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Another Bump in the This Journey, BUT GOD

On October 13, 2012 I had a major thing that happen to me and the doctors still has not given it a name but whatever it was it has changed me.  My vision and my motor skills and etc.  and things just aren’t  the same.  I have an appointment to see the specialist but since they did not call them when I was in the hospital I am not an emergency patient I have to wait until they have an opening and that will not be until next year.

My doctors in Cleveland Clinic ordered me physical and occupational therapy just from the reports from my local hospital but the nature of situation.  What I am realizing is God is totally in control of everything.  Here is another situation where I could have died or been crippled for life BUT GOD.

When I left out the hospital on October 18, 2012 I could not drink out of a cup without a straw, could not even eat food such as apple sauce without it dripping out of my mouth.  My hands would shake so bad that I got half of what put on the spoon, I was in a place that I had to trust God and stand on what I believe or give up. those was my only option and I am not a quitter so when you don’t know what else to do you stand on the WORD OF GOD until.

I say all that to say on today November 27, 2012 I am walking on my own, eating and cooking on my own, drinking out of a cup, dressing myself, and getting out.  Yes I am still working on some things and I plan getting them all back and some more that I didn’t have before this happen.

This is not a look at me journal this is a look at God. What did the doctors say it was is not important because God has the final say to it all. Thank you for reading.

God is still able to do the unbelievable

On the 27th of August I had a surgery to find out how much damage has been done to my heart from Sarcoidosis.  The wanted to know if I had heart failure, damage since my Defibrillator/pacemaker has fired since receiving it in November 2011.

Coming out of this procedure on August 27th 2012, I sat in the doctor’s office for what it seemed like forever.  Once he came in it just didn’t look good, he was totally confused.  He explained we were waiting on my other heart, lung, liver doctors to call in and they called in a few others for a conference call. You getting a little worried now too, right well as I set there listening to them talk about me like I was just an object or a research project and not a human patient in the room they asked me if I had any questions.

This is was their response.  Yes you have Sarcoidosis in your liver, lungs, heart and your lymphatic system. The thing is you don’t have heart failure and you don’t fit the prodigal for the heart.  You have scar tissue forming but your values are functioning perfectly, no blockage, no damage from the firing, the heart doctor is signing off.  I am crying and overjoyed and another of one of doctor’s starts talking.

He say’s well your liver is functioning correctly and all your test are perfect, I know what we see but again what we see and what the test is say don’t match we have had you tested and retested and have second options and we still come up with the same thing.  At this point I can hardly stay in my seat.  Then the head Sarcoidosis doctor tells me to me well since you don’t want to follow prodigal when you go into the hospital have them call Cleveland Clinic, I was in shock.  I guess the doctor that was in the office could see that on my face so he explained to me that with all that they see on fill compared to other test with me I am doing really well and their job is to maintain and I am maintaining right now.

At this time the doctor that put my defibrillator in started talking, and said when Millicent came into my office for the first time she told me… What every you might thing should happen to me know that it will not work… I will always be the opposite… don’t count me out… I asked her why and she told me I thought you knew I am God’s favorite and I believed her then and I believe her now.

So this is to Give My God a huge praise shouts out to show I do not take this for granted.  My new-found freedom has been wonderful, but I am learning my limits, but my first was going back to church with my Grandma.  That Lady has encouraged, prayed and talked to me in the midnight hour so many nights.

Before I knew that I had Sarcoidosis a Mother in Zion told me I would go through something that would build my legs and arms in God.  I really didn’t get that but as I look back on the notes I took as I listen back on that message I totally get it today.

REALITY CHECK

REALITY CHECK

The last two days I have been doing medical interviews trying to get some help with care with my Sarcoidosis.  In these interviews I could not tell them my religious believes what I stand on spiritually, or what God has spoken over my life.   I had to tell them what the medical reports say; what the doctors are speaking, who gave up on me and those who gave me an expiration date.

There is something about speaking all this negative things into the air, it had changed the atmosphere of my home, I was just feeling very defeated like I was climbing a giant hill that is never-ending.

I started reading affirmations from the Bible of what God calls me and reading scriptures of healing, praising God for what has already done.  Normally that breaks something in me and the thing that is holding me breaks, but this time just rehearing the doctors reports has raddled me.  It is not that I don’t know or understand what they have been saying, but I stand on scripture and all ways will; not saying I don’t have bad days, BUT GOD.

