Crazy as a Loom

Saturday, January 14, 2017


I have been hypothyroid for about 17 years.  It started with muscle aches and feeling so sleepy, I would lay on the couch waiting for the coffee to be done, and fall asleep again.   It was so unlike me, I hightailed it to the doctor.  Thus my experience with Synthroid began.

Over the years, it has worked and not worked.  By that I mean, that keeping my TSH in the normal range is sometimes a feat.   I will be going along, feeling fantastic (loose terms here) and suddenly I am so tired, I can't get out of my own way.  It takes a while, before the information gets to my brain, which I attribute to the brain fog that settles when your thyroid is not working well.

When I realize what's going on, and get the doctor to order labs, it comes back with a high TSH, he increases my meds, and it takes 4-6 weeks before I see the results.  Over time, this occurs with some regularity.  Apparently, as you age, your thyroid gets more and more sluggish.

Just for the record, ALL women over the age of 50 should get their thyroid checked.  AND do not settle for the word "normal".  You need to know the numbers.
NO ONE feels good with a TSH more than THREE.

But recently, I had the occasion to have palpitations all day I asked for labs to be drawn.  My TSH was .06......omg.   WAY too stopped the medication for several days per MD, maybe longer, per ME, and all week long have suffered with side effects of too much Synthroid.  Chest pain, overactive bowels, missed heart beats, feeling jittery, nervous, can't concentrate.

I am not a happy camper.

So there's that.

As always, the way I get through things, is ONE DAY AT A TIME.

I thank my years of Al Anon for that.  I don't get too worried or immersed in self pity about feeling bad.  Oh, I consider it, of course.
But mostly, I just do my regular, which is: STAY IN THE DAY.

Yep, I got stuff to do, and I get at it.  In this respect, truly, weaving has saved me over and over.
And then there's the simple fact, that it could always be worse, and is worse for some.
So you take the hand you were dealt, and deal with it.  Play that hand as best you can.
The headache from hell that descended on my life in 2011, has taught me some pretty significant lessons.

I have been spending more time in my hot tub this week, it helps the achiness of my chest and back.
Looking at the night sky, feeling that glorious heat seeping through me, I feel that I will be ok.   I ponder a lot in the hot tub, about life and how we manage to think we have forever.
I also think a lot about what our individual lives mean, what it all means.
I have also decided that while my children were the most incredible joy of my life, having them grow up and leave has been just as life changing, and hard.

I was lucky to have my Mom for so long......she lived to be just shy of her 89th birthday, and lived with us for the last 10 years of her life.  When she died, the loss was compounded for me, because there was this huge hole, not just in my life, but  in my house, where she had been, where she ruled.

I talk to her sometimes in the hot tub.

And I realized that something she said, was so true.  She told me that when she died the person she wanted to see the most, was her mother, who passed when my mother was only 28 years old.  She had missed her all those years.  Now I know, that when I die, I want to see my mother most of all.

But for now, I am busy, with today.

Today, this day, drinking my morning coffee, the sun just coming up over the icy horizon, the pellet stove keeping the living room the toastiest place in the house, Miss Puss at my feet, Roy snoring in his bed, hand knit mittens almost finished on the coffee table, the gift of a "minimal" headache, DH still asleep, perfect quiet, warped looms waiting in the studio.............this day is mine.


Angela Tucker said...

Good morning, Hillary. Your words touched my heart. Life goes on...we hold on and hope that we make the right decisions. There are no promises, no signposts.

I, too, have problems with my thyroid. I would drive the six miles to town, but have to take a nap before I drove home. The constant tired...I don't know how I made it through. I keep steady on my medication, but with life as it is, I'm still tired.

I don't have a relationship with my mother, but as I watch my father in bed, "living",but not really, I miss him so much. We are on our third year of Hospice with no true end in sight. I miss his smiles, his "I love you". He hasn't spoken to me since July 2015.

So, I hug my family tight, say I love you a lot, and drink that cup of coffee. LOL Next stop is my stitching chair. Maybe some knitting, maybe some cross stitch. An easy decision compared to most. I hope that you have a good day.

Carol said...

Thank you for sharing this, Hilary. I have had symptoms similar to what you're describing since 2010, and have been seen by my GP, cardiologist, oncologist, pulmonologist and a rheumatologist. In all that time, as far as I know, nobody has checked thyroid function. I'll be making phone calls Monday.

