How’s it going y’all?! This post is going to be about my experience dealing with hypothyroidism. It has been a long journey and I’m going to share it with you in hopes that I reach out to others that are dealing with this problem and for those who want to understand what it’s like for someone who is dealing with this disease.
As far back as I can remember, when I was in college and everything was going great. I was doing well, I had a job, and I loved the direction that my life was in. I can still remember the time when I had a bad reaction to a soup I had in school, it was a broccoli and cheddar soup. I remember the bad pain I got in my stomach. Now this is weird. I’ve never been allergic to anything in my life as far as I’ve known, and it wasn’t broccoli or cheese. The pain was so bad that I wouldn’t dare walk. it felt like someone was squeezing my insides. I immediately told my mother when I got home. I think that’s what we all kind