Day three of this ugly nasty feeling and I am just talking to God saying that something has to change.  I have been here, depression, tired of being sick, letting doctors reports scare me more than God’s promise makes me rejoice, honestly this isn’t for me.  So after I get done having my one on one, I fall asleep in my chair and I have this dreams that I know was the answer to it all.

I was standing up to a podium and just preaching about God’s love, kindness, and how he takes care of me.  The more I listen I was going through all I had been through and all the doctor’s reports and how God has proven them wrong each and every time.  Here is the kicker when I looked out in the audience there weren’t any other faces but mine.

What does this tell me, sometimes you have to look back and see where God has brought you from for a little reminder that He not only did it for you once , but many times and God’s word is true every day and never gets old.

GOD CAN AND WILL DO IT …

On the 27th of August I had a surgery to find out how much damage has been done to my heart from Sarcoidosis.  The wanted to know if I had heart failure, damage since my Defibrillator/pacemaker has fired since receiving it in November 2011.

Coming out of this procedure on August 27th 2012, I sat in the doctor’s office for what it seemed like forever.  Once he came in it just didn’t look good, he was totally confused.  He explained we were waiting on my other heart, lung, liver doctors to call in and they called in a few others for a conference call. You getting a little worried now too, right well as I set there listening to them talk about me like I was just an object or a research project and not a human patient in the room they asked me if I had any questions.

This is was their response.  Yes you have Sarcoidosis in your liver, lungs, heart and your lymphatic system. The thing is you don’t have heart failure and you don’t fit the prodigal for the heart.  You have scar tissue forming but your values are functioning perfectly, no blockage, no damage from the firing, the heart doctor is signing off.  I am crying and overjoyed and another of one of doctor’s starts talking.

He say’s well your liver is functioning correctly and all your test are perfect, I know what we see but again what we see and what the test is say don’t match we have had you tested and retested and have second options and we still come up with the same thing.  At this point I can hardly stay in my seat.  Then the head Sarcoidosis doctor tells me to me well since you don’t want to follow prodigal when you go into the hospital have them call Cleveland Clinic, I was in shock.  I guess the doctor that was in the office could see that on my face so he explained to me that with all that they see on fill compared to other test with me I am doing really well and their job is to maintain and I am maintaining right now.

At this time the doctor that put my defibrillator in started talking, and said when Millicent came into my office for the first time she told me… What every you might thing should happen to me know that it will not work… I will always be the opposite… don’t count me out… I asked her why and she told me I thought you knew I am God’s favorite and I believed her then and I believe her now.

So this is to Give My God a huge praise shouts out to show I do not take this for granted.  My new-found freedom has been wonderful, but I am learning my limits, but my first was going back to church with my Grandma.  That Lady has encouraged, prayed and talked to me in the midnight hour so many nights.

Before I knew that I had Sarcoidosis a Mother in Zion told me I would go through something that would build my legs and arms in God.  I really didn’t get that but as I look back on the notes I took as I listen back on that message I totally get it today.

A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP

In today’s church’s you hear about having a personal relationship with God and how it is a must.  You have people telling  you about their relationship, some church’s teach classes on it, there are books on it, but what I realized is it’s PERSONAL.

I have been asked since my last Blog post what denomination are you from.  I always look like a deer in headlights when I am asked that question.  I was given examples of are you Baptist, COGIC, are you Methodist what are you.  My answer is and I pray always will be I am a Believer in Jesus Christ.  I don’t know how to be a denomination and I am so glad I don’t know how to put on a religion.

What I do know how to do is talk to God and be honest with Him about what is going on in my life, my hurts, habits, hang ups, the stuff that is great  and wonderful.  I know how to talk about the great things God has done in my life and go into thanking Him and get overjoyed.  I know how to pray about everything (either before or after but everything).

When I started going to church as a adult I thought I was missing something because I didn’t have the back ground of the church as others my age.  I thought I was lacking because I didn’t have a mentor or someone to show me the in and out’s of how to do church.  I never could understood how to do the politics of church and why it was so important.  What I realize today is I had the best teacher of all and He has been with me since birth.

