Friday evening, a nurse from my doctor’s office called me about my bloodwork. I’m completely annoyed that it took two weeks for them to notify me of the results. I suppose that’s probably normal, but still, it’s irritating. Of course, I’m ten weeks pregnant, so everything irritates me right now. Last night, I woke up because I heard Dave sniffling (he’s having allergy problems) and I was all cranky and said, “Ok, you need to do something about that right now.” What a sweet, empathetic wife I am, no?
Apparently this particular nurse only handles the results of genetic screening, because the reason she called was to tell me that I do indeed carry the gene for cystic fibrosis. I have a cousin who died of CF a couple of years ago, so I wasn’t entirely surprised to find out that I’m a carrier for the disease. All it means is that Dave now has to go have the blood test done too. In order for our child to have CF, not only would we both have to carry the gene, we’d have to carry the same strain as well. (There are something like 300 identified strains of cystic fibrosis.) Dave doesn’t have a family history of CF at all, so the odds of our child having the disease are pretty slim.
So, I’m trying very hard not to waste any time or energy worrying about something that is such a remote possibility, although I must admit that the worst-case scenarios do tend to keep popping up in the back of my mind. (They always do.)
Since I had the nurse on the phone, I asked her about the results of the rest of my bloodwork. I know that every woman who has ever been pregnant (including my own mom) keeps telling me that it’s normal to feel this tired during the first trimester, but I’ve had all of these little internal alarms that were telling me that something is abnormal. I have to take so many supplements because of my gastric bypass surgery, and I know how easily those balances can be thrown off. Also, I’ve had an underactive thyroid all of my life, and I’ve taken medication for it since I was 9 years old. My medication has been pretty stable for the past couple of years, but if anything should throw it off kilter, I think pregnancy would do it.
This is how the conversation with the nurse went, after she gave me the news about having the CF gene:
Me: Ok, and I was sort of wondering about the rest of my bloodwork…
Her: (very chirpy and perky) Everything looks good! You’re HIV-negative, and your gonorrhea and chlamydia tests both came back negative too!
(All of her sentences ended in exclamation points. Too bad there isn’t a font that will let me dot my i’s with hearts, because it would be totally appropriate.)
Me: (what I thought) Duh? Christ, I should hope so.
(what I said) Um, I was thinking more about my vitamin and thyroid levels.
Her: Well, let’s see… Oh actually, it looks like you’re a little anemic! And your thyroid is off too! I’ll have to have the doctor review this on Monday and have her adjust your medication!
Finally!! I’m not crazy, there really is something wrong. It was actually a relief to hear that, because it made me feel vindicated that this hasn’t been all in my head this whole time. My internal alarm system isn’t completely whacked.
And for the record, a normal thyroid level would be .3 or .4. Mine is .06, so it’s way off.
So, I’ve doubled my iron supplement, and I’ve been eating a lot spinach and lean red meat for the extra iron. I won’t know what to do with my thyroid meds until I hear from the doctor, but I’m going to call them this afternoon if I don’t hear from them. I’m really looking forward to starting to feel semi-human again.