Tag Archives: Hypothyroidism

An Update on Me

Back in July, I posted this picture on my Instagram page.

IMG_20150828_133351_edit

 

It got a lot of people worried…so I thought I would fill in my health woes.  I’m not sure if you’ll remember, but back when I was pregnant, I was admitted to the hospital with strange stomach pain.  The doctors couldn’t decide if it was my gallbladder, an ulcer, or just a whiny pregnant lady.  I thought for sure it was my gallbladder.  I mean, I was in some serious pain – bad enough that I went to the hospital.  The doc told me to lay off coffee and left it at that.

It wasn’t the coffee.

Since the baby’s been born, I’ve been on and off with the crazy stomach pain.  I thought it was due to eggs – it seemed that every time I ate an egg, my stomach would go into terrible spasms.  I went to my Family Doctor who listened to me and ran a whole bunch of tests.  She sent me for allergy tests to see if the egg was an issue.  She sent me for a bunch of blood work to see if anything showed up there.  And she sent me for a CAT scat to see if, God Forbid, there were tumours.

Turns out that I’m not allergic to anything (yay!) and that, thank God, there are no tumours.  However, my blood test did show something.  I have Celiac’s Disease.

Now, before this diagnosis, I thought Celiac Disease was a fairy tale…that all this “gluten free” stuff I’d see was over kill.

Lord, how the tables have turned!

My stomach pain is real guys.  To me, it’s the equivalent of swallowing razor blades and then having labour-like contractions in your gut.  I get the brain fog (here I thought my inability to write my blogs was due to the loss of my muse…turns out, I couldn’t even physically think clear enough to string words together).  I felt like I was getting dumber and dumber by the moment…losing my ability to think things through.  Nope – Celiac Disease.  I also get this horrible itching, burning rash on my hands and legs.  Once it even came on my face.  Other issues include depression and thyroid problems.  All of these (and likely more) are due to Celiac’s Disease.

So – what is Celiac Disease?  “Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley. At present there is no cure, but celiac disease is readily treated by following the gluten-free diet.” (Canadian Celiac Foundation)

The solution is simple enough – don’t eat gluten.  Trouble is – it hides in a lot of things like Soya Sauce or even your face creams.  I’ve been avoiding it for about 3 weeks now – and though I know that there’s still a ways to go before I really start feeling well again – I can already tell if I’ve eaten something that’s got gluten in it.

So, take it from me guys – if someone you know is suffering from odd stomach pain – a simple blood test is all you need to diagnose this.  Avoiding gluten is relatively easy.   I know some people who still “gluten binge” every now and then…I don’t think I will be one of those people…the pain that I get is too much for me to take lightly.

A sigh of relief

Yesterday I hit week #23 in this pregnancy.  It’s a big milestone for me – you see…14 years ago, I lost a baby at 23 weeks.  A perfect, beautiful baby girl which, for whatever reason, my body wasn’t able to carry to full term.  We named her Aisha.  It’s amazing to me now to see that babies can be born at such an early term and still survive (my twin nephews are living proof of this – beautiful, strong, healthy 2 year olds now).

I think that anyone who has lost a child holds their breath until “the time” has passed.  For some, it’s 12 weeks, for some 15…for others far beyond.  Though you may feel happy about the progressing pregnancy – you also hold your breath and part of your mind lives in fear that what happened once (or more) will happen again.

CC image courtesy of Frank de Kleine on Flickr
CC image courtesy of Frank de Kleine on Flickr

Thankfully, I passed my 23 week mark – and had a good doctor’s visit today.  I was happy to learn that we won’t be changing my due date even though the ultrasound technician told me that she would.  He simply said “no..that’s not going to happen.”

Other good news includes my thyroid levelling out.  Taking them at night (on an empty stomach) has really made a difference and I can feel it – the exhaustion has gone and I’m not (quite) as cold as I was before.

However – I have crazy raging pregnancy hormones.  I don’t remember being like this with any of my other kids.  Alternatively weepy, happy, full of rage, then back to tears.

