Last week I had a friend of a friend call me because she heard I had some thyroid issues and she just found out she had some issues of her own. She was definitely at a state of heightened anxiety and had a thousand questions, as common as thyroid issues in women are, when they start throwing around words like cancer, surgery, prescriptions for the rest of your life, its scary and overwhelming. I wanted to share my experience so far, just to say once you figure out all the pieces it manageable and not as terrifying as it seems!
Think happy thoughts like puppies in silly cardboard cut outs … Thanks for letting me use your dog mom!
I moved up north a few months before my wedding and started the task of finding new doctors. I first went to a primary care physician in my area, and I absolutely loved her. We started with a physical and blood work since it has been a few years since I had done any of that. When my results came back we talked a little, she said I was vitamin D deficient (which basically everyone who has an office job is) and she was concerned about my tsh levels, they were at .2, so she sent me for an ultrasound. I went for the ultra sound and there was nodule over 2 cm on the right side of my thyroid. We talked again and about any symptoms I may be having. For lack of better words I have, been a sweaty beast since I was teenager (gross I know), but I’ve been dealing with it, thank goodness for clinical strength deodorant, but over the past year I’ve had some new things come that I thought were all stress related, getting married, starting a new job, moving to a new area, I had a few things to be stressed about, I assumed it wast that. My energy levels have been up and down, I’ve been waking up with really bad night sweats, been so hungry I could actually eat the door to the fridge to get to the food, crazy mood swings, anxiety, and no sleep, all things that could be stressed induced, in my mind. What concerned me was I was getting little flutters in my throat on my way to work, like a butterfly was hanging out in there, which makes me more nervous because I hate butterfly’s, another story for another day.
After talking to my Dr about all this she said that isn’t normal stress, that’s a problem, I think you have hyperthyroidism, but we need to do more tests. So I said ” that can’t be it, because that’s where people eat and eat and lose tons of weight, and that clearly isn’t happening”, her response was ” sometimes, rarely, people gain weight with hyperthyroidism,” me ” your kidding me, I’m drowning in my own sweat, and my hearts about to explode in my throat, and I don’t even get to lose weight!!!” she just laughed, I said well that doesn’t seem fair, at least let me lose a couple of pounds!! She just kept saying how funny I was and glad I took thinks with a sense of humor, I was not joking!!
Husband sent this to me, he said this is what I have turned into, thanks babe.
After all this I went for a fine needle biopsy, and let me tell you friends, it sucks! I don’t know if two and two go together, but I hate turtlenecks, chokers or anything of the sort, I feel as if someone is trying to strangle me, so now you are telling me you want to jab a giant needle in there while I am awake, sounds great. I had husband take off so he could come with me, but he couldn’t stay since it had to be a sterile environment. The nurse, doctor and tech that were in the room with me were as sweet as can be, but the experience was not fun. The biopsy results came back as a follicular neoplasm, which is basically just a big question mark, they can’t tell if its benign or malignant, so I was referred to an endocrinologist. After meeting with the endocrinologist I did what felt like a thousand more tests, blood tests, ultra sounds, iodine uptake scans, genetic tests, etc. Met a few more times with the endocrinologist, met with a surgeon and got a second opinion and finally came up with a plan. The last time I spoke to endo she said your case is “unique” (I told you how I feel about that word) you can’t tell if its malignant or benign , it’s a cold nodule, its producing extra thyroid hormone, and all signs point to graves disease, but you don’t have the graves disease antibodies, so everyone is a little puzzled. The suggestion from both endo’s was to remove the lobe of the thyroid with the nodule and in theory that will take a way any chance of cancer and will hopefully have the thyroid acting like a normal thyroid. I think I am most excited of the prospect of not being a sweaty beast. At this point I’ve not been taking anything except to help with the heart palpitations and anxiety which I don’t take often, I have found that changing my diet has helped a lot, I’ve been doing low iodine for months (since I have an excess of it) and I’ve recently started gluten-free, there seems to be a lot of links between gluten and thyroid health, which my doctors thought was great idea. There are still bad days where getting out of bed is harder than running a 5k, and I wake up most nights like I’m having a hot flash in menopause, but the heart palpitations are way less and my anxiety seems to be a little better.
This is how I feel about my thyroid…
This was a bit of a long-winded story, but I hope this helps people, who are going through something similar to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We will be doing surgery in September, so I will fill you in then!