I remember as a little girl just sitting in the bathroom singing Sunday school hymns and reading the lessons until I fell asleep in the tub.  I remember being able to worship God until there was a break in my spirit (situation) were I knew it would be ok (before I know what that was).  Even as I grew up and mad bad choices the people I was hanging with would always omit me from a lot because they knew there was something different about me.  My prayer life even at that time did not change; God and I have been connected as long as I can remember.  From the days of just praying things would stop and I would learn to be a good little girl to today were I have learned to stand on the promises of God and know that He is faithful and His word does not come back void.

So, when you hear someone talk about a personal relationship and try to put mine into a religious box.  I think back on my life and all that I have been through and I know that my relationship is very personal God has taught me to lean and trust Him fully.  I am thankful to be a child of the Kings and to be loved so that he would walk and talk with me daily and just love me

Dealing with all the issues

One of the things I needed to deal with since I’ve been sick was letting go of past issues. This was and is very hard for me since I am a product of abuse. The Journey of healing has not just been one of physical healing but spiritual and emotional for me.

Every since I was a little girl I have been used and abused in every way possible by the people who are suppose to love, protect, and care for me. Becaue of this I grow up with a false idea of what love was but also of what family was suppose to be like. When reaching out for help to church, police, teachers, and children service I also learned that my familys word meant more than mine and the price I paid for telling was not worth saying anything at all.

The effects of my abuse followed me into my adult years in a lot of physical ways. I was not able to have children because of the brutal sexual molestation I endured; I carried physical scares (reminders) of physical abuse that would never go away. I also had the mental scars, the pictures, the words, the sounds ,the memories , and the lies.

For me this was not a time in my life but it was my life. It was not just a family member but a major part of one side my family.

I was raised to believe that these people were the only ones that loved me and I only mattered to them. I was told it all was a form of love so my view of love was wrong from the beginning of my life. For years I had little trust in people at all. I went through the motions of church, work, school but not really living life to its fullest. I didn’t know how to get pass the traumatic things that had happen to me and really didn’t feel anyone else could understand the impact that it had on me mentally.

There has been people through the years that have prayed for me and tried to help me to get me through and get me to heal, but honestly I know today it could have only be God. These scars went to deep for man to try and reach. Plus, I was not totally open and willing because of my history with people from the church. When I was little my Pastor knew what was going on. As a teen I went to him talked about it and I wrote a letter just in case I forgot something. I was told that my family had been in that church for years and somethings weren’t talked about. So when I got with men and women of God that really wanted to help me, I went through the motions but I wasn’t whole hearted in what they were telling me to do. Well honestly I wasn’t whole hearted into anything not even life.

It wasn’t until two years ago when I started going to therapy that I started to find my voice. The people who know me would say I always had a voice and I would say not really I always had a mask, but now I have a voice and I can speak up for myself and from my heart and learning everyday how to use it more and more. I remember the first time I had to use it and I was so scared I had to tell a friend I did not feel safe around them and that I would have to withdraw myself from the relationship. This took my Therapist helping me write a letter (could not do face to face) and months of sessions afterwards just to get through it but I am so thankful that I did and I know now it was one of the best things I have done for me. Don’t get me wrong I still love this person and want the best but I have learned to love me just as much and that is huge and new that I love that part of it.

Some people ask me today or wonder where I am in this part of your journey and I am so happy to say I am learning to establish boundaries in my life and not waver on them. I am reestablishing some relationships and walking away from some that should have been destroyed years ago. With this process I know there will be a lot more that will fall to the way side and I will cry many more tears, but today I am open to changing my life. I am learning to trust God and people opening my heart up and letting people in to see the real me and know some will walk away but some will not.

I also have people ask why don’t you just walk away from everyone that abused you and my answer is and will be that will be almost my whole family and at this point and time in my life I don’t know how to do that. What would I do if I couldn’t call certain people, because even with the bad there was good. Dysfunction does not make sense not even to the people in it.

I will say that one of the reasons for me doing this blog was important was to put my story out there.  So other people who are, or know some one who is going through what i have can see that God can bring you through.  This is not just a journey of Sarcoidosis, but a Journey of healing from the inside out a true view of emotional spirtual and physical transformation of my life.

