Monday, February 06, 2006

human pincushion checking in

Well, it wasn't that bad. They only poked me once to take blood and the prodding was kept to a minimum. No thermal scan today either. I guess they figured it wasn't worth it since the thyroid gland was on its way out last time anyway.

Despite wearing my tinfoil hat AND my lucky underwear, it still took an hour and a half from the time they drew blood to the time I actually got to see the doctor. Not unusual at all for this place, though. I think they need to tighten up their scheduling a bit. It's been that way for as long as I've been going there. There was one woman there, obviously a newbie, who got up and whined and moaned and insisted that they were letting everyone go before her. The nurse just told her to stop complaining and get a life. All the rest of us veterans in the waiting room rolled our eyes at her and smiled quietly to ourselves. Number one rule at the doctor's in Germany: The Sprechstundenhilfe (the chick behind the counter) is always right.

To break the monotony a bit, a poor old granny who had slipped and fallen right outside the building and banged her head a bit came rushing in asking for them to help her. The bandaged her up good but had to send her to yet another doctor because doctors of nuclear medicine and internists are apparently not allowed to put a couple of stiches into someone's noggin. Go figure. She'll be fine and we were distracted for 10 minutes.

When it was finally my turn to see the doctor, she checked out the results of the blood work I had done about a month ago at my regular doctor's and agreed that things weren't that great, especially since I had been feeling so lousy. She said she had no problem with upping the meds a bit to see if I felt any better and then she asked me if I had been having any discomfort in the thyroid area. I told her that if feeling like you have a giant frog in your throat 24 hours a day counts as discomfort then, yeah, I was plenty uncomfortable. She then decided to do an ultrasound and found that although there was barely any thyroid tissue on one side, as she had said last time, the minimal amount on the other side had actually enlarged itself a bit to compensate for the missing hormones, thus the weird feeling. That's not good, since the whole idea of taking the synthetic hormones is to give the thyroid a break and keep the immune system from going nuts. She also discovered a small nodule that wasn't there before and needs to be looked at again next year to make sure it doesn't take on a life of its own and turn cancerous. If you're going to get a disease, try not to get this one, OK? It's very annoying.

Armed with a prescription for a higher dosage of hormones than I was taking before and instructions to trudge downtown again in six weeks for a blood test, I set out for home.

I think I'll go take a nap now.

21 Comments:

At February 06, 2006 3:53 PM, Blogger Philip said...

Giant frog in the throat? Hmmm, I hear jellyfish love frogs . . .

Hope you get to feeling better soon.

 
At February 06, 2006 3:56 PM, Blogger christina said...

Thanks Philip! I hope YOU get to feeling better soon too.

*goes off to think about jelly fish suggestion* :-)

 
At February 06, 2006 4:13 PM, Blogger Ginnie said...

UGH! I just hate that you're having to put up with all this s**t, Christina! God knows it's not that you need something else to write about! Thanks for the update. And nap well!

 
At February 06, 2006 4:27 PM, Anonymous Wendy said...

That really sounds horrible...I hope you respond well to the meds and feel lots better soon.

 
At February 06, 2006 7:33 PM, Blogger Nyana said...

I'm confident that you'll feel absolutely fabulous in no time! You already are anywayz! Keep your chin up and don't let things get to you Christina! You are a strong woman and we're totally behind you!

 
At February 06, 2006 8:14 PM, Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Ouch! Hoping for you feeling better soon!

 
At February 06, 2006 8:31 PM, Blogger Angie said...

The doctor's office sounds like a trip. Apparently those Germans aren't as efficient as Americans are led to believe?

Surely all that haggis you'll be receiving from Sal will speed your full recovery. You trumped everyone in that competition. I couldn't even come up with an entry. (Well, partly because the Internet connection on the laptop wasn't working all weekend, and my computer guru/boyfriend sprained his ankle playing basketball and was not available to hook me up, so to speak.) You were a master blogger this weekend. Puts me to shame again.

 
At February 06, 2006 8:50 PM, Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

*pats, pats* *CROAK!* Okay...just hope you'll feel better soon!

 
At February 06, 2006 8:54 PM, Blogger Berlinbound said...

The Sprechstundenhilfe (the chick behind the counter) is always right.

Ok ... now that one goes in my "must learn" file.

 
At February 06, 2006 9:51 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Here's another one I want to hug. Hope you're feeling much better soon.
*crossing my fingers those meds kick in and do what they're supposed to*

 
At February 06, 2006 10:34 PM, Blogger christina said...

Thanks so much for the support, guys! I think I've got a few good years left in me yet.

Angie - that Germany Americans hear about is That Other Germany that I have never visited. :-)Luckily for me, I won't be the one receiving the haggis! I don't know if I could handle that right now. And you're still young - I'm sure there'll be many more contests for you to enter. :-)

Richard - some of those gals can be VERY opinionated. Arm yourself.

 
At February 07, 2006 1:55 AM, Blogger Cathy said...

Christina;
Oh dear, sorry to hear this...I hope all remains well. I can not imagine the constant feeling of a frog in your throat. You must always have the feeling of needing to clear it...

 
At February 07, 2006 2:36 AM, Blogger euro-trac said...

Oh Crikey... I hope it all works well for you. I guess getting the dosage right for this kind of thing is hard. Good luck! x

 
At February 07, 2006 3:05 AM, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

Geez...I will be thinking good thoughts--hope you feel better soon!

 
At February 07, 2006 7:29 AM, Blogger Karen said...

Take care of yourself - I know from an acquaintance what a hassle thyroid problems can be.

 
At February 07, 2006 9:30 AM, Anonymous mar said...

I am also sorry you have to go through this. But I figure they just have to find the correct medication for you, right?

 
At February 07, 2006 9:55 AM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

Hope the medi's will get you back in top form again. My best friend has the same thing, but she seems to have found the right dosage and is feeling great again.

 
At February 07, 2006 11:19 AM, Blogger Haddock said...

Hope you start feeling well again soon. My thyroid meds were upped before Xmas and I know it takes a while to kick in.
Incidently Mrs H suggested a few weeks back to have my thyroid scanned. I guess I'll have to take her advice.

 
At February 07, 2006 12:23 PM, Blogger christina said...

Cathy - Thanks! Yes, I do find myself clearing my throat a lot. It's sort of like having a chronic respiratory infection. Hopefully it will go away soon.

euro trac - Yeah, the dosage can be pretty hard to adjust because it depends on a lot of other things.

Thanks mr. fabulous!

Karen - You never know what kind of symptoms you're going to get. Some have none and others get the whole enchilada, so to speak.

Mar - There really is only one medication for this condition- the sythetic thyroid hormones that replace the ones the thyroid can't produce itself - and I've been taking it for over 30 years, but getting the dosage right can be a real problem and things can change all of a sudden.

CanadianSwiss - That's good to hear. It can sometimes be a problem if the doctor thinks the levels are normal, but the patient still feels bad. I think my doctor clued in this time so we'll see how it goes. I actually did used to feel OK, but the doc said I was taking too much hormone back then. Go figure.

Haddock - Yes, I think it takes around 6 weeks to show any difference at all. I think they mostly do scans on people with Hashomoto's or Grave's Disease or if they suspect nodules, but it might be worth getting one done. Where I go they usually do a "Szintigram" and an ultrasound.

 
At February 07, 2006 1:57 PM, Blogger Betty said...

I don't know what to say Christina. Consider yourself hugged .. a lot.

 
At February 07, 2006 2:01 PM, Blogger Andrea said...

ohh please let us know what happens, I am new to thins blog and didnt know about this, hugs and good luck.

 

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