Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What's been going on with ME. Since that's the reason for this blog, anyhow. (UPDATED)

The last few weeks have been tricky ones in my emotional and physical world. I've been dealing with a lot of these issues off and on for several years, but things have gotten worse recently. Here's what I'm dealing with...

- Incredibly dry skin. Worse than ever experienced before. I'm itchy ALL THE TIME. Sucks.

- Dry, brittle, will-not-grow nails. I started taking Vitamin D a couple months ago to try to combat it, because this happens every winter, really. But this year, it's actually gotten worse than it ever has been in the past. (Hmm...starting to sense a pattern here...) If any bit of nail grows out past the bed, it inevitably breaks off in jagged pieces within hours/days. Sucks.

- Working out pretty religiously 3 -4 times a week (sometimes 5), and changing my cardio so that I'm doing interval training has not affected my weight in the slightest. In fact, my body is so fun, it decided to go ahead and let me GAIN 4 pounds over the past 6 weeks. No, it isn't muscle instead of fat. I've been building muscle for the past year...at this point, the fat should be burning off, and I should still be losing at least 1 - 2 pounds a month. Even if the muscle mass IS getting heavier. So, yeah. SUCKS.

- My eyelids and overall facial area have jumped on the dry skin bandwagon. It's preeetty. (And it sucks. ::sigh::)

- My mood swings have become scary even to me.

- I'm tired. I'm so, sooo tired. And I get, on average, 6 - 7.5 hours of sleep per night. On weekends, I get a little bit more. So, WTF?

I've been keeping a food diary for the last week, and I'm going in to get some blood test results today to see if there's anything up with my thyroid. And if the tests don't show anything, I'm calling bullshit, and asking to be refered to an endocrinologist. I'm tired of this. My trainer is tired of hearing me bitch about it. (And I feel bad about her working with me for the past 9 months, with nothing to show for it!) Something is wrong in my body. I'm gonna figure out what it is before mid-January, or go down trying.

Wish me luck.

UPDATE: Well, my thyroid numbers (the TSH ones, anyway) came back normal...again. I expected that, actually. I told the NP I wasn't accepting that, and we needed to look deeper. I told her that the cholesterol numbers going up the way they did last year were a sign something is wrong, and that the fact that I'm gaining weight instead of losing (or at the very least maintaining!) at this point in time is another sign, and that we need to figure it out. I will pay full cost for tests to be run! I will be stuck over and over with needles, happily! I just want to know what's wroooonnng.

She tried telling me that in order to lose weight, I'd have to be doing cardio 5 - 6 times a week, but I told her, "Nuh-uh. That's just not true. I work out, in some form - whether it be cardio, or weight lifting [which isn't exactly standing still, ok?] 4 - 5 times a week, and I should be seeing SOME kind of change from that after 9 months of being religious about it. It's no different from what I did 4 years ago to prepare for my wedding, and I lost weight then...AND I was eating worse stuff!" I told her that, at the very least, I shouldn't be getting too big for my fat clothes if I'm working out this often. I told her, "If what I'm doing isn't going to work? Then there's no point, and I'm gonna give the hell up. If I'm going to work out and eat right, and STILL have to keep buying bigger sizes in clothes? C'MON. What's the freaking point???"

She left the room for a bit to go over my last couple of blood tests (the ones with the cholesterol and glucose numbers...), and came back and said that I was right. The cholesterol did behave oddly over the last two years, and that it was evident that I was making an effort to change when she compared the tests I did last February and then again at the end of April. She talked to the other NPs and the doctor that was in today, and they all agreed that I should probably see an endocrinologist.

So we drew more blood, and they're going to test more stuff. And they're going to get me an appointment with an endocrinologist on my plan. And hopefully, we're going to figure this out.

It shouldn't be this hard, guys. Our medical professionals shouldn't be this difficult to talk to when there's a problem. I told her that other people I've talked to have had this same kind of reaction when they've insisted there's a problem, and I was prepared to face it. "What other people?" she asked me. And I told her people that I know in real life...people that I read about online or in magazines...people who have been to the doctor and KNOW that something is wrong in their bodies, and they're basically just brushed aside and dismissed. And I told her, "I'm not going to let that happen. I'm willing to do whatever I need to in order to figure this out." She's a nice lady. She heard me. And thank goodness for that, because I was about to KICK SOME ASS.

