Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's Up, Doc?

For those of you who don't know me, I'll let you in on a little secret: I absolutely HATE going to the doctor. I usually find any reason to cancel appointments or to avoid going in unless I'm experiencing something reallllly bad. Part of my dislike for them is that they like to draw blood, and when they draw blood, I usually pass out. Not exactly my idea of a fun time. You may or may not remember, but back in January, I wrote an entry about going to urgent care because of my lymph nodes. The doctor told me to come back in a month if I was still experiencing issues. Because of what I just mentioned above, I didn't go back in, even though my glands have still been giving me some problems. Since that time, I have also developed a multitude of other random symptoms, so just recently, I made the decision to get into a doctor down here and figure out what's up. Sometimes you just know when your body doesn't feel right, and I was at that point. As usual, I didn't want to make the appointment, primarily because I have the tendency to think in worst case scenarios. I go through this weird back and forth. I want to go to the doctor to figure out what's wrong, but I'm afraid that something will be really bad, so then I don't want to go in because I'm afraid of what they tell me. Irrational? Maybe. But it makes sense to me! ;) Anyway, since mom and dad have been a bit worried about me, they came down on Sunday afternoon, and then mom came with me to my appointment yesterday. As I expected (and feared), my new doctor - he was awesome, by the way - ordered some blood tests. You would've probably shit yourself if you saw all the things they tested. A few of those things included: blood sugar, sodium, potassium, kidneys, liver, thyroid, urine, HIV, Vitamins D and B12, in addition to a host of other things. Kinda crazy how much they can do with such a "small" sample of blood. You'll be happy to know that I didn't pass out, due in part to the fact that my crazy little nurse was cracking jokes about how she'd post videos of it on YouTube if I passed out. Gotta admire her sense of humor. Anyway, got a call bright and early this morning regarding most of my lab results. At that point, everything that was ready came back extremely normal. A relief? Absolutely. But it's also frustrating at times because obviously there's something causing all the symptoms. Then, this afternoon, I got another call, but no one left a message. I decided to call back, trying not to freak out. When I got in touch with someone, they told me that my Vitamin D test came back, and at this point, that appears to be the little culprit! I don't understand much about it, but the woman told me that the "normal" count is between 30-100 (I don't know exactly what they're counting), with 3o obviously being on the low end and 100 being on the high end. According to the research I've done, levels below 30 generally raise cause for concern. Well, whatever it is they're measuring, my count was only 8.2. WHOA! There are varying levels of Vitamin D, and based on how low mine is, I am currently considered Vitamin D deficient (as opposed to having levels that are insufficient, optimal, or high). In other words, being deficient is pretty much the worst option because there are more proven effects from having too little of it than "too much." So for now, they're giving me a prescription for Vitamin D. It's 50,000 units (I don't know what that means), there are 32 pills, and I will take them twice a week. That means I'll be taking these bad boys for 4 months! Beyond that, I'm just supposed to continue taking over-the-counter supplements. In addition, she recommended that I go out and get some sunlight because that increases Vitamin D levels too. Not too often that this pasty little white girl is told she SHOULD go out in the sun. ;) Anyway, the nurse said that hopefully this will help alleviate some of my symptoms (primarily the extreme fatigue which has been killlllling me lately), so I hope she's right! If things don't improve in the next couple weeks, she said they'd be more than happy to get me back in for more testing. I just hope this is "all" it is right now, considering they were also concerned about much more serious things like diabetes, thyroid issues, etc. Keep your fingers crossed that the rest of the tests come back normal, and I'll do my best to keep you up to speed as it all progresses!

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