Tag: pain

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!

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Not As Easy as 1,2,3

“You know the drill when it comes to losing weight — take in fewer calories, burn more calories…”  (Reader’s Digest).

If only it were that easy for me.

For the last year I have sacrificed most of my free time and nearly all of my thinking time to the task of losing weight and getting in shape.  To this date I have gone from 313 to 262 equaling a total of 51 lbs lost or 2 dress sizes.  I am very proud of all I have accomplished especially because I can wholeheartedly say I did everything in my power to lose.

That said, there has been no end to the struggles that have accompanied each and every lost pound.  People act like all you have to do is ‘get up off the couch, work out, and stop stuffing your face.’  What they don’t mention is you might deal with a PCOS diagnosis, an extremely limiting low GI diet, scores of doctor’s visits, hours of time working out, appointments with my trainer, 7-9 medications I take each day, and the near constant aches and pains that exercising and weight lifting cause.  I must admit if I had known it would be this hard I probably would not have embarked on the journey.

Maybe for some people it is as simple as Reader’s Digest suggests but not me.  Today put the cherry on top of the sunday I can no longer eat when the doctor told me he was ‘stumped’ by my recent chest pain(his words- ‘I’m stumped’).  For about two months my ribcage and chest muscles have been achy and tender to the touch.  It hurts to breath deeply, cough, sneeze, or yawn.

I have several theories of what is causing this problem including an after-effect of my fall or perhaps fibermyalgia or a kidney problem? (I love that I am the one that has to research these theories and ask these questions while my doctor just says ‘I’m stumped!’)

As you can imagine this pain has made exercising difficult both because of the pain but also because of the restrictions in air movement.  In addition, I have had periodic heart palpitations and massive head aches.

My whole body feels haggard and sore all the time and nothing I do but place heat or massage seems to help.  How can I do that all the time? I have to work to pay for all these medical expenses!  (Btw, if one more person asks me ‘Don’t you feel great now that you are exercising?’ I think I will scream.  No, I do not feel great.  I feel awful most of the time. It is the price to pay.)

Despite the challenges I have pushed forward and last week did 5 workouts.  By the end of the week, I was exhausted, sore, tired and a little grumpy.  (I guess that made it a good time for General Conference!).  It’s just frustrating because I feel like no matter how hard I try my body keeps fighting back.

Why does it have to be so hard?  Why can’t I catch a break? I have been so good, nearly perfect, with my diet and have made every sacrifice asked of me and yet still optimum health is an illusion.  Will it ever come?

Sorry if this post is a downer.  I’m just in pain and don’t know what to do to make it better.  If anyone has heard of this type of problem before or has suggestions for part of my fitness plan I am eager to hear from you.  Thank you for all your support and I still have hope that somehow I will conquer this behemoth of a trial in my life.  I know the Lord will help me and that I will be an eventual success.  I won’t give up no matter what is thrown my way! I’ve come too far and sacrificed too much! Please pray for me, my friends.

The Big Fall

As most of you know by now I had an accident yesterday.  I was carrying my Christmas ornaments down the stairs at the Sammy house when I went too fast and fell head-first down the stairs.  What made the accident especially bad was I couldn’t catch myself because I was carrying the ornaments.  This caused me to fly and ram my head into the wall with a lot of force. It was a sad site- me at the bottom of the stairs laying like a lump in terrible pain.  Being all alone at the house I called everyone with no luck at first.  Fortunately an interested tenant was coming to look at the house a few minutes after the fall.  I texted him to come inside and explained my situation.  The man’s name was Mark, and he was very kind to me. (I joked that this was not my usual sales pitch!)  He got me ice and made sure an ambulance wasn’t necessary.

Eventually I reached my aunt Carol, and my uncle Jon came to my rescue.  My Dad was also a consoling voice over the phone and Bruce Grist came over to make sure I was ok.  Jon took me to the doctor’s and they did some x-rays (oh that was painful!). To my surprise and relief there were no broken or fractured bones- just muscle spasms, tares and bruises.  Before I left the doctors they gave me a shot for the pain and some meds to help later on.  It was a great experience at the doctors.  I went to an urgent care in American Fork, and they were very thorough and thoughtful.  The doctor even called me at night to make sure I was ok.  Isn’t that great service?

The doctors didn’t want me to be alone so my friend Emilee came over and kept me company.  I also got a ton of calls, texts and facebook posts from friends all over the country promising to pray for me and expressing concern.  I suppose the one benefit to these types of crisis is you realize all the people who care for you.  It warmed my heart.

I was warned by the doctor that today would be more painful, and I don’t know about more, but it hasn’t reduced.  I had a rough night even with the drugs (they helped but didn’t negate the pain).  Its in kind of a weird spot on my back that makes it hard to get comfortable. I was especially annoyed when I got a call for the houses at 6:25 am!  Are you kidding me? Think about the clock people! I didn’t answer it of course but it still woke me up.  I told my Dad I just couldn’t deal with work today. Thankfully he was understanding.

I’d like to thank everyone who helped- particularly my Uncle Jon for taking me to the doctors,  Bruce and Tracy Grist for bringing my car down and moving the rest of my Christmas stuff (I told them I wouldn’t be in the mood to do that for some time), Dr. Newman at the Insta-care, Bishop Hyland for arranging a blessing and getting my prescriptions, my Dad for his ability to calm me down when I was in shock, Emilee Russell for coming to sit with me yesterday and Mark Ursick for his kind initial response.  Thanks also for all the love showered upon me.  With no broken bones I am hoping to heal quickly and am following all the doctors orders so I can be back on my feet soon. I am not going to let this put a damper on my fitness quest.  It is simply a bump (or fall!) along the way.  Thanks also for your prayers on my behalf.  Keep them coming!

this whole drawing should be red with pain!