I promise, I am really trying to see good right now. But all of this medical stuff? It is starting to wear me pretty thin.
My doctor called me late this afternoon. The results of my biopsy test from last week? Well, we pretty much don’t know anything more than we knew we did before I had a needle stuck in my neck about 10 times. Ok, ok, that isn’t true – we know that the samples were not malignant. That is a victory! But we don’t know much more than that.
I have a reactive lymph node. We don’t know exactly what they lymph node is reacting to, but it is clearly swollen and painful and causing numbness & tingling along the left jaw line. Something is causing it to be inflamed and has been for some time now. (Before the pneumonia, so it wasn’t that.)
She pointed out that the list of potential causes is quite long. I had my blood work drawn on Monday, and she does not expect to have those results until next week, so we will regroup then and discuss what is next once she has them.
As for my thyroid, yep, there is a cyst there. The samples they got were fluid though, and not tissue. Frustrating for me, since the pathologist said at the time that the first samples were fluid, so the radiologist went in again for another sample. No idea why that one didn’t have tissue. My doctor is waiting to talk with a radiologist to see if doing a Thyroid Uptake test is the step to take next. The goal of that would be to see if the node reacted “hot” or “cold” to the iodine as it went through the system. Hot, and the chance of it being malignant is small. Cold, and the chance of it being malignant is about 20%. We are waiting on blood work for my thyroid as well.
Not out of the woods yet.
To say I’m frustrated is putting it mildly. I’m just tired of it. This has been going on for over 2 months now as far as exams and testing goes, and to be honest, over 2 years now as far as the pain in my neck caused by that lymph node is concerned, although it has definitely grown worse over the past 6 months.
The irony in all of this is that since changing my diet in December 2011 and going gluten-free, I can honestly say I feel better than I have in YEARS. Most of my chronic inflammation related issues are gone because before I had no idea that I was allergic to wheat. My blood pressure is down to normal, I’ve lost 30 pounds, I just feel better. But my lymph node is having a battle with something, and my thyroid has a node.
(Inflammation is at the root of a number of health issues, including high blood pressure & reflux, two of the many things I’ve been treated for with medication in the past, and which have resolved themselves with dietary changes. My blood pressure is normal instead of borderline high. Where I had to take medicine daily for reflux, I now never have to take it.)
Oh, and I may have asthma too – I shouldn’t forget that. Which is also caused by inflammation in the lungs. I have a test next Wednesday to determine my pulmonary function levels.
I’m also 99% sure that I have celiac disease, which is also caused by inflammation. I have all of the symptoms any time I eat wheat. People often comment to me how surprised they are that I’ve stayed gluten free for 17 months now. If you knew how much wheat hurts me, you wouldn’t be surprised at all.
It may be time to move on to an endocrinologist. I need a doctor to look at the whole system.
I don’t want to be sick. I want to BE well. I feel well. I’m doing my part, so I really wish my body would do its part in return.
Day 24 of 365. Photograph taken outside of the House of Blues in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana on my iPhone 4S in July, 2012.