Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's Alright Ma, (I'm Only Bleeding)

A lot has been going the past few months. I will not touch on all of it, but I'll recap some.

The past month has been a medical whirlwind. I have seen 5 doctors since the middle of May. I originally went to see an Internist because I was having heart problems. He did some tests and told me I have Pernicious Anemia. I don't have any B12 in my system, which really is not a good thing. The age range that Pernicious Anemia usually shows up in people is 65-100 years old, so clearly it's odd that I have it. Anyway, the doctor told me the only solution was to get monthly B12 injections for the rest of my life. Crappy, but easy enough right? Wrong.

I got my B12 shot. Had an allergic reaction, couple days of hell and doctors, I ended up in the ER for hours. That doctor told me to go to a Hematologist to get my blood studied and find out if the diagnosis was correct and also to see a Cardiologist because of my heart. So I did. They both gave me appointments immediately due to the situation, which was pretty cool.

I met with a Hematologist, he did a lot of tests and we talked, I was there for hours. I went back a week later and met with him. He said I have Iron deficient Anemia and Pernicious Anemia (very B12 deficient). He said he wants me to see a GI doctor, but that he is 99% certain I have Celiac Disease. Which would make sense because if you have that and leave it untreated, it can cause the Pernicious Anemia. So my homework is to take certain vitamins and to do a Gluten-free diet until my next appointment in July. He will retest my blood and if it changes, then I have to do that homework everyday for the rest of my life. I shouldn't complain really, Vitamins and no Gluten to feel great and healthy is a fair trade. But so far I am having a hard time with the diet. A few of my friends have Celiac Disease and have given me some pointers. I went food shopping and blew a bunch of money on food that was terrible and I'd easily rather live without it than replace bread, bagels, etc. with it. I am learning, I guess it takes a little time. Plus side is, I really enjoy cooking and baking, so I will certainly get a ton of practice. From what I hear, I will feel better and lose more weight and feel overall much healthier which is nice.

Then I went to the Cardiologist, he is the coolest doctor I think I have ever been to. He ruled. Awesome sense of humor, had me laughing, which was nice. He did a bunch of tests. I was there about 3 hours. He said he thinks I have Tachycardia. My heart skips beats, races, palpitates, etc. My resting heart rate is normally around 120 bpm, which is clearly too high. His exact words for the cause were, "you're fucked up. you're totally imbalanced." Then he laughed. I told him that wasn't the first time I heard that. He said there is some involuntary reason my body is telling my heart that I am in a fight at all times. It's strange. So I have to go back in a week and get two heart tests done. I have to wear a heart monitor for 7 days, 24 hours a day, except to shower, which started two days ago. All in all, it could be worse. After all that is done, I meet with him again to discuss a "game plan".

I met with my internist again. He said he agrees with the Hematologist, that I do have Celiac Disease. He yelled at me.. a lot. He said he thinks I am not taking this seriously. That slipping with the diet is not an option, that I need to suck it up and kiss it all goodbye for good. So that's where I am at. Haven't had any gluten since, taking the vitamins, wearing the heart monitor. He also said he doesn't think I am allergic to the B12 injection, that some of his other patients had that happen, too. So he thinks it's something wrong the supplier put in the injection, so he discontinued business with them. Umm that's scary. Wtf.

It could be much worse. I am actually really glad to have such smart, nice, funny and thorough doctors. I feel like I am in good hands. I also am feeling okay, which is nice. My hope is it all gets figured out and I can start to feel healthy, like normal people healthy, which has a nice sound to it. It's kind of nice to hear these doctors say how surprised they are I've come this far with feeling like this for so long. They say, it won't kill you right now, but it will make you feel miserable and like crap every day. So at least all of it wasn't in my head. Literally every symptom I have ever had most likely is a result of all of this.

The symptoms of all the above include: weakness, fatigue (this symptom is due to your body not having enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to its various parts), an upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, abdominal bloating, gas, constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Also causes an abnormally rapid heartbeat, palpitations, and/or chest pains. Tingling and numbness in your hands and feet, muscle weakness, and loss of reflexes, unsteadiness, lose your balance, and have trouble walking. A low red blood cell count also can cause shortness of breath; dizziness, especially when standing up; headache; coldness in your hands or feet; pale skin, gums, and nail beds; and chest pain. It also causes anxiety, panic attacks, depression and insomnia. Severe vitamin B12 deficiency can cause neurological problems, such as confusion, dementia, schizophrenia, and memory loss.

So yea, wild stuff! I am a lucky girl, it could all be worse. I have a great family and great friends and a great job. I have been working my ass off. Which probably sounds weird with all this stuff, but it's true. I worked all last weekend too, so I am really looking forward to having this weekend free. I have more responsibility at work than I think I have ever had in my life. Without sharing too many details, my boss has a health condition that is degenerative. I have become a huge roll in all of his affairs and it's all very complicated, but it's strange having the responsibility I do for someone who isn't my family. i do care about him like he is though. I feel like I was put in this position for a reason.

Overall, I am feeling pretty good, life is good. I really only wrote this so I don't have to explain it to everyone. So much more going on, but don't want to get into it right now. World cup is on. Peace.