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August 14, 2012 ~Visit with the Otolaryngologist August 24, 2012

Posted by finding1sselfsthyroidjourney in Thyroid.
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Or as many of may know them as ENT’s (Ear, Nose & Throat) specialists.  We went through a pretty complete list of information, symptoms etc.. He said that most likely I have had thyroid issues for a long time of up and down cycles not allowing my body to maintain any kind of normality.  After  reviewing  the test results, he had some concerns about the accuracy of measurements and readings of the nodules, so he will be having the ultra sounds premeasured by the radiologists .  Then he wanted to look down my throat, so he sprayed some ‘stuff’ down my nose so that it would deaden my throat. He also diagnosed type of  acid reflux  that was also agravating the situtation as well.

Unless something drastically different  comes out of  the re-reads of tests from the uptake ,it was decided that surgery  would be the best course of action. So we scheduled for Oct 4th with pre-op Oct 1. Another 7 weeks but at least we are moving forward.

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August 6th ~ the review with the Dr. No real answers!! August 9, 2012

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As Lunch time on Monday rolled around I felt good about “being in charge” so to speak. So I picked up my reports and asked that they re-fax the reports to the dr’s office.   I called the dr’s office and was told they reports were still not there… That is ok I still want to keep my appointment.  My envelope had been sealed shut so I didn’t open them… but I have them if I needed them. I head to my appointment at 3p.m.  and it is nearly 4 when I get to see her… She said we just got them in. And she said the uptake test came back  within normal ranges but did show that one of the nodules has grown since May when the 1st ultra sound was taken… So how can it be normal if it shows hot spots and cold spots? At that point I teared up and said now what is the next step, do I see and endocrinologist or a surgeon. She said actually a ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat). Really why?? She explained to me that they too specialize in auto immune diseases and treat thyroid conditions quite often. So the ENT that I am being referred to is also a surgeon… She then suggested that I get back on my medicines and that it might take a good while before I can see him.  She also prepped me that many times they will build a patient back up on maximum doses of thyroid meds for 6 or 9 months and then do this whole procedure again. At this point I am telling myself, remember you want to handle this matter with grace and gratitude at all time. So I am trying to convenience myself that is all going to be Ok, But in my heart it was this deep almost disappointment that here we go with more “waiting”. There was no feeling of relief  but more of a feeling of “CRAP” I was going back to page one and having to start over with another Dr.  and here goes another 9 months of my life ” with lots of answered questions and concerns.yes I used a 4 letter word and not even graceful about it. but I did not say it out loud if that counts for anything! As I left the room she noticed the places under chin and on the side of the forhead… I was still having a reaction to the “radioactive iodine pill” on top of it all… Now isn’t  that real special… So now I am no an antibotic for 10 days to counter act any infection from these “burns”.

The below statements  are not hosting a pity potty party… just some realities of some of my symptoms.

If the constant clearing of my sore throat and feeling like I am choking nearly all the time wasn’t enough… then there is the “constant exhaustion” and continued weight gain that I will need to to deal with.  Feeling rather beat up after the appointment I simply go home and share with hubby…

Tuesday Morning comes and as soon as 9 am hits I am calling the Dr’s office that I was referred to. The receptionist says that the 1st opening for a new patient is Aug 14th at 2:30… As she told me this I said out loud “thank you, thank you” I am so glad I will not have to wait weeks or months to find out what is in store for me . Prayers answered!. and a good side note… he is listed on Angies’ List too. LOL.  I will try to be more timely on the next post next week.

July 26 & 27th ~ The Uptake Test August 9, 2012

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Hello everyone,

I didn’t realize that I hadn’t posted this portion it hung out in draft mode. LOL.

