Saturday, June 14, 2014

Legend of the Dreambox

I don't know about you, but even though I don't put too much stock into legends or wishes coming true, when I need something to believe in, I can't resist these things. 

Aaron and I are visiting an awesome little northern Arizona town bordering an Indian reservation this weekend. We had a great day exploring antique shops and an open air art festival. It really was a lovely day. 

We visited a particularly odd little Native American place called Harvest Moon Antiques. It had all kinds of odd things for sale from sun bleached bones to coyote pelts and sage burning kits. We looked around for a bit, and I told Aaron I wanted to find something that would be good juju. About a minute after I said that, I spotted the Dreamboxes. They had all kinds of animals hand carved on them from wolves howling at the moon, to snakes and bears. Above them was this sign. 

It was exactly the kind of juju I was looking for. This particular box caught my eye. On it is a beautifully carved Ram and a tiny aquamarine bead. My astrological sign is a Ram (Aries) and my birthstone is aquamarine. Believing in signs is kind of like believing in legends, but it was too cool to pass up. 

So, my sweet husband bought it for me, and when we got back to the hotel, I wrote down my fondest dream, greatest desire and strongest wish on a small piece of paper, and I placed it inside the Dreambox. 

Who knows! Maybe this legend of the Lakota Sioux Indians will make my wish come true :)

Because sometimes, you just have to believe. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Learning New Words

Let me tell ya, in the last 4 years I've learned so many new words I've lost count. Medical jargon I never had an inkling I'd have to learn, nevermind understand. It's amazing how most of us walk around never knowing what everything in our body is called. Did you know you have a hypothalamus? Neither did I. But I had to learn what it meant and why it was involved in my diagnosis. As an endocrine patient, I've learned so much about my hormones, glands, metabolism, and how they all connect together to make a human body work. It's fascinating, really. There is so much to learn and understand about our complex selves, I now sympathize with scientists ;)

Returning to my ever evolving vocabulary. Today's new word? Idiopathy.  

  1. 1.
    a disease or condition that arises spontaneously or for which the cause is unknown.

Rigorously verified  Idiopathic AGHD likely comprises less than 10% of adult GHD patients, an already rare disorder.

Yep... That's my diagnosis. Idiopathic adult onset human growth hormone deficiency. Meaning they finally discovered what's wrong with me, but there is no logical reason they can understand. It's rare, then add more rare on top of that. Yayyy me. 😒 Thankfully, it can be treated just as if there was an obvious cause (like the tumor I was convinced I had) and after I start the hormone replacement therapy, I should start feeling better. It will likely take at least 6 months, but there is hope on the horizon. 

It took me a few days to fully wrap my head around what it meant, but I think I'm finally at peace with this explanation. At first, I was frustrated that I didn't have a definitive answer like I wanted. I wanted proof and solid evidence as to what was causing this. The "we don't know what's causing it" I got from my doctor wasn't good enough. I felt I deserved more. I stayed frustrated for a few days until I could accept there was no other answer they could give. This was it. 

I am truly appreciative that I don't have to face brain surgery. I was all brave armor, but scared as shit at the prospect. Not only that, this means I can start the recovery process this much sooner with the injections, rather than having to wait until after surgery. Also, sparing all the expense is a huge relief. 

Overall, I can say I'm okay now. I just want to start the treatment so I can begin feeling better and living like a normal 30 year old woman should. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

MRI Results

Dr just called! No tumor. She said there was nothing obvious on the MRI. So I asked why I was deficient if there was nothing compressing the gland and she said if there's no tumor, 99% of the time they have no idea what's wrong and it just is what it is (aka I assume I have to take the injections all my life since there's nothing to fix) So next I'm being contacted by the drug company who will come out and teach me how to administer the injections etc. She said it will take about 6 months for me to feel better, at which time they'll review the dose etc. So. That's that. I don't know whether to be relieved or frustrated. I'm relieved I don't need surgery, for sure, but frustrated that yet again, they have no idea why my body is doing what it's doing. Oh well. As long as it can be fixed and I feel better. That's all I want. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014


The date of my MRI got moved a day UP! Ususally things move backward, not forward! I was very pleasantly surprised :) So this coming Tuesday, April 1st, I will be getting an MRI of my brain done to hopefully locate the tumor that is very likely crushing my pituitary gland. 

I've made peace with the fact that chances are very probable that I DO have a tumor. I'm okay with it. I just want to get it the eff out, start feeling better to get on with my new healthy life. Just trucking along on this journey. I'm just glad things are actually moving forward at this point. 

Yesterday I went to Sedona with my family, and we went to the healing energy vortex and the chapel of the holy cross to pray for my health, and future children. It was a very beautiful and calming experience, and I will carry that in with me to my appointment. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

This is it.

I was prepared to wait the 2-3 weeks they told me it would take for news, but this morning, the morning of my 30th birthday, I finally got an answer. This is it. After almost 5 years or feeling terrible and struggling through life, I finally have a diagnosis. 

Adult onset human growth hormone deficiency. 

