Monday, March 11, 2013

Rant

 
This post contains a lengthy rant of my thyroid troubles. If you don't want to read it I won't be offended. I just need to get it out of my system.

I didn't want to get up this morning. Good thing I have responsibilities (i.e. children) to force me to be human. They were really good this morning too, which is a blessing.

My thyroid is out of whack again. I don't talk about it much because I don't want people to feel sorry for me. Or for people to think I want them to feel sorry for me. Believe me, I've seen lots of sideways glances and eye-rolling. Really the only reason I usually bring it up is so that people can understand that there is a reason- I'm not just lazy and stupid.

See when my thyroid is out of whack I get what is known as 'brain fog'. I loose words in the middle of a sentence. And it's not amazingly smart sounding intellectual words. It's words like "Street", "House", "Book". You know, words any normal adult would know. But they just leave my brain. Blank. Completely black. It leaves me feeling like a complete idiot and I worry that people may think I am.

Also, I get really tired- in an instant. Seriously. I can be going along one minute having a normal day. Feeling normal. Acting normal. And then all of a sudden I hit a wall and I am done. I yawn uncontrollably (have you seen my ginormous tonsils!?) and don't even have the energy to move. Unfortunately this usually happens between 3-6pm. I feel so bad for my husband and kids to have to deal with it but if I could help it I would. That's the point! I have no control.

Since my thyroid cancer diagnosis 3 years ago I have gained 40 pounds. This has been a struggle too because if it comes up and I tell people they say "Oh, well you don't look it." Guess what, yes I do. And I feel it. That's the worst part. I want to exercise but it come at a price. First, trying to convince myself mentally is one battle. Then I have to decide what my day look like and if I can squeeze in a workout. But it's not just that. I can make time in the morning but I'll pay for it in the afternoon. You know, that 3-6pm time frame? If I exercise I can pretty much guarantee it will be closer to 3. The other downfall is it is SO HARD to loose the weight. It doesn't matter how many calories I cut out or how long I exercise- my body won't get rid of anything.

They say thyroid imbalance can cause depression. Well I already have anxiety (it can cause that too) which is in the same family. I take meds for it which can cause depression too. Compound that with feeling stupid and not having energy plus endless winters and yes, I would say thyroid imbalance can cause depression. So is it the chicken or the egg? Not sure in my case.

I went to my Endocrinologist last week. That's a Dr. that specializes in the endocrine system. Your thyroid is butterfly shaped (hence the picture above) and is your endocrine system. Well, it regulates it anyway. When you don't have a thyroid there's no regulation. Endo's like to say that "synthetic" thyroid does just as good but it really doesn't. If that were the case I wouldn't be ranting right now. Based on the amount I take I should feel like a 15 year old (energy wise anyway). But instead I feel like an 80 year old.

The synthetic thyroid meds I take can be affected by calcium and iron intake. For that reason I have to take it 4 hours before I eat. But I also have horrible calcium imbalance (your thyroid affects that too). I used to have really strong teeth- now they're falling apart. Last year I ended up with stress fractures in both ankles- from standing. I'm sure a bone scan would show my bones look like those of birds- hollow.

So I've been feeling crappy this past couple weeks and my thyroid (or lack of one) is the reason. I realize that things in my life could be much worse and I am grateful that they aren't. But that doesn't mean that life doesn't suck. And that doesn't mean that my trial isn't still a trial.

I'm going to go lay on the couch and watch the Kardashian's with my new minkie quilt. I'll come back when I have something nice to say.  :o)

41 comments:

jlk said...

My mom also suffers from a disease which leaves her looking perfectly normal and capable on the outside, but feeling horrible on the inside. Good for you for keeping it real. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. I think you're awesome. Go take that nap and know you have a ton of supporters.

Flaun of I Plead Quilty! said...

I have problems with words when I'm getting a migraine, or have a migraine, or am coming down from a migraine, and I usually have a headache, if not a full-blown migraine. I also get dizzy spells that nearly incapacitate me, but the doctors tell me all my test results are "normal." I guess that was a long way of saying I totally understand. Be gentle with yourself.

Barbie Mills said...

Trials do totally suck. Even if we learn something from it, it doesn't make it any easier when you're in the depths of it. I hope that you can feel the balance you need again soon.

I don't know you very well yet, but I think you're pretty awesome too.

Suzanne said...

