Wednesday, November 14, 2012
I'm venting this morning so this may be long.
It's tough when doctors ignore you. Or they write you off as a hypochondriac, or just tell you that it's part of getting older when you know how you feel. You can't help it if your symptoms are diffuse or intermittent.
For some time now I've had intense pressure in my upper abdomen. I knew I had fibroid tumors in my uterus and felt like one had grown. I'm out of breath constantly, I feel pressure when I sit, and often I feel like I can't get my breath. Not shortness of breath, but inability to breathe. Not the "I've exercised too much and can't breathe" but the "I've eaten too much and there's no room and I can't breathe." Even when I haven't eaten. Over the past few months it's gotten worse and gone from intermittent to constant.
Last December I went to a gastroentologist. He ran some bloodwork but didn't see anything to warrant additional tests. He said probably it was a combination of irritable bowel (which according to him was a catch-all diagnosis when they couldn't find anything else) and monthly hormonal changes. So I lived with it. I had convinced myself it was the fibroids growing.
So I had my OB/GYN annual check-up and I told her I wanted to know the size of my uterus. Since she knew about the fibroids, she referred me to a surgeon for an evaluation. So that took a while to schedule.
The surgeon agreed I needed another ultrasound scan to follow up on the one from two years ago when they found the fibroids. That took a while to schedule. At the same time she anted to do an endometrial biopsy. I refused (because of the pain involved) , saying all I wanted to know was the size of my uterus. I broke down in her office crying. I told her I didn't care about the erratic bleeding. If my uterus was the size of a cantaloupe (which is the pressure I was feeling) I wanted it out. I'd already had my tubes tied years ago, and I'm 44. Preserving fertility isn't an issue.
She thought she could feel something in my lower stomach, so she finally heard me and suggested an abdominal CT scan. I had that last week, but the surgeon was out of town for a week so I was left in limbo. I called her office and was told by my original doctor that the scan looked normal other than the fibroids. So I was waiting until my follow-up appointment with the surgeon on Nov 19th when her office called me yesterday and said the ct scan indicated fatty liver, and I needed to see a gastroentologist. They would make a referral (not the one I saw in December).
Great. Just great. I guess I will go talk to this new doctor to see if that is causing my symptoms, but most of what I"m reading says that fatty liver is asymptomatic and one symptom is weight loss. Yeah, right. I've gained five pounds this fall, mainly because I've felt so horrible.
So the few websites I perused said there is no cure but it can be reversed with weight loss. Lovely. Like that's so easy. I've hit the mid-forties wall. I'm hoping that the doctor can suggest medication that might make me feel better and then I can get back on a fitness regimen. It's hard to work up enthusiasm about cardio when you can't get your breath sitting down.
I was in tears off and on yesterday. I'm just so frustrated. Maybe I could have caught this sooner with regular preventive blood tests. But my insurance doesn't cover that and we've been struggling financially, so I kept putting it off. Besides, the other gastro doctor's blood tests in December didn't show much.
Thank you for listening to me rant. After a rough day yesterday, I'm hoping i can keep a lid on my emotions today. Pray that I can find a path through this.
(It was long. Sorry. )