Good afternoon, fine folks!
I finally broke down, called my doctor, and requested a referral to an allergist. My boss recommended one particular doctor in town, so I asked the referral clerk for that specific location.
I’ve been on antibiotics for six days now, and mostly nada.
Still stuffy like whoa, still sniffling, little bit of cough and post nasal drip. And still, a lot of pressure.
So, I got to researching this allergist, and come to find out, he’s also an immunologist.
Then it kind of hit me.
I have an autoimmune disease.
Generally, anyone with Hashi’s, like I have, can have the disease managed by their primary/general physician. I get blood work every three to six months, and take levothyroxine every day. I don’t need to see an endo doctor, because well, it’s more specialist copays, more expensive tests, and for the same result — take levothyroxine until I die.
And I know if I miss my thyroid meds, then I’ll feel like ass all day.
But it doesn’t linger in my mind — I have an autoimmune disease.
I don’t think about it every day. I just do what I need to do to manage my health.
My body is eating an important component of my body — my thyroid.
It’s just the weird things you push to the back of your mind, then kind of hits you.
For those who aren’t familiar with Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism, essentially it’s a life long condition where your body attacks and kills your thyroid. It is treated with hormone replacement, in the form of synthetic T4, which gets converted to T3 in the body.
- Fatigue and sluggishness — I could literally sleep for 14-16 hours straight and still be tired.
- Increased sensitivity to cold — I have perpetually cold fingers and toes.
- Constipation — unfortunately, yep.
- Pale, dry skin — yep
- A puffy face — yep
- Brittle nails — yep
- Hair loss — I’ve always been a bad shedder, but I also have a lot of hair.
- Enlargement of the tongue — yep.
- Unexplained weight gain — story of my life.
- Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness — yep.
- Joint pain and stiffness — yep.
- Muscle weakness — meh.
- Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) — since I was 11.
- Depression — this is why I take an SSRI. Also generalized anxiety disorder is almost always present.
- Memory lapses — so much truth here.
Another thing not mentioned frequently, but I know enough folks who have low vitamin D and Hashi’s that it’s statistically significant.
When I finally got my awesome insurance, the first thing I said to my new doctor is that I need to lose weight, but it is very difficult for me to do so.
And she ordered blood work.
I was terrified she was going to say I had Type 2 diabetes — I was pushing 270lbs. I didn’t have a family history of it — I have one great aunt who had been over 300lbs for many years who had it. I’m pretty sure she had bariatric surgery, which really helped with Type 2. From what I understand, losing weight and managing with diet, is a way to “help” with Type 2.
My family history consists more of ass cancer (both sides), high blood pressure (maternal), congestive heart failure (both sides), skin cancer (paternal), and the whole body eating various important things (maternal).
As I’ve mentioned before, I had a cousin with lupus (a horrible autoimmune disease). Her sister has Hashi’s, our grandmother who has Hashi’s, and my mother who recently has been having weirdness with her T3 and T4 levels and is being monitored.
But suddenly, it just kind of hit me — I have a disease I’m going to have the rest of my life.
Not something I think about every day….
Kind of a side note — when looking for memes and/or funnies to add I came across an astounding amount of memes talking about how “don’t blame your thyroid; you’re just fat because you eat a bunch of bad shit.”
A) Eating bad shit will make you fat. Fat is not good. Fat is not healthy. Fat hurts your joints. Fat crowds your organs. Fat hurts metabolism. Sorry, I can’t sugar coat this, booboo. And, this is coming from a fat person who has struggled with their weight their whole life because…
B) I do have thyroid disease. It is diagnosed by an actual medical physician. So, if you are fat and using your “bum thyroid” as an excuse without consulting a physician and having the necessary tests with an ACTUAL diagnosis, you are doing a disservice to folks with ACTUAL thyroid disease by making it look like an excuse for being fat instead of an actual disease.
C) If you feel you have thyroid disease, please consult with your doctor and have the necessary confirmatory testing done.