Emily, you can rant all you want. I'll read it! But the important thing is now that you have it off your chest and have seen a few episodes of the Kardashians or whatever helps you to be better, everyone knows that you will be right back at life doing the things you do everyday. You never have come across as depressed or unhappy, and I certainly dont think you are stupid, and I saw you in the past few weeks so you cover it well! All of us are behind you, we know youre a trooper! Just take your time, everything will still be there when you do feel better :-)

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I look normal on the outside but have a auto-immune disease that affects my muscles - medication to keep it under control has caused osteoporosis, also I have fibroymyalgia
Few people know I have medical problems and always say - oh you look great you can do === whatever it is they are talking about -- no I can't
Been there done that - I do feel for you and sometimes we need to do a little rant -

Sandie @ crazy'boutquilts said...

((hugs)) that wasn't ranting, it is your life. Thank you for sharing.

Paula said...

Somedays we just need to rant, punch a pillow and cry out loud. Go a head. Just remember,we are all here with a shoulder whenever it is needed. That's what friends are for.
)))HUGS(((

LynneP said...

So sorry to hear about your trials/tribulations! I hope that your dr. will soon get you balanced out and that you begin to feel better SOON. I enjoy reading your blog!!

doodlebugmom said...

I am so sorry you are going through this. Thank you for educating me, I never knew many of these things. A friend of my daughter had her thyroid removed last spring. Now I have a little insight.

davislm2000 said...

Synthetic thyroid medication is nothing like having a functioning thyroid. I drive 2 hours to a doctor who prescribes natural thyroid hormone (it comes from a pig), and it is so worth it! Check out www.stopthethyroidmadness.com for starters. Eye opening!

Mareenchen said...

I'm not in your shoes but I've experiecned some of your troubles. My health spiralled down over a couple of years because of an undiagnosed hypothroidism as well as a vitamin B deficiency. I was constantly ill, tired, unmotivated, questioning myself. And yep, both can mess with your head in more than one way. My migraines worsened and occurred on a weekly basis. I can relate to having trouble with words so so much - I still have that during migraines or on bad days. Sometimes I'm entirely convinced to have used the right word and everybody else must have merely misunderstood.. Luckily not as acute any more. Despite having seen me change slowly from my usual me to a drained version of myself, some people don't really "get" that it was not me but my body. Not everybody is understanding.

But enough about me, what I actually wanted to say is that you're more than welcome to "rant". We need to let things out to actually cope all the better afterwards. Swallowing and keeping it down at all times isn't healthy and messes with our minds, too.

Take care.

Michele said...

Thinking of you and hoping you're feeling more yourself real soon. Sounds like you're taking good care of yourself.

Ann said...

Emily, I hear you long and loud and clear. It took more years than I want to think about to get my thyroid under control. I gained a lot more weight than you did. I had brain fog. And I was so tired that it was an effort to function in the afternoon. And depression, well that was always there. This is my first year to feel normal.

My thyroid medication has been the same for the past 5 years. 175 mcg and I take it an hour or so before breakfast. I take calcium and vitamins also; even before I was diagnosed. Still was tired and it was getting worse. Non functioning from noon onwards. Disagnosed with sleep apnea. Got the CPAP machine and felt much better. Still tired though for part of Dec, all of January and Feb. and part of March. Found out my SADs is worse than we thought and I have a lamp to use from mid October to mid March.

I got outside more last summer and lost 25 pounds and gained half of it back due to SADs and now that I have it all under control, I have 4 of those gained pounds left to loose. I am exercising too.

I think you need to see the doctor to see if you have sleep apnea and SADs. You might be surprised. I am still on synthetic synthroid and will remain on it as it is working for me.

Good luck in finding out what other problems you may have that is affecting your thyroid.

yorkie mom said...

Emily, I too have thyroid imbalance . Not the cancer you had, though. I do have MS. Some of your symptoms sound like how I feel, especially the fatigue and yawning. Where there is one autoimmune, there is often two.

A.J. Dub. (Amy) said...

Thank you for posting this. It sounds so familiar! My sister was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and I am thinking after reading your post I might need to get my levels checked.
I hope your situation improves and you can find some sunshine today.
Hugs!

LuLu said...

Hi Emily,
I also have a Thyroid problem that I've been working on for the last few years. I gained quite a bit of weight without changing a thing about the way I ate. I felt like a walking zombie all day. At about 3:00 the idea of a coma sounded delightful!

About a year ago I was talking with the Supplements Specialist at Sprouts and he told me that what I needed was more meat, butter and salt. That was music to my ears! I had eaten Alkaline, Raw Food, Vegetarian. All the while, I continued to gain more weight, my teeth were falling apart, and I felt even more tired! I bought a book called Practical Paleo (it has a thyroid protocol in it) and began dropping pounds dramatically! This happened even though my thyroid was still sluggish. I have been able to maintain a good healthy weight and have energy that sustains me all day regardless of the fact that my Thyroid still hasn't turned around all the way. But I really believe that through this style of eating it will continue to improve as it has.

