Wednesday, March 25, 2009

square one

and there's apparently nothing wrong with me. oh yes, my ana is completely totally high (see previous: normal is 1:40 & mine was 1:1280), but apparently it isn't a result of lupus or thyroid disease because my histone antibodies are normal and my thyroid labs are also on par. so, what is wrong with me? doctor says she doesn't know (and i quote: "it's a puzzle"), but wants to keep an eye on my thyroid labs at my next appointment on june 1. i see my gi doctor next monday, so we'll have to see what he says. of course, when i told him about the pain in my joints he told me it wasn't his issue and to see my regular doctor or a rheumatologist.
also, re: my subject, i totally loved that show when i was a kid.

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Friday, March 20, 2009


last week was a real downer, in so many ways that i couldn't pull myself out of it. so much so that i cried at work. i didn't know what was going on with my health with my bloodwork coming back and the possible diagnosis of drug-induced lupus or possible thyroid disease. (and i still haven't heard back from the rheumatologist about the additional labs i had drawn on 3/13).
the big thing that kept me practically immobile was the trial in iowa city. a year ago february, a kid came to town to celebrate with his friends for his 21st birthday the next day. he went out, drank a bunch & got kicked out of the bar for getting sick, and then on the way to his friend's house for the night, ran away from the group up a street. his brother & friends called him repeatedly & called the cops to help look for him. about an hour later, he showed up with no pants and two coats wrapped around him to keep warm. he crawled into bed, saying he didn't remember where he ran off to and went to sleep.
the next day, a 75 year old man was found beaten to death in his own apartment a few blocks away. this kid's wallet, coat and shirt were found in the apartment, along with the door kicked in. the best guess of what happened is that because both buildings were the same number (513), but a different street. he runs off, thinks he's at his friend's place and got undressed to go to bed. when the old man confronts the intruder in his home, the drunk kid thinks that he's the one who broke in and beat and strangles the old man. he had at one point answered the phone when his friend called looking for him and said "there's a guy who's gurgling and it's freaking me out. i think he's dead." he still doesn't remember anything from that night, blackout.
all this happened 3 blocks from my apartment. the trial went on monday thru friday and one of the local newspapers had a reporter liveblogging the event. i didn't read the whole thing live, but every day i caught up on the testimony. at first i thought the kid deserved everything he got, life in prison, no doubt. then other things came out, like the fact that he rarely drank and his family growing up ran a program for delinquent boys to rehabilitate them, he started a bible study during the year he was incarcerated leading up to the trial. he's now only 22 & waiting on sentencing for the judge to decide (it was a non-jury trial) his fate. i still think there's no question that he killed the poor old man and that he deserves to be punished for that horrifying act, but i can't help but feel depressed about the life that he is losing as well, his own youth.
i don't know if i've come to any conclusions about why i was so enthralled by this or if i feel any better, but i felt like my own life was in limbo while the trial was in session. i was in a dark cloud of depression that took quite a long time to lift; it's not going to change what happened, but now i feel like i can breathe easier knowing that justice is working on finding the proper punishment. and it's good to know that the judge is conflicted over the outcome. makes me feel better to know that someone in such a position knows that it's not an easy situation to come to some kind of resolution.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

nothing like warm pee in the afternoon

on wednesday, i had the pleasure of running over to the other side of the hospital on my lunch break. had to give a little sample for the rheumatologist i saw on the 23rd. luckily there was no venipuncture involved (i'd gotten that part out of the way on the day of-only 4 days after i'd donated blood, so i had a pre-poked vein all ready for them). i moseyed over to the lab after checking in & dutifully took my newly labeled urine specimen cup. i always get a chuckle over reading the directions in the bathroom. "women: remove pants..." men are never told that crucial step. are women really so stupid that they don't know to remove their pants? seriously.
business done without any drips & i place the practically steaming cup (who knew body temperature was so high?) in the little metal door... right next to someone else's dark (ugh!) yellow specimen. i kindly mentioned that my cup had company in the little closet when i walked out past the lab techs.
today in the mail i received a copy of the transcription from my rheum appt & also the lab results. um, apparently my ana (normal is <1:40) is a bit high. read that as 1:1280. apparently my thyroid is off, underfunctioning a bit. not enough, or long enough, for me to gain any weight, so i don't know if it's been happening for long. i know that people with hyperactive thyroid tend to metabolize faster & lose weight more readily than others, so the opposite should be true to underactive thyroid. if nothing else, i've lost 3 lbs since catching a monster cold this weekend.
now with these results, i don't know if the doc will even want me to get my remicade infusion tomorrow. the doctor who administers it is not my actual gi doc, so i won't know what's what until i check in & see him tomorrow. since my abnormal labs could be the result of drug-induced lupus, maybe stopping the remicade is the best bet, but i don't want to suffer through more joint pain until i introduce another drug. conundrum!

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