I don't mind questions, girl! Maybe this will help someone else at some point. 1) I don't think this has been causing my diarrhea this whole time, since I've had thyroid tests before to check for this exact thing and they were always normal, but I do think it could be why I'm worse after having been better for a while. 2) There's no Grave's disease in my family at all, although my paternal grandfather had hypothyroidism and took Synthroid his whole adult life. 3) I could be treated with radioactive iodine, but would probably need to take Synthroid the rest of my life because most people end up with not enough thyroid activity after the treatment. I could do surgery, but there's risks with that, and would also need to take Synthroid forever. I'd rather avoid taking medicine for the rest of my life if at all possible. The other option is taking some anti-thyroid medication for a few months, which is probably what I would try first. I'm still rather uneducated though, so who knows.
It is an interesting field. Then again, they all are. Gastroenterology, endocrinology, pulmonology, cardiology...the thing is, too many physicians think they are not interrelated. They are...there's just some link missing. Maybe many links.
I pledge to find out at least some of the bizarreness that we endure, whatever specialty I go into. Sometimes I just think there's no good explanation whatsoever...but we can at least treat people as people, not as independent illnesses.
It's past 1 a.m. and I'm having trouble sleeping. I've been a veritable insomniac for about a month now and it's driving me freakin' berserk! Either I can't turn my mind off or my heart is pounding in my ears like a jackhammer. These are evidently classic hyper-T (as I've been calling it) symptoms, since your thyroid is constantly pumping out fight-or-flight hormones (oh, and the fact that I've just about had it up to HERE with this whole ordeal probably doesn't help, either - although it's kind of nice to be able to blame all my mood swings on my berserk thyroid, LOL).
My scan today showed a three-fold increase in the amount of iodine uptake that is considered normal - so basically each test I take solidifies the idea that it's Grave's disease. I was doing some critical reading today and realized that no matter what treatment option I decide on, I'll end up with ridiculously low thyroid function and need to be on meds forever and see endocrinologists every two months for blood work to make sure I'm not about to drop dead (being slightly melodramatic here). Not exactly what I was looking forward to when I am about to move across the country for med school and get married and start all these new chapters in my life. For freak's sake!
Ah, I feel better now...thank you so much for letting me vent. I am the type of person that vents and then moves on, so now I can officially move on! Love you guys.
Big hugs to you ((((Sarita))))!!!
I love your attitude about everything, I always have. You seem to roll with the punches and make the best of things. I, on the other hand, moan and gripe and turn super bitter. I am determined to adopt your easy-goingness.
Anyway… Sorry about your insomnia and restlessness. Can you take some sort of sleeping pill? What about Tylenol PM (or something of the like)? Just remember that all this will make you a better doc. Not to mention you will probably be quite popular among the med students. Your issues might turn out to be a great learning experience for you and them.
So what’s the next step for you? More docs?
I have to agree with Cathy… At least Grave’s can be managed. Whereas your D and severe pain are totally sporadic and quite debilitating. You may have to take pills for the rest of your life, but most of us take something or other anyway. You’re going to have to buy a bigger purse to fit your giant pill box. “You hear that rattling? Here comes Sarah.” LOL I crack myself up sometimes.
Back from the scan and ultrasound. The scan was pretty consistent with what we saw yesterday. The ultrasound was just about the most fun thing I've done in years, of course. The tech poked around and said, "It looks kind of nodular," and I don't really know what that means, but she quickly ultrasounded herself (it was pretty funny) to show me the difference between mine and hers. Hers was all nice and smooth-looking and mine looked like a bunch of pebbles. I then went to the GI, who looked at the test results and said, "Woah, when you start talking about T4 and T3, I get lost...better talk to the endocrinologist." He said he didn't want to do anything else with my guts until I get my thyroid taken care of.
It was interesting, actually - we looked at my previous thyroid test records, and the first one was 1.1, the second 0.7, the third even lower...so it looks like over the past couple of years I have been developing this. Which would make sense.
He also said that the day I had diarrhea 50 times recently was actually probably a thyroid storm, which is a kind of thyroid crisis that can actually be fatal in many cases. LOVELY.
Anyway, it's the weekend, which means no more tests/doctors/B.S. until next week! Tonight Adam and I are headed up north to do some winter camping (in a public use cabin with no electricity/heat/water, just a wood stove, which makes things toasty enough). For SURE I am bringing my fabulous purple pill box that contains the following: Advil, Tums, Atenolol, Vicodin, Bentyl, and Ambien. Ambien is a very good friend these days to help with my sleeplessness, I just hesitate to take it every day, which is why I was up until 2:30 a.m. last night!
***! You guys are nuts.
Ambien is great for me. It's funny, I DO feel sexier after I take it, like I've had several glasses of wine...but then I don't remember anything the next day, HA! Adam calls it the "Ambien glaze."
Speaking of Adam, I think he is bewildered by this whole thing. He's always been so healthy that I think any weirdness like this just freaks him out. His opinion (and he said "our best bet," not just "yours," which meant a lot to me) is that I should try the anti-thryoid drugs for a year or two before I start killing my thyroid with radioactivity. I agree. Although the GI seemed to think my endocrinologist wouldn't let me get away with that. We'll see! I'm going to stand up for myself!