Loom With A View said...

My doctor picked up my 'lazy' thyroid a few years ago after some routine blood work. I had never heard of it, and was asymptomatic to boot. I only bothered to start the Synthroid after I read up on what can happen if you don't treat it.

My mother started asking around her hospital contacts. Hypothyroidism is (a) massively under diagnosed in women because the symptoms are frequently written off as normal aging, and (b) often surfaces after a major hormonal event (puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause) - the medical community has yet to admit this, but you talk to enough women, you start connecting the dots.

In my case, it was the birth of my second child. So far, menopause hasn't had an effect, but my doctor sends me off for tests every couple of years. I also snack happily on salty things as the extra iodine helps both the thyroid and the migraines - yes, I am weird that way! Ironically, I'm not even a 'salt' person. I never use it in cooking!

I have never heard of one's thyroid suddenly upping or restarting production. Maybe whatever that was inhibiting your thyroid has suddenly stopped - medication change? Diet change? Reduced stress?

I do hope you can identify the trigger. Monthly blood tests are a pain!

Anonymous said...

And what a lovely day to contemplate and do just what you most desire. Hope you start to feel better soon.

Delighted Hands said...

I couldn't keep mine in the right range; for a long time it was a battle. I am now on not Synthroid but on Armour Thyroid replacement medicine and I am doing fine with it and beyond fine since it is so stable. Talk to your dr about it! (I am not selling anything-this is a prescription)

Dizzy-Dick said...

Both my wife and I are on thyroid medications. I am also on blood pressure meds, too. Take the thyroid meds in the morning and BP meds at night. Works for me.

claudia said...

I'm am so glad that you share these things with us. Besides being strong and giving us all insight into "getting through it", but you are a fountain of knowledge. (I am sorry though that you have lived these things to learn about them and then share.) So far, I have been healthy...knock wood and keeping up with my healthier lifestyle. I'm happy I moved away from the San Francisco bay area, because the stress of trying to keep up with EVERYTHING down there was killing me. I think I have gained ten years of life, by moving up here. Environment helps!

Sojourner Design said...

I had a sudden episode of thyroiditis a number of years ago. I would feel breathless after climbing a flight of stairs (I was about 50 then and in good health generally), and noticed that my heart responded way too much when a driver pulled out in front of me. My TSH was found to be very low. I went on a beta blocker to calm down my heart rate and a high dose of prednisone which was rapidly tapered off. TSH is checked periodically but I've never been low since.

Sharon said...

I've done the Synthroid dance for the past dozen years and know of what you speak. I take my dependence on it for granted and get it checked annually. I count myself as one of the lucky ones since it's the only Rx I need so far. Medications get expensive very quickly and I agree with Claudia's comment - a good environment is good medicine. I know our move has been healthy for our lifestyles. Your environment looks like a little Eden :)

Karen said...

I have some of the symptoms you describe, and my thyroid functions perfectly ( meaning the tests reveal a perfectly functioning thyroid). For me they attribute it all to anxiety. I can tell you that since being put on Metoprolol, I don't have the heart palps, the jittery feeling anymore and it has brought my blood pressure down. I am on the lowest dose possible. I don't have the tiredness though.

Unknown said...

I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroid 5 years ago - rollercoaster - hyper (anxiety, palpitations, couldn't get pregnant) then hypo - deep aches, hair loss and complete fatigue. Feel great now apart from the occasional swings either way. Watch your supplements, that seems to exacerbate things!


SamHenry said...

As "Delighted Hands" mentioned and after my own experience with the blunt force of Synthroid and synthetics, I have responded well to Armour Thyroid and more recently, Nature-throid.

Susan said...

My mother died at age 61 on January 26th 1995..... and I have missed her every day since.
I talk to her too....

Hugs, Susan

Daryl said...

interesting ... i have been on Synthroid for a long time .. at one point Aetna switched me to the generic version and i felt it ... the doctor made sure to note on the 'script that they were NOT to fill with anything but the 'real' version and it seems over the last 2-3 yrs my #s indicate i needed a lower dose .. i hope you get this sorted out ...

Anita Johnson said...

It's good to visit again...and I always liked your "about me". Medical stuff is the pits.

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