So, I’ve been having a lot of problems with my illnesses among other things, but FINALLY got an answer about something.
I have a pituitary microadenoma. It’s a very small tumor (6mm in my case) lodged in or on the pituitary gland of your brain. There are four kinds: Prolactin, TSH, ACTH, and the one that causes gigantism (that I can’t find the name for, all of a sudden). Gigantism is life-threatening. ACTH causing Cushing’s Disease, which will kill you. TSH is incredibly rare. Prolactin is the most common and affects fertility.
Guess which one I have. Well. More than most likely have, according to my doctor.
A prolactinoma. Yes, the most common and possibly least life-threatening tiny tumor is lodged inside of my pituitary. And we’re not sure when it got there or how this all happened. I’ve had endocrine issues when I was little, which led to a misdiagnosis and unnecessary cortizol treatment. I was growing over 6 inches annually for 3 years (ages 7-10) and was about 5’6″ in fifth grade, but I don’t have gigantism. And I was often physically ill in junior high and high school for no reason… Believe it or not, that does matter.
But even though this is benign and not life threatening, it’s still a brain tumor. And it brings problems with it that one would expect of a brain tumor. After researching it thoroughly I can pretty much guarantee that this has caused some of the biggest issues in my life. The most problematic: Extreme episodes of vertigo lasting anywhere from 2 minutes to 15 minutes.
I’ve always had trouble explaining how this works, and I plan to do some kind of animation or video to really make my point, but imagine this. Out of nowhere, you become distracted by a fuzziness in the back of your head. All of a sudden, you feel like you’re about to black out but instead your vision narrows like a camera zooming out. Nothing is blurry, but it’s not quite as in focus as it was. It’s almost like the colors become muted.
Then, imagine that the scenery in front of you begins to spin. No, not like the ‘my head is spinning’ scene that Hollywood shoots for every drama. In what’s near-always a clockwise direction, everything that you see begins to rotate. Like a crappy animation, the ones where you get halfway through the run cycle and then it just loops over and over.And it gets faster and faster.
Picture a clock with the hour hand at 9, going all the way up to 12 then restarting its position at the 9 again immediately. Imagine it doing this over and over, everything in your line of site blurred from the motion. The floor, the walls, the objects… Everything MOVES. You close your eyes, but you still feel it. You can try to walk straight, and most of the time you can, but once in a while you’ll get a real (pardon me) son of a bitch of an episode that knocks you on your rear end. Cold water and a fan helps, of course, but there is no cure. You just have to wait it out until it’s done with you.
These episodes have no warning. They come when it’s hot, they come when it’s cold. They come when I’m upset, and they come when I’m apathetic. They come after I’ve eaten a feast, and they come when I haven’t seen food for a week. Usually there is a five second “grace period” when I can tell if I’m about to go through this that lets me find a chair or pull over on the side of the road… But other than that, there is no warning. It just happens and it’s been happening to me for 4 years.
What’s even MORE disheartening is that the doctor directly told me that there is very little evidence right now that can link the two together. I guess I could give myself to science and let some guys with PhD’s poke around in there, but I’m too busy this semester.
While the doctors were very happy with my 110/80 blood pressure as well as the 18 pounds I lost in two months (which was very good, according to the doctor and nurse practitioner. Maybe it’s difficult to lose weight even while you’re on medication to help you do so?)… My other numbers weren’t good at all. Nothing seemed dangerous, and it was handled by tripling my dosage of one medication, but… Well, I suppose the easiest way to say it without going on for pages about how hormones work is that my condition has doubled in severity in one respect, and has increased nearly sevenfold in another. Right now, I’m really not sure if I’m getting better or worse, but the bad outweighs the good right now.
I do worry about my mom. Because I’m sick she acts as my advocate, so I have to tell her how things are going. And lately it’s been bad. There are some things I want to not say, some things I don’t want to stress her out with, but because I’m so forgetful and my condition qualifies as being accommodated as a disability (as far as I’ve been made aware of), I have to tell her. If I had money I would hire someone to do this, but don’t take that the wrong way. My mom’s the best thing I could ask for, and has never let me down. I love her very much.
That’s why I have to buck up, get good grades and a good job, and make six figures a year to give her everything she could possibly need and want.
So, if you’re the kind of religious person who likes to send prayers out to people, or the kind of person who sends thoughts out to people, send them all to her and not me. Because it’s infinitely more difficult to watch someone you love go through this than to go through it yourself.
Well, my doctor told me that I need to eliminate as much stress in my life as possible, so while I’m at home I’m just going to curl up with my two furry friends and watch a TORE!… A Japanese game show that’s pretty much the equivalent of Indiana Jones with trivia. Say what you want about those wacky game shows, but I’m starting to learn a few words and phrases just by watching.
It’s past 1:20 am. Goodnight.