Manly Bits

August 20, 2010

So the hormone replacement therapy is working. Without going into the awkward details let it suffice to say that I’m going through a second; and highly accelerated puberty. While something like 85% of my readership is female (30% of it being my mom) and therefore wont be able to identify with this, I can honestly say that the worst thing about all this is that I forgot how distracting functioning male genitalia is. Not in the “oh look a new toy I wanna play with it” sense, but in more of a “I notice girly bits again” sense. It’s hard to get things done.

Should be getting the results of the growth hormone testing today, lets hope for the best. I’m definitely all for something that makes me feel like I can fly and shoot rainbow lasers out my eyes, but I’d rather not have to worry about finding the $500-$750 a month.

Hormone Therapy

Speaking of money, I had my re-evaluation call with the firm that’s representing me in my disability application. It felt somewhat awkward as they went down the list of symptoms on my previous application and most of the time I responded “That only happens every once and awhile and it isn’t an issue.” Which is a good thing I suppose. My case worker said that she thought I probably would get approved, but that it wouldn’t be until the third or fourth appeal.

Well this post isn’t going to go exactly as I wanted. What I wanted to do was link the scene from Kindergarten Cop where Arnie… you know what? Screw it.

Now promptly disregard the theme of that message. I do have a tumor. It is a very small and 99% likely to be benign, but a tumor none-the-less. The tumor is about 2mm and is on my pituitary gland, it is excreting prolactin which is what screwing up my testosterone. It is not what caused my hydrocephalus.

Today I got manly-juice injected into my butt.

In other words I am now getting bi-weekly testosterone injections and am taking Cabergoline to reduce the levels of prolactin in my system. I may eventually stop getting the testosterone if my system figures out that its supposed to be making it on its own. But I should expect to take the pills for a long period of time.

I am also going to be tested to see if I need to have growth hormone injections as well. Normally we would wait a few months to see how I feel with the testosterone injections, but seeing as I may be losing my health insurance and the test is around $1000 I’ve decided to get it out-of-the-way.

If I do require the growth hormone it will result in me taking a daily injection. I’m hoping I don’t need this, as it is very very expensive. The injections cost anywhere from $500-$750 dollars a month. That and I hate needles. A lot.

All in all, none of this is really a surprise. And it could have been a lot worse.

Chris Died

July 27, 2010

No not really.

Allot has happened, unfortunately none of it has been good so I have been moping and not wanting to talk about it.

To give you the short version I saw Dr.Hadden and he said all the symptoms I have are normal and that they will last up to a year, perhaps even permanently. So I may have to deal with being sick/migraines the rest of my life. Honestly, I’m ok with this.

I can actually think now, which is awesome. I don’t feel like im wandering around in fog anymore and can do things like count and drive again.

I have heard back from disability, they denied me. They say that my illness does indeed disable me but that they don’t think that I will be sick enough in a years time to still be unable to work. This is a disaster on many levels. The most obvious is that my job is ending, the store’s last day is this Friday.

My boss has been extremely understanding and has allowed my extremely flexible shifts, the fact of the matter is that in a super competitive economy I don’t think I will be able to find a new job. Bend has the highest unemployment rate in the state, sitting somewhere around 18%. I can go on unemployment, but because I was so sick last year my weekly benefits will only be about $90. Better than nothing I know, but not nearly enough to live off of.

The other bad side to being denied is that I now no longer qualify for the health insurance plan I’m currently on, I simply cannot afford to go to all of the doctors I am seeing now on my own. I have no idea what I’m going to do on this front. I’m appealing the decision about SSD, not because I think that I will be approved, but because while the claim is in process I will still have OHP, a temporary solution at best.

I am now seeing a new general doctor, her name is Dr.Busby. I met with her once and she had a full blood panel run, the long and short of it is that my testosterone and white count are still abysmally low. I’m seeing an endocrinologist and a rheumatologist¬† today, im expecting to have to do testosterone replacement therapy for the rest of my life.

I was going to see a hemotologist to figure out the white count thing, but apparently my doctor talked to the local guy and he said I didn’t need to be seen. I have no idea what this means or why, and the clinic Dr.B works for is a low-income clinic, meaning they are always extremely busy and understaffed, so my phone calls have not been returned.

I’ve been looking for jobs online, and have applied to a few. But I don’t have much hope. I don’t have a car, so anything that isn’t telecommuting has to be within walking distance, which for me is two blocks or less. Really limits my options. I did apply for a telecommuting job as an appointment setter for a music firm here in town, but haven’t heard back yet.

I can’t really think of anything else to update you on at the moment, though I’m sure I’m forgetting something. I am putting a lot of my hopes into my appointment with the endocrinologist today, im hoping that getting the proper levels of manly-juice in my system will help me feel better. I’m also hoping it will help me stave off depression, it’s getting to crippling levels.

Shazbot

April 2, 2010

Well crap.

My double vision hasn’t gone away and I’ve started to feel shunty. I called Dr.Hadden’s office and they recommend that I see a neurosurgeon here in Nebraska.

This presents a problem in that I’m still entirely uninsured and VIM won’t cover me here. I called Dr.Poocioni, the neurosurgeon who took care of my little brother’s spinal surgeries. He is having me make an appointment with his office next week as well as an appointment with an optometrist. My Mom has repeatedly said that she will cover the bills and that it’s her job as a mom, blah blah blah. While this may be true, it doesn’t prevent crippling guilt over the fact that these appointments alone will probably cost around $2000.

Not exactly...

Zomg.

February 23, 2010

Today I got a bill in the mail from the Rheumatologist I saw recently. I didn’t think much of it until I opened it. A lot of medical places send you a survey after you visit them wanting to know how your experience was. Not this, this was a $600 bill.

Read the rest of this entry »

VIM

January 15, 2010

Today I got re-screened at VIM, the local free clinic. These guys are great, I can say with no exaggeration that they saved my life. I am completely uninsured and without these folks I wouldn’t have been able to see a doctor, much less get my MRIs or surgeries. They have completely footed the bill for all my medical care thus far.

They run completely off donations and volunteers.

The rescreening¬†process is just them checking to make sure I haven’t won the lottery or become a fortune 500 CEO over the past six months. It’s relativly¬†painless, you just bring in a current bank statement and the past few pay stubs from work. Usually takes less than 20 minutes.