Wellness Wednesday – Medical Updates, Part 2

Last week, I gave a round of updates for my current health status, as my trio of doctors narrow down on diagnoses. This is the second half of my medical tests, now that I’ve seen my primary doc and gotten analysis in addition to the results I could see online about a bunch of tests. Here goes!

WBC/non-fasting glucose: Back when I was on my steroid pack in December, my white blood cell count and non-fasting glucose levels were extremely high. This is to be expected while on methylprednisolone, but my doctor worried they were too high. However, my blood work testing these levels post-steroid all came back perfectly normal.

Ultrasound/CT scan of head: This is a bit of a long story, but I’ll try to keep it brief. Some time ago (not sure when), the lymph nodes on my left jaw under my ear swelled up. (In the pic, my finger is just below the one I can feel.) They don’t hurt, so other than playing with what just felt like a small hard lump in that area off and on (I thought it was the end of a tendon), I didn’t notice when they first swelled. My doctor first felt them in October, and when they didn’t go away with antibiotics, she sent me for an ultrasound. Ultrasound revealed that there were three swollen nodes (rather than the one we could feel externally). A follow-up ultrasound a month later showed no change, so my doc ordered a CT scan of my head to see if there were any other nodes that we could see in the area. Well. It turns out that 1) there are no other swollen nodes they could see anywhere in my head, but 2) apparently these three were already there back in 2018 when I had a head MRI! Only back then, they were 0.8cm and now they’re 1cm, so they’ve grown. I have to see an oncologist now for an ultrasound-guided biopsy to make sure they’re benign and perhaps figure out why they’re swollen!

24-hr urine test: This was the first step in testing for diabetes insipidus, which I believe I’ve mentioned in the past during WW posts. (Essentially, it’s a fluid imbalance disorder, and has nothing to do with blood sugar despite the word “diabetes” in the name.) The first test was to determine how much urine I put out in 24 hours, as well as how much of certain proteins/etc. Most people excrete 500-2000 ml of urine in that time period. My output was just shy of 4000 ml, which was actually less than I expected. In addition to being double a normal urine level, the tests came back with abnormally high amounts of creatinine and urea nitrogen. These can indicate a high protein consumption (not my case), large muscle mass (also no), dehydration (very possible), and/or kidney issues (also possible). The tests were pretty much “inconclusive,” though, so I need to see two new specialists – back to the endocrinologist, and to a nephrologist (kidney specialist). In the meantime, I’m officially diagnosed with unspecified-origin polyuria.

That’s about it for now. I’m still feeling out the Enbrel, so other than learning this week NOT to do the injection in my thigh (ow ow ow!), I’m still about the same as a week ago.

About Amanda

Agender empty-nester filling my time with cats, books, fitness, and photography. She/they.
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