Tag: doctor

Tonsils

So you won’t believe what I am about to write.  I am sick again!  This year has seriously been the worst year.  I feel like I just can’t catch a break.  I hate to think what’s next because clearly things can always get worse!

It just seems like a cruel irony to me that in the year I’m attempting to be my healthiest and most fit my body decides to go to hell in a handbasket.

When I was 8 years old I had to go through the terrible experience of having my tonsils removed because I had endured 6 cases of strep that year alone.

IT WAS AWFUL.  I remember crying from the pain and my Dad paying me $20 to take my medicine- wonder if that would still work today? 🙂

Little did I know that they had only removed 2 of my 3 tonsils.  Did you know that every human being has 3 sets of tonsils? (I swear I should get an honorary degree with all I’ve learned about the human body this year!).

The first is the Pharyngeal Tonsil (your adenoids), Palatine tonsils (the lovely suckers we can see dangling in the mirror) and lastly the lingual tonsils (these are behind the tongue and impossible to see without a camera.

They typically don’t remove the lingual tonsils because the tongue is a highly vascular area making the surgery risky.  Well, my friends my lovely lingual tonsils are pussy, red, and highly infected.  No wonder I have had a sore throat for weeks.

Evidently the rigorous amoxicillin regiment I went on in September was only enough to pacify the bacteria not make it go away. Gives a whole new meaning to my accomplishments at Slam the Dam– my throat was still probably swollen and fighting infection and yet I finished!

Now the doctors have me on a new antibiotic and with any luck (with this year I’m not holding my breath) I should be feeling better in a couple of days.  At least hopefully I will be able to eat again without tremendous pain.  There’s a thought!

I am grateful that I found a great ear nose and throat doctor and I must admit it was pretty amazing when they stuck the scope through my nose down my throat (they had numbed my nose so it didn’t hurt).  It really looked ghastly but I am sure a regular lingual tonsil would look somewhat gross also! (Honestly, it could have been worse.  It could have been cancer or a tumor.  Thank goodness for some good news!).

It is such a comforting thing when you find a good doctor who you can trust.  I wish I could find an endocrinologist like that.  All I seem to get in that department is people who don’t care and treat me like an assembly line or like ‘another obese person looking for a quick fix’.  It’s very frustrating!

I finally stopped going to my endocrinolgist in Salt Lake.  He didn’t listen or explore alternatives but kept piling on medication after medication.  The final straw was when it took them over 2 and 1/2 months to get my A1c score back last July.  I kept calling and no response.  And this I am paying $50 a visit for!  I don’t think so.  Even if I have to drive to Bountiful or even Logan, I have got to find someone I can trust that will listen.

Anyway, back to my lovely tonsils.  I actually don’t feel that bad. I was feverish on Sunday and had a temperature of 101 but since then I have felt alert and normal.  The only problem is that my throat is on fire.   This has made eating difficult and I have been forced to eat some sugar but am trying to keep it down.  I want to eat cold things so bad.  For instance, nothing tastes better than a slurpee.  I know it is so bad for me so I’ve tried to keep it to a minimum.

Its a real bummer getting tonsillitis this week because I have so much to do with the start of Poler and my other end of month responsibilities.  Luckily my employer is wonderful and flexible.  I am so grateful for my job in moments like these!

Please say a prayer for me that the antibiotic will work and that all will go well.

Thanks for all your love, support and for putting up with all of my moaning and groaning.  It has been a hard time for me!

Strabismus Surgery

So the long strange story of my health continued today with a visit to a ophthalmologist (eye specialist).  As most of my friends know for years I have struggled with a lazy eye (the doctor said I’ve had it since I was born).   It’s a little hard to explain but it has always taken effort for me to focus on things clearly.  Once I have the focus I see very well but it goes in and out.  I also have terrible depth perception making driving, tennis, baseball other activities difficult.

In addition, sometimes I see double.  Since this is the way I have always seen for years I didn’t recognize it as a problem.  The only reason I became aware was about 5 years ago I went to the DMV.  As part of the eye exam they ask you to look in the box and tell them which side lights appear.  You can imagine my surprise when I didn’t see any lights!  Naturally in order to get my license I had to go to an eye doctor and get the problem looked at.  Unfortunately I went to a run of the mill eye doctor (that’s one thing I’ve learned specialists make all the difference in the world) and the idiot said ‘you have a lazy eye but glasses won’t help so there’ s nothing we can really do).

Zoom ahead to this year.  As you can imagine over the last few months I have become very aware of my body.  I have always felt there was something wrong inside me but could brush it aside as stress, fatigue, an illness ect.  However, this year was different.  I was doing everything right and still not feeling well, still feeling haggard.

