More Questions Than Answers

I’m disappointed by how my appointment with my PCP went yesterday. Besides the usual hassle of driving there (and I was starving from fasting for a blood sugar test), there was a longer-than-normal wait to see the doctor. Once in the room, he displayed his characteristic empathetic and caring bedside manner, but I felt like he was rushing me along in my explanations and questions more than usual. I didn’t even get to all of my concerns because his repeated reply was, “we are at least on the path to figuring things out.” I’m not sure I agree; while some symptoms or systems are being investigated by their designated specialist, many are being completely ignored, tabled, or have not even been previously mentioned (and thus, obviously aren’t being addressed). More importantly, it seems like that “path” I’m on for some of these issues is unclear or even contradictory. For example, one specialist said all of my hormone levels in April were totally normal, so I’ve gone on since then ruling that out as being a contributor to my problems. However, yesterday, after my new gynecologist finally received those same lab values, she wholeheartedly disagreed and said they are wildly abnormal for a woman my age and that I need to get in to see an endocrinologist as soon as possible. I spoke with her about this apparent stark contrast and she apologized for that fact but restated her concern about the abnormality of the levels.

This apparent disagreement frustrates me because now, not only am I stressed that my hormones might be out of whack (in other words, I’ve received bad news where it was previously good), but also because I’d think two providers would agree on the general interpretation of the same set of numbers. These are trained doctors who both have expertise in hormonal values. Now I have to find a third doctor to weigh in and help clarify the results by breaking a tie.

A similar situation can be extended to other aspects of my health that are currently being investigated as well. Questions just lead to more questions and further from understandable and believable answers. Investigation, in other words, leads to more confusion and frustration instead of clarity and a trustable action plan.

I have some follow-ups in the next two weeks, but given this pattern of unsuccessful probing, I’m losing hope and fighting doubt that anything fruitful will come from it. I know that attitude won’t be productive, so I’m certainly trying to stay hopeful. I just want to feel better. Every month that passes brings more pain, debility, and resulted despondency. It’s wearing me down and affecting my long-term health and daily function.

By the time we got home yesterday, I was too hungry and too distraught. Fortunately, I staved off any sort of meltdown. After eating, I made calls to the providers I have to try and nail down some appointments and seek information. Then, I decided I needed to close the case on medical things for the rest of the day and focus on work. My bosses have requested I bump up the number of hours I’m putting in each week, so it’s critical right now to prioritize doing so, even though I desperately wanted to unwind and watch a show or spend time sitting on the deck reading. Resultantly, I really struggled to turn my brain off and ease into sleep. I was up perseverating, worrying, replaying conversations, and longing to be held in a tight embrace, if only to feel the security I felt as a child. At 11:30pm, I was overcome with hunger, which further prohibited sleep. The timing of my meals was totally disturbed by the trip to Connecticut, so while not surprising that I was hungry, it was still quite annoying. The one benefit of this particular night being sleepless was that Hallmark channel was playing Christmas movies all night, instead of infomercials. “Christmas in July” is a lame concept, but the unrealistic romantic comedies are lighthearted and silly enough that they make a great companion to an insomniac. It was fun to listen to some of my favorites from this past Christmas and reminisce about the surprising enjoyability of the 2017 holiday season, hunkering down with Ben working on a jigsaw puzzle of international road signs to the ambient soundtrack of a Hallmark Christmas movie. The sweetness of those memories somewhat provided that “hug” I was looking for and while I was disappointed I couldn’t fall back asleep, I hung on to Ben’s wise words that even just lying there awake still provides needed rest for my body. My brain, on the other hand, had a tough time getting any rest as it churned away wish its multitude of thoughts, concerns, and visual film reel from the day (particularly, like usual, from the passing images from the long drive thanks to sensory processing disorder).

I feel like I’m starting today behind the ball, or more accurately, flattened underneath it. I don’t have dreams of grandeur today in terms of what I expect to accomplish. My biggest goal is a simple one: to rest, though simple doesn’t necessarily equate to “easy.” We’ll see what happens.

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