Meet The Contributors

Mandy ~ I am a stay at home mom who has been on a medical roller coaster ride going from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what is wrong with me. All of the doctors agreed that there is something medically wrong with me, they just don't know what... Basically, just about every time that I go to the doctor, I wind up with a new diagnosis. It is very frustrating. I hope that some of these links will maybe help you or lead you in the right direction.

Ferd ~ I have had the honor and pleasure of practicing Internal Medicine for over 25 years. I am now enjoying sharing my thoughts and experience in the blogosphere in a number of ways. I am grateful to Mandy for including me on her excellent blog, Texas Medical Freak!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Update On Grandmother And New Social Security Attorney

My grandmother did decide to go ahead with the chemo and so far she has not had many side effects as of yet. I hope that she doesn’t, the chemo that my husband had was terrible. His chemo was much more aggressive and done to save his life, while hers is being done to just give her a little more time.

I finally found two attorney’s that are willing to appeal my social security case and I have decided which one that I want to take on my case! From what he said there are a lot of flaws in the judges decision along with gaps in medical records that should have been there. So, the waiting game begins again… To be continued.......

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Updates On My Grandmother And My Doctors Report’s

Thursday, my grandmother had an Upper EUS to look at her pancreas. The results were not good. It is stage III Pancreatic Cancer that is inoperable due to the tumor’s attachment to her gall bladder ducts and other organs. This on top of her PNH, other health problems and her age (88 ½). The doctor has discussed some chemotherapy but, this would only prolong her life some, it would not be a cure. Without the chemo the doctor is giving her 2 to 6 months to live. My dad and one of my uncles have told her that it is completely up to her whether to take the chemo or not.

I have dealt with the death of loved ones and friends but, this is really hitting me hard. I lost my mother two years ago after she developed pneumonia during a second battle with breast cancer. This was completely unexpected, she had just finished chemo and the cancer was gone all that was left was to go through radiation. It was a shock and completely hard to deal with. Even two years out, I still have crying bouts, it is getting better but it is still hard. One of my grandfathers had a inoperable brain tumor and chose not to have chemo (only to extend his life). My other grandfather had Parkinson’s so, I knew that we only had so much time with him. It wound up being years longer than most Parkinson’s patients and I am grateful for that. Then a little over 17 years ago a close friend of my committed suicide. His death left me a mess for a long time. I don’t know which is easier to deal with? All that I do know is that I am really hating death these days.

I guess on a lighter note. By the time that I went to my Endocrinologist appointment Friday, my blood pressure was back down to 118/80. But, my A1C that I did about a month ago was way to high and the Endo did not like so many 200+ blood sugar reading on my meter. She bumped up my Metformin from 500mg twice daily to 1000mg twice daily. I told her that the only change in anything (food or medication) was starting on Chantix to quit smoking. She told me that she very, very rarely puts any of her patients on Chantix. It is the only thing that I can think of to cause such a rise in my blood sugar. I cut out sugar about a year and a half ago. I don’t eat sweets, except on rare occasions. Even then I eat very little. When we went to the State Fair this year my husband, my youngest and I split a Belgian waffle and our son had the majority of it. So far…she has not told me that I am diabetic but, I have to call her if my numbers are over 140 for two days in a row. Diabetes is the last thing that I need going on with me. Now all that is left is to wait for the results of my biopsy from two weeks ago.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Really Really Getting Stressed Now

So far today, I have been on the phone with law firm after law firm after law firm and I am starting to feel like this picture. Mostly I am getting nope, sorry I can’t help you… A few have said that if I send them the documents from the judge that they will look over them. At this point I think that I would rather be dealing with the IRS than SS.

Anyway, on the updates since my last post. Monday, I had to go to the dentist to get two teeth fixed that I have cracked (broken) from grinding my teeth (three more to go). I have a night guard that I wear most of the time but, some times I get a brain fart and forget. That’s fibro brain for you. Later that night my dad called and told me that my grandmother had been taken to the ER because she thought that she was having a major gall bladder attack. Turn out they admitted her thinking that there was some blockage going on with her gall bladder. My grandmother is the original medical freak, she has lived with what turned out to be PNH (Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria). She has had this all of her life but, it was not diagnosed until about 30 years ago.

Yesterday, I went to my Rheumatologist. When they took my vitals my blood pressure was 145/93 which shocked me, my normal blood pressure is 118/70-80 something if not lower. I am not sure if this is from stress or my only other thought could be that I have recently lost about 10 pounds and my Synthroid is to high. I go to the endocrinologist on Friday. Anyway, once the Rheumatologist was in the room he asked me if my social security had gone through yet. I told him no, and his response was that he did not agree and that I could not work. Mainly due to the muscle pain and the major brain fog. He seemed to think that the mystery kidney/not kidney infection had to do with the auto-immune associated with Fibro. He didn’t think that it was a kidney infection but, he did think that there was some kind of infection some where. After being poked and prodded he wound up writing me another script for Lasix.

Then as if all of this was not enough to deal with I got another call from my dad. The hospital had done a scan on my grandmother (not sure if it was a CT or a CAT?) and they found a tumor on her gall bladder side of the pancreas. So, tomorrow they are going to do a biopsy to rule out Pancreatic Cancer. My grandmother is 88 ½ years old, has the PNH and has to take Warfarin. So, I am trying to stay positive that it will not be Pancreatic Cancer but, I don’t think that the chances are good.

