Contemplating Life in a Tube…An MRI Tube to be exact

I cannot take too much credit for the title…that was all thanks to Karen as I was having a meltdown with her.

After a month of tests, I laid at one of my final one, the MRI. When you are laying there for an hour, you have nothing to do but think, worry, and cry. Why did I need an MRI?  Carl said he’s never seen me so sad.

What started off as a regular check-up to the gynecologist in January eventually led to an appointment where the words were, “Let’s do some checks and make sure you don’t have a growth or cancer.”

When you hear these words, even when it’s not set in stone, your entire world stops. Your stomach sinks and you completely contemplate your entire life. The world starts going in slow motion and you start counting all the things you haven’t done.

  • What have I done with my life? All I’ve done is work. I have worked 13 years of my life and what do I have to show for it? A senior analyst title. I am not one of those people who live to work, I work to live. And along the way, I became that person that spends most of their life at work.
  • I haven’t finished exploring the world. There is so much to see, so little time, and what if I don’t get a chance to go finish seeing the world wonders or swim in the Great Barrier Reef?
  • I’ve been obsessed with documentaries about those who have helped others in need. I used to volunteer all the time and again I lost that time to dedicate to that and I wonder how.
  • And of course, the thought crossed my mind that something could happen to me and I may never have a chance to be a mom. To make my mom and dad happy with a grandchild.

Many of you know, since the car accident and an extremely rapid weight gain after. 10 lbs. in one week that they claimed was fluids and in 5 months a total of 45 lbs. Yes, 45 lbs. later, my best friends remember how little I was when I met them.

Each doctor told me nothing was wrong and they could not explain this weight gain. I heard everything from your body is in shock and it will take time to lose the weight, PCOS, and the worst was eat less, exercise more. I already exercise 2-3 hours a day and this includes high intensity routines, swimming, running, etc…and I eat like a bird.

I always knew something was wrong, but 4 years later, 7 doctors, endless amount of blood tests, I started to think I was crazy. So how did I end up on this medical journey?

It was time for my annual check-up and I hated my last gynecologist in Leesburg, Von recommended her doctor and I went in and told her my history. She said that yes I could have PCOS, but she wanted to re-run my bloodwork. This time, she found that my prolactin was high. My first response was prolactin? What is prolactin?

It is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland, but elevated when you are pregnant. When you search it this pops up.

Dr. Sethi was like your levels are not high that your body may be tricking itself into thinking it’s pregnant and if the levels are super high I would assume a growth or cancer. She was like, I don’t think it is, but just go to the endocrinologist, it might take a few months to get into this doctor, but it’s not urgent. This could answer your weight issues.

Fast forward to March…I bring all my lab work to Dr. Antonik. She comes in and we start chatting and asks why I’m here. She already knew the answer, but I told her how my prolactin is high and maybe I just need some meds.

She then said, I don’t want to alarm you, but I actually think it is much more serious. I think it could be a growth on your pituitary with your levels or even more concerning your cortisol levels which could indicate something is wrong with your adrenal gland.

She’s like it could have happened from the accident and that could explain a lot. She said it could be one of 5 things:

  1. PCOS (Insulin resistant, slower metabolism, irregular periods, slightly elevated testosterone, etc…) – Treated mainly by a specific diet and exercise.
  2. Prolactin issue- Treated with Meds
  3. Adrenal gland issue and she mentioned Cushing’s
  4. Nothing at all

And this started the series of tests…

  • Test 1– Blood test- Unfortunately it didn’t rule out anything
  • Test 2– 24 hour urine collection. This was horrible, I thought that she would give me individual cups, oh no, it was one huge container where you collect it. The best part…you have to keep it cold and drop if off at the lab in the morning. I could not do it on Saturday because there wasn’t a lab opened on Sunday and if I waited until Monday, I would make my carpool late. My co-workers were trying to help me figure this out, Jay even offered to give me his cooler, but I could not even think about contaminating it.
  • Test 3– An MRI and when I got there, I was told I needed to have an IV in to send blue dye.
  • Test 4– Blood tests again for cortisol

For the past few weeks, my life has been turned upside down with medical appointments and constant worries. Fortunately, no growths were found, but I am on medication to see if that solves the issues. PCOS was confirmed and a hormone imbalance. If not, it’s back to the drawing board in 3 months.

In the end, thank goodness it was not anything serious, but it makes you completely change your thinking about life. Take-away lesson: Always take your health seriously.  people will skip appointments, don’t because that could be the appointment where they find something wrong with you.


2 thoughts on “Contemplating Life in a Tube…An MRI Tube to be exact”

  1. OMG Linda!! I’m so sorry you had to go through this! But thank god it wasn’t anything serious. I’m not sure what happened in this “car accident” but it sounds really scary if it’s able to cause your body to not respond back normally/regularly. I’m so glad you’re ok. I love reading your posts. You’re so eloquent in your writing/speech. God is great. Don’t worry about making your parents happy by giving them grandkids. I’m sure nothing means more to them right now than your health! I’m so glad that I am lucky enough to get to know you more as a person. Keep doing great and wonderful things, you inspire the world! 🙂

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