Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Dr. Helen's story

I just read Dr. Helen's story via Grand Rounds and it really struck a chord. Too many times women ignore symptoms or are diagnosed with something insignificant and are missed completely until it's too late. I have been "poking a stick" at a health condition of my own and am finally going to take a very active role in getting diagnosed. I don't want to die trying!
I have been diagnosed with Hypothyroidism but don't think it's the only condition I'm dealing with. I have been told that I have fibromyalgia. While I understand that it's a valid condition, I almost would rather have something that has a definitive test so I can feel less crazy.
I have Lupus like symptoms but with a negative ANA titer. After doing some extensive web surfing, I think I have finally diagnosed myself. I now have to make a list of the determinant blood tests and go see my nurse practitioner. Sounds like a great plan! Now I have to get off my duff and do it.
If any of you have been dealing with mysterious or not so mysterious symptoms, please do something about it. Health care professionals are really bad about not taking care of themselves because we are always trying to take care of others. You know who you are!!!!!
Now for my elusive symptoms! Let's play diagnostician!! If you can guess what I think it is, please post so I can compare differential diagnoses. Are we ready to play??

Extreme fatigue
Diffuse hair loss (no bald spots yet thank goodness! and not where I would like to be bald!)
Butterfly rash when exposed to sunlight
Knots underneath the skin from my knees to my hips and from my elbows to my shoulders that feel like a fibrotic mesh of pain from hell when any pressure applied.
Tearing pain from my left inner knee to mid-thigh like someone just stabbed a knife and drug it upwards that comes and goes without any predisposing factors like exercise or rest
Anxiety attacks at night that feel like I'm going to die any minute (the ones that feel like you are drifting out of your body and if you don't concentrate REALLY hard you might not come back)

Curiously enough, if I was ready to die, the experience would be pleasant. I hope that's how it really feels to "let go". It won't be scary when I'm ready.
Off I go to do more homework!! Eagerly awaiting any answers!!!

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