Friday Thoughts – An Update on Health


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I don’t know why but I feel like I don’t write enough about my physical health.

Overall, I feel fine despite being a chronic worrier and constantly over-worrying about the state of my health. At the present moment, I don’t know whether I should worry or I should stop caring.

The pain in my shoulder from carrying my heavy backpack during my trip, still hurts even though it’s been almost a month. Meanwhile, the bags under my eyes seem to be getting bigger every time I look in the mirror despite getting my 8 hours of sleep. I Googled that and it told me it’s signs of getting old or stress. I sure in many corner of this wide world, many are thinking I might be over-reacting. Maybe… Maybe not…

I had a follow-up with my Rheumatologist this week in regards to the itchiness and rashes I was experiencing in the summer.

That’s long gone thanks to the cooler weather.

Back in early July, my rheumatologist suspected it had something with lupus; my dermatologist said otherwise. No one knew what it was, other than when my skin is exposed to the sun during the hottest months of the year.

I had blood work done on the day of my follow-up. The results were sent to my phone hours after, which I giddily anticipated like a child receiving a present on Christmas. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s the numbers. They paint me a clear picture of my health.

This blood test was no different. It was just a bunch a numbers telling me how my body is functioning and if there’s one thing I know for certain, it’s that blood don’t lie.

The latest results is still showing the usual – low white blood cell count as it has been for the last 6 years and a low platelet count, which began 2 years ago in 2020. Unfortunately, despite being out of normal range, it’s not out of range enough to concern doctors despite letting them of my concern since a low white blood cell count means my immune system’s compromised and a low platelet count means my blood doesn’t clot easily.

So they are just “monitoring” my blood without any intervention. According to the latest blood work, that low white blood cell count has triggered other numbers to be out of range like Neutrophil and Lymphocytes, which means I’m more prone to infection. The number on another test told me my body suffers from chronic inflammation.

Inflammation of what?

What surprised me most is even though a hematologist is among the list of specialists I see, cancer was never considered by any of the doctors. They all think I’m too young to have such thing even though some of the out of range numbers does indicate the possibility of blood cancer.

I don’t like the “C” word as much as the next person but I feel like that is better than what I’m getting right now, which is all the doctors blaming on “lupus.” What the heck is “lupus” anyway other than a word meaning a person has an autoimmune order? It’s not an answer or any sort of conclusion.

Maybe that’s just the chronic worrier in me worrying, after all, I did invest a lot into this life. Anyway, just thought to jot down a few things that’s been on my mind.

22 thoughts on “Friday Thoughts – An Update on Health

  1. Well third time this month three different doctors at our practice. Lungs clear. Antibiotics and a steroid.? Each one gives me a different dose. This time the antibiotic and the steroid in the morning knocks me out for half a day. But, lungs clear. Why am I coughing, why do I need steroids and…. It’s expensive is all. Let’s hope whatever this is it goes away. I can’t afford any more doctors. Cute as they are. Teenagers us oldies call them. Xx

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    1. I’m, too, sensitive to medication. I remember taking a Tylenol earlier this year and it knocked me for an entire day. I didn’t used to be like this. Something changed in the last year that changed my sensitivity to any sort of medication.
      I know, right. Doctors are expensive. I’m charged $120 for what? 15 minutes of the doctor’s time and a couple of questions that no one seems to have the answer to? I hope you’re all right.

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      1. Glad to hear that. My doctors like to prescribe cortizone too but never antibiotic. It feels like there’s an unwritten rule somewhere about doctors prescribing cortizone.

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      2. Well, before covid it was a Bad thing. Now it’s looking like they use it like they used to use antibiotics. I am concerned but I can’t cough my way through every night. They have just increased dosages of both in my case. This last round seems to have worked. I may have a decent sleep tonight. But I am exercising a bit now. Never thought I would want to do that. But I am sick of paying medical bills. Take care.

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  2. Just a heads up that prolonged dental infections can show up like this, and you’ve mentioned gums. Also, don’t underestimate stress. Chronic stress has some real physiological effects associated with eventual damage from the constant exposure to the hormones it causes to be released, especially cortisol. The result is what’s known as “allostatic load”, or a physiological accumulation of steroidal damage to the body due to its adaptation to stress.

    If your platelet count isn’t outside of the “normal” range, I wouldn’t worry too much. Unless you’re having a surgery or suffering bleeding (bloody noses?), doctors don’t typically worry until it’s around something like 150,000/µl. And there are a lot of things that can affect it, even ordinary OTC medications such as aspirin, and some foods like spinach, asparagus and even blueberries… or dental infections.

    Don’t add the unnecessary stress of worries about health… just do what you need to do to stay healthy. Eat out of that awesome garden, enjoy those hikes… and maybe get the doctor to prescribe your mom a chamomile/Valium tea. 😉

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    1. You make me wonder if this whole shenanigan started when I had my extensive dental operation last December. Maybe my mouth is not 100% healed yet and adding on everything else, it’s taking forever.
      The platelet is at around the 130-140 range for now but it dropped to 100 at the end of last year but the hematologist said there’s cause to be concern if it drops less than 100. I’m still concern though as it’s always been normal, not below the normal range and I wasn’t taking any pain meds and the surgery hadn’t happened at the time.
      My garden’s toast for now as the frost came and killed it. Meanwhile, my mom gave away just about everything I harvested. I’ll now have to wait until next year.

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  3. Stop worrying, especially after what I’m about to write. I have a kind of Leukemia call CLL. For the most part it doesn’t do much to me. Your basic symptoms match mine with the exception of your WBC. Mine and every CLL patient’s WBC is elevated. We even get the kind of rash you are describing. You might have your Doc check your B Cells just to be sure. You are very right. This makes fighting infections very hard. I locked myself down for as long as I could stand it because CoVid destroys the vaccinations which means it could kill me. Do check it out. When I was diagnosed, my doc said if I had to have cancer this was one to get. It’s been 7 years with very few symptoms.

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    1. I looked up CLL and don’t see my symptoms matching but I might need to dig deeper. My doctor was very surprised how I managed to not get Covid. I guess I’m just careful and fortunate to not live in the city.

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  4. Sorry to hear about what you’ve been going through, Yinglan. I’m glad you are receiving advice here. I had some physical problems during the pandemic. I fainted twice… It was very worrisome. Somehow, I got over it. I agree, reducing your stress level can be helpful. Hope you’ll recover soon.

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    1. Oh no! That is worrisome. I’m glad you got over it. I really hope my blood returns to its normal levels soon as I found out today from another lab test that I’m negative for Systemic lupus. I guess that’s good news???

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