I'm just back from a visit with Dr. Dork. Of course, his real name isn't Dr. Dork, I just don't want him to ever sue me for slander, because I'm pretty sure he has a decent lawyer and a lot more money than I do.
So I went to Dr. Dork, my endocrinologist. I started going to him a couple of years ago after going to see a family practitioner about being sooooo tired. Yes, I was the mother of 2 little boys, and therefore, very tired anyhow, but I was so tired I was falling asleep on the couch during the middle of the day while my kids jumped on me and dared each other to pick my nose. By 8:00 pm every night I was ready for bed, and each morning I was glad my son attended afternoon kindergarten so I could sleep on the couch a little longer.
My family practitioner ran a bunch of tests to determine the cause of my exhaustion and came up with nothing, but upon feeling my neck she discovered a decent sized lump on my thyroid and referred me to Dr. Dork to have it looked at. It usually takes months to get an appointment with a well-known endocrinologist, but I managed to get in to see Dr. Dork within the week. (The panic in the nurse's voice while she spoke to me to schedule the appointment clued me in that this might be kind of a big deal.)
Dr. Dork felt the lump himself and commented that yes, it was quite large, but it was okay because thyroid problems run in families and he was sure this was something prevalent in my family.
It wasn't. Really.
Almost everyone I know has thyroid "issues", I just am not directly related to any of them. Seriously. There's my mother-in-law, my husband's grandmother, my husband's stepmother, my own stepmother at the time, and several (if not the majority of) my friends and neighbors who either take medication or have had their thyroids removed. (A little odd, don't you think?)
Anyhow, Dr. Dork comments that there's no need to worry, he's sure I'll find someone in my family who has problems, besides, cancer usually seems to occur in people who don't have genetic thyroid issues.
Hello?! Was the man not listening? Thyroid stuff doesn't run in my family! I even called my dad to ask if he knew of anyone with thyroid issues in our family that I might be unaware of. Not a one.
So a biopsy is ordered and Dr. Dork gives me a run down of the possible outcomes. Basically, such and such percentage is the likelihood of it being cancer. Of that percentage, such and such is the percentage of this certain type of cancer, and there's another percentage of that kind of cancer. If it's this type of cancer, it's treatable, if it's that type, I'll have however many years to live, if it's the other kind, it'll only be a few months...
Yep. An amazing bedside manner, this doctor has. Kinda makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, huh?
Luckily, it wasn't cancer. Instead it's just a whacked out thyroid that's just enough over- or under- active to make me feel tired. And I only have to go back to see Dr. Dork every 6 months to a year to have him read my blood tests and tell me that nothing new is going on.
So today was my appointment with Dr. Dork. I left the house around 10:30 am to make sure I'd be on time to my 11:45 am appointment because we live so far out in the sticks. My husband meets me at the doctor's office and we do a kid-transfer. Noah, who stayed home from preschool due to coughing up phlegm and sneezing up a storm is deemed well enough by my husband to take to McDonald's to play in the play zone. (And people wonder why their kids always get sick after playing in those things!)
I pay my $35 co-pay and read several magazines while waiting, then I'm taken back to the examining room to wait some more. (What's up with that, anyway?) I pick up a fall-themed issue of Good Housekeeping and notice the date on it is October 2004. Nice.
Dr. Dork finally comes in, looks quickly at the results of my blood tests, feels my thyroid, and says while it's slightly overactive there is no need to do anything. I ask him if this was the cause of my anxiety and panic attacks over the past few months.
Dr. Dork: "Well, your thyroid can easily be affected by iodine scans and eating large amounts of sushi and shellfish."
Me: "Um...okay. No iodine scans recently. Or ever...
So, yes? It was my overactive thyroid that caused the anxiety? Is it possible that it
fluctuates between overactive and under active?"
Dr. Dork: "Well, yes. And iodine scans and shellfish can affect it."
Me: "Alrighty, then. Good to know."
So, Dr. Dork is not only chock full of useful information, he's also an excellent listener. It's quite obvious now that my panic attacks and sense of impending doom were caused by a recent trip to Red Lobster, and possibly an "iodine scan" that may or may not have been performed on me without my knowledge.
The ride home was delightful. My four year old son who has spent a wonderful hour at McDonald's having one-on-one time with his father in the middle of the day is now distraught that his dad must now return to work. He starts sobbing and calling out hoarsely, "I want my daaaaaaaddy." The ride lasted about 30 minutes and he cries and sobs the whole way home.
The time is now 1:15 pm.
Sheesh. What a waste of time. I think I could learn more about my thyroid in a half hour on WebMD than I could learn from Dr. Dork any day.
I swear, I should have gone to medical school.