Staggering Along

I’m still here.

Every day is a struggle, and my health is probably the worst it’s been, well… ever, but I’m alive. I’m in the care of good doctors who are trying their hardest to figure out the mysteries that are my health problems.

I’ve been knitting, but I can’t seem to focus on it as much as I would like. You know I’m in serious trouble when I can’t foster kittens, can barely knit, and fail to see the humor in farts. Farts became funny again last weekend, but I can’t manage to care for kittens right now. When I find my camera (seriously, where do things like that go?), I’ll put up pictures of the Owls sweater I’ve been working on.

The thing is, the health problem has taken over my entire life. It made me so depressed, so completely devoid of energy that I had to do something to help myself. I’ve spent literally hundreds of hours researching endocrine, neurological, and immune system diseases over the course of the last month. I bring my research to my doctors, some of whom are better about looking into it than others, then we do tests. Many of the tests have come back with the complete opposite of the result that the doctors or I expect. It’s been baffling.

This week, I’m going to see a few new doctors. We’re now back to the idea that my problem may be in the nervous system. I abandoned that idea a while ago because I suspected that the nervous system disorder is a symptom and not the primary disease, but now that we’ve ruled out so many other things, the doctor at the heart of this whole thing thinks I should visit a neurologist. Fair enough.

One of the tests I took in the last few weeks revealed some hormone imbalances. I needed a stop-gap effort to get through the misery that was my everyday life, and I saw an opportunity in that test. The doctor mentioned a condition called Estrogen Dominance, so I did some research. I came to the conclusion that it was a good lead, and it certainly couldn’t hurt to try to monkey around with the hormones (it’s not like I wasn’t going crazy anyway). After I called the doctor (I was at the end of my rope at this point and I’m not proud of how I treated him), he added progesterone to my the mix, and boy, did it make a difference! I don’t mean I’m cured, or that I even have the stamina to make it through a normal day, but it was a great attitude adjustment. I was content to think it was just having a placebo effect, and that was ok with me. Yesterday I tried to skip a dose (at the advice of the doctor, to see what is making a difference) and it wasn’t pretty. I got progressively more unstable as the day went by, but I was actually unaware of it – Michael had to point it out to me. By this morning, I was so unstable that I decided that the progesterone effects are not placebo at all. I’m not skipping any  more doses. I am, however, adding a doctor who specializes in natural hormone replacement to the mix.

My life right now is just like an episode of House. I go from one suspected (and subsequently ruled out) diagnosis to the next, revisit some of them because of bits we didn’t think about, then re-reject them. I’d like to get to the part where the right diagnosis just occurs to someone and I’m magically cured. I think that for me, unlike House’s patients, there may be multiple things wrong, which really complicates the diagnosis progress.

So, for those of you who keep track of me right here on my blog, I’m still trying. I’m still alive. Some days I don’t want to be, but I am. I’ve got people helping me, and I guess that’s all I can ask for. Thanks for that, by the way.

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