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“In the Neck of Time”, Part II Seeing the Doctor

Submitted by on April 9, 2011 – 9:31 AMNo Comment
“In the Neck of Time”, Part II Seeing the Doctor

So, where were we?  Oh right.  I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease in 1998.  But what I forgot to tell you is that I was also diagnosed with a pituitary tumor as well as quite a few internal food allergies. My symptoms were all over the map.  I was cold all the time, my stomach was swelling, I had really dry itchy skin, and my normal body temp was 95.1. WTF?  So here’s what the doctor did.  Now mind you, I was new at this, had no guidance and back then I was one of those people that trusted “the doc’ because they were a doc.   How many of you have done that?  Shameful isn’t it?
We started with an in-house blood test.  And I had to wait a week for the results.  Then I went in to discuss the results.  I mentioned to him that I don’t like meds and he suggested Amour thyroid which is a natural medicine.  What he neglected to mention is that it comes from a pig (and I’m Jewish)  and contains two thyroid hormones, T3&T4 (which not everyone needs).  In addition, because it is natural, there is no way to create the exact same amount with each batch.   Therefore the amount of hormone you would receive would fluctuate with every prescription refill.  This bit of info would have been great to have…I had to learn it on my own.
The doc also scheduled a thyroid ultrasound and a pituitary MRI.  The tests in and of themselves are not difficult, well except for the deep pressure you feel on your throat because the technician has the bedside manner of a troll and the total claustrophobic feeling of the MRI machine as you feel like a sausage being stuffed into its skin and every time they try to roll into it your arms and legs go out like a cat being put into a tub of water.  (breathe, breathe.)
But like Tom Petty says “The waiting is the hardest part”.  Once the tests were over I had nothing more to do but to wait for the results.  This took about a week to be sent to my endocrinologist. Then I had to wait for my appointment.  Finally my day had come and he told me the news:  I have a goiter with nodule growth (watery cysts- eew) and a Pituitary Micro adenoma.  (In my head I heard adenoma, nodules?  Did he just say I have tumors?)
Well, without much explanation the doctor handed me a script that would reduce the tumor (which I later found out is used for Parkinson’s disease called Parlodel and he had me on it for over two years when it should have been much less.
All I know is that I went from being a healthy, vibrant, intelligent woman to a confused, lethargic, always in pain, shell of who I used to be and nowhere to turn but the internet.   This, my dear friends, is not a good combination.
Being a pioneer can be rewarding, but has it’s disadvantages.  You are your own guinea pig…testing and trying different things to find answers: Reading through copious amounts of material only to be left with more questions than answers.

To that, I like to share things that I have learned that I wish someone would have told me before going to the doctor.
Tips for preparing for y our doctor visits:
·    Whenever possible, especially in the early diagnosis stage (of any illness), bring someone with you.  Besides you needing the support…the biggest reason is that when you hear your diagnosis, you don’t hear anything else after that.  It’s like the doctor said only one word from a giant set of lips, that echoed in the air forever  “DISEASE, DISEASE, DISEASE”

·    If you can’t bring someone with you, take notes…do not be afraid to ask the doc to slow down or repeat himself.
·    Do your research before you get there and have a list of questions prepared.  The worst thing for me was forgetting what I wanted to ask the doc.  Because more than likely when you call later, they will not call you back…ah the US Healthcare system.  And even if they do, by the time they do, you have forgotten again.  (One of the perks of thyroid disease….oh what was it again, oh right forgetfulness.)

·    Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself.  If you do not feel right, scream it out if you have to.  I do not care what your blood tests say.  Autoimmune disorders, lead to other autoimmune disorders, endocrine issues lead to other endocrine issues, hormone imbalances lead to other hormone imbalances.  Try to remember, that being a doctor is like playing detective.  Unless you investigate all the leads, you may not find the true culprit.  And treating symptoms only or blood tests only is not conclusive.

·    Change doctors as many times as you have to until you find one who will listen to you and who’s medical philosophy matched yours.  Since 1999 – 2006 between New York City and Melbourne Beach (my two locals of residence)  I have been through at least 8 doctors. And the one I have now I have been with for over 5 years.  I had finally found the doc for me.  But not without humiliation, blame, embarrassment and naiveté.

These stories and more will be for the next installment of “In the Neck of Time”.  If you missed the first installment, check it out here: “In the Neck of Time”, Part I or you can View All Content by Nancy Matican Bock.

Stay connected with Nancy on her Facebook page, Connected Fitness.

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