Jan 9, 2012

Catching Up

Hello and Happy New Year!

Sorry for the hiatus, but when I'm not feeling well, I hate talking about it, even on my blog, which I created so that I could talk about it...

When you last heard from me, I was in Florida with my family. I did my best to keep up with everyone, but it was a slog. Shopping trips were cut short so I could get back to the condo to nap, swimming (which started strong) fell down to a crawl until even the security guard at the pool commented that I was looking tired.

Mostly I wanted to be alone, as I felt I was always disappointing my mother with my persistent fatigue.

But if Florida was tough, coming home was worse. I watched my energy nose-dive until walking up and down the stairs left me collapsed on the floor, trying to catch my breath.

"Maybe you're just out of shape", mom offered.

"But Mom, I was just swimming 80 laps a day, three weeks ago", I hissed.

"Well, yes, that's true..."

"I walked with you up and down the beach for miles." Why does no one else see that this doesn't make sense?

"Well, yes, I see what you mean," she said, but she didn't. She really thought I needed to just hit the treadmill.

I suppose secretly I hoped myself that maybe my cardio just needed some work. I hit the treadmill with a 5 minute run. It was heaven. I felt refreshed and more alive than I had been in months. The next day was fabulous, I was full of energy and thinking of getting back to school.

The following day I did not leave my bed. Nor the day after. Nor the day after that. Standing up made me so dizzy that I couldn't even make it through mass. My heart would pound and beg me to sit or kneel.

My doctor ran blood tests and called me back to say everything looked fine. I asked for a copy of the report and scrutinized every line of reference ranges.

I noticed that while not flagged, my TSH was 4.2, much higher than the usual 1.0 to which I had become accustomed. Could that small a change make me feel this miserable? Clearly the answer was yes.

Oh yes, and my ferritin was back down to measly 45, despite daily iron supplements.

And lastly, my fasting blood sugar was one point away from hypoglycemia at 3.7 mmol/l (64 mg/dl). A look at my A1c showed that low blood sugar was at least a three month trend.

Low thyroid, low iron, low blood sugar. No wonder I felt eight shades of miserable. But since none of the tests were 'flagged', everything must be good, right?

And the mystery ANA? It remained a 'high positive' at 1:640.

While my concierge-family-physician thought everything looked good, my psychiatrist (who was also copied on the tests) called me a few days later and walked through the results with me; confirming that my blood tests were odd, even though still technically within range.

I find it ironic that my psychiatrist seems to be the only physician who believes that something is wrong with me...physically.

A little extra Synthroid and 2012 would be off to a better start, right?

Well, maybe...


  1. Oh, goodness! I hope that you feel better soon. Good job on your psychiatrist for looking at your lab results properly. He or she went to med. school anyway, so is thus, as good a doctor as your family doctor. I'm always tempted to look at my own lab results too, because sadly, I don't trust a lot of the doctors I've gone to (sweet irony). Anyway, hopefully things get back on track soon! ::hugs::

  2. Aww..thanks for the hugs!

    My psychiatrist worked as a family physician for 20 years before specializing. He is a wonderful man. What I find funny is that my other doctors (including my expensive concierge doctor) want to just write me off as "depression" without considering other Ddx.

    Keeping copies of my own records helps keep me sane. I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone in not trusting my doctors to be a thorough as I am!

  3. Your TSH is in range? Really? Is that a Canada thing? (You are in Canada, right? Or did my brain stop remembering?)

    Low iron sometimes shows up in all sorts of auto immune badness. It's all related somehow. If they could just connect the dots for you.

    Glad to see you back!


  4. MM - The TSH range in Canada is still a prehistoric 0.05 - 5.0

    I always wonder about the people I read about who have a TSH of 200...how are they alive!?

    Haven't read much about low iron and autoimmune badness, but my Vit D is till bottom of the barrel after supplementing now daily since early Sept.

    I agree with you; there has to be a unifying theory.