No New News; Just New Medicine

pills

My appointment with the endocrinologist went pretty much as expected. My bloodwork all came back in the normal range. As I sat there about to cry, I made a last ditch effort using the the research I did on Metformin being helpful for PCOS, and much to my surprise he agreed to try it. I didn’t see that coming. I was ready with my arguments, but he said that he has seen Metformin help with some patients even when their bloodwork did not show an excess of androgens (male hormones).

So here I am with my new prescription and I’m on the Facebook pages for PCOS reading the horror stories of side effects. It’s mostly stomach issues…people saying they couldn’t leave the bathroom for days. Sounds like a real joy! I opted to only take one pill yesterday as people were saying it was helpful to work up the dose.

I didn’t have any side effects at all, so I figured why not try both doses today. I took the second dose with dinner around 6:30 and I feel like I’m sitting here waiting for something to happen. Fingers crossed that I don’t have issues tonight. I have enough issues already.

Today was hectic. I had a team meeting about 45 minutes away and then sat in traffic for an extra 30 minutes on the way home. I wish I had more interesting things to say today, but at the moment I’m supposed to be editing a military fiction novel and I just can’t concentrate on it. I have another novel waiting to be edited so I need to force myself to get through it.

The novel itself is well-written. I don’t have a lot of work to do in terms of the editing itself, but I’m not familiar with all the military terms or places in Vietnam, so I’m spending a lot of time looking things up. I’m having a hard time focusing at all lately. I just have so many things going on. I know I’m trying to do too many things. What mom doesn’t? But it’s difficult to keep up.

Between Halloween and standing out in the freezing cold for 2 hours on Sunday to watch my son’s football game, I’m really feeling the effects of having an autoimmune disease. My feet were so swollen after walking around in my slippers on Halloween that I couldn’t fit in my shoes on Saturday. I squeezed into them (with my usual brilliance) thinking they’d loosen up, and within about 5 minutes my feet swelled so much that I had to turn around and go back home to get other shoes.

I want to be there for every special moment with my kids, and it’s just really hard when the after effects cripple me at times. It doesn’t mean I’m ever going to stop trying, though. It’s just frustrating.

I’m also learning that just because you care about someone doesn’t mean they deserve it. I guess I’m that person that always hold on to a little bit of the good in people. There are very few people in my life that I hate, if any. I just try and make peace with things and move forward. I’m frustrated because I’ve now had someone try and come in and out of my life as one of my friends is doing now. He’s not even my friend after all the crap he’s pulled. I guess I’m just confused as to how someone can be in a serious psychotic state and then a week or so later act like nothing happened. I am chalking it up to mental illness and trying to just cut off ties.

Okay, I have to get back to my editing.

Advertisements

Being the Bigger Person Sucks

American Football 2

Be the bigger person, blah blah blah. You know it’s what you’re supposed to do, and most of the time it’s the road I choose to take, but no one ever said it was easy…or fun. Today I was a room parent at my daughters’ Nutcracker rehearsals. Honestly, I love doing it. Getting to see them dance and perform is awesome, and it’s just a fabulous production. I love to see the behind the scenes of how they choreograph the numbers.

So that all went well. The problem arose when my former friend’s (the ass who hates that I blog) daughter was freaking out about not having a parent to pick her up. I let her use my phone to call her dad, and I guess there was some kind of mix up with the what he was saying and what the mom said.

He called me back a few minutes later to say that her mother should have arranged that. I had to explain that she wasn’t allowed to stay for an hour and a half between her two rehearsals because we’re still practicing at a studio and not on the big stage. He grew silent like it was a big deal to get her, so I (the bigger person) offered to drop her off at home. Why did I do this? I have no idea, mostly because I’m an idiot.

The kid is very fresh. I cut her slack because she’s had a tough time in her short life. She was snapping at me on the way because clearly, I got the info wrong. Not sure how I even factored into the situation, but I just said that she and her dad would work it all out when she got home.

Later, I received a text thanking me for the help. Then another text blaming the mom. I just texted back “no problem” and left it at that. I am not opening that door again. His level of drama gives me more stress than I can handle.

Then there’s my feet. Both feet are still swollen from last night’s trek around the neighborhood with the kids. My body is getting even with me for my crazy cat lady costume and wearing slippers. The toe pain from last night finally subsided, but I feel like it’s going to cramp up at any moment. I’m sitting here with a heating pad on it. I’m not even sure what the issue is. It feels like my pinky toe wants to lean left, and every time I move it slightly to the right, I feel like it’s going to get stuck again and cramp up.

