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Posts Tagged ‘doctors’

After waiting anxiously for yesterday’s appointment with a special ObGyn my gastro doctor had recommended, I am find myself today still in a state of unknowing.  The ObGyn yesterday informed me that I have a completely unrelated medical problem that is causing the cysts, but could not be causing the pain.  So they are not going to remove the cysts, since they are doing nothing and my new illness will just continually reproduce them.  I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

It means that my ovaries are too large and that they typically form multiple cysts (polycystic) during ovulation.  It’s characterized by irregular cycles, being overweight, too much body hair, and terrible acne.  Thankfully I only have the first two and not the latter two.  As the doctor put it, I don’t have to suffer the stigma.  It is also the leading cause of infertility.

So what does this mean in terms of my current illness?  Nothing.  It means that this is not causing my pain.  It means that the doctors are still playing a guessing game as to what the correct diagnosis is.  It means I’ll be going through another series of tests and I’ll be sent to see more doctors.  The next test is another sonogram done by my ObGyn.  The next doctor will be an Infectious Disease Specialist.

As you can imagine, this is incredibly frustrating for me.  I had to call off work yesterday because I couldn’t pull myself together after the appointment.  At this point I don’t know what to do.  I seem to exist in a state of limbo.  The doctors keep finding other things wrong with me that are unrelated to my original illness, which continues and seems to be getting worse.  All in all, I am losing faith in the health system, in modern science, and in myself.  I wonder if I just shouldn’t toughen up and try to live with this pain.  Maybe it is just my lot in life.  I just don’t know any more.

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Or so you might think given the number of times I’ve been to see a doctor or have a procedure in recent weeks. The number of times is going up rapidly and is now a weekly thing, sometimes twice a week! I’ll be going to see the doctor again on monday and depending on what he thinks, I’ll be going back for a follow-up within days, for a procedure within weeks, and possibly for surgery within a month.

I was talking to my sister about doctors the other day. We both enjoy the show “House” and were discussing how nice it would be to have a doctor as brilliant as the main character it is. It’s hard, Ellen was saying, because you forget that doctors are only human. They don’t have all the answers, they can’t automatically tell what’s wrong with a person, sometimes they don’t even know what tests to have done.

I too fail to realize this sometimes. I want the doctor to tell me the problem and have the solution, like I’m a math problem waiting to be solved; just insert the numbers for x and y and an answer will pop out after a certain amount of work. Instead, I’m a theoretical problem. I’m a problem where x and y are unknown and continue to remain unknown, since the doctors aren’t even sure how to solve for x. When they do it appears that x=y, both being unknown, thus leading us back to the beginning. So the only way to fix me is through good old fashioned trial and error.

But that’s another problem: I think of myself, my health as something to be fixed. I desperately want someone to pop up the hood and point to some corroded wiring and say, oh! there’s the problem! And I’d be better just as soon as they got those replacement wires in from Omaha, where they’ve been back ordered. There would be an identifiable problem, a cause, and a solution. But at the end of the day, my body is still a mystery.

It’s with this in mind that I have to remind myself that the human body, in general, is still a mystery. There are areas of the body that medicine still knows nothing about, or relatively little about. I found a disorder online the other day called chronic pelvic pain that had no discernible cause and absolutely no cure. I am so glad that I don’t have that! But it seems that this area of the body, anything below the heart isn’t as well known. I wonder if that is because it isn’t as profitable to figure out disorders in this area or maybe it’s because people can live with stomach infections and pain, but not without a heart.

I did finally get the doctor’s attention though. My body has created 3 cysts in one ovary. My ovary and fertility are now in serious jeopardy. My doctor had concern in his eyes and urgency in his voice. And that, for the first time in a long time, scared me.

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Mystery Illness

For the last 4 months I’ve been battling what I like to call my mystery illness. At the beginning of July I went to the emergency room with abdominal pain so bad I needed to take a cab to the hospital since I couldn’t sit up straight enough to drive. After waiting for several hours I was finally seen by someone and only given something for the pain after I had been there for 5 hours. The ran a series of tests, took blood, examine me, and still couldn’t find what the problem was. So at 1am I was admitted to the hospital, woosy from the drugs and nausea and completely exhausted. And there I stayed for 4 nights and 5 days.

If you’ve ever been in the hospital you know that it is possibly the worst place in the world to be sick. The hospital staff woke me up every few hours to give me drugs, take blood, or move me for another test. I barely got more than 4 hours of sleep at one time. I also had the perpetual feeling of being some since science experiment with different IVs coming out of me and having to monitor every single thing about my body. And what was the end result of all this? When I was discharged I was given their best guess: it had been an intestinal infection.

So basically they didn’t know what was wrong with me and sent me home with drugs they hoped would make me and my problems go away.

But my problems didn’t go away. After a few weeks my symptoms returned. So I started seeing doctors again and going off of their best guesses, I took several different prescribed medications to no end. And here I am, months later, beginning a new series of tests. Over the next few weeks I’ll be having blood work, sonograms, and an endoscopy. So if you’re reading this, I’m hoping for something curable, even if it requires surgery. Please keep your fingers crossed!

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