A SUPPORT SYSTEM IS NEEDED

One thing I found out early in my recovery is that a support team is very important. If you don’t have family, friends or even not enough that understand please get involved in some type of support group. I will talk about and list some websites of organizations and churches that played a major role in my journey.

I was blessed to have someone in my life that could calm my nerves, make a rainy day turn to sunshine, when my world was off its center his voice made everything line up. Carlton has been the silent force that has kept me focused and fighting. I remember when I came home and he called, I just fell apart. I couldn’t get all the words out I just cried. This was so good for me I had someone i could be honest about my feelings, I didn’t have to strong or pick the right words. He just let me be and encouraged, prayed and fasted with and for me. I remember when I was told the prognosis of 2 to 5 years. I told Carlton to live his life to the fullest but I no longer wanted to be in a
relationship. I wanted him to live the life he hasn’t been able to experience. I still needed him as emotional support but I would not be marring him and wanted him to move on. His words was I will not accept the prognosis or hear your foolishness of moving on. I love you and were in this together. This was a changing point in our relationship. Carlton and I have been in each other lives since I was 14 and to know he will be there (even if not physically) was huge.  I can’t close this paragraph without
saying his parents have become my parents.  They have loved and supported me through my illness.  I have learned how to stand on the word of God because now I know what it is to have praying parents.  To have parents that will not just preach to
you but impart the word of God in your life that it will never be the same.  They will let you bump your head but love you and put bandage you when it’s all over.  Thank you Mom and Dad

The other big player is my Friend Lori D. This lady has invested 9 years of love, encouragement into my live. When I needed someone to kick me in the butt,
to love me, to have some girl time her and the whole family has surrounded me
from the work place to the ICU. She has taken time from her family to travel with me, taking me shopping, held my hand through the roughest days of my life. I thank God for this relationship. When I didn’t love myself, didn’t want to go on she pushed me until I saw what she saw.

There are some organizations that have played a huge role in my journey and I will like to put up links and explain a little of what they have done for me.

Celebrate Recovery (www.celebraterecovery.com) was a awesome program for me. This program let me come in and walk through the steps of healing, support, and grieving for the changes in my life. I went from working to being on disability, i went from independent living to assisted living, i needed a team of people that would let me be me and just love me where I was and this program did just that. This program is not just for emotional hurts but for any hurt, habit or hang up you have and it is
nationwide. I will provide the location link (http://www.celebraterecovery.com/?page_id=8) so you can find one in your area. I have to do a shout out to the MANSFIELD CR (http://www.crossroadswired.com/get-connected/celebrate-recovery) my life will forever be changed, because of this ministry.

Stop Sarcoidosis (http://www.inspire.com/groups/stop-sarcoidosis/) is an online support group that is still helping me so much. This site is has other people who have Sarcoidosis and they support each other. They have resources of information can give you there stories and let you come and vent and ask questions. Will help you ask the right questions test when you see your doctor. These online groups help me in my midnight hours that I needed someone to totally get why I hurt, couldn’t breathe, or just cried for no reason. There is always someone online just post and replies will come. If you’re not ready to ask you can read other post and know you’re not along.

Here are list of resources I used to get information or support I pray they
help you.

Cleveland Clinic Sarcoidosis Clinic – http://my.clevelandclinic.org/lungs-breathing-allergy/departments-centers/sarcoidosis-center.aspx

The Center for Individual & Family Services – http://www.richlandthecenter.com/

Churches online services that blessed me

Mosaic Mansfield – http://mosaicmansfield.com/o/index.shtml
(Pastor Tony is AWESOME)

Cornerstone Toledo – http://cornerstonetoledo.com/#/home

The Potters House – http://thepottershouse.org/

Paula White – http://www.paulawhite.org/

Foundations that raise money for research and awareness

Foundation For Sarcoidosis Research – http://stopsarcoidosis.org/

The Bernie Mac Foundation – http://berniemacfoundation.org/

Depression is Real – Reach out and get some help

Something I recognized very quickly as I was going through this process is I needed someone to talk to someone that was not attached to me or what was going on – a therapist.

My life was changing so drastically it was taking me through some serious emotional challenges. No matter what anyone else say if your depressed please get help. When there is such pressure on you it is normal to get depressed, confused, and angry and
have a pity party. The difference is when you get help they will not let you stay there to long so you can move on in your life and not become stuck in one place.

