Answers…Maybe I’ll Get Some!

Okay friends – big week ahead.  Hopefully I will FINALLY get some answers!  If you need me, you can find me at UT Southwestern donating all of my blood.

To recap:  a few weeks back, I had extensive blood tests done and came back with a trifecta of doom.  Highest inflammation levels ever (despite my extensive lifestyle changes), lowest platelet count ever and a positive test for ANA.  The last one, at least, means that my body is attacking itself.  That can lead to all kinds of sucky autoimmune diseases like lupus or polymyositis.

I’ve been trying not to worry until I had something concrete to worry about, but while my head has remained relatively cool, my body has been unimpressed.  My anxiety has been sky high, making my stomach a train wreck (not helping my unrelated vomiting problem, sorry for the TMI) and I’ve had a bit of bitchery too.  Sorry, friends and family.  While it’s better that I couldn’t drink myself silly on Collin’s sangria at Joey’s 40th birthday, I certainly would have been more fun with a couple of glasses 🙂  (Great catching up with everyone, though!!  Love you guys!)

Plus, I got to jump into a pool on Saturday!  YES!  At an awesome new friend’s house to boot.  Maybe that extra boost of vitamin D can help kick all the nasties away.

As usual, I digress.  Back to blood – that’s my Tuesday trip to UTSW.  I’ll meet my hematologist and probably get sent for more tests.  I’m truthfully hoping for some answers, though, because I want to find out why everything in my blood is so jacked up.  We thought food allergies/intolerances were causing the inflammatory reactions, and they may well be, but it could be other stuff too.  I have no illusions that gluten will be a regular player in my life ever again, but I’m still irritated that cutting it out of my diet didn’t fix everything.  And it’s a catch 22, because both my regular doctor and gastroenterologist want to retest me for Celiac, which means I need to put guten back into my system, which means I’m going to want to die.  That’s going to feel wretched after so long without.

Part two comes on Thursday as a follow up to my gastroenterologist appointment.  First up, an ultrasound for my buddha belly!  Then I get to eat some radioactive scrambled eggs and have my stomach activity studied.  The working theory is that it isn’t processing food properly and somehow that’s triggering me to throw up all the time.  I’ve said a million times that I’m only overweight because my body hangs on to dinner and processes calories twice.  Maybe I’m on to something!

Or maybe I should just come to terms with my fashion degree, even though it’s a Bachelor of Science, and admit I know nothing medical.  I only enjoyed science class when it was earth science and geology because I could daydream those rocks would turn into gemstones which would turn into jewelry.

So that’s where we are.  Mom drove down from Missouri today so she can go with me.  I’m in excellent hands, because ain’t nobody better than my momma.  Work knows I’ll be out for two days this week and I’m full of well wishes.  Part of me thinks I’m over-reacting, but the rest of me is beating myself up for not doing something about all of this earlier.  I’ve known about my elevated inflammation levels for two years now but whine whine whine it’s too haaaaaaard.  Bah.  The low platelet count is relatively new, though, and the ANA as well, so I’ll try not to be too hard on myself.

All I want is to feel good and to be healthy.  Seems like it isn’t too much to ask 🙂

I’m sure I’ll blog all week about my experiences.  It definitely makes me feel better to share.  Trouble shared is trouble halved, right?

When It Rains, It Pours…the Results are In.

Seriously, Dallas.  Cut it out.  I think my friend Jamie put it together best – “Only in Texas can it rain, sleet, snow, and the sun shine all within 10 hours.”  The city was shut down for two days, snowed more this morning, and by the time I left the office I was practically sweating in the 55 degree sunshine.

I wish the insane weather was my only complaint, though.  Unfortunately, the pouring rain I’m talking about comes in the form of the rest of my test results – they came in yesterday morning, and I’ve given myself a day and a half to let it all sink in.  My ana (autoimmune screening) came back positive, so now my just in case trip to the hematologist for low platelet count has become a you are definitely going to a hematologist and likely following it up with trip to a rheumatologist too.  What???

What does this even mean?  Well, here’s what my doc had to say courtesy of the rheumatologic association:  “The immune system makes an abundance of proteins called antibodies. Antibodies are made by white blood cells and they recognize and combat infectious organisms in the body. Sometimes these antibodies make a mistake, identifying normal, naturally-occurring proteins in our bodies as being “foreign” and dangerous. The antibodies that target “normal” proteins within the nucleus of a cell are called antinuclear antibodies (ANA). ANAs could signal the body to begin attacking itself which can lead to autoimmune diseases, including lupus, scleroderma, Sjögren’s syndrome, polymyositis/ dermatomyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, drug-induced lupus, and autoimmune hepatitis.”  Cancer gets thrown into the mix too, but I think that’s a very, very low possibility.

I know that’s a lot of big words in there, but I’m thinking best case scenario, my low platelet count, insanely high inflammatory levels and positive ana all likely have something to do with each other, and at least a hematologist and/or rheumatologist will help me sort it out.  And there’s a 15% chance it’s not a damn thing at all, just my body being an asshole for asshole’s sake.  Wouldn’t surprise me.

I spent the weekend being annoyed that finally taking doctors and allergies seriously didn’t have the healing powers I thought they would, and now this is dumped on me too.  I’m fine, honestly, because there’s nothing to worry about until there’s something to worry about, but it’s unsettling.  And to make it worse, I can’t get into a hematologist until March 31st, which means I get to spend a whole month feeling unsettled and jittery.  And that, my friends, sucks.  I don’t do this unsettled thing gracefully.

On the bright side, surely if it was critical I wouldn’t have to wait that long for an appointment.

As I told my parents tonight, it’s not like I’m going to all of a sudden order a pizza with extra cheese and a beer, because going BACK to gluten, dairy, soy, etc. would just make everything worse.  And the gastroenterologist I get to see mid-March for completely different issues would likely agree.  A GI scope, SO FUN!  I’ve been burning off nervous energy at the gym this week too…thank goodness there’s one in my building since the streets were iced over.  I’m just feeling jittery and awkward and blah.  I haven’t had an appetite all week either so maybe I’ll at least get to drop a few more pounds. (Bright side, I’m looking for you.  Hard.)

I started a new quilting project to take my mind of things, and WOO I haven’t had to redo this many stitches since I first started sewing.  My focus is more than a little off, so I’ve had to rip out a lot of seams.  The worst part is that I’m doing paper piecing, which means the stitches are tiny tiny tiny.  Ugh.  That’s the biggest reason it’s taken me two whole evenings to do just one block.  It’s a great block, though, and I absolutely adore these fabrics.

Here’s what it looks like to rip out stitches out of a small block, followed by what it looks like to rip out stitches out of an almost completed block.  Whoops.

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Maybe by the time this sucker gets done, I’ll have a guest bedroom to feature it!  It won’t be at the cow house, since that’s long gone, but I’m sure something else with three bedrooms and a pool will head my way in the next couple months.

I think that wraps things up for me now.  My body hates me and is attacking itself, no cow house, work is absolutely bananas and Dallas weather is insane.  Goodness.  And I’ve got the attention span of a gnat right now to boot, which doesn’t help any of the above.  Ack.

Hopefully I’ll have a better attitude in the morning, or at least by the weekend 🙂

Cheers,

C