Monday, February 23, 2009

The Doctors Office Called...

About 9:30 am today, my PCP called with results of my blood tests that she ordered on Friday. She was very alarmed by my TSH levels and wondered why I had not been on thyroid medication before this. I explained that she is the first medical professional in my life who has taken an active interest in my health and actually listened to me. She actually did the tests that I requested, plus a few more! Imagine that. I have attempted to tell others in her profession that I have all the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism, as well as a sister with thyroid issues, but they all have just waved off my concerns.

All my life I have had the feeling that the medical profession believes that I deserve to suffer because I let myself get this fat. "Perhaps if we just don't help her, she will finally start jogging and stop eating." Hellooooooooo...I have to use a walker to get to the bathroom and back. They never hear me when I tell them that just walking to the car and getting into it can cause so much pain that by the time I am at the gym I can't do anything and when I get back home, my mother will have to lift my legs out of the car for me.

Most of these doctors, who are being paid to diagnose and treat me, just preach to me about self control and motivation, but never listen to me. They don't even touch me. It's like I might be contagious. My last PCP was a nurse practitioner who, in the 1.5 years that I went there, never once laid a hand, a stethoscope, or any other instrument on me. When I asked how often she wanted me to schedule appointments or blood level tests, she said that I could just call when I want something. She was my pusher. I just called to get prescriptions refilled. She couldn't even be bothered to preach at me.

Now, I have a PCP who listens. She actually listened to my lungs, heart, and...well, she just interacted with me and listened to my concerns. I was stunned. It was like she cared about what I am going through and that I have a plan to get my health back. She wants to help. She asked meaningful questions and listened to my response. I know that she listened, because her responses or follow up questions, made sense with what I said.

So, now I am excited to see how many of my symptoms are relieved by this new medication. I will keep you posted. I have my next appointment in 4 weeks to recheck my levels. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Have a Referral!!!

Yes, I have a referral! I saw my new PCP (primary care provider) this morning. She is a nurse practitioner and I love her. She really listened to me, instead of preaching at me and didn't make me feel rushed. She seemed impressed with the amount of research and preparation that I have done on the subject of weight loss surgery and in investigating where the best place to go for it is in this area.

She told me that she would fax over the referral for EMMC's Surgical Weight Loss Program and that she would support me in any way she can. I can't tell you how excited I was at that moment. It just felt like I took a giant step toward getting my life back. I am positively giddy with the possibilities that the future holds. I know that this won't be easy, but it will be worth the work.

Now, I wait for the call from the program coordinator to tell me how they want me to proceed. More waiting. I know that it is said that patience is a virtue, but I have never desired to be quite this virtuous!

Thank you to all of you who have made supportive comments on this blog and elsewhere. Your support means a lot to me. I will post again when there is more to report, or when I feel the need to document anything about this journey.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Little Understanding Goes A Long Way.

I am so happy right now. I just got off the phone with a wonderful new friend. I won't disclose her name, because I don't have her permission to do that. I met her through a surgical weight loss support website, Obesity Help.

I have lots of wonderful, supportive, kind and generous online friends. So why is this new friend so important to me? Because she understands more than anyone else I know can. She really knows what I am going through, not only in trying to get approved for the surgery, but just in how difficult it is to get around around my home and to get out of my home. She too has to deal with pain everyday. She knows what it's like to feel like you are becoming a hermit or that you are a burden to everyone around you. Besides that, she is warm and sweet and has the cutest Southern accent that I have ever had the pleasure of listening too.

Thank goodness for the internet. Through it I have my Ravelry friends, and my Plurk pals who give me so much support and make me smile everyday. I may be stuck here in this apartment most of the time, but through this ethernet portal, I travel around the world, meeting the most amazing people along the way. I don't know who thought that the internet would be the downfall of society, but it has done nothing but broaden and enrich my world since the first day I logged on.