I know I haven't give a lot of details here about my illness. And I have had tons of emails and comments asking what the verdict is. So, I thought I'd just write a post illustrating the whole rundown, so every one's questions are answered.
I believe I was getting sick before I knew or felt I was sick. Last winter, sometime, I started feeling tired, lethargic. I forced myself to keep running/exercising, even though I was tired all the time. I thought I was just in a funk. After running the Ogden marathon, and then the Ragnar relay, I decided to seriously take it down a notch. Whenever I would run, I would run out of breath, and feel the need to stop and walk. (Just so you know, this is a big deal. Before this, I NEVER would stop to walk).
At first, I thought I was pregnant, or had gained too much weight over the winter (I'm not sure if this is related or not, but I had gained around 15 pounds in 1 month period in the fall.)
Sometime in the spring, I started getting sporadic shakes. Jitters, inner tremors. It would come and go. I didn't know what it was or where it came from.
In June, I had my IUD removed.
In July, I started feeling increasingly more tired, and started having more frequent bowel movements. Ok, ok, diarrhea. I'm not shy. Within 1 week, I had lost 10 pounds.
I just had this hunch. So, I went to the doctor, and told him I thought it was a hormone thing. He said it wouldn't have anything to do with the IUD, and said it was a virus. Gave me an anti-diarrhea medicine.
I then, went to another doctor, talked about hormone imbalance, and he prescribed me Prozac. After talking to my Mom about "feeling like a zombie on Prozac" so I chose to stop taking it.
Things worsened. By August I had lost 20 pounds. The diarrhea, exhaustion and tremors continued. The anti-diarrhea medicine made me throw up. I started to have trouble sleeping at night, which only aggravated everything else. My whole body itches and I developed a nasty rash.
My heart started pounding all the time. I had to stop exercising. This made me tired and depressed. I wore a heart monitor one day, and found that my resting heart rate was over 110, and trying to exercise sent it up over 200.
I googled causes of rapid heart rate. Somehow I stumbled across thyroid problems. Suddenly, all of my symptoms made sense.
I went to my gyno, and told him I thought it was my thyroid. He did a TSH test. 1 week later, I called asking for my results. They said my TSH was low, but he doesn't do thyroid so go back to my family doctor.
In the meantime, called my insurance to get specialists names. They wouldn't even give me names of doctors without a referral.
I found a different family doctor, who finally agreed to do all of the extensive tests. Blood work for my T3, and T4 levels, and ultrasound of my thyroid and a radioactive iodine uptake. Over 2 weeks after the tests, and not hearing anything. I called my doctor. And called and called, without any returned messages. I finally made an appointment, only to have him tell me that he wanted me to do these tests. I told him we already did them, and I'm here for the results. Waiting, waiting. He finally comes back saying I have a VERY prominent thyroid, my hormone levels are off the charts, and there are small nodules that could or could not be cancerous. The official diagnosis though, is severe hyperthyroidism.
So, let's get you into the endocrinologist.
The nurse called and made an appointment for me. I have to wait another 3 weeks, thinking, worrying if I have cancer. And by now, I have lost 35 pounds.
I know I looked sickly, but I went to church, and suddenly everyone started bringing me dinner and stuff.
Finally, last Tuesday, the 20th, I went to the endocrinologist. They don't have my test results, my family doctor didn't fax them, like they said they would. I'm frustrated. They call and get the results while I wait. I'm liking this office.
The doctor walks in, introduced himself, and then pronounces that I have Grave's disease. This is new. I've never heard it before. He explains that it's an autoimmune disease which causes the immune system to attach it's own body, and which affects the pituitary gland, and caused my hyperthyroidism and all of my symptoms.
He then says that my nodules are small and aren't cancerous, and that I don't need surgery. I may possible need radiation, but there's a new anti-thyroid medication. I jump on that, the worst that could happen is that it doesn't work, but it's worth a shot. He then explains in detail everything I need to watch for and what to expect.
So, I have Grave's disease, and I'm taking a pill that's supposed to make it all better. My doc called last Monday to up my dosage from 2 pills a day to 6 pills a day. I'm not 100% but I'm feeling a little bit better. I got back in 6 weeks to get more blood work, and see if it's working.
So, there you have it.