Monday, September 26, 2011

I tested positive for e-coli!

Last week when I had what seemed to be a bladder infection - excessive frequent urination, abdominal pain, and vaginal burning (not only when urinating) - the doctor sent off my urine to be tested. (A preliminary test in the room had revealed all sorts of things: protein and blood are what I remember.)
Well, phoned today to get the results and he said they "grew" a forgot-the-word e-coli. Said the pills I was on were fine for that, should take them for another 5 days (I said I wasn't sure if was 100% better),and I said good-bye and that was that.
"E-coli! That's food poisoning," said my hairdresser, whose salon I had phoned from (had the day off 'cos worked midnight shift on Saturday).
So I phoned the doctor back, spoke to the nurse/receptionist who said it could be from food, and then decided to chill and just go get the new script and that's that.
Well, when I told my biokineticist, she was aghast. So now I also am, well, kinda intrigued. How did that happen?
Am obssessive with hand-washing before I eat/cook, eat super healthily but maybe it was the braai (barbecue) I was at on Sunday... who knows.
Meanwhile, the oncology centre phoned today. Took about three days for them to return my two calls and was planning a bitchy posting on that, but anyway, they said that The Tango Man said not to worry re the increased calcium levels, that he was glad I had stopped the calcium supplements and there was no need to see him earlier, something I know which is impossible anyway as he is going away on Tuesday until a few days before I see him on the 17th as they had to postpone my original apppointment.
Anyway, just got a call from The Lymph Lady. Had asked if I could wear support panties/underwear as I know I am not allowed to wear anything tight. Just for one outfit which I bought today, I said, and not the one which goes up to the boobs. If it's occasional, you can, she said.
So anyway, I am fine. Saw The Lymph Lady this morning too (the question came later, after I bought this skimpy dress), and my arm was even better than last week.
Oh, and I had my hair cut and highlighted and it looks really fab (the pic on this blog was taken ages ago) but forgot to get the hairdresser to take a pic so will get one taken another time...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

No more trauma

Just realised that the oncology centre did not phone me back re my query whether my raised calcium levels were any cause for concern, but feeling ok about things now.
As I said to The Lymph Lady, and then repeated to two friends last night, at least I am in tip top condition so if anything is wrong, I will deal with it.
Saw my GP today as I have a bladder infection. Checked with the thyroid doctor yesterday, and he said my symptoms had nothing to do with the Vitamin D pill he had subscribed.
Anyway, the GP said when he had been sent the results of my blood tests last week, he had barely noted the raised calcium as it was minor. And could be linked to the lowered vitamin D levels. That, he said, he had circled, saying low vitamin D levels were so rife in, ironically, "sunny South Africa" that the cost of the test had decreased from R700 to R300 because of increased demand.
He also said he doubted my raised calcium was anything serious and said, after I had asked, that he had seen patients whose levels were raised 'cos of supplements. And The Lymph Lady, whom I saw yesterday, said vitamins and supplements can be toxic and are not neccessarily all excreted through urine.
Oh, and two bits of great news: the GP confirmed my resting heart rate is 64 - I can barely believe I am so fit as my cardio has been capped and I don't do much at all, neither in terms of intensity nor frequency, going to gym only 3X a times, yoga once, and never doing more than 70% of my heart capacity, as instructed. Just shows that consistency pays!
And the other great news is that my arm is back to being perfect. Semi starved myself, lost weight, and all is well.
Just have to keep my weight down. (Oh, ate loads of cheese at a wine festival last night so today it wasn't perfect, but that is another story.....)
Now just frustrated cos cannot exercise cos on antibiotics for infection. Was so restless today that did a stretch on the balcony at work and then took a brisk walk down the road.
Feeling ok so pretty confident I am ok.
Off to Fashion Week tonight.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Have a plan so feeling fine

