests on August 6th and have a follow-up appointment August 16th. Great post-birthday present, huh? I’m still exhausted, but just feeling like my feet are placed on the path to diagnosis has done an enormous amount.

Some links, for those who want to read more:

Subacute thyroiditis:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?id=AN00331

The initial symptoms of which are the same as hyperthyroidism:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?objectid=D0B68153-CD94-4B0E-A178CAF201C9B7EB&dsection=2

Addison’s Disease:
http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health/endo/pubs/addison/addison.htm

One of the tests I will have for that is an ACTH Stimulation Test:
http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/acth/test.html

I know these are tough reading, but I feel more comfortable referring people so they can read as much as they’re comfortable with reading rather than trying to simplify the explanation too much and messing it up.

As far as possible outcomes from these things – subacute thyroiditis goes away by itself, though some people are left with hypothyroidism (http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?id=DS00353) that must be treated for life. Addison’s Disease must be treated for life with medication to increase cortisol levels.

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Trying to Keep it Together

Had a wonderful conversation with several members of my extended family last night. I have such an awesome family. Almost everyone is back in the Ancestral Homeland right now. Wish we could be there too.

Nine days until I see the endocrinologist. I’m trying to think through the chronology in my head so I can give a clear synopsis when I get into the doctor’s office. I’ll write it down, don’t worry. I think I’m going to give the sequence of events by weeks after the initial week where I fell ill. It’ll be almost nine weeks of being sick when I go to see him.

I think I’m going to preface my synopsis with, “Before this happened, I typically got up at 5 a.m., walked/ran three miles, worked all day, cooked an elaborate dinner, and did stuff around the house or ran errands in the evening.”

Since this came about I haven’t exercised. I try to avoid getting up from my desk more often than I absolutely have to. I don’t reliably have enough energy to sing along with the radio in the car. (Those of you who have known me longest know how bad this specific limitation indicates things must be.) Michael (I’m going to start calling him Saint Michael, I swear) cooks dinner. I eat and lay down on the couch until it’s time to go to sleep.

Still exhausted, though the mornings have been a little easier lately than they had been. That probably comes from sleeping by myself – not something I like, but it allows me to sleep better. I’m usually such a champion sleeper; it’s very weird to be awakened by someone’s loud muffler at 2 a.m. The tradeoff for the mornings being not as bad seems to be that the afternoons and evenings are harder. I say that now – the only rule I’ve been able to come up with is that if I decide things are going one way, they quickly go the other.

I am not able to predict, in any way, how I will feel from hour to hour. It doesn’t seem to depend on anything. I’ll be going along at work, seemingly fine, then I’ll just hit a wall and have to put my head down on my desk until the worst of it passes.

Haven’t had that glucose tolerance test yet to check for diabetes – I just haven’t felt strong enough to tolerate it, ha. (And if I have diabetes, wouldn’t it prove that the universe has a sick sense of humor?) I have been trying to stay away from sugar anyhow. It’s hard to remember that I’m staying away from it, since I don’t eat much of it to begin with. I’m used to avoiding foods, though – just have to fit it to my vegetarian mindset. Last Thursday I ate a couple brownies and some chocolate sauce and had a horrible, horrible evening. I don’t know if that’s what caused it, but it made me decide not to touch any sugar for the time being.

I’ve been having some dizziness, which concerns me – I hadn’t had that before the last week or so. It comes and goes so fast that as soon as I realize I feel like I’m spinning it stops. Must keep an eye on that.

I just keep putting one foot in front of the other – every morning I’m another day closer to having some answers.