23 March 2009

Endocrinologist followup

Another day, another non-answer.

The free cortisol in the urine test was well within normal range. Cushing's can be cyclical, but the doctor did not seem concerned about an adrenal problem at this point. He said the lobular appearance of the adrenal gland, based on the size, is just a lumpy bit of fat. There's no reason to do anything about it unless it grows to larger than 4 cm (it's 1 cm now). At that point, ,it would need to be removed. I'm to get the abdominal CT scan done again in 6 months to see if it has changed in size.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we're once again at square one in finding out what's causing all these symptoms. This time, we're going to test some theories on two different fronts.


The majority of my symptoms could be explained by the onset of menopause. I had blood drawn for a test to check my estrogen level. (I could have sworn I had this test way back in November or December, but I'm not sure). If it's low, then I go on estrogen replacement stuff. (If these results come back normal, I'll probably talk with the doctor about doing another cortisol test).


The majority of my symptoms could also be explained as a possible side effect of my anti-depressant (Zoloft). Even though I've been on it for about 10 years, it could potentially be the culprit. I know that right after I started taking it I had night sweats, but it was only for a couple of weeks and then it went away. So, we're going to try another drug (Pristiq). Unfortunately, this will be a 4-5 week process. I have to wean off the Zoloft over the next couple of weeks, then start taking the Pristiq. I then would have to take Pristiq for 3 weeks or so to find out if it's working. The doctor said Pristiq works in essentially the same way, but is "cleaner" than Zoloft. Makes sense, since Pristiq is a much newer drug than Zoloft. I have 3 weeks worth of samples to test it out. He also gave me a prescription for it. If I try it and like it, I get the prescription filled. If it doesn't work or there's some other problem, then I just go back on the Zoloft. In addition to the samples, he also gave me a card to save money on my prescription co-pay if I do get it filled. I'm sure there's no generic for this drug yet, so I'll have to pay a much higher co-pay than I do currently. I figure it's worth a try. I know Bobby will let me know if there's a problem with the new drug. (Apparently I'm rather irritable, snappish and no fun when the anti-depressant isn't working!)

So, I'm back in the wait-and-see mode. I'll call his office next Monday if they haven't gotten back to me yet about the blood test results on the estrogen level.

As for how I'm doing, I'd have to say so-so. I am so tired of not having an answer, along with waiting to find out if my long-term disability insurance claim is being accepted, along with trying to figure out if we need to move next month. Good thing I'm on blood pressure meds....I'm sure it'd be soaring otherwise! I'd love to back to work, but when I try anything mentally taxing, I can't handle it. The fact that my sleep is all messed up really doesn't help anything. Sadly, I'm even getting used to very little or a whole lot of sleep, with rare nights of somewhat normal sleep. All of it's interrupted by headache pain, anyway.

I'd love to spend time with my friends and family, but it's difficult to make plans when I may end up with a headache so intense I can't do anything. Trust me, if there's anything someone can do for me, I'll let you know. Otherwise, I'll just stay holed up in the house. I did go to the Wizards season opener on Saturday, with earplugs. I love the drums, but my headache does not. (Oh, yeah, along with the usual drums from The Cauldron, the Marching Cobras were the half-time entertainment! Even more drums.) With the earplugs, it cut down most of the extreme noises, allowing me to concentrate on the game. Of course, even that type of concentration is affected. I lost track of the ball/player multiple times, but it was still better than watching it on television.