Friday, November 05, 2004

Back in the Saddle

Back from the doctor. Back from Burlington. Back to the blog.

The trip was great -- great and short. Tuesday night we went F1 Kart Racing in Braintree. Our department rented both tracks for half an hour each. We split into eight teams of three then donned funky racing suits, helmets and neck braces. My group was Team Bloodbath. On the first track we did an Endurance race, and on the second track it was Grand Prix style.

Wednesday night we all went out to dinner at a fancy restaurant. We were supposed to go on a casino cruise, but weather (winds specifically) did not permit it.

The flight back was uneventful. We came close to missing a connecting flight at LAX. But a little bit of begging and running and two shuttles later, we were squished comfortably on our propellor commuter plane.

Went to see a new doctor this morning. This one specializes in Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT). He thinks I have acid reflux and I don't sleep with my head elevated enough. He sprayed a numbing agent into my nostrils and stuck a tube up my nose and down the back of throat. I was required to make specific humming noises and stick my tongue out. He told me the tube would tickle, but it sort of hurt. But again, I'm a baby. And my teeth are still numb. Then he prescribed two more pills.

I left the clinic with more appointments to remember:

  1. On Monday: Ultrasound on my neck.
  2. On Wednesday: Blood Test at the Lah-bore-ah-tor-EE.
  3. Mid-month: See the hematologist about my reduced platelet count.
  4. Two weeks: Return visit to the ENT.
  5. Dec 1: Return visit to the Endocrinologist.
  6. Meanwhile, start new antibiotic next week and acid reflux medication.
The good news is that my endocrinologist is wonderful. She's been on top of my case since the first appointment, sometimes calling me after hours to check up. She makes me happy.

The doctor's concern -- and I share this concern -- is that my lymph nodes are abnormally large on the left side of my neck. Now, if I tilt my head back, anyone can clearly see the bulge that's developed beneath my jaw. For the most part it doesn't hurt, but it is tender. And on the plane last night, I had a few sharp pains as a result of the swelling being above a nerve.

Words like CAT Scan and biopsy were used today. However, the possibility of cancer was minimalized. I've got two things in my favor: my age -- 27 is young for this sort of thing -- and the fact that I've experienced pain, that generally indicates a viral problem or an inflammation of some kind.

I can't remember if I mentioned this yet, but there's also concern about platelets in my blood. My platelet count is abnormally low. Normal, healthy people have 150,000 to 450,000 platelets per microliter of blood. Last month I was at 122,000. This month I have 86,000. (More info on the test they performed here.)

The most important thing about this entry, is that I say all these things but I feel fine. Except for tenderness in my neck, I feel completely normal. This last month has been a complete surprise. I'd like to believe the lab mixed my test results up with someone else, but that's just not the case. I'm also not thinking about what might happen. I'm just going day to day. I worry enough about stupid, trivial things.

That's me in a nutshell (a mighty big nutshell.) Feeling okay, interested in the whole process, hoping it turns out to be nothing, happy with the endocrinologist. And occasionally contributing to my NaNoWriMo word count. Have yourself a merry, little weekend.

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