The latter part of last year found me fighting a losing battle with fatigue. Not just your average “I don’t get enough sleep” fatigue, but Rip-Van-Winkle-ing-through-entire-weekends tired. I would lay down for a nap and end up sleeping for four hours at a whack. It was a bit crazy pants and weekends became unproductive, not much fun and were over before I knew it.
I went to my (soon to be ex) general practitioner. She and the junior doctor she brought to work with her that day examined me cheerily and offered very vague suggestions as to what might be causing my bone tiredness, but nothing concrete or that gave me any confidence. In the end, they decided to take a liter or so of blood. I was hopeful that the blood tests would show some totally treatable thyroid related issue that would explain my exhaustion as well as the small but consistent spare tire (bicycle not truck) that I have aquired.
I waited impatiently for a phone call from the doctor’s office which didn’t come the following day or the next. I thought possibly that, like heart worm for dogs, no news was good news. But that wasn’t making me any less tired, so I phoned my doctor’s office. Her office person told me that there was nothing to worry about and that I would receive my results in the mail. Really? Mail? As in SNAIL? I had so hoped that my doctor might give a rat’s behind and phone me to personally discuss the results of my tests, but apparently that isn’t the way things are done in 1972 where my doctor has her office. I also asked to have the results faxed to me, but I never received them. Fax machines were quite rare in 1972, so of course.
Eventually the results came in the mail and everything pointed towards healthy. I had a slight iron deficiency which my doctor in her notes suggested might a result of heavy periods. She suggested an iron supplement. A totally reasonable suggestion if I still had a UTERUS. My hysterectomy, a small but rather significant detail, rendered her suggestion moot and forced me to phone her office, yet again. It also made my little tired head explode.
I finally had an opportunity to speak directly with my doctor after several phone calls and she was completely unapologetic. She suggested that iron supplements might still help – uterus or no. She also suggested that my anti depressant might be causing the borderline narcolepsy. When I hung up, I felt defeated. Of course I could decrease my anti depressant but that was kind of a last resort. I felt brushed off and abandoned by my doctor, like she was on to the next more solvable case. Then my phone rang and it was my doctor calling to mention that my family history of colorectal cancer and my personal history of polyps might indicate a bleeding polyp which could cause exhaustion. REALLY? This would have been nice to know when we were on your doctor “play date” like three weeks ago. Are you kidding?
I promptly scheduled a colonoscopy and fortunately was deemed clean as the proverbial whistle, which while relieving is a bit beside the point. Who operates like that? Oh, and still tired, did I mention? So ultimately under the supervision of a different doctor I did reduce my anti depressant.
So the good news is that I am now considerably less fatigued. The bad news is that I am now considerably more anxious with a side of neurotic. I also wasn’t able to pin my muffin top on a faulty thyroid. Oh, and now I need a new effing doctor.