Then for those of you who have been reading my blog and know about my crazy neighbor #2, he has been ranting and raving for almost a month now. Me and several of our neighbors have called 911. Most of the calls have been answered with, "he seems fine now". That's a laugh! Then last Wednesday or Thursday, the police came out three separate times and almost took him in the last time which was around 9pm. Then the next day, first thing he started in again. I finally wound up calling 911 around noon or so. Finally........they took him in to get committed for observation. I have since found out that a judge is having him transferred to one of our state mental hospitals. So, my crazy neighbor issue is resolved for at least 6 months.

I swear, when it rains it pours…

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The A Behind Anxiety ~ This Is Quite A Long Post

I have been absent from my blog for a while, I have been sick and I have been sick and tired. Which has really stressed me out and made my anxiety much worse. It all started with what I first thought was just a cold, I didn’t go to the doctor because the first week I was not running any fever I just felt really bad. Then came the second week and I started running a fever, my kidney‘s were really starting to hurt and my blood sugar levels were going crazier than usual. It wasn’t a really high one, my normal is 97.4 to 97.6 and it never gets any higher than that unless I am have some kind of infection. So anyway, it got up to 99.3 which I guess would equal 100.3 for a normal person? Luckily, I was able to get an appointment at our family doctor though it was not with the doctor but her physician’s assistant. The did a urinalysis, which came back with a few white cells, and sent me home with a Rx for Cipro.

I took the Cipro for three days and I was still running around a 100.3 temp, not to mention my ears were ringing like crazy and my eyes were burning. I called the doctors office and told them what was going on and they told me to quit taking the Cipro and called me in a Rx for Microbid. By this time it was almost the weekend, they told me to go to the emergency room if the temp got any worse or if I was feeling worse. It took until that Sunday night before I was back down to almost my normal temp. So, that Monday morning I called and got an appointment with the “doctor”. She redid the urinalysis and this time it was completely normal but, my temp was going back up again. She told me to stay on the new anti-biotic and see the OB/GYN to see if possible my bladder was falling and causing all of this? Luckily, I had suspected the bladder falling and had already made an appointment with yet a new OB/GYN and it was later this same day. She also sent me home with the following; pro-biotic, digestive enzymes and a omega-3. I took one of the omega-3 that night and then one the following morning. Within 30 minutes or so of taking the second omega-3, my ears were itching and I was itching from head to toe. I have taken omega-3’s before with out any problem but, I looked on the bottle and these have pharmaceutical strength “fish oils”. I am highly allergic to iodine, fish and shellfish! So, I called the doctors office and the directed me to take Benadryl. It wound up taking all day and that night to get the allergic reaction to stop.

I get to the new OB/GYN and one of his first questions was, “why are you on all of these medications?” At this point he had not seen all of my crazy diagnosis’. He checked my bladder and didn’t seem to think that it was falling (much less anything else) but, could not explain the fever, kidney’s or the blood sugar issue. I asked him about all of the other OB/GYN’s telling me that I needed a hysterectomy for various falling issues and he said that while I did not need a hysterectomy now that I would in the next ten years or so… He did want to do an endometrial biopsy (EMB) to rule out endometrial cancer. This due to my history with cancer, my mother having breast cancer twice and a family history of endometriosis. We scheduled the EMB for the following week.

In between all of this going on, I get a letter from the social security judge and my attorney. The judge turned me down for social security benefits’ and then my attorney refused to file the appeal for me. All of this caused me to have one of my worst anxiety attacks in the past two years. This was only second to when my mother passed away, that one was a big one, not the biggest but I will save that for another post. I couldn’t breath, I thought that I was going to pass out, I was nauseous and a major hot flash. Anyway, I don’t think that the judge addressed all of my issues much less all of my “social security approved” issues. Had I never had an anxiety attack, I think that this would have brought one on! I mean come on, how many people that are not chronically sick go to the doctor 10 out of 12 months of the year? I think that it is a safe bet to say, ZERO! I am trying to find a new attorney now to file the appeal for me, I will keep you posted on this.

I told my husband about the biopsy and the social security mess. He assured me that everything would work out with the social security and told me that he would go with me to the biopsy. I told him that I was a big girl and could go by myself but he insisted that he was going with me. The biopsy wasn’t as bad as I thought that it would be but, I am glad that he went with me. More than likely the biopsy will turn out normal but, the idea of having yet another cancer terrifies me. Endometrial cancer unlike follicular thyroid cancer, you don’t just cut it out and take one radioactive iodine pill and be done with it. This time I could have to deal with chemo and radiation. Even though, I have one of the best oncologist in Dallas (he also saved my husbands life when he almost died from stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma), I really would rather not have to go though chemo and radiation. I really could not ask for a better husband. He is my best friend and very supportive. I am sure that he gets tired of all of my freakiness at times but, he is always there to take care of me. I really do appreciate that, I don‘t think that I could deal with all of this without his support. Next week I get the results of the biopsy so, I am really not looking forward to the results. More and more added stress.

Now back to the main topic of this post, Anxiety… While I don’t think that anxiety is the cause of all of my problems, I do think that the stress of constantly being sick, the doctors not really being able to pinpoint the cause of my autoimmune issues, etc. All of this just adds to my anxiety issues. Not to mention, I can tend to be a bit of a control freak. Not the typical control freak but, if I feel that I have no control of a situation I wind up having an anxiety attack. After looking at the WebMD page on anxiety, the main symptom that jumped out at me was “fear of dying” this never entered my mind before loosing my mother. Not that I think that I am going to die, it is more the fear of leaving my children behind. I was 39 when I lost my mother, that was hard enough. I would never want to put my children though that and I guess that is my biggest fear.

I am still hopeful that the biopsy will turn out negative and I will be able to get the social security decision reversed. I will let you know about the biopsy next week. I have several doctors appointments so, I am sure that I will be posting several (that is as long as I am not completely wiped out). But, the social security will be whenever……