Thursday, August 21, 2008

Oh My Stars and Goiters!!!


Last week I went to the doctor for a case of mastitis. They started me on amoxicillin, and I was getting better. Then, Monday morning, I woke up with a sizable lump on my throat, just above my left collarbone. It hurt. A lot. I figured it was probably a swollen gland related to my infection.

Since it continued hurting through Tuesday, I called the doctor and made an appointment for this morning. Well, as soon as the doctor saw and felt it, she told me it was NOT a swollen gland, and that she thought it was thyroiditis, but she wanted me to see an ENT .... TODAY (and she was most insistent about getting seen today - which honestly, freaked me out a little bit). They also took a full thyroid panel.

So this afternoon, she called me with the name and number of the ENT she'd made me an appointment with - who was out of my insurance network. I called the office and asked how much the visit could cost so I'd be prepared. "I'm not sure. It would depend on what he decided to do. It could be as much as $500 - $600. If he decides to do a scope - that runs $445." I told the very kind receptionist, "Thank you, but I will be locating a doctor in my plan. I don't have a spare $600 lying around" - and called my primary doctor's office to tell them.

I got squeezed into an appointment with an ENT I'd seen about 2 years ago for some very bad vertigo (that caused me to faint at church once, which made King B insist on taking me to the ER). Anyway, he sprayed some novacaine up my nose and down my throat and scoped me out.

The good news.... no growth, and no vocal cord involvement.
The bad/ok news.... the ENT explained that when thyroids aren't functioning well, are "hypo", they tend to swell, and he concurs with my PCP that I have a low thyroid issue (especially after hearing my answers to his questions "are you often cold?" {um, only like almost always unless it's really hot out}, "is your skin ever dry?" {yes}, "is any of your hair falling out?" {I've been losing small dog's worth of hair for weeks now, and even before I started shedding this badly, I was always losing quite a bit}, "are you tired a lot" {ummm, yeah}.

This is bad news because it stinks to be sick in anyway.

This is good news because after YEARS of always being freezing, having dry skin, losing tons of hair, feeling lethargic and utterly exhausted, I will finally be getting treated. I've told the doctors for years that I think there's something wrong with my thyroid. I've always gotten told that my test are within normal limits, and that my exhaustion was from being a single parent / working / having too much on my plate; my dry skin was from dehydration; the being cold and shedding hair were ignored. When I get referred to the endocrinologist, I'm going to ask for copies of all my bloodwork to show him. I wouldn't be surprised at all if those "within normal limits" tests all were on the "hypothyroid" end of normal.

Blessings to you,

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