Growing older


Random TEDx talk I watched this morning as I was trying to squelch this growing unease.

I’m at home, having had a most uncomfortable morning of symptoms without connection to any known illness I’ve ever had. This is the second time I’ve felt this way but the first, I was over it by 6:30 am and able to go to work. This time, I made it to the end of the block before I felt I had to rush back home.  I’m afraid to be honest. I turn 50 years old in a few weeks. Is that at all relevant? Is my healthy streak coming to an end so abruptly?

My 49th year on the planet has seen an alarming increase in how much I sweat, drastic changes in my body temperature…not just hot flashes, but what feel like almost hourly fluctuation between extremes. My bladder seems confused, one minute it thinks it’s full to bursting and it is, the next it thinks it’s full again, but it isn’t. I wake almost every morning with an odd, not quite stuffy sensation in my ears and behind my eyes, one nostril will be swollen shut. It takes me an hour from the time I wake up to get back to feeling “normal” in my head. I haven’t slept through the night consistently in 24 years, but this year it seems more stressful on my day to day, even though I’m not falling asleep at stop lights anymore. I find myself feeling weak all over, as if I’m losing control over my arms and legs. I get tingly, then very anxious.  There are times walking through the grocery store when I have the briefest sensation that I’m going to fall down, that my legs won’t support me.

I don’t feel ‘normal’ – is this normal as one ages?

With the new job last November came new insurance and a new “doctor”.  I put doctor in quotes because although I scheduled the appointment to see the doctor as listed in the directory on my insurance, I never saw her. I went in for my yearly physical and was seen by three different nurse practitioners, one who was in training.  I sat and listened as the two conducting the exam (one licensed, the other the trainee) discussed what should be checked as if I weren’t in the room. I had my knees tapped with the small mallet, my blood pressure taken twice, my temperature taken once, asked the briefest of questions about my overall health, then dismissed to give blood.  Quite the change from any doctor’s visit I’ve ever had before where my blood pressure and temperature were taken by a nurse practitioner, who also asked me a butt ton of questions, then had me dress in   in that large piece of paper towel and told me to wait for the DOCTOR who then came in  to push, poke, and in some cases prod me all over, in order to thoroughly check under the hood.  I got to know my DOCTOR and they got to know me, as far as my health was concerned.   My new “doctor” has me feeling quite unsure about the future of my health care.

I don’t like this feeling. I don’t like not knowing what’s wrong with me.  Wonder if my old doctor will take my call?

Sending love and light,

Dana

6 thoughts on “Growing older

  1. First, I am not a doctor! However, I do not think this is normal, nor is it all in your mind. Some of your symptoms could by allergies, but some sound more like autoimmune issues. Advice? Bite the bullet and see an indocrinologist who gets high recommendations. Check the web for doctors in your area. You deserve to have your questions answered.

    1. I just sent a note to my PCP office – as soon as I hear back from the nurse practitioner(s), I’ll be requesting the order to see an endocrinologist for a full exam. Thanks again for the recommendation.

    1. Thank you – I am indeed feeling a bit better. One strong explanation is related to a psychological issue and what I’m experiencing are anxiety attacks. Go figure. Either way, the 20th will be here soon enough and I’ll hopefully be able to eliminate any biological (ie. physical disease) reasons for my symptoms.

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