Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Little History... well, not SO little... Part 5

The REAL Battle Begins...

Ok, so as of this far, it is noted that I started having thyroid problems beginning approximately with the birth of my last baby in 2000. I became aware of the actual "thyroid problem" in May 2006. Had it removed August 2006. I have since learned that I may have had thyroid problems prior to that, which caused my miscarriages.  :(

So I make my follow up visit(s as in PLURAL, as in MANY visits) with Dr. C (surgeon). Each time, I have my blood drawn. Each day I am choking down 2400mg of calcium via these humongous white chalky pills. (gotta love it!) Dr. C told me the surgery went well and soon enough I would be able to squeak out some sounds.  He took me into a room and put a camera down my throat and saw through a scope that my vocal cords are not damaged, but highly inflamed from the invasive surgery. That was good news!  He then told me that during the extended surgery he diagnosed me with Hashimotos Thyroiditis Diagnosis #1, which is an autoimmune disease (also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis), due to what he saw during surgery.  He said I had toxic multinodular goiters on each side of my thyroid as well.  Reading my medical records, my initial diagnosis was Thyrotoxicosis, Hyperthyroidism (which now looking back I don't understand that because I was as big as a house and Hyperthyroidism "usually" causes weight loss).  Anyway it is what it is.

Sure enough 2 weeks from that visit, I was able to whisper (and "squeak" as Dr. C called it) some audible sounds, noises. Within another week, I started to actually sound like I had laryngitis. (to follow up, I was able to speak in a calm low voice only by 8 weeks out, but yelling or talking loudly was NOT going to happen). 

I feel pretty good, and my thyroid levels maintain for about the first 2 weeks to a month. Then wham, they start plummeting.  Dr. C put me on Levothyroxine (Levoxyl) at that point. I was on that for about 6 weeks, when I went in yet again for further blood testing. The lab tech told me I would have to have my blood drawn every 6 weeks until they get my levels correct now that my body is void of a diseased thyroid. 

6 weeks out, I went back for another lab series, and they found with me feeling not so good, and the numbers not looking right, that Levoxyl was not working for me. So they switched me to Synthroid. I began at 125 mcg daily. 6 weeks out, they put me at 175 mcg, because the numbers needed to be leveled off again. On my last visit, Dr. C put me at 200mcg and said I can start seeing my local physician again (Dr. K) because he feels I am stable enough at this point for her to maintain, without me driving all the way to Nashville. YAY!!!

So... why is the weight still here? Dr. C told me I would be able to lose weight easier once we got the silly thyroid out, that wasn't even working. Why was my hair REALLY falling out now?  Diagnosis #2, Hypothyroidism.  This surgery now leaves me being medicine-dependent the rest of my life.

Ok, so I go back to Dr. K and tell her of the situation as she reads through my ever growing chart. by this point, I had been on 200mcg for about 8 weeks (she didn't have an earlier appointment at that time, and frankly, I was sick of being poked and prodded at this point). She told me after reading fresh labs done that day, that I really needed to go down to 175 mcg again because my numbers were on the high end of normal. So, here we go again. I stayed on 175, and my hair continued to clog the shower, and fill my brush, and my nails continued to peel... and I was NOT loosing weight.- what the heck!?

HOWEVER. One good thing did come of that, I completely lost my appetite. And I walked every single day. I ate what, a half a cup of cottage cheese, some fruit, maybe a small chicken breast (baked) and some celerey each day? No, I know that isn't good, but I wasn't going to eat, when I didn't feel like it! So I went with it. Well holy smokes, from April 1st to September 18, 2008, I had lost 60 lbs! I was EXCTATIC! By this point, I was fed up with going in to Dr. K, because she wasn't helping my skin and hair and nails issues, and the basic feeling bad all over (not as bad as before the surgery but again my goal was to just 'feel normal' and have some energy.) Oh trust me, losing 60 lbs in 5 months did give me some energy, but I was still tired, and not sleeping more than 2-3 hours a night.  Little did I know I would be diagnosed with chronic fatigue with insomnia.  Diagnosis #3.  Boy, aren't these just adding up!

to be continued (the plot thickens)...

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