Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Still Alive...

In the past several months, I have had my share of ups and downs health-wise.  Since some of you know already, and several of you know only bits and pieces, here's a little run-down. 

I finally have a GP who is more interested in finding out what's causing my symptons rather than just treating them.  It turns out that, while my iron is often low and even very low, there are reasons for it and ways to fight it.  I'm on a miracle drug now a few days a month *ahem* that has transformed my life.  Far less pain, far less mess *ahem*, and far less low iron.  Thank you, mefanemic acid!  I don't even care that no one know how or why it works-- it works, and I love it.  Of course, I had to get my iron back up to normal-type levels (which for me is always slightly low anyway), which meant about ten tons of iron pills. 
Also, my GP is wonderful and kept testing and retesting all sorts of things.  Not just my iron for once.  And finally, after three years, I have a diagnosis that fits so many of my complaints:  the very low heartrate, the exhaustion, the depression (well, part of it), the near-constant under-the-weather-ness, and loads of other little things.  Yup.  My thyroid is underactive.  I had one doctor suspect that when I was in hospital overnight that time two years ago, but no one else ever followed up on it.  Turns out, my levels are low low normal, but my TSH is off-the-charts high.  So.  Over the past months and months, we've been figuring out what dose I need.  I still don't feel great, but there's hope, at least.  And because it's an ongoing forever-and-ever condition, the NHS now kindly gives me ALL my presciptions for FREE!  Bonus. 

I've been on anti-depressants since May.  I don't really notice that they've made any difference, but I'm chalking that up to either so many other random issues that lead into me feeling bad OR I don't notice what they are actually doing.  Either way, I'm going to stay on them til I get my thesis turned in.  If I don't need them, they aren't doing any harm.  If I do, now is not the time I want to find that out.  =D
Over the summer, I wound up with tonsilitis.  It. Was. Horrible.  I don't know what happened or where it all came from, but I was pretty ill for a pretty long while.  Which is even worse when the summer weather actually feels like summer, which isn't all that often here.  I had a sore throat.  I lost my voice.  I coughed for weeks non-stop.  Like a serious barking hacking hurting cough.  My sinuses hurt.  My ears hurt.  I was flippin' miserable, and nothing OTC was doing any good.  When I could finally get into the GP, she looked at my hurting ears and said they were a little red but nothing major.  She listened to my lungs and said they were clear, so no biggie. Then she looked at my throat and just said, 'Oh.' That actually made me laugh, which made me cough like crazy.  So she gave my antibiotics (the first I've had to take in years) and a strong codeine cough syrup so I could sleep (which I hadn't done in weeks-- thank goodness Kenny was away on holiday for the worst of it!).  And eventually I got better.  But my friends here can tell you how bad it was.  It was bad.  I sounded horrible.  At least I wasn't contagious.  And I'm lucky I have such a great flatmate.  He knew I wasn't feeling well, so he bought me this little treat: 
Oh my life, best 'instant' hot chocolate.  Ever.  It's like drinking a melted chocolate bar.  The good stuff.  Thanks, Kenny.  =D

Of course, that was before he saw this: 
Kidding.  He never saw it.  I did manage to get it largely cleaned up before he came home.  I just can't be bothered doing the washing up when I feel fine, much less when I feel lousy.  I did, though.  Eventually. 

This, on the other hand, took much longer to deal with...


I have been much better this winter than I usually am.  I am normally just under the weather all winter, with sniffles and sore throats and minor coughs and headaches and stuff like that.  It never gets bad, but it also never quite goes away.  This year has been much better.  My nose still runs all the time, especially when I'm outside, but I'm just used to that now.  I have had the odd migraine or upset tummy from time to time, but overall my health is largely better.  Thank God for that. 

7 comments:

jdawg said...

Looks like an episode of Hoarders! Glad you feel better, I am praying for you.

Barb said...

Definitely Amen to you feeling better. Glad they've finally made some progress on figuring out why you've felt so poorly for so long. Hope you keep improving.

Amie Vaughan said...

thanks, y'all.

Lysana said...

Your "that was before he saw this" made me cough. I mean laugh. (I have that kind of cough right now and it's miserable. I can't imagine the tonsilitis along with it.)

I'm glad you have found someone who would dig deeper and figure out what's causing the symptoms instead of just treating the symptoms. It's very frustrating when they just act like the symptoms don't mean anything.

I hope you are feeling better soon!

Amie Vaughan said...

thanks, lysana... and you, as well! that cough is a killer. =(

Andy said...

Sian had tonsilitis five times in our last year in Aberdeen so we have every sympathy (you need is seven times in a calendar year to even get on the list for having them out!)- glad you're getting on the mend from everything.

Amie Vaughan said...

oh my life, poor sian! i hope the weather is better for her there. seven times?! that seems a bit excessive to just get on the list. boo!