I think the thyroid is kind of amazing, in that it is basically responsible for everything that occurs in your body—you know, directly, indirectly, whatevs. What sucks though is that mine does not work properly—and when things are off, things get pretty screwed up for me.
I remember vividly, the beginning of my quest. The year 1999, I started feeling weird. Gained like, 60lbs in a very short time frame. I felt crappy, tired and like I was constantly losing my mind. I saw my primary doctor all the time who chalked the way I was feeling to changes in my eating habits, since I had moved out of my parents home, working 3 jobs and going to school, and general stress. For 2 years I saw him probably on a monthly basis. For 2 years, I had no answers.
I was uneducated, you know. And young. I believed my doctor. Finally, after months of feeling a weird sort of pressure in my neck, and having been told I had ear infections, swollen glands, sinus issues and so on, my doctor agreed to test my thyroid. He did it begrudgingly, as if to shut me up, and ordered a gamut of blood work along with an ultrasound of my neck.
I waited for a week before I finally got a call from some tech at the doctor’s office who simply said “You have a goiter. We can see you in about 6 weeks if you want to talk further about it.”
A goiter sounds mortifying, doesn’t it? I remember learning in elementary science about them; how they were common somewhere due to lack of iodine. The photos of women with bulbous necks. I was terrified, to say the least.
Finally, I did some research. Relied on a friend’s mom in the medical field to find a good endocrinologist, and there began a journey of testing different levels of Synthroid and monthly blood work.
This was 2002. I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder, Hashimoto’s Disease. I lost about 45lbs very quickly. I was managing this condition and I felt good.
I had heard of risks to pregnancy with this condition, and thankfully, never experienced any of them. I had heard that TSH levels can spike after delivery, but for the most part, mine remained constant. Then again, with both Bud and Lucy I had an amazing endocrinologist who monitored my levels monthly, and increased my dose every couple of months to keep me level and then gradually decreased it after birth. Sadly, this endocrinologist moved and the one I have now, is usually too busy to even listen to me. My dose wasn’t changed at all during my pregnancy, and though my blood work continued to show my TSH levels at an even 4, I was starting to feel weird.
You know, with all the stress of a new baby, and going back to work, and managing childcare, I hadn’t really paid attention to the last time I had blood work done. I haven’t really paid any attention to myself since Liv was born. I’ve noticed some weight gain, and mood swings, and being a little bit scatterbrained, but chalked it up to all of the above. A few weeks ago I noticed that I was losing a lot of hair. Hub has had to ask me several times to do things that normally would be non-issues. He has even asked me about checking my levels, because he knows the signs. I have been borderline out of control; feeling hazy and exhausted most of the time.
I finally had my blood drawn on Tuesday, and the results were in yesterday. My TSH levels were up to 14. I guess the high range of normal is 5, but they should really be between 0 and 3? I don’t really know. But I guess it’s no wonder I have been feeling wonky. They increased my dose a bit, and we’ll see what we see, I suppose. It takes about 3 weeks to make any sort of difference, but I’m hoping to be back on the right path to feeling normal and well. To losing some of this baby weight.
I still need to find a new endocrinologist, but that will have to wait for another day.