I can hear somebody now saying I thought you said you believe in God? Why do you need someone else to help you don’t you have friends? Well I am a man and I have it all under control. First, there is no shame in saying I need help. We are made to help, love, and encourage each other so reach out and get help. Now about my faith or belief, I believe God has given us doctors to help us here on earth. If you had cancer, a stroke, or diabetes you would see a doctor. There is no difference in depression and the reason you don’t just us family or friends is the same. When you have a medical problem you go to a medical professional not your family or friends.

When I first started going to my doctor I had friends get mad at me, I had some that walked away. My question to them was if you’re truly my friend why wouldn’t you want me to get better? I had people tell me that I must have sinned in a big way and this is an outward expression of my sin. Don’t let anyone tell you things that you know aren’t true. We have all sinned and come short, even though some people want to justify to themselves why things are happening don’ t let their craziness contaminate you.It took me almost a year to get over some things people close to be had done and some foolish things people was saying about me.

I will say I have had major players in my life either walk away or act like there isn’t anything wrong with me. Let those people leave your life. Why do I say that well because you will need people that will encourage, support, and love you right where you’re at in this process. God has given me some people that have loved me even though I was broken, tore down and confused, and He will do the same for you.

As you can tell this experience has been more than a physical recovery but it is truly healing me from the inside out. I know today this I am a much better person than when I started. Here are some links of places where you can get some help.

v DBSA
http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=crisis_hotlineinfo

o National Hopeline Network 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE) http://www.hopeline.com/

o National Suicide Prevention Helpline 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)

v NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) – http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=54&ContentID=23039

1-800-950-NAMI

The Center for Individual & Family Services – http://www.richlandthecenter.com/

Crisis Hotline call – (419) 522-HELP • (419) 522-4357
v Angel Fire – http://www.angelfire.com/ab7/gift_of_many/hotline.html

SYMPTOMS OF SARCOIDOSIS

 

Sarcoidosis is a “multiorgan” disease – meaning it almost always involves more than
one organ. An organ is affected when granulomas (masses of inflamed tissue, or
lumps) form and cause an abnormality.

Many sarcoidosis patients do not have any symptoms. Some have only one symptom,
while still others have several. General symptoms caused by the disease include
fever, tiredness or fatigue, weight loss, night sweats and an overall feeling of ill health. Other symptoms typically depend on which organs the disease affects.

Symptoms

Some organs are affected more often than others. Sarcoidosis occurs most often
in the lungs. It also commonly affects the skin, eyes, lymph nodes and liver. Less commonly, it affects the spleen, brain, nerves, heart, tear glands, salivary glands, sinuses, bones and joints. Rarely, it affects other organs, such as the kidneys, breasts and male and female reproductive organs. Often, the effects of sarcoidosis in an organ are so mild that there are no symptoms and the organ continues to function well.

Lungs: The lungs are the most commonly affected organ in sarcoidosis. Ninety percent or more of people with sarcoidosis have lung involvement, whether they have symptoms or not. Common lung symptoms are dry coughing, trouble breathing, wheezing, or pain with breathing, chest pain, tightness, or discomfort and coughing up blood, which is rare, especially in the early stages of sarcoidosis.

Lymph Nodes: Lymph nodes are glands found throughout the body that make
and store white blood cells. When sarcoidosis inflammation targets these glands, they become enlarged. Swollen lymph nodes can be uncomfortable, but they rarely cause medical problems unless they press on organs or blood vessels. Most commonly, it’s the lymph glands in the chest that are affected. Some of the other places you might notice enlarged lymph nodes (they appear as swollen lumps) include your neck, under your chin, in your armpit and in your groin.

Spleen: The spleen is a large organ on the left side of the body under the ribs that produces and filters red blood cells and some types of white blood cells. Along with the lymph nodes, the spleen is part of the lymphatic system, which regulates blood cells and plays a role in immunity. Sarcoidosis of the spleen does not usually cause symptoms. If you do notice symptoms, they might include pain or pressure on your upper left side under your ribs or feeling tired.

Liver: Sarcoidosis granulomas can cause the liver to enlarge. The disease rarely causes serious liver problems, however, and most people do not even realize it when their livers are affected. If you have liver symptoms, they might include fever, feeling tired or fatigued, itchy skin, jaundice, which causes your skin and eyes to look somewhat yellow, pain on your upper right side under your ribs.

