I'm not sure what happened to "the results will be in during the next couple of weeks, and we'll invite you back in to see the consultant", in fact I had a phone call late yesterday afternoon with the results of my 'Short Synacthen Test'.
I could tell from the tone of Jean, the Nurse Specialist, who called me that it was not good news. I was told that they look for a score of 500 in terms of the amount of Cortisol that is produced in the test - I'm not sure what measurement '500' is. My score was 73, i.e. not good enough by a mile.
What this means is that I will need to take Hydrocortisone steroid tablets forever to replace what my body cannot produce. It also means I will need to carry a blue steroid card in my wallet (to inform emergency services staff I'm on steroids) and also learn how to inject myself with emergency Hydrocortisone in case I need to. In the normal course of events I just take the tablets and everything is hunky dory, if I get ill, then I double my tablet dose. If however I get really ill and I am being sick and cannot keep my tablets down (as happened a few weeks ago) I need to get an injection into me to make sure I get my Hydrocortisone dose.
I have been invited to an 'education day' at the QA Hospital where they talk me through what all this means in practice, and show me how to do the injection.
It is very disappointing to learn that my body is permanently defective in this way, particularly having been through all that I have been through, but as I said in my last blog post, I was kind of thinking the worse, so my fears have been confirmed. My theory was that if my body could have produced the burst of Cortisol that I needed, I wouldn't have got so ill so quickly those few weeks ago....so logic suggested that something may be amiss.
The next step is to understand whether my Pituitary gland is able to produce any messages at all, and whether my other hormones are screwed up as well. Looks like I'd better get used to a regime of tablet taking - but all things considered, it could be a lot worse if all I have to do is take tablets.
73 out of 500, I never was very good at tests :-(