RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Blood test

The Good, the Bad and the Metrosexual…

Posted on

Good news: I’m still alive! Bad news: it’s been so long since I posted, I’ve forgotten how to write.

Thank-you all so much for your messages and comments. I hope to be back in action soon…

Latest test results all came back clear which is great because it means I don’t have tumours, diabetes or any of the other stuff that they were testing for. I’m not menopausal or vitamin B12 deficient, and I don’t have thyroid problems.

Trouble is: I’m no closer to a bleedin’ answer, and in some respects, I’m getting worse. I have to rest in between changing a double duvet cover. I can’t lift a 3 kilo bag of dog food. Last Friday night I slept for 18 hours out of 24 and then spent the rest of Saturday slobbing on the sofa because I literally couldn’t get up without the world spinning. And I seem to have developed an unhealthy obsession with Robert Pattinson.

Actor Robert Pattinson after the Twilight Saga...

Image via Wikipedia

 As you know, I like my fantasy men mean and meaty, not lean, clean and metrosexual, so I’m quite worried about this new symptom. Perhaps my brain has atrophied from lack of use. Or maybe it’s because I’m definitely not menopausal, maybe my unwithered eggs are screaming for last-chance impregnation and have fixated upon the young male of the species. I suspect it has more to do with the fact that, while prostrate on the sofa, I read the whole of Water for Elephants – in between snoozing, of course – and Master Pattinson adorns the front cover. In my poorly state, I seem to have got him confused with, well, a romantic hero. Scary.

I adore this book; it’s a beautiful love story set in a 1930’s circus. I could explain the plot, but I have Durr-brain, so I’ll make this easy and probably more entertaining:

Ahhh…

So where do I go from here? Apart from re-reading the old Twilight series, of course. Don’t judge me; I really can’t help these perfectly normal teenage obsessions, you know. In fact it’s not really an obsession at all until I start following him on Twitter, or plastering his juvenile mug across my pink bedroom walls. But where was I? Oh yeah, medical stuff. My GP has now decided that I have to wait a month for all medication to leave my system and then try another anti-depressant before she’ll refer me to a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME clinic or whatever the hell it’s called this week.

I replied with a few choice sweary words and just thought Fuck it! I give up!  I’m wasting the bit of energy I have got, fighting doctors and it’s pointless. I may well not have Chronic Fatigue, but I certainly do have chronic fatigue, so I ordered a book, written by a CFS sufferer who also happens to be a GP.  And today it arrived, and there on page 96, it says CFS should never really be mistaken for depression because of the basic clinical differences between the two. And it lists ’em all! Yep! all the points I’ve been arguing since bloody September!

Hahaha! The bitch will be mine!

Advertisements

Give ME Strength…

Posted on

Okay, here’s the thing: the-bastarding-endocrinologist-I-saw-yesterday-was-a-feckin’-wanky-condescending-smarmy-head-stuck-up-his-own-arse-self-righteous-arrogant-egoistic-pompous-supercilious-git-with-an-I-Am-God-You-Are-Dog-Poo-stinking-bloody-attitude!

 There. I said it. Bastard.

‘So,’ he said, ‘I’ve read your notes and reviewed the blood test results, and I can’t see anything wrong with you.’

Oh.

‘So why am I sleeping all day? Why do I have wonky blood readings? Permanent exhaustion? Low blood-pressure? Palpitations when I walk upstairs? Why do I ache? What’s causing the pain?’

‘Let me ask you something. Why are you so convinced you have Addison’s disease?’

Huh? Now call me neurotic – I’ve been called worse things – but the only way he could’ve known I was concerned about the accuracy of the SynActhen test findings, was if my GP had stressed it in her referral letter. So now, I’m getting the picture: he’s got me pegged as a difficult, Munchausen’s Syndrome patient or a raving hypochondriac. Great.

‘I’m not. Who said I was? I queried the cortisol levels in the test. I thought they were supposed to double. I questioned whether they were accurate enough to exclude further investigation. There’s something wrong with me and I need to find out what it is. I don’t give a flying monkey’s arse what  the diagnosis is, I just need to find out what it is, so I can address it. I’m forty-four, not eighty-four! I’ve got things to do, books to write! I don’t enjoy feeling this wretched all the time, you know!’ By this point I was all high-pitched and quivery-lipped.

