Thursday, March 12, 2015

Seeking A Diagnosis


This might get long...I might break it up into two posts...

It's been almost two months since my last post. Since then not much has really been accomplished.

The specialist I was seeing at the time has greatly annoyed me, and I doubt I will be seeing him ever again.

The first time I saw him he seemed honestly concerned and I really liked that about him. He ordered a fresh ultrasound and I went for that right away.

A week later I went back to discuss the results of the ultrasound. There was a 8-9 cm cyst on my right ovary. Oddly most of my pain had been on the left side. We therefore agree that the pain is most likely not a result of the cyst. He prescribes me a low estrogen hormone birth control pill. Lolo, to hopefully help shrink the cyst and make my menstruation cycles more manageable. However, he decides we should monitor the cyst for two months to see what it does and go from there.

Say what? Again I say...we agree the pain is most likely not from the cyst. So why is it we decided to do nothing at all and just monitor the cyst and pretty much halt all other tests until then? I wasn't very happy about that, but I was in pain, pretty high on pain killers, and I agreed and left the office.


I went back a week later and begged for something more. The pain wasn't getting any better, in fact it was worse. The Naproxen wasn't doing anything at all and I couldn't function at work on Tylenol 3s and Percocets. He decides I should now take Toradol and take it 3 times a day whether I am in pain or not to keep it in my system. He then sends me for a CA 125 blood test. As I am leaving he tells me if the pain is still bad or anything else comes up I can call him and come back any time.

A few days later I am still in agony and things are worse. I am pretty sure I am having a bad reaction to the Toradol. I call his office to speak to him and find out my CA 125 came back and it was clear. Well this is fabulous news at least! Then I go on to say I am still in pain and that things are worse. He tells me that there is nothing else he can do for me until the second ultrasound is done. I am floored. This is very different from how I expected him to respond. I tell him I am having issues with breathing and cheat pains, most likely from the pain killers HE PRESCRIBE ME and he then tells me it's not his issue and I should call my family doctor. I am flabbergasted. I call my family doctor and she tells me to come in.

The family doctor immediately takes me off the Toradol (thank goodness) and gives me a prescription for Tylenol 3. I ask about any kind of middle pain killer that works but still allows me to function at work, but she can't think of any. We agree that specialist #1 as I now refer to him as is not a good fit for me and she personally refers me to her specialist of choice, a woman who works in the same building. I am relieved. I prefer a female anyhow.

The next day I get a call from specialist #2. She can see me the middle of May.

MAY??? That's almost 3 months away at this point! Are you kidding me? I politely ask to be placed on a cancellation list, hang up, and ball my eyes out.

The next day I am talking to a client of mine and she tells me about her specialist and how much she loves her. She speaks to her on my behalf and the specialist gives my client the name of a walk in clinic who has a doctor on staff that will refer me directly to her. I can't believe my good luck. I visit the walk in clinic the next day and just as easy as that he gives me the referral. I fax it to the specialist and she calls me the next day to book an appointment with her the very next week! Hold crap I cannot believe my luck!

The day of my appointment I am nervous and trying not to get my hopes up. The wait is long. I am sitting in the waiting room more than an hour past my scheduled appointment time. I am disappointed. Specialist #3 finally comes into the room and immediately apologizes for the delay but says she wanted to make sure she read my entire file history before she talked with me, and it was a large file. I am too shocked to say anything. I can't believe she took the time to be honest. Specialist #1 was actually reading every report for the first time as he sat in front of me, and was obviously very disorganized. She immediately takes me off some more medications she doesn't feel I need, and might actually be doing more damage then good (metformin) but also wants me to stop taking the harder pain killers and swap to stacking over the counter Advil and Tylenol. We talk about the possibilities of endometriosis and the treatment for this (more on this in my next post). She immediately tells me she is going to schedule me for a pelvic MRI (FINALLY!!!) and review my new ultrasound reports when they come in (I had just had the new updated one done that morning for Specialist #1). I will be going back next week to review the results of the ultrasound to see if (a) the cyst shrank and (b) if anything new is presenting itself. She also wants me to have a PAP because I have been so worried about abnormal pain etc. for so long that I haven't taken care of the "normal" procedures for quite some time.

Hopefully I will have some more news after next week's appointment. I also have another related post about the whole endometriosis and treatment subject.

So far, so (mostly) fabulous with specialist #3!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Health Regression

The past few months have been Hell...

I am the heaviest I have ever been, I am not sleeping, I am in constant pain and discomfort, I am basically being held in a wait and see pattern while the doctors keep me as numb as I can possibly be and still function at work at the same time...

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired...

Let's back up and start with a bit of history:

Ever since I was very young I always had very long, heavy and painful menstrual cycles. I didn't realize for a very long time that this was normal. Often I would stay home from school or work for 1-2 days when the really bad days hit me. I was prescribed birth control pills to help control my cycles.

