Much has gone on but I can’t find the words to tell it – I wrote a post yesterday about my health and even I was bored. Drugs meant to be helping making things worse but still needing what those drugs do to make me well. Meds for the head, the thyroid and insulin resistance don’t seem to really like each other. This last week I have been consumed with drug side-effects that leave me simultaneously jittery, on-edge and racing while so exhausted I fear I may fall down.
We’ve stopped one of the meds to see if it helps, but it’s the one that deals with my blood sugars and they need to be stable not just so I don’t develop diabetes but for mood stability. So I need to lose weight and lose at least 5kgs fast. Yeah, like I haven’t been trying to do that for forever. Starvation September is underway.
This week has been hellish. Oscar had a molar removed under a general on Tuesday and only today voluntarily opened his mouth to talk. Eating is still not on the cards and drinking water is still a battle. He’s been home all week. Just sitting on the lounge. Mute.
Can you imagine being in pain or just being traumatised and scared and not being able to tell someone, to explain exactly where the pain is, what sort of pain it is, when it’s worse, when it’s bearable?
I’m now worried he’s got a dry socket – there was moderate improvement today when he ate a weetbix with some stewed apple and told me it didn’t hurt – when tonight he had one spoonful of custard I’d made him and grimaced and asked to go to the hospital.
This morning we had his arranged-a-lifetime-ago endocrinologist appointment. Yeah. Awesome timing. It was fine – just a chat but – of course – the need for more bloodwork.
It seemed like the cruellest trick of all but I made the call. He hadn’t eaten or had anything to drink. We were at the hospital. With its own blood collectors. We were there. So bloods were done.
Of course after the diagnosis I am now on Google Doctor OVERLOAD.
Firstly, what can I tell you about finally having a name to how fucked I’ve felt. How fucked? This fucked:
No, not just tired, or really tired, but pure exhaustion you can not push through. The kind where even on a trip to the supermarket down the road you find your eyes drooping. The kind where sitting on the lounge ensures you will be asleep sitting up before you can even clock what you’re watching. Exhaustion which hits you from nowhere – you can quite easily have had a great night’s sleep. The only thing I can liken it to is first trimester pregnancy but even that is not a PATCH on this.
People’s names, clarity of thought, forgetting what you’re doing MIDWAY through doing it, WORDS. I will see letters that are IN the word I am thinking of but the word will be juuust out of reach, even with my brain on tippy toes it can’t.quite.get.there. Someone will ask you something and you see them talking but can’t hear what they’re saying. It’s like that Gary Larkin cartoon where you only clock in on key words – your name, chocolate, champagne, let me make dinner.
Head sweats like no other. I will be standing still, doing very little and then it will be upon me. This was what actually made me go to the GP as I was convinced I was going through premature menopause. Seriously, like rivers of sweat pouring off me. It made me utter ‘Oh Victor, you are very unattractive man,’ repeatedly:
(3:25 for the skit, phrase uttered right at the very end 5:12 mark. BUT see Michelle in the first skit? My doppelganger. Infact, Magda is my doppelganger, period.)
Not dizzy, just the whole room suddenly swirling around me like a poor imitation of The Matrix. I can be sitting, standing, lying down, it doesn’t matter.
The shakes and racing heart
Again, it doesn’t matter when or where, suddenly I’ll have the shakes and/or my heart will start racing like I’m running for my life.
This is the kicker because I think we all know the longstanding relationship I have with all things depression. Has my depression been because of thyroid dysfunction? (who knows) Has it exacerbated it? (absolutely)
Just not right. That’s all you need want to know.
SO much of this stuff I have felt on and off for years, YEARS. I always put it down to being unfit and being fat. In trawling through thyroid websites and information today I somehow chanced upon something talking about self-compassion. This:
• What are the consequences of being so hard on yourself? Does it make you more motivated and happy, or discouraged and depressed?
