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Monday, June 28, 2010

The Thyroid Adventure Continues

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Oh my freakin' thyroid.

Personally I hope you don't mind that I used the word freakin' here. I know there are some people who think that you use one word in place of another so you really mean the other word. Anyone who knows me knows that whatever word I use is the word I mean. That is really not wholly important, but I thought I would just throw it out there. I could use more choice words, because let me tell you when it comes to the roller coaster ride I have been on with my thyroid there are many words that come to mind.

Last Monday I got to see Dr. Catz in Beverly Hills. I stayed at my brother and sister-in-law's home the night before so I wouldn't make the entire trip in one burst from Arizona.

Traffic was pretty much what I expected with the added bonus of some areas of the highway being extra crowded because of the Lakers parade in L.A. I didn't mind at all though, because I got to listen to a book on CD. Actually I listened to "I, Alex Cross," and it was magnificent!

Digressing.

Sorry about that. Did you know that one of the symptoms of thyroid trouble is concentration difficulties? I knew that. I didn't really know that it was a symptom. I just knew that I had difficulties concentrating in addition to scattered thoughts and moment of absolute brain fog. These issues in addition to many others lead me to look into whether or not I had thyroid troubles.

My family has a long history of hypo and hyperthyroidism. Because of this, whenever I had a doctors appointment my mom would say "have them check your thyroid levels." This is when I didn't even have a problem. I once thought my mom was a little overboard, but now that I actually am hypothyroid, I understand. She knew what it was like to have a thyroid disorder. She knew about the depression, weight gain, fatigue, dry skin, scattered mind, hair loss, funky slow heart rate, heavy periods and intolerance to cold. She knew what it was like to feel like your body has given up on you. She knew what it was like to feel like garbage all the time and have no one understand and no doctors listening. She didn't want me to go through that.

Wow! Digressing again.

Anyway, it is really hard living with a body that rebells against you. It is really hard looking in the mirror and trying your hardest not to hate yourself. Which is easy to do because one of the side effects of the little disorder you have is depression. I have to question myself literally and ask if I am really feeling the way I feel or is it my thyroid messing with my mind. Mind you I am not picturing my thyroid as some mad scientist pushing the buttons of my brain, but if your hormones are not regulated properly...oh the fun you will have! If you don't understand what I am saying, I couldn't be any happier for you. I hope that you never go through this. It is a struggle.

Sorry. Digressing again.

What I really wanted to talk about was that I finally got to see Dr. Catz, and he was able to read my blood work and my ultrasound results and decided that I am definitely not on enough thyroid medication. This was a no-brainer for me. The thrill was that it was a no-brainer for my doctor. My family doctor has been so worried about over medicating me that I never got better from my crash (thyroid crash) back in 2008. All I did was hover in a limbo of not getting any worse...that is until I did get worse.

Dr. Catz prescribed that I double my Armour thyroid dose, take Folic acid every morning and evening, take Calcitrate after breakfast and dinner, and also that I take Duozyme with meals. I am going back in three weeks (two now) and we will see if there is any improvement.

I have to say that it is amazing having a doctor listen to me and not tell me that the problems are in my head. It is such a blessing to have a doctor get it. I know that I have a battle ahead, because this is an illness that will be with me for a lifetime, but just knowing that finally someone HEARS me is so promising.

One of the issues that I have had because of my hypothryoidism is fatigue. This has kept me from blogging. That and a very vacant mind (also thanks to my hypothyroidism). I am truly hoping that my med changes will bring about the old me again. Here is a list of what has been plaguing me since mid 2008. I mention it in case you feel any of these symptoms. Also you may know someone who is hypothyroid. Maybe seeing that what they complain about is similar to what others complain about will help you understand it. I am always hoping that my husband will understand. So often I keep having to tell him that I am going through what I am going through because of my thyroid.

1 - Dry, brittle, thinning hair and hair just falling out.

2 - Dry, dry skin. Especially my heels and elbows. Specifically my left elbow which was so dry and raspy at one point I thought I had some weird little rug burn on it. This was my first oddball thyroid sign.

3 - Depression symptoms. Literally I would just bawl in private. I felt so miserable and I had no idea why which made me even more miserable.

4 - Weight gain. As if the depression wasn't making me sad enough the weight gain gave me even more to feel miserable about. And we are not talking about a little bit of weight here.

5 - Vision problems. I kept feeling my left eye drifting. No joke. I couldn't see straight. I went to an eye doctor who found nothing wrong and really only could prescribe me with reading glasses to stave off eye strain. Dr. Catz told me that this was not a surprise.

6 - Fatigue. I work from 7:45 am to 2 pm Tuesday through Friday. Before my thyroid really went bonkers, I would get out of work at 2 so I could pick up my son from school. I would use my waiting time to read books for book reviews. When my thyroid began to really fall flat on me, I was so fatigued, I would sleep in the car until my son would get out of school. Also I would fall asleep on my husband's lap at night when watching television.

7 - Thick tongue. Yes. I bite my tongue all the time now, and I have marks on my tongues sides from my teeth.

8 - Low blood pressure.

9 - Get cold when no one else is cold.

10 - Long and heavy periods. This one event always sticks with me. I literally changed a tampon in my hotel room in Vegas, took the elevator down to the main floor, and immediately I had to run to the bathroom to change again.

11 - Icky lil bumps on my arms. Kind of like blemishes.

12 - Numb brain. I feel often so scatter brained and unfocused. I feel like I have to work so much harder right now to keep a coherent thought.