Gonna contact oncology centre and ask if slightly increased calcium is cause for concern and must bring forward appointment due for Oct 17. Then gonna contact thyroid doc and ask if excessive urination plus burning plus abdominal pain is cause for concern and if caused by hypercalcemia or Vit D pill. If these are all negative then contacting GP re urgent appointment for what is clearly a bladder infection.
Sent via my BlackBerry from Vodacom - let your email find you!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

and now for what seems to be a bladder infection

I am now going crazy. Cannot stop urinating and it's burning. Yesterday took citrus soda and it disappeared. Now tonight it is insane. Think yoga made it worse and went to the toilet 3 times during yoga and,since I have been home, about .. dunno... six times?
Took the Vitamin D pill calciferol on Saturday and one of its severe side-effects, according to the internet as I didn't get a pamphlet with the pills, is excessive urination. But abdominal pain and burning too?
Then read on the BBC site for hypercalcemia now that one of its symtoms is excessive urination and abdominal pain.
So must I contact the doctor who put me on the calciferol, or my GP?
Think will phone the thyroid doc in the morning, then take it from there. Feeling a little better now. Abdominal pain gone, burning has subsided. Don't feel like I need to go to the loo, although I did go about five minutes ago, before I started writing this.
Going mad. Not happy re this whole hypercalcemia either cos many sites say it is a sign of breast cancer and what I just read, that it has spread to the bones. Now that is all I need. Think am going to phone the thyroid doctor tomorrow and ask him. Or the oncology centre. Gotta know what is going on. But also need to get whatever is causing this excessive urination to stop.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Raised calcium and low vitamin D

This has really been a month of tests. For some inexplicable reason, this is the month I have scheduled many of my annual tests: the opthamologist, gynae (have to have Z-sampler every six months) and my thyroid doctor (endocronologist). Next month is the oncologist.
One hassle about this is that it costs me a lot of money. For example, the gynae cost me R1660 of which the medical aid paid back R527. Look, I am grateful to have access to such good doctors and am lucky I can afford to see them but the reality is that I then tend to spend the equivalent on something frivolous - and why not? If I always have the money to spend on the excess costs when it comes to my health - and I do believe in prioritising my health, why shouldn't I spend the equivalent on something fun and fulfilling?
Anyway, this week I had to have a series of blood tests before seeing The Thyroid Doc. Guess I could call him Mr Sexy. He had said a year ago that he needed to look at my general health and so he was scheduling me to do a series of tests. When I got thrush in my mouth, I did the glucose fasting test earlier this year. But did all the others this week.
And the results have thrown me a little.
My thyroid and cholesterol were perfect. In fact, my cholesterol was 4.9 which for me is excellent. And then in the general examination, my resting heart rate was 64 which I am totally chuffed about as I am clearly getting fitter by the second, and my blood pressure was 104 over 70. And I had lost 3kg since last year.
So far all very good.
But... my calcium is slightly raised (2.6-something instead of 2.3 or something) and my vitamin D is very low (15 when 30 is normal and 10 is dire).
Dr Sexy said the raised calcium could be because I am taking calcium pills and so I have stopped them with immediate effect. And he has prescribed this potent vitamin D tab to be taken once a week (rushed out from work today to get them so can start tomorrow) and am scheduled for more tests in two weeks' time.
He also said the raised calcium could a benign tumour on the parathyroids.
But I have been googling "raised calcium low vitamin D" and it all sounds so fakking dire I could vomit.
Oh well, nothing I can do about it right now. Doing the tests on October 11 and getting the results the next day, before Dr Sexy leaves the country for three weeks.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

