Saturday, April 29, 2006 hardly ever heard...

OK -- here goes some downright honesty -- I'm scared.

Lately, meaning the last six months, I've been having some health problems -- muscle pains that have no real explanation and that don't seem to go away. I had a spinal x-ray taken, showing a bone spur at the 6th cervical vertebra, which is the one that is where the shoulders and neck connect, and also showing arthritis there. I was given a muscle relaxer and anti-inflammatory/pain med, but they didn't help. Physical therapy was ordered, and though it does some good, it doesn't cover it all. The pain is not just in my neck/shoulders -- it's in my arms, legs, hips, etc. Not joint pain, but muscle pain.

Friday I saw a new doctor -- an osteopath who is also in Internal Medicine. She agreed with me that there seemed to be more going on here than would be explained by a bone spur/arthritis in my neck. She's ordered an MRI of my lower back for Monday, as well as an echocardiogram for my Left Ventricular Hypertrophy. She also ordered a bunch of lab tests, enough that at least 6 vials of blood were drawn -- no clue what all for. She did mention the possibility of a condition called Polymyalgia Rheumatica, which rarely affects people under 50, but seems to encompass many of the problems I'm having. I also asked her if Muscular Dystrophy or Multiple Sclerosis were possible, and she said yes, they were possible, as well as some other things.

It's very difficult to deal with the uncertainty I'm dealing with at present. I've had the feeling for a while that something was wrong, but couldn't put my finger on it. I've attributed my pain(s) to being overweight, out of shape, sleeping on my arms wrong, etc. I've tried to let it just pass, to take OTC meds for it, and to see my doctor. My old doctor's office has cut their hours recently, and had a hard time following up with me, not to mention not being willing to discuss my getting off some of the many meds. The answer was, last time I asked, "not unless you lose weight".

Well, here's the deal -- with the PCOS, it's difficult, if not damned impossible, to lose weight. The new doc did put me on Metformin (Glucophage) Friday, which should definitely help with weight loss. What's sad, though, is that NOW they can treat PCOS so that girls who have it can have the hope of pregnancy and weight loss, not to mention reduction of the effects of the increased testosterone that is common with this condition. Now I'm 43, too old to safely have children anyway, and married to someone who is surgically sterilized. It sucks to be able to be treated now, but all for basically nothing. Weight loss would be cool, but I'm also married to a man who is comfortable and actually interested in women with some meat on their bones, so again, this is basically for nothing -- well, nothing other than my health. I know that won't make sense to some of you, but you'll just have to take my word for it.

So, now the wait is on, the wait for answers. My very wise friend R told me not to waste my energy on worrying and negative thoughts -- that negative thoughts tend to attract negative things, and I know she's right. She said to remember my own spirituality, which I'm trying to do. I'm glad I listen to guided meditations at night when I go to sleep -- I really need them right now.

My biggest fear is becoming or being disabled, having my body betray me and make my mind a prisoner inside a worthless body. It's bad enough that I haven't been able to work for 6 months, which has had an impact on our income, obviously, and on Hubby's sense of financial well-being. Thinking of potentially not being able to go back to work at all makes me feel bad, and makes me feel scared and worried. I don't want to burden him with another sick wife. He's been through enough.

I guess the bottom line is I must wait for the answers that will eventually come. I realize that whatever is going on with me is probably precipitated or exacerbated by the stress I've been under for much too long. This is stress, too, but I just have to wait it out. Folks, if you're the praying kind, pray for my peace. I really need all the help I can get with this for now.



neuroticillinifan said...

I am so sorry you are going through such a tough time. I will definitely hold you up in prayer though I'm not so sure God is listening much to me these days. (You'll understand this when you read my blog entry from today.)

Hang in there.

Marilyn said...

Hi everyone, you're aware of the recent news regarding Avandia and heart attack risk. But did you know it also increases the risk of bone fracture? That's according to an article by Dr. Nancy Dunne. She says improving the composition of your diet, getting more exercise and controlling chronic stress can go a long ways toward solving your insulin resistance problems. She describes how to use diet, exercise and stress management in her PCOS diet book.