Strange and Unusual Tests: A Photo Essay

“Your test results were a little… unusual.”

Awesome.  Because that’s exactly the first thing you want to hear your doctor say when he walks into the room.


“Yes, well, there’s some things that are… strange.”

Strange and unusual.  Again – awesome.

My doctor quickly assured me that there a bunch of really bad things that he knew I did not have.  He didn’t elaborate on what these potentially very bad things were – but I assumed that cancer would fall under the umbrella of “really bad” and therefore breathed a little internal sigh of relief.

“Your hormone levels are a little high.”


“Probably have a slight case of PCOS disease.”

“Aren’t you supposed to call it a syndrome?”

“Same thing.”


“But the really strange-”

“Again with the strange.”

“-thing is your HGH.  You have an unusually high level of human growth hormone.”


“I’m sorry, what?”

“Human growth hormone.  Everyone has it, but you have a lot of it.  Way, way more than.. uh.. more than I would expect for you.”

He looked at me and I could tell he was trying not to comment on the same thing I was thinking.

“But,” I stood up, “look at me!  I’m not even 5’2″!”

“Yes, well, um, like I said.  It’s a little strange.”

So apparently somewhere in this barely over five feet body of mine, I am storing a crap load of human growth hormone.  My doctor ordered more blood tests and instructed me to load up on carbs an hour before this new round of testing.

“Juice, bread, maybe some cereal – “

“Yeah, I know what a carb is.”  I looked at my already swelling legs and thought about the last four years I’d spent trying to avoid carbohydrates – along with the last 4 lbs I’d gained by hoovering them.

I scheduled my blood tests for this past Tuesday and made plans for my carb infested lunch.




By the end of the meal, my stomach was screaming for relief.  I was so full I actually wondered if I might have bloated to the point that I would be permanently wedged into the booth.  I contemplated unbuttoning my pants, and then remembered that I was wearing a skirt with an elastic waistband.

I considered, for a moment, the ramifications of removing said skirt.


And then I wept.

I went back to the office and eased myself onto a couch, where I spent the next 30 minutes moaning and groaning and making my boss rub my belly.  I insisted that I was in much too much pain to work and promptly fell asleep, vowing to never eat another carbohydrate so long as I live, so help me God.

Twenty minutes later, Adam woke me up and forced me into his car so that he could drive me to get my blood drawn.  I was still moaning and groaning and demanding to know why he had let me eat so damn much food.  I cursed my doctor for giving me medical clearance to gorge myself.  I tried to call my husband so that he, too, could share my misery, but had to settle for whining into his voicemail.

We arrived at the lab and I was quickly ushered into a tiny room with a padded chair and phlebotomist.

I counted as she pulled out six tubes and slapped plastic labels onto each of them.


“You’re taking pictures?” the woman in the white coast paused, needle in midair, and looked at me as if I might be strange and unusual.

“What?  This?” I waved my camera at her.  “Oh, um, no.  No, I was.. uh.. I have this… umm..”

She stared blankly back at me.

“Right.”  I put my camera down and turned my head away from the needle.

And there’s nothing strange about that, at all.

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  1. avitable says:

    I’ll have you know that I’m carb-free.

  2. Faiqa says:

    Well, is it weird that I’m happy that they found something wrong?

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Faiqa, no – I felt the SAME way. I called my mom immediately afterwards and was practically screaming “I’m not crazy! Ha! I have something wrong!”

  3. Shash says:

    I’m with Faiqa. But I hope they figure out the rest of the story soon. I’m right there with you. Oh, and I miss you too. :) Talk soon?


  4. Britt's mom says:

    Me I’m trying to figure out where in that little bitty body you are “storing” Human Growth Hormone.

    And about to puke looking at all those photos. Where, at least, was the guacamole and chips? Jeez!

    • Miss Britt says:

      @Britt’s mom, I decided to go the breakfast food route – no guac there.

      And I’m thinking there’s a good chance I have an HGH storage shed in my ass.

  5. Bonnie B. says:

    I’m completely traumatized by the visual of Adam rubbing your belly. Ew.

  6. The sad thing is, that judging from this pictorial meal, I am almost certain that you’re at MiMi’s Cafe. I could be wrong though but I think I recognize the mixed berry stuffed french toast…and that is so sad that I can tell what ya ate and where. I need a life!

  7. MariaV says:

    I’m glad they eliminated anything serious, but glad that you are moving towards answers.

  8. SciFi Dad says:

    I would argue that a large mass of HGH stored somewhere in your body actually explains your vertical challenge. Your body’s saving it for that little-known mid-30s growth spurt, only instead of OUT like most people, you’ll go UP.

  9. So glad to hear that you may be getting some answers. Did he explain if there is a problem having too much Growth Hormone? What would it mean?

