Last week I started a higher dose of my thyroid medication (because the dose I was on was ineffective.)
I’m feeling rather frustrated and confused that after a week of taking a higher dose, I feel worse.
I don’t know how that’s possible, but it’s true.
My husband asked me how I was feeling now that my meds were adjusted. I could hear the hope in his tone. “You doing better, baby?” He asked with a smile on his face.
“No.” I said, fighting back tears.
I should have lied. I should have said that I feel SO MUCH BETTER! Because, honestly, I don’t know how he tolerates me anymore.
I feel as though I owe everyone in my life an apology for being so damn annoying. I really do.
There is so much that I want to say, but it’s all so boring and redundant and annoying, so I’ll just say that I’m not doing well and I don’t know that I’ll ever be well again because that’s how it feels this very moment. It feels very Soap Opera Serious and I actually want to say things like “The Hash&trade has robbed me of my life. I WANT MY GOD BLEEPING LIFE BACK.”
It’s been 25 days since I began taking my daily thyroid medication and guess what? I still feel like ass.
And not a happy ass either. A sad, tired, balding, forgetful, dry, fat ass.
There have been a few positive things happen since I began taking my medication (.25mg of Levothro*d). Within 4 days I started my period, which had been missing since the beginning of November. I also initiated Sessual Relations. TWICE! That may not sound like a big deal, but considering that the last few times we’ve had Sex I actually asked “do you care if I just lay here?” (Answer: of COURSE NOT!) it was a pretty big deal to me.
But, for the most part, there’s not been a significant change since I started the meds.
I feel particularly bad today.
“How bad do you feel?”
I feel SO bad that I took G to day care, even though it was my day off and I slept from 8:30 to 10:30.
I did manage to drag my ass out of bed and head to Kohls to buy a new outfit.
Sadly, it’s another track suit, but! It’s not velour! And it’s not of the Daisy Fuentes variety! (About the striped shirt… It fit. I bought it. Howza’bout we never speak of it again. Ok?)
I also began the process of cleaning out my closet. I had been thinking about doing it for some time now (which is why I wrote the post and decided to share my humiliating “one outfit” secret with you.) I knew it was time, and the comments that were left on the post gave me the “push” that I needed to do it. That said, it hasn’t been easy packing things up. Why is it so damn hard for me to get rid of these clothes? I’ll tell you why. They remind me of a time in my life where I was healthy and happy. They remind me of concerts I went to with friends that I loved. They remind me of nights I would put on my Stetson hat and Justin Ropers and go Line Dancing (Don’t make me bust out The Watermelon Crawl.) They remind me of a time when I could buy clothes because they were cute and not because they made me look a little less obese.
There were a few pieces in particular that I’m having a hard time letting go of, but I’ve pulled out a storage box from the garage and they’re going to a local thrift shop this weekend.
This dress from Old Navy is probably the one that is the hardest for me to part with and probably because it’s a size 6. I can pull this dress out at any time and say “Look! I used to wear a size 6!” I’ve secretly dreamed of fitting in that dress again for EIGHT YEARS. Time to let go of the dream.
Same goes for these (short) shorts from Old Navy.
I’ve not worn shorts since somewhere around 1999 and yet I hold onto those shorts if only to hold them up and say “I can’t believe I used to fit in these.”
It’s time to move on.
That doesn’t mean I have to give up on losing weight. That doesn’t mean that I’ll never fit in a size that I feel comfortable in again. It just means it’s time to start living in the here and now. And the “here and now” is a size 20, not a size six. DID YOU HEAR THAT BRAIN?
I absolutely have to focus all of my energy and getting healthy and right now getting healthy starts with getting my thyroid medications just right so that my body is functioning properly.
I’m tired of feeling the way that I feel and I’m hoping that adding a few pieces to my one outfit wardrobe will perhaps add a little joy to my daily life because I’m tired of looking so damn…
(Taken last night, just before bed. I know.)
Yesterday I had a little bit of an emotional breakdown.