 

Baby Update week 20

It’s the halfway point, folks.  I can’t believe how quickly time has flown.  What’s new this week?  Well – more, stronger kicks.  A ferocious appetite.  I’m getting big. My thyroid levels were WAY off – turns out your shouldn’t take your synthroid with milk or orange juice…or your prenatals…or food.  I usually did a little of everything.  Oops.

1891008_10153808701725013_836450976_n

I went for an ultrasound last week for the general anatomy scan.  Baby’s looking healthy but was measuring at roughly 18 weeks 4 days as opposed to my 19 weeks 3 days at the time of the appointment.  I’m not sure if that means the OB will officially change my due date – though I can’s see it for a 6 day difference.  We’ll see at the next visit though.

Though I had planned on making it to delivery without finding out baby’s gender – what was (or wasn’t) visible between the legs was very apparent.  😉

According to my poll – there’s nearly twice as many of you who voted that this baby was a girl…so…are the majority right…or wrong?

 

 

 

 

 

 

From leehanson.com
From leehanson.com

Update 2

It’s been a while since my last update and I thought that I’d give you all another one.  So, you’ll remember that I’ve had an off and on struggle with depression and finally decided to go to the doctor about it.

He gave me a starting dose of Wellbutrin, then upped it a bit the following week onto what he called a maintenance dose.  I was to try this out for a month and then get back to him.

I noticed no difference at all in the beginning.  I thought that this was yet another dead end for me. Then suddenly around the 3 week mark – something happened.  It wasn’t a gradual “I’m getting better” – it was an instantaneous thing.  Like flicking on a switch.  One moment I was in a fog, then the next, I was seeing clearly.

And not just metaphorically.  I was seeing things clearly.  As if I’d been looking at the world through a fogged up mirror that someone had suddenly wiped clean.  I can’t really explain it any better.

And it hasn’t gotten foggy again.  I am actually feeling things again.  I have patience.  I have ambition.  I have emotions.  I feel like a human again.

I went for a follow up with the doctor last week.  He was happy to hear that I’m doing better – and understanding of my (continued) fear of drugs.  I don’t want to be taking something that isn’t needed.

He agreed – and wants me to take these meds for another 6 months at which point we’ll lower and lower the dose until I’m no longer on them…and if I go back into that fog – then we know how to get me out again.

I’m all backed up

In case you all haven’t noticed, it’s been eerily silent over here.  I have things to write (God, you should see my drafts folder) but I’m trapped lately.  Stopped up as efficiently as a river with a dam.

This seems to happen to me every once and a while – and I’ve begun to notice a pattern…without writing, I lose a little bit of myself, I get sad, mopey, whiny, selfish…I feel this insane need to write – but by that time I can’t think of anything nice to say (and I’m sure that a profanity, hate-filled blog would go over like a dead balloon) and so I don’t write and then the viscous circle starts.

I’ve danced around the topic of depression before – A stealthy little bugger that you don’t realize is there until it’s too late.  I knew that I was wallowing in it for a while now…I even mentioned it to my close friends – tried my best to claw my way out…but it hasn’t worked.

Then, my brother (who also suffers with depression) posted this link.  A game about depression? I thought – how stupid.

But I clicked.

And I cried.

I saw myself in there.  I saw myself suffering silently – telling people I’m fine when really I just want to scream that I’m a shell of a human being walking around without feeling or hope.

Then, I made an appointment with my doctor.  I’ve had enough of trying to get over this by thinking positive and eating right.  There’s something WRONG here and it needs to be fixed.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Here, but not

So, many of you may have wondered where I’d gone.  Fact is I was here, staring at my screen and that blinking cursor every day, but unable to let the words come out.  I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating that is.  It’s not as if I didn’t have a plethora of inspiration at my fingertips…between my kids, my husband, my schooling…my life – yeah…there was stuff to write about just no heart in it.  In times like these, if you really miss me, you can always check on my fanpage.  I usually update that daily…and it does give you a (scary) glimpse into my mind (and thus, is set to those 18 years and older).

