September 21, 2002

After my morning appointment yesterday with Nature Boy, I went to my parents’ house for lunch.  I share the humorous aspects of my appointments with them.  Discussing the ridiculous antics of these creatures we call doctor keeps me from being mired in a sea of depression.

After lunch I had an appointment with No Name.  I needed to have blood work done at the clinic lab to check on my potassium and sodium levels.  No Name finally had some of my lab results back.

No Name mentioned the high ACTH levels but did not seem concerned.  Apparently high serum ACTH levels can be incidental and mean nothing.  However, high ACTH levels can mean pituitary involvement or an ectopic tumor.   From what I have gathered, to have pituitary involvement you need high ACTH levels and high cortisol levels.  To have adrenal involvement you need high ACTH levels and low cortisol levels.  High ACTH levels on their own can signify an ectopic tumor which can be found in the lungs, thyroid and pancreas to name a few places.

I must relate an interesting experience I had at the pharmacy today after my appointment with No Name.  I went to the pharmacy to get my synthroid refilled.   A new pharmacy assistant was on duty and I guess she was not up on what should and should not be said in front of the customers. She logged into my account and entered the information, stopped what she was doing and shouted across the pharmacy, “The computer is flashing a message that says this doctor does not have a valid Canadian medical licence.” The pharmacist came rushing over to the front counter to assure me that this was just a computer error.  Interesting computer error.

I have been off of diuretics since August 22, 2002.  I had to be off diuretics for at least eight days prior to my last renin and aldosterone tests on September 5th.  I do not have the results back.  Instead of water retention pockets, I now have folds of skin on the tops of my hands.  I have no idea why this has suddenly changed.  My breathing has become a problem.  I am finding that I have occasional bouts of shortness of breath upon exertion.  This surprises me.  I thought since the water retention in my hands and legs is less my breathing problems associated with water retention should be less as well.

I am still working out 3 to 4 times a week.  My leg muscles are getting weaker again.  We took our grandson to the Go-Cart tracks yesterday afternoon and I found it difficult to walk around the park and miniature golf course.  It felt like the muscles in my legs were seizing up and could no longer support my weight.   I have lost 25 pounds in the last three weeks.  If this is because of my pathetic work outs at the gym, I will never quit.  I apparently have lost three inches on my waist, two inches on my hips, two inches on my thighs but gained an inch on my upper arms.  I asked the woman who measured me if she was using a different tape measure than she used the day I joined.  She assured me it was the same one!  Quite frankly I do have trouble believing that.  However, my own scale tells me I have lost the weight so I guess I have to believe it.

The fatigue is worse again.  The dizziness and feeling of disorientation stays with me all day.   My body feels like it is on overdrive but I have absolutely no energy to do anything worthwhile.  What I manage to do, I have to force myself to do through sheer will power.

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