Hello again! Today’s post is going to be a little different from my normal scrapbooking chats. Today I’m going to tell you a little more about me in case there are others currently struggling with multiple health issues and maybe feeling a little lost.
I know a lot has been said about the year 2020 and while it has been quite a year for everyone, there have been many changes in my life that I never saw coming. Late last year, I ended up in an Emergency Clinic because I was having chest pains. I knew I was under a lot of stress and kept telling myself it was anxiety; however, I just didn’t want to take a chance any longer that it could be something else. Well, it turns out there wasn’t anything wrong with my heart – but my sodium level was critically low. The doctor wanted to admit me to the hospital but after arrangements were made for me to see a specialist the next day, he agreed to let me go home.
That began a series of appointments with several different doctors & in the middle of all that – we moved. Not just down the street but halfway across the state. So I basically had to start over with all new doctors and it took some time to get those initial appointments.
Fast forward to March of 2020 and I had been having blood work done routinely for a couple of months. After one lab, before I could make it home, I got a phone call to turn around immediately and go to the nearest hospital. My sodium level was 116, which is considered critically low. I ended up staying in the hospital for 4 days while they got it stabilized. Now, I know that probably doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but I had made it to 50 without ever being in the hospital – for anything. I have never had a broken bone, still have my tonsils & I do not have children. I only ever had one IV up until that point. I was released from the hospital about 2 weeks before the COVID lockdown.
Since then, I have also been through 2 MRIs and a Liver Biopsy. After years of not having any health issues that I knew of, I now have a laundry list of diagnoses. The main one is a Prolactinoma (tumor of the pituitary gland) that is pressing on my optic nerve. Your pituitary gland controls your sodium and thyroid levels as well as several other important functions. I am currently taking medication to help lower my Prolactin level and (hopefully) shrink the tumor. In the meantime I have had consultations with a neurosurgeon and ophthalmologist to monitor it’s impact.
In addition to that, I have Hereditary Hemochromatosis, which is a high iron content in my blood that can seep into your organs. After almost a year, my iron level is within a normal range but the doctor still wants it to be below normal so it does not just build up again. There are a couple of options for controlling this, but I have found that diet has made the biggest difference. Unfortunately, this means I can only eat red meat very rarely. And believe me I love a good steak!
I am thankful that through all of these challenges I haven’t felt too bad; mostly dizzy and having headaches almost daily. It has made it hard to concentrate so at the end of my work day I am pretty wiped out and find it hard to focus on my hobbies. Now that some of my blood levels are in the normal ranges I am hoping to get back to creating and enjoying the upcoming holidays.
If you have health issues or are just going through changes in your life that are out of your control, please know that you are not alone. I sympathize with you and if you need a sounding board or just want to vent feel free to email me or comment if you want to share. I would also love to know if you document these types of struggles in some way – through scrapbooking, journaling, etc. I usually do not; however, this has been such a change that I am thinking it is a story that needs to be told.
Looking forward to hearing from you!