Heart: Some people with heart involvement might notice symptoms, but many people will feel nothing, even in late-stage disease. Because heart problems can be very serious, everyone who has sarcoidosis should be screened for cardiac involvement. Sarcoidosis can cause the heart to pump weakly. This results in such symptoms as shortness of breath, swelling of the legs, wheezing and coughing – although these can be a sign of lung problems too. Sarcoidosis also can affect the heart’s electrical pacing and transmission system, which tells the heart when to beat. This can make the heart beat too fast or very slowly or skip beats. Symptoms of an
electrical-system problem include palpitations (a fluttering sensation of rapid
heartbeats), skipped beats and, rarely, fluid buildup in the lungs or sudden
loss of consciousness. Find out more about cardiac sarcoidosis and its symptoms.

Brain & Nervous System: The nervous system includes the brain and all the body’s nerves, and it may be affected by sarcoidosis. The disease can cause a mass of granulomas in the brain or meninges, which are the membranes that cover the brain. The disease also can affect one or more nerves anywhere in the body. Most often, it affects the nerves of the face. Symptoms of the disease in the nervous system vary. If there is a mass in the brain, symptoms can include headaches, visual problems and weakness or numbness of an arm or leg. When sarcoidosis affects a facial nerve, it can cause one side of the face to droop. This may be the first symptom that someone has sarcoidosis. When sarcoidosis affects the spinal cord, it can cause weakness or even paralysis of the arms or legs. When multiple nerves in more than one place are affected, the disease can cause weakness, pain, or a “stinging needles” sensation
in those areas.

Skin: Sarcoidosis of the skin can result in rashes or various types of skin lesions. If you have one of these skin problems it can be a clue to how serious your case of sarcoidosis is. One type of lesion is called erythema nodosum which causes raised, red, and tender bumps to form on the skin, usually on the front of your legs. Nearby joints are often swollen and painful. Erythema nodosum usually goes away on its own in 6 to 8 weeks, even without treatment. Having it is a good sign that you might have the type of sarcoidosis that also goes away on its own after a few months or years. Lupus pernio is an uncommon skin condition that causes hard, reddish-purplish bumps to form on your cheeks, nose, lips, and/or ears. These bumps do not go away on their own and often come back when treatment is stopped. They are usually associated with chronic sarcoidosis. In some cases, the sores are disfiguring and can damage underlying cartilage and bone. Other lesions may appear as bumps on or under the skin, rashes, sores, scaling, and/or changes in old scars or tattoos that
do not go away and are rarely painful or itchy. These skin problems are also
associated with chronic sarcoidosis.

Bones, Joints & Muscles: Musculoskeletal sarcoidosis (musculo=muscles, joints and bones=skeletal) can result in a number of symptoms. Early-onset arthritis, which is joint pain, stiffness, and/or swelling that usually occurs in the first 6 months of the disease, begins suddenly in one or both of the ankles and/or feet, and sometimes involves the knees, toes, fingers, wrists, and/or elbow joints. It often accompanies erythema nodosum, and it usually goes away on its own in a few weeks or months. Late-onset arthritis, which usually occurs 6 months or more after
sarcoidosis develops, is less painful and affects fewer joints than early-onset arthritis (usually the knees and/or ankles, or sometimes the fingers or toes), and is often associated with chronic skin symptoms rather than erythema nodosum. This type of arthritis can last a long time or a lifetime, or it may come and go, but it usually does not go away for good without treatment like early-onset arthritis does. It can cause permanent joint damage and should be treated even when it is not painful. Sarcoidosis also can affect the bone marrow (soft, organic material that fills bone cavities), which produces blood cells. This can result in anemia, in which there are too few red blood cells, or a lowered number of white blood cells. Red blood cells are needed to deliver oxygen to the body; white blood cells help fight infections. In muscles, sarcoidosis may cause muscle aches or muscle pain (also called myalgia) or
muscle weakness. The disease can also cause bone cysts, which are rare.

