Sunday, February 18, 2007

Where have I been???

I didn't realize how long it has been since I have posted anything to my blog. Unfortunately, I have been under the weather and dealing with the frustration of navigating through the medical favorite past time! In addition, since I like to diagnose myself, I have had to avoid the Internet (basically, my computer) since, according to my Google searches, I have pancreatitis, endocrine crash syndrome AND cancer. Needless to say, I had to back away from the keyboard.

I am still feeling crappy, but less crappy than before.... So, that's pretty good. Here is my story. I have had tummy problems that have followed me for the better part of 4 years since I had my gallbladder removed. But this time, the tummy problems were paired with a laundry list of symptoms...fatigue, dizziness, heart palpitations, joint pain, etc. So, I headed to my primary care doctor and he ordered a few tests....yeah! After a humiliating session with the very young and very attractive x-ray technician (that included him moving my oh so attractive and open backed gown around, thus exposing my breasts) and a myriad of blood work, everything came back normal. Next stop was my Endocrinologist who told me that none of my symptoms could possibly be related to my thyroid then suggested that all of them could be contributed to stress. As long as I can remember, when this girl gets stressed....she eats, BIG TIME! So, my lack of appetite and indigestion did not seem to fit into this stress theory. Either way, she took me off my thyroid medication, gave me a prescription for acid relief, handed me lab slips for more blood work and scheduled my annual MRI (oh yeah, I have a benign nodule on my pituitary gland). This was going all wrong.

Fast forward to Friday of the same week and I started to get chest pains and shortness of breath. Again, the stress theory was thrown around, this time by my cousin. Kindly, Tanya comforted me and said I would probably feel better once I was home in bed with my dogs and a good TV show. By Saturday morning, I felt the same way. So, off to the doctor's I went. Second X-ray, same results. They handed me a slip recommending that I make an appointment with my doctor. Well, what the hell are you??? The name on your cute little tag has MD after it....doesn't that make you a doctor???? So, I went home and waited until Monday to make another appointment with my doctor. They were closed on Monday, so I went to see him first thing Tuesday morning. A week makes a big difference, I was down 9 pounds (normally I would be jumping for joy!). So, he performs an EKG and sees that my heart is beating 114 beats per minute and sets up an emergency CT scan at the hospital. The nurse hands me the paperwork and tells me to go directly to the main hospital.

As I am walking to my car, I start to read the paper work and notice that he has written "pulmonary embolism" on the order sheet. WHAT????? He never said anything about that. Am I having a heart attack? I am only 37? I know I am not the healthiest 37 year old woman, but I am not that bad. After parking, what seemed like a mile from the hospital, I find myself tangled in red tape as I register, answer questions, and wait for forever! The test was rather quick as the brand new CT Scanner (the technician was excited to tell me that they just got it last month) slid over my body.

I went home to wait for the results. I kept thinking....ignorance is bliss. Do I really want to know what is lurking in my body? Do I want them to find something? Do I want them to find nothing? No one called that night. So, I had to spend a very sleepless night wondering if my news was good or bad.

Finally, Tuesday morning my doctor calls and tells me that the CT scan came back clear except for a nodule on my adrenal gland. (Uhhhh, isn't nodule a benign way of saying TUMOR?) I started to interrogate him.... "So, you didn't see any masses, tumors, anything? They are looking for signs of cancer when you they read these scans, right?" He assures me that there was nothing and they are ALWAYS looking for cancer when they read the scans. But, isn't a nodule a bad thing??? He said he had called my Endocrinologist (Endo) and they could not relate the nodule to my current symptoms. I would need to see the Endo again. Oh yeah, they are referring me to a Gastroenterologist.

So, now I have several appointments lined up for next week. More poking, proding and questioning, but I am feeling better. Not top notch, but better. As we get older, we realize how precious life is and we are less cavalier about our health. Although, there is one good thing about getting older...our ability to be more honest about how we feel. So, when I went back to work last week, I told the 22 year old girl that I work with to please refrain from relating her mother's cancer to my symptoms. Youth truly is wasted on the young.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

My Issue with Tyra Banks

So, I set my TiVo this morning to record the much hyped episode of the Tyra Bank's show where she addresses the recent string of tabloid attacks on her possible weight gain. At first I was impressed that she would address the issue as it relates to body image; then I started to really think about what Ms. Tyra was going to do.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I do believe that this evil "media" that Tyra wishes to slay is the very media that has lined her burgeoning pocket book. I get that she doesn't want to contribute toward our nation's obsession with appearance, but she has to appreciate how her "principals" may be called into question.

I myself have looked at Tyra in the numerous Victoria's Secret catalogs (that seem to arrive on a daily basis) and longed to have her beautiful body if only to perhaps borrow it for the weekend. No where in the catalog is there a disclaimer telling us that the pictures have been Photoshopped to death and that "the models may be more unattractive than they actually appear". That would be unspeakable.

And, what about America's Next Top Model???? How does that make women feel? I have watched this show as the "judges" point out imperfections on these girls and constantly remind them to be "fierce". (What the hell does that mean anyway???) Tyra knows damn well that no modeling agency, client or photographer wants to see an overweight model (by overweight I mean the 105 pound 5'10 amazon). If she really cared about how those girls felt, she wouldn't have kept Janice Dickinson on the show for 3 seasons....

To drive her point home, Tyra had various models on the show including a delusional in denial Euro Trash model with a serious eating disorder who was more than happy to point out that the model sitting next to her was fat, insinuating that she gorges herself on Happy Meals every night. After a heated discussion over "body image" (that term was thrown around all over the place), Tyra removed the superficial models off the stage and brought on the "real person", a suburban mom who is all of 70 pounds and on the verge of death. Tyra did her typical "Oprah" moves and leaned in, resting her elbow on her knee for her in depth emotional interview.

Am I the only one seeing this??? Tyra is still making money off of other people's insecurities over body image. Just because you invite it on your show and provide treatment, doesn't mean that you aren't exploiting the issue for your own gain. While I agree that it's irrelevant that Tyra has gained 30 pounds since giving up modeling, I don't believe that Tyra still isn't making money off of image. It's the only thing she knows; she's been doing it almost half her life. All I can say is that the view must be great from that high horse she sits on.....