January 27, 2015
This is a continuation of my previous post about my health. This'll be a short one...
I went to my room at around 10:30 last night intending to read The Penultimate Truth by Philip K. Dick and wound up instead falling asleep. I woke up around 7:00 this morning. Yesterday was a big day, the day of my appointment with an Ears, Nose, and Throat specialist to get a more in-depth reading of my results and discuss the next steps.
The office is located in Providence Medical Center in the Hollywood district of Portland, which happens to be my favourite neighbourhood in the city. It’s got my favouritest movie theatre ever (the Hollywood Theatre!!), a Trader Joe’s, a Whole Foods, a farmer’s market when the season’s in, my gym, a Things From Another World, and a major transit center with several buses and three trains that stop there. There are also two martial arts studios (hapkido and jujitsu), my favourite Starbucks, the hospital, and at least one urgent care center… It’s pretty much awesome. Of course, everyone wants to live there so rent is like holy moly guacamole high. Maybe some day!
Anyway, I hopped on the train and headed to the medical center a bit early. I’m usually early to whatever appointments I have simply because I use public transportation and I want to make sure to leave room for whatever might come up. I was early enough that the office was still out to lunch!
The view from the sixth floor of Providence Medical Center. If I were to zoom in, you'd see Mount Hood.
Eventually, they let us in and I filled out the new, establishing paperwork for the office - medical history, symptoms, etc. They got me in quickly and the doctor came in soon thereafter.
Doctor's office selfie.
I’ll call him Dr. Green. He looked a bit like my pediatric physician from Ohio mixed with a relative of mine, except he's not as tall as either of those gentlemen. He took a seat and the first thing we talked about was how they didn’t take samples of the left side lump that feels a bit harder than the rest, but he said that it was okay, they didn’t have to. He said that the tumours are benign and the thyroid is functioning normally so I don’t need to take thyroid pills. Fantastic news!
He then said that the right side tumour is 2 cm or half a centimetre away from being an inch big. Since it’s benign, if it were three centimetres, or just over an inch, then he’d recommend surgery. If it gets bigger over the next year, changes shape, or changes make-up, then I go under the scalpel, but until then, it's all good. Also fantastic news!
He said, firmly, that the thyroid isn’t what’s causing my exhaustion, my throat and voice issues, or anything else and prescribed me a nasal spray for allergies / post nasal drip and recommended that I do a neti pot nasal cleanse.
While, on the surface, this is great news, it feels anticlimactic. Here I was, thinking and hoping I was going to have potential answers for issues that don’t feel normal for me, and instead, it feels like they’re telling me it really IS all in my head, that I’m weak or lazy and to just get over it, all of the things I’ve been telling myself for years even though this just doesn’t feel right. It’s no wonder that people don’t really talk to their doctors, they don’t want their issues to be discounted or to be told, even if the wording is different, that everything really is all in their head.
I don’t have the numeric results from the biopsy, just the biopsy report, and after talking to a friend who has similar issues, I wonder if I’m on the verge of Hashimoto’s, but because I’m not off the chart yet, they’re not going to diagnose and treat. I understand that they don’t want to treat someone for something they don’t have, that would be ridiculous, but what if I’m close enough to the edge that for my body and my endocrine system, I might as well be diagnosed and treated before it gets worse because it’s not being treated. So, my plan is to get a blood test in a week or two to see what my thyroid levels are as a sort of second opinion. In the meanwhile, I’ll just keep pushing, like I always do and always have. I have too many stories trying to get out and movies that want to be made and too much coming up to just let it be and “wait and see”.
When I was a kid, it took the doctors seven years before they formally diagnosed me as being an asthmatic. During those seven years, I was in and out of hospitals with adrenaline shots and steroid pills and breathing treatments and somophyllin, a medicine that they knew was toxic, particularly to kids, and which made my heart race and limbs shake. I was constantly sick, constantly missing school. That was my wait and see. Pardon my language here, but FUCK THAT NOISE. I don't want to go through that again. Let’s get this sorted and get to feeling better!!
A beautiful sunset in the Hollywood district. Why? Because it's purdy.
After the appointment, I went to Starbucks and wrote for a while. It felt good to move forward on creative stuff in spite of feeling a bit foggy... Then I came home, relaxed for a minute, and went to bed at 10:30, feeling like a lil ol' lady and feeling like I've gotta get ready for a battle.