It started with muscle aches, hand tremors, and what seemed like hot flashes. I went from physician to physician getting one misdiagnosis after another. I was told that having palpitations, extreme fatigue, feeling like I was having a 24 hour panic attack, feeling like I had sand in my eyes, and having hands so shaky I couldn't even hold a lip gloss could all be attributed to aging (I'm barely 30 btw) and weight gain. I knew that was bogus; but, when you are sick, traipsing from one checkup to another gets real old, real fast. I put off continuing the wild goose chase for a few months. I slept from the moment I got home (4pm) and still got up tired every day. When I got to the point that I couldn't climb the stairs at our house without stopping for breaks, several breaks, so that I could attempt to breathe, my husband started hounding me to see another doctor. I'm glad I have the resources and the flexibility at work to hunt for a correct diagnosis when I continually run into space cadets. When I finally found my current physician, he determined my diagnosis almost immediately and was a little surprised that no one had figured it out prior to me getting this ill. After a series of tests his initial hunch has been confirmed, I have Graves Disease.
|Symptoms include bulging eyes and goiter development.|
The more I research Graves Disease the more impossible it becomes to remember my first symptom. It feels like I've been seeking treatment, for what I thought were unrelated symptoms, for years. When my hair started falling out years ago, I was told that Polycystic Ovary Syndrome was the culprit. When I had hand tremors as a teen, it was attributed to stress and low blood sugar. Now that I have the correct diagnosis everything I experienced makes sense. Hormonal fluctuations linked to poor thyroid function can even cause hair loss. Luckily that was a one time thing for me. It fell out, I cut what was left and it grew back normally. It's amazing to me how many seemingly unrelated things were the direct result of having a "renegade thyroid" as my kid brother calls it. Now that I'm being treated, things are really looking up. Energetically I feel exactly like I did when I was 20, even though I'm still carrying extra weight. Fatigue, difficulty breathing, and a perpetually racing heart have a way of botching your workout routine. Now that I have the energy to move, I know it will fall off in no time. The major lesson I learned in all this is that I have to be an active participant in my health care. What that looks like for me is saving my lab work and seeking out second and third opinions when my intuition calls for it.
I'm focusing my energy on doing what I can to support my health. This means practicing radical self-care, meditating, trying to stay present, eating a diet that supports me, and focusing on filling my head with beautiful thoughts. I'm looking into alternative therapies, but sticking to the plan my physician devised which begins with 9 months of treatment with anti-thyroid medication. If the problem seems to correct itself, I'm all set. Sometimes a little under a year of treatment is all it takes, in other cases the thyroid needs to be annihilated chemically or surgically. I'm hoping that I don't have to make any decisions about removing any of my internal parts this early in life, but I just have to wait and see. I managed to work full-time and complete a degree with this fatigue. I can't wait to see what projects I'll be able to knockout now.
Labels: Graves Disease, hyperactive thyroid, Thyroid disease, underactive thyroid