It sounds ridiculous, but I’m in a lot of pain. Both my hands and feet are swollen, and on tomorrow’s agenda, in between shuffling the girls to rehearsals, I have my son’s playoff football game. It’s all in the same town, so it’s not a lot of driving, but Connecticut has been really cold the last few days. Today was just awful.

I’m trying to keep going until I see the endocrinologist on Tuesday, but if he says there isn’t anything wrong with me and he has no idea what’s going, then I’m making an appointment with the rheumatologist to start Plaquenil again. I’m hesitant to do it before meeting with the endo because I hate to start medications at the same time. I don’t have much hope for Tuesday, or at least I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I’d really like to try the metformin and see if that has an impact on my weight and other issues related to PCOS.

Wish me luck on getting through tomorrow! I’m going to buy those disposable hand and feet warmers and hope they help. I’m going to need all the help I can get.

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back! An extra hour of sleep is always awesome. It’s waking up in the dark and having it be dark at 5pm that sucks.

 

 

 

Another Bump in the Road

further-off-from-england

I’m not in a good mood today. I’m not sure when it went bad, but I think it was when I received a letter from the endocrinologist saying that the male factor hormones that they tested were all in the normal range. Elevated androgens are a sign of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I still have every symptom of the disease, including the most important one of the highly cystic ovaries.

I suppose I could have had a normal result because I’m on the birth control pill and that could be helping to regulate those hormones, but it doesn’t change the rest of my symptoms. So what’s really bothering me? I’m afraid to walk into that office next Tuesday and hear that there is nothing wrong, and that they just don’t have a reason for the weight gain and other symptoms.

I gave up hope that I was going to hear that I don’t have rheumatoid arthritis weeks ago. When I self-diagnosed hypothyroid, I thought the muscle and joint pain might be caused by that. The endo was clear when he shot that theory down. I suppose the newest plan is to hear what he has to say on Tuesday, and then going back to the rheumatologist to start plaquenil again before it gets really cold and my joints get worse.

In the past week my hip, legs and feet have been stiff and painful. My hands have been experiences the neuropathy symptoms with the painful pins and needless and numbness. Who knew numbness would be painful? Believe me, it is! The colder weather also brings out my Raynaud’s, which just adds to the pain.

I’m frustrated tonight because I am still here with no answers and now I’ve already decided that the endo is going to say there is nothing wrong and to exercise more. I haven’t really been hungry at all lately. I’ve hardly had a snack and my meals have all been healthy. In my depression today, I opened the damn bag of Halloween candy and had 4 KitKats. Do I regret it? No! They were delicious.

The highlight of my day was at a clinic meeting for my son at school. They set up monthly clinics to stay on top of his progress after they fucked up on his IEP (Individualized Education Program) last year. He receives special education services for dyslexia and comprehension issues. My son can be a big pain in the ass when it comes to getting his services, mostly because he’s so afraid of looking different or standing out. I do understand that, but I’m trying to explain the harder he works now with comprehension and reading strategies, the less time overall he’ll need to go to resource.

Anyway, what a wonderful meeting. Each of his teachers wrote up really nice things about what a good student, and hard worker he is. Both is science teacher and his literacy teacher noted that he does struggle with writing, but both said he is working really hard and seeing them during his free periods for extra help. It was one of those meetings that you just can’t help but smile. I know school isn’t easy for my son, but at one point this semester he had straight As. He now has a B in Spanish, and that’s completely fine. He’s working his butt off, and I think (I hope) he’s also proud of himself.

I have a lot to be happy about, but I’m just not tonight. I’m blue and sad. Not sad enough to cry about anything, but with the exception of my kids, this just isn’t the life I thought I’d have. And, I don’t know whether it’s best to accept that I now have limitations, or try and find help to work through them.

I don’t talk about it with friends. I used to talk about it and my insecurities about it with my friend (the one who is no longer a friend). He was actually a good listener for a long time. The thing is, it went both ways as I was always a good listener to him…and he had no shortage of drama. When he told me that he didn’t want to hear that I didn’t feel well or was in pain anymore, it really hit me. Even my friends don’t get it. Of course, I have way more polite friends than him–many of whom ask how I’m doing and really want to know. Ok, maybe not many, but definitely a few. That one conversation though, made me re-examine how much I was talking about it.

