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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Taking Charge of Your Health


It isn't news that I have been having some health issues these past few months.  I don't want to bore you with the details so much as  I'd like to pass on what I am learning as I attempt to get a diagnosis and some relief.  The process is similar to working a jig saw puzzle - the pieces need to be found and put together to get the picture of what is happening to the body.


It was after my first tests and the trip to the ER and hospitalization that I began making notes of my symptoms and what I was doing when I felt those symptoms.  The most important one was/is shortness of breath.  But, at that time I didn't realize it was occurring when I used my arms and/or bent over, and also caused my heart to race.  Nor did I notice that it took me a day to recover from each episode.  This should be the first thing we do, but when you can't breathe so well, you don't really stop to think about making lists.  Now, I go to Doctor appointments armed with my list of questions and also my symptoms - in addition to my records from other doctors.  You can read more about preparing for a visit to the doctor here.



Yesterday I followed up with my Primary Care physician, who, believe it or not, went down my list item-by-item, and ordered blood work that had not been done as yet, and another CT scan of my lungs (#3, but who's counting!), and referred me to another Pulmonologist (this time in Tucson) and also to a Rheumatologist.  Hallelujah!  A plan of action and I feel better just knowing someone is still working with me to find an answer! 


The blood work will tell if there is some inflammation going on, another will check for thrombosis, and the others check for various heart and lung issues.  These tests were not among the many that were done by the Heart or Lung doctors or the hospitals, so this is encouraging to me - and it tells me he is listening to my questions! 



Being prepared and doing your own research is very helpful in knowing what questions to ask.  Talking to friends who have had similar issues is also a good way to find a doctor who will help.  And, the other important lesson to be learned is how to eat healthier.  I am a lazy cook, and I tend to shop for the same items each trip to the store, so I definitely can use some help in this area.  We eat fresh fruit and rarely have fried foods, but I am sure there is a lot of room for improvement in our diet.  I hope I have enough will power to make more healthy changes in our diet so we can both look and feel better!

What is your primary health tip if you were asked?  Do you face health issues that so far have no answers?  What are you doing to take matters into your own hands?

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14 comments:

  1. Gosh, I sure hope they figure it out soon!

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    1. Sandy - I'm with you there! This has been going on since July with no answers. Whew..enough already!
      Hugs, GraceinAZ (Pat)

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  2. I hope you get some answers soon! I have had numerous things happen over the years that I didn't really get answers to. To keep from writing a novel, I'll just touch on a couple of things. About 20 years ago, I had a lot of pain in both my arms and after numerous testing, the doctor said I "probably" had fibromyalgia. It finally went away. In more recent years, I had the sensation of shaking inside. It was not visible, but I just felt like a motor was running besides my heart beating and I just felt like my insides were trembling. I had numerous tests and they finally said they had no idea what it was or what caused it. It finally just subsided and I haven't had it anymore, thankfully! That one really scared me.

    I do know that I should eat healthier. I try some days, and then others I just pig out and eat whatever I want. I'm beginning to take more supplements. The doctor did tell me that most people were deficient in vitamin D and has me taking that. My husband works out in the sun everyday, but his heart doctor has him taking vit. D also. I also take a Calcium w/Magnesium and I've noticed that my nerves are a little steadier and it makes me wonder if the shaky thing I had going on for a while was due to low magnesium.

    Okay, I've started on that novel so I'll stop! Take care and I hope you find out something soon.

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    1. Cheryl - Oh my! Your symptoms would have scared me, too. It is frustrating to know something is not right with our own bodies and not be able to find what is causing the problem. I hope your issues don't return and that you feel much better now! I am just hoping and adjusting my tasks in order to conserve my energy as much as possible.
      Hugs, GraceinAZ (Pat)

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  3. Hi Pat,

    So sorry you are having health issues and really hope that you can get some help soon.
    Sending hugs and well wishes

    Carolyn

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    1. Carolyn - Thank you so much for the kind wishes. I started a new round of doctor visits and test this week. We'll see what comes of it all.
      Hugs, GraceinAZ (Pat)

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  4. Hi Pat, I like the ideas of writing down things to have at the Drs. It is time for me to see my dr too. Thanks for the reminder.

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    1. Susan - Reminders are a good thing...especially as we age I am finding! LOL!
      Hugs. GraceinAZ (Pat)

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  5. Hi Pat, So glad your doctor has found a new dirction in which to search. Maybe this will be the answer, I sure pray so.
    Bob's CT came out normal, for his condition. He is in physical therapy now for strength and muscle building and hopeful his confidence as well.
    I have a second appt with lung Dr tomorrow after second CT yesterday. Hope to get some answers.
    Love to you.

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    1. Ginger - We'll see if this direction leads us to an answer. I am hoping it will! Give Bob an extra hug for me and let him know I am praying for you both!
      Hugs, GraceinAZ (Pat)

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  6. Grace, this is the best post of this type I have read in a long time. (I am sorry for your worry.) My husband came up with Valley Fever a couple of years ago and that about brought us to our knees.

    You keep us posted and we will keep you in our prayers.

    b

    New book review for a book written to support charity: http://www.retireinstyleblog.com/2012/10/charity-begins-with-book-10-steps-to.html#.UGyeW_kf9a-

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    1. Barbara - Thank you for the compliment! I am thankful I don't have Valley Fever..it is a scary thing. I'll continue to post updates as I learn more..and I hope I do learn more!
      Hugs, GraceinAZ (Pat)

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  7. Wow! I hate to hear you are suffering so much. I also feel for the others that are going through health issues. Valley Fever sounds very scary! Two of my friends suffer from fibromyalgia. That too is very concerning. I am praying for all of you. I hope you feel better very, very soon Grace!
    Big Hugs to you
    Marje

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    1. Marje - Thank you for your concern and prayers! I am hoping the next few weeks of tests and Dr visits will reveal something helpful.
      Hugs, GraceinAZ (Pat)

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Your comments are like hugs that warm my heart!

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