After months of telling anyone that would listen, including my doctor, that I thought there was something wrong with my thyroid and after months of being blown off and made to feel like I was “just being lazy” and maybe a little crazy, I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Let me give you a few examples of how my cries of “something is wrong!” were ignored.
“I feel tired all of the time.”
“You are getting older. And you ARE overweight. Those things can make you feel tired.”
“Oh, the weight! I can’t lose anymore weight. In fact, I keep gaining weight!”
“Well, how many calories are you eating a day? Are you working out for at least an hour a day? Mmm , hmmm.”
“But you don’t understand! I’m too tired to work out. I have no stamina. I try to work out, but I can’t. I feel horrible!”
“Excuses, excuses. Get thee on a treadmill. You’ll feel better.
“I feel like I’m dying sometimes at night. My heart starts racing and I feel like I can’t breathe.”
“You DO have a history of anxiety attacks. You’re probably having them in your sleep. Let me give you some anti anxiety meds!”
“My hair is falling out in clumps. It’s dry and OMG! It’s curly?!”
“I lose WAY MORE hair than that. Also, it’s totally normal for women to lose hair in cycles and I don’t see any bald patches so… you know… you’re fine.
“There’s a lump in my throat. I can feel it when I swollow.”
“It’s probably just reflux. Here’s a pamphlet to read. Quit eating greasy foods.”
“My periods are irregular and when I do have them, they’re extremely heavy. I soak through a pad an hour and bleed for DAYS.”
“Again, you’re getting older, that’s normal. It happens. Get over it.”
“I have trouble concentrating. I’m forgetful and in a mental fog.”
“You need to go to bed earlier!”
“I have no joy in my life. I don’t even get excited about riding the Tony Baloney Pony anymore. I think my Horny died!”
“Oh noes! You’re probably getting depressed again! Go see a psychiatrist or pray! Start going to church!
One can understand how I started to feel like I was crazy, right?
No matter how many of the symptoms that I had of “hypothyroidism”, I was still told that I was fine.
Yesterday, I got this email from my doctor.
This absolutely means you have a low thyroid, and the second test just means that its your body that is making antibodies against your thyroid,
So congratulations, its time to start you on thyroid medication
What? Congratulations… you’re not crazy after all? Congratulations… you were right and I was wrong? Congratulations… you get to take meds for the rest of your life?
I wanted to write back and tell him to shove his congratulations up his ass, but I refrained and asked instead to please tell me what my official diagnoses was, even though I already KNEW it was hashimoto’s based on all of the hours of research I’ve done since he patted me on the back and told me he was “SURE all of my tests would come back normal” and he’d go ahead and “put me on a weight loss pill though, but hey, you know what else works? Weight Watchers.. You should try it!”
(Seriously. He said that. Because, you know, having lost 70 pounds myself, I had no idea that weight watchers combined with diet and exercise helps you lose weight!)
He told me that yes, I had Hashimoto’s disease and that I’d need to start on meds right away and be re-tested in 30 days.
When I read that, I lost it. All of the frustration that I’ve felt, all of the anger for being ignored and not taken seriously was unleashed as I read my doctor’s email.
I cried so hard and when my husband walked through the door a few minutes later, I collapsed in his arms and wept.
(Oh! The Dramatics!)
“I told you. I told everyone and no one took me seriously. Everyone thought I was crazy or just looking for excuses for the weight gain. I told you I felt like shit, I told you that something was wrong and I was right.”
It was a very Soap Opera like moment, but after many months (years, even) of not feeling good, months of not being taken seriously, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. A Good Cry was in order.
In fairness to my doctor, he had ordered tests before when I had told him my symptoms, but when the tests came back “in the normal range” he refused to believe anything was wrong and the fact of the matter is that YOU CAN NOT GO BY THE TEST RESULTS ALONE. Symptoms are important and those were ignored and brushed aside as “other things.”
So here is what I say to other women out there who may be experiencing the same symptoms and NOT being taken seriously.