I moved out on my own when I was 16 and started smoking. I quit taking the pill because I was advised not to continue taking them if I smoked.

I had my son with my first husband when I was 21. My cycles became even worse, so I went on Depo Provera (birth control injection shots) as I couldn't go back on the birth control pill because I was still smoking at that time.

During my second marriage we decided to try and have a child together. I went off the injections and nothing happened (no menstrual cycle). I was prescribed hormone pills to help re-start everything. They made me miserable, and I made everyone else around me miserable as well. After a few more months my cycles returned, but I was never able to have any more children. I began to discover then that my menstrual cycle troubles were a sign that things were not really all that well in the hormone and fertility department. The second marriage ended shortly after.

In 2010 my menstrual cycles were out of control. I was missing multiple days of work almost every month due to the extreme amounts of pain and bleeding. After multiple doctor visits and hospital emergencies a cyst was found that was causing the pain due to a twisted stalk. A laparoscopy was performed and the cyst was removed. It took me almost 2 weeks to recover from that surgery. I thought that was the end of that.

Less than six months later the pain returned and this time multiple cysts and fibroids were discovered and I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). One of the fibroids was quite large and I agreed to have a myomectomy performed to remove the large fibroid and anything else they could during the surgery. Over eight pounds of cysts and fibroids were removed from that particular surgery. It took two months to recover from that surgery. I was hoping that would finally be the end.

My common law husband and I changed out diet and eating habits and researched what we could find out about PCOS. Things seemed pretty good for a while, although eventually the cycles went back to their normal (for me) horrid self.

Starting in September of 2014 I could take it any more. The pain was horrible again, I was missing too much work again, and I was at the end of my rope. I was given ultrasounds, pain killers, iron supplements, medication to slow down the bleeding, everything. But everything was all wait and see. I requested a specialist but was told I didn't need one.

Finally, in December, after going to the hospital on three separate occasions, the hospital emergency doctor referred me to a specialist that works out of the hospital.

I really like my specialist. The first ultrasound we did showed a large, almost 9 cm cyst in my right ovary. As most cysts tend to resolve themselves in 1-2 months, he decided to wait 2 months and get new images done and decide at that point what steps to take next. I am still on a wait and see regiment, but at least I feel like there is some information and some movement. My specialist also requested a CA 125 blood test (which was not covered by OHIP) so I am just waiting for those results back right now as well. I have been prescribed low dosage birth control (Lolo) to help prevent new cysts from forming as well as to (hopefully) regulate my cycle. I take Metformin to help control blood sugar levels and weight gain, and I now also have to take Toradol three scheduled times a day to keep the pain at bay.

I have little to no motivation. I am not really doing any courses lately, I am trying to stay on task at my full time job, trying to build a business of my own on the side, and mostly just chilling out in my comfy home office chair with a hot water bottle, some Netflix and some knitting.

Fun right?

Well that ran a little longer then intended....

Basically my thought was to revive this blog to help track all my symptoms, tests, results, etc. for medical purposes and also to provide the information for anyone else out there is having similar issues so you know you are not alone and maybe we can share what is/is not working for you/me.

I started tracking my symptoms on January 10th, 2015 as follows:

Saturday, January 10th, 2015
  • lower back pain
  • lower left pelvic pain
  • nausea
  • no appetite, full easily
  • headache
  • having to urinate frequently, but not a lot each time
  • constipated
  • Extra medications today: Naproxen for afternoon pain, Docusate for constipation, Gravol for nausea, Percocet for increased evening pain and to sleep.
Sunday, January 11th, 2015
  • little to no sleep the previous night
  • diarrhea
  • upper and lower gas
  • pelvic pain
  • lack of appetite
  • no energy
  • passed out in the middle of the day for about 4 hours
  • Extra medications today: Tylenol 3 for pain (barely numbed it)
Monday, January 12th, 2015
  • lower left pelvic pain
  • nausea
  • extreme bloating and pressure
  • Extra medications today: n/a
Tuesday, January 13th, 2015
  • little to no sleep the previous night
  • having to urinate frequently, but not a lot each time
  • heartburn
  • weak and shaky
  • right leg glitches
  • extreme bloating and pressure
  • upper and lower gas
  • dizzy
  • heaviness of chest
  • short walk to the bank almost made me pass out
  • Extra medications today: n/a
Wednesday, January 14th, 2015
  • little to no sleep the previous night
  • had to get up to urinate in the middle of the night
  • bad tasting and burning upper gas
  • bad smelling and burning lower gas
  • constant tummy rumbling
  • sharp pains in the lower left pelvic area
  • extreme nausea
  • lower back pain
  • Extra medications today: n/a
Thursday, January 15th, 2015
  • little to no sleep the previous night
  • running on empty
  • extreme nausea
  • extreme heartburn
  • lower back pain
  • stomach pain (above the belly button)
  • lower right pelvic pain
  • Extra medications today: Gravol for nausea and sleep
Friday, January 16th, 2015 (as at 1:00 pm EST)
  • almost no sleep previous night, maybe 2 hours
  • exhausted
  • nausea
  • heartburn

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Ultimate Guide To Eating Paleo

I found this image regarding paleo eating today and wanted to share it with my readers.

