Monday, September 20, 2010

dramatic title.

I was debating whether or not to post this,
but its a significant part of my life.
And this blog is a substitute journal.
This qualifies as journal entry worthy.

I'll try to make this as short and concise as possible.

3 and 1/2 years ago my health most definitely headed downhill.
The most obvious change was a dramatic weight loss.
40 pounds in a month.
I was newly engaged and people assumed I was on the
pre-wedding anorexia diet.
But my appetite hadnt changed and I thought perhaps it was
anxiety.
Especially since I had an increase in that area as well.
I was soon married and nothing changed.
(health wise)
Then I had very bad muscle pain... constantly.
Especially in my legs.
I wont even go into what a physical, medical and mental
nightmare that was.
And the consequences that ensued from mis-diagnosis.
I started having regular panic attacks
and the combination of all this started to bring about bouts of depression.
I saw a few psychiatrists.
One diagnosed me as bipolar after talking to me for 5 minutes.
At this point I was very trusting of doctors
and so hearing I was bipolar was frightening.
The medicine she prescribed was really intense and I didnt
feel right taking it.
After researching the disorder... it didnt take long for me
to realize I was definitely not bipolar.
I went to several doctors; and do you know what they all more or less
agreed on... This was all in my head and due to mental illness.
Depression and anxiety.
I started to feel like I really was going crazy.
Was I making these symptoms up?

Fast forward 3 years and these symptoms were now a way of life.
Only more emerged...
Extreme fatigue, insomnia, shortness of breath, shaky hands- to name a few.
Someone suggested an internal medicine dr.
He took a routine blood test and found out I was anemic.
So that was that... Just take iron and Ill be fine.
Wishful thinking.
I was playing soccer at the time and after a game
it took me three hours to recover.
The doctor told me I had to stop playing soccer and tennis.
My muscles had grown very weak anyway
and I couldnt play up to a satisfying standard ...
Try kicking a ball with a stick leg.
it was more frustrating then enjoyable.
So I took his advice and quit.

Then about 6 months ago things got pretty bad.
I was functioning at 25% on a good day.
But I was pregnant and everyone thought that explained it perfectly.
But I knew something wasnt right.
So I begged and pleaded with my doctors.
Finally, a month ago- I became one big pathetic mess at the OB's office.
I asked for bloodwork to check my iron.
As I was leaving she casually suggested I have my thyroid checked.

The results came back and my thyroid numbers were not looking right.
I was referred to an endocrinologist.
I saw him today, after a three week wait
and he said what I desperately needed to hear after 3 years of
questioning my sanity...
"This is most definitely not in your head."

I was diagnosed with Graves Disease.

In short... Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that occurs
when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body
tissue. It leads to the overactivity of the thyroid gland as well.

No joke... It looks like someone ripped out a page of my diary
and drew up the list of graves symptoms.
It's pretty unbelievable that it went undiagnosed for so long.

The form of treatment were considering is radioactive iodine.
Pregnant woman cannot be treated with this for obvious reasons.
I cried like a blubbering idiot while the doctor shifted uncomfortably
in his chair.
I just want to feel normal. Desperately.
Then he said, you just have to make it four more months.
And I thought, Youre right, I can do that.

Im happy to finally have answers.
Im happy that relief is in the future.
Im happy that my children will have a mother
who can chase them around the yard
without needing a 3 hour recovery.
Im happy my husband will have a wife that isnt so needy.

Right now all my energy goes to Ginger and Casey,
and thats pretty much the extent of it.
So my sincere apologies if I've been a bad friend and/or family member.
Just remember its nothing that a little radioactive love cant fix.
Ill be back full force soon.
You dont even know how awesome I can be. :)




9 comments:

Life as Ashley said...

So happy you finally have an answer... and relief in sight.

I cannot imagine anything more frustrating than having "professionals" tell you that it's all in your head. I watched my mom deal with that for years. And guess what, wasn't in her head either.

Keep focusing on you Ali. NO ONE should expect anything more.

Good luck to you, and I hope the next four months just sail by...

xoxo Ashley

Kate Korr said...

Seriously, how awesome that you have a definitive answer! I'm sorry you have to deal with everything, especially while being pregnant. Grab a calender, and start crossing off the days!

Daniel & Aubri said...

You are a champ. Seriously. And I'm SO happy for you to finally have an answer, what a blessing that must be! I'll keep you in my prayers especially for these next few months.

ABBOTTLAND said...

Omigosh, what an ordeal you have been through. To be misdiagnosed and to be told you are literally crazy. Makes you have a lot of faith in doctors, huh? I'm so glad you finally found out what your body is doing and how you can fix it. It is definitely something to look forward to, only second to your little man coming of course. Thank you for sharing and you are in my thoughts and prayers.
~Mandy

amber belmonte said...

so glad you have an answer! I agree with kate!! Get a calendar and mark those days.. I hope the radioactive lovin' that you get is smooth sailing. You know you have countless friends and family to turn to when you need a listening ear. I love you to pieces. So glad you shared this, this is a huge part of your life! And ps, I totally know firsthand how awesome you are. xo

The Bells said...

Ali I am so happy for you. I mean, not happy that you have such a gnar disease, but - well, you know what I mean. I cannot even imagine going through what you have endured. You are so strong. Only 4 more months... YOU CAN DO IT (Waterboy voice). LOVES!

Whitney R said...

Oh Ali, I feel for you. I'm so glad you finally know what's wrong and how to fix it. Funny how 4 months sounds out loud when comparing it to 3 years. Think of what you'll get at the end of those 4 months. A normal life and a new baby :) Well, normal as 2 kids can get! I think I'll write more in your facebook message.

Luke, Nicole, and Brighten said...

Yeah! So, happy to hear that you have answers know. I can't even imagine how frustrating!!! Love you more than words!!! I hope you can enjoy the end of your pregnancy...I must admit I do miss the "prego" pictures. Happy Healing...love you!

Christy said...

Alexis-

I love you and I am so happy that you have some closure and some answers :) Sending you our radioactive love from SD and looking forward to seeing you at Thanksgiving. I love you!