My Autoimmune Diagnosis – A Dark Comedy. Part 2

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This is part 2 of a series. Part 1 is here.

Score!

Fast forward to the endocrinologist: palpation of my neck, ultrasound, blood test. At my second appointment with her, the endocrinologist seemed thrilled, elated, even a little giddy. I recalled the young doctors on TV who fight for the opportunity to make a new diagnosis or perform a new procedure. Hiply clad in what looked like 80s-vintage disco-wear, my doctor had apparently performed the endocrinology equivalent of baseball’s grand slam or football’s 99 yard kick-off return.

“I’m sorry to say it’s unequivocal. You  have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disease where your body attacks your thyroid gland. I’ve seen way worse, though: no lumps or nodules. The good news is we don’t need a biopsy. We also found you have really low levels of Vitamin B12, which is common in this situation. I made an appointment for you, with a member of my staff who’ll get you started on that therapy.”

Surprise!

The B12 therapist (I think he was actually a Nurse’s Aide) closes the door behind me in a room smaller than many walk-in closets. He tells me the standard procedure in B12 deficiency is self-administered B12 injections. They’re delivered in the thigh and we’re about to do a practice injection. I’ll need to pull my pants down to my knees.

“This comes as a surprise”, I say, as I bravely unbuckle my belt and lower my pants, sitting back on the cold, hard, darkly stained and polished wooden chair. He explains that usually the office would have told me about this; apparently they forgot. “Usually you’d have the real B12, but there wasn’t time to order the prescription, so you’ll use saline.” He hands me a syringe and a brown, fluid-filled vial.

Instruction

On his instruction, I awkwardly draw transparent liquid from the vial with the syringe.

“OK, now you swab, with this antiseptic pad, the area where you’ll inject, right there in the meaty part of the leg. Then, you’ll just quickly shove the needle in, kind of like throwing a dart. You’ll get the hang of it.”

I smeared the antiseptic gauze over a large area of my left thigh. I imagined what it might be like to be a flight attendant with no flight training who’s told she needs to land the 777 with all 235 passengers aboard, or everyone may die.

Reset

“Are you kidding me?!”, I thought.

Generally I’m a good sport, but this whole sequence of events crossed a line. My brain exploded.

What Next?

This true story continues here.

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Hi, I’m Dylan Cornelius.

I’ve spent my career helping Fortune 500 companies build custom products and change the lives of their employees and customers.

Now I teach people everywhere how to get great results, manage change, and change their lives, with product development, continuous improvement, and agile management practices of the best businesses.

It can work for self development, life problems, your fitness plan, and chronic illness. Of course, it can even help at work.

I was the first son of a new teen mom. By the time I was 2, she was a single mom of 2, living with her parents and working a retail job as a cashier at a pharmacy. She remarried by the time I was 4.

My stepfather adopted me and my brother. He worked in construction 7 days a week to support the family.

Throughout my childhood, I learned firsthand the value of hard work. I was first in my family to do many things, and I’ve often done them the hard way: college on student loans while living on campus at UC Berkeley, an MBA while working full time. Later in life I ran a marathon, then 4 more and counting… I’ve learned multiple definitions of ‘healthy diet plan’, first as I lost 50 pounds, then again after I earned an autoimmune diagnosis.

In graduate school, I concentrated in “Management of Innovation” — after all, I worked in Silicon Valley, and I’d grown up just down the road! It was there I learned we don’t have to work so hard, (but it helps)!

We don’t have to rely on trial and error or hope, or just settle for less than we really want.

There’s a better way to get great results and change your life.

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