I never thought that I was talking about it 24/7, but when he asked, I would tell him if I was in pain, etc. But, because someone pointed out that I was talking about it too much, I think I shut down. I don’t want to be Debbie Downer. I love to laugh and have fun. I smile and laugh more with my kids than I do anywhere else. I truly enjoy them (even when they are beasts). I thought there was a balance, and now I’m not so sure. I don’t bring it up unless people ask, except on this blog, of course. This is my place to vent and talk about my autoimmune issues and if anyone is annoyed they can simply stop reading.

I just wondered if anyone else has had a friend or family member tell them they are too focused on their illness. I always joke that I’m a hermit and not a people-person, and things like that are the reason why. I don’t want to open up and be shut down by someone.

I hope you all are having a pain free night!

Stupid Hands

wrist-pain

I shouldn’t say hands…it’s really only one hand that I’m calling stupid tonight. I’ve been in terrible pain through my right wrist for the past few hours, so much so that I was sitting here in tears and broke down and took something for pain. I’ve actually never taken pain medicine for my hand/wrist pain. What causes me to take a pain pill is usually hip and low back pain that just affects one whole side of my body. So for me to take medicine for a wrist/hand, it’s bad. I suppose I should admit that I’m partially to blame.

Last night my girls wanted me to sit down and watch a movie with them and I hate sitting still. I thought it would be a good time to knit while I was watching Pitch Perfect. I love my knitting. I’m not very good. I made scarves. I don’t really want to learn to knit anything crazy or difficult because I find knitting very relaxing. If I have to follow a difficult pattern or learn crazy stitches, it loses some of the fun. I have mastered quite a few really pretty patterns and I look for new ones that are within my capability, but it’s just something that I like to sit and do. I knit throughout the movie and that may be why I’m hurting so badly today. I hate to think that two hours of knitting sent me over the edge because that doesn’t bode well for my relaxing past-time.

Yesterday was rainy and cold, and I’m hoping that the weather and damp cold are factoring into my pain level. Today the weather was really beautiful; it could have been about ten degrees warmer, but the sky was a deep blue and I had an hour to sit outside with my youngest daughter while my older daughter was in a dance rehearsal. We just sat outside and talked, and enjoyed the sunshine. I don’t do that enough. Don’t get me wrong…I sit and rest as much as my body tells me to because the alternate sucks and I’ve learned that the hard way, but I don’t always sit outside. It was nice.

I had a bit of drama last night and today with my former friend. I find it even too exhausting to get into (although it would probably be a good read). I just am at the point where I think he needs professional help. I was told a very in-depth story last night that I just find too many holes in. I hate to not believe in people, but then this morning he also mentioned that his new love broke up with him. SO…I think he was at a very low point and needed a reason to be validated for feeling as low as he did.

My afternoon ended with me shutting him down as to restarting our friendship. I left things nicely. I just truly hate drama, but I can’t open my life back up to someone who contacts me when everyone else shuts him out, or uses me as a punching bag when he’s at his depressive lows. I have my own full plate. Anyone who knows me well knows this is not an easy thing for me. I have the terrible habit of listening to people’s issues and being a good sounding board. It’s not really a bad thing, but it sometimes becomes one sided and that’s not fun.

The other thing is I’m learning to really put myself more toward the front of my own line. My kids will always come first, but if I’m not okay and healthy, I can’t take care of them, so I need to also take care of me. This means cutting back on people who annoy me and not being anyone’s punching bag and accepting a simple “I’m sorry” the next day. We ALL have those moments where we say more than we should have or something comes out wrong. I am not saying I’ve never made a mistake and apologized for it. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about someone who uses your insecurities to make you feel horrible and then says they are sorry.

Anyway, I’m content with how it all went down. I wasn’t mean, but at the end of the day, I still like me and the decisions I made.

In my “spare time” I’ve been deep into my research of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). I also learned that low vitamin D (my only strange result of my last bloodwork) is also a very common symptom of PCOS. I feel like we may be on the right track, but what sucked the most is when the endocrinologist point blankly said that my RA diagnosis wasn’t going to change. I suppose I knew that, but when I was researching thyroid issues there is the symptom of joint and muscle pain, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t the tiniest bit hopeful. So now, I may be looking at an autoimmune disease and a hormonal one, that has a high link to heart disease and cancer.