It's rare in adults, and hard to diagnose. But it's the answer to everything that's wrong with me. 

The extremely likely cause for this is a tumor growing on my pituitary gland at the base of my brain. The next step in the process is getting an MRI to find out the size and location of this tumor. Then, removing it. Then, growth hormone replacement therapy. Though I have a diagnosis, I'm not out of the woods yet. It's going to be a long process and recovery, but now that we finally know what it is, we can work on fixing it. 

As scary as brain tumor sounds, getting the news this morning was the best birthday present I could have asked for. This is it. I'm not crazy. I've been suffering for years and now I finally know why. As of right now, as I'm sure this will change, I'm not scared. Just ready to move forward to move toward my happy future. 

I've been given the gift of starting my 30s with the answers I've been seeking and the ability to heal. This means so much to me. The prospect of being 30 isn't so scary anymore. It's beautiful, and encouraging. This decade, all my dreams will come true. I'm certain of it. :) 

Monday, March 17, 2014


The day is here! Tomorrow is finally time to have my growth hormone stimulation test done. It's been a very very frustrating few months leading up to it! First, I had to wait nearly three months for my appointment with the specialist who had to order the test. Then it took about three weeks for the hospital to call me to schedule it. My original test date was January 27th. The night of the 26th, they called to let me know the test wasn't covered by our insurance because since it was January, our deductibles had just restarted. Ugh! They quoted me $1200 for the test and basically demanded half down to keep my appointment. We just didn't have it, so they canceled my appointment. Very frustrating. 

Once we had the money raised, I called back to reschedule my appointment. It was then they decided to shock me with the 2014 price. Apparently I'd been misquoted the 2013 prices and now the cost was $1700!! They wanted almost $750 down now! I nearly fell off my chair! 
I told them it was their fault I was misquoted and $400 is what I had. Thankfully they found that acceptable and scheduled me for their nearest time. 

Which brings us to tomorrow! March 17. St. Patricks day! I sure hope the luck of the Irish will rub off on me! To help along, I have rainbow nails and rainbow socks hehe. I have to check in at 7:30 am, and the test will start at 8. I will basically be tethered to an IV line all day. They will give me something to stimulate my pituitary gland to make growth hormone and take my blood every 30 minutes to measure if it works. I'm a little nervous, but not exceedingly so. I'll be ok. I'm nervous about the results, not the test itself. 
I know it may sound weird, but God, I really hope this is it. I've been sick for so long. I just want to know what it is so we can start moving forward with treating this thing so I can start being healthy! Fingers crossed the results won't take forever! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Test scheduled!

My growth hormone stimulation test was finally scheduled for next Monday, the 27th! I'm relieved and can't wait to get it behind me. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Well, after spending most of the day pissed off about not getting results because they were closed on the day they told me to call, I missed a call from them at 5:30 pm. Go figure. They left a voicemail saying my test results were ready to view on my patient files on their website if I wanted. I think it's pretty cool that it's an option. 

I went and checked right away, and the test for Cushing's disease came back negative. That means the pill I took to suppress my cortisol levels definitely worked and they were not elevated at all when they took my blood the next day. 

I'm definitely thankful not to have been diagnosed with Cushing's, but part of me is extremely frustrated that yet again, this wasn't the answer. I'm still waiting to hear from the hospital to schedule the growth hormone test. This is what Dr. C sent me in for in the first place, Cushing's was just a secondary test run by the new Dr to make sure she wasn't missing anything. I'm hoping his hunch was right and I'll have answers soon. Just more hurry up and wait. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Waiting for News

Tomorrow will be one week since my long awaited appointment with the specialist. Things went well, she just went over my history and symptoms and she ordered two tests. 

One test is to check for what Dr. C sent me to her for in the first place, the growth hormone stimulation test. I'm waiting for the hospital to call me to schedule the procedure. I'm hoping they will call this week. 

She also wanted to test for Cushing's disease. When I first started researching the battery of tests Dr. C ran, I came across Cushing's as a possible thing he was looking for, so I am familiar with it. It's a condition where your body produces too much of the hormone cortisol and it disrupts everything in a bad way. 

That test I was able to do at my pace, which I liked. I took care of it right away. I was prescribed a cortisol suppressor pill which I took Thursday evening after the appointment, then went in for a blood draw first thing Friday. That should let them know if Cushing's is a real possibility or not. I'm supposed to call them by Friday morning if I haven't heard anything yet. I'm going pretty crazy....

So fingers crossed I will hear tomorrow, and then we will go on from there. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

100th Post.

Is it a coincidence that my 100th post on my blog is when I return to it? It certainly wasn't planned this way, but at the same time it has a certain ring of irony to it. I came to blog to mourn the fact that it's almost December 2013. In my world, that means it's been nearly 4 years since I first started battling infertility. Four years and 100 blog posts. Still no baby.
For those of you following my weight loss blog, I thank you for all your support and encouragement, but as life is again switching gears to my medical health, I decided to change the pace and blog here, where my entire medical history is. Though my weight loss journey was an awesome experience (and it's not over) it didn't work right for me. Not when these other health issues are holding me back.