There is a girl with a Paleo background who has been through a lot of the same things as you. She has a book called Well Fed and a blog where she chronicles all of her Thyroid issues and experiments. You really should check it out. It's been very helpful to me.
http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/tag/thyroid/

Anyway, sorry to give you unsolicited advice but I know just how frustrated you are. I am definitely familiar with all of these struggles. I hope you get feeling better soon!

Lu

Myra said...

I hear ya. I have Hashimoto's and I get to feel the way you're talking about a lot. I hate the disconnect between the brain and the mouth. It happens way too often. So, anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I feel for you. I know what it's like and you have every right to chill and snuggle with your minky quilt. Maybe if we would do things like that more often, we would feel better. :) I hope you feel better soon.

Books_Bound said...

Hang in there! It is amazing how one seemingly small thing can create such dramatic repercussions in our bodies. Amazing, and amazingly inconvenient. Be thankful for a supportive family, and enjoy those krazy Kardashians (do you totally hate Scott? I do!!!) :)

linda f said...

Emily,

Thank you for sharing your feelings. I am in a similar boat too and now feel not so alone. I enjoy your blog, books, fabric and IG. Talented lady!!!!

Take care and hugs,

Linda

Shelley said...

Emily, you just described what every day of my life is like. so, I totally GET IT!! Having a thyroid that doesn't work properly isn't any fun. the meds don't work like they should and never have despite many many retests which state I'm in the "normal level". I say, who determines normal because I obviously don't feel like people with normal working thyroids. I've been taking thyroid meds for 22 years and every day of 22 years has felt just like you described. Not even my family understands. The weight, the 3-6 slump, the lay down, the guilt...what do we do when all the tests say we should be jumping walls and running marathons??! there are days i feel like I can't live one more day like this or should I say EXIST one more day because you can't really call it living.

Barb said...

Check into Xyngular products. People have had amazing results.

MuleHill said...

Vent away! It does us all some good.

People with a variety of conditions can relate. My brain fog and fatigue come from a neurological condition. My grandmother had the same symptoms after thyroid cancer. She used crafts, kids, pets and some alone time for coping. The minkie time was probably the right thing to do.

Take care of yourself.

Cat Palmer said...

Many thanks for your rant. Writing your words out loud reassures me that I am not the only one with that list of symptoms. All I know is meditation helps with some things. I hope things look up for you soon. Take care.

Dawn said...

I'm so very sorry you are going through this. It is hell....I know. Mine went wacky in 1996 and thankfully it was diagnosed quickly because I thought I was loosing my mind. Had never been sooo tired in my life. Hair fell out in chunks and my skin was like lizard skin, my memory was gone, my words like you describe would leave me. Everything was fine after the meds kicked in, but this past Dec I was feeling the same again. Well, actually long before Dec but by Dec I could not continue down the road getting up at 9:30 in the morning and going back to bed at 3:30 in the afternoon. Or I would go buy groceries and when I got home if I was lucky enough to have the energy to put the refrigerated items away it was a good day and the rest would have to wait until the next morning. On top of my Thyroid being messed up my Vit B 12 and D levels were nil. So new Thyroid meds and a Vit B 12 and D regimen and I think I'm getting back to normal. I can actually clean house and still have enough energy to sew in the evenings. None of that was happening for the past year. As I look back now I should have known much, much sooner that something really bad was happening because I was truly ill. It's good for you to put it out into the universe. When you do that it validates your illness. Putting in on paper is good for you. Keep doing it. Please feel better.

Yvonne said...

I have learned to know you as a positive spirit but I can totally understand that sometimes it feels like nothing is going the way you would like because of your health problems. And nobody can tell from the outside how you are feeling inside. I hope it helped you to write it down and you will be feeling better soon. Big hug from Alex and me and take care!

cambric cotton, pins and needles said...

So, so know how you are feeling, I have had thyroid problems for sixteen years, I was treated with radiation for thyroid cancer and now rely on medication. Ihave always stuggled with tiredness about 3pm in the afternoon, as well as not wanting to get out of bed most mornings. My weight was a problem until six years ago, when I joined a gym and changed my diet, I was getting fit and losing weight and feeling great. And then it all became too much weight loss and feeling exhausted again, not wanting to eat or go out the door. After repeated visits to the doctor who just increased my thyroid medication I collapsed and was admitted to I.C.U at the hospital in a bad way. After a couple of days and many tests I was told that I had Addisons desease, another autoimmune desease, more medication and so as well as thyroid I now have Addisons. I am leading an almost normal life, I just have to double up on medication if I find myself in a stressful situation, eg., the dentist etc. Look after yourself and listen to your body, best wishes wendy

LynCC said...

