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And, on and on it goes.......

Friday, March 21, 2014

I met with the rheumatologist today. She was very nice, seemed to know her stuff and appeared to be 18!! LOL!! We reviewed my history and all of the blood work done so far. She sincerely doubts that I have lupus. But, she did want to do more blood work to check for more obscure autoimmune diseases. She said that, as a specialist, she feels driven to make sure there is NOTHING there! I have dry eye syndrome and that could be related to Sjogren's Syndrome and I had 4 miscarriages which could indicate some autoimmune disease that effects blood clotting BUT I've never had a blood clot. I did have lots of fertility issues and received hormone injections to carry the 2 children I have. But, I agreed that since I'd come this far we may as well finish it up. I went to lab and had 10 (yes, TEN) vials of blood drawn. I've given about 30 vials of blood this month!!! YIKES! Thank goodness all but one have come back negative.
She did say that 5% of the general population will test positive on this ANA test. I had an aunt with lupus and have a cousin with MS so I would have an even higher chance of being a "carrier" with no symptoms. She thinks this is probably what's going on since "they've" been trying to give me this diagnosis and, after 30 years, I still show no solid, consistent symptoms.
To be continued.............
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  • JANEDOE12345
    Interesting that you touch a subject much discussed with my Saturday friends yesterday: Are doctors worthy of the adulation that they receive? I think they used to be thought of as kindly geniuses with our best interests at heart. Now I think of them as disappointed idealists out to make a buck.

    I just don't trust doctors anymore. Their livelihood is on the hands of Big Pharma and they depend on herding patients like sheep into labs for questionably necessary tests, then herding them into the drugstore to buy expensive meds.

    I have had a year or two of this and that illness and each doctor seems more lame than the last one. So when I read about your saga it reinforces my idea of heading to a natureopath and seeing if a simpler way can be offered to fix my ills.

    Or better yet, if I hold off and don't even see a docto0r, 75% of the time my issue evaporates. So sometimes it really is just in my head (like Mom said) and sometimes I can do just fine with a cuppa tea (like my grandmother said).

    You and I have been discussing thyroid so I am seeing my own doctor Tuesday to discuss my blood work for thryoid, Ha, it will a hoot since she, too, is barely out of her teens and calls me Pam...sorry, that would be Mrs. to you kids! I had to specifically ask her for a full set of tests, not just the single one they usually do. The internet is the patient's best friend!

    I think I am ranting and will desist now. Good luck with whatever "they" find or not find. With all that blood, you should feel quite slender, lol, nice diet plan.

    2638 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/23/2014 12:14:36 PM
    Wow, hope they let you keep SOME blood for yourself! Best wishes for health, Beth.

    Best wishes for health, Beth.
    2638 days ago
    You know, I have 2 very divergent, conflicting thoughts on this.
    The first one is that it's good to find out what's causing the symptoms because then you can begin the process of managing them, if not out-right curing them. There's nothing more frustrating than a doctor that looks at those initial lab results or xrays, shrugs their shoulders and say "You're fine. Learn to deal with it". If the symptoms fade away and you can get on happily with your life, then it's all good. If the symptoms worsen, not so much. I got no relief from my thyroid symptoms, in fact they worsened, and all I had was a doctor telling me to eat better, exercise more, and perhaps I'd like to consider antidepressants (which, by the way although helpful in some cases, can actually increase some of the symptoms that were making me so "depressed"). Nothing good was happening until i finally got the Doc to send me to a specialist. The sad part is that he didn't really even need to run any additional tests to confirm my problem, he just needed to look at my labs for the preceding 2 years of "borderline hyperthyroidism"
    However, I also object to being treated like a lab project. Too many times, doctors throw every test they can think of at you, hoping that something "sticks" It's really nothing more than a "CYA" maneuver and an attempt to let the patient feel they're "doing" something. (Or worse, a way of upping billable charges, I could name a couple of doctors I deal with daily that make a good chunk of change ordering ridiculous tests, calling the patient back in to discuss the "normal" results and where to go from there, repeat ad nauseum). Some of these patients could use a good psych referral more than anything, others a stint through rehab and some just think the doctor always knows best. The smart ones run to find another doctor, ha ha. My endocrinologist never did order a thyroid ultrasound. He'd feel it, pronounce that it felt a little "full" but never felt the need to get images of it. (I have sat through an ultrasound as a "practice patient" for students at work, and my tech friend tells me I have the most "normal looking" ultrasound she's ever seen in a thyroid patient, so that would have been a waste of time and resources anyway). He did want me to go for a radioactive thyroid uptake scan. I asked him how it was going to affect how he treated me. He said not at all. I declined. While trying to convince me to take the test, he chided me for refusing the test, that working in that area of medicine I knew it was nothing to fear and it would give me a definitive diagnosis. What he didn't tell me was that it would also probably kill off all thyroid function.
    So to make a long story short (sorry, doctors are one of my favorite rants) You went to a doctor complaining about chest wall pain, which appears, now, to be lessening(?) without any treatment on the doctors part. They've just about bled you dry doing labs. So far, that is all fine. And I don't know what other symptoms you might be having, if any, even occasionally. I also don't know what you take for medications...but many of those have side effects that are overlooked,
    But you have the power and control here to decide just how far to let this go. How much blood? How many office visits? It's good to be thorough. She may find something. She may find nothing. There might be a simple answer, or no answer at all. Do your research.
    One of the symptoms of hyper and hypothryoidism is muscle cramping and joint pain for no real reasons at all. Right now I have a chronic pain in both shoulder joints with some arm cramping. My numbers could be off and I could go back to the doctor, have labs drawn and get my meds adjusted. But common sense is telling me that it has more to do with the constant round of snow shoveling, car clearing and wood hauling exacerbated by curling up into a tight little ball at night as the fire dies down and I get cold under the blankets. If the symptoms don't begin to improve with the weather, then I'll go in...though by then I'm due for a routine blood draw anyways, ha ha.
    2639 days ago
    Jumpin' Jiminny - you have been through the wringer this month.

    I'm still proud of you for holding that dr.'s feet to the fire - miss-communication is a very kind word to use for getting two different diagnoses from the same office.

    Sending you a whole box load of good health wishes and a prayer that this will soon be over. Especially the pulled muscle feeling.
    2639 days ago
    I was glad to read she will pursue it for you and not give up till she is as certain as she can be, You are lucky she is in your corner. I do hope it will be very soon so you will know the answer . Take care, you do look a picture of health.

    ((((((HUGS)))) Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2639 days ago
    I'm glad they are being thorough too. It's so hard when we have question marks in our health diagnosis. You are in my prayers.
    2639 days ago
    I'm nodding with the comments. My evil twin wants to know if having blood drawn is the much-sought-after negative calorie food. emoticon
    2640 days ago
    Sounds like positive news to me, though you definetly have been tapped on the blood front. LOL. I agree with her though that it's a good idea to find out once and for all what it going on. That way when this comes up again you will already have the answer. You look healthy. I'm going to think good thoughts and hopefully all of those tests will come back normal.
    2640 days ago
    It sounds like she is being thorough, which is a good thing!

    It does feel strange though, doesn't it, when we get to the age where our doctors are younger than we are, lol.

    2640 days ago
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