Five weeks after I gave enough blood to qualify me for a package of Peggy Lawton cookies back in high school, my test results came back.
(OK, to be technically correct, the results were back much earlier. I had to call my doctor to get the first batch of results a couple of weeks ago, and then when I didn’t hear anything more about the remaining tests — which apparently had to be frozen, shipped off to Siberia, and/or tested on lions, tigers and bears — I called again. Turned out the lab had had them all along, but my doctor hadn’t tracked them down. The lesson, as always: You are your own best advocate.)
These tests — all 14 of them — were designed to test for clotting disorders or other autoimmune conditions that might be causing the miscarriages. Depending on your perspective, the results are either great, or totally frustrating and confusing. It appears that I’ve tested negative for just about everything. I tested slightly out of range on one of the clotting tests (PTT-LA for those of you who, like me, are addicted to labtestsonline.com), but the other tests related to it were negative, so it probably doesn’t mean much.
And, wouldn’t you know it, I tested positive for MTHFR.
Tell me you didn’t see that one coming.
But there are two types of MTHFR gene mutations, and I have the most innocuous type possible. It probably causes me to metabolize folic acid poorly, but that means I need to take folic acid — not that this is an answer to our question of why this keeps happening.
So you might be able to see why I come down a bit on the frustrated and confused side.
It’s not that I need or want something else wrong with me — god knows I’ve checked enough of those boxes. But an answer would have been nice. A condition that could have been treated — because most of the conditions I was tested for can be — wouldn’t have been great news, but it would have been OK.
Instead, we’re left with more questions, and no guarantees that the next positive test won’t bring a crashing disappointment weeks later. (I know there are no guarantees, ever. But with this track record, all I feel assured of is frustration and sadness.)
So, up next: specialists. Goody, more appointments to wait for, new waiting rooms to visit, the same old copies of magazines to read. (Can you sense my excitement?) I’m not sure whether they’ll have any better answers than my current doctor and this battery of tests could find, but I’m willing to give them a chance.
For tonight, at least. Ask me again the next time I’m giving blood without the promise of a cookie anywhere in sight.