Eyes: Common symptoms of sarcoidosis in the eyes include: burning, itching and/or pain, dryness, tearing, red eyes, vision problems such as seeing black spots (called floaters) and blurred vision, sensitivity to light and small, pale yellow bumps on the eye. A condition called uveitis, which is inflammation of the membranes (uvea) of the eye, can result in many of these symptoms. Rarely, glaucoma, cataracts and blindness can occur if uveitis goes untreated. As a precaution, a routine eye examination performed by an ophthalmologist is recommended for anyone with suspected sarcoidosis. It is a good idea to schedule them annually for several years after your diagnosis, and routinely as recommended thereafter.

Kidneys & Urinary Tract: Sarcoidosis rarely attacks the kidneys directly. However, the disease can cause the body to overproduce vitamin D, which in turn causes the body to absorb too much calcium and can lead to kidney stones. Although they are uncommon in sarcoidosis, kidney stones can be painful when they break loose from the kidney and pass into the bladder, so it is a good idea to ask your doctor to check you for excess calcium before kidney stones have the chance to develop. Symptoms of kidney stones you might notice include pain in your back or side, or an increased urge to urinate.

Salivary Glands: Inflammation in the salivary glands can sometimes cause painful dryness in the mouth. When sarcoidosis affects these glands, it can make your cheeks look swollen.

Sinuses: Sarcoidosis can also cause inflammation of the sinuses (called sinusitis). Symptoms include a runny nose, stuffiness, and sinus pain or headache. The sinusitis associated with sarcoidosis is often chronic and can be very troublesome, although it is rarely serious.

Mental Health: Research shows that more than half of people with sarcoidosis symptoms also show signs of clinical depression. Depression can affect your work, your studies, how well you sleep, and even your appetite. Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, and anxiety are all signs of depression that you should talk to your doctor about. Certainly if you are having suicidal thoughts you should tell your doctor. Depression is treatable. Medications and/or talk therapy are often helpful

SOURCE:

http://www.stopsarcoidosis.org/sarcoidosis/symptoms.htm

How Sarcoidosis is Diagnosed

Because the symptoms and laboratory findings associated with Sarcoidosis can occur in other diseases, there is no single test that can diagnose it. However, the classic
sign of the disease is the formation of granulomas (abnormal masses or nodules
consisting of inflamed tissue) in one or more of the major organs of the body.
Sarcoidosis-related granulomas are not different from granulomas that occur in
other diseases. As a result, a complete physical exam and medical history —
including occupational history, medication history, and environmental exposures
— must be made before concluding that the illness is, in fact, Sarcoidosis.

The main tools your doctor will use to diagnose Sarcoidosis include:

  • Chest X-rays
    — This test provides a picture of the lungs, heart and surrounding lymph
    nodes, and reveals where infection-fighting white blood cells have formed
    — often, a first indication of Sarcoidosis. An X-ray can also show how
    much of the lungs are affected by the disease. Chest X-ray findings fall
    into one of the following five patterns described in the chart at right.
    It is important to know that these X-ray patterns do not represent disease
    stages (in other words, they are not the sequential steps in the disease
    course). The categories simply allow doctors to classify the “types
    of disease.”

Chest X-ray patterns

0 = Normal chest X-ray

I = Bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy (BHL) — the X-ray shows an equal
degree of enlargement of lymph nodes at the “root” of both sides of the lungs.
This is a common presentation of Sarcoidosis.

II = BHL plus pulmonary infiltrations — the X-ray shows a disease
process as described above with expansion into and throughout additional lung
tissue.

III = Pulmonary infiltration only (without BHL) — the X-ray shows a
disease process that is spread throughout the lung tissue (with no enlargement
of lymph nodes).

IV = Pulmonary fibrosis — the X-ray shows small lung fields, scarring,
and “retraction” of both hila (the area at the “root” of the lungs). This type
of disease is the most severe or permanent form of the disease.

