Cancer? No, I Just Need a Chronic Fatigue Doctor

Or, Diagnosis Part IV

Cancer Scare Number Four

“Casey’s” body language was not matching her words. He was my new, naturopathic doctor and she was saying things like he “just wanted to be sure” and that he wanted me to see someone who knew more about this. But it was Friday and she’d already made a Monday appointment for me to see another doctor. Plus, she was moving around the room with an urgency that made me suspicious.

“Just tell me,” I insisted. “I won’t hold you to it.” Clearly something was on his mind. Clearly she had an opinion on what this latest test result meant.

“It could mean liver or bone cancer.”

I looked at him uncomprehendingly. Then my mind did a quick calculation. Liver or bone? Aren’t those the worst places to get cancer? How did I get here? Again? Continue reading

Deciphering My Condition Myself

Or, Diagnosis Part II

I was sitting on the red sofa in my new living room when it dawned on me: I had tried everything I knew and everything every doctor I knew, knew. I still couldn’t function and didn’t even know what was wrong with me. It was mid to late 2006 and I had moved by lying down and saying yes or no while Kari organized and packed up my townhome. My joints were getting increasingly sore, my body was bloating like crazy and by the time I was sitting on the sofa pondering my situation, my left wrist was in a brace.

I was no slouch when it came to using diet and exercise to keep myself healthy. Over the years I had become accustomed to doctors marveling at my great cholesterol numbers for example. But my medical doctor at the time, whom I’ve been calling Addison, had proven unhelpful even harmful. My naturopathic doctor “Bailey” was more sympathetic but didn’t seem to have much more to offer. The conclusion I reached that day was that new information had to come in. There was information somewhere that could help me, and I was going to find it. Continue reading

Something’s Wrong with Me

Or, Diagnosis Part I

I wasn’t worried when the orderly tied my feet to the bottom of my hospital bed. It was September 2005 and I had just had major surgery. Someone had put the emergency buzzer next to my hand but I was soon yelling for the nurses (or trying to). I simply couldn’t command my hand to move the required inch to grab the buzzer. The solution was to put the buzzer in the palm of my hand with my fingers wrapped around it.

Now the sheets on the perfectly made bed were pushing my feet into an uncomfortable position and I couldn’t find the strength to move them. So the orderly righted them, then tied them down. I even laughed when hours later one of the surgeons tried to carry me out of bed to take a few steps and I’d forgotten about my feet being tied to the bed frame. Continue reading