The Morning of the test I arrived at 8:45 just like a good little girl. I teased the tech that escorted me back to the testing area, I knew my way pretty well by now. So, I sit down and I am informed that some College students will be observing / participating in my test. So this student asks me questions and I answer them. It must have been his first time because he didn’t know how to write down the answers that I was giving him and he was consulting with the technician there. After the questions, they start the unwrapping process… and what a process… gloves and one container after the other and a couple of “lead containers” in between the containers. I am thinking to myself… do I really want to take this pill?. So I swallow the pill? I did and was told that was it for now and be back at 1 for testing.. Okie dokie, no problem there. As time would have it dragged till it was time to go back… I arrive on time, thank goodness, traffic was horrible as usual in that area. I am again escorted down the darker hallway. I am told to sit in this chair that was behind a telescope looking thing. Without explaining what they were doing one of the students moves this telescope over my right leg and pushes a button… I calmly asked what are you doing, she said take a measurement.Taking a measurement of what, I asked again. She just said a measurement. I said this leg has titanium parts in it, do you need to know that, and is it safe with the metal in my leg etc…. A look of sheer panic came over her face.. she turned of the machine and went and found the technician. When he arrived, he asked what my concern was, I explained about my leg.. he simply said, oh it should be fine. WHAT? should be, you don’t know. He said, no it shouldn’t be an issue. He then proceeded to turn on the button… I asked him, what are you doing? He said taking a reading…. I said what kind of reading… he said a reading… I lost it then. I said what are you looking for? he answered a base reading. Then I asked are you taking a reading to see if the pill has traveled? he said yes… I asked why my leg and not my neck… he responded, we will do both. I can’t even begin to tell you how frustrated I was and a bit scared at this point… I felt like I had been left with kindergarteners to do a professionals job. At that point I said I do not want any more students handling my test.. I wanted a resident tech, that this was too important.  The tech didn’t look a day of 18 so that wasn’t much help either and no personality or forthcoming with information unless I asked for it..it was like pulling teeth out… my own. After taking their needed readings, I am placed on the narrowest of tables for the test. I am told to hold my hands to my side. Excuse me for how long must I just hold my arms to my sides… Oh about 20 mins each time. Mind you I am a Big woman… this just wasn’t going to happen… so I asked if I could tuck my hands under my buttocks and was told yes I could do that if I needed… I promise I needed to. So the placed a Marker on the soft part of my throat… wrong thing to do, it caused me to cough. WE finally found a compromise for the damn marker so that I wouldn’t cough.   Then they slide a plate looking screen that was probably 18″ square towards my right side of my face. I just laid there never hearing the machine do anything.  One of the more boring test I have had to endure. Then they repeated the series center and left. then I was done.. Yeephee.  Was told to return again in the morning at 9 am.  I did what I was told and returned. Again I get to bond with the telescope looking thing so that they could take readings of the radioactive material and Iodine… then I was told “all done”. When asked how long before I would hear something I was told 24 to 48 hours.. this being Friday I knew that this probably meant Tuesday.

As my luck would have it… when I checked with my Dr’s office, they hadn’t recieved it as of Thursday. So learning to be my own advocate, I called the radioligy place and asked if they had been sent yet… Yes mamn, they have. So I then asked if I could come by and pick up copies of my results… Yes I could but I would need to wait 7 days… ok then I will pick them up on Monday.

 

July 19, 2012 ~ STRONG MEDICINE & SUPER HEROS July 21, 2012

Posted by finding1sselfsthyroidjourney in Friendships, Grace & Gratitude, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Journey & Journaling, Strong Medicine, Thyroid.
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 Several people have asked me how I can be so strong through all of the uncertianities…. Easy Answer~ I am blessed with Super Hero’s in my life, some just might call them friends but they are heros to me! One of these such Heros is Rachél Payne. Whole volumes of books will  be written on this creative spirit who is following her dreams to pursue her love of creating a community of nurturing artists no matter what mediums they chose to use.  We try to do lunch one a month to get caught up on each others lifes…. There is never enough “time” at lunch to do this but none the less it is time treasured beyond words.  She presented me this bag of Strong medicine. I fought off the tears and truly was touched with the goodies inside.

These strong medicines are All gifts from our wonderful earth. Wonderful wrapped sage, braded Sweet Grass, rose petals and bee’s wax candles and presented in a nicely embelished bown paper bag that can be recycled and used again and again.

So as I place these items to enhance my well being and healing, I give gratitude for the gifts from the universe and among them friendships that are stronger than any binding that could be made by man.

I would be amiss to not also acknowledge another hero in my healing and well being.  Tracy Moore. She too has a unique way of presenting enlightenment and encouragement on many different topics  in  her Blog Pull up a Toadstool.  She made a beautiful healing meditation video for me to focus healing energy towards my throat area and deep breathing too.