Enjoy!

The Ultimate Guide to Eating Paleo
Get health and fitness tips at Greatist.com

Monday, May 6, 2013

30 Day Paleo Transformation

So today is the day I have been waiting for.

I have felt myself getting sicker and sicker, letting the PCOS take over my body, eating crap and treating it poorly  and not eve really caring.

Part of it was due to a very busy tax season this year. I was giver more work than I am typically given (which I loved by the way) and therefore had to work longer hours most days, which also led to me driving to and from work everyday.

I survived primarily on coffee, fast food and munchies.

It wasn't good...

By the end of April I was begging for a change. I felt horrible, I had no energy, and all the previous weight loss I had achieved was now gone...

My husband and I agree it was time for a reset, a 30 day transformation process, similar to the one Robb Wolf created, where we clean out the body and start from scratch again. We had done this before and it has worked very well.

The first week is the killer...

Sunday we woke up, bought our last cups of coffee (at least for 30 days) weighed ourselves, took some measurements, and made a food plan and shopping list.

I knew my biggest challenges were going to be breakfasts and lunches. I can get pretty lazy and not want to make anything the night before or morning of, so I specifically looked for things I could make in advance and just take with me.

After our shopping trip I set about preparing as much for the week ahead of time as I could.

Strawberries and Blueberries

Egg Muffins

Breakfast, Day 1

My sister (who lives in my basement currently) was a huge help. I also prepared some tuna salad for lunch which my sister chopped up some cucumber and bell peppers for snacking.

Lunch, Day 1

So let's do this thing! Let's eat healthy! Let's feel healthy! Let's BE healthy!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stepping Back and Catching Up


For those who don't know me well let me tell you a little about myself.

I am a woman in my mid thirties who has the following going on in her life:

  1. Mother of a teenage boy diagnosed with ADHD, OCD and recently, ASD (Asperger's). He has recently been accepted into a high school autism program which I am extremely thankful for.
  2. I work full time as an Office Manager/Executive Assistant in a small Toronto accounting office. I have been here for 6 years.
  3. I am taking courses online through Athabasca University to complete my Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Accounting. I am two courses away from having the courses required for the University Accounting Certificate and once that is complete I will tackle the University Advanced Accounting Certificate.
  4. I am a student councilor for Athabasca University's Student Union. I sit on two of their committees, Finance and Media.
  5. I have been married twice, divorced twice, and am currently in a common law relationship with a man who finally makes every day brighter. We have been together almost 7 years now, longer than either of my marriages lasted...
  6. I used to be very thin, actually I was anorexic, but thanks to my recent PCOS diagnosis, my weight fluctuates up and down constantly. I probably haven't been under 150 pounds since I hit my thirties.
  7. I love to start knitting and crocheting projects, but I rarely finish them.
  8. I love to buy and read books, but I probably buy 10 books for every 1 I read.
  9. My 20-something sister is currently living with me and also going to Athabasca University. She is doing it as a full time funded student however and working on her Bachelor of Management.
  10. We have 3 cats, 2 dogs, and a guinea pig currently sharing our home with us.
  11. I used to write, mostly horror, but I don't have much time to do that any more.
  12. I read and review mostly YA books over on another blog.
  13. I'm currently planning my first "real" vacation with my partner. I am pretty excited about this!
  14. I was accepted to be a team member for the upcoming CMA Board Case Competition in Alberta.
  15. I am sure there is more I am forgetting...but I think you get this gist of it...
So anyhow...the point of all that above rambling was just to get to the fact that I am a very busy person...it was seriously getting to the point where I wasn't sleeping or eating much anymore. It was just work work work (in some form or another).

So...I had a mini breakdown, and together with the other half decided some thing(s) had to go. Unfortunately the CMA Case was one of the first things to go. It required the most additional work at the time, and there is always the opportunity to try out for the team next year. Just letting that one thing slide out of my hands brought so much relief it wasn't even funny. I knew right away by the change in my stress levels that I had made the right decision. It still saddens me, but I know it was the right thing to do for me at this point in my life.

Since making that decision Sunday I immediately poured myself back into my studies to try to catch up to the point I should be at. I am currently enrolled in two courses, PHIL252 - Critical Thinking and ENGL305 - Literature for Children. I have to have Critical Thinking completed by the end of January. This means I have to focus focus focus!

Here is what my nights currently look like when working on Critical Thinking...


Regarding Literature for Children... I have started reading from the study guide, but not the actual novels yet...the pile of reading I will need to do is slightly intimidating...


So yeah...I better get on that...like pronto...
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