So – where have I been?  Well – I’ve been here, but not.  You see, I have this problem called procrastination.  I’m sure that there are some of you who can relate to this.  I put off things.  Usually it’s putting off with things I don’t want to do (like…oh…cleaning) but this time it was getting my prescription refilled.  “What prescription?” you ask.   Well I have something called Hypothyroidism.  What that means is that my thyroid, which is a gland found somewhere in the throat (I’m a child care provider, not a doctor!) – this gland simply doesn’t produce enough thyroid “juice” for my body to function well.  When I first learned about this, I did a little research(as my mother, some of her sisters, and my grandfather all have it and she told me to get it checked).  My google search found me this page and my jaw nearly dropped when I got down to the list of symptoms.  I could have checked off just about every single one of them.  Just off the top of my head, I’ll list off the ones that bothered me the most:

  • constipation
  • hypothermia
  • extreme fatigue
  • feeling run down/lethargic
  • shedding hair like a cat in spring
  • dry skin
  • joint pain
  • moodiness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • forgetfulness
  • ZERO sex drive
  • tinnitus
  • eye sensitivity/dryness
  • (there are more…but well – you get the point)

And all this time, my (old) doctor never checked me for this because I didn’t have the “big” symptom – I wasn’t overweight.  When I argued and made him give me the test anyhow – he was shocked at my results.  He literally said “I don’t know how you’re able to still walk around!”  Yeah.  It was that bad.  But – nearly 8 years later, and I’ve been on my synthroid all this time and have been relatively good with a few minor tweaks that are needed with time.

However, about…oh… 4 months ago, I went to pick up my synthroid and the pharmacist said to me, “This is your last refill, don’t forget to make an appointment to get another prescription.”  And I thought to myself…well, duh…I’ll do that later.

Famous last words.  I kept “doing it later” for weeks….weeks turned into months.  I ran out of my pills and kept meaning to make that appointment tomorrow.  It just never happened.  Then I started getting moody and blamed it on stress.  I started getting cold and blamed it on the changing season.  I started gaining weight and blamed it on stuffing my face.  Not once did I stop to think about my missing pills.

Then…then I stopped caring.  My kids were fighting, so what?  My school work wasn’t done, big deal.  My house was a disaster, who cares?  I didn’t realize it, but I was walking a precarious line over the deep, dark pit of depression.  Suddenly, without even knowing it, I was in the middle of that pit and I didn’t know how I’d gotten there, or how I was planning to get out.  I just wandered there in the dark, silently.

You see – I didn’t have the kind of depression where you sit in the corner and cry.  I didn’t have suicidal thoughts.  I didn’t mope about and not shower and watch sad movies all day.  What happened to me was that my emotions, my feelings…my soul… everything  just turned off.  As if someone had flicked a switch – I was gone.  I was simply a shell.  A body walking around.  Lead arms holding my children.  Some part of me willing myself to feel something, but I had nothing.

It wasn’t until I read a blog post by Allie of Hyperbole and a Half that I realized that I was even in a depression.  I thought I was just a horrible, evil person who’s heart had shriveled up and died.  Instead, I read that post and thought “Holy sh*t, that’s what’s wrong with me!”  

I confided in a few of my best friends, asked them for their love, support and prayers – and even though they’re miles and miles and miles away – they helped me get through it.  They hassled me about making that appointment.  I finally did it.  I got into that doctor’s office and when he asked “what can I do for you today?” I broke down and sobbed and told him my life story for the past few months.  It’s terrifying for someone like me, a person who likes to be in control of her emotions and hates showing weakness (crying) in front of ANYONE to do what I did.  But I had to let him know how low I had sunk.  He smiled wrote me a new prescription, ordered a blood test and told me I’d be better soon.

And what do you know…a few weeks after that visit and with new, stronger meds coursing through my body…a ray of sunlight in my life.  My soul is starting to stir and stretch out after it’s many months of captivity.  I’m starting to feel again, and I can’t even begin to describe how great that is.