I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism yesterday or why I’m really not that crazy after all

And I’ve never felt more panicked in my life. All the other medical diagnoses I’ve had over the years never made me feel more vulnerable than this one and perhaps it’s because I didn’t even see it coming or suspect it or request that I be tested for it.

I went into the doctor for my regular yearly pap smear back in late October and also requested that my iron and B12 levels be checked. He suggested a full blood work up and checked about 20 things.

My brain is so full of questions as I try to discern what caused this…
Is it the soy I ate?
Is it the wine I drank?
Is it the walnuts I ate?
Do I even have ADHD and could it have been hypothyroidism all along?
Is it the constant stress?
Is it all the PCB’s in everything?
Is it age?
Is it the amalgam fillings in my teeth?
Is it the fluoride in the water?
Is it hereditary or genetic?
Is it the Pepsi?

Or is it that women are like honey bees and we are sensitive to all these things and no one cause can ever be pinpointed as it is the bio-accumulative effect of all things.

I went and had the blood taken near the end of October and never made an appointment to get the results back as the doc doesn’t call if anything shows up. Well, the phone rings and they say to come in for an appointment. I assumed it was that my B12 or iron was low, but it wasn’t. All the other blood test results were excellent, even my cholesterol was extremely low with the good cholesterol being super high which is what you want.

The doc tells me he suspects Hypothyroidism as my TSH level was at 6.94 during the appointment in early November. I stare at him and say nothing. What is a thyroid and where the hell is it in my body and what the heck does it do and why is it hypo?

He fills out the yellow form to get more blood tests, and hands it to me, which I put off for another six weeks until last week when Mom phones saying she needs me to travel to the hospital with her in case she feels faint and unable to drive after some getting tests that she needed done. I say OK and figured I’d get my blood tests taken at the same time. The nurse asks me… Are you on blood thinners as she drains blood from my arm? I say no. I’ve always had very low blood pressure and thin blood. I once had a coagulation test when my chron’s was active and didn’t stop bleeding for 11.5 minutes which is at the very high end of acceptable but still OK.

Four days later the phone rings and it’s the doctor’s office saying I need to come into the office ASAP. Luckily there was a cancellation and I got into the office yesterday morning. My Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels had more than doubled to 17.23 since my last blood tests causing my thyroid to be even more Hypo which means that it is underactive.

At parents and crying at 5:00PM in their kitchen.

I feel depressed and frustrated right now and have read way too much about Hypothyroidism online and must ween my self off immediately as it’s making me sad that my doc didn’t do all the thyroid blood tests I asked about and refuses to even think about treating me desiccated thyroid which is the natural alternative.

And maybe that’s why I drew butterflies in grade one. I knew.

Anyhow, I’ve been prescribed 50mcg of Synthroid, to replace the hormone my body doesn’t seem to want to produce, per day and began taking it this morning. About an hour after taking it my ears began ringing like a chainsaw and my shoulders relaxed but my chest and arms hurt and I’m not looking forward to shoveling snow tomorrow and I feel like going back to bed again and again and again but the heart palpitations and buzzing keep me awake even though I’m exhausted. I’ve cancelled or put on hold all custom work and the showing of rental rooms for the next week until my body adjusts.

The doctor is sending me for an ECG to check my *heart and have more blood tests done in six weeks time to see how I’m reacting to the drug. I haven’t been with it lately (a very very very long time) and normal stresses that everyone else seems to be able to cope with I am not able to. I guess I’m not that crazy after all and there really was something wrong even though I was trying desperately to ignore it and struggle through with everyday life for years.

If I could just stop crying, laughing, being angry or whatever other emotion seems to jolt into being lately and feel more level headed and able to focus then I guess I’m the road to recovery?

*I experienced a black-out, grey-out or fainting while sitting at my desk midday eating lunch here in the studio. I thought the house was sinking to the left and then my computer screen began to tunnel away into a black hole. Little did I know that it was me falling to the left and luckily I came to and grabbed the desk with my hands and snapped to. My balance was off for most of 2010.

I am happily packaging orders though and travelling to the Post Office a few days a week to keep working as I need some income to survive. So, all 2011 fine art wall, desk and digital calendars are reduced by 25% until my stock runs out in my Etsy Shop and on HandmadeCloud.

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21 thoughts on “I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism yesterday or why I’m really not that crazy after all

  1. If the diagnosis is the right one, you should feel a lot better after the drugs level off. I hope it goes well.

    My mother went through some thyroid problems in 2007, ending with finding a benign tumor -not hypothyroidism – and having half of her thyroid removed; before that she was exhausted all the time and off balance, etc. Had a couple of falls in the years before that when she was not old enough to really fall like that. The thyroid controls a ton of systems in the body. She is perfectly fine now, thankfully.

  2. In my house right now, my husband is experiencing digestive issues – and he can’t stay off the internet – self diagnosing, and freaking himself out. For a person with anxiety, this kind of research is like torture.

    A medical diagnosis can be scary, and is best taken in small steps – in my experience.

    Oh yes – and doctors who don’t take your feelings and thoughts in to account – SUCK – once again, in my experience.

  3. First off, welcome to the hypothyroidism club. I was diagnosed about 6 months after I had my daughter, right around the same time I was diagnosed with post-partum depression. Fun times.

    Second, stop reading anything online related to hypothyroidism, except this – http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hypothyroidism/DS00353. It came highly recommended by two of the specialists I see.

    My hypothyroidism is ‘under control’… or at least it is until Friday when I go see my doctor and find out the results of the second radioactive isotope scan I had last year. With luck, it’ll show that the three goiters in my neck haven’t grown and that I won’t have to go for a biopsy. If I do, I’ll probably fall completely apart – my mother’s mother died of thyroid cancer in 1963. She was gone less than 6 months after being diagnosed…but that was the 60′s. Times have changed.

