Sunday, March 4, 2018

February, Life Changes, Cambodia 2018

Not long ago a friend of mine was telling me how he didn't know how sick he was until he finally felt good one day after getting treatment for the previously unknown diabetes. I think this is how humans are, generally. We cope and adapt to new environments and body needs for energy and children, until we can't. Then we finally get help.

This blog post has been a long time coming; you could possibly say a lot longer than the month and a half I've been figuring out what was the problem. I've had these symptoms for a long time:

Inability to sit still with constant pressure to get something done.
Anxiety, depression, anger
Rapid heartbeat (to the point I could no longer run without feeling like I would pass out.)
Difficulty sleeping.

Finally, all of the different, seemingly unrelated, symptoms came together in a way that makes sense. I don't usually go to the doctor unless I HAVE to. I went to the doctor this time because sometimes when I picked Zoe up, my side muscle would snap, like a giant rubber band feeling, and I would almost drop her. I also asked at the last minute if we could check the thyroid as another member of my family had seen issues with that. So we scanned the abdomen and the thyroid. The abdominal scan came back normal and I haven't had the issue that pushed me to go to the doctor in the first place reoccur. The thyroid was enlarged to different degrees on both sides. The blood work confirmed that there was a problem. The doctor at the clinic sent me to get a biopsy at a bigger hospital.

We went to the hospital to get a biopsy, but the doctor refused to do it. He said he wasn't convinced that there was a mass to biopsy and since there were so many blood vessels, it could cause a problem. They re-did the scans and the blood work. I have hyperthyroidism and a swollen thyroid, but no cancer. The doctor assumed that it is Graves' disease: an auto-immune disorder where the body attacks the thyroid and makes it produce too much hormone, and sometimes attacks the tissue behind the eyes. The doctor who casually threw out the Graves' diagnosis (no test, but almost all hyperthyroidism is caused by Graves') gave some conflicting information however: don't eat things like shellfish and sea weed because of the high iodine, but do use iodized salt. What!? So I went back to the clinic where they can do a simple test for the iodine and see if I actually need to avoid it or not. 

I don't understand why no doctor here has even mentioned the connection the thyroid has to the diet beside this one iodine issue. There seems to be a lot of online diet claims for thyroid, (mostly hypothoroidism,) and mostly not by people who have any credentials to be talking about it. So, there's a lot of research to do.
I have to wean Zoe to get medication to suppress the thyroid. Zoe does not like that at all. She won't take milk from a bottle of any sort or temperature. Since she's only 1, she still needs milk, so I'm trying to figure that out. She's eating pretty good during the day time, but starting the night weaning is not something I look forward to. Until then, I'm to take medicine to slow down my heart... but the side effects include things like weight gain and depression. So far I've felt better, though, and if the heart rate isn't controlled it can lead to an enlarged heart and eventual failure.
In a way, I'm just relieved to know what's behind all of the things I've been feeling, but haven't been able to name.


  1. So glad you know what’s going on! Now you can have a plan. I pray for you! ��

  2. I have HYPOthyroidism. Similar heart trouble with me if my thyroid hormone they give me sends my levels too high. It's very scary to have the heart go wacky. glad you are on the way to feeling better. I felt it best to wean Aaron after finding out I'm pregnant again. My doctor told me that as long as he's getting calcium from cheese and yogurt sources it wouldn't matter too much if he didn't take to cow milk. I also was struggling to get him to drink from any sippy cup or straw cup. Turns out it all fell into place and he now drinks milk from a straw cup. And keep in mind. If your thyroid has been high for some time it was likely causing you to burn calories faster, so when it comes down it will slow down and weight gain is a possibility as you adjust to a new metabolism rate.

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