Re: Is this usual
What the ********** is wrong with those stupid doctors? I cannot believe they keep sending you on more and more wild goose chases. Forget about seeing your PCP or anyone other than an Endo for this problem. Multiple nodules are multiple nodules. I just don't understand why they haven't talked about thyroid disease and I'm particularly annoyed that you keep having to speak with an assistant. Won't your PCP call you back personally so you can have a thorough discussion with someone more knowledgeable? It is, after all, his JOB.
There's nothing wrong with getting a TB test, but I don't think it's going to tell them anything new. Since you don't mention having a long-term cough, difficulty breathing, or spitting up blood, I'd bet that TB is not the issue here. And the Chest Xray should have ruled out pneumonia (as long as we're grasping at straws...). ARGH. Sorry for the rant. I feel for your frustration.
If you can't get an Endo appointment soon, here is the link for the Top Doctors in Maine (patient-recommended doctors from About.com) so you can find one yourself:
<A HREF="http://thyroid.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.thyroid%2Dinfo.com/topdrs/maine.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://thyroid.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http://www.thyroid%2Dinfo.com/topdrs/maine.htm</A>
I know it's a big state, so I hope that one of these folks is in your area. Or, hopefully, the referral from your PCP will be a good doc. You can also call the labs or hospitals where you've had some of your tests and ask the technicians for their referrals to Endocrinologists. A tech's referral is often better than another doctor's.
In my opinion, I would hold off on any further tests for now. Get copies of everything (including your chest xray films) and bring them to your Endo appointment. Be sure to tell the Endo in advance where each of these tests were performed (and provide contact info for the labs/hospitals) so that he/she can review the films and scans before your appointment. (It may be easier for a doctor to request the original tests, though you'll probably be able to get copies of the Interpretation Statements.)
The Endo will probably want to do some blood tests (make sure they test you for Antibodies), perhaps an FNA biopsy to test the fluid in the nodule areas, and will probably put you on some type of thyroid meds to slow or stop the nodule growth.
Be strong. You're doing great so far, and have all the right instincts. Now all you need is a doctor with knowledge of thyroid disease, and you should be on your way to wellness.