Thursday, February 24, 2005

A double bill of doctors

My goodness, it's turned nippy noodles here. Unbelievably filthy weather- cold, wet lashing snow/rain, wind. Just the sort of day where you want to stay in bed and pull the covers over your horns.

Unfortunately, I had a double bill of doctor's appointments today- Dr Best Friend first thing in the morning, and Dr Endocrine at the hospital late in the afternoon. Whee! I figured that all this various trudging around hither and yon warranted the whole day off from work, and I was right.

Dr Best Friend, my GP, was her usual lovely helpful self. I explained about our plan to go to the OC, and she obligingly offered to prepare me a pack of all my test papers/results/certificates. An eminently sensible solution so no matter where we end up, I will have copies of everything I need. Oh sweet baby Jesus, I love this woman. It was all I could do not to fling myself at her feet, hugging her knees, sobbing in gratitude.

With lightning efficency, she also took some blood for the HIV and Hep B&C tests, gave me a scrip for a refill of my thryoid medication, and passed me a small tube and biohazard baggie for the chlamydia test.

"You'll need to provide first stream urine," she explained.

"Oh, like the first pee of the day? Yup, can do," I said confidently.

"No, I mean, you need to collect the first drops you pass. Sometimes we ask for midstream urine instead, so you have to start, then aim for the tube halfway through. But not this time. Oh, and you need to fill the tube all the way up. Ahh, it can be a little tricky," she added, as my face fell.

Good Lord, I thought as I trundled off to the loo, peeing into a tube has suddenly become very complicated. How do I know when first stream ends and midstream begins? What if I miss the tube altogether when I start? What I can't fill the tube all the way? Is my bladder actually full enough? Fuck, I knew I should have a second cup of coffee this morning. Surely there must be a more girl friendly method for this sort of thing, like a funnel device? Maybe I should invent one. And anyway, why the fuck didn't E. have to do this test, never mind that this whole 'first stream pee thing' is probably ten times easier for boys.

I sat there for a minute or two, thinking all these things and wondering if I should go home and do it later. But then I pulled myself together, thinking IT'S JUST PEE, WOMAN! Just do it!

So I did. It was, as she said, a little tricky.

Then, for maximum entertainment, as I went back to the reception desk to hand in the pee tube in the baggie emblazoned with CHLAMYDIA TEST: BIOHAZARD in bright red letters, I bumped squarely into one of my work colleagues.

"Oh, HIIIIIII," I said way too loudly.

"Hi," he said. There was an awkward pause as his eyes flicked to the package in my hand.

"Just....just...passing through," I yelped, before practically throwing the bag over the counter at the poor receptionist, and sprinting for the door.

Only to realise as I reached the corner that I had forgotten my favourite hat in the waiting room. Yes, of course he was still there when I came back for it.

Later in the afternoon, up to the hospital to see yet another endocrinoloist. Turns out I flunked my last blood test, and my TSH levels have risen again slightly despite the medication. For the purposes of conception, it should be lower, and so my dosage is to be increased.

"Look," said Dr Third, getting out a scrap of paper and a pen, "this is your thyroid. And this is your pituitary gland. And these lines here are the hormones from one to the other, that's called your TSH. What this means is..."

I let him ramble on, despite the fact that I have seem the same crappy diagram drawn at least six or seven times by four different doctors in the last year. They sure seem to like drawing it though, so who am I to spoil their fun?

Supplementary prescription...take back to GP...test it again in three months...another appointment in six months...blah, blah, blah, blah. I left in a bad mood. I am a thyroid failure. Why the fuck can't I get this TSH level down?

Blasting cold wind. Wet snow in my face. Drunken yobs in the back of the bus. Having come to the conclusion that spontaneously combusting was not a viable option at that particular moment, I decided instead that the only thing to be done was to head immediately to buy that pair of chocolate brown suede knee high boots I had seen earlier.

They were on sale, I promise. A most delicious bargain.


At 8:24 PM, Blogger Suz said...

Bumping into someone from work is my worst nightmare, so those boots were definately well-deserved. Good for you.

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Soper said...

Your TSH levels won't go down because you don't relax enough. You should just go on vacation. It will happen if you would just relax more....

At 9:27 PM, Anonymous deborah said...

I am sooooo laughing at the mental image of you straddling the loo with that tube thingy wedged up against your cooter!

At 1:41 AM, Blogger K|nneret said...

You've deserved those boots for a very long time! How dare they just go on sale now?
The injustices just pile up, don't they?

Enjoy them :)

At 1:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is not assvice, I'm only passing on what my naturopath said to me:

My acupuncture diagnosis is basically a stressed liver with kidney deficiency. Your liver is very important in maintaing your hormone balance. I've also had my adrenal glands checked and they were low, like bottom of the gas tank, nothing but dirt rolling around low. A stressed adrenal system can tax the body and imbalance the thyroid. My naturopath put me on both thyroid medication and adrenal medication (DHEA, a precursor to cortisol) and I just had my thyroid retested and all my levels came back perfect. I slashed my TSH from 2 to 1 after a couple of months of this regimen. It's just a thought. Nothing else I ever did to lower the TSH worked (and I'm the most mild dose of natural medication so it's not just this alone that dropped it). Just wanted to throw it out there. If you want to know more, just send me an email.

As always, thinking of you.


At 9:49 AM, Blogger TofuSal said...

Catching the first stream is nigh on impossible - mine whizzes around in circles before it decides on which direction it wants to go in!

Gorgeous boots should be available on the NHS - sometimes nothing else will do...

sara in London xx
(today sporting black, narrow cuban-heeled little ankle numbers, having changed from Doc Martins in the office.)

At 12:27 PM, Blogger The Barrenness said...

I know, what is it with the drawing/sketching? I notice that only male doctors do that. I think they have a lot of untapped creative energies that are squelched by all that science and math.

Good luck on the TSH. Mine has a mind of its own. Me thinks it is high again. Okay, me KNOWS it is high again.

Good call on the boots, my friend.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger E. said...

That TSH sounds frustrating as all hell. I hope it comes down with the new dosage.

Is it wrong that I laughed until I cried with you, carrying your Chlamidia test and bumping into your co-worker? It was truly sympathetic laughter, Mare -- I cannot believe the universe's timing sometimes.

Yhose boots sound divine, though.

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Kim said...

As someone who regularly pees on their hand, can never fill the damn tube halfway and usually ends up with end of stream urine rather than mid stream urine in their tube - I can relate to the pee anxiety! Plus, I was told by my midwife to empty it out and use the same tube again next time. Apparently the NHS won't spring for new tubes every appt. Lovely. Guess I'm doing my bit for those landfills.

At 9:39 PM, Blogger HomeFireBlue said...

Oh, ugh, I can relate to the wee-in-a-tube thing. Not only to you have to get your cootchie-bits out of the way, but you're not supposed to let the rim of the recepticle touch you.

Now how in the HELL are we supposed to manage that?

Sorry about the weather. I wish I could send you some of mine. Seems bloody cold to me (55-60f)but you'd probably find it balmy.


At 9:41 PM, Blogger ms pickled eggs said...

I can just about cope with the thought of meeting someone from work at the IVF clinic - but DH has concerns about meeting someone he knows whne leaving the 'room'.

Oh and to solve you pee problem - you need a 'whizzy'

(as featured on Graham Norton!)

At 12:24 AM, Blogger Anna H. said...

Good Lord, the colleague in the waiting room bit?


That's it -- do typepad so you can post pics of the boots! No on will be able to recognize you from your boots, will they?

Yours in pee-sample solidarity,



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