March 15, 2002

We drove into the city yesterday afternoon to see the cardiologist. My husband had told me that if I was to see a cardiologist to make sure I saw this one.  My husband had worked with this cardiologist and a dear friend was a long time patient.   Am I glad I did!  I finally saw a doctor who knows what he is talking about.  I left that appointment actually feeling like a human being!

He asked me numerous questions about my different treatments and doctors’ appointments. He told me that there are some people with Graves Disease who do not react well to RAI (Radio Active Iodine). Their TSH will be within normal limits but the symptoms they continue to endure can be awful.  One of these symptoms is excessive weight gain. Other symptoms are weak muscles, sudden and unexplained potassium crashes and excessive water retention which is hard to control.  The cardiologist told us that when he was a resident he saw patients who had bad outcomes after RAI.  They had no option but to learn to live with the awful symptoms that resulted after RAI.

He then did an examination with emphasis on my heart. I was right about my so called right side heart failure being the UTIMATE FAIRY TALE.  According to the cardiologist I DO NOT have right side heart failure. He told us that my heart sounded perfectly normal. He examined my carotid artery and told us that it too was normal in size and shape. Dingaling obviously could not tell the difference between a fat neck and a distended carotid artery!  No wonder when I asked Dingaling what he intended to do about my right side heart failure he had no answers; just shrugged his shoulders. I was referred to Dingaling by Squirt, who insisted that Dingaling was one of the best in his field!  I am getting the distinct feeling that Squirt is only familiar with medical oddballs.

The cardiologist went on to say that he wanted me investigated for kidney problems. The water retention, low potassium levels, low vasopressin levels, high protein levels and high creatinine levels could possibly be an indication of kidney disease. He told us that he would make arrangements for me to see someone who specialized in this field.

The cardiologist ordered an EKG which I had that afternoon. It came back normal. He also ordered an Echocardiogram.

After the visit to the cardiologist today, and the information I received, the letter from the endocrinologist in the west is no longer so important to me. I am no longer panicked because my gut feeling is that the letter will say, “Found nothing!”  The cardiologist told us that he would refer me to the specialists he thinks I should see and I trust this man.

What really ticks me is the Blonde Bimbo, Leprechaun and Supercilious all insisted that it was impossible for me to have long term symptoms as a result of Graves Disease or Radio Active Iodine. In fact, the Blonde Bimbo told me that all I would have to do was take a tiny little pill every day for the rest of my life and my health would return to normal!  And I have a bridge to sell you!!!!  I never believed them. Today I was proved right!  People can have horrendous symptoms as a result of RAI or Graves Disease! Having RAI done is no guarantee that a person will be symptom free. You no longer have the symptoms you had before the treatment for Graves disease; you just pick up a slough of other equally unbearable symptoms.    No one ever told me there would be a symptom trade-off.  In fact, two days before RAI, I made a special point of going to see Squirt. I had this awful feeling that submitting to RAI was the worst thing I could do. I discussed my non-options with Squirt and he insisted that RAI was the way to go. Big mistake!  I waited a whole year before I complained that I was getting worse not better. I will never forget the rage that the Blonde Bimbo displayed when I mentioned this fact to her. She emphatically denied that I could have any of the post Graves/RAI symptoms I described because of Graves Disease or RAI. Instead she blamed them on depression, fat and menopause! The Leprechaun agreed with her. Supercilious didn’t have clue.

My husband had a long chat with one of the retired doctors in our city.  He told this doctor about my problems with Graves Disease and Radio Active Iodine. This retired doctor told my husband that before RAI they would do surgery on a patient like me. They would take a portion of the thyroid but always leave enough so that the thyroid could still function. This way a person was not completely dependant on thyroid supplement like synthroid. I did have the wherewithal to ask the Blonde Bimbo for this option before I had RAI. In a voice dripping with sarcasm she told me that surgery was a stupid option and she would not even consider it.  My fate was sealed.

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