13 - Dry and brittle nails. I always had beautiful nails that were long and strong. Until I became hypothyroid.

14 - This one is pretty, the skin on my calves looks dry and scaly so I have to lotion constantly and I literally baby oil after every shower. Can you imagine if I didn't?

15- Pain in my muscles.

16 - Difficulty with breathing after exercise. Seriously not typical for me.


While I am waiting for my next appointment, I am going to do some serious reading at Stop the Thyroid Madness, and see what kind of information I can glean. :) I am also going to try very hard to not hate my new self. I just hope my old self comes back soon. I miss her.

13 comments:

Debs Desk said...

OMG - Thanks for postint this. I am going to have my Dr. check my thyroid. I will keep this short but in the last 6 months this is what has happened. Dry skin to point elbows are bleeding, skin on legs so dry no amount of lotion helps. Depression am up to 40mg of Celexa, never had any depression problems. I went to the eye Dr. two weeks ago - I could not see out of my glasses, he changed the prescription. So fatigued I am getting off work at 3:00, not sure why I cant make it through the day. I have almost all the the symtoms you have listed. They have been running blood test and other test but I think the doctor thinks I am crazy.

kalea_kane said...

Deb, you should totally check out Stop the Thyroid Madness. There is so much information there that can help you at least decide if you need testing and what tests to ask for.

Pam said...

Poor you! I figured you were just to busy to blog. I'll be praying for you.

kalea_kane said...

Oh, Pam! Thank you so much. I really appreciate that so much!

barbara.montyj said...

I have low thyroid.
Synthroid keeps it well stabilized.
And my doc keeps me on the high/low (can't remember which) side to help prevent weight gain.
Wish you luck with finding your solutions.

kalea_kane said...

Thank you Barbara. It is nice to hear of the success stores! :)

I tried Synthroid when my family practitioner decided to treat me because of my clinical presentation and strong family history (every female on my mother's side has hypo or hyperthyroidism). My TSH levels were in the normal range, but he saw that clinically I was a mess, even the nurse practitioner was alarmed at my presentation. Unfortunately Synthroid did nothing for me. Apparently I have issues because my T4 will not convert to T3 so it is a must for me to have either natural thyroid which contains both T3 and T4. Sadly even when my family doc switched me to Armour thyroid which has both T3 and T4 he was far too conservative with my treatment so the effect was what I feel was similar to me treading water in the middle of the ocean with a 50 pound weight on my back. I wasn't drowning but things were not good. :) My mom does really well on Synthroid too. :) Thank you for the well wishes! :) I am really feeling positive.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. Your words are very encouraging. :)

gaelikaa said...

My late father-in-law had thyroid issues. He got some tests done before he died which confirmed it. By then it was already too late.

Kelly at least you're getting help now. Isn't it great? I'm praying for you too. Jesus is the Great Healer and He wants us all well. If you activate your faith and believe for your healing, you'll do well, believe me. Hugs xxxx



gaelikaasdiary.blogspot.com

kalea_kane said...

Oh thank you Gaelikaa. I cherish those prayers! :) I am sorry to read that your father-in-law passed away. It sadly does work out that way sometimes. My aunt was in the hospital when they finally got a positive test result on her, and she was near death. God decided to bless us with more time (which is a blessing because we need her wisdom). :)

Funny that you wrote. I was just thinking about you. :) I'll have to go head over to your blog and catch up!

HUGS

Amy said...

I cannot believe what you go through with this thyroid stuff. My mom's college friend had thyroid problems and she qwent through some he**. I hope you can get on medicine that really helps & brings back your old self. But whatever you do, do not hate yourself, you are awesome, lokk at this wonderful blog, it's your creation and that's just a little bit of who you are.

I understand a little bit what you are going through. I have a very rare bone and endocrine disease that comes with all kinds of symptoms and ailments including chronic pain & depression.

So hang in there!
~Amy

kalea_kane said...

Amy, thank you so much for your kind words. I guess it sounds like kind of a pity party, but really I was more trying to explain why I have been kind of in and out and I wanted to catch up on finally getting a doctor who is helping me. I don't want to hate myself, but sometimes that is just what my mind does now. I just get kind of disgusted. You are so kind. Thank you. I really appreciate your taking the time.

Thank you for sharing some of what you go through with your own endocrine disease. You have given me some inspiration.

Thanks so much again.

bermudaonion said...

I'm so sorry you're having to go through this nightmare. I hope the new medication regiment brings you some relief.

Liz said...

My husband was diagnosed with Graves Disease this year. His is Hyperthyroidism. He was having a lot of symptoms. As a matter of fact I thought he was going crazy. He was having rapid heart rate, panic attacks, weight loss, depression, etc. I finally convinced him back in December to see a doctor (for the first time, might I add). Both of us being healthcare workers, we always thought we could just diagnose ourselves. Well, to make a long story short, his new NP asked if he'd ever had his thyroid checked. Well his TSH was 0.01. She recommended a wonderful endocrinologist and he had radiation to "kill" his thyroid and is now doing really good. He's gaining weight, having less panic attacks, etc. He may have to start taking synthroid in a year or so but we'll see. Anyhoo.... I never understood just how important that little bugger is. Praying you feel better soon!

kalea_kane said...

Thank you so much for stoppinig by Liz. I had no idea how important this little bugger was either! :) You'd think I would have gotten the picture considering my mom mentioned it ALL the time, but considering my symptoms were always dismissed in a way that sounded reasonable, I just went with it. Afterall, what did I know? Not like I was a doctor. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers. :) Thanks for the encouragement and prayers. :)