A toddler girl crying
Image via Wikipedia

‘Well, it’s not Addison’s. I’ll run a couple more tests to check your hormone levels and pituitary gland, but I’m not expecting to find anything wrong. Here, ‘ he said, shoving my symptom list back across the desk, ‘take this with you when you see Professor Pinchin. I think you’ll find you’ve  got Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.’

Notice he said, when and not if  you need a second referral.

‘Just before you go, have you thought about taking anti-depressants?’

Arrrrgggggghhhhhhh!

It takes 45 minutes to drive home from the hospital. I made it back in 26. I was steaming!

More Fast and Furious: Music from and Inspired...

Image via Wikipedia

Where do these doctors get this I Am God mentality? Do they teach it in medical school? Alongside ‘How to humiliate, patronise and thoroughly piss-off a patient’?

I did what I always do when I need de-stressing: I shouted at The Ex. And then I marched into my doctor’s surgery, demanding to see my GP.

‘We’ll just had a cancellation, Tiny. It must be your lucky day!’

Yeah, right.

I repeated the whole conversation to my GP. By this point I was wailing with frustration.

‘I’m hanging on by a fingernail here, and now I have to wait three weeks for the results of these new blood tests and then another four months for a second referral! I can’t cope! And now I’m crying! I never cry! I just want to feel better! And nobody believes me! You all think I’m just lazy or a moaner! I need some help here! I need somebody on my side!’ Tears were coursing down my face, mingling with snotty snot bubbles.

‘To be honest, I always thought we were looking at Chronic Fatigue, but we have to rule out everything else first. You need to rest, my love. Take a year off from work, avoid anything stressful.’

‘And how, exactly, am I supposed to do that? I’m a single parent, the only breadwinner in the house?’

‘Look, I know you’re upset. We’ll get to the bottom of this, but in the meantime, would you consider taking an anti-depressant?’

‘I’ve been on anti-bloody-depressants since September. Double dosage since Christmas!’

‘Oh, well, they don’t seem to be doing much to help…’

‘That’s because this isn’t fuckin’ depression!’  Yet!

Arrrrgggggghhhhhhh! 

diagnose-me.com

Well, it’s time for a medical update. If you’re already bored with my health, please feel free to move onto something more interesting. I shall, however, try to make this fun.

Ho! Ho! Ho! See? Fun, fun, fun…

So. I’ve had the latest set of test results. There’s good news, bad news and very bad news. The good news is: I DON’T have uterine cancer. Yippee! All that bollocksing biopsy wire-brush-whizzed-around-my-doodah pain was for NOTHING! I’m not bitter, really. Oh, no, I’m definitely not incredibly pissed-off that I had to go through all that naked Sudoku puzzling and walking like a cowboy for a week with NO anaesthetic and NO bastarding pain relief for absolutely NO SODDING REASON!

scream and shout

Image by mdanys via Flickr

The bad news: the last set of bloods show I’m low on iron and my ‘rheumatoid factor’ is now borderline positive. Whatever the hell that means! I refuse to Google it; I’m neurotic enough already.

The very bad news: I’m pretty sure I’m being stalked by a toothless road-worker. Let’s just say, somewhere a village is missing its idiot.
Last week  I asked him to move his van from outside my house so I could get my car out. Fine. No problem. But now, whenever I show my face, he’s there, grinning like a gappy-toothed grinning thing. If I put out the dustbin, he’s there! If I walk the dog, he’s there! If I open my bedroom curtains, he’s there! Not there in my room, there in the road – a blur of flourescent yellow construction worker’s jacket, waving and doing that grinning thing. I wore a disguise today and slipped straight past him…

Halloween costume of Towelie, South Park character

Image via Wikipedia

But I digress. Again.

While I await my specialist endo-whatsit appointment – still six weeks away – I thought we’d play a game. It’s called diagnose-me.com. I’ll list my symptoms, you guess my problem*, and let’s face it, you can’t possibly do any worse than the GP’s I’ve already seen…

*mental health issues aside…

Ready to play doctors and nurses?

