Friday, March 9, 2012

How this all began...

I come from 4 generations of women on my maternal side that have had a thyroid disorder.  I don't know why I never thought to educate myself on thyroid disorders because my genes are a clear sign that a diagnosis of Hypo or Hyperthyroidism was highly likely.  I simply never thought it would happen to me.  I simply thought of their issues as being minor and a direct correlation to their poor diet or high stress, but that changed early last year.

At the beginning of 2011, my husband looked at me and asked if my throat was swollen.  I never noticed and dismissed it as nothing.  I went in to have my annual OB/GYN appointment and the doctor asked if I had my thyroid checked. I told her no, but I had this nagging feeling that something was about to change in my life. She ordered the blood work and everything came back normal. I felt awesome. I wasn't tired or jumping off the walls.  I couldn't possibly have a thyroid condition. I was working out 3 days out of the week and running over 4 miles a day three days out of the week, sometimes running twice a day. I had just started taking 4 online classes at the local community college. I was an active stay at-home mom.  I was competing in races.  I was super-mommy.  Hell, I even have a cape to prove it.  Are you noticing something?

Two months later, I go in to see my regular doctor because I felt really ill. Guess what she says to me, "Mrs. H., have you had your thyroid checked?". Instantly, I tell her that I had and everything came back normal.  She then tells me that she feels a lump on my thyroid and orders more blood work along with an ultrasound. That's when I started to worry.  The ultrasound showed I had a large nodule on my thyroid along with several small nodules. My doctor then ordered a biopsy because that would put her at ease that something strange wasn't going on. The biopsy came back indeterminate. What exactly does that mean?

Three months after the biopsy I go to see an endocrinologist and he tells me that my T3 and T4 are normal but another part of my blood work, thyroid antibodies are high.  The nodule, indeterminate biopsy results, and blood work give me the diagnosis of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. HUH!?! I couldn't believe it. How did I get an autoimmune disease within the span of such a short amount of time. He put me on 50 MCG of Levothyroxine to see if the nodule would shrink and I felt fine until about 3 months after seeing him. I was no longer running because of an injury, but I was always tired all of sudden. I also gained about 10 pounds in what seem like a night. I then broke out in hives. It seemed like my body was on a roller coaster and when I asked my regular doctor she said this is what happens when you have a thyroid condition, but we will work together to figure out how to get you back to you. On the other hand, my endocrinologist said my numbers were normal, so I obviously must have something else wrong and so the journey has begun to getting back to me.

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