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I am taking a few minutes before I run off to do some relocation activities - I am moving to Washington DC tomorrow and flying at 2 p.m. - because Wee Mama dropped me a line and I felt like I should spend a few minutes with your folks. Follow me over the fold for an update on me, recovery from my accident, and my subesequent good news regarding my health.
I was hit head-on in a collision going to my doctor on November 24. I was seriously, though not severely - injured. No broken bones, but require pain medication and physical therapy, and could not walk or drive for a week. I rented a car, got a lawyer, filed a claim or two, and on Dec 9, just a few days ago, got the final confirmation of my new full-time employment (full major medical!!!) just about at the moment when my prescription benefit for 2009 hit its maximum. My major medical kicks in January 1.
In the meantime, I hobbled to a new endocrinologist to plead with him, on behalf of my now severely-bloated legs (due to injury swelling to my knees and immobility) to do something to address the adrenal disorder, and I don't know if it was the look of frank pain on my face, the extreme bloat that convinced him of SOMETHING being wrong, or what, but he ordered the test to confirm or to deny my congenital adrenal disorder, which is what turned a thin, underweight athlete into a bloated, 344 pound turtle by July of this year when I began to act as my own doctor.
This involved some appointments that I had to drive to, out to a specialty clinic; a 24-hour pee-in-a-jug event, lots of needles in my arm, and fasting overnight, - no big deal. And the initial baseline test came back. Through the magic of Google, the assay laboratories doing genetic and endocrine testing all have their brag pages and latest scientific findings, reference values, etc. on their official medical websites.
The baseline 11-deoxycortisol serum test proves that I have congenital adrenal hyperplasia. The test result came back Wednesday night. Yesterday, lab reference values in hand and "diagnostic proof" printed out from my printer, I phoned the endocrinologist and spoke with his nurse, and said "Will he give me a diagnosis now? I am moving to Washington on SUNDAY and don't want to start over with a new endocrinologist then. Can he issue the diagnosis based upon this deoxycortisol test?
Okay class, what do you think the answer was, two hours later?
No. OF course he won't.
I have been right all along. I am no longer hypertensive. I'm 50 pounds thinner, and eating a low-sodium, high potassium diet. But I won't heal from my car accident until I get the proper doses of hydrocortisone - yeah that stuff you rub on poison ivy and hemorrhoids - so that I can replace my missing endogenous steroids.
And this just means that I am due back in Rochester, MN to see the world pioneers in adrenal function research, the nobel prize-winning endocrinology department that first isolated the adrenal precursor hormone cortisol in 1948 and discovered this disease in children in 1953.
It just goes to show that knowledge is power. And Obama is right that the Mayo is a standard for medical research, care, and treatment that is also sharing, over the internet, its depth of research that is saving lives, and recovering health for those of us who have gone our entire lives with a severe medical condition that has degraded our quality of life.
I hope if any of you read this who are in the Capitol area, you will feel free to contact me at louisev AT zebratta DOT com, and I will be happy to get to know you. I am due at Donna Edwards holiday party on the 19th in Maryland, and will undoubtedly become directly involved in political action now that I'll be in the capitol.
I am still in pain, but I am not in doubt. And I am not without answers and solutions. Persistence is the key. No matter where you are in your journey back to health, where there is life... there is hope.
Merry Christmas and God bless you all for all of your help and encouragement.
I'll be checking in here as time permits as I start my new job and do my moving.