Thursday, June 14, 2007

Moving Forward, Slowly, One Tiny Step at a Time...Damn It

Seems like I go many days without posting. Sometimes I'm just too tired to even think what to write about. As you know, I am very frustrated with the current condition of my health, and would like for just once, to feel 'normal'. By normal, I mean 'well'. One day where I'm not tired, or easily irritated, or on some days, depressed. A day where I have the energy to do what needs to get done during the day...the energy I had once long ago in my youth.

I know that that is impossible for me. I have to live with my condition for the rest of my life. I have accepted that. What I don't accept is how I am not getting seen by the right doctors because of my HMO. I shouldn't have to practically beg to see a thyroid specialist/endocrinologist. I wonder if the primary care providers just decide that they know what's best. If they know how you feel, better than you do. I emailed my PCP a few weeks ago, and asked if I could see a specialist. If she could refer me to someone who would even be willing to try a different course of treatment. Of course, I might have mentioned it before, but her email came back saying she needed to see me for the lump in my throat because she didn't think it was thyroid related. I had told her of the research I did and how with someone who has been diagnosed with Hashimoto's, like myself, needed to be between .03-1.0 to feel their best. My current TSH is 1.3, and I still feel rundown most days. I only mention these events again because it leads up to my last doctor visit.

I went in for my annual cervical smear. You know how fun that can get being spread open with the speculum (hint of sarcasm there lol).


As you can see, I'm not above putting photos of things that intimidate people. lol Thank goodness, I didn't get tense like last year. She had to repeat inserting the speculum two or three times. lmao

One thing I got to say, I have only run into two doctors that I have really liked in dealing with Kaiser. One, is my girls' pediatrician, the other, my ob/gyn. Only a little disconcerting thing, is she looks a bit like my ex mother-in-law. lol But she's a lot nicer. I told her that I had several questions for her if she didn't mind. She said not at all and asked me to proceed with my questions. Here's a couple of questions I had (because I'm having trouble remembering more than two right now lol):

Did she know or could she refer me to someone who knew more about thyroid?
Could she tell me about an ablation (surgery to stop monthly cycle)? because one thing I deal with since my thyroid issues started and the tubal in 1999.

She told me that I would have to ask my PCP to refer me to a specialist. I told her that I have tried for 2 1/2 yrs. She asked me if I insisted. I said that I didn't exactly INSIST, but I did asked to be referred at least two times. She said that she was not a thyroid expert, but would look at the lump (I mentioned it to her). I had explained that I was tired all the time and lacked energy. I need a nap almost daily to get through the rest of the day. She had asked if I had ever gotten my Free T4's done. I said that I had not....I have not had anything more than a TSH since I got here. I mentioned that I used to have the whole panel done with my old specialist. Unfortunately, she wasn't allowed to order a Free T3 which is something that needs to be looked at as well. She did, however, order a CBC with differential to check for the possibility of anemia. I have only gotten back the results for the Free T4, but not the CBC yet. I thought to myself, she is LISTENING to unusual...and that she's doing everything on her end that she can do.

As far as the ablation goes, that's where they laser your endometrium wall so that you have nothing to shed during the monthly visitor. She told me that it was not 100% because nothing ever is. She asked if I was interested in this type of IUD that is inserted to prevent periods for 5 yrs or was the ablation something I had thought about awhile. I told her that the ablation is something I had thought about awhile. I said that if I had my choice, the parts would just be removed, but I know it's not going to happen just because I want it done. She says to me, well, let's see how quick we can get it done. First, there will have to be an ultrasound done, and then, some doctors require a biopsy. My ultrasound is in August, and she's trying to have a doctor do it for me in September. I know how difficult it's going to be to get someone to do it because most of the ob/gyns at that particular Kaiser have closed panels and little or no O.R. time. I forgot to ask her why she wouldn't be doing it, but I don't think I'm bothered by the fact that it'll be someone else from there.

I was just glad that she didn't talk me out of it, or tell me that it's just not something she's willing to set up for me. She answered all of my questions and concerns without rushing me or making me feel stupid about being interested in my own health care.

Anyways, I emailed member services and told them my dilemma and to give praise to the two doctors I really like. They both listen, address your concerns, and don't make you feel rushed. In the world of HMOs, that isn't very common these days. I'm supposed to be contacted by someone from my HMO regarding my issues...haven't heard from them yet.

OH! I just remembered another question I asked her. There is a new weight loss pill that is the ONLY one approved by the FDA here. It comes out tomorrow. It's called Alli aka Orlistat. It's a 60mg pill that's taken 3 times a day right before you eat a meal. She said that she hadn't heard of it, but I explained what it was supposed to do. She asked if it was a fat blocker because she knew of one that was a prescription and she had taken it herself. I said that I think it is because it's suppose to block a percentage of fat from going into your system to be broken down. She told me that her side effects were bad cramps. She also said that you can have trouble with being what I will call 'poo' incontinence. lol That is NOT a pleasant effect I'm sure. She said there is no miracle cure or sure fire way to lose weight. Just have to exercise and choose the right foods. She understood that I have to work 10 times harder than everyone else just to lose weight. I was going to buy the pills until she told me things. I don't know whether I will still buy or not. I read up on it a bit more last is HALF the dosage of the prescription pill. The prescription pill was 120mg. The 'treatment' effects as they call it are cramps, 'poo' incontinence, and gas with an oily discharge. lol See, the fat doesn't breakdown, so it comes out in oily discharge, oily stools, etc. On the Alli website it likened the oil to that on pizza. lol can see that I have a LOT to think about. I'm glad that at least one thing I want done is moving forward.

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