Nurse and Doctor Guinea, 18 Jul 10

Image by Castaway in Scotland via Flickr

  Okay, let’s go!  I have:

  • low blood-pressure
  • low sodium levels
  • low sugar levels
  • low iron levels
  • high potassium levels
  • a borderline positive Rheumatoid Factor (whatever the hell that is!)
  • chronic exhaustion – I can (and often do) sleep for 16 hours a day and still feel knackered!
  • irregular, heavy periods
  • muscle weakness
  • shakiness when tired/hungry
  • light-headed (That said light, not empty-headed!), faintness
  • Muscle cramps, especially in back and stomach.

Apparently my thyroid’s fine and I’m not menopausal. Diagnose-me.com! Go on! Hazard a guess, I dare you!  🙂

NB: If you’ve no idea what I’m talking about, a) join the club, and b) read the back story – Wanna Play Docs and Nurses and Ow! Ow! Owwwwwwww!

Wanna play doctors and nurses?

A doctors stethoscope, lilac coloured, close u...

Image via Wikipedia

Apologies for being so rubbish at posting recently. I’ve had a truly horrible couple of weeks…

First off, the blood test results:

Doc: (I swear to God he isn’t even qualified. I’m sure he’s gone AWOL from the local mental hospital, snatching a stethoscope as he legged it out of the window, but Doc is shorter to type than Annoying-Arrogant-Dickhead-In-White-Coat-With-Stolen-Stethoscope-Wrapped-Around-His-Scrawny-Condescending-Bastarding-Neck.)

Doc: ‘Okay, bloods are fine; you don’t have Addison’s. I can’t find anything wrong with you. Like I said, it’s depression.’

Tiny: ‘Umm…Okay, but  what were the actual results?

Doc: *stares blankly*

Tiny: ‘You know, the actual numbers?’

Doc: *sighs* ‘Baseline was 504. Thirty minutes after cortisol injection was 674. Sixty minutes after injection was 730.’

Tiny: ‘So, my levels didn’t double?’

Doc: ‘No, your levels didn’t double, but your baseline was within normal range, therefore, you do not have Addison’s or any kind of adrenal problem.’

Tiny: ‘Umm… Levels are supposed to double in healthy people. I should have cleared 1,000…’

Doc:’ No! You passed the test! It says so right here! Look! “Normal response”!’

Tiny: ‘With the greatest respect, I know these test results show I have adrenal insufficiency. I need to see an endocrinologist. Preferably before I have a crisis and die.’

Doc: ‘I could prescribe diazepam; you seem anxious.’

Tiny:’ Damn skippy, I’m fucking anxious! I’ve got books to write! I wanna see Eldest son graduate! I wanna see Youngest son through school and off the piggin’ X-Box! I need treatment! I need to get better! I need to stop sleeping sixteen hours a day!’

Doc: ‘Have you ever seen a counsellor about depression?’

Arrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!

On the way out I made an appointment with another GP. And if she so much as even thinks the D-word, I’ll give her bloody depression – she’ll be as miserable as I am, when a surgical team has spent three hours trying to remove that shiny stethoscope out of her arse…

Glad that week’s over…

Blood Test Kit

Image by Alegrya via Flickr

What a week! But, hey! I’m still alive! Thank heavens for small mercies and all that crap.

What can I say about Thursday’s tests, except they’re over!  I look like a heroin addict from the all the bruises and needle holes in my arms, but what the hell! I’m not comatose, or twitching on the floor in a state of shock, so that’s a bonus.

It’ll come as no surprise that I was nervous:

‘Umm… I know I’m just a smidge neurotic but, if I do go into shock after this injection, you’re not just gonna leave me to die on the floor of the waiting room, are you?’ I asked the nurse.

‘No, of course not!’ she replied. ‘That’d be far too traumatic for the other patients. And they’d be tripping over you. No, we’d definitely drag you into the corridor before you died.’

Yeah, yeah. All the world’s a stage and everyone’s a comedian, I know…

So I had the first blood test as a baseline, and then the piggin’ jab, and let me tell you, it hurt like a bitch.

And I whimpered like a kitten. I think I cried a bit as well. Don’t judge; it hurt! 