• How do you think you would feel if you could truly love and accept yourself exactly as you are? Does this possibility scare you, give you hope, or both?
and this (my bolding):
Most of us live in cultures that do not emphasize self-compassion, quite the opposite. We’re told that we’re being lazy and self-indulgent if we don’t harshly criticize ourselves. We’re told that no matter how hard we try, our best just isn’t good enough. It’s time for something different. We can all benefit by learning to be more self-compassionate, and now is the perfect time to start.
Yesterday I fixated on this one paragraph in the literature on Hashimoto’s Disease the endo had given me. It came under the heading What are the risks associated with Hashimoto’s disease?
Birth defects: babies born to women with untreated hypothyroidism have a higher risk of being stillborn, premature and spending extra time in the intensive care nursery. They may also have lower IQ later in life due to underdevelopment of the brain while in the womb.
You can see where that ended can’t you. I mean, the endo reckons this goiter has been there, growing for up to the last 10 years, what’s a handful more? And cue self flagellation of the grandest kind. I was a mean mother to Oscar yesterday. Yelling and short tempered and mean. I wasn’t liking myself very much for it, hating myself even so why not stick the boot in over something no-one will ever be able to answer?
Your thyroid is located in your neck and makes two kinds of thyroid hormones. Those hormones (T3 and T4) regulate how the body uses and stores energy. They help the brain, heart, muscles and other organs work properly. They are kind of VERY IMPORTANT.
I must say, I think I’m grieving a little bit. How much has this impacted on my life, on who I am, without me knowing it, with me putting it down to being fat or not good enough?
I’m sad and angry and scared to be perfectly honest and I don’t really know where to go and what to do from here.
Oh sure, I’ll take my thyroid meds and see my endo again in six weeks and see what the thyroid is doing and what the blood sugars are doing and so on and so forth but then what? what else? and why?
I am acutely aware of the role and impact stress is having on my health and my life but am at an impasse as to what to do about it. Chef and I learnt today that the bank had rejected our business plan to open allconsuming:food. That is the first most of you have heard of it. I am disappointed but no where near as much as I am relieved. Oh it would have been successful with the Mighty Chef behind the burners and me as the floor wench and the vice around my very being would have eased as the bank balance grew but it was not the answer. There is a Plan B which I think is far more realistic and as such I am more excited about that as a plan but I am wandering aren’t I.
In fact, I’m not sure where this is going. That I’m going to be kinder to myself? To try not to stress so much? Or to try not to let the stress affect me as deeply? I don’t know. One day at a time I guess.
So yesterday I went to the endocrinologist. Here’s a career that would be tricky. You wouldn’t be able to walk down the street without looking at people going, ‘goiter, goiter, enlarged thyroid, over-active, under-active GOITER!’ It’d be EXHAUSTING.
First up, the guy is a legend. Apparently he is the God of Thyroid. As he said to me, ‘I write the textbooks,’ but without one grain of arrogance or inflated sense of self-importance. In fact there were a few occasions he muttered, ‘I must be getting old’. Funny brainiac.
But he did come out with some pearlers that I’ve been reeling off ever since.
Him: See that, right around your middle?
Me: Every single day
Him: The Americans call that “belly fat”
Me: Straight shooters those Americans.
Him: You’re a fat storer not a fat burner
I think I’m going to get that put on a business card. FAT STORER.
Basically my thyroid is totally kaput. It is officially a goiter at about three times the size it should be.
Him: Didn’t you notice your neck getting thicker
Me: Yeah, I just thought it was because I was fat
Him: I think you’re being a bit hard on yourself
Me: People say that to me a lot.
It’s going to take more than a year for it to go down/away.
I have what is called Hashimoto’s Disease.
Note to self: HASHimoto NOT QUASImodo.
I’m also ‘insulin resistent’. Don’t worry my “HOLY FUCK DIABETES” alarm bells were clanging nice and loud.
But at least I now know what’s going on and to not give up on the whole exercising, not drinking, eating well caper.