I just want and need confirmation so I can start dealing with it. I need to know. I’m going to have my blood drawn on two separate days this week, but my next appointment isn’t until November 4th. I really want to call way before that and find out my test results. Would you do that? I mean how hard is it for the nurse to call me back after the doctor has seen the results? Why should I wait until November to start treatment if my hormones are way out of whack and if my insulin resistance is off…or if my cortisol level is off.

I never thought I’d be a fucking medical nightmare at 42. It’s depressing. My mind has so much it wants to body and my body can’t freakin keep up. I’m hoping tomorrow is better because I have to switch out bins of winter clothes and pack away the summer ones. It’s one of my least favorite things to do. I also plan to de-clutter the girls’ room, but that might go better on Tuesday when they aren’t around. We’ll see what the morning brings.

As always…thanks for reading!

And Here We Go Down Another Path…PCOS

Ovarian Cyst

Polycycstic Ovarian Syndrome. Those are words I haven’t thought about for more than 12 years. When I was struggling to get and stay pregnant, I read every possible thing I could get my hands on trying to figure out what was going wrong, why I wasn’t getting pregnant, why I kept miscarrying, etc. With my degree in WedMD in hand, I marched into my brand new reproductive endocrinologist’s office and told him that I diagnosed myself with polycystic ovarian syndrome. I expected an argument. People with PCOS are overweight. I weighed 95 pounds. He spent some time reading my records, then looked at me and said, I agree with you, but I’d like to hear why you think so.

I went through all of my symptoms. I never had a regular period from the beginning. I’d go 6 or 8 months without getting one at all. I have always had issues with what I consider excessive hair. You know…those stray hairs on your chin or the female mustache. I get them on my chin all the time, and it’s the one thing that I can remember being made fun of in high school and I will never forget that moment as long as I live. I have darker patches of skin on my under arms, and of course highly cystic ovaries.

What I didn’t have was the obesity and the insulin resistance, but this doctor focused more on my ovaries than anything else. My ovaries never completed a cycle. Instead of maturing an egg and ovulating, my body would “overcook” it and it would turn into a cyst the size of an orange, or sometimes even a grapefruit before it would painfully burst. Once we realized this, and took the control of ovulation away from my body and instead induced it with a shot, I conceived on the first try with all three babies that I have.

So why am I telling you this? The endocrinologist today said he was going to redo the thyroid tests, but that 95% of the cases, the ones that I already had done would be accurate and diagnose hypothyroidism. Just in case, he is doing the Free T3 and Free T4 to see if I’m in that 5%. He also said the previous test that I did to see if my body was producing too much cortisol was basically useless. In order for the test to be accurate, I need to take some sort of steroid at 11pm the night before the blood test, and then fast before the test. That was not done before the last one.

On a separate day, he’s testing all my male hormones, or androgens. When we discussed my hair loss, he mumbled something about male pattern baldness and I almost cried. I think because it’s along the front? I have no idea, but that was not fun to hear. I go back in 3 weeks to discuss all of this testing. I wish I could say that I felt good right now. I feel like shit. I haven’t thought about my PCOS in a very long time and he mentioned that perhaps because I’m on such a very low dose birth control, it’s not suppressing the male hormones enough. He did say there were options and things to do if any of these tests come back showing a problem. That was the one silver lining of the appointment. It wasn’t left as, “well, you just need to eat less.”

He was a very nice doctor and did seem to listen that I really am doing everything I can. I’m going to work on cutting out excess sugar. I could never cut out fruit or stuff like that, but I don’t need to have a KitKat now and then or the Ferrero Rochers that I love. I think the more I have that stuff, the more I crave it. I just hope these tests give me some answers…any answers.

The other thing that’s bothering me today (other than feeling like crap about the way I look) is that this morning, after all three of my kids missed their buses, my husband snapped that all I do is lay in bed. At 7:45 in the morning, I’m not at my best. It really helps me to sit with my heating pad and allow my body time to loosen up. And frankly, I had about ten more minutes before I had to get into the shower and be at the gym. He can drive the girls to school. Who drives them to dance, football, and picks them up when they need to stay after school? Who runs to the store when they need more pencils or a dumbass poster board that they tell me about the night before a project is do? ME! So yes, you can get off your ass and drive them to school…so he did. Did I feel guilty? Nope! Not in the least. I stayed in bed for 5 more minutes then got in the shower.

So that’s my endocrinology update. It’s a different direction than I thought we were going. I don’t know if it’s a direction at all. I’m just feeling a little lost at the moment. Hoping to regroup by tomorrow. I’ll really somehow and study up on PCOS again.