Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Health Update - Bethany's Brain

Last week I went to a new doctor to see if I might get a new perspective on some of my health issues. My hypothyroid condition has been particularly out of control lately, and we are trying to put all the pieces of my health puzzle together. Also, we recently found out through blood work that not only was my thyroid score literally off-the-charts hypothyroid, but I am still terribly vitamin D deficient as well. (My end of Summer vitamin D score was far worse than my January mid-winter score last year!). So, I had some concerns about my health. Also, I am no longer taking NatureThroid as it turns out I am "sensitive" to pork and I felt better after discontinuing the medicine than I felt the nine months I was on it.

Meanwhile, I was seeing many of my health symptoms spiraling out of control. Paul said that I am in the worst health he has ever seen in me... this includes my bouts of disability... so, that says a lot... I am  NOT currently disabled. But, I see some patterns that, if not nipped in the bud, could potentially go that direction. My hands are not able to hold a pen most days. (I am able to type easily.) But, it hurts to play piano. I cannot comfortably lift up my arms to comb or arrange my hair... etc.

So, I went to a new doctor. And, she picked up on a number of symptoms that she thought correlated and took a blood test (among others) to check my prolactin level. I asked her what she was checking for and she said "pituitary gland tumor." I did not freak out. I actually thought, "yeah... that would certainly explain some things..."

Then, Monday we got the results of the blood work. My prolactin is quite elevated and I need to have an MRI done tomorrow to check for a tumor in my pituitary gland. I spoke to my naturopath today as well. And, he also now suspects to see a prolactinoma on the imagining tomorrow. My naturopath was very encouraging, telling me that he has treated this condition successfully before. In fact, he said that he has seen great results simply from eliminating gluten from the diet. (Yes, I was gluten free for a while, but we recently reintroduced grains in abundance as an attempt to cut back grocery expenses.) My doctor did not say that prolactinoma is caused by gluten sensitivity, but he did strongly state that gluten can/does exacerbate the condition. So, it looks like I will be going GF again. (At the very least)

Neither of my doctors expects that this tumor (which we expect to find) will be malignant. Pituitary gland tumors are generally benign. Neither does either doctor expect this health concern to be at all life threatening. And, to be honest, I never feared that. My anxieties were always more along the line of, "IF I have to ... THEN who would watch the kids/homeschool the kids/cook/clean/etc..." Rebecca is amazing! She is the momentum that keeps this family in motion right now (humanly speaking). She is stepping up as little mama in a big way! And, she is feeling the physical strain. She is quite tired.

I will let you know the results of the MRI as soon as I am able. I think at this point we would all be surprised if it is NOT a tumor... but you just never know. Last week a brain tumor was not even in my foggiest ideas for my future. Now, I am talking about it like it is a certainty. But, we do not know anything for sure yet, except that my prolactin score was high.

Now, knowing that these types of posts (on my blog) get more hits than anything else, I feel obligated to say that I HAVE PEACE, Friends! And, you can too! I can trust in the Lord no matter what is going on with my thyroid health, my vitamin D level, my pituitary gland tumor etc. I am clinging to several verses of Scripture throughout this ordeal and all the others of this past year. With my health and Paul's health. With Paul's job loss and everything else we have faced - we CAN and we DO have peace. We have moments of weakness, but we CAN have peace!

Here is a small sampling:

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:29 
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Psalms 57:1-2 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
    for in you my soul takes refuge;
in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
    till the storms of destruction pass by.
I cry out to God Most High,
    to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
Isaiah 26:3 You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you.

God is fulfilling his purposes for my life. And one of His ultimate purposes is to conform me to the image of His Son. Whether you believe that God "allows" bad things to happen or whether He has "ordained" bad things to happen-- God WILL use all circumstances in my life for my good and for His glory. We can have peace.   

To God be the Glory. 

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