Thursday, October 28, 2010

An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away? Not For Me!

I used to say "Well, I may be fat, but at least I'm healthy."

I can't seem to say that anymore. It seems like every other week, I'm at some doctor for something.

I suppose it all started back in January. I had been experiencing slight chest pains for the at least a month or so before January. But it never seemed THAT bad. Plus, I had no health insurance, and I was afraid if I did go to the hospital, and get checked out, only to find out it was nothing, that I would be stuck with a gigantic bill, just to tell me that I was fine. So I ignored it.

Then it was New Years. It seemed worse. But things were pretty stressful on the home front around that time too, so I chalked it up to just a reaction to that. Then Mr. Simple got a new job, and I would be able to have health insurance again. He would start on January 18th. It seemed better for a few days. Then it was January 16th. Definitely worse. By the 17th, it was no longer something that I could ignore. It was definite chest pain. I had pain in my shoulder and down my arm. My jaw hurt. But my health insurance wouldn't kick in until the next day. I laid in bed all day and all night. And hoped. And prayed.

I got up early the next morning and drove myself to the hospital. I walked in the emergency room doors and went to the desk. The person asked what my symptoms were and I said that I was having chest pain. And then there was a flurry of activity. I was taken directly to a room, and hooked up to an EKG machine, I was given a nitro pill, they were trying to take blood and start and IV, all while they were asking question after question. When did it start? What did it feel like? How would I rate my pain? Did I have any family history of heart problems?

And when I said Yes, my dad had his first heart attack at 38, it was decided that I would be staying at least overnight. They took me up to the Cardiac Care Unit and over the next 12 hours, I had a number of tests. And one by one, the results started coming in. By the next morning, the doctors said that I was all right. I had no blockage, my heart rate was fine, even my cholesterol level was o.k. The doctors said that I did the right thing coming in because of my family history and my symptoms. They weren't sure what the problem was exactly - could be stress, could be gall bladder, but for right now, my heart seemed o.k. It was recommended that I lose weight, and I told my dr. that I had been planning on it anyway, and that I would do it. (Which I did. But it took packing on another 15-20 pounds and another two months before I started. I know. I'm an idiot.)

In February, I went to the dr. because I had a sinus infection and pink eye. He mentioned something about allergies and I said that I hadn't had any problems with allergies as a child, but the past few years, I had had lots of nasal/respiratory problems. He said I should keep an eye on it. I was sick again in April. And then I spent ALL summer hacking. Or stuffed up. Or both. And then I got another sinus infection. Oh, and pink eye another couple times in there too. And another bad one in September. I was put on antibiotics in September. And prednisone. I felt better for a few days. And then worse. So I called an allergist and made an appointment. I had my appointment in the middle of October. Diagnosis: Allergic to dust mites, pet dander, grain pollen, ash trees. Allergic to coconut and probably allergic to bees/wasps/hornets, etc. and probably some other foods.

And then there is the Meniere's. I had slight problems with vertigo over the summer, but thought it was related to my respiratory problems, or because I was working out in the heat, etc. Then I had a major episode in August. Then I started to have a feeling of fullness in my right ear. Nobody could figure out what was wrong, or if I was connected to my other nasal/respiratory problems that I was having at the time. I went to a Prompt Care dr. about it, my regular dr., and finally an ENT, who was able to diagnose me with Meniere's right away. I've been back twice now to see the ENT. My hearing loss is progressing quicker than he anticipated, and I'm experiencing more vertigo than I did over the summer. But there isn't any cure for Meniere's, so the ENT is just trying to help me manage my symptoms.

And then I'm having some issues that I needed to see my GYN about, but I'll keep the specifics of that to myself. But it was just one more doctor, one more medical problem that I've had to deal with this year.

So now although I'm not as fat, I'm not as healthy either. But don't worry, my plan isn't to gain weight to see if I feel better. I am still exercising most days and still eating healthy most days. And hoping. And praying. That one day, I will be thin AND healthy.


Krista said...

You WILL be both! And so glad you have that health insurance--you have used it to the fullest. :)

Minerva Jo said...

WOW, Andie! What a year you have had. Here's to a quiet and boring end to 2010.

Minerva Jo said...

ah crud! i accidentally posted twice. please disregard one of them =)

Whacky Wheelers said...

Thanks to you I don't feel like such a hypochondriac anymore! Glad you are finding out what is going on and I am very impressed with your weight loss, etc. I can not get motivated whatsoever!!

AndieF said...

Uh, you're welcome, Julie?? Here's hoping that we both get healthier in 2011, o.k.?

Thanks Krista. Yes, I'm VERY grateful for my health insurance. I went for almost two years without health insurance because Mr. Simple made too much for me qualify for any sort of state insurance, but the insurance premiums at his old job were WAY too high for us to afford it.

Thanks Mindy. I'm hoping for that too!