Thursday, December 22, 2011

Call the Doctor!

"My hormones are skeewampus," I told the doctor. "I have too much testosterone. I think I might be turning into a man."

He rolled his eyes and I could tell what he thought of women who diagnose themselves on the Internet. "Let's run a few tests," he said. After a battery of blood tests his nurse called and said, "Everything else seems normal, but your testosterone is abnormally high. (Really?) The doctor wants you to see an endocrinologist." (Why? Am I becoming a man?)

The next week I visited an endocrinologist. His interview was thorough: "How did your maternal grandmother's paternal grandfather die?" and "Did your father's grandfather ever have an irregular heartbeat?" Do people actually know this stuff?? Then he gave me a sheet of instructions to take to the lab.

"This is a butt-load of tests!" said the technician. "He'll find something for sure." Then she drew eighteen tubes of blood. "What's he looking for?" I asked. "Everything," she answered. "Does he think I'm becoming a man?" I asked. "One of these tests will tell him," she said.

I went in for the results on Monday. He didn't have everything he needed, he said, so he scheduled me for two MRI's and an echo-cardiogram on Tuesday, and another three blood tests on Wednesday (today.) It was not a reassuring visit. He suspected adrenal or ovarian cancer, and wanted my heart checked out in case I needed immediate surgery.

After the echo-cardiogram the cardiologist informed me I have a thick heart. After scaring me to death with questions and explanations, he told me not to worry. He wrote a prescription, scheduled a follow-up test and patted my hand. "You'll do fine," he said. "But I'd be concerned about a surgery." (So would I, buddy; so would I.)

It was time for the MRI's. I took my prescribed Xanax ("chew it so it will work faster," the lady at the desk told me) and I was strapped on a table. Another technician put earphones on me to block out the loud noise and I was rolled into a long tube barely wide enough to fit me. I kept my eyes closed for the first few minutes, and then when a voice spoke my name, I accidentally opened them. Three inches above my nose was the top of the tube—not a pleasant sensation for a claustrophobe!

The Xanax must have kicked in, because although I thought I was awake, I don't remember much until the guy said, "only five more minutes, Martha." I counted to sixty five times, slowly, (hoping I wouldn't totally lose it and start screaming) and then they pulled me out. He said I'd been in there for over an hour! I was panicked on several levels.

This morning I had to fast, and have three blood tests taken an hour apart, drinking horrible stuff in between. By the time I was through with that, I was weak, bleak and freaked. Dee told me I ought to go shopping (that usually cures me of anything) but I thought, "Why? I'm probably going to die soon. What will they do with my new clothes?"

It's been a roller-coaster of a week. Tonight the doc called and said there were no masses to indicate adrenal or ovarian cancer. I have what appears to be a non-malignant ovarian cyst which could be causing high testosterone levels. He said it happens to lots of women. (Finally he acknowledged that I haven't become a man.) So tomorrow I'm going shopping.

He's sending me back to the original doctor to treat my high testosterone.
I've been checking things out on the Internet.


Grandma Cebe said...

Wow! I'm glad that you aren't turning into a man and that you will be OK. I'm not glad that you had to go through this nastiness to find that out.

I've only had one MRI. I totally freaked out when I realized that I was still wearing my wedding ring as all the zapping, popping and weird noises went headphones or Xanax either. I was sure that I would die in that tube.

Amanda Greer said...

Eek! This all sounds scary! I'm glad you're okay and I hope you enjoy your shopping :)

Diane said...

What a roller coaster. The worst part is the never knowing what they're thinking. I'm glad things are looking okay.

Happy shopping.

Tracy said...

oh my goodness, how scary! Sometimes I wonder if all this information we can get our hands on is a good thing. However, glad it is something that can be addressed...good luck with that shopping trip!

Heffalump said...

Well, I'm glad you are okay, and that you won't be having to shave your face anytime soon!

Christie said...

We are so relieved that all is okay(ish). Go shop those worries away.

~Kristina said...

Phew! I'm not so sure I could switch to "travelin' opa"...LOL.
Really though, I'm glad things are going to be ok in light of the alternatives.
Happy Shopping!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad all is okay!! The old adage "Ignorance is bliss"... sometimes it's true.
Robin from the Roost

Nancy said...

I'm sorry you had to go through all that,Marty, but relieved that you are all right now.

I know it was frightening for you but as long as the results are negative it is not as bad as it could be.

Thinking of you and wishing you a Merry Christmas....

the wrath of khandrea said...

DUDE! i'm so glad you're okay!

merry flipping christmas. jeesh!

Judy (kenju) said...

I'm happy to know you are not turning into a man - and I hope that your doc can get the medication regulated soon!!
Merry Christmas!

Heather P said...

Yikes! Glad you're okay. I'm a chronic Googler, too. sounds scary. I'll be sending prayers your way that you continue to hear good news.