After the year from Hell with the GP Practice (with a complaint being lodged; exhausting in itself), one of (have seen 4/5 different ones) the GPs (a trainee) referred me on (back, actually - saw this Consultant in 2010...) to General medicine at the Hospital.
Now, I say he referred me - and indeed he did; but it was really my suggestion and not his. Basically, he had reached the "limit" of what he could do and of his knowledge. The only test that had been done - in addition to those by another GP in June - was "TFT", which was in fact only TSH, which had risen from 2 point something to over 3 in a few months. Oh, also ferritin was done which seems to hover around 40, which he wanted to class as normal.
Because I had asked about other things - shortness of breath (= asthma), tingling in hands (= carpal tunnel syndrome), rejection as a blood donor due to failing their low iron test ("nooo, not anemia") and of course the inexorable weight gain, to the point where (it took four appointments to get the time to ask this) I actually asked for a referral to someone to talk about breast reduction (!!) - the thyroid issues seemed to be on the back burner - and this GP was certainly not going to either treat them or even see that the thyroid MAY be causing/exacerbating all of these things and more. No real need to make me wait for the Hospital appointment, which anyway - I have a copy of the referral letter - seemed more to be an exercise in proving that I am a depressed hypochondriac than any kind of real hope that I can be helped.
So, two months after the referral, off I trotted (more like dragged myself) to see the guy I saw four years ago. The one who said that "you people don't ever suffer from low iron, because you eat meat; not like us". (I'm vegetarian, and at that time, ferritin tested at 20.) This time the comparison was that there are less cases of goitre here than in India because there is far less chance of an iodine deficiency here. (Yes, he's Indian. Is this some kind of reverse racism....? haha, just kidding.) He said this after having a bit of a laugh at the handwritten list that I pulled out of my bag, written mainly because I was afraid of forgetting something (I have given up on attending these meetings/interviews, I mean, appointments armed with more formal notes with references and a copy of Dr D-P's book).
When just reading the list out loud, the way I had felt before I went and how I felt at that moment - combined with the very real fear that I was wasting everyone's time - reduced me to a sniveling wreck, he reminded me that thyroid and depression can have common factors (*sigh*).
Nevertheless, he did order a whole raft of blood tests. I hesitantly asked if T3 was not included - and he told me that the test for T4 would be enough as T3 converts to T4, so there must be enough T3 if T4 is in range (tell me I'm not going mad and that is it is actually the other way around....!), so the NHS categorically does not test for T3 at all - this was the point at which me mentioned the goitre in India as though knowing that would be somehow useful for me.
The list of the tests he has ordered follows; those with ?, I think I have read wrongly, so if anyone knows what they might be, it would be a help to me (I think, as I have been told back at my Practice that I don't have the knowledge to be able to understand them in context, at which time, I was refused sight of the test that I had done in June):
[I did note that no Vitamin D or lipids, but there seem to be a number hat look at adrenal and pituitary function. I have been getting a nasty pain in the side of my head so, probably also to keep me quiet, a CT scan - not sure what of... - will be arranged after the blood results are back. Interestingly, when I went to make the CT appointment, the clerk told me that she would have the blood test results (taken at 12 noon) back to her by that very afternoon.
[I had been told that a copy of the blood tests will be sent to me, so that's a plus, definitely.]
This post is getting long, so I will continue in a separate one (as a reply to myself...will that work?)
(Two reasons: I'm not sure if there is a character limit, and 2) Don't want to send anyone who is kind enough to read it cross-eyed.
Love to all