Monday, November 30, 2015

The Gridiron Goddess is Struggling

I haven't written in a while because there just hasn't been much to write about. Thanksgiving happened, decorating happened, and now it's time to get ready for Christmas. But first, let me lay down and take a quick nap before I can move on to my next task... because I'm tired.

Shortly after testing hyperthyroid again a few weeks ago, I got sick. Like, really sick. Like, so sick I didn't get out of bed for a couple of days sick. Like, so sick I missed events and had no appetite to eat so I survived off of Canada Dry Ginger Ale for a few days. Shoot... I was just sick. I'm ALWAYS sick. It's clear my immune system is shot.

Yesterday I had a little scare, albeit a familiar one. I was typing a response to an Instagram post and I couldn't get the words out. I knew what I wanted to say, but couldn't formulate the thought. Scary, right? The same thing happened in 2014 when I ended up in the emergency room. I thought I was having a stroke. Thankfully, it was a bad migraine and it made me do the same thing I did yesterday with the forgotten words. 

Sure enough, as I'm getting dressed in case I had to call 911 to come rescue me just in case (and yes, I brushed my teeth), my head started throbbing in the exact manner it does when a migraine is coming on. Disappointed there were no firemen to rescue me yesterday, but the good news is I took my medicine and things got better. And I've called my neurologist to schedule another MRI or CT Scan in a couple of weeks for my peace of mind.

What this all means is that I have issues... health issues that are causing me pain, stress, and a whole bunch of other things. One minute I feel great. The next, not so much. It's strange. I'm waiting for one of the doctors I'm seeing to put the pieces to this puzzle together and fix me.... because I'm getting a little desperate.

So here they are... my symptoms:
Heart palpitations (they are pretty constant)
Rapid heartbeat
Muscle weakness (I couldn't run around the block if I wanted to right now)
Hand tremors
Weight loss
Blurred visions
Hair loss
Skin dryness
I've developed a goiter on my neck - ew.
These are just the ones the hyperthyroidism is causing me.

There are other symptoms I'm dealing with: headache, blurred vision, gut issues (I've been constipated and definitely not constipated); inability to say what my mind wants me to say, pain in my belly area that feels like bad gas occasionally. It's just all bad. And I'm dealing with all or some of the symptoms on any given day and it's making life hard. 

So what do I do? I do something about it. I'll be seeing an awesome doctor in a couple of weeks who I am certain can fix me. It won't be easy... I'll be cutting foods out of my diet that I've loved for years. But I know I will feel better. I'll document how my treatment goes with her with the hope that it might help someone else. So stay tuned on this mission to get me better. I can't even begin to tell you how much I want to feel normal again.

And please share if you have issues with thyroid dysfunction, autoimmune issues, etc. and how you've treated them. I'd appreciate it!


Chas Mulloy said...

Sorry you've been sick. Have you been tested for Hasimoto's?

Dawn Neufeld said...

I did get tested. I was told Hashimoto's but it seems more like Grave's. My next round of testing should be pretty definitive.

Anonymous said...

Dawn, this is not meant as a long comment to bog down your post, but something I very much want to share with you. I was diagnosed at 36 with Graves, had exactly the same symptoms. As the specialist explained….every cell in your body is being instructed to GO FAST, it's like doing aerobics 24/7….exhausting, depleting every cell in your body and yes, it VERY much affects every cell in your brain as well. I KNEW I was "me" but it seemed "I" was in a fog, separated from myself and the world I was moving through. Eventually I went several days at a time not showering, wearing the same sweats, not looking in the mirror because I didn't have the energy or the emotional strength to deal with whatever I would see there, not intentionally avoiding it, I simply had no motivation and didn't care. Hair fell out, eyes began to to bulge, hands shook, skin grew "dull", I couldn't get up from squatting down to pick something up off the floor, in time I was afraid to leave my youngest with anyone else, I avoided going too far from the house, a trip to the market felt like a huge effort I had to work up to, my memory suffered, especially short term and sometimes I struggled to process complex concepts…..I grew frightened…I wondered if this is what losing one's mind is like. I was exhausted, unmotivated, sad, felt defeated and would sit at night when the family had gone to bed, stare out a window and wonder when I would be myself again.

When I went in for the results of the "big" test, the radiation uptake, I worried that if it wasn't Graves, was it possible I would just withering away. The results showed unquestionably that it was Graves, mid level and strong enough that the doctor confirmed it would cause a severe loss of quality of life (YUP!) and a miserable ending without serious treatment. It was truly one of the happiest days of my life, a diagnosis with treatment was better than the fatigue and blurr I was moving further and further into. I had radiation a week later, it's just one dose, very simple, just a big ol' pill of radioactive iodine (probably an over simplified description)...much less than radiation for cancer, but a 3 day home quarantine away from children. I didn't feel a thing.…and 12 months later my endocrinologist declared my thyroid function 100% normal.

Graves disease steals your life more than other thyroid illnesses, because it's not just physical, or energy, or mental sharpness, it's every cell impacting your body, your brain and who you are. The endocrinologist that treated me, said that when he was in residency for his specialty, his class would go to a psychiatric hospital where patients were "institutionalized" with a broad range of diagnosis. Each student/physician would pick out a patient that they believed had symptoms of Graves, then worked with thyroid treatments. Dawn, these were people who had been "given up on" by their families and doctors and left for permanent care….many actually left the hospital a month or two after treatment as "normal" people… simply by correcting their Graves Disease!!!

Lots of stuff unloaded here….but I know this journey very painfully well. It's been almost 20 years for me and I've roared back and been as active as ever (do you recall you and I considered a trip regarding the retired players California Workmans Comp?) Please private message me on FB if you'd like to talk….one Graves woman to another. I'm not "anonymous", just don't have one of the "identities" below. Jane Arnett

Lakeisha Fusi said...

I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year, after my doctor found a goiter on my neck. I don't know if they did a biopsy on your goiter, but if not, ask for one. It might just be that your thyroid needs to be removed or ablated and then you can go on thyroid hormone replacement meds. I have a friend who is struggling with the same issues that you have, but the doctors keep trying to fix her thyroid. I think sometimes it's too broken to fix. (((HUGS)))!!!