Demand that your thyroid be tested and if the results come back normal, ask to be retested in 30 days. And ask for specific tests ( listed here.). NO ONE KNOWS YOUR BODY BETTER THAN YOU. If you feel like something isn’t right, if you have the symptoms, demand that you be taken seriously. Educate yourself. Don’t be intimidated by any doctor because, GUESS WHAT? They’re wrong sometimes.
I realize this post is choppy and I apologize, but dudes, I am not lying when I say that I can’t think straight and have problems focusing, so I ask that you show a little mercy to the Thyroid Impaired.
I’ve not felt like myself for quite a while now.
I think it’s pretty evident in every area of my life, including the way that I write.
I’ve been tired—oh, so very tired. My brain is fuzzy. I’ve been forgetful. I’ve felt incredibly irritable and have not felt much joy. Nor have I felt much Horny. In fact, I am pretty sure that My Horny died.
Also? My hair is falling out, I’m cold all of the time, my legs ache at night. My periods are irregular and very heavy.
Oh and, I’ve gained a hell of a lot of weight in a very short period of time.
So much weight that my “fat clothes” from three years ago are too tight.
I’ve tried to lose it, but it won’t come off. It keeps piling on.
I’ve wanted to ask my doctor to have my thyroid tested again, but you know that joke about The Fat Person trying to blame their weight on a “thyroid problem”?
Well, last week I had had enough. I was sick of my hair falling out. Sick of feeling tired. Sick of KNOWING something is wrong with my body but being too ashamed to demand answers!
I marched into my doctor’s office, just like I did a few months ago, with a list of symptoms and a bag full of PROOF! That something is going terribly wrong in my body.
Oh yes I did.
I wasn’t surprised when I stepped on the scale and the numbers two one and six appeared on the scale. I hated seeing it, but it didn’t surprise me at all.
Once the doctor walked in, we began talking about why I was there.
“I want to have my thyroid tested again.” I said.
“Why? What’s going on now?”
“Well, my weight. Look at me. I’m tired all of the time. I can’t think straight. My periods are messed up. MY HAIR IS FALLING OUT.”
I pulled the baggie full of hair from my purse.
“I lost this today while taking a shower. And that doesn’t count what went down the drain and what fell out onto the floor as I was drying it. And this is JUST TODAY!”
He looked at the bag all “WTF?” like, because, really, who does that?
Apparently, I do.
He started drilling me about my diet and exercise habits.
“How many calories do you eat a day?”
“Um, don’t know…”
“How often do you work out?”
“Um, I haven’t been lately, but I’m so tired, I just can’t do it…”
And that is when I lost it. I started to cry. Whilst holding a baggie containing my hair in it.
“I’m not trying to blame the fact that I’m fat on my thyroid. I’m just not. That’s why I haven’t come to see you. Because I feel like that’s what people think. I’m here because I don’t feel well. Because I feel like there’s something wrong here and I can’t take it anymore. I need answers.”
I finally had HAD IT. No one takes me seriously when I say that I think something is desperately wrong with my body. No one takes me seriously when I tell them that I’ve not changed my eating habits enough to warrant this much of a weight gain. No one takes me seriously when I say that I’m so tired for no reason at all that I sometimes am afraid to drive because I feel drowsy. No one takes me seriously when I say “I know that something isn’t right and I think that it’s my thyroid..”
Now, here I was sitting in front of the one person that I thought would believe me and take my concerns seriously and what does he say?
“I’m going to go ahead and order some thyroid tests and a kidney function test, but my suspicion is that the tests will all come back normal and when they do, I’ll have you come back at the first of the year and we’ll talk about a good eating plan and get you on a weight loss pill.”
So, in other words “there’s nothing wrong with you, I’m sure of it. You’re just eating too much and not exercising enough and once the tests come back, we’ll just get yer fat ass on a weight loss pill and that should do the trick.”
I was humiliated (baggie of hair! Tears! Fat! Nothing wrong! It’s all in your fat head!).
As I was walking out the door I asked my doctor how he would inform me of the test results.
“I’ll send you a letter. Or, you know, you could always register online and get your results there! And you can bother me at night by sending me emails!”
Oh snaps! An “email your doctor” feature online?
