Friday, August 12, 2005

perched, once again

...ready to topple into a maelstrom of health issues, but hoping I won't.

The day after we got home, I made five appointments as I run the 2nd Annual Cancer Test Gauntlet. Last year I went in, blithely unaware (mostly) of what was coming. This year I'm under no such delusions. Here's how the appointments shake out:

Two for the endo (one for labs, one for followup)
One for the dermatologist, all over "mole check"; he'll surely yell at me for being so tan.
One for the eye doctor, for a dilated eye exam -- this is the one that scares me the most, actually. If they ever found melanoma behind my eyes that would be that, as they say. However, it's extremely rare, so I am not going to worry about it.
One for the gynecologist, who will write me a referral to have my mammogram done.

I also should make an appointment with my g/e doc, because my digestion is still screwed up even though the Immodium helps. A lot. But really, is this the best we can do? I don't know. I'm waiting until after I see my endo, though, because maybe we'll get to adjust my meds and that could help. So, that appointment will come later in the fall.

At $40 a pop, all these specialist visits are bleeding us dry -- it's better if the appointments are not all clumped together.

The other person I need to see my rheumatologist. I had a bad time over the summer, until I did some research on my antibiotic therapy and read up on a phenomena known as "tissue sensitivity" or something like that, wherein the antibiotic actually starts to aggravate the symptoms if too much builds up in your system. Since my symptoms were getting worse (in spite of Alleve), I quit taking the a/b and they have settled down. Now I'm in the default state for my RA, which is: hands are steady at about 4, which makes nearly everything just a little more difficult (like typing). Feet are worse, I'm just realizing, but I'm also wondering if that has to do with walking around barefoot on our tile floors. Hmmmm. Hips and everything else are creaky in the mornings but then usually work themselves out.

I could go back on the antibiotic, I've got plenty and another refill left on my r/x, too. It did work really well last year. The thing that's holding me back is the "flu" I got when I first started it, which is common. After taking it for a week or so, the mycoplasmas that are dying off really pollute your system and make you feel like the crud on the bottom of your shoe for a few days. It was not pleasant, to say the least, and since I'm already feeling achey, I don't want to dump "flu" on top of that. I'm such a wimp.

The protocol says to go off for a week or two, but I've been off for a month (at least, maybe longer). I wish I could just tough this out, but the current strategy is not a good one. Constant pain, even low-level pain like mine, is really wearing on a body.

So I had my blood drawn on Thursday morning, and I hydrated well enough beforehand that it only took one stick. That's a minor miracle as far as I'm concerned. So now I'll be on tenterhooks until the results come in and I can discuss them with my endo. I have some concern about my TSH, since it has been measured recently shortly after I've taken my meds -- both T4 and T3, and I think that will probably mean my TSH is coming out very low in the morning, whereas later in the day it is probably higher, perhaps out of suppression range. Maybe I shouldn't worry about these things, but I do:

I've got a new lump on my neck. Not a submandibular gland, a node in the chain below those. On the right side. It's probably nothing, will probably go away before the endo can even take a look at it. Right?

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