    Keep your spirits up. Talk to professionals in the field. Make an appointment with a nutritionist *and* a dietitian. I have more bad days than good, and most of those around me know that is how it’s going to be for a while. This may seem ultra-cliché and trite, but the road of life is full of potholes and obstacles; it’s all about how you chose to move past them that counts.

    Oh! And don’t forget to take your meds! Very, very important – I passed out at my in-laws when I forgot to take them for 2 days last fall. Made quite the impression on them :)

  4. I have hypothyroidism and the worst part of it in my experience is having blood taken to check my TSH levels. Sending good vibes that your experience is the same. :)

  5. I have nothing but praise for the brave way you are dealing with this shock. You writing is so full of optimism and filled with humor and makes me sure you will come through this soon. Your reactions seem perfectly normal to me, tears, confusion, questions, up and down like a yo yo. You have such a sparkling personality. Your artwork sparkles. Your clever writing about your stressfull experience makes me smile. And no one needs a reason to draw butterflies. I do it all the time!

  6. Jessica… thank you for writing this blog. My mother had an overactive thyroid & my grandmother an underactive one. I have long suspected that I have a thyroid problem as well but… my fear has prevented me from seeking out an answer. A good friend lent me the book ‘thyroidism for dummies’ and swore it was the best book on it out there (but I felt like reading it would be admitting something).
    Maybe this is the reminder I need to get myself checked.

  7. It’s going to be OK.

    I know two hypo’s, one a lady friend, and one is my husband. He was diagnosed in his early 20′s and has been on daily thyroid meds since then. Apart from the annoyance of remembering to fill his prescription every couple of months, and getting his levels checked every two years, he’s reasonably functional. I say reasonably. His lacking in functionality in the kitchen and house generally has nothing to do with his thyroid!

  8. Sorry to hear this Jessica, but you’re a extraordinarily strong woman and I’m sure you’ll be able to overcome this. Sending good thoughts your way from Ohio.

  9. Sorry to hear that Jessica! You’ll be in my prayers! I guess to echo the people above, you should try to focus on more positive (i.e. people getting over hypothyroidism) than all the negatives about it. Or even better contact those people and see how they fought and won against it. :-)

    Be blessed!

  10. good luck.. definitely difficult. oddly i know a couple other women who were diagnosed with thyroid issues recently.. as you say.. i wonder why!

    i hope you find someone(medical professional, other person in the same predicament, books, net) to answer some questions and give you some solid ground to stand on, maybe some options for how to take care of yourself.

    it seems to me there is a hopeful side, that if you were feeling “off” for quite a while this may get you back some of your previous self? i hope your experience with the hormone settles down as your body gets used to it.

  11. Jessica,
    I just read this and had to type you a note. Things will get better! I went through very similar symptoms for years & I thought I was going crazy. Finally in 2007 my doctor did a blood test and bingo hypothyroidism. I was started on 50mcg of Synthroid , it took some time for me to adjust and get to feeling better. I had no idea how thyroid problems could throw your whole body outta wack. Good Luck to you and I hope you get to feeling better soon!

    Best Regards,
    Karen

  12. “I haven’t been with it lately (a very very very long time) and normal stresses that everyone else seems to be able to cope with I am not able to.”

    I can honestly say that you’ve fooled me once again! I’ve always admired your calm professionalism during situations where I would’ve likely freaked out, but now I most admire your semblance of calm instead.

    That’s why I don’t ask for blood tests or visit doctors very often… but I can understand in your case, nearly fainting onto the floor isn’t something to be brushed aside.

    Most importantly, as Stacy mentioned, stop reading all those horrific articles on the internet. I’ve developed a bit of my mom’s hypochondriacal personality in recent times, and can testify that “too much info” is a very baaaad thing.

    Be informed, keep communication open with your doctor(s) … easier said than done! Which is why I detest going. But don’t assume the worst will happen.
    Sometimes a positive attitude is all that is needed to shift the balance in your favor… because sour people make their own poison.

    Keep sharing! ((hugs))

  13. This was a wonderful read. My first time here. Yesterday my doctor told me my TSH level was 12.7. Today I got another blood test done to confirm that the problem is with the thyroid itself. I havent told anyone and I dont plan to. Ive been crying since yesterday in my room. I am 23 years old and this the first time I have been diagnosed with something. I am horrified and feel like my future plans have come crashing down. Nonetheless I am happy to stumble upon your post because now I know there is someone else coping with it and how it is like. Ive had chronic stress my whole life. As you wrote that you dont seem to handle stress better than other. I wonder if its making hypothyroidism worse by stressing out so much.

    I hope our conditions improve for the best and we can live our normal lives like we planned to. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It really made me feel better.

    God bless :)

  14. Thank you for every other magnificent article. The place else
    may just anybody get that type of info in such a perfect way of writing?
    I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the look for such info.

  15. It has been a year since you have written this amazing essay. I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at seven months, My mother and sister also are affected although their diagnosis were later in life. We all struggle to maintain our levels and I know that is a challenge for many with this disorder. Thank you for sharing your story. Nope, not crazy!
    I can’t wait to read more of your blog and see how your journey has been.

  16. Thanks for writing this.I’ve been trying to get pregnant for five years and now I find out I have a problem with my thyroid. I’m waiting until my appointment next week to see what medication they put me on.unfortunately looks like we are going to have to put a halt in our baby making plans since getting pregnant before my levels are stable could cause miscarriage or birth defects.since finding out I have been an emotional wreck.

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