April 4, 2002

The fatigue these last two weeks has been overwhelming. I guess I tried to do too much during Spring Break (March 25th to April 1st).

Monday, March 25th I took my daughter, grandson and his friend to the hotel for a night. We had planned to go into the city but all hotels that catered to kids were booked. We decided to go the new hotel in town since it has a swimming pool, water slide and VCR’s. I brought my Nintendo and games. The kids had a ball. Nana only had to drive 5 minutes to get to the hotel!  I tried to recuperate on Wednesday.

On Thursday morning I had to take my grandson to his Ukrainian Dance Performance. They were performing for a group of Retired Teachers. We had to be at the school by 9:00 AM. Since the kids were going to be in costume for the performance, we had arranged to have a photographer take their pictures. This meant rushing from the performance to the studio. I finally got home at 2:00 PM and then had to hurry and tidy up for company in the evening. We were having a family birthday party at our house.

Friday was spent vegetating in my chair. We were invited out for dinner on Saturday night and our grandson came over to spend the night. Sunday evening we took the kids out for dinner to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. Monday I was so utterly exhausted I did not know where to leave myself. Whatever is wrong with me is sure putting a damper on my life. I find that when I get overtired, my body reacts by going into over drive.  At times it feels like my whole body is vibrating.

Called No Name earlier this week and asked him to fax the missing summary letter from the doctor in the west. I got the fax this afternoon. Following is a brief outline of the contents of the letter:

I got a chuckle out of the first sentence of the letter. The doctor in the west wrote and I quote, “Thank you for the referral of this pleasant, 53 year-old, married woman.” I hooted when I read the word “pleasant.”

He notes that I am a woman with multiple medical problems which  developed with anxiety that turned out to be Graves Disease. I always shudder when I read stuff like that. Anxiety was only one of the many symptoms I suffered from when I had Graves Disease. Doctors however just love to highlight that word.

He states that I have a number of sporadic complaints, including feeling weak all over, feeling nauseous, and head feeling dizzy all the time. He states that I cannot sleep through the night because I am jolted awake and that I hurt all day and have hip bone pain. I found his choice of the word sporadic rather strange. These are not sporadic complaints!

He also states that I have had a water deprivation test done but makes no mention of the fact that it was cut short and all but the first blood draw were hemolyzed. He also does not mention that my vasopressin levels were checked with the first blood draw of the water deprivation test and that the vasopressin levels came back below normal.  He mentions that I do not have hirustism, striae or thinning skin.  He says that I have marked truncal obesity. 

He says that I will have a dexamethasone suppression test which will definitely tell him whether I truly have Cushing’s or not.
Oh yes and this letter, which I at first thought was written by the doctor in the west, was actually written by his resident. Like I said, I flew 1000 miles to be seen by a resident who is planning to go into psychiatry. To put it bluntly, I feel very ripped off . I went to see this doctor (endocrinologist) in the west with the hope of finding an answer to my medical problems. I had expected that he would at least try to sort out my symptoms. I would never have made the trip if I had known that he was only interested in Cushing’s and that  I would have an appointment with a resident.  When I was on the plane flying to the city in the west, I remember thinking that if I did not get some answers from the doctor in the west, I would fall to pieces. The human mind and body are amazingly resilient.  Here I am back home, no further ahead then I was when I was on that airplane, and I have not fallen to pieces.  In fact my resolve has gotten stronger.

I will have to consider this another unproductive chapter in my life. The trouble is there have been too many of these unproductive chapters. Quite frankly, the medical professionals that I have seen so far with the exception of Bighead and the cardiologist have no imaginations. They ask me what I think is wrong.  I, like an idiot, tell them I believe I have an endocrine problem.  Big mistake. They all know that I have Graves disease and have had RAI (radio active iodine), and they will move mountains to disprove that I have an endocrine problem. They are so busy disproving an endocrine problem that they forget to look for anything else that might be causing my health problems.

It is time for another break from doctors. During the last four years I have developed coping mechanisms and will survive.  Sad though, that I, at the age of 54, have to put all my time and energy into coping with debilitating symptoms. There are so many other things I would rather be doing.


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