How could anyone not be strong with warriors like these two beautiful women by ones side.

Thank you both so very much from they very depths of my being.

July 5th ~ Some of the Results are in July 6, 2012

Posted by finding1sselfsthyroidjourney in Grace & Gratitude, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Journey & Journaling, Thyroid.
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For those of you that have been following this blog from the beginning know I had made reference to feeling pretty sure this would be a roller coaster of a journey… and so far it has been just that a roller coaster ride!

the Dr. cautioned me not to get too excited ~ because not all the tests were in yet. But  we do know this much… The PET scan did confirm what we already knew about the Thyroid. The rest of my body didn’t light up like a Christmas Tree, and this is wonderful news for me.  YEEPHEE !!! . You might be asking did she really say Yeephee, you bet I did, with lots of thank yous to the higher powers that be. When you go through these types of tests and learn more about them you really begin to get a sense of how very complicated our bodies are. The gratitude and Joy comes from knowing  this is so very treatable when it is this localized in this one area.

One of the blood tests  that we are waiting on checks for markers from different organs that may not have lit up in the PET scan.  I am very grateful that they are being so through about all of this.

In closing our telephone conversation she wanted me to remind me again that all bets are off if these test numbers come back high meaning it could/would be somewhere else in my body as well… I am good with this information… I will bask in the good news over the weekend and when the other tests come  good or even maybe not so good or challenging, I will cross that bridge when it gets here.

.

July 2 ~ Follow up will be on July 5th July 2, 2012

Posted by finding1sselfsthyroidjourney in Grace & Gratitude, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Journey & Journaling, Mammogram, Thyroid.
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Here we are in the 1st full Summer Month started. I had a wonderful relaxing weekend with Hubby. We worked on the  RV and made sure the A/C was working well and it IS! In this 100+ heat the words A/C are considered golden words for us. We have a beautiful Troop family in this week to share in our Forth of July festivities at the park…  Tomorrow July 3rd will be a Full moon and full of reflection by many.

  On the 4th, Hubby and I are planning on Going up to Kerrville to see  dear family friends for lunch and then head back  in time for Rockport Fireworks and BBQ to close out the evening. Going to Kerrville for the 4th this year will be  incredibly special for me in that I have learned so much over the years about our freedoms and the great acts of valor Gene’s and my father witnessed and participated in to keep our country free back in WWII. Our very rights as citizens to be able to make our own decisions about outcomes that we wish to see is a blessing and a gift, even when they don’t always turn out the way we had hoped.   

Then we shall return to work on Thursday… this will be a long day for me in that my 3:45 appointment for results will take forever to get here.  I am still very hopeful that she will  say that there is no other areas of concern in the body.. that  the concern is just in my thyroid/throat area. Even though I feel this way the waiting of another 72 hours seems like a long time.  I had thought in recent weeks that I would want my hubby to be there with me when I got the results back from the PET scan, but I don’t think that will be necessary. I think when the thyroid uptake is done I will ask him to go then… so that we have a better idea of what the next step in this Journey will be. He has already said he knows everything is going to be alright because God wouldn’t have finally brought us together to have us be apart… And God Knows I love this man beyond words.

SO I will fill my time with working on the “Summer of Me project and do some of those things I have put on my list for self nurturing and self-care.

June 28 ~ Retake of Mammogram, then a Ultra Sound & PET Scan June 29, 2012

Posted by finding1sselfsthyroidjourney in Thyroid.
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 Hubby fixed eggs, bacon and cheese the night before… since all I was suppose to eat was protein and no carbs.  Water and lots of it prior to the testing. Most likely didn’t have more than a few hours at best of sleep last night..plus hopping up every hour to empty my bladder from all the water.

By 6:45 am a dear friend has text me letting me know I was in her prayers. That was so sweet and her son also had sent me a text of “good luck”.later my sister in law  had text too.. all of this before 8:30. How blessed am I to have such dear dear friends spirtually with me through out the day!

