I’ve not felt like myself for quite a while now.
I think it’s pretty evident in every area of my life, including the way that I write.
I’ve been tired—oh, so very tired. My brain is fuzzy. I’ve been forgetful. I’ve felt incredibly irritable and have not felt much joy. Nor have I felt much Horny. In fact, I am pretty sure that My Horny died.
Also? My hair is falling out, I’m cold all of the time, my legs ache at night. My periods are irregular and very heavy.
Oh and, I’ve gained a hell of a lot of weight in a very short period of time.
So much weight that my “fat clothes” from three years ago are too tight.
I’ve tried to lose it, but it won’t come off. It keeps piling on.
I’ve wanted to ask my doctor to have my thyroid tested again, but you know that joke about The Fat Person trying to blame their weight on a “thyroid problem”?
Well, last week I had had enough. I was sick of my hair falling out. Sick of feeling tired. Sick of KNOWING something is wrong with my body but being too ashamed to demand answers!
I marched into my doctor’s office, just like I did a few months ago, with a list of symptoms and a bag full of PROOF! That something is going terribly wrong in my body.
Oh yes I did.
I wasn’t surprised when I stepped on the scale and the numbers two one and six appeared on the scale. I hated seeing it, but it didn’t surprise me at all.
Once the doctor walked in, we began talking about why I was there.
“I want to have my thyroid tested again.” I said.
“Why? What’s going on now?”
“Well, my weight. Look at me. I’m tired all of the time. I can’t think straight. My periods are messed up. MY HAIR IS FALLING OUT.”
I pulled the baggie full of hair from my purse.
“I lost this today while taking a shower. And that doesn’t count what went down the drain and what fell out onto the floor as I was drying it. And this is JUST TODAY!”
He looked at the bag all “WTF?” like, because, really, who does that?
Apparently, I do.
He started drilling me about my diet and exercise habits.
“How many calories do you eat a day?”
“Um, don’t know…”
“How often do you work out?”
“Um, I haven’t been lately, but I’m so tired, I just can’t do it…”
And that is when I lost it. I started to cry. Whilst holding a baggie containing my hair in it.
“I’m not trying to blame the fact that I’m fat on my thyroid. I’m just not. That’s why I haven’t come to see you. Because I feel like that’s what people think. I’m here because I don’t feel well. Because I feel like there’s something wrong here and I can’t take it anymore. I need answers.”
I finally had HAD IT. No one takes me seriously when I say that I think something is desperately wrong with my body. No one takes me seriously when I tell them that I’ve not changed my eating habits enough to warrant this much of a weight gain. No one takes me seriously when I say that I’m so tired for no reason at all that I sometimes am afraid to drive because I feel drowsy. No one takes me seriously when I say “I know that something isn’t right and I think that it’s my thyroid..”
Now, here I was sitting in front of the one person that I thought would believe me and take my concerns seriously and what does he say?
“I’m going to go ahead and order some thyroid tests and a kidney function test, but my suspicion is that the tests will all come back normal and when they do, I’ll have you come back at the first of the year and we’ll talk about a good eating plan and get you on a weight loss pill.”
So, in other words “there’s nothing wrong with you, I’m sure of it. You’re just eating too much and not exercising enough and once the tests come back, we’ll just get yer fat ass on a weight loss pill and that should do the trick.”
I was humiliated (baggie of hair! Tears! Fat! Nothing wrong! It’s all in your fat head!).
As I was walking out the door I asked my doctor how he would inform me of the test results.
“I’ll send you a letter. Or, you know, you could always register online and get your results there! And you can bother me at night by sending me emails!”
Oh snaps! An “email your doctor” feature online?
Jesus really DOES love me.
I went home, signed up for online access and began obsessively checking my test results.
About a week later my test results were available online.
I opened the first one which was a TSH (thyroid simulated hormone).
Reading was marked as “high”. The “normal range” as they had listed was .4-4.0. Mine was 5.75. I had no idea what that meant, but what I did know was that when they ran the same test on me in July it was 2.4. So, something obviously was happening.
Dear Google. What does a “high” TSH mean?
Dear Y: A high TSH result often means your thyroid is screwed and if you don’t take care of it soon, you could go into a coma or have heart failure and DIE DIE DIE!
(At least that’s how I read it.)
I’m not going to lie. There was a part of me that was so happy to see that test result just so that I could email my doctor and be all “IN YOUR FACE!” But honestly, I was hoping that I was wrong because OMG! Medication for the rest of my life! Fatness forever! BALDNESS!”
I immediately emailed my doctor.
(this is the actual email.)
I told you that I would get access to this thing just to bother you at night! I kid!
I’m actually writing about the results to my thyroid test. I see that my TSH is high. (And has doubled since the last time it was tested.) What does that mean? Also, my rdw blood test was high.
If you could explain these results, I’d appreciate it.
Oh great- you figured out the e mail. Actually you couldn’t even wait to get a letter from me telling you that your thyroid might be burning out, and you might need thyroid medication after all, and it also might be a reason why you are having so much fun trying to loose weight (what a run on sentence I just wrote)
Anyways, what my letter says is that the TSH needs to be repeated in 4 weeks and if it is still high, then its time for thyroid medication. The repeat TSH has already been ordered for you, and we will talk after we get the next results.
My first reaction?
Ha! He said “oh great.”
My second reaction?
“What the hell? I have to wait another 4 weeks?! I’ll be bald by then! And possibly in a coma!”
While I was waiting for his response, I logged back in to check my other test results. I found a test that was performed in June. It was a THYROPEROXIDASE ANTIBODY test. The results were flagged as “high.”
So, I wrote him back.
I think this “email your doctor thing” may be the greatest invention in the history of the world! Ha.
As long as you promise me that I’m not going to die while I’m waiting for 4 weeks, then I’m ok with that. (I’ve been using google, Dr.M!)
Also, I noticed an old test from June that I hadn’t read until now. The THYROPEROXIDASE ANTIBODY test. I have no idea what that is (but I will in a minute, after I google it!) but it is marked as “high.” Is that bad? I’m assuming it’s not, since no one contacted me, but I’m asking anyway.
Thanks again for always being so helpful. Even if you do make me cry sometimes. (Again. I KID!)
To which he responded with—
I don’t mind your kidding one bit. In fact I like it.. I can handle it !!
No you are not going to die. You’re still stuck with me. A thyroperoxidase test confirms that your body is starting to make antibodies against your thyroid, and thus your thyroid burns out. As your thyroid burns out, you will need thyroid medication. P.S. I already ordered a repeat thyroperoxidase test when you repeat your thyroid test.
I’m not happy about having to wait another 4 weeks to test again and I’m not happy about possibly having a dying thyroid, but I am happy that a test finally confirmed what I’ve known for over a year now.
I’m fat because I have a thyroid problem.
*cue laugh track*
…But seriously, folks.
I have known that something was wrong with my body. I have known that it’s not functioning property, weight issue aside. I have been crying to Tony at least once a week that “something’s wrong! I shouldn’t be this tired all of the time! Nor should I be this bald! Nor should I have a droopy eye!”
I’m hoping that I’m finally on the track to getting some answers and possibly some medications to get my body functioning properly once again.
(And by “functioning properly once again” I totally mean “get My Horny” back. I really miss My Horny.)