I waited in a waiting room full of flu-germs and incontinence problems, worrying about keeling over on the grubby green carpet, and tried to breathe.

Half an hour later, I heard a voice: ‘Mrs Tiny! Come through, please, if you’re still alive.’

‘Yes!’ I cried. ‘I am still alive! No twinges, no gasping for air, no rolling around on the floor and farting! In fact it was quite boring, just sitting there. I’m almost disappointed, to be honest…’

I went home an hour and a further two blood tests later.

On Friday I had my internal ultrasound thingy. Good news! My bits are still all there! And perfectly normal! I expected them to be atrophied from lack of use, but no! I am intact and healthy! Praise be!

After a quick round of shopping, The Ex and I drove up to Bristol to collect Eldest son for the weekend. And we got to meet The Flatmates! It was terribly exciting and I tried to be Ms Jolly and Cool and Trendy, but I’m pretty sure I came across as Mrs Old and Knackered.

Oh, well. I took beer, I’m sure they’ll love me  😉

Star Wars, Condoms and Loads of Corrections…

Who is your 'Doctor'?

Image by Matthew Stewart | Photographer via Flickr

I’m having one of those weeks. And if I’m still sane on Saturday, it’ll be a bloomin’ miracle!

Well, sane-ish…

On Monday I visited the doctor in the morning and the vet in the afternoon. And no, I don’t have fleas, but thanks for asking.

My GP has (finally) decided to test for this Addison’s Thingy. I’m glad he took two weeks weighing the options before coming to a considered conclusion. Honestly. I’m relieved the thought of me lapsing into a potential coma didn’t rush him into making any kind of hasty decision. And I’m sure my blood-pressure hasn’t suffered any long-lasting effect. I mean, everyone has constant palpitations from time-to-time, right?

But the good news? There’s only a small chance I may go into ano  anna  annofalactic shock from the stuff they’ll use to inject me during the test.

Well, that’s okay then.

The visit to the vet was much more comfortable. My job was holding two recently neutered dogs in the back of my neighbour’s car while she drove to the clinic so they could have their stitches yanked.

Two nervous, yelping, yowling, fidgety dogs. And the poor puppy was so upset, he couldn’t help barfing up his dinner. All over me. 

sadDog

.Image via Wikipedia

When I finally got home, Youngest said, ‘Urggg! What’s that horrible smell?’
‘That’ll just be me, son. I’m plastered in puppy puke.

‘On Tuesday I was back at the docs. Youngest has tonsillitis. It’s viral rather than bacterial, which means NO antibiotics, lots of lazing about in front of the TV rest,  plenty of expensive designer drinks fluids and bucket-loads of whining tender loving care.

Today I’m taking my friend to the dentist. She’s needs a tooth pulling. And she’s really phobic. I’ve promised to hold her hand; when if she feels any pain, she can break my knuckles squeeze my hand. Boy! am I looking forward to that one!

Tomorrow I have my Addison’s Thingy Test. They take an initial sample to test the levels of Whatever-It-Is in my blood. Then I get the injection of Whatever-It-Is into my blood and I have to wait for half an hour for Whatever-It-Is to circulate my bloodstream. Finally I have another blood test to see if my body has naturally generated Whatever-It-Is in response to the synthetic injection of Whatever-It-Was they injected me with.

I’m not sure when, exactly, I’m supposed to go into ano  anna  annofalactic shock. I’ll have to ask.

Finally, on Friday – if I’m still alive – I’m having an ultrasound scan. I’m not sure I want to go into details. Oh, alright, then. Since you’re so persistent, but I’m warning you: it’s not pleasant:

I’m having an … er…internal examination to see if really heavy monthly occasions are being caused by anything more …er…sinister than normal. It’s part of the whole Is-It-Time-For-a-Nap-Yet exhaustion thing. I’ll have this Star Wars type light saber instrument covered with a condom poking around where nobody’s poked around for a very long time.

I wonder if we’ll go to dinner first…

Be afraid. Be very afraid…

Welcome to My Mind

Image via Wikipedia

Today, as a special treat, I’m giving you a glimpse into the workings of my mind. Enter at your own risk; I accept no responsibility for your personal welfare once you are inside my head.

