I know it's been a while since I've blogged but there’s been some stuff that's happened recently regarding my health. I’ll try to make this an annotated summary. :)
At the beginning of June, I started having some swelling in my feet/ankles and woke up one day with a very tight chest and was short of breath. My stomach issues flared up and was uncomfortably bloated. My dr reconfirmed IBS and also prescribed blood work.
After various reactions to medicines and steroids, I found myself in the ER having more blood work, an EKG and a chest xray. Turns out, my sedimentation rate (how fast my red blood cells fall in a tube in 1 hr) is either high or low (can't remember right now) and so they think it could be something in the rheumatory family (arthritis most likely). Urine tests show that I'm NOT pregnant.
Later that week, the dr said that the initial tests that they did came back slightly hyperthyroidism. They also said that I have elevated labs and that it's probably an autoimmune disorder. More of the tests they had run came back indicating an overactive parathyroid which could be causing the fatigue and swelling (edema).
At the beginning of July, the diuretic didn’t seem to be working so they upped the dosage and then still no results and then upped the dosage again (80mg/day). I have a Vitamin-D deficiency and am on a thyroid pill.
After even more blood work, my cholesterol levels are higher than they were 1 month ago. My albumin and calcium is low as well. I've gained almost 40 lbs since the beginning of June and my joints and muscles are very tight and stiff. It's quite uncomfortable!
A recent visit with the dr determined that my kidneys are not retaining proteins for my blood, rather I'm peeing the protein out. And, I'm retaining the fluid and it's going into my blood which is causing the anasarca (localized edema).
They will measure exactly how much protein I'm releasing. If it's more than 3 grams, then it could lead to something called Nephrotic syndrome.
They don't want to prescribe any more medicines at this point, even a cholesterol one. They want to try to address the underlying problem with my kidneys first. I'm still on the diuretic and vitamin D (for a deficiency), and levothyroxine (for thyroid). The diuretic doesn't seem to help relieve the retention, but at least it's holding it so that the weight gain has leveled out this week.
I have upcoming appointments with a rheumatologist and a Nephrologist (kidney specialist).
Since Brian is working at a hospital through a temp agency, he’s not considered a full time employee and therefore does not have health insurance. I have a part time retail job but am considered seasonal/temporary and therefore don’t have access to health insurance either. We applied for the state funded health care but because we make more than the allowed amount for a couple ($600/mo – which is ridiculous!) we are over qualified. We have a found a medical clinic through the state hospital that allows us to have treatment wit ha payment plan based on our income.
It's been a long journey and its not over yet. Brian and I thank you for all of your prayers and encouragement.