    Good luck, and try to hang in there. Hugs to you!

  10. Hilly says:

    I’m sorry to hear that the carbs made you all icky inside. While I’m totally looking at your pictures and salivating over the sweetness, I’m also remembering the wretched heartburn and tummy ache that goes with them. Blech.

  11. Dawn says:

    OMG, we’re twins! We’re both eight-foot giants trapped in short bods!

  12. The good news is he’s taking you seriously and finding what is wrong. You know baseball players are going to be all over this syndrome to explain all the excess HGH in their systems!

  13. Turnbaby says:

    Heartburn city for me.

    I’m glad they found something—it’s a start.

  14. Lesha says:

    I am always getting out my phone to take pictures, but then I think twice because I’m afraid someone is going to think I’m strange for taking a picture of THAT (whatever that is at the time).

    Glad its nothing serious, just weird. And glad you have a doctor who’s looking to explain the weird.

  15. NYCWD says:

    If you have this supposed unending supply of growth hormone… then why are you only 3 apples high?

    The phlebotomist probably thought you were taking pictures for a lawsuit or something. You should have totally taken a photo of them sucking the life juice out of you. I’m sure they would have been more than happy to take a photo of you passed out from seeing your own blood with your own camera.

    I know I always do that for my patients.

  16. Amen for finding something wrong! Not that I wanted there to be something wrong, but there’s nothing worse than knowing something is off and having everything come back normal. I’m glad it’s not serious!

  17. ali says:

    how come no one is forcing me to eat carbs…because, um, I might totally be up for THAT challenge!

  18. I am so happy to hear that it isn’t going to turn out to be anything serious. I have been worried and waiting for an update so I’m glad you posted one. I wish I had a camera one time when the woman took my blood. She did somethig wrong and somehow blood shot all over the room. My 5 year old was with me and he almost passed out. Since then he tells me he is too “squeanish” to be in the room when they draw blood. That will be all for the oversharing in this comment. Sorry.

    I hope they figure out what is wrong and FIX IT soon so you can feel better! It must be so draining to not know. You are lucky to have such a good friend/boss.

  19. Finn says:

    How odd… and I can find nothing giving me a clue what it might be, which makes me insane. Where’s Dr. House when you need him?

    And wow, when you carbo-load, you carbo-load, don’t you? Eek.

  20. Sybil Law says:

    Well, carb bloat and pain aside, it’s great to have some kind of diagnosis! What a crazy diagnosis, though! Are your feet like, size 15 or something?! ;)

  21. I just ate a bagel but now I would like some more carbs please.

    I’m glad that they are finally getting closer to an answer.

  22. Darla says:

    Am I the only one who thought he was going to tell you you were PG? LOL

  23. You could sell it to some baseball players I know…

  24. Lainy says:

    HAHA that made me laugh so hard (not at ur excessive growth hormones of course) but the fact that you took a pic of your arm while getting a blood test. I take pictures at the oddest moment at the oddest things and people look at me like I’m crazy

  25. What was that delectable thing covered in what appears to be cherry sauce? A scone?

  26. PCOS, ohhh yes, I have thee. Gah. Yeah. But, it’s okay – lots of people do, and you have 2 kiddos, so that’s good.

    The HGH though, that is something due to your pituitary glands/acromegaly (which is an adenoma/enlarged pituitary gland) – did you know all those symptoms you were having? The weakness/fatigue, etc are ALL symptoms of the above conditions. I’m not trying to scare you but a LOT of people have a pituitary adenoma (benign tumor) at one time or another and once they have it removed, they’re usually good to go. The adenoma is what causes the enlarged pituitary and when the pituitary gland is enlarged, etc – the more hormones get released from there, which includes the HGH which in turn makes sense of your overwhelming fatigue, weakness, and with a (benign) pituitary tumor, a symptom usually in women is the stop of your period.

    It’s all going to be okay and soon you’ll be feeling back to your good old self :)

  27. dad says:

    that must mean you get those supersized growth hormones from me huh..ummm my big heart?..maybe i realllllllllly did have tall ass parents..hmmmmm blame me i guess…

  28. muskrat says:

    I don’t like this series. Let’s help it go away, American Academy of Medicine, etc.

  29. whall says:

    People are strange..

  30. Poppy says:

    I did not see that one coming.

    Maybe in your case it’s potential growth hormone, or possibly emotional growth hormone rather than physical

  31. Sheesh that’s a lot of carbs. But yummy.

    I’m glad you’re on the path to answers.

  32. perpstu says:

    I think it’s possible I have an excess of HGH in my body too. Only mine is sideways and pushing out…stupid hormones.

    I’m glad they found *something* wrong with you, I just hope they can figure out what it is soon!

  33. “This isn’t a camera, it’s a phone! DUH.” lmao

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