Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The receding horizon

I've been sitting on this for about a week, trying to figure out how I feel and what I want to say.

Technically, by the numbers, according to quantitative measures, I'm perfectly fine.

I went into my appointment hoping that the doctor would come in and tell me she'd found something. I cried when she said I was fine.

"So why do I still feel so bad?" I asked the endocrinologist.

This has come to be about much more than trying to have another kid. Back when I thought I had this figured out, when I thought I had found a reason not just for the miscarriages, but also for the chronic pain that has been my companion for as long as I can remember, I became hopeful about finally feeling better. And then the hope grew until my focus was conquering this pain and pregnancy something to return to after.

But, according to the labwork, it's not my thyroid. Not that my numbers are ideal. My T4 remains a little high, my TSH has been unstable, and a few numbers are at the edge of the reference range, but there's nothing obvious to be treated.

"Western medicine doesn't have all the answers, for all it wants to think that it does," she told me.

At my endocrinologist's suggestion, I have started to see an acupuncturist. I decided that I will be open to what he says and follow all of his recommendations. And so I am taking a range of herbs and probiotics, which I fervently hope will make a difference--and that my underlying doubt will not negate any improvement, placebo-effect or not.

It helps my attitude, at least a little, that the acupuncturist wants to know what the labwork has said. There's enough science in what he says that I can buy into a good part of what he says. He expressed shock that there isn't any obvious issue with my thyroid. (That makes three of us. Trillian is still shaking her head over this.) He is concerned that my sedimentation rate is slightly elevated and suspects that this constant, low-level of inflammation may have caused my miscarriages (which even meshes with what the nurse practitioner said); since tests for rheumatic factor and lupus and other inflammatory diseases always come back negative and the inflammation is not that elevated, most doctors dismiss its importance. So he also gets points for demonstrating concern about issues that concern me. And taking a couple tears in stride.

My emotions continue to roil under the surface, not always under the surface. Back in March, I expected to have an answer within a month. In June, two months. Now, I'd even forgo an answer, if only I could feel better. But the waiting continues.


cinnamon gurl said...

When I was having health problems and searching for answers, my doctor had none. She shrugged and said you don't LOOK sick. And I know she cared but she just didn't know what else to try.

I started reading Andrew Weil. He's an MD AND a naturapathic doctor, so he's got a great blend of science and a holistic approach. I would highly recommend you read him too. Spontaneous Healing has a hoaky title, but it really gave me hope when I most needed it. I'd even be willing to send you one of his books (after we unpack them) if you give me your address - that's how highly I recommend him.

Your acupuncturist sounds great. I hope he gives you some answers.

Aliki2006 said...

I'm sorry you're still not feeling well--that's so hard and must drag you down mentally and physically. I hope there are some answers soon--I really do.

Mouse said...

Sin-I would bet that my aunt has those books, so I will probably be able to get a hold of them pretty easily. I've looked briefly at them before, but feeling better wasn't high enough in my priorities for me to do more than look--and this was years ago. In the meantime, I'm going to follow the acupuncturist's directions to a T and see where that takes me.

Lisa b said...

Oh mouse I get so angry now when my
GP gives me that 'we don't have all the answers' line. They need to try harder. If it isn't obvious I expect them to send me to House. Yes I am totally unreasonable but that is what I expect. So I think the acupuncturist is a great idea because at least it gives you a space to think more clearly about what else cold be going on and to be taken seriously.
I will just add that I am so pissed off at my GP right now as I have to walk into her office and tell her what is wrong with me or I don't get screened for it. WTF?? We are supposed to self diagnose? Guess I missed that session in medschool. oh wait....I didn't go to medschool. Its the same with Julia's ped too. frigging nightmare.

I AM SO SORRY and I am thinking of you sending you anti-inflammatory vibes.

Mad said...

As you know, I very much so relate to this post and these issues. It's so hard not to give in to emotion and frustration when nothing ever seems to get any better.