I guess I should start with the fact that Aaron and I have a whole new life now. We no longer own Bruno's, and took our dogs and jetted off to sunny Arizona. Well, not jetted. Painstakingly drove our tiny car to Arizona is more like it. We needed a change. Our life back in Washington was going down fast and we decided to jump ship. I am so glad we did. I absolutely love life in Arizona. Our strained financial situation followed us, but it's easier to smile and wait for better days when the sun is beaming down on you :)

Health wise, I am still struggling, hence the return to this blog. After waiting a long time for the "feeling normal" to return after I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease, I began to realize that normal was not coming back. I am still suffering from the same symptoms, and it's taken a giant toll on my quality of life. I am constantly drained of all energy and in bed, dealing with nasty insomnia, STILL losing my hair like crazy, period problems and a whollllle bunch of other things I could list off. But I won't. I don't want to give off the impression that I am a whiner. I am ill. My symptoms keep me from living a normal life. I've come to terms with that. But there is a glimmer of hope. For the first time in a long time, I think there may be light at the end of the dark dark tunnel. It certainly feels like it's meant to go my way this time. The seas practically parted to have me meet my new doctor.

Years ago, I met a wonderful friend through the bond of infertility on a message board. Said friend happens to live in Arizona! I was able to meet her for the first time in June of this year! She is just as wonderful as I imagined she would be. Her doctor, who is now my new doctor, helped her conceive her adorable daughter. When she learned that we were moving here, she was excited to share his info with me for when we were ready to try again. Whenever that was...

In August, we were heading back to the Northwest for an amazing family reunion when my dear friend reached out to me to let me know she had heard her doctor was having a free seminar and was offering a free consultation to go with it. It was scheduled literally for the day before we were leaving. She suggested we try to make it, as it would be a great way to meet him and see his bedside manner firsthand without having to make an actual appointment. If we liked him, great! We could follow up with the free consult when the time was right. If not, we didn't have to pay money to realize he wasn't for us! She warned us ahead of time that he was a bit of an unusual kind of doctor. He is eccentric but brilliant. He really steps back and looks at you as a whole, instead of trying to treat each individual symptom. We decided it was a great idea, and that we should sign up for the opportunity to meet him.

The morning of the seminar, poor Aaron woke up with a bad headache. He doesn't get them very often, but when he does, they are a doozy. It was clear he didn't want to go anywhere with the way he was feeling. I decided we should just stay home, and meet him at a later date. But something kept nagging me to go. I decided to follow my gut, and after tucking Aaron back into bed, headed out to his office in Scottsdale alone. I got there a few minutes early and checked in. The receptionist let me know that they were expecting four more couples before we could begin and to have a seat. So I did. And waited.... and waited.. and waited. After about 40 minutes, she had me come up to the desk and told me that it was clear the other couples who had signed up were not coming. She was sure to point out that this was highly unusual for them. They did seminars every once in a while, and always had good attendance. She then presented me with two options. I could watch the seminar alone, or I could have my consultation with Dr. C right then and there. I was completely unprepared, but decided the consult was the best option.

We spent nearly an hour together, going over my history and discussing my symptoms. Dr. C has a giant art pad on his desk and spent the hour doodling as he explained, which happened to be fantastic for me, since I am a visual learner. He gave me his opinion as to what he thought the problem was. Without any other facts to support it, it was his best guess that part of the problem was my immune system. Due to common viruses that most of the population has, (and doesn't know about if their immune system is working right) my immune system was being held hostage in a dungeon (and yes, he drew the dungeon) and the viruses were running around wildly, using my body as a playground and causing massive inflammation in all my cells. He sent me off with two lab slips to get some blood tests going to investigate further. Between the two separate times I had to go during my cycle, the wonderful *cough* lab took 15 vials of my blood for testing.

A few weeks later, Dr. C called me in to his office to give me the results. He had tested very widely to try to catch the real reason why I was still sick. He believes it is a rare condition called "Adult Onset Human Growth Hormone Deficiency". And I thought Hashimoto's disease was a mouthful! Ha! Since he first said those words to me, I have spent hours researching exactly what that is and what it entails. I've learned A LOT. I won't blog about that until the diagnosis is confirmed, however, no need to worry myself (and you) more.

The next step is hurry up and wait. Again. He referred me to a Pediatric Endocrinologist. Why pediatric, you wonder? (as did I.) Because it is condition that most happens in children. Adult onset is rather rare, so I have to see her since she is so well versed in it dealing with children. I called to make my appointment in October, and the soonest they could pencil me in was January 9th. Argh. So here I am. 4 years and 100 posts later, hoping and praying this is it. Please let this be the real diagnosis once and for all so I can get treated and begin to heal!! I'm ready to lead a normal life and be happy. It's time!

So until January, I won't have much to share here. I will trudge through another childless holiday season, and hope that it's the last one! Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all my friends reading this who have beautiful families. Enjoy. oxoxoxoxo