glue in my hair
The past few months have been pretty insane, health-wise. Back in January, I started seeing a new doctor. She’s in the Boulder area, so it’s kind of far for me–but I adored her from the get-go and really liked her philosophy of care. She combines Western and Eastern medicine. Her practice is small on-purpose, and she sees all kinds of people–insured or not. My first visit, we spent over an hour together. She really seemed to listen and get me. Something that’s been so hard to find in a PCP. My last doc was excellent, but just lacking in a lot of ways with a terrible staff. My new doc has an amazing staff that feels like good friends.
Upon my first visit, my new doc immediately diagnosed me with something called PCOS. I’ve suspected it for quite a while, but had never been diagnosed with it. I suspect my mother also had it–and it probably caused her to have her fertility problems before she got preggers with me. PCOS is not a fun thing to have. I’ve mostly used birth control pills to keep symptoms at bay, but that doesn’t really help the other side of PCOS–insulin resistance. In any case, it explained a lot of stuff for me. My doc wanted me to try a med I’m actually pretty familiar with. My mother took it for her diabetes with great success and no ill effect. I was pretty excited to try it. I was also put on another med to help control other annoying things as well as some supplements. That was January.
When I went to see my doc in February, I wasn’t doing so well. From day 1, the new med didn’t agree with me. I get horrible migraines, get dizzy, have blurred vision–and generally feel like crap every day. It gets better if I eat, but if I forget, I know immediately. I’m still not the greatest at eating. When I saw her, it was on one of the most stressful days of my life (my cat was getting a biopsy that day and was extremely sick). So my heart rate and BP were sky high. We started talking about everything, and I spent another hour with her.
For whatever reason, all of my symptoms–which were attributed by other doctors to pretty benign, common things–pointed her in the direction of what she called a zebra. Zebras are rare things–and usually–what you have isn’t a zebra. It’s a horse. But it concerned her enough that she ordered a ton of tests and I became a pin cushion. The zebra in question? A pretty rare, but really shitty cancer that basically makes you do into congestive heart failure before it ultimately kills you in 5-15 years.
I was pretty upset–mostly with how it was presented to me. And also the whole dying of cancer thing.
In my gut–and based on all the research I immediately did–I KNEW I didn’t have it. But once that seed is put in your head, you have to get it checked out. Or you’ll always wonder if you have it. So, I had a really bad lab experience…like almost passed out and had to be put on a gurney bad. I had to do a 24 hour test the following day and then give more blood that Friday. And then I waited.
Welp. My first results showed I had sky-high cortisol levels and a few vitamin deficiencies from the meds I was taking. That made her think I had another serious disease that could be cancer as well. More tests came in pointing away from big bad, but the 24 hour test took forever. Like 2 weeks. It was not a good time. In the end, the tests confirmed my gut feelings–no cancer, no serious diseases. Just PCOS and hypothyroidism with a strong dash of massive adrenal fatigue. Lucky me.
Unfortunately, the troublesome med isn’t helping much with anything–but it sure as hell is making me miserable. The thyroid med that previous caused me issues seems to be working fine, and I’m feeling better there. But, more and more, I just can’t tolerate the PCOS meds. So, I’m asking for a break and to try Chinese meds instead. Because I can’t take the stomach pains and the dizzy spells/hot flashes anymore. I had to see a gynecologist last week just to get things under control. I didn’t love the practice, so I’m looking at reproductive endocrinologists as my next avenue.
In the meantime, my doc also ordered a sleep study. Which was one of the worst medical experiences of my life. Really bad. I feel bad saying that because the tech was so kind and really tried to help me feel comfortable. But I have sensitive skin, and the glue they used caused a major rash on my face/chest. I didn’t sleep hardly at all and certainly not well. That’s a rant for another post. I also didn’t feel well because I was super-stressed and stress makes the med side effects worse. Just a decidedly not fun time. Plus, my hair was seriously unhappy. I had to pour half a bottle of almond oil on it to get all the gunk out.
At least I can say I’ll never have to do it again! And I’ll have a fun story for my therapist tomorrow. (BTW, I have a new amazing therapist that I love. Oh, and Cleo does not have cancer. Little chica is still pretty sick, but getting better with the help of massive cans of stinky tuna and prednisone).