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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Feeling less than well... is it my norm?

I think we are almost done with this round of sickness in our family. The King Fish is better thanks to Tamiflu. They have sent his test away to see if it was swine flu. A friend of the family just got results back that his was swine flu, so I anticipate that dh's will be too.

Small Fry is better and the big guys never did catch anything.... so that is a blessing!

I am on the mend with my cold from h-e double toothpicks. I also had a physical last week and was anxious to get back some blood work.

I don't think I have shared on this blog, or to many IRL friends either.... but I have a bum thyroid. Basically almost 7 years ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. (An underactive thyroid.) I was having symptoms for almost a year, but wrote many of them off as life circumstances. I had hair falling out, and thought it was stress from a recent move. I was exhausted and chalked that too up to stress from our move and taking care of two toddlers. I was freezing all the time. (I mean wear two pair of warm socks to bed freezing.) Again, I wrote it off because we were in no air conditioning for 2 years and moved back to air conditioning. I thought my body needed to get used to it again. Depressed.... because of leaving good friends we had met for two years. Foggy thinking..... lack of sleep with the toddlers and poor diet. The list goes on and on.....

I finally saw something online that clued me in, that perhaps it was more than just circumstantial. A week or so later, I finally met with my family physician and asked that he please check my thyroid. The results came back as wayyyy out of range. Normal range for thyroid levels is 0.35 to 5.50 (depending on your lab). My TSH level (thyroid stimulating hormone) came back at 18. Way above the optimal range. I was put on synthroid and began the slow process of getting my thyroid regulated. It took about a year, but my doctor back then and I decided that I operate best around 1.0 on the range.

Fast forward to now. I've been on the same level of medication for several years. So it was time to re-check the thyroid. (Really I should check it on a yearly basis, but with our adoption and 3 trips to Russia, it slipped by). I do try to monitor my symptoms to see if I am experiencing anything that would lead me to believe I might need to adjust my meds. But once again I am amazed at how very good I am at explaining away a symptom. (I really think we busy women are great at doing this.) The stress began for our trip to Russia, and then the adjustment that goes along with adding a new member to the family. I again chalked it up to having a toddler around again, and being an "older mom", therefore not having the energy like I used to. (Nor the patience some days). I've also been too tired to exercise and that just compounds any feelings I have about the amount of weight I have to lose. I had just a small inkling that maybe my meds were out of wack, but nothing really jumped out at me.

Imagine my surprise when the doctor mailed me my lab results (as requested) and my TSH was now a 24.!!! Are you kidding me???? My first thought after feeling stunned, was how could I have missed this?? Am I so out of tune with my body? Has feeling less than well become the normal in my life? I think it has.....

So, my medication has been upped significantly and hopefully it will be a quick process to get into a normal range again. (As in a few months). I really really hope that I can feel good again. I'm not sure what that feels like anymore. I thought I had days where I felt good, but apparently my good can be better.... A LOT Better!

Thyroid disease is a chronic disease of the autoimmune system. And while it is definitely manageable, this is my reminder to stay on top of it. If anyone lurking would like to find out more about hypothyroidism, Mary Shoman has a great website HERE and has also written a wonderful book called, Living Well With Hypothyroidism. She also has a list of symptoms for over and underactive thyroid here.

Jackie

4 comments:

Kristine said...

I am so sorry you are going through this and I hope that you can get this all regulated quickly. It is the pits when the Mom doesn't feel good in a busy household...the house truly falls apart and with your husband sick as well...oh my goodness.

Will be praying for you and I know that this post will help someone else out there with the same symptoms....

Kristine

Old DAN AND Little ANN said...

I am so sorry that you guys have been experiencing so many health challenges. I'm glad you got news about your thyroid and can adjust your meds to start feeling normal again. My sister has hyperthyroidism also but avoided the synthyroid and did a natural treatment instead. She is pleased with the results. I'm just glad you both found something to help your bodies correct themselves. :)

Kelley Z said...

Hey - Your post was a wakeup call. The last time I got mine checked was when I was 7 months pregnant. Have not done it since - maybe that is my issue lately too! Like you I keep finding my own explinations for how I feel - mainly based around all the new changes with Ty! Glad you got it checked. Mine was diagnosed at 23 so I can only imaging how tired you were feeling!!!! Love you and miss you!

Troy and Rachel said...

My mom suffers from the same thing and she has to get her medicine dosage adjusted every so often as well. I'm glad you finally got that done and I hope you're feeling better.

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