Ugh, Emily - what a pain to deal with! Thyroid problems are the worst - they zap your life but leave you just well enough for it to seem like you should be just fine. I can really relate to the exercise frustrations. It took me three years to work up to being able to get in 30 minutes every day without collapsing into deep sleep because of it. And the word issues - my family gets a real kick out of me sometimes when I'm tired. It's truly mortifying, though, to be speaking with other people and not be able to pull up the word "table". . . Hang in there! You're not alone {{{}}}

karen608 said...

My last test was 5.1 but doctor says oh wait and we will test again months from now. Mine thyroid sometimes works sometimes not as far as I can tell from symptoms. So I can relate to the rant! Do some ranting for me, as my doctor and husband do not understand nor ever will.

Caroline Heinrichs said...

I can relate! My thing is canal stenosis, its done damage to my back and right leg. I get extreme pain shooting down my right leg and sometimes this leg fails. I'll be walking along normally and BAM, I'm on the fall and most times so far I catch myself. I don't have a cancer diagnosis like yourself, but we all deserve time to 'chill' enjoy!! Quilt and chat when you feel better. I'll still following your crazy old ladies any day!

Jeanenne Nielsen said...

My January and February sucked. In January, I was sick with bronchitis and the bad air in Cache Valley didn't help any, so I was pretty much housebound. Then just about the time I started to get better I found out I had two torn muscles in my hip. It was very painful, and I could hardly do anything. So I spent the month of February in therapy. My only saving grace is I don't have little kids. My kids are all married and gone. I know what you mean about the weight. The meds won' t let it come off very easy either. Keep up the good work and don't let other people get you down.

Jana said...

Hugs to you.

Sarah said...

Gosh that sounds awful Emily. My thoughts are with you. Did you have your thyroid removed when it had cancer? Have the thyroid problems only arisen since then? My Mum has thyroid issues too, but shes much older than you, so maybe it's something I will develop as I age. I do understand the anxiety depression chicken or egg cycle. Been there, doing that. One day at a a time babe.

Esther said...

Cuddle up under a minky quilt? best thing ever to do when feeling blah! I hope you are already feelling better today!
ipatchandquilt dot wordpress dot com

annettesquilts said...

Have you had your cortisol levels checked? Excess cortisol is notorious for causing osteoporosis. I had a disease called Cushing's disease and it messes up ALL of your hormones.

Ali Hughes said...

Hi Emily! Look at all the people you have inspired into sharing! I think this is really awesome, people willing to be open with their struggles and non judgemental with each other. I have a friend struggling with hypothyroidism, and I will add you to my prayer list along with her! You make beautiful things and ate a blessing to so many!

amy smart said...

Good for you for sharing. I know what you mean about not wanting to be a whiner, (I always worry about the same thing) but it didn't come across that way. I think it's good for people to read about "real life stuff" sometimes. Makes us all feel like we're not the only ones.

Hang in there. Also, I love the new quilt that needs a name but since I'm pathetic at naming things, I can't help.

Also I went to the "secret" fabric store last week. Holy moly! Great place to find some collections from days of yore! Thanks for the tip. ;)

Cathleen Savage said...

Emily, When we met in February, I mentioned that I, too, was a cancer survivor and that THAT was one reason I wanted to go to the retreat. I have so much respect for others who have gone through this kind of trial. My anti-cancer and depression meds each have the lovely side effect of "weight gain" but it really is not an option to stop taking them.

I know you will get through it and just know that you have many friends who love you just the way you are! :)

All8 said...

Thank you! I thought that I was the only one that lost words in the middle of a conversation. My thyroid went out 11-12 years ago and then I became anemic, which pretty much meant that if I sat down, I slept. I eased myself into a bit of depression too. Being a Type 1 diabetic didn't help much either. Dark times.

I hope that your lay in with your minkie quilt helped. One day at a time and if that's too much, take it moment to moment. Some how it either works out or passes by.

Marilyn said...

Hi Emily-I've been stalking your blog for awhile and by all means, rant away! So often when we look at other people's lives through their blogs, we only are allowed to see the perfect things, so thanks for keepin' it real! I often have brain fog and menopause is my only excuse! Love reading and seeing what you do-it's very inspiring!

Chantie said...

Hi Emily, I just found your blog and read this entry and had to say "thanks!" My thyroid issues aren't due to cancer, but boy I sure get a lot of what you talked about. Sometimes you just need a safe place to lay it all out--and people who understand. Best wishes in your struggles--you're in my thoughts.

Ella said...

Thanks for sharing miss Em!! I feel your pain, a lot of what you said it felt like I was talking I feel the very same things and as for the fog crap maybe that's whats wrong with me , I'm in a constant fog! And exercise please..... when the hec would I do that and were the hell would I get the energy to do it!!! hand in there girlfriend and lets do lunch again sometime I miss you!!!