  • Bronchoscopy
    — Bronchoscopy involves passing a small tube (bronchoscope) down the
    trachea (windpipe) and into the bronchial tubes (airways) of the lungs.
    The purpose of this test is to inspect the bronchial tubes and to extract
    a biopsy (a small tissue sample) to look for granulomas, and to rule out
    infection. Bronchoscopy is a safe, low risk, outpatient procedure that
    provides your doctors with a good chance of making an accurate diagnosis.
    To prepare for this test, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything
    by mouth for 8 hours before the exam. Prior to the start of the exam,
    medications will be given to you to help you relax. Because these
    medications can make you groggy, an adult who can drive you home must
    accompany you. You will not be allowed to drive. The procedure usually
    lasts 15 to 45 minutes, with several additional hours for recovery. Your
    doctor may perform a bronchoalveolar lavage (washing out the air sacs),
    biopsies of the air sacs or airway wall using a forceps, or biopsy of a
    lymph node using a needle that is inserted through the bronchoscope.
    Guidance of the needle with an ultrasound probe attached to the
    bronchoscope (endobronchial ultrasound or EBUS) can almost always lead to a diagnosis of Sarcoidosis when it is present.
  • CT scan
    — This test is another form of X-ray that provides an even more detailed
    look at the lungs and lymph glands than that provided by a routine chest
    X-ray. This test does not hurt and simply involves lying on a table for
    about 10 minutes.
  • Mediastinoscopy
    — This is a surgical procedure that involves a small incision at the base
    of the neck through which an instrument is passed to biopsy lymph nodes in
    the chest cavity. This test is performed under general anesthesia in the
    operating room of a hospital and takes 1 to 2 hours (same day procedure).
    The need for Mediastinoscopy to make a diagnosis has gone down
    dramatically as EBUS-guided biopsies have become widespread.
  • Pulmonary function (breathing) tests — These tests measure how well the lungs are working (expanding and exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood). One      pulmonary function test uses a device called a pirometer. This device records the changes in air flow as a person inhales and exhales, as well as the overall volume of air exhaled. The development of granulomas and
    fibrosis of the lung tissue stiffen the lung tissue and destroy the air sacs, making it more difficult for the lungs to perform these tasks.
  • Other biopsies
    — In addition to the bronchoscopic biopsy or lymph node biopsy by
    mediastinoscopy, tissue samples can be taken from any other involved site
    including other lymph nodes, skin, and other sites to determine where
    granulomas have formed.
  • Blood tests
    — Blood analyses evaluate the number and types of blood cells and blood
    proteins in the body, and how well the cells are functioning. They also
    track increases in calcium levels and abnormal liver function that
    sometimes accompany sarcoidosis. One blood test measures a substance
    called angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE), which is secreted in large
    amounts by cells that make up granulomas. ACE levels, however, are not
    always high in sarcoidosis patients, and increased ACE levels can also
    show up in other illnesses. In short, there is no specific blood test to
    diagnose sarcoidosis. A newer blood test that is sometimes more useful
    than ACE is measurement of the soluble interleukin 2 receptor levels
    (sIL2R).
  • Pulse oximetry
    — This test measures the amount of oxygen in the blood by way of a sensor
    attached to a patient’s finger. If the oxygen level is low, your doctor
    may recommend the use of supplemental oxygen.
  • Electrocardiogram
    (EKG or ECG) — This is a routine office test that checks the electrical
    activity of the heart. For this test, electrodes with adhesive pads are
    attached to the skin of the patient’s chest, arms and legs. The EKG
    machine creates a picture, on graph paper, of the electrical impulses
    traveling through your heart. This screening test helps doctors detect
    several abnormalities in the heart rhythm.
  • PET Scan
    — In this test, a small amount of radioactive material called
    F-fluorodeoxyglucose is injected into a vein. This substance collects in
    the areas where the granulomas have collected. A scanner then detects and
    records the location and amount of inflammation in the body. This scan
    will detect inflammation created by conditions other than sarcoidosis so
    it will be used in combination with other testing.
  • Gallium scanning
    — In this procedure, the radioactive chemical gallium-67 is injected into
    a vein. The gallium collects in inflamed body tissue. A scan of the body
    then indicates which tissues and how much tissue is affected. The scan
    will reveal any type of inflammation occurring in the body, however, and
    does not necessarily mean the patient has sarcoidosis. Because of this
    test’s limitations, it is not commonly performed.
  • Purified protein derivative — This is a type of skin test that is used to help
    establish prior exposure or infection with tuberculosis (TB). Since TB is
    sometimes confused with sarcoidosis, this simple test is frequently
    performed. In sarcoidosis, this skin test is usually negative or
    non-reactive.
  • Slit-lamp examination
    — This examination looks at the inside of the eye and is used to detect
    eye-related problems caused by sarcoidosis.

Source:

www.nhlbi.nih.gov

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