Thursday, December 31, 2015

Radioactive

The hair loss started back in June. I'd wash my hair and clumps of curly strands would be entwined in my fingers. It was more than usual. 

Then the heart palpitations picked up. They were constant and kept me awake at night. 

Then the insomnia picked up. Even after popping an Ambien every night I'd still be up at one or two o'clock in the morning. And the exhaustion... there is a reason why sleep deprivation is a form of torture. I was always tired and had very little energy to do more than lay in the bed. 

Tremors. 

Walking up stairs... by the time I made it to the top of the staircase in my house I'd be out of breath. 

And I lost weight... and I'm talking a LOT of weight. Between my hysterectomy recovery and my thyroid issues, I'd lost about 15 lbs. It was cute... I looked sick. Totally lost my booty.

And sweating... I was always hot and sweaty. Any time Ryan says he's fine and I'm burning up, I know it can only be one thing...

After about 8 months of feeling pretty good, my thyroid decided to act up again. I wasn't surprised - the months leading up to my thyroid problems were full of stress. The Broadcast ended and my granny died within a week. It was devastating. And stressful. And I'm certain the stress triggered my issues.

My endocrinologist ordered an uptake scan a couple of months ago to confirm my thyroid was working overtime again. I'd put it off but figured I'd get it down since I'd met my out-of-pocket expenses on my insurance. Uptake scans are interesting. You swallow a pill full of radioactive iodine. The thyroid is the only gland in your body that sucks in iodine so if a bunch of it ends up in your thyroid, it's overactive. The normal uptake range is 5-20%. Mine? 95.7%. My thyroid lit up like a Christmas tree on the scan. My Grave's disease was confirmed. It's an autoimmune disease that causes the thyroid to overwork. And I have it and it's screwing up my life.

The technician was really nice, but she starts going into her spiel she gives everyone in this situation. "You have two options. You can take another radioactive iodine pill with a stronger dose that will basically kill your thyroid. But you'll have to take medication for the rest of your life. I can give you that pill today... It started sounding a bit like Charlie Brown's teacher to me. Womp, womp, womp, womp, womp. "Your other option is just a band-aid. You'll take medication and you'll gain weight and your thyroid probably won't ever get better." Womp, womp, womp, womp, womp.

I stated that I was going to wait to talk to my doctor before making any choices. The options given to me today seem like last resorts. I have another plan... and I'm hoping and praying it works. I'll write more about it tomorrow because it's going to be a difficult journey but well worth it if it works. So check back tomorrow for deets!

2 comments:

Tisha Dandridge said...

Looking forward to reading the deets tomorrow. I have an appointment with the endocrinologist next week to see how my thyroid is doing. I will be praying that there is a way to get this under control for the both of us. Sleep deprivation is a true torture. Blessings.....

Babylon said...

Thank you for updating your story! You deserve big hugs for your courage to share your treatment experiences.
I've read few articles about experimental minimum invasion treatment that can selectively block thyroid blood vessels reducing blood flow to thyroid gland and therefore causing its tissue to diminish. I will try to find these articles again to see if the study results are available.
Have you noticed any additional swelling of your thyroid after ingesting iodine?