Sunday, February 18, 2007

Having nothing to say

isn't really a good excuse for not blogging.

Because, honestly, I do have things to say: TONS of things to say. But somewhere between my brain and my fingers, those things get ... lost. Or twisted. Or too complex to explain. There's so much going on in my life, and I find myself just wanting to burrow into a deep hole and avoid it all. Which must not be allowed (for any real length of time), so here I am.

Since I still don't want to tackle anything too ... heavy... how about a sort-of funny & totally screwed up story? The kind of thing that could only happen to me?

A few weeks ago, about a week after my last doctor's appointment, I had a call from Zach (my doctor) that went something like this:

Zach: "NTE, I have some of your test results here, and, well, they don't make any sense."

Me: "Zach, when do my test results ever make sense?"

Zach: "Well, that's true. But about these results: your ammonia level is 78."

Me: "I have no idea what that means."

Zach: "Normal, or the highest level of normal, is about 43. So, you're near double that."

Me: "Hmm... Yeah, I still don't know what that means, except that it doesn't sound good."

Zach: "Well, I don't really know what it means either. But it's significant."

Me: "Significant how?"

Zach: "Yeah, I'm not sure. But it has to mean something."

Then he explained that he had a call in to a specialist, asking what they thought it could mean, and what we should do about it. He promised to call me back in the next few days. Skip to a few days later:

Zach: "So, I've got your test results here, and there are some abnormalities that I think we should discuss..."

Me: "Zach, you already called and told me this, remember? We're waiting for the specialist to call back?"

Zach: "Oh. No. Well, yes, that's true. But this is different. Let me ask you a question: Have you ever been bitten by a squirrel?"

Me: " "

Zach: "No, seriously: ever been bitten by a dog or a squirrel, or a woodland creature?"

Me (goggling. Partly because I don't think I've ever heard anyone actually say the words "woodland creature," and partly because, well...) "WHAT?"

Zach: "Bitten. By a creature of some sort. A dog maybe?"

Me: "Um... NO."

Zach: "Are you sure?"

Me: "Um. Yeah... Pretty damn sure. I think I would remember that sort of thing. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure that's how I would go around introducing myself 'Hi, I'm NTE. Let me tell you about the time I was bitten by a small woodland creature!' I'm going to stick with no on this one."

Zach: (sounding disappointed!)"Oh. Really? Well, then I can't really explain this, but you have this bacterial infection in your blood. It's called Brucellosis, and most people get it by being bitten by animals."

Me: " "

Me: "So, what does that mean? Does it explain my symptoms? Is it a co-infection (cuz I have other ones)? Can it be treated? Cured? Um... What does this mean????"

Zach: "Well, I'm not really sure. But it's significant."

Me: (Screw significant.... WTF does it mean?): "Right... significant how?"

Zach: "Well, it could explain some of your symptoms. It could be something that isn't even really an issue. It could be a major player because of your weakened immune system... We'll have to run some more tests to be sure, exactly. And I've called a specialist..."

No more useful information was forthcoming, just a lot of "significant" findings that nobody knows what the hell they mean in relation to me. I have since repeated both blood tests, and confirmed that I have these two "significant" issues. And, yes, I'm more than a bit worried about the fact that my liver isn't working correctly and I somehow contracted yet another infection, but for today? Let us, just for today, focus on this: my doctor was SAD that I hadn't been bitten by a squirrel.

He was hoping I had been!


He must think I am the stupidest person ever, to have been going to him for almost 4 years now, to have some sort of mystery illness, and to never have mentioned it to him. "Yes, I know we're not sure where these symptoms come from, or what is totally screwing my body up, but I'll just keep the fact of my woodland creature adventures to myself... Because they couldn't possibly be connected." What kind of dolt would I have to be?

That said, my mother now says that my grandmother's poodle once nipped me when I was a baby (young enough to be crawling after the dog enough to piss it off). I wonder if a tiny nip 26 years ago could account for it? I'll have to ask when I see him this week (apparently, there are different types of Brucellosis, so we have to have mine DNA tested - who knew?)

So, how about you, internet friends? Ever been attacked by woodland creatures? I promise not to be disappointed if you say no. ;)


Anonymous said...

Interesting. Not knowing what you are/have been dealing with/going through, I was kinda hoping you HAD been bitten by a woodland creature just so you'd know WHY you're dealing with whatever you're dealing with.

Whatever it is....I hope you are fixed really soon. :)

JaniceNW said...

Looking up this disease in my micro book (where all odd diseases lie) it says you get this from buffalo. been buffalo hunting lately? Brucellosis is a zoonosis highly infective to humans. there have been fewer than 200 cases since 1978. infections move through the lymphatic system onto the blood. I, myself have never been near buffalo nor bitten by a squirrel........

Never That Easy said...

Kellie -

Thanks so much: I'm hoping to be better soon, too. I've already got a bunch of diagnoses (Chronic Fatigue Immune Dysfunction Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Postural Orthostatic Hypotensive Syndrome, on and on), but there do seem to be some underlying problems that we just can't pin down. I honestly don't care what they are, just as long as they have treatments, or even better, cures. Welcome to NTE!

Janice -
Buffalo? Even better! But still a no... I'm a city girl: I don't go buffalo hunting, or camping, or ... anywhere where there isn't hot running water and fluffy pillows. and of course there's only been 200 cases: I am a medical WONDER. (woo hoo & sigh)

Brown Eyed Girl said...

No woodland creatures attacked me..but it gives me food for thought with my 14 yr old that was bitten by a seagull recently.

I also googled brucellosis-getting the buffalo and small cases in the last 30 years...are they sure?

Sorry it's a "significant" issue...and you can't get more answers.

Maya's Granny said...

Just think -- now your claim to fame is that you have not been bitten by a squirrel, nor has a buffalo ever done anything at all to you. A rare accomplishment, one that makes you just like the vast majority of the human race.

I was hoping that it would turn out to be the missing piece that would lead to the one-shot sure cure. Damn.

YAMB said...

Do you drink raw (unpastuerized) mild? You can get brucellosis from that--my FIL did.