The nephrologist has one more idea for a diagnosis: sarcoidosis. I don’t have any of the symptoms — but sometimes there are no symptoms. Also, this is an incurable, sometimes fatal disease — which sometimes goes away on its own. It can present in the lungs, which is what she’s thinking, but also in skin and in the brain. It can cause organ failure. Or it can be a lifelong condition with no effects on wellbeing.
What kind of disease is that? It sounds like a fake disease, something you could use as an excuse to avoid committee assignments…and then just say it went away.
As I thought about this (and, frankly, ranted about it), it struck me that this description also applies to COVID-19.
In any case, I argued about it a bit and the nephrologist said she would discuss it with the pulmonologist and they would call me if I needed to follow up on this. I got the call today and am scheduled for another CT scan with contrast, on the 29th. It should take 8 hours of hanging around with IVs.
I already had a chest X-ray, which is the main way they diagnose this, and a CT chest scan, and an EKG, which is another thing they do.
And if it’s incurable and I have no symptoms, is there any point to treating it? The treatment is apparently steroids, which suppresses the immune system. Not necessarily a good thing during a pandemic.
I also have anemia, but I have plenty of iron. The nephrologist wants me to take a treatment for that, too. Again, what’s the point? The anemia is caused by the kidney injury, and I think the kidney injury was caused by the Metformin. My kidney function has actually improved.
This year has been a long run of healthcare adventures, but there has not been even one positive outcome.
Having said that, I do have a reason for optimism. The nephrologist told me to see an ENT. I went in to the family medicine clinic to get a referral and the doctor checked my ears. She said both were severely clogged. She spent two hours trying to clear the clogs unsuccessfully and then sent me home to use ear drops until I can get in to see the ENT.
She thinks that if I can get the blockage cleared it may end my vertigo.
My husband laughed uproariously at the thought of the doctor having to clean my ears, but she said there wasn’t anything I should have done. Allergies lead to this, apparently.
I am excited at the idea of perhaps finding a cure to the dizziness. Although if that turns out to be the reason, I will be horrified that it took them five months to think of it.
I’m feeling traumatized, but I do have a stack of new books to explore.