Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An Update of Sorts

Hey all!  We've had such a crazy couple of weeks, I've had minimal time to update you all!

Ethan came down with an ear infection right around his 9 month birthday.  He was set for his well-baby appointment, so we addressed the issue when we went in.  I walked out with an antibiotic and ear-drops for pinkeye! I'm still not sold that he had pinkeye, because we were not cautious at all about making sure we didn't catch it, and no one else did.  It was a chaotic (and quite pitiful) few days while he felt so poorly.

No sooner had Ethan gotten over his ear infection did I come down with some type of major "yuck."  After multiple days and multiple protests, I finally headed to the doctor for an antibiotic.  I'm prone to strep throat and mono, so I routinely retreated to the lab for a strep test and blood work.

My strep test (shockingly) came back negative and I was diagnosed with a simple throat infection, given an antibiotic and sent on my way.  I was told that my blood results would take a day or so.

On my way to work the next morning, my doctor called me.  He quickly told me that my thyroid levels were extremely low, and I needed to have a scan done to solidify a diagnosis of hypothyroidism as soon as possible.  Um, excuse me?  I walk in with a cold, and I walk out with hypothyroidism?  Am I the only one confused here?

My sister has struggled with hypothyroidism for several years now, and has finally gotten her levels under control.  She experienced all the typical symptoms of sluggishness/fatigue, hair loss, dry skin, etc.  I have absolutely not a single symptom to indicate that hypothyroidism would be on the radar.  My lack of symptoms have left us dumbfounded, and thought the scan would surely show that the blood work was a fluke.

After a two day scan of the activity on my thyroid, my doctor confirmed that the function was extremely low, but that there was also an "irregular abnormality" showing up in the images that needed an ultrasound.  Again, I began to feel so incredibly confused because I've had ZERO symptoms of anything but a cold.  I begin toying with my love/hate relationship with Google and my search leads me to multiple sites of information on thyroid cancer.  Cue slight panic.  Cue countless rounds of post traumatic stress from my recent year of horror.  This seriously cannot be happening again.  Am I really going to be one of those people that "came in for a cold only to find out she had cancer?"

We did the ultrasound the same day that the results came back, and a nodule that is pressing right on my esophogus showed up on my left side.  Measurements were taken, showing it about 1.8 centimeters in size.  A biopsy is immediately the next words of recommendation from my primary care physician, but tells me that he wants me to see a specialist instead of himself.  So of course, my next step is to call my cardiologist.

I spoke with my nurse practitioner at Centennial Heart, who recommended, referred, and set an appointment with the best endocrinologist at Centennial Hospital for the following week (today).

She truly was as wonderful as we expected her to be.  She has discovered I have an autoimmune disease that is attacking my thyroid, which is making it have almost zero function. At this point, no known treatment for the autoimmune disease is available, so medicine to treat the thyroid function is our next step.  It is still a little baffling that I am experiencing zero symptoms, but I have also been told that I very well come out of a "fog" that I didn't even know I was in.  My doctor believes that I may not even be noticing that I feel poorly because I feel so much better than I did a year ago while I was experiencing so many issues with my heart.

We discussed the nodule, and she agreed that a biopsy was needed.  She feels extremely confident that the results will reveal a benign nodule due to the level of density inside the nodule and that there are no calcifications inside.  However, because it is so large and showing some blood flow through it, she felt it best to make sure there are no cancerous cells inside.  She did the biopsy herself right in the office in about 10 minutes.  Let me tell you, that was the strangest feeling ever.  The skin was numb, but the pressure of the large needle moving back and forth in my throat was enough to make me nauseous and lightheaded.  Thankfully she was quick to get her 4 samples and everything was complete.  We should have the official results in about two weeks, but we are all finally feeling a little positive about it.

Ethan turns 10 months old on Friday! I'll give you all a full update on his happenings then.


Amy Lynn said...

It's such a bummer that you had more than a cold going on...but I'm happy that they figured it out quickly and that you had another great Nashville Dr experience. :-)

Valerie said...

I had a benign nodule on my thyroid gland when I was like 10 or so. I had surgery to remove it (In Nashville, as well). Even though I was 10 when I had that same needle biopsy done, I remember it like it was yesterday!!!Still taking thyroid medication.
I'll be praying that it's nothing and that you will be hitting the road running with you synthroid! I, think thyroid meds are wonderful :)

Brittney said...

:( Sad to hear all this but praying the results will come back benign!