I arrived a few minutes early and a family friend greeted me from behind the desk. Diane and I went down memory lane and how much my papa helped her family at different times… she showed me a scar and told me the story about how her mother didn’t know how to drive… so she called Mr. Grant to take her to the hosptial. She reminded me that Dad did alot of things for the neighbors and always with a smile and never asked for anything in return. What a wonderful day to start the day. Then she shared how much her play pal- my brother and her would do crazy things and dad again would never yell at them…he would just undo what ever they had done and went on about his business.  Like the time She and my brother had put gravel in dads varsal vat. we both laughed.  This stroll down memory lane took the edge off right away.. we both acknowledge that we wouldn’t change those days for nothing.

MAMMOGRAM PORTION ~ am called in for additional mammogram pictures.. the technician explains exactly what she is looking for and why on both sides. Explained why the differnt plates were being used, very through. As I sat in the room, the radiologist reviewed the pictures, asked some additional questions and decided that an ultra sound was only needed on the right side.  This was good news to me… 1/2 the concern already cleared.

ULTRA SOUND  PORTION~   A beautiful Asian girl came to do the ultra sound, I am guessing she didn’t even clear 5ft. She then explained that she needed to find the mass that was less than the size of pea… and to be patient with her. No problem there. I wanted it found so that we would know more… This is the one that they said was round, and from what I had read, this was a good sign. After about 15 minutes she found it, took pictures and measurements and more pictures and measurements from different angles. Went back to my private cubicle and waited. She came back and said nothing more than friroid cysts, very common nothing to worry about, Releived is an understatment…  then my next question to her was why was the original diagonisis – pre/post menopausal mother with breat cancer?  She either couldn’t or wouldn’t answer me that… she simply said everything is good. I would agree but in my mind that really does still bother me.

PET Scan ~ They had a cancelation and were able to get to me about 30 minutes earlier than scheduled. I am escorted down a series of winding  low lit halls to a small cubicle at the end of a hall way. This tech begins to ask questons, double checking that I haven’t eaten,or drank anything other than water since the night before. She checks my sugar, it’s 145.  I has asked why that was important. She explained that the radioactive material attaches itself to the glucose water that will be given to me intervieniously, and that they can’t do the test if a person’s sugar is above 200. So that mystery was solved. Then I am told that the gentlemen that will be administering the IV will come and get me in a few minutes and we would go to the room accross the small hallway. He came, I went to the room.  He told me to lie down an searched for a good vein on my left arm. Well my left arm really didn’t want to particpate. It bent the needle and he had to repostion another needle to make sure it was in a vein. He succeded there was no burning or swelling going on, so he preceded with the radio active iv cocktail. Then I learned more about the prodedure. I needed to lay really still for the next one and 1/2 hours so that the cocktail to go through my body and be able to give them a good picture. He explained that they use the glucose and radioactive material because our body normally will use glucose in areas that need it, so if I was even reading it would go to the muscles that were used to flip the pages etc… So I got how important it was to lay still. I did flench several times when the yard men would start up the weedwacker and edger along the wall that I was up against…but they said that should hurt the results. The next step is to empty your bladder I did that with no problems.  I then waited just a minute or two and they were ready to start the test. I laid on a very narrow table  with what look like almost boxer glove looking thing wrapped around my head and was told to place my arms above and rest them on this head gear.. what fun this is going to be… she then said it should take about 25 min to do my test and then I would be free to go. Alrighty now, lets get started.  So I slid through this cylinder machine that sounds much like an old washing machine. Their cute quote is they check you from “eyes to thighs” I am only guessing here but I would think they did about a foot at a time. I don’t remember how many little jaunts I had till they were done.  I was assisted up  and had to wait a few minutes to make sure all the film was readable. 

I was way more tired than I had imagined I would be. Looking forward to heading home for a nap and some nurishing food too. I called several people on my way home to let them know it will probably be Tuesday or Thursday of next week before I would hear back on these test.

 Well my wonderful hubby had decided to take off so that I wouldn’t have to come home to an empty house after all of that.  After week of  near 100 + temps our trailer was very very warm… we cranked down A/C and litterly took apart all of our floor fans and washed and cleaned them up to get the max turbo air we could.  Took my shower and crashed with wonderful thoughts of tomorrow is TGIF, tomorrow, tomorrow to the tune of little orphan anny song.

