Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Three months and Counting

I had my three monthly visit to my GP and Nurse today. Basically I go a lot more, but every three months is a long scheduled appointment to make sure all the testing and specialist appointments are on track, and a run down of how things are looking as well as me just being able to talk about anything I've been finding hard. Like a counselling session with medical input and blood tests.

So I had my three monthly blood draw to check on my kidneys. Also a mass of other tests, which we already know the likely results of but are keeping an eye on. My inflammatory markers which were still very high at the last blood test, my liver tests which have slowly been raising and are now in the abnormal range. A test to make sure my breathlessness and high heart rate are not due to a worsening of congestive heart failure.

Next week I head off for a scan of my liver, a chest xray and FINALLY on the 12th of October I will be having my Cardiac MRI. This is the test a lot of my specialists are waiting on to see if the inflammation markers are indicating an ongoing inflammatory process in my heart. I'm incredibly nervous about this test, with a mixture of feelings about the results themselves. On the one hand if it comes back all clear that would be wonderful but the search would still have to continue about what is causing all these abnormal blood results. Then if it comes back showing something that would be so scary for the obvious reason.

The other thing to come out of today's doctors visit is a three month limit. I have already booked my next three monthly appointment and it comes with some time limits. There are some health issues that if they haven't stabilised or improved by then further more invasive measures will be looked at. For example one of these are my heart rate, my beta blocker is being increased even further and we had a discussion around pacemakers. Once I'm at the maximum dosage for the beta blocker, which I'm heading towards now, that becomes one less option for controlling my tachycardia. There was one other self-imposed time limit in regards to the struggle with my weight. My insulin resistance is worse making it harder to loose weight, and can lead to other serious health conditions such as diabetes. I have following a careful and well balanced diet and have been exercising as much as I am able and have continued to gain weight these past two years. There is no reason for it hence it being one of the symptoms on my medical mystery list, but at the same time I have put my foot down and if in three months my weight has not stabilised I want to trial some other options.

This is a really hard topic for me as it has been one of my major struggles since getting sick. I've seen so many doctors and none of them can explain why with my diet and exercise levels I have gained weight. I have seen a nutritionist who could make no changes to my eating plan as it was already low in calories and well balanced. But I am at the point that there seems to be no control over it and I want intervention. There are not many options open to me due to my health issues, but it's also not healthy for me to continue to gain weight. It's a catch-22.

So really this next three months are my trial period. Can my heart rate be controlled by meds? Can I finally crack the mystery of the creeping weight gain? Is my liver processing all my meds appropriately or is it under stress as well? Am I in heart failure again?

So many questions, so many challenges and so little time!

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