Friday, 10 December 2010

yet another boring post about my health. yawn.

Whacko, we have a diagnosis!

It seems I have Graves' disease.

It's rather tempting to retrospectively blame every malady and character flaw on this insidious condition, but at the very least it explains quite a bit about some aspects of the 'stroke' it was hard to explain with the neck injury. It is typical that this disease takes a long time to diagnose, with a wide array of apparently unrelated symptoms that not uncommonly leads to diagnosis and treatment for stress and mental health problems.

I know I have certainly felt quite mad at times with my seeming never ending (un)wellspring of things that are wrong with me.

I have most recently been aware of the inverse relationship between my exhaustion and my ability to sleep, of strange dry, itching eyes, of powerful inexplicable waves of nausea, of scattered thoughts and mangled language (technically cognitive impairment), heart palpitations and racing pulse, muscle weakness, headaches, galloping appetite, chronic sinusitis, irritability and so on.

While treatment is neither simple nor guaranteed, a definitive diagnosis is a very compelling first step and I feel hugely relieved that I am neither mad nor doomed to the perpetual life of the hypochondriac. Woot.

Though I continue my status as medical curiosity by managing to gain weight whilst suffering from an autoimmune metabolic disease known primarily for rapid and alarming weight loss. (One can only imagine what may happen when treatment slows my metabolism down!)

So I am now jumping into a whole new stream of medical specialisations, no doubt some more tests to accompany all the ones booked but not yet done for the 'stroke' and starting what promises to be a fairly gruesome regimen of drug therapy while doses and drugs are fiddled to find something that works for me. Wish me luck - I suspect I will be needing it.

In other news I am just wrapping up an extended single parenting stint, contemplating going cold sheep in the yarn buying department, rushing around in that old December ritual of killing myself to try and make sure that one special day is truly special enough.

I am also celebrating a school report for Amy which began with Amy being described as a delight to teach and goes on to comment on her enthusiasm, her readiness to help others and how she is always respectful of the contributions of others. I can't imagine her teacher writing anything else that could make me prouder of her.


trash said...

Hurrah for a diagnosis! But bugger for the need for a diagnosis.

Shall keep my fingers crossed your new and exciting stint as a regular medicine swallower will reach a settled and steady state quickly.

Also big HUZZAH for Amy's fabulous sounding report.

Frogdancer said...

That list of symptoms means that half the population could be suffering from it!! What a bugger for you. (The diagnosis... not the half the population thing..._)

You're right about the report for Amy. As a teacher, I look first at the academic results, the straight away I look at the effort and class behaviour profiles. Those 3 things tell ypu all you really need to know.

Look after yourself.

thornberry said...

Oh what a wonderful school report for Amy - exactly what every parents wants to hear!
Bugger about Graves disease. One of my best friends has it (she gained weight too, by the way, no rapid weight loss for her either). She seems to manage it all pretty well. Chronic diseases are a pain (I have one too) but it weird how quickly you incorporate its management into your life. You are an amazing woman Susie and I'm sure that you'll manage this with your usual aplomb. While being mighty annoyed about it (justifiably so).

Jodie said...

Well fuck that I say !

and an especially big huurah for Amy and her wonderfulness.

Kate said...

Bugger, but least you know what you are dealing with.
Don't make hasty decisions about yarn buying - hink it through!

Margaret @ Konstant Kaos said...

There is nothing worse than having something undiagnosed and all the doubt that goes with that. Here's to a 2011 when you can get the information to manage what you have and get back on the crafty band wagon. Take care.

Suzy said...

That is a fantastic report! She's a star.

Can't believe you're going cold sheep on the yarn, you must be really ill... but I'm glad that you might be closer to getting some answers and treatment that works. Although, as others have said, bugger that it's needed.

MildlyCrafty said...

Graves disease sounds bloody nasty, I hope the treatment works well for you and you're feeling much better soon!

Stomper Girl said...

Thyroids, eh. I know so many people having problems with them! This reminds me of how I felt 2 Christmases ago when I had a pinched nerve in my neck AND parvovirus - which gave me rheumatic arthritis- at the same time. Having two things causing havoc at the same time is very confusing.

WEll done Amy.

aracne said...

Autoimmune disease are tough to address (my daughter has vitiligo). All my wishes for the upcoming period of treatment, I hope that you do not loose faith in the possibility of getting better.
And congratulations on your daughter's success which, after all, is your success.

eeloh said...

I just looked at the symptoms too, and agree with Frogdancer... but I'm so relieved that you won't be up ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION!!

travellersyarn said...

Well having a diagnosis is good, but auto-immune disease not so much...Let's hope that treatment helps make you feel better soon.

The school report sounds lovely - well done Amy!

flowerpress said...

I'm glad to hear you have a diagnosis, it gives you somewhere to start. Not much fun though :-(
I completely click with your line about making christmas special 'enough' too, and your joy at the parts of the reports that say how thoughtful and nice your kids are. There are the bits I treasure too :-)

NessaKnits said...

So thankful you have recognition that something is wrong and a diagnosis. I have a "delight to teach" daughter as well. Very proud.

angelasavage said...

I agree with Jodie on both counts.

Evelyne said...

Hi Susie, sorry to hear that you haven't been well - I too HAD Graves disease - yes, quite a few years ago and lost weight (that was the only benefit) - my thyroid had gone haywire and I thought I was going crazy too. I was quickly diagnosed by a brilliant doctor (no longer practising) and was put on meds and blood tests every 3 months via a specialist at the Alfred - well I can't tell you when, but my TSH was normal, after a while and I didn't need the meds. I now have tests every year to test my thyroid levels and they are fine - can't explain it. I hope this will give you some hope that this may sort itself out, as it has done for me. I do hope so and that you feel much better soon. All the best - Evelyne.

merrilymerrily said...

Knowledge is almost always the better option. I just read an article about it yesterday - well, the article was on Toni Childs, but she had it. Apparently her cure involved moving to an island paradise and organic everything. Might be an option, although with you I'm guessing good broadband and regular shipments from Tessuti may have to be involved.