I'll keep y'all updated on what happens. Let's hope we figure it out quickly, and without too much pain involved. ;)


Ryan the Girl said...

Whoa, I have the same dry skin crap going on. It always turns into little spots of excema on my eyelides, behind my knees, and behind my ears. If you figure out what's up with that, let me know.

Anyways, good luck with the doctor. I think it's a good idea to get checked. My cousin has thyroid stuff and it can totally mess with you.

Faith said...

Actually, the dryness is typical this time of year for lots of people. The way I combat it is to: (a) put nothing on it, when it comes to the eyelids. No puffiness-reducers, no nighttime lotions, nothing...except for hydrocortisone cream. I use one from Aveeno that seems to work pretty well after about 1 week of using it day and night. (b) I don't put soap on anything unneccessarily in the shower. So I soap up the boobs, the armpits, the crotch and the ass, and my feet. And that's it. I don't use my soapy body puff on my back, belly, legs, arms, or even my ass. And then when I get out of the shower, I put lotion on the most irritated spots (which for me are my arms, and my lower back), and that, again, is it. My legs and my tummy and stuff haven't been a problem like my lower back and arms have been, so I'm leaving them alone, and hoping that keeps them from joining the party!

For me, the ultra-dryness is just another sign that something is outta whack. If you're experiencing dryness in new places, and you don't have any other issues, then you're probably dealing with your skin suddenly being sensitive to products that you likely have always used without any issue. So...just stop using those products.

I know it seems weird to think that washing in the shower without using soap would make any sense, but really, my pits, boobs, and ass area are the only things that get truly smelly throughout the course or 24 hours, so the other parts only getting washed off with water isn't that big a deal, I've noticed. ::shrugs::

(Um, longest comment ever? Maybe...)

Anonymous said...

Good for you for standing your ground at the Dr's office. I hope the endocrinologist can help! Have you already ruled out PCOS?

faithstwin said...

I thought about PCOS too but it doesn't explain the skin dryness. It could be a combo of two things?

Older sis will be ultra worried when I tell her your thyroid levels are normal. She was sure, from what I told her tonight, that it was hypothyroid issues...

If there is anything we have learned from our family and the experiences we have had with doctors it is to stand our ground. It's tough when it comes to having to do it for the first time, but it pays off. Good going, dude. I hope it leads to better diagnoses.

Fred Sanford said...

You're right: everyone in this area suffers from dryness this time of year.

My elbows, for example, become sandpaper around the middle of December, and the bottoms of my feet start cracking and developing crevasses large enough for pumas to live in around Christmas.

Eucerin is thine only true friend...

Faith said...

Fred, you should go get a pedicure for those feet. Bi-weekly ones keep mine in relatively happy form, and in between, I slather lotion on them while sitting on the couch watching TV. Otherwise, mine get so dry, they could start a fire, I swear!

I already have PCOS. I was diagnosed with it when I was 16. It was the reason I started birth control so early, and that's what I use to control it still.

What I'm worried about is that my birth control is having a bad effect on me, somehow. And I don't wanna go off birth control!!!

Ryan the Girl said...

Oh man, interesting... I have already been diagnosed with PCOS... so that must have something to do with it!

christinag said...

FYI....the levels of Thyroid have changed, yet many doctors have not adjusted their scales. You might see if you can get the exact numbers. I googled it last year or the year before, and I think I landed on the official govt thyroid web page, and learned that. Good luck.

christinag said...

Ugh, by levels, I mean that the accepted levels have changed, yet docs have acceptable levels from a long time ago.

Nora said...

I normally don't recommend stores or products, but I have the same skin issues. Until I discovered LUSH. I don't know if they have a store near you, but you can order online. They have the BEST handmade, vegan body products and my skin feels AMAZING this winter so far. You should really check it out.