Chai and Cow

A little of this and a little of that

The joy of housework and errands

on April 22, 2016

Today I did something that I haven’t done, by myself, in months. I picked up the dry cleaning, did the grocery shopping, put away the groceries and did the laundry. Most people would not find joy in these tasks but today I did. You see, I haven’t been able to do these things since last fall. I haven’t talked about it openly but I have felt terrible, really terrible, since November. I had widespread pain in all my muscles and joints. I was tired all of the time but couldn’t sleep. Foods I loved all of my life tasted funny to me. I was gaining weight for no apparent reason. I felt foggy all of the time. I couldn’t remember details of conversations or recall memories. It was a nightmare.

There were many, many doctors appointments and many, many tests (CT-scans, ultrasounds and MRIs). We kept being told that there was nothing specific in my blood work that indicated what was wrong. My doctors said time and time again we had to be patient and see if something showed up in the blood work so they could figure out how to treat whatever it was I was experiencing. We did know I had inflammation due to my elevated SED rate and a non-specific auto-immune issue but that was it.

Over the last 6 months I ended up in the emergency room twice. One time for extreme pain in my lower abdomen. The other because I was unable to get out of bed one Sunday morning because the pain in my lower back was so intense. Each time I was prescribed anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers but no real answers. To top it all off, in the middle of all of this an old injury in my shoulder flared up and I had extremely limited range of motion in my right arm. I started physical therapy twice a week for my back and for my shoulder.

We were now at a point that I was not able to do anything by myself. I had difficulty going up and down the stairs in our house, I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t cook or do anything around the house, and going to the office was just too much for me.

On March 17th we finally got an answer. It was the day of my physical and my regular doctor was on leave so another doctor was covering for her. I sat down to talk with the doctor about everything that was going on. She began looking through my records and test results. As she went through the records she suddenly stopped and asked me “Has anyone talked to you about your abnormal thyroid results?” I let her know I had my thyroid tested early on and had one abnormal test but when I was retested I was told my results were now showing normal. It was said that there must have been an issue with the first test. She looked again at that “abnormal” result and the result of the three subsequent tests I was given. She looked at me and said “I am not sure why you were told your results are normal. They are not normal. We are going to retest you right now.” I went to the lab, a place I had been a dozen times before, and had my thyroid tested again. I got the call on Friday morning that I was still in the abnormal range and would be put on medication stating the next day to treat hypothyroidism.

Every symptom I had been complaining of since the fall was a symptom of hypothyroidism. We were hopeful this was the answer but knew that we would need to wait and see…something we had become very good at.

I didn’t feel any different the first couple weeks and then something changed. Three weeks after starting the medication the pain started to subside! I was sleeping through the night. I was able to work three days in the office, in a row! I was able to make the bed and cook dinner. That hadn’t happened since the fall.

This past week we took a family trip to Disney and I was able to walk around the park, stand in line and ride the rides. A month ago we didn’t think was going to be possible. We even looked into the possibility of renting a wheelchair since we didn’t think I would be able to walk long distances.

As frustrating (so, so frustrating) as it is that this should have been caught in November we are thankful we now have an answer and it can be treated with medication. I go back to the doctor in a week to be retested to make sure my TSH is where it is supposed to be and if it is still a little off we will get the dosage of medication adjusted.

Remember how I mentioned that my shoulder was really bothering me as well. We were finally able to get a MRI of my shoulder done and found out I had three small cysts that were causing all of the pain. I went in for an ultra-sound guided injection two weeks ago and the pain has subsided. I am still doing PT to regain the strength but the intense pain is gone. Thank goodness!

To say that my family, and especially my husband Mike, stepped up during this time is an understatement.

My dad and father-in-law played taxi driver for me. They drove me to physical therapy and work, on the days I felt up to it.

My mom took me to my doctor’s appointments. She asked all of the questions (lots and lots of questions!) and made sure we had the information we needed to figure out next steps.

My mother-in-law checked in daily and brought me special treats.

My boss was amazing during all of this and we came up with a schedule that would allow me to work at home and, if necessary, flex my hours so I could go to my doctor’s appointments and physical therapy.

And then there is my husband. Words cannot begin to express what he has done for me over these last 6 months. He is the most selfless, caring person I have ever known. He took care of every need I had, took care of the house, did all of the errands, cooked all the meals and made sure I was as comfortable as possible at all times. This is all while he was working full-time. I honestly had no idea how he did it all and I could never say thank you enough for what he did.

So, if you haven’t heard from me, or us, in awhile this is why. We didn’t make many plans as we never knew how I was going to feel from day to day. But we are excited for the summer, seeing friends and family and enjoying the sunshine.





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