the great diet - to prevent swelling

Went to The Lymph Lady on Monday and my arm was a disaster. What I do remember is that it was up everywhere, except for one place, and included a 2mm increase at the wrist, which is most unusual for me, and a whopping ghastly 1cm on the upper arm. No wonder all my t-shirts have been feeling tight.
According to The Lymph Lady, this is all in the upper range for me, but not the worst it has been. Because I have gained weight - 2.4kg since my lowest weight - I am now on a major diet and am seeing her again next week. Already lost 1kg in one day, and today my t-shirt sleeve was loose.
I have a lot at stake. Have stopped the binge eating - The Yoga Man says I have been eating more for about 5 weeks when a certain (not health related) situation caused stress but I was only aware of binge eating when matters re that came to a head about a week ago.
Anyway, luckily I know from the dietician I went to 'cos of the tamoxifen weight gain what to do: minimal protein and no minor mouthful binges/overeating. Last night managed to eat only steamed veggies for supper; tonight I had a little bit of sardines with them and then some fruit salad, but I had done a yoga class. Just hope I don't gain weight.
At least the binge eating stopped. I have replaced it with binge shopping - treating myself to fabulous shoes and clothes. Getting a bonus at work at the end of the month so should be able to balance it out then.
I sound more miserable than I am. Look, I was really miserable a week ago. Not miserable now. Just wanna make sure my arm goes back to normal and that I don't develop lymphedema. It clearly is highly unstable. And I cannot gain more than 1/2kg. Gotta keep my weight down, down, down....

Friday, September 9, 2011

All well!

Delighted to report that both tests I had on Monday are negative for cancer - the pap smear and the Z-sampler.
Had to phone the gynaecologist's emergency pager for the second time before he phoned me with the results. But he did apologise and did seem to understand that for me, getting the results was an emergency, was urgent.
I am so pleased that I was assertive enough to phone his emergency pager again this afternoon when he didn't phone me this afternoon and his rooms were closed. He was rushing to theatre for an emergency, he said.
I am relieved. Totally relieved. I kept thinking he is trying to protect me, trying to give me a few more carefree days before he breaks the news, and I kept thinking he is being negligent... one can work oneself up.
Glad I can now relax over the weekend.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Damn the doctor

Had a Z-sampler test on Monday. It tests for endometrial cancer, cancer of the uterus, which can be caused by the tamoxifen tablets I am on. The stats for tamoxifen preventing breast cancer returning are far higher than the chances of contacting endometrial cancer, so for me it wasn't an option, although I know there are women who won't take tamoxifen.
Anyway, the test is ghastly. According to the doctor, and his assistant, some women find it unbearably sore; others don't. I am one of those who do. It is like a pap smear X 50 although this time there wasn't prolonged pain afterwards, even though it did hurt a little the next day. And it bled a little, even the next day. Oh, and the doctor said that next time I can take Voltaren suppositories to numb the abdominal area, and I willingly took the script for it because I can still drive myself there and back; I just won't feel the intense pain. (I have the test every six months.)
However, was super pissed off that the doctor didn't phone me with the results. I had to phone him today, which I did, and I know he phones back at the end of the day. At 4.50pm I realised he hadn't phoned so I phoned again, only to be told he was busy - but still there. By 6pm I got the answering machine. So I phoned the emergency number, thinking: for me this is an emergency. I have had cancer. I need to know I am ok. If I am not ok, I also need to know. I thought: if he is cross with me for abusing the emergency number, f.. him. For me it is an emergency.
He didn't phone back.

my blog was hacked

My blog was hacked. So was my twitter account. And my facebook account. Deleted all my gadgets on this blog. Seems to have removed the problem - I hope. It will now take me some time (over the weekend?) to reinstate some of the features that were on this site.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In a silly quandary

My arm is up. I can feel it. Everything is tight. It looks bigger too although sometimes I think it doesn't and it's just the angle I am looking at it.
I have gained 2.4kg from my lowest weight. 1.3kg of that since last Friday when I got stressed about something - not health-related - and went on a compulsive eating binge, something I haven't done in years. Well not consistently, something beyond eating one thing cos of stress.
Now I am still fatter although hoping tomorrow I will have lost some of it.
My quandary is this: do I wear a compression sleeve for a few days to help my arm? Or do I wait till I see The Lymph Lady again on Monday, after which I will probably have to wear it, maybe even forever, so why ruin the next few days? And it's so hot too, summer is starting here....And I don't feel like adding any stress or discomfort to my life.
Think I will get onto the scale tomorrow and decide. If my weight is down but my arm isn't, will wear it, although goodness knows what clothes I will wear to cover the sleeve in this heat....
If my weight is still the same, will not bother with the sleeve. My left arm is a little thicker - marginally - than my right arm, and weight gain, even of 2kg, would accentuate the feeling of thickness even more.