 

 

June 21, ~ Mammogram results June 21, 2012

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I had called my Dr’s office today around 2:30 to see if the results have been received yet. They called me back around 3:50 and that Dr. Margaret wanted to see me again.. I asked if I could go ahead and be seen this afternoon, and they said yes… After a challenging day with following up with requests for employment verifications and documentation…. this distraction was just what the dr ordered. I called my boss and let him know, he said go and we would catch up tomorrow. The 20 minute drive to the office gave me a chance to take several deep breaths before entering the office. While I was waiting there was a young man who was waiting and he had asked me if I had ever seen Dr. Margaret? I said yes and that I thought the world of her. He agreed and said he wants his wife to come and be seen by here. He was really impressed. Talking with him sure helped pass those minutes that seemed like hours. Then we went though the normal routine of temp weight and blood pressure and on to room 3… I can do this part now by myself LOL.  Dr. Margaret sat down and she asked how I was doing? I said I could tell I was off my thyroid, yawning all the time. Then we started talking about the results of the mammogram.

Since they had my last one from 2005 they were able to tell about any changes since then and there were several. A round nodule @ the 9:00 middle depth  on right breast and a new calcification in the left breast @ the 10:00 o’clock position in the retroareolar region. 

So the short version is more tests and views are recommended.  I did some reading tonight and if I am understanding what I am reading  correctly the good news is “round nodules tend to be benign”.

Tomorrow morning will be appointment making time again… for diagnostic and additional views and to go ahead and schedule a PET scan if possible.

Well I finished watching a cute movie… I think it was called Matilda… it was precious.  I am going to try to go put my head down for the night.

Wednesday ~ June 20th June 20, 2012

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Well it is funny how the mind can play games with you. So here is what is rattling around today… it was 2 weeks today when I got the call that I needed to see the Dr  about the Ultra sounds results… which were not due until that Friday or Monday.

Even though I was told not to expect to hear anything for 48 hours , in the back of my mind, I am  thinking if I don’t hear from the Dr. Today I will take that as a sign that no news is good news and nothing was found. If the phone rings this afternoon, I still fully expect it to be good news that nothing showed up on the mammogram.  

Ok feel better just sharing these thoughts with you.

I also am going to share this blog with my friends at Wishcasting Wednesday today. I know several of them are going through some serious medical issues too and we are here to support each other make sure our dreams come true.

June 19th ~ The Mammogram June 19, 2012

Posted by finding1sselfsthyroidjourney in Grace & Gratitude, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Journaling, Journey & Journaling, Mammogram, Thyroid, Uncategorized.
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While she asked her set of standard questions and review of why I was there now. I was shocked to find out it had been 7 years since I had my last mammogram back in 2005. Shame on me.

My tech was incredibly informative and sincere today and I learned a few things too. She didn’t fuss  at me she just let me know that they offer reduced cost mammograms for women that do not have insurance usually twice a year. Good information to know.

So as I shared why I was there she asked if I had any questions and of course I did… I told her of my delay in the uptake test and she confirmed it is a 6 week wait if you are on thyroid meds. I asked her if there was a way to do the PET scan without having to wait an additional 6 weeks after the uptake test… she said she would check on that while I was getting dressed.    The exam was quite routine 4 pics and I was done… so I am going to take that to be a good sign. Once I was dressed she came in and said she spoke to the radiologists that does the scans and if that is warranted after the uptake scan they can do it  days after it and not weeks. PET scans use a higher dose of radio-active material for that test.  I took a deep breath and told her thank you for her time and consideration to get my concerns answered.  She also assured me that once the thyroid is taken out  it is one of the easier diseases to treat. So this rings true with what I have read and heard from others… Sounds like a walk in the park so far. In my heart I still believe the abnormalities are just in my throat and have not traveled… Other than being tired, memory problems and weight gain, and some acid reflux… I feel ok. I don’t hurt anyway… so my continuing prayer will be that all of these extra tests will be for mental reassurance (this is a biggy for sure) and nothing more. My mom suffered from several different bouts of cancer throughout her life… so to have all the cards out on the table is a good thing so good decisions can be made.   I had lunch afterwards… and that didn’t sit well with me… so even though I am mentally good with it all so far… I think my tummy maybe a bit more sensitive about having tests run. So it will be sprite for me tonight.