Monday, October 20, 2008

I Hate Hospitals

Today I had to go to the hospital for a cardiac pulmonary stress test. Yeah, it was about as fun as it sounds. I hate, hate, hate hospitals and this test was all the more awkward because I had to go to my husband's department to take it. I'm glad that Jonathan knows people that might be able to help me solve this breathing problem (which has been going on since '05!) but it would be great if his colleagues had never seen me on a treadmill, hooked into all kinds of machines and breathing like I may pass out at any moment. Did I mention the huge clip that gets attached to the nose during all of this? Oh, and how about the fact that they have to venture up your shirt, A LOT, to insert, and then mess with, the cardiac attachments. I know his colleagues don't think anything of it, it's their job etc. etc., but all I can think about is the next Christmas party. "Oh, so this is what you look like when your shirt is in its proper place and you're not sputtering and sweating all over the place ..."

Okay, I'm exaggerating a bit, but it was still fairly embarrassing for me. And the entire time they're doing the test you can't talk because you have to hold the mouth piece in place. But they want to know how you are doing so you have to throw up 1 - 10 fingers every now and then. Here's the thing though; if a person ever gets to 10 they're screwed because they have you hold onto a bar to keep your balance and they have a pulse-ox on one of your fingers, which means you can't hold the bar too tight with that hand. What the heck are you supposed to do if you reach 10?? Throw both hands up and hope you catch the bar on the way down? 'Cause if you don't get it, you will fall forward and your face will end up catching you. Talk about embarrassing.

I made it to 6 1/2 before I had to have them stop the test because I was dizzy. I was worried they didn't get enough data but they all told me I did great and went on their merry way. Then in the parking garage Jonathan informed me that they just keep going until you tell them to stop or until they reach a certain level. I wish I would've known that before I started the test?! I thought they were in control. I didn't know I could have stopped at any moment. If I would've known that I would've walked in one door and right out the other.

Next week I meet with the pulmonary doctor I've been seeing to go over the results of this plus my other tests. Although just before he left the stress test room he appeared very confused and was talking about how he would have to "think about this case." We did ascertain one thing though. I definitely, no way, no how, not possible, do not have asthma.

My case is complicated for a lot of reasons but the main one is my thyroid problem. I have Graves Disease, also known as Hyperthyroidism and that makes the breathing problem difficult to diagnose.

A few years back when I was doing the test rounds to try to figure out my Graves Disease I realized just how much I hate doctors and hospitals. Figuring out my little disease was very convoluted and I saw a lot of incompetent doctors. Once a doctor diagnosed me I remember trying to come to terms with Graves Disease and having a chronic illness and how that would affect me. That was not a good time in my life. I had a lot of information coming at me and I didn't have a good doctor who could help me process it. It wasn't until I found my specialist that I realized what was happening to me and that I could control it and work with it.

In those confusing months after being diagnosed with Graves I remember feeling like I was beating my head against a wall. Chronic illness, chronic illness, chronic illness. For the rest of your life, for the rest of your life, for the rest of your life. Head against wall, head against wall, head against wall. And now I'm afraid I am going to have another chronic illness and it's going to be another depressing cycle before I adjust and come to terms with it. Or the doctors will once again draw a blank and I'll be back where I started, or where I am now - unable to breathe, petrified to have children, unable to run, exhausted all the time ... Or, here's a third option, that somehow it will be my fault. It is possible that I could be doing this to myself. That option can't be ruled out right now and that's just a scary thought.

So right now I guess it's just a matter of bucking up and realizing that this could help. That there may be a solution out there and the doctor I'm seeing now may have the golden ticket. I just hate going through all of this because it makes me sad, depressed and weepy. My poor husband, I know I'm not very easy to live with right now. Most of the time I'm raging at the world because I don't understand what is wrong with my body, but a lot of the time that rage gets spewed all over him.

I'm glad this day is over. I'm going to curl up with a good book now and hope for a better tomorrow.


  1. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Remember that God is always with you and doesn't give you anything you can't handle. This will make you stronger and I pray will result in some answers for you. Love You!


thank you!


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