Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Healthy again?

For the last year or so, I’ve had a periodic malaise that I’ve been unable to describe to my doctor. It’s in the muscles of my upper chest and back, and in my arms. They are tingly and numb all at the same time and I’ll have some nausea and heart palpitations. Sometimes if I eat it helps, sometimes not. I never could trace it to anyone one thing – I thought it was heartburn for a while, then I wasn’t taking my blood pressure medicine exactly every 8 hours, and I don’t even remember what all else I thought it might be. But it was frustrating and a little scary.

Sometimes, I’d have it for several days in a row. Then I might go for a couple weeks without an episode. Then I might get it for 1 day only. No rhyme or reason to it at all.

So I was telling Mom about them telling me I had low potassium when I went for my surgery, and she said that water pills will do that to you, flush the potassium out of your system. When we decided we wanted to get pregnant, I went to the doctor and had them change my blood pressure medication to something that would be safe for me to take while I was pregnant. Turns out good that I did, because it took about a year to get the dosage correct and my blood pressure stabilized. But the blood pressure medicine that she put me on causes me to retain water – especially around my period (usually the week after rather than the week before). So she put me on a second medication that I take only as needed, that works as a water pill and helps to keep my blood pressure normal when I’m retaining water (the water makes your heart work harder).

When I talked to the anesthesiologist right before the surgery, he asked me about the water pill I take, and after I explained went “Oh, okay.” like that explained everything. But he didn’t tell me that caused the low potassium or anything. Of course, about 30 seconds later I was out cold, but still….

So this morning, I finally get around to looking up low potassium, and guess what the symptoms are? Just guess. You’ve got it. All the ones I listed above, plus a few more that I don’t have, but that’s enough for me. So I’ve put a call into my doctor’s office to talk to her about it. They do make water pills for this specific issue, that won’t flush the potassium out of your system. I’m hoping she’ll just switch me to that, but I’m sure I’ll have to go in, give some more blood, go back, and then switch.

I’m just excited that I (think) I’ve finally figured out what’s wrong with me. It’s terrible to know that something’s wrong, but not be able to describe it. “I’m tingly and numb all at the same time” just doesn’t sound right, ya know?

Speaking of getting pregnant, the surgery doctor told me that the (probable) reason my HPV hasn’t gone away on its own, like so many peoples do, is that Chris and I keep re-infecting each other. So he told me that for 6 months after we’re able to have sex again, we should use a condom every time. Then for the next six months, we should continue to use a condom except on my fertile days. The main point here is that in 6 months (from July 25th hopefully), we can start seriously trying to get pregnant!!!J We’ve been waiting so long to get everything ready – blood pressure under control and this mild dysplasia thing taken care of, and I was truly afraid that it would take too long, and I would be too old to have any kids. I’ll be 36 before we can start trying, but that’s still young enough. Everyone cross your fingers that this all works.

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