Well, the DNA test for Hemochromatosis came back normal, so that’s another possible diagnosis for my weakness ruled out. But after doing the research on this particular line of testing, I would caution anyone with Anglo Saxon ancestry to consider this as a possible cause of a wide range of disorders, from Type II Diabetes to heart problems.
It’s the most common genetic mutation found so far, with as many as 1 in 8 of Irish descent being a carrier of the gene. Something in the range of 1 in 300 Northern Europeans have at least one of these mutated genes, but it takes the mutation from both parents for the likelihood of symptoms to be dramatic. And if caught before organ damage is done, it can be easily treated. It normally takes many years to build up the iron overload, so most people don’t show symptoms until they are older.
With the Hemochromatosis test being normal, my Gastro doesn’t want to see me again for 6 months. So I guess that means he’s ruled out any liver problems as being the cause of my problems.
So, I’ve requested a Western Blot Lyme Disease blood test. I know this is a very, very long shot, but I have had the bull’s eye rash from a tick bite in the past. We found it one evening and were waiting at the doctor’s office’s doorstep the next morning. He put me on a round of antibiotics at that time. So the chances of having Lyme are not high, at least from that event. BUT, I have always lived in Alabama, and ticks are everywhere. I can’t count how many times I can remember finding them on me over the years, and their bite doesn’t always make the bull’s eye rash.
Lyme Disease can mimic lots of other diseases, depending on which organs the bacteria attacks, including neurological disorders. Treating it involves long term antibiotics, which may or may not reverse the damage already done to the body. So, I’m hoping this test turns out to be negative.
I did get a referral from my GP to an Endocrinologist, and I have an appointment with him in mid August. I’m still holding out hope that this terrible weakness turns out to be from Hypothyroidism, which our daughter has been treated for for many years. My symptoms do fit, even though the routine tests came back normal. But it is possible to have a hypothyroid condition with normal tests. It would explain my muscle weakness, hoarseness, and intense itching, and it’s fairly easy to treat.
I see my Neuro again next week, so we’ll see what he says then.
In the meantime I continue to use the cane outside the house, and could really use the walker. But I’m back to that same head space I was years ago when I was originally dx with Parkinson’s. There’s just something about “giving in” to the walker that I try to put off as long as possible. It’s bad enough having to use the cane, without having people see me as getting worse. It draws too much attention to me, and I can’t stand that.
So for now, I’m praying this turns out to be something simple to treat, like thyroid problems, and not some exotic disease that may never be diagnosed.
I’m trying to be patient, but frankly I’m not doing a very good job of it. I deal with an enemy I know much better than I do the unknown. But I’m in God’s Hands, and He knows my needs far better than I ever could.