Thursday, March 25, 2010

Arigato Gozaimasu, Mr Hashimoto.

So I got the blood tests back and I have something called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. It's an auto-immune disease that is not curable. It's where your immune system attacks parts of your thyroid thinking it is not a part of your body but foreign antibodies and must be destroyed. So I go through bouts of Hyper and Hypothyroidism depending on how Mr Hashimoto is feeling and what part of my thyroid he has his pudgy little hands around.

This explains...well everything. The Nurse that gave me the news also has it. She said I could have had this for five to ten years without ever knowing it. Some people go undiagnosed until they can't get out of bed and are so depressed they seek medical attention. Other people that have it get diagnosed improperly with things like Bi-polar Disorder and Depression and Anxiety. (Or in my case ADHD, but he wasn't a real doctor. I digress.) I am glad that really the worst of it, the energy loss and the over sleeping and the depression and the weight gain were within the last two to two and a half years or so. (Poor Brett, we've been married for three.) She also then told me the meds would not make me feel any better. I cried for a whole day.

Well. Day one on the meds was like someone had flipped on a light switch. I cleaned the house. The whole house, and it didn't seem overwhelming. I made dinner then put the left overs away and then did the dishes and then made cookies and then cleaned the kitchen. Like a normal person. And I did the laundry and played with the kids. And raked he leaves. Bella threw a fit and I let her and it didn't bother me. I was like, ain't-no-thing-but-a-chicken-wing about stuff that used to send me over the top. My quality of life was back to normal. Day two was even more interesting. I went to my presidency meeting and I noticed an amazing thing. Where before my calling made me feel super nervous, left me guessing and second guessing every move I made and feeling confused and fearful (all of these things a more self aware person would probably recognize as anxiety), all of these emotions were just...gone. I didn't worry about saying something stupid or talking at the wrong time or sounding dumb. It was all just, peace. I do have one negative side effect, however. I am feeling a little manic. Less stable. Like I am piloting a paper airplane of emotions. I noticed that when something strikes me as sad I well up straight away. If something makes me mad I will rant about it and get more and more excited until I am nearly frenzied. I freaked out on my Mom about holistic medicine last night, sorry Mom, and then Brett and I had a big conversation this morning about politics in Utah where I just escalated into a raving nut ball. (Mmmm, I love raving nut balls but they are like 600 calories.) I hope this part levels off.

Speaking of calories, I can't eat. On the first day I sat down to eat three crunchy tacos and ate two and a half. I tried some tortilla chips. The chips tasted super salty and I had to stop. Oh, and I ate a couple jalapenos and I was amazed at how hot they were. I used to eat them with everything. I felt after dinner like I was going to explode. I was like Thanksgiving Day style full. It didn't stop me from eating oatmeal cookies later though and I got even sicker. I can't eat like I used to. Food just looks uninteresting to me now, which is how I used to be my whole life. It's nice to have that back and not have this insatiable and ever present desire to eat my face off every hour. I have back that little voice in my head that says, "You should probably stop eating, that will be enough." He's been gone for so long , I forgot what he sounded like. Whatever your name is, I missed you. Just find a nice quiet place to read when I go to Smashburger. I won't be needing you then.

I feel my old ambition back, my old fire back, my old can-do attitude back. I have a sense of optimism back, a sense of joy, and a lightness of being. I am so amazed that I went on for so long not knowing that I didn't have to feel the way I did. Not knowing anything was even wrong with the way I was feeling. Never did I associate the tiredness, weight gain, overwhelming dread, joint pain and endless stress with an actual physical issue. I thought these things were psychological or spiritual or just plain old age. I am so thankful that my Doctor figured me out. I'm grateful Brett's employer decided to give us health insurance so I could get the Aetna cards in the mail the day I decided to make the appointment. I'm glad I got this stupid rash, that still hasn't gone away, because it got me in to the doctor. I'm grateful his nurse has Hashimoto's so they thought to check for it. I'm glad he is cool enough of a guy to sit and talk to me about life and then put the pieces of our conversation into a diagnostic frame work. I am grateful for God who I know shifts these things around into place on our behalf. Because he loves us. I could be negative and mad and want the last ten years of my life back, but I don't care. I am so happy I found it out and that my little Bella Rose won't have to worry. I'll get her checked out the first teeny, tiny sign of depression so she can maintain her quality of life. Which will be high.

10 comments:

1001 Petals said...

So glad you got a diagnosis and that the meds are working so well.

Mrs JP Chaos said...

I'm glad that you're feeling better. It's so nice to feel productive and (semi?) normal after feeling so out of it for awhile.

Good news!!

sue-donym said...

Can I have some of your special pills?

Glad you're feeling better!

Amy said...

So, so happy for you. Back to kicking life's ass.

~j. said...

How wonderfully comforting to have an answer. So happy for you.

stef j. said...

this is awesome!!

it admittedly got me thinking (warning... i feel a looong comment coming on.) you see, i'm a psych person. meaning i studied psychology, intend on going back to get my PhD. and i've always favored the biological side of psychology, the connection between mental and physical health. and how interesting it is that in your case your seemingly psychological problems were in fact biological. hmmm... are all psychological problems biological?? whacked hormones, faulty neurotransmitters, etc. etc.

i'm gonna stop blabbing on... i'm really tired and when i'm tired my thoughts vomit.

i'm super happy for you! quality of life is what it's all about...

Kami said...

awesome news!! So happy for you! What are those magic pills anyway?? :)

AzĂșcar said...

I approve. Not of the Hashnimoto, but of the knowing and the fixing. Approve.

Amelia Merritt said...

I am on Levothyroxine. A low dose. And I am trying to not be on Coke Zero since it now once again gives me that great jolt of energy like it used to. I got up to 2 liters per day and was wondering why I still didn't get that zing like before. Today I redecorated the house. :)

Tayva said...

I'm so happy you are on this side of a diagnosis and that you are experiencing such a great surge in your quality of life! Even if you have some 'uneven' days: knowledge is power. Isn't it wonderful to live in an age where we have the medicines we do (and available to us), but especially to feel we're being watched over and cared for. Don't worry about this not being curable, hon--you're going to do just great!! Love you