Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Good News and Bad News from Doogie Howser

Have you ever had a doctor tell you that you are healthy and you became instantly depressed? No? Only me? Great...

I've been battling with a few things for, well looking back, a few years now. It came to a head about 8 months ago when I gained an ass load of weight in a short amount of time, and when I got up every morning to exercise, counted calories and watched what I ate, I just gained more weight (and no, did not convert fat to muscle, I just got fatter). That's when I began doing some research, and there was one thing that tied my older symptoms with my newer symptom... Hypothyroidism. Coincidentally enough, I have a family history of hypothyroidism as well. Sweet, now just to get to a doctor and get it diagnosed, get put on some meds for it, and get back to living life.

For a quick health lesson, the thyroid is the gland in the throat that regulates your metabolism. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is not working as it should, and is under-producing the thyroid hormones, pretty much halting your metabolism all together.

Of the symptoms (early, late, and uncommon) of hypothyroidism (I'm not going to go into extremely personal details here, read the wikipedia article above to get a gist, please), I show about 15-20 of them. Now, some of them go back years, and were diagnosed as something else when they came up, but here's one diagnosis that covers them all... sounds too good to be true, right?

Apparently, it is.

I went to the doctor last week to have my thyroid levels checked and to put my mind to rest with a diagnosis of hypothyroidism. There was an extremely headache-laden visit to the doctor which yielded no doctor's visit (I was 6 minutes late for my appointment, so they made me reschedule, even though they were running 20-30 minutes late themselves) but they put in the lab work so the results would be in for this week's rescheduled visit. I had my blood drawn, went home, and started the waiting game.

I went to the doctor yesterday to find out my results, which I just knew were positive, get my prescription, and start on my road to regaining my health. Most of all, I would finally have answers to some of my most burning health questions, and all would make sense again in my little world.

Then Doogie Howser walked into my exam room. Seriously, this kid couldn't have been more than 24,
scrawny, glasses, and kind of cowered when he walked in and saw a woman sitting there.

Before I continue, have I ever mentioned that I hate doctors? Well, I do. There's many reasons why, but the main one is they talk down to you. They have the medical degree, you don't, so therefore you know nothing about your own health. I hate that crap with a passion.

Continuing on. Doogie Howser wasn't even a doctor; he was a physician's assistant, which I knew prior to scheduling my appointment. I've never had problems with physician's assistants or nurse practitioners before. Doogie Howser, however, changed my mind.

He started out with, 'So, why do you think you have thyroid problems?' I begin listing off the symptoms I have and explained my family history. 'What made you think you have it all of a sudden now?' I told him about the weight gain. It happened in 2 stages, 10 pounds the first time, 15 pounds the second time, and when I've tried to lose it, I have been unable to do so.

'Well, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is, your thyroid is normal. The bad news is, there's no medical reason that I can see for your weight gain.'

The words echoed in my ears for a minute. I have to admit, I was honestly in shock. Everything made sense in my head, all of the signs were there, he couldn't possibly have just said that my test results were normal. Judge me all you want, but tears began welling up in my eyes. It wasn't just the frustration with the weight gain and inability to lose it. It was the fact that lying in front of me was the reason for 15-20 of my weird ass health symptoms, that I never thought were connected, but suddenly they were. And here was Doogie Howser telling me that there was no easy answer.

While in shock, Doogie decided to just add a few more nails to my emotional coffin.

'I can give you a referral to some weight reduction classes they give over at the health and wellness center, and you can meet with a dietician if you'd like. Maybe there's something about your weight loss attempts that you aren't quite grasping.'

He handed me a bright orange piece of paper. Still in somewhat of a shock, I took the paper. I looked up at him, and he could see the tears in my eyes.

'I understand that it seemed to you that you had hypothyroidism. Do you think there could be any other reason for your weight gain?'

I just sat there and stared at him. Then he said something that should never be said to a woman, period, doctor or no doctor.

'Well, you know, you are 31 now. Do you think it could just be that your metabolism is catching up with you?'

Did Doogie Howser just call me old? Seriously? I'm 31, not 71. Yes, I understand things start slowing down at 30, but after handing me a slip of paper to go to fat classes at the health center, telling a woman she's old isn't the best follow up.

He handed me my test result levels, I asked a few more questions, and then I'd had enough of Doogie and his doctoring. Doctors are stupid and I hate them even more now. (How mature of me to say, right?)

So now I'm back to square one. I feel like something is wrong with me, I really do, but according to Doogie, I'm healthy. And, I'm getting fatter by the day with no medical reason why. While a few months ago I posted about embracing my new curves, I'm now extremely frustrated and on the verge of depressed (I was 2 sizes smaller when I wrote that post). And I'm back to being lost about what to do. Eat healthy- I know. Exercise- yes, I know that, too. But I'm torn between accepting my diagnosis of 'healthy' and pushing to have more tests done to figure out if something really is wrong.

I never thought in a million years that receiving a diagnosis of 'healthy' would upset me so much. What is wrong with me to not be happy with the words 'Your results are negative'? I should be jumping for joy that I don't have to take a synthetic thyroid med for the rest of my life, that my body is not falling apart, that I am still in control of myself. Instead, I curled up on the couch when I got home and went to sleep. I'm not sure where my motivation went, but I seemed to have lost it somewhere. I've always been the type to rise to a challenge, to do the unthinkable, to make things happen. This diagnosis of 'healthy' should have been a call for me to wake up, take control of my weight again, and make it my bitch. Instead, it frustrated the hell out of me and I don't want to move off of the couch. I'm just going to take it day by day. I have no choice but to do so.

And I'm calling to have Doogie Howser replaced as my doctor. If I'm going to be told I'm fat and old, it's not going to be by a pimply faced 20 year old. He can kiss my old fat ass.

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  1. So.... I hate doctors for the same reason. BUT don't discount hypothyroidism just yet. If they just did a TSH level test, and didn't do the full panel, you may have gotten a false result. It's pretty common. The TSH test is almost useless. The best indicator is symptoms. So, get the full panel run. If your doctor absolutely refuses to do it, there is a company that will do it for $115. I can get you the information for that. I can also send you a bunch of articles about thyroid for you to take to your doctors. Just let me know.

    1. Articles... yes, please! Send everything you can. I'm going to request a new doctor and get a physical done to get my foot in the door again. All the help I can get is greatly appreciated.

  2. Keep at it, get a second and even third opinion. Thyroid diseases are often misdiagnosed. I'd even ask if they could do an ultrasound of your thyroid, just to check for oddities (I had thyroid cancer and had my thyroid removed). Good luck~!

    1. Thanks! Sorry to hear about your thyroid cancer.

  3. ::Sighs loudly:: Tricare!!

    I agree with the previous responders - get at least a second opinion and also go and talk to your ob/gyn and have her/him test your hormone levels. If they are out of whack, that can cause sudden weight gain as well as well. So if you are on hormonal birth control, that might be part of the issue.

  4. Keep up the good fight. You are amazing!!!

    1. Thanks! That put a huge smile on my face this morning. =)

  5. I agree with getting the second opinion. I have hypothyroidism and everything you are mentioning are the same symtoms I had. I'd try seeing an endocrinologist and have them run the full deal on ya. Good luck girl! Praying for ya!

    1. Thanks! I'll figure out how to get my foot back in the door, lol.

  6. I too agree with getting a full panel test done. I went through some similar testing situations last year with my daughter and I learned quickly about how there are so many false test reads for many types of tests that are ran. Thyroid tests are one of them.

    Good luck.