Updated: Jan 3, 2021
I suffered for years with many symptoms and constant visits to doctors (mostly specialists) not to mention the trips to the Emergency Room after hours or per my doctor's advice. The list of symptoms are too long to type, my fingers would fall off. Suffice to say, War and Peace was shorter.
I've been to every "Gist" out there looking for answers. To name a few - Cardiologist, Oncologist, Radiologist, Hematologist, Gynecologist, Endocrinologist, Gastroenterologist - you get the point. I could go on. I've seen many more "Gists" and multiple of the same specialty, than I could count on both hands. I was also referred to doctors in Manhattan at Mount Sinai. My sister took me. I don't drive on highways or drive over bridges (when I'm behind the wheel). I'm not thrilled when someone else is behind the wheel. I don't like heights. The doctors there couldn't figure me out either.
It was a long, agonizing road. I was accused of being a drug seeker at one hospital ER! Had they looked at my chart, they would have realized I always turned down pain meds. Drug seekers don't turn down IV pain medication and prescription pain pills.
I was told it was "all in my head" and to see a psychologist. I did, for the severe anxiety cause by the doctors telling me I was seeking drugs and it was all in my head and, of course, the pain and suffering of having symptoms, searching for answers, and going in circles.
First and foremost, the correct diagnosis means everything. I FINALLY found a doctor, an Allergist/Immunologist, who didn't stop searching. This doctor came recommended to me from, of all people, my accountant. Somehow, we got on the topic and he suggested I see her. His description of this doctor, whom his wife works for, was, "She's of Russian descent, a genius, caring, kind, attentive, relentless and easy to understand even though she has an accent." He wasn't wrong. More about her later.
Every other "Gist" essentially looked at me and shrugged. No one knew. No one had answers. At one point, I was laying in a hospital bed, my leg looking like it had gone through a meat grinder. It was three times the size of a normal leg, yellow, green and purple and the ER doctor told my father everything was fine according to the blood tests. He ordered a doppler, but being it was in the wee hours of the morning, I had to wait for the sonogram technician on call to arrive.
My dad left my bedside to go have a chat with the doctor. I found out later that he said to the doctor, "Does that leg look normal to you? How can you say everything is fine?" The doctor replied he was ordering the doppler and my dad should be grateful they were calling someone in at this time. Seriously? Grateful. Isn't that their JOB? Isn't that what they are PAID to do?
I wound up being admitted for a blood clot. Everything was not fine. I also had cellulitis yet again. That wasn't fine either, they had to call in the Infectious Disease doctor (an antibiotic specialist). Does that sound fine to any of you? And they wonder why I have anxiety.
Of course, all these issues were part of the bigger picture.
Just before starting to see the recommended Allergist/Immunologist, I also starting seeing a new endocrinologist. Finally, I found one who did the right tests and gave me answers. She diagnosed me with Hashimotos. I was put on medication, at the correct dose, and that played a big part in helping me. I was also able to see a nutritionist at her office who specialized in Hashimotos issues.
With the proper medication and diet plan, I was able to lose a lot of weight. Of course, losing weight is beneficial, but it's not magic. Simply losing weight won't cure diabetes or autoimmune problems. However, I do feel better and sometimes, I have more energy.
Years ago, I often felt weak and tired and had to take many breaks when doing something. I was painting my condo with a cousin and a friend and I kept sitting down. I didn't understand it myself, I just knew I had to sit. People would get annoyed at me. I think many took it as laziness. It wasn't. I was only in my 30's then, far from lazy, just so overwhelmed physically but didn't understand why.
Why I don't eat meat. I truly believe giving up meat has also helped me to feel better.
I have my flareups. I still have issues. But at least I'm on the right track.