Thursday, September 14, 2006
Optimism in unexpected places
I went to a rheumatologist yesterday not expecting much. I certainly didn't expect that he would spend three hours with me. It was unbelievable. I thought my neurologist was the most thorough doctor around but the rheumatologist was even more thorough. He is convinced that I have a vitamin D deficiency and said that even if I had been tested when I was getting a battery of tests from the neurologist that they wouldn't have picked up on it because they have recently changed the levels that are considered adequate (March of 2006 is when they changed). After I got home naturally I started researching this subject. Anyone who has known me for five minutes would expect that. I found out that people with vitamin D deficiencies are often misdiagnosed as having fibromyalgia. I found all sorts of articles about studies into unexplained chronic pain that ended up being a vitamin D deficiency. An article in American Family Physician - Vitamin D the Once and Present Epidemic sums it up well. He also thought I might have a specific thyroid issue that doesn't show up on standard tests and also that I might be hyperglycemic. Reading online I found all of these issue can be connected to vitamin D deficiencies. The FABULOUS news is that if this doctor's hunches proved to be correct, after the tests that are being done on me are completed, that would mean that I can be fixed. I even found a host of autoimmune diseases, including ones involving the T cells and other things I familiarized myself with when I was convinved I had paraneoplastic syndrome, can be connected to vitamin D deficiencies. It was interesting to me that the doctor pointed out that people with deep tans can be vitamin D deficient. Sooooo, I'm not going to start baking my skin. I don't know yet how it will be boosted because I'm not supposed to do anything until the tests come back. If this first string of tests doesn't show the abnormalities the doctor suspects, he has a whole other string of tests. It's so encouraging to me to have a doctor starting in fresh who has a ton of ideas and theories and is looking for answers that might actually fix me. Even better, I have discovered that I can be optimistic again. I am by nature optimistic. I was happy to get somewhat optimistic about the new physical therapy but this goes further. This gives me optimism that I might get back to my old life. I might once again be physically active. This doctor also said that my frozen shoulder on the right side needs P.T. immediately or I will be in danger of permanently losing range of motion. None of the other doctors even prescribed physical therapy for that shoulder even though they knew I couldn't reach behind my back on that side. The neurologist and pain specialist sent me to have PT to work on knots in my neck and shoulder, my recent scripts from my PCP were for P.T. for balance, back and lyphedema but this is the first doctor who precribed P.T. for my frozen shoulder. I am so encouranged and mentally am already hopeful once again that I will FINALLY get a diagnosis which can move me towards health. Even if it's not vitamin D, and or thyroid, and or hyperglycemia, I feel like this doctor may find an answer. At least I know that I have a doctor who is still looking for an answer. My neurologist would keep looking within his specialty but the amazing thing about this doctor is he's looking and considering all sorts of different areas whether or not they relate to rheumatology. Whooohooo. All this and a good PET/CT scan too.