Jesus really DOES love me.
I went home, signed up for online access and began obsessively checking my test results.
About a week later my test results were available online.
I opened the first one which was a TSH (thyroid simulated hormone).
Reading was marked as “high”. The “normal range” as they had listed was .4-4.0. Mine was 5.75. I had no idea what that meant, but what I did know was that when they ran the same test on me in July it was 2.4. So, something obviously was happening.
Dear Google. What does a “high” TSH mean?
Dear Y: A high TSH result often means your thyroid is screwed and if you don’t take care of it soon, you could go into a coma or have heart failure and DIE DIE DIE!
(At least that’s how I read it.)
I’m not going to lie. There was a part of me that was so happy to see that test result just so that I could email my doctor and be all “IN YOUR FACE!” But honestly, I was hoping that I was wrong because OMG! Medication for the rest of my life! Fatness forever! BALDNESS!”
I immediately emailed my doctor.
(this is the actual email.)
I told you that I would get access to this thing just to bother you at night! I kid!
I’m actually writing about the results to my thyroid test. I see that my TSH is high. (And has doubled since the last time it was tested.) What does that mean? Also, my rdw blood test was high.
If you could explain these results, I’d appreciate it.
Oh great- you figured out the e mail. Actually you couldn’t even wait to get a letter from me telling you that your thyroid might be burning out, and you might need thyroid medication after all, and it also might be a reason why you are having so much fun trying to loose weight (what a run on sentence I just wrote)
Anyways, what my letter says is that the TSH needs to be repeated in 4 weeks and if it is still high, then its time for thyroid medication. The repeat TSH has already been ordered for you, and we will talk after we get the next results.
My first reaction?
Ha! He said “oh great.”
My second reaction?
“What the hell? I have to wait another 4 weeks?! I’ll be bald by then! And possibly in a coma!”
While I was waiting for his response, I logged back in to check my other test results. I found a test that was performed in June. It was a THYROPEROXIDASE ANTIBODY test. The results were flagged as “high.”
So, I wrote him back.
I think this “email your doctor thing” may be the greatest invention in the history of the world! Ha.
As long as you promise me that I’m not going to die while I’m waiting for 4 weeks, then I’m ok with that. (I’ve been using google, Dr.M!)
Also, I noticed an old test from June that I hadn’t read until now. The THYROPEROXIDASE ANTIBODY test. I have no idea what that is (but I will in a minute, after I google it!) but it is marked as “high.” Is that bad? I’m assuming it’s not, since no one contacted me, but I’m asking anyway.
Thanks again for always being so helpful. Even if you do make me cry sometimes. (Again. I KID!)
To which he responded with—
I don’t mind your kidding one bit. In fact I like it.. I can handle it !!
No you are not going to die. You’re still stuck with me. A thyroperoxidase test confirms that your body is starting to make antibodies against your thyroid, and thus your thyroid burns out. As your thyroid burns out, you will need thyroid medication. P.S. I already ordered a repeat thyroperoxidase test when you repeat your thyroid test.
I’m not happy about having to wait another 4 weeks to test again and I’m not happy about possibly having a dying thyroid, but I am happy that a test finally confirmed what I’ve known for over a year now.
I’m fat because I have a thyroid problem.
*cue laugh track*
…But seriously, folks.
I have known that something was wrong with my body. I have known that it’s not functioning property, weight issue aside. I have been crying to Tony at least once a week that “something’s wrong! I shouldn’t be this tired all of the time! Nor should I be this bald! Nor should I have a droopy eye!”
I’m hoping that I’m finally on the track to getting some answers and possibly some medications to get my body functioning properly once again.
(And by “functioning properly once again” I totally mean “get My Horny” back. I really miss My Horny.)
A few weeks ago, I had blood tests done and also had x-rays taken of my lower back.
(Oh my God. I’m writing about blood tests. How lame! And boring!)
I hadn’t heard anything from my doctor, so I called last week and left several messages for him. He never did call me back, but on Saturday, there was an envelope in the mail from my doctor that contained the results of my blood work.