Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The biopsy results are in....

And they aren't great. Not a great day overall, in terms of news regarding my mental and physical health. You see, I had two different doctor appoinments today. One with a new psychiatrist, and the other with the nephrologist to go over the results of my kidney biospy. The psychiatrist was first. I have been looking for a new psychiatrist since Christmas. I simply was not happy with my current psychiatrist, who had no idea who I was after seeing her for seven months, and who also told me that to solve my PMS, I should just not worry about it. Put it out of my mind. Yeah, O.K. So I asked around, and my therapist finally came back with a referral for one that her other clients liked and would actually recommend. After one and a half months of looking! Apparently not many people are happy with their psychiatrists. So I saw him today. And I love him. He is wonderful. Third time is a charm I guess! He spent forty-five minutes with me. He asked me a zillion questions. He took copious notes. The diagnosis he came up with almost made me fall out of my chair. I have always been very open and honest on this blog, about everything. But I am not ready to share this. It's scary. It's embarrassing. It is almost unbelievable. And yet, when I lool back at my history, it fits. He says I am "borderline", or only "slightly", but still I AM. He gave me some pretty heavy duty medication to try. Medication that previously I would have only associated with crazy people. But I can't share any of it right now. I don't know when(or if) I will be able to share it. People have serious preconceived notions about a mental illness like this, and I don't want to be judged. I certainly don't want anyone at work to find out. I work with kids for Gosh sakes! Would you want a crazy person watching your kids? I wouldn't. So for the time being, feel free to move me from "Adoption" to "Crazy" in your blog links section, but I can't talk about it right now. It is too new. It is too raw. And I am too scared.
So on to the appointment with the nephrologist. The biospy results came back, and I have IgA Nephropathy, or Berger's Disease. It is an autoimmune disease of the kidneys. There is no cure. It is a degenerative disease, which means it might not be severe now, but in fifteen years the damage to my kidneys could be irreparable. The only treatment is to control my blood pressure and keep my cholesterol levels low, which they are now. I don't have much more to say about it. It is not a common disease. There doesn't appear to be a lot that can be done about it, except to let it run its course. And hope for slow progression. I am terrified. I am devastated. It is unclear as to how this will affect the adoption. My doctor said he will write a letter for me. However, we don't know if the letter will be sufficient. There is no way he can honestly say this will not affect my life expectancy, and that is what the social worker said the letter needs to say. We won't know any more until the letter comes in the mail. At that point we will forward it to our social worker and ask if it is good enough. So more waiting ensues. I can't take much more. I cried all the way home. I cried in the grocery store. I'm stitting here crying as I type this. I can't stop. I know that it could be worse. I could have Cancer, or something else horrible and terminal. I am lucky not to have a myriad of awful diseases that people are diagnosed with on a daily basis. But this is not what I expected. I expected something that can be treated. Or cured. My plate is already full. There is no room for anything else. I am already overwhelmed with the chronic pain due to the endometriosis. Totally overwhelmed. It's time for me to go take some of those heavy duty drugs the psychiatrist prescribed.

14 comments:

M3 (Mary-Mia) said...

Yikes Michelle, that is not good news at all. I was really hoping the kidney biopsy would come back with some minor but totally treatable results. I'm so sorry!!!

Stacey Teague said...

Hey Michelle, you are totally in my thoughts this evening!!!!

Glo said...

Well that is not wonderful news but it is do-able. Keep that blood pressure and cholesterol where it needs to be. Medicine is constantly changing. Don't even give 15 years from now a thought. Think about tomorrow and what you can do to keep yourslef as physically and emotionally healthy and do that. None of us even has a guarantee of tomorrow, and no Dr in the world could guarantee that any adoptive parent to be, would still be around in 15 years. I am glad you have a new therapist that you like. That will help you to deal with this new info too. Hang in there.

Gracencameronsmomy said...

That is kind of scary, will medication help? There is really nothing that can be done? I will call you tomorrow,
Lisa

Kristin said...

Oh, wow, Michelle... I am so sorry to read this.

You are in my thoughts.

Shelley said...

Oh Michelle ...What a horrible day you've had. You are entitled to your cry. I am so sorry.

Shell

Julie said...

I'm so sorry. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Michelle,
O.K. so now you have the news and at least you're not waiting anymore, and while it certainly sucks, now you know and can deal with it one day at a time; I am a big proponent of crossing the bridges when we come to them. So, let's start walking toward that bridge in China, you can do it...
Carpe Diem, Michelle:)

Stephanie V said...

I know there's not much I can say that would give you comfort right now, but please know I'm sorry you have been weighed down with this burdon and that I'll be thinking about you.

As far as the adoption - don't give up hope. Diabetes, heart valve problems, all kinds of diseases are out there that are not curable and effect on life expectancy is unknown. What is important is that it won't effect your parenting skills. It's going to be alright. I know you don't feel that right now, but it will be.

As someone with Stage IV endo - I think I might have some suggestions to help with that chronic pain. I'll email you off line.

Tracy said...

There are all different degrees of mental illness and even with the "scary" sounding ones people lead very normal productive lives. I wish there wasn't such a stigma attached to mental illness. I hope you don't let the word/illness define you. It's just a word...you are the same person you were before the diagnosis...ok, I'll hop off my soap box now..lol.

As for the letter, I had ovarian cancer in my history and my letter had to say it would "not affect my ability to parent a child". That is what we were told China wanted to see. I freaked out when the doctor wrote things wrong (and when she said I had mental illness because I was on anti-depressants for 6 weeks after my hysterectomy), but the wording worked for us and we didn't get a single blip on our screen. So good luck and I hope you are able to get through this and not let it haunt you for the next however long it will take China to start matching people at a faster rate.

Joannah said...

Michell, I'm so sorry. I'll be thinking about you! ((hugs))

journeywoman said...

I wish the news was better. I thought I'd say that Guatemala has no health requirements...I'm finding that comforting at the moment.

I'm so sorry this is happening.

Linda said...

Hi Michelle. I'm so sad to hear what you've been going through...but I know you are strong and will rise above this. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Kim said...

Michelle...I'm so sorry that you're enduring all of this. I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Kim