So here it is - part two. This is the part where I talk about how I feel…more emotional than physical. Physically, right now, I’m just more tired than normal, but otherwise mostly okay. But emotionally, I’m kind of starting to feel like a wreck, and I may be making it worse by keeping a lot of that in to spare the other people in my life.
I am relieved to find out SOMETHING is going on and know now WHAT that something is. I tried to tell my general practitioner back in April that I felt “off.” That I thought my thyroid or something was acting up because I didn’t feel normal. My appetite was out of whack and I just didn’t feel right. I know that’s kind of vague, but it’s the best I can do. He said I hadn’t gained weight in the past 6 months so he didn’t see any reason to do any tests. (I, frankly, expected more from a doctor of osteopathy.) So then in June all hell breaks loose and finally someone starts to listen and pay attention to my concerns. But for the past 3 months I’ve felt like I’m just treading water, waiting to find out something for sure and now I have. But in those months since April, I’ve gained about 20 pounds, and in the last 16 months, I’ve gained almost 50 pounds. THAT is NOT normal for me. Granted I don’t lose weight very easily, but I don’t tend to gain it all that quickly either. I’m angry at myself for being weak and allowing this to happen. I’m angry at my GP for not listening to me and I wonder if I could have prevented some of this. I’m scared that I won’t be able to fix this and that I am destined to be this obese for the rest of my life. And I’m embarrassed by myself. I haven’t been this down about my body … well, maybe ever. And I’m trying so hard to push it down and be in denial that I’m only making things worse.
BUT with the results of my blood tests, my thyroid is a little bit off even with the Synthroid that I am currently on. So maybe if my GP will tweak my prescription a bit, it will help me lose a little weight. But what about the rest though? Some of my weight gain can be attributed to medical issues, but a lot of it is also the mental challenges that have come with that. I would like to think of myself as strong, but I wasn’t strong enough for this.
So I’ll have my thyroid meds changed. But that’s not all. Next up is the prescription for methotrexate that I have in my purse. Methotrexate is basically a chemotherapy drug. However, in my case, I won’t be having it injected directly into my veins; I’ll be taking it once a week in pill form. The reason the salivary gland infections keep coming back is because I have chronic inflammation in those glands so they cannot drain properly. Steroids this summer finally got me back to normal for a while, but that is only a temporary fix. The methotrexate will help combat the problem, but it can also cause some toxicity buildup in my liver and/or kidneys (which thankfully are fine right now). The fact that it is used to terminate pregnancies scares me as well (not that I have any plans of being pregnant). Maybe now is the time to consider a more permanent form of birth control though…?
I also need to consider the possibility of medications to manage the dry eyes, mouth, nose, etc caused by Sjogrens. Right now I take allergy medication daily to control the crazy sneezing and eye irritation I would get at work if I didn’t take it. BUT that medication is also drying me out. So it’s this very unstable balancing act of which one is more important and when the importance of these medical priorities shift.
I hate to change my diet and exercise habits drastically while I’m also making chemical changes to my body because it becomes hard to figure out to what I can attribute any reactions in my body… or is it better to change everything at once so the transition isn’t drug out over a long period of time? How do I find a new balance with everything? And with these new challenges should I increase my antidepressant dosage as well? And are there other treatment options? Alternative medicine? Can my chiropractor help? How do I change my diet and get back into my running groove (which I am VERY out of right now)? And how do I do all that and be a mom to my 5-yr-old as she evolves into a responsible student in kindergarten? And be a good girlfriend? And not put the job that I love (most of the time) in jeopardy. It’s a lot to consider and seeing it as a whole has me feeling very anxious right now. I’m just not sure yet how to break it down.