For a while now I’ve been feeling ill. No specific symptoms, just a general feeling of urgghhh! Tired all the time, way too much falling asleep during the day, dizziness, lethargy, no energy, miserable-old-cow-syndrome

The first visit to doctor went like this:

Tiny: ‘I feel like poo.’
Dr: ‘You’re depressed. Have some Prozac’

A month later:

Tiny: ‘I still feel like poo.’
Dr: ‘You’re very depressed. Have double the dosage of Prozac.’

A month later:

Tiny: ‘I feel like really bad, stinky, smelly poo.’
Dr: ‘You have Seasonal Affective Disorder. Here, have a light box.’

A month later:

Tiny: ‘I’m now a rancid turd that’s been stuck in the U-bend for a month.’
Dr: ‘Okay, let’s run some blood tests.’

A week later:

Dr: ‘Blood tests are fine, but you do seemed stressed. I think you have anxiety issues.’
Tiny: ‘Give me a break! I don’t have the energy to be anxious!’
Dr: ‘Try resting more. Here, have these Diazepam.’
Tiny: ‘If I ‘rest’ any more, I’ll be permanently comatose!’

Yesterday:

Tiny: ‘Okay, I’ve tried everything you’ve suggested, even though I said, right from the start, that this was physical, not psychological. On Tuesday I slept for ten hours. I had another six hour’s worth of naps during the day. This morning I got up and fainted. SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ME!!’
Dr: ‘Are you pregnant?’
Tiny: ‘Of course I’m not bloody pregnant! I haven’t bonked for decades! Don’t you read my blog?!’

I was in that examination room for an hour. Apparently, on close inspection, my sodium and glucose levels have been low for years. My potassium levels have been high for years. Coupled with low blood-pressure and my other weird symptoms, I may have  something called Addison’s Disease. It’s a rare hormonal deficiency of the adrenal glands. Or something.

In the meantime, while I’m waiting to be tested, I do what any normal, self-respecting, rational adult would do: I Google the illness for all the gory details and I PANIC!

This is the conversation that played out in my head last night – two voices – one for Rational Tiny and one for Completely-Neurotic-Oh-My-God-I’m-Going-To-Die Tiny:

‘Oh-my-God! It’s a lifelong disease. I’ll have to be treated for life!’

‘It’s rare. You probably don’t even have it.’

‘Oh-my-God! But I might! And Google says it’s a chronic disease! Oh-my-God! I might have a chronic disease!’

Calm down. Chronic just means long-term. You already know it’s a long-term problem.’

‘Oh-my-God! It’s serious! Your body can go into shock! And a coma! And you can die! Oh-my-God! I’m going to die! I’m going to die!’

‘We’re all gonna die, love. Just not tonight. Now, get a grip!’

Oh-my-God! I’m going to die! I’m going to die and I haven’t written a will!’

‘For fuck’s sake! You’ve got nothing to leave! And you are not going to die tonight!’

‘Oh-my-God! I feel really ill now…I’m having palpitations! Oh-my-God! I’m having a heart attack! I’m having a heart attack and I’m gonna go into shock. Oh-my-God! I’m going into shock! I’m gonna end up in coma! After the coma, it’s death! Oh-my-God! I’m going in to a coma and then I’m gonna die!’

‘You’re having a fucking panic attack, you muppet!’

‘Oh-my-God! This disease can be a secondary problem to AIDS. Oh-my-God! I might have AIDS! Oh-my-God, my children! I might have given my children AIDS! Oh-my-God! We’re all gonna die!’

‘You’re really getting on my tits, now! Shut up, for God’s sake! You’re panicking, that’s all! Now, breathe, and just wait for the doctor to make a decision.’

‘But, oh-my-God! I might -‘

‘Shut up! I mean it!’

‘But, oh-‘

‘Shut the fuck up! Now! Or I swear to God I’ll slap you!’

‘Oh-my-God! You can’t slap me! I might go into shock and then lapse into a coma and then I might die!’

‘You’re right! You are going to die! Any minute now, you are going to die! Because I’m just about to fucking well stab you!’

Welcome to my world.

%d bloggers like this: