Thyroid — Another Perspective

I found this blog, and there is much that is similar to what I have.  It’s been 10 months for me, and I hope I don’t reach the 10 year mark, like this woman. Yes, hers may be an extreme case, but still, we need to be educated and read everything and, above all, be in good hands.  I hope I am. I’ll know some more tomorrow…

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Approaching the 10 year mark…

You would think that the milestone of 10 years would send me into celebration of the life I have been able to lead since my diagnosis of thyroid cancer. But if I am truthful, yes, there are things that have been blessings but the struggles have been great.

There are few places I feel free to share my true feelings. Unless you have travelled this path you will never understand. Even though desiccated thyroid has helped me with fatigue it has not cured me.  I struggle daily with rationing. If I do A & B then I cannot do C. But if I do A & C then I can maybe do D.  I am sick of it.  I want my thyroid back. The words of the ENT that ripped my thyroid out echo in my head. “You will never know it’s gone.  You’ll just take a little pill for the rest of your life and it will be fine.” WELL IT ISN’T FINE!

My adrenals and my ovaries: Both sent me spiraling out of control into fatigue, hot flashes, hair falling out, dry skin, intolerance to noise, change…… life.  Under treated thyroid with T4 only medication taxed my adrenals – So much for Synthroid being the Cadillac of thyroid treatment hey Dr. N? I will forever depend on hydrocortisone, adrenal glandulars, vitamin c and bioidentical hormones in an attempt to maintain some level of normalcy. But the fact of the matter is, I am in early menopause with adrenal fatigue. I have chronic insomnia too – thank heavens for Xanax or I would never sleep some weeks. Yeah – I never noticed it was gone……

My gut: I struggle with food intolerance’s, flatulence, constipation, liver overload and malabsorption. I cannot eat gluten which is what a social life is built on – people eat. I don’t want to invite anyone over since our food is “weird”. I can’t easily go to any one’s house because neither I nor my children can eat the “gluten” food. So each time we have family gatherings I am forced to replicate the food everyone else is eating – but gluten free. More stress. If it were just me I wouldn’t care but I am trying to make a life that is relatively normal for my children who do not quite understand it all. Then there are the church events…… why bother? It’s more work than it is worth.

My weight: I struggle and struggle and struggle to keep it under control. But anyone who understands the body knows that adrenal fatigue, unbalanced hormones and poor digestion is a recipe for disaster. So each day I get on the treadmill for 30-40 minutes to burn off enough calories so that I can eat and not gain massive amounts of weight. It seems even a normal amount can send my body into orbit. I can gain 5-7 lbs overnight. I hate the way I look and avoid looking at my body in the mirror at all costs. I hide it well with clothing but “I” see the truth. This issue has only magnified since Forest Pharmaceuticals decision to destroy the best thyroid product on the market. They will not tell anyone why they did this and it has made life miserable for many trying to find a drug that works as well. This all takes its toll as the energy I expend exercising is a trade off for another activity of the day. So there are days where I have to forgo the exercise so that I can do something else. Yeah Doc – I never noticed my thyroid was gone.

I always struggle with fatigue and overload during the holidays. I am so jealous of my Jewish friend who each year departs over the Christmas holiday to a tropical location to bask in the sun. Don’t get me wrong I love Christmas but the whole production that goes with it has taken its toll. We rush around to find gifts for family members who really need nothing. Eating food that isn’t good for us only to put on weight that will take months to get back off. The stress of it all sends me into this downward spiral that I now am experiencing. I think I could celebrate Jesus’ birth in a warm climate, relaxing. To top it off I live in the Midwest where we do not see the sun for months. Can you say seasonal effective disorder?

Today’s agenda….Breakfast, Treadmill, Shower, Clean shower, Dry hair….. Exhausted. Take a rest. Mop floor…. Exhausted so I take another rest until lunch. Do lunch then drop for the day. What kind of life is this?

I am the caregiver of the family. There are times I need to be the one that is taken care of but it never happens. I must maintain the vitamin regimen of my two hypo children along with studying and keeping house. The food preparation is enough to make anyone throw in the towel. We are gluten free, soy free, dye free and as one lady I know puts it “crap free”. That means I cook from scratch. I bake my own baked goods as well.

My family cannot understand my outbursts of frustration over food stuck to the sides of the microwave, chocolate milk puddles on the counter and slippers left in the line of traffic. To them it seems like nothing but to me it is *one more thing* to deal with when I am already feeling at my limits. It’s those darn adrenals I know.

This year while making cookies my 7 year old daughter told me that if I had died from my cancer “Daddy would have to shop for their gifts”. Why does a 7 year old need to deal with this? I am frustrated and angry. I feel like a part of my life has been stolen from me. The more I learn about my body and how God intended to heal it, surgeries and radiation have no place in it. These doctors have to see that the people are getting sicker and sicker as they dole out more medications and “treatments”. Do they care? Why do they accept this as normal and not seek other answers? It’s maddening to say the least because I am a life that could have been different.

Today I want to run from my life. To lie on a sunny beach somewhere while someone takes care of me. No one to talk to. No one to demand things of me. No noise, no commotion. Nothing to think about but me. I hate that I feel vulnerable. I hate that I fear the possibility of cancer returning. I hate that this is what drives me to eat well and do the right things. But that is where I am. I am alive and will get through this time again with effort but it gets tiring.  Mentally and emotionally.

If I had it to do again….. I wouldn’t. I do miss my thyroid……. But that isn’t an option so I plug on.


About martisima

After over 50 years of teaching literature to undergraduate and graduate students, I feel I have earned my retirement (it happened when I was 72, five years ago). I do miss the classroom, however, but not the meetings and all other requirements of the profession. I love teaching, and wish I could still do it. But now I read for pleasure, and watch films, and listen to all kinds of music (no TV, though). I love to travel, and hope I can resume doing it soon. I need to get over my health issues caused by thyroid surgery three years ago!
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