About 6 months ago started noticing when singing music the words would get blurry and be difficult to read.  (the doctor says if I was a veracious reader before I should be through the roof after treatment.  He said my family may not see me for a week I will be reading so much!).  Obviously this was a concern so I went to an eye doctor near my gym.  I honestly figured they would be a high-class doctor because of the designer frames sold in the store.  With my insurance the copayment is the same so I decided to go for the exclusive looking doctor.  Unlike the lame doctor of 5 years ago this man did a number of tests including taking images of my eyes.  He agreed that I had a lazy eye and that glasses would not help. However, he did not agree nothing else could be done.

So this brings us to today.  On the advice of my doctor I went to the specialist, Dr. Petersen at the Rocky Mountain Eye Care Associates in Salt Lake.  After a number of tests he said I have intermittent exotropia or in other words, my eyes are not aligned correctly.  This causes problems with double vision, head aches, fatigue, and other problems.

To solve the problem he is recommending I have a strabismus surgery where they actually loosen and reposition the muscles in my eyes to make them align correctly.   While we have not scheduled the surgery yet it looks like it will be sometime in May.  The doctor said the recovery can take up to a week and he recommends I work from home, which is no problem for me!  (Can I say too many times how grateful I am for my job?)

The doctor said post-surgery I should experience a noticeable difference in my depth perception, head aches, fatigue and energy level in general.  Between the new energy from this and the diabetes shots I should have super powers!  I’m excited! (A little scared but excited too!).

the muscles in my eye(s) will be changed so the eyes align and see correctly

Well, I still have a lot to learn but hopefully I’ve explained this in a way that makes some sense.  This has been such a crazy, difficult journey but I am so grateful to be finally figuring these problems out.  I feel like a detective who has found the key clues to the big case- a case of why can’t Rachel lose weight and why is she always so tired?

Who knew the road to health was fraught with such peril!  Thanks for all of your current and continuing support.  Please keep the prayers coming. Love you!

Be Your Own Doctor

Today I received a reminder of a lesson I have learned many times- to always know my body and demand the treatment it deserves.

Obviously I have never been to medical school; however, my hunch is the training most doctors receive is to help them treat the widest swath of patients they might come into contact with.  In other words, they learn what symptoms to expect and what treatments to give for the majority of people.

Unfortunately my body does not behave like the majority.  If there is something weird, unusual or bizarre you can bet I will wind up with it.  I can’t just have a normal condition it is always some strange variation.

Case in point- my recent chest pain.  For over a month my chest has been achy and sore.  I haven’t felt great but not obviously sick (no cough or fever ect).  Obviously I knew something was wrong but I went to my endocrinologist and he said it was costocondritis which is a fancy way for saying a virus in the chest muscles.  He said ‘take ib profin and it should go away in two weeks.  A month later the pain is still there making breathing, exercising, sneezing, and most other things difficult.

Finally on Monday I had a meltdown (as I am sure some of you could tell from my last post) and went to my regular doctor to see if he could do anything.  He felt the painful area, examined me and then said, ‘Well, I’m stumped’.  I must admit I was very frustrated and upset (and even had an ill advised calorie binge- one slip up in 3 months- oh well! )

In desperation I turned to the internet and looked up ‘chest pain’ and found an article on web MD about how kidney problems can cause chest pain.  This alarmed me because some of the medicine I take can give a side effect of kidney problems.  I immediately called my doctor and told him I would like to test for kidney problems.  He said it was ‘a long shot’ but if I wanted it done, he would do it.

On Tuesday I went in and got the blood work done and today I got the results.  Fortunately my kidney looks fine although my serem creatinine is a bit low, which I am looking into.

However, the interesting result is that my white blood count was high and that means- da du da- I have an infection.  This diagnosis makes me  a little crazy because I asked my endocrinologist at least three times if I should have an antibiotic and he refused.   I know over-prescription of antibiotics is a problem but clearly in this case I could have saved a lot of pain for over a month if my doctor had listened to me, done this test earlier, and gotten me on an antibiotic much sooner. Not too mention I’ve had an infection growing inside my chest for over a month- that can’t be good!  I’m just glad I will start on them today so the pain will be lessened and I can get back to my regular routine.

Anyway, it was a reminder to me that nobody knows my body better than me.  I need to be confident in my symptoms and demand the tests/treatments I feel I need- even if the doctor thinks it is a ‘long shot’.  It also reminds me that I am the one responsible for my health and even with all their education, doctors today will not be enough for my freakish body to get healthy.

I have also re-learned to ignore what a doctor may describe as ‘normal’.  What matters to me is how I feel.  For instance, I don’t care if 79-90 is considered a normal blood sugar reading.  I know when I have such a low number I feel terrible.  I also never get fevers (even when I had my appendix out didn’t get above 100), and yet I know I have had fevers because I feel the fever even if the thermometer shows a ‘normal’ reading.

All that matters is how I feel and so I will continue to be a stubborn patient insisting upon ‘long shot’ tests and treatments.  The doctor’s should just be glad I don’t have kids because I can tell you I will be much more stubborn when it comes to their health! You can count on that!