In the Meantime…

Still waiting to hear back from DVR with my fingers crossed.  It would be so awesome if they decide I qualify for help in the purchase of hearing aids.  I hope it’s not too long of a wait.

In the meantime, I’ve been sick.  For six weeks now.  It’s insane.

It started with a cough that was pretty bad.  I would have long, hard bouts of coughing.  After three weeks, it moved into my sinuses and I was having headaches and tooth pain.  I finally went to my doctor who gave me antibiotics.  It didn’t clear up and actually got a bit worse, to the point where I strained or cracked my rib.  Coughing is 1,000 times more fun with a cracked rib, let me tell you!

I went to urgent care for the rib pain, and was given a second round of antibiotics.  The cough settled to barely existent, but the sinus infection remained and I got a sore throat.

In the meantime, I’ve been gaining weight.  Not a huge deal at first, we all lose and gain from time to time.  But I kept gaining.  And gaining.  And oddly, it all seems to be concentrated in my belly.  As of this weekend, I look convincingly pregnant.  Four to five months pregnant, in fact.  Except I’m not, so uh, that’s not good, right?

I went back to the doctor today because something is NOT right.  Since June, I have been seen for hot flashes and dizzy spells (no cause found).  Two urinary tract infections (one was e. coli, the second was something else, but I forget what).  Four yeast infections (and not over-the-counter treatable ones) and then Group B Strep in places you shouldn’t really get Group B Strep.

It took me almost three months to get that fun all cleared up, and then the weight gain started.  I haven’t been eating differently, and since we’ve moved, I’ve been more active if anything.  I was about to start exercising when I got sick and cracked my rib, so that is off the table for a while.

As the weight kept coming, I noticed my belly getting bigger and bigger.  It’s to the point where most clothes look maternity on me and I have to choose very carefully to not look pregnant.  I couldn’t button my pants this morning and started crying.  So I called the doctor, again.

I went in and had a full 8.5″ x 11″ page filled with every infection, problem or oddity I’ve had since June.  It was a big list.

He checked my abdomen (no pain, no gas, no bowel problems, just a big, pregnant-looking belly), listened to my lungs and heart, etc.  I was in near hysterics as I told him SOMETHING is wrong and I don’t know what, but I am getting bigger in the belly, gaining weight at what’s becoming an alarming rate, and I keep getting infections that my body can’t seem to get rid of.

I had him check my office visit weigh-ins, and I have weighed more and more each visit since June.  At my first visit, I was 116.  Today, I was 129.  That’s 13 pounds in 4 months, and I was 120 in August, so 9 pounds of it was in less than two months.  This is the heaviest I have ever been in my life (non-pregnant).

Something is very wrong.

He did a urinalysis to make sure I am not pregnant (I’m not) and I don’t have a UTI right now (thank God).  Then he sent me for a bunch of blood tests, including CBC, thyroid, Vitamin D, mono, and a bunch of other codes I didn’t understand.  Wednesday, I am having a CT scan of my abdomen.

He said we will get to the bottom of this and figure it out.  In the meantime, to try to ease my mind, he told me while it’s definitely not normal to gain this much weight and just in my belly the way I have, it doesn’t scream “cancer” to him.  He put some ideas out there like autoimmune disorders, inflammation, growth and I can’t recall what else.

Then he told me I am likely going to need an in-person follow up to see what to do next, based on this first round of results.  He told me not to freak out if the nurse calls without info just to schedule an appointment, that is just how they do it.  He said if it’s something they are really concerned about, that he will call me personally to tell me.  Great, because now I am wondering why did he tell me that?  Because he is concerned he might need to call me personally, right?

Really, what else makes a person gain so much weight in one place other than a growth or fluid build up of some sort?  I can’t imagine regular old gas weighing so much.  And then I think maybe whatever is going on in my belly is making my body work overtime to fight it off, and that’s why I can’t fight and am susceptible to all these other illnesses I’m getting.

I need to step away from Google and try not to think about it, but it’s hard not to when you have the constant reminder of being unable to button your pants.

If I said I wasn’t scared,  I’d be lying.

6 Replies to “In the Meantime…”

  1. Long time lurker. I have had a number of gastrointestinal infections which caused me to bloat to the point of wearing second trimester maternity clothes without actually being particularly serious (for example, most recently the very easily treatable giardia). If your doctor doesn’t come up with anything soon, you might want to also see a GI specialist. A CAT scan won’t identify a parasite/bacterial issue but other labwork will.

    I hope you get this figured out soon.

    1. Thank you, Rachel, for the information. I forgot that he did say if there was nothing on the CT scan, the next step would be to go to the gastroenterologist and perhaps have a colonscopy. Did you have weight gain with your infections?

  2. With all the bloat and the bacterial infections, you need to get your gut straightened out. Get some good bacteria in there (probiotics, yogurt) and get rid of the stuff that can cause the bad bacteria to proliferate (yeast, cheese, alcohol, sugars).

    I really hope you get a non-scary diagnosis.

    1. Leah ~ I had asked him about the possibility of an intestinal yeast infection, but for reasons I can’t remember right now, he said it was “highly unlikely”. However, after the CT scan, if nothing is found, I’ll be sent to the gastroenterologist, so we’ll figure it out. Hopefully soon!

  3. Oh boy, I wish you best luck!
    I too am in the process of having an MRI for some odd symptoms, and I know how difficult it is to quiet down your fear. Just put yourself in the stand by mode until you have an answer. There is nothing you can do to change the outcome and fear is definitely not going to make things easier for you.
    Godd luck to you!

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