Blog 4 - Hyperthyroidism

Here is the latest instalment in my bizarre experience of being diagnosed with Graves' Disease.
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As I await my next appointment with the consultant, I have endured yet another blood fiasco.
You really couldn't make it up.
Undeterred I succeeded in getting the information I required in th end. I also enjoyed a fabulous fiftieth and a nice holiday in North Yorkshire.
See below or click on the icon to read more.
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So, just a few days to go and once again I will be in front of the consultant.
Have things improved? Well when I eventually managed to get the labs in my hand I discovered my latest blood tests did show progress.
However, it was not so easy to get the information I required. After all the shenanigans I have endured so far in this hyperthyroid merry-go-round, I thought now I would just get the information I require when I request it. How silly of me.
When I saw the big boss in August I explained about the problem with getting blood tests on request and was given a series of clear envelopes to keep for four weeks to ensure the tests were carried out.
I duly arranged at my surgery for the tests - and showed the bags to prove they would be paid for by my consultant. I curtailed my holiday plans to make sure I could attend in time to get the results back before my next consultant appointment and thought everything would be fine.
I had already resolved to opt for an op, should I be told that a decision had to be made.
Before my five days in Robin Hood's Bay and Whitby, I went with my younger son and his friend to Ingleton to the stunning waterfalls walk, a trip we have made often. However I discovered that walking up steep steps is quite a different exercise for someone on beta blockers. When your body is under strain, your body releases adrenaline to make your heart pump faster, but when you are on beta blockers that message does not seem to get through.
Walking up the seemingly endless flights of steps, I found myself getting slower and slower until a snail would have been moving faster than I. At the top I felt incredibly light headed and my muscles ached. I had no choice but to stop and try to let my body recover.
It proved to be good preparation for what I was to face when I went on holiday to Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay, both of which have steep hills, inclines and steps. On exiting the bay and walking up the incredibly steep main street, I found myself walking like someone many, many years older than myself.
On a less serious note, I went sea fishing in Whitby and caught a huge ling - similar to cod. Very good it tasted too.
On returning home the next set of bloods were taken as arranged for a FBC, Full Blood Count, and I went away safe in the knowledge that I would have the necessary information before my 9.30am appointment on Tuesday September 13.
Then came the 50th birthday party and I enjoyed a riotous celebration with lots of valued friends, thank you to everyone who came and an even bigger thank you to everyone who donated money towards getting a defibrillator in Weir, the village where I live. So far the appeal in lieu of presents stands at£250. Birthday over, work resumed in force. 
I had still heard nothing from the doctor regarding the blood results. So, I chose to call in as I was in town anyway.
'Could I have my blood test results please, the blood was taken last Wednesday and I wondered if you had the results back yet?'
'Do you get a print out?' asked the receptionist.
'Yes, I need them for my consultant appointment on Tuesday.'
The receptionist looks in the filing cabinet, but can't find any paperwork. Then she checks the computer screen and announces that I cannot have them because the doctor has not viewed them yet. I point out how essential it is that I have that information and ask when the doctor may 'view' them.
'Maybe today or tomorrow, I could ask them to rush them through,' she says. Furious, I ask her to inform the doctor that I need that information in time for my appointment and I leave. As I walk through the surgery I pass waiting patients and I shake my head, as I leave by the staircase, I strike the handrail in disgust. Why is this happening to me... AGAIN!
I call my friend and he advises me to speak to the Practice Manager and when I mention his name my call gets connected. I soon explain the married surname thing and the fact that she knows me from my time in newspapers we agree the discussion is better  face-to-face rather than me calling on my mobile from a supermarket car park.
While walking back to the surgery the Practice Manager checks out what happened and although she has many answers when I get to see her, it doesn't change what happened.
Apparently the doctor had not indicated that I could have the information but contrary to what I was told the doctor had viewed the results on September 2. I had received no 'your results are ready text'€™ yet whenever I make an appointment at the surgery I receive multiple texts reminding me. The Practice Manager prints out my blood test results and while I have a captive audience I recount to her the raft of issues I have had with the surgery, mostly with receptionists and trying to obtain information that I am entitled to have. She agreed some, training is needed and now my records contain a clear note that when requested, a written copy of reports and results has to be handed over. I personally thanked my friend for his assistance.
So the results? Well free T4 is still behaving itself and free T3 has also improved but is still too high. While not in normal range yet, it is a lot nearer than it was. As I understood the TSH controls those two and it is still non-existent, however the medicine has got the overactive hormones almost under control.
Where do I go from here? Back to the consultant on Tuesday, armed with a host of questions and a list of symptoms including waking up nearly every morning with screaming cramp in my lower limbs and jumping out of bed. I have lots to discuss and lots to consider and maybe a decision to be made.
Watch this space.