Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Search Continues

As I settled into the passenger's seat, he handed me a long stem rose and I handed him a fortune cookie. After an early arrival at Denver International Airport, I had picked up an egg roll snack at Panda Express.  And, at check out, I had requested two fortune cookies.

Mine claimed, "A financial investment will yield returns beyond your hopes." Now that would be amazing. I've been crowd sourcing funds to edit, design, and print my first book. And yes, I'm making progress (hurrah!); however, I have a ways yet to go in my pre-release book sales. (See for information on how you can obtain a pre-release copy for $20.)

Meanwhile, his fortune stated, "Enjoy the good luck a companion brings you." We both liked our fortunes, but I think he liked mine better. I'm not sure how much luck I've brought him since we've been getting to know each other. Perhaps our fortunes got mixed up. Because Mr. Colorado has brought me good luck in my search to find answer to what has been going on with my body.

The day before I boarded the plane to Denver I received the news that my July round of blood work returned with no answers. The doctor who it took me four months to find and to get in to see couldn't make a diagnosis for me. He was my last hope, and he had nothing to offer me. I was devastated, yet still determined to find answers, because I don't believe I'm just crazy. There has to be a reason that I've been feeling so miserable since returning from Africa.

In my final moments with this tropical disease specialist, he inquired, "Have you been tested for thyroid issues?" I got quiet because I felt so defeated. The first time I had met with this man he was kind and caring. This second time around, he wanted nothing to do with me.

"You probably have plenty of times already," he answered for me.

"Yeah, I have."

The doctor agreed to place a few more tests, including a malaria screening, and gluten/celiac disease evaluation, along with a few others. But he also told me, "I'll order these tests, but I want you to understand, I don't think we're going to find anything." Five more vials of blood were extracted from my arm that day (two weeks ago), and I could only hope, that maybe, something might be found this time around.

A night or two later, when I couldn't sleep, I studied my old blood work, considering, perhaps I might find something the doctors overlooked.

And I did.

Since the UM doctor had mentioned thyroid issues (as every other doctor I've been to has also suspected) I went through my thyroid test results and discovered my T3 level in December of last year was on the low end of the "normal."  I quickly learned that low T3 can be a huge culprit of fatigue and can also be an indicator of "comprised liver function."

I knew I was on to something, but again, I would need a professional opinion and evaluation.

Well, it just so happened that while I was out visiting Mr. Colorado, he introduced me to a friend of his -- a thyroid specialist. Last week she agreed to review my compiled test results over the past two years. She confirmed my suspicion: I need to be treated for thyroid issues.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dreams of Long Ago

Sometime ago I got stood up on a Friday night (well, canceled upon, two days in advance). Rather than making alternate plans, I determined I'd stayed in for the night.  I didn't feel well, and I had a piece of writing begging for my attention.

But in hopping on my computer, rather than going straight to my writing, I checked every form of social media first. (I'm so glad facebook and twitter didn't exist in my undergrad years.) I then continued on to my e-mail and discovered my pastor from LA was speaking that night in New York, near Columbus Circle.

Even though I didn't feel the greatest, I didn't want to miss his book signing.  I had to go, so I invited a friend along, and we booked it up from Soho to hear Erwin McManus speak, and to pick up copies of his most recent work: The Artisan Soul.

As I waited in line for my book to be signed I recalled how seven years prior I was nervous to talk to this particular author.  Back then I informed him I'd like to cohost a talk show and inquired if he had any suggestions for pursuing such a dream.  He recommended I become an expert on a particular subject matter.

I thought on it some and didn't know what I might become an expert on.  I wanted to have a talk show so I could interview other people -- expert individuals -- who could provide the meat of the show's programming content.  Erwin signed my book --Wide Awake-- and I continued on my way a bit discouraged, thinking the dream of my youth might be too far fetched, a bit too unrealistic. 

Still, that December my friend Aaron (a camera man who had worked on a series call The Drive TV) and a potential cohost, made plans to meet with a family friend of mine in Owosso, Michigan.  It seemed this individual (Gordon Pennington) might be able to help us with "The Dream." Although we enjoyed the conversation, our time in Owosso didn't seem to help move the dream along.

But then I moved from California to New York a few years later and I ran into this same family friend at a dinner party in the city.  Eventually I started to assist Gordon with some conference coordinating and in the process of booking speakers I befriended an amazing woman named Jackie.  En route from New York to Nashville last fall, I dropped by her place for a night, and she told me about this television network she has been in the process of getting off the ground.

Tonight I participated in a vision conference call for Jane TV .  Funny how the media dreams of my youth no longer seem so unrealistic.

But back to that Friday night - the night I got stood up.  This time when I got to the front of the book signing line I wasn't at all nervous to speak with Erwin.  In fact, I told him, "Extra bonus points if you can remember my name."

He replied, "Of course I know your name.  It's Katrina.  Katrina Blank."  I then insisted he stand up so I could give him a hug. 

Following my conversation with Erwin, I chatted with another author named Eric Metaxas.  He took interest in chatting with me because he also knows Gordon (that family friend), and I had connected with his top assistant a year or so prior.

I mention Eric because a few days following the book signing I learned that Eric is living out the dream of my youth.  You can check out his show, 100 Huntley

At this point in my life, I'm not overly eager to pursue possibilities in television.  However, I love seeing friends and acquaintances embrace such a medium as a means of offering hope to the world.