Friday, March 19, 2010

Sticking out my big fat neck.

In pictures of me over the last couple of years I noticed a few different, very upsetting things. One, my arms that have always looked slim and muscular from constant work and workouts, got really flabby. Two, my abdomen that I have been secretly pretty proud of got poochy. Three, my neck seemed to get more manly. I have always been kind of "athletically built" as one person put it. I'm not curvy and busty, I have been pretty long and flat my entire life. Like an adolescent boy. So for me to look at a picture and see I was getting a manly neck to me was just a part of getting older and one more bit of evidence that I was not a girlie girl. This is how I framed it.

This year I quit soda (More like cut back on) and stopped eating sugar and after dinner snacks and started running. I was doing great, running about 2-3 miles to start out with and getting up to 5-6 by mid February. I was on track for the half marathon I committed to run with some friends from High School days. The guys I work with and I were talking about running relays and racing bikes together. I realized how much I missed having that in my life and was looking forward to this summer for these reasons. But I noticed I didn't lose any weight and wasn't putting on any muscle. Instead I was getting muscle twitches. I then (TMI ALERT) had my monthly visit from Aunt Flo. And for many, many months now, I have been having *ahem* unusual circumstances with Aunt Flo. She has gotten aggressive in her old age. (Dudes, I don't blame you if you just...close the browser.) It was less like a typical expected cycle of nature and more like a surprise attack. If regular periods are a kind stranger asking you for a dime at the bus station, what I had going on was a group of drug addicted gang members attempting a home invasion. I had so many issues that once in the middle of a pre-production meeting I had to spend a good amount of time in the bathroom and what was I wearing? White jeans. Someone asked me if I was OK. How do you say, I think I am losing my internal organs? I had to sneak out of the production office while everyone was shaking hands and saying their goodbyes and go and buy new pants to drive home in. You get the idea. So here I was a couple of weeks ago, in this same boat. Getting mugged by Aunt Flo. I forced myself to the gym and ran a mile and a half before I felt like dying. I cried the whole way home. For bout ten days at odd times I felt like all of the blood in my entire body would leave my head and go find something better to do. I almost blacked out while driving, which had happened one other time about six months before. I couldn't even climb the stairs at my house without feeling light headed. I had a rash on my thighs appear. I got a stomach bug. At home, I swept the floor and my hands would not leave the handle. I had to uncurl them slowly and they hurt, from way inside. I would sleep ten hours a night or more if I wasn't working.

So last week I went to see my Doctor in Salt Lake about this rash. I love him, he's been great to my kids and I. I drive up to 3900 S to see him. This love runs that deep. So we talk and catch up. We just talk about running and training and we talk about my rash but it's my other symptoms which he seems to be WAY more interested in. It all comes out in what seems to be casual conversation. He tests me for Strep for the rash and it's negative. He decides to do what he calls "a s___ load of blood tests". He calls me on set the next morning and says that it's my thyroid. I have no idea what this is exactly. I know it's a gland. I go home and look it up on www.tooloffear.com, otherwise known as Web MD, and it all makes so much sense. I mean all the way back through my whole life I can see how I have had these types of hormonal issues and they seem to have been getting out of control over the last two years. Now, I do not mean to make this sound like a lady disease. Along with this comes things like crippling exhaustion, joint pain, irritability, memory loss, cold intolerance, dry skin, hair loss, depression, weight gain, infertility, and the coup de grace, an enlarged neck. I am now totally assured I have Hypothyroidism. Yesterday I went in and had more blood drawn to determine if I have Hyper or Hypothyroidism or something else entirely like Lupus. So we'll see what's what. After hearing last week that a friend who has been fighting with two types of cancers has been back in the hospital with a terrible infection, finding out I have something totally treatable, I'll take it. And I actually feel really proud of myself that I have still been able to accomplish the things I have been able to, and am trying to be kinder to myself about the things I have not been able to. It's kind of a relief, really.



If you or someone you love has a neck that looks like it is smuggling a potato, please see your doctor.

11 comments:

stef j. said...

whoa! heavy stuff, eh? (yes, that was indeed a double entendre pun referring to your... ahem, auntie's visits) but again, if something's gonna be whacking out your body, thyroid is a good and easily treatable way to go.

lupus, on the other hand...

Mrs JP Chaos said...

Sorry, Lady...that's not a whole lotta fun. BUT! I'm glad you got a good doctor on your side.

c-dub said...

wow--i'm sorry. good luck w/ all the tests and treatments and such. oh and we've only met irl once and it was awhile ago now, but i think you're lovely. really.

best--

Mrs. Organic said...

It is such a relief to get answers and to know that it's not all just in your head. You will feel good again. Just know that sometimes it takes 4-6 weeks and playing around with different brands of thyroid to find what feels right for your body.

You might consider a thyroid ultrasound to check for nodules/establish a baseline. Anyway, glad you've got a great doctor - that counts for so much.

Tayva said...

I'm relieved that you have such a good doctor and to be on your way to knowing what to do. And now you can get better! There's a road, and you're on it. Hang in there, kiddo.

Amelia Merritt said...

Thanks, everyone! Brett gave me a blessing today, I'm glad he is such a good man. And I have every confidence in my doctor, it does help. I can't wait to start feeling back to normal, I'm almost giddy about it!

Jewels said...

I so love you, I love how you write. And I am SO glad that you were able to find out what was causing all your black outs and scary symptoms. Where would I be without my bestie? So glad you're ok, lets go to Ripples.

Lucrecia said...

Hi Amelia,
It's Lu....do you remember me from JMR? I know it's been forever. I found you through Julia. We used to be neighbors. I check in on you from time to time. I'm sorry to hear about your thyroid issues. I have struggled with Hypothyroidism. These days I wonder if it's swinging in the opposite direction. Good luck with all of it. I hope you start to feel better soon now that you're taking action.
So, I have a weird question for you. I've seen some of your posts on refinished furniture and I desperately need some advice. I have been repainting my boys old bunk beds. I'm using a Benjamin Moore paint. But I just can't seem to get a really nice smooth finish. I tried a supposed professional finish sprayer, a foam roller, a foam roller followed immediately by a brush. What's your best method to repainting something. The sprayer splatted paint. The roller left the paint kind of bubbly. And the brush is kinda streaky. Please please advise....:):):)

Lucrecia said...

oh! My email address is lucreciahale(at)yahoo(com)

stacey said...

I know this was a serious post and all, but your last sentence made laugh so hard I fell over and laughed for 2 minutes and my husband thought I'd gone mad. So thank you for that!

Amelia Merritt said...

Thanks, Stacey. I can't tell you how tickled I am that you got a good kick out of it. Making people belly laugh is the single best feeling in the whole world, isn't it? I love it when I make my mom laugh so hard she cries.