Thursday, December 09, 2010

The T4 wars - Part 5 - How are you feeling?

My new doctor - whom I named in my head 'The Happy Nigerian' - looked at my old blood test results and made noises of understanding. While examining me, he said casually, 'How are you feeling?"

How was I feeling? I had barely dragged myself to the appointment. My husband drove; I slept as much as I could. The air was syrup and I was trying to breath it. I had suddenly developed double vision. I was freezing cold. I was fragile... that was a very strange part. Subtle changes in my body and environment made me anxious and panicked. FRAGILE? ME? Impossible! No one, meeting me for the first time, at least PRE-surgery would EVER think I was fragile. And yet I was so fragile I couldn't choose between three options (two I might have a chance); could not drive; could not bear emotion in the people around me. Suddenly I was incompetent in my own world.

A couple weeks earlier, I told the Endocrinologist C Kurt Alexander of Muncie IN how I felt and he raged at me: How you feel has nothing to do with me! You have a symptom, go see your GP! You will die before I prescribe (another treatment)!

And I did go see my GP who, to my astonishment, played along with the Endo, pretending that I had suddenly become mentally ill or, as an alternative, I had a brain tumor. To my doctors, I realized with real revulsion, nothing I was feeling was acceptable to them. To my doctors, I was cured and functioning normally. The TSH tests said I was 'in normal range' and my doctors now embarked on a mission to convince me that the way I was feeling had nothing whatsoever to do with my thyroid hormone levels.

On these doctors, I was dependent for my very life, a reality Alexander had put a fine point on. I would die without their treatment, however ineffective it was or how sick it left me.

So now, when I heard my nice new doctor ask me " How are you feeling? " I played along.

"I am fine."

The Happy Nigerian gave me a satisfied 'Good' and ordered a TSH test.

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