Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Too Stinking High (TSH)

Have I mentioned that I love my RE?  If not it bears repeating.  I think I might have a little girl crush on her.

I should probably preface this next blog with a little medical background on myself.  See.... I'm what is known as a medical freak.  I'm a zebra... for those of you who don't immediately understand this reference there is a quote they tell young doctors:  When you hear hoof beats think horses, not zebras.  Well the problem with that is that some people actually are zebras and I am one of them.  The quote is meant to remind young doctors that there is a reason that diseases are classified as rare... that's because no body has them.  It is meant to remind young doctors that they are not the future Dr. House finding weird and wonderful, obscure diseases that are given only a paragraph in most medical text books.  Most people are coming to you because they have a cold.  The common cold.

The problem with this is that many doctor's will disregard all of the symptoms of a disease that is staring them in the face because they have had it beaten into their heads that it is just too rare... that they will never in their practice see a patient with such a rare disease.

About 3 years ago I was diagnosed with Cushing's.  This is a disease in which a tumor causes your body to produce a ridiculous amount of extra cortisol - the stress hormone.  It causes many delightful symptoms like weight gain, facial hair, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, infertility, etc, etc etc.  The problem is that a doctor will look at an overweight woman with high blood pressure and type II diabetes and tell her to just lose weight.  Wanna hear the craziest thing about cushings?  You can't.  You actually can't.  They have done studies where they have shown that looking at a picture of a doughnut will actually change your metabolism as though you have eaten it.  Now that's a messed up disease.

Cushing's is found in 1:1,000,000 of the population... but wait... there's more... there's an even rarer form called adrenal cushings which is found in only 1:5,000,000 of the population and this is the form i have.  As a result I have had my left adrenal gland removed, which can cause a lot of stresses on a body.  I wear a medical alert bracelet just in case i suddenly topple over.

Because of this diagnosis I want you to believe me when i tell you i have seen a LOT of doctors.  In fact I have seen a LOT of endocrinologists.  When I had my surgery the chief of surgery dropped by my room to see, in his words, the "famous patient".  No joke.  I'm a freaking medical marvel.

Despite all of this I am in awe with my RE because she did something that blew my mind.  She checked my test results the second they came in.  She called me because my TSH was too stinking high and wants a retest.  I find so many doctors will wait until their next consult before they look at your test results.  My father drove a car for 6 months after tests showed he was legally blind because his optometrist didn't look at the results.  So my RE looked at my results and took action.

You see why I'm a little bit in love?

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