Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thyroid Thursday- My Story

SO I have been racking my brain about a new blog I could have. My 
 desire is to be able to post something new every day of the
week. What do I know about that I could pass on to you, my reader?
Hmmm? Well I was diagnosed with thyroid disease about 15 years ago.
I don't pretend to be an expert but I do have some knowledge and I know
there are things that I can still learn and pass on. Thus came to be 
Thyroid Thursday!!

For my first post I think I will tell my story. I was reading some symptoms I
could tell you about today and I realize now that my thyroid disease probably 
started about 2 years before I was diagnosed if not longer. My mom had made 
me this gorgeous graduation dress and it fit perfectly and then the next week Not. 
Obviously I did not gain a boatload of weight in a week, but water retention is 
one of the symptoms and I really think this was one of the early signs. Fatigue is a sign
 that I have always had a problem with. I was in college and just could not get up in 
the morning. I was sleeping 10-12 hours a night and my husband, who was my fiance 
at that time, could not figure out why I was so tired. I said it was because of all that
 I was doing. He said he was doing the same amount and he was normal. I also
 remember one day I woke up and had the worst muscle pain in my legs that I had 
ever had. I did not remember doing any exercise in the previous days. Then as quickly
 as it came on, it left. The next day I was fine.

I was 19 years old and with a up and coming wedding I went for my first
real physical. I was actually about to leave and the nurse practitioner
looked and me and said, "I think I see a shadow on your neck." She felt my
neck and decided that yes my thyroid was enlarged and that we would
do some blood work. Sure enough I had a low thyroid- Hypothyroidism. It was 
a difficult time for me. Instead of having weight gain I had actually had weight loss 
because I never ate. I went from never eating to feeling the need to eat all the time.
I went from me controlling the food to feeling like the food was controlling me.
It also hit me that I would have to take a pill everyday for the rest of my life. I
felt like I was too young to start down that path just yet. Now I think really
with all the stress of college and preparing a wedding and the remodel of an
apartment for us, when we added this it was like the last straw for me. 

The providers I saw from age 19 to age 23 were at the student health. When
I finally graduated and got a real job with real insurance, I started to see an
endocrinologist. Which is who I recommend right off the bat for everyone. 
He did an ultrasound on my thyroid right there is his office and this was the first
time I had ever had this done. From his ultrasound findings, he decided to run 
another series of testing that had never been run before. This testing showed that I
in fact had Autoimmune Thyroid Disease called Hashimoto disease. This is not 
just having a low thyroid. This is when our bodies physically attack our thyroid. At 
this time it was also discovered that I have a spot, which has not changed in the 
10 years since we found it. This spot is thought to be a cyst or just part of 
my thyroid. But because we did find it, I now have to have a yearly ultrasound to 
check it.

The last 14 years has been a ride I tell you. After having babies, my thyroid function
has changed dramatically. It is extremely difficult to stay on one dose of 
medication for very long. And weight loss and gain is often a mystery. But I
have learned some things along the way. So stay tuned. Next week I will talk about
signs and symptoms. If you have any ideas or questions for me to explore, let me know!

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Wow that's an amazing story! Thanks for sharing!