Thursday, May 29, 2014
Thyroid Battery Part 4 - A Day at the Endocrinologist Office
In the tail-end of January going into February, 2013, my mom fell very ill for the first time. This started her own bout with colon cancer. My mom is of the stubborn kind. Suddenly, my battle seemed irrelevant. It was a dire, kidneys-shutting-down kind of event that left her on her back until spring. I gulped down every supplement I knew of to keep me "on-line" to keep her going. (Surprisingly, it worked fairly well. But the heart palps and exhaustion were just reduced to mild episodes that I usually could get through by heavy breathing and sleep. There still was something wrong, as my husband started grumbling, "You shed more than the dog!!!" Oh well. Get over it, Big Boy.)
Mom got back on her feet in late spring of 2013. (That is another ordeal I will be sharing in "Chardash".) I took the reprieve as a signal to get myself checked. I re-scheduled my Echocardiogram with the Heart people, but went to see Lifeline Screening, first. I did not like all the bull-shit bills I was getting for all the heart tests that were run previously, that were "inconclusive". Lifeline did me good before. I was giving them another whirl. And...voila. They did it again.
Three weeks later my Lifeline results came in. My vascular pathways were clear. As an "incidental finding", they found a 4 mm growth in my remaining stub of a thyroid. Hmmm. The previous radiologist I was sent to by the doc handling my case said it was clear and normal. Interesting. I presented this to the handling physician. She still insisted to follow-up with the echo, and shrugged her shoulders at the rest. Awesome.
See, you can't just NOT do what a tending physician says to do in the big world of health insurance. Second opinions are one thing. The down-side of second opinions, however, is that you are basically starting from scratch...which means MORE money, and MORE tests. A health-insurance paying citizen in America today cannot completly REFUSE testing and treatment by your own discretion. IF something comes up that is related to what you have already established a paper trail for, it is considered "Negligence" on your part for not jumping through all the medical "hoops" placed before you by a tending physician. Not "fair"; not "right"; but this is the "new" regime of health-care in America. So I went to the Echo.
Not surprisingly, they found my heart to be doing an acrobatic act called "PVC's", or Premature Ventricular Contractions. At least I got to see the thing in action. Basically what happens is the bottom part of the heart beats out of time with the top part of the heart. The reasons for this include, but are not limited to, CHEMICAL IMBALANCES IN THE BODY. Go figure.
The top part of the heart is "boss". If the bottom loses time, it is FORCED to beat again to keep time with the whole unit. (People that have trouble with the top part of their hearts are considered high risk for other complications because the whole chain gets thrown off when it mis-fires, hence the term A-fib.)
When the bottom part starts having timing issues, it is not considered "medically relevant" and normally, "just a nuisance or annoyance" to many within the western medical community. (This might change if we could give them all chronic PVC's for extended periods of time. Maybe then, they might see it's not just a "nuisance". I feel that way about a lot of doctors, these days. If you cannot feel, you cannot treat. But that's just me.)
In the follow-up with the cardiologist, she prescribed Metoprolol to help "ease the symptoms of PVC's" until I could get to the bottom of the cause with my "other health providers". Took it for two weeks as prescribed. Not only did the PVC's not stop, I found myself feeling randomly disoriented and nauseated. The last time was when I was driving to work. That was the last time I took Metoprolol. I later found out this drug was recalled TWO times for reasons "not disclosed".
More to come.