Sunday, May 6, 2012

Looking at Am Cortisol Tests

I have a sore throat.

Of course.

That's very consistent with how this all goes down.

Still, I busted a move to Maroon 5. Beyond that, I spent most of the day resting and taking it easy and feeling progressively better. Okay, to be completely honest, I got a little heavy-limbed and fatigued dancing, but I persevered. No one ever called me a slacker on the dance floor.

All that remains is the cold-that's-not-a-cold. Let's hope that will be gone tomorrow, or, rather, today by the time you read this.

I was going through my test results today, trying to organize the data I have. Something interesting caught my eye.

My am cortisol in February of 2010, before I was hospitalized and swallowed the steroid equivalent of a WMD was....8.

Which is not great. It's normal by most lab ranges, abnormal by others. I, personally, think it's low given how shitty 6 felt in 12/10*. If my system was trending low when the asthma hit, no wonder I suppressed so impressively in March 2010. I didn't have far to fall.

*That 6 is with 10mg of prednisone in my system, the actual, unadulterated value was likely below 5.

For comparison, the severe asthma episode of 2006 did not lead to suppression. Was the difference a higher baseline cortisol? The world will never know.

I've also been trying to get a hold of my 1998-99 ACTH challenges, believing they are an important point of comparison. I thought I had the starting values for the three that were done, but I just realized, I actually have one complete ACTH test from 7/99, about 3-5 months before they booted me off cold turkey.

As you review them, keep in mind, I was diagnosed as suppressed in Fall 1998 with an am cortisol of 1. By 7/99, we've got over ten months invested in waking up my HPAA.

Draw One: cortisol 1.3

Draw Two: cortisol 5.4

Draw Three:cortisol 7.17

Pretty crappy, eh?

Like I've said before, I don't think the 98-99 taper was all that well managed. I had pretty overt Cushing's the entire time. So maybe my system is crap or maybe the medical care was. Hard to say.

I would really like to get my hands on the other two ACTH challenges and maybe even see what my ACTH values were as well. So far, the Medical Records Department has stonewalled me even though I know for a fact the pulmo can pull them up in their system still.

But what I take away from this is I have a lot of movement in the HPA axis. I might be 8. I might be 18. Who knows? This is consistent with my complaint of feeling like my energy is a yo-yo handled by a psychopath.

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