Thursday, June 6, 2013

May 2nd - Doctor's Appointment (Hypothyroidism)

Wow, I have just had no motivation or ambition in such a long time and it's been well over a month from when this appointment actually happened!  This appointment was actually just a follow up from the blood work and bone density tests that I had done over the last few months.  I actually went to the office with my dad as he had an appointment in the time slot after mine (but he did not come in to my appointment with me).

So, just like a normal appointment P comes and brings me to the back room and asks me they age old question as to why I am there. We go through the normal of blood pressure and weight (I don't like this part lol).  I then tell her that I need refills of a few medications, had planned to ask my doctor to re-evaluate his stance about my breakthrough medications but figured I would wait and judge his stance when I got in to him.  I also needed to get the results of the bone density test I had done a few months ago and the blood work I had done.  As normal I asked to get a copy for my personal records (technically they should charge me for this but in my situation they all agree that me having test results is a good thing to help protect me if I go to a new doctor) so she printed out copies of both tests and handed them to me then sent me over to the next room to wait for the doctor.  Of course I had to look.

The bone density scan showed basically nothing except whatever it means about what's going on around the one eye socket and that I have actually have had more damage in a few areas that I knew where getting worse.  However the blood work results shocked me.  It showed off that my Vitamin D levels are (very slowly!) increasing even though I am still very deficient and should be taking about 8000 IU's daily in drop form (easier to absorb with my messed up stomach).  My C-Reactive Protein is still quite elevated but my GP doesn't seem to think this is anything to worry about as it could just be because of the EDS issues that I do have.  My cholesterol was slightly high and my B12 levels where low but nothing to worry about.  Then was the one that truly shocked me - my thyroid!

I am sure I have mentioned before that I have been thinking that this is a problem for quite a while now even though my internist strictly said that it was working perfectly.  I figured it was fine and hadn't given it another thought in quite a long time honestly.  When I asked to get blood work done (I always go in and ask to get my annual blood work requisition forms a few weeks before I have an appointment so I don't waste time going through an appointment just to get it ordered).  So here I am looking at my papers and out jumps my TSH levels being 'extreme-high' at a level of 6.9!  I am told that this is a very big jump in numbers (I get it tested yearly) and a very high value and that I should be hugely symptomatic.  I am very confused at this and trying to wrap my head around it.

My doctor comes in, looks at my blood work and says 'No wonder you feel horrible'.  I knew at this point the prescriptions I was going to ask about was out of the question as this was going to take up the appointment.  He starts to tell me that my thyroid isn't working much and that I definitely needed to get this settled out.  He starts drawing on a paper a line and says "This is where we start medication, at 25mg, but this will definitely be too low for you so we will start you at 50mg and test again in three months as to how fast we have to increase it to get your levels stable".  He then tells me that the fatigue, head-aches, increased pain, sleeping problems etc could all be because of this.  He originally was going to change one of my medications around but decided against it as he wanted me to be stable as I was and not change anything while working out the thyroid problem.  He talked some more and told me that I was going to be on the 50mg dose for three months, get blood work done and then see him to figure out what the next dose would be and repeat it until we get a stable level.  He also kinda sighed and looked at me and says, this is another one that you will be on for life. Which was kind of a relief (his reaction not being on it) as he has finally realised that despite the amount of medications that I am on, I want to be on the absolute minimum that I can possibly get by on.  He hands me the papers (prescriptions that took up three pages, the test results back, and new blood work papers) and tells me that I will feel a lot better when we finally get the levels at a stable level.

As we are leaving the office dad pipes up and says, "So your thyroid stopped working huh, I guess your at that age when everything starts to fall apart".  First off I was kind of taken aback that the doctor had told him (even though he knows we are an open family and mom comes with me to most appointments) and then that he thought that 31 was an appropriate age to start falling apart!  We went to the pharmacist and she went through all the instructions about the medications and gave me some pamphlets about hypothyroidism.

When I got home I looked up hypothyroidism and started to feel a bit of hope that a bunch of the problems I am experiencing could be because of the thyroid and getting it under check could stop these problems! I also am wondering if I actually have the auto-immune version as it seems to make more sense medically, and could also explain the c-rp and feelings that my rheumy always had about me having an auto-immune disorder.  I will ask my GP about it when I go back to see him at the end of July.

This has kind of thrown my for a loop honestly.  For the past decade the only things I have been diagnosed with have been things that I researched symptoms, connections to EDS, specialists, treatment and testing and taken it all to my doctors and got the diagnosis.  This one I had no clue was coming. I figured I would walk out of the office with my prescriptions refills and test results with not issues.  Instead I walk out with another prescription for the rest of my life, follow-up tests and appointments.  Just an odd feeling.

As a note as of today (June 6th) I certainly hope we can get my thyroid levels figured out fast!  I have felt horrible ever since starting the medications.  We have been having freaky and unstable weather around here that would normally cause problems but it feels like it's more involved than just the weather.  Honestly, I think some mild depression has set in as well since this was a shock and something that is pretty important to my health.  Will be interesting to see what my internist says when I see her later this summer after years of her telling me my thyroid was fine and I had no symptoms of it. 

Based on Wikipedia's site on hypothyroidism I have 10 out of 15 of the early symptoms, 7 or 8 out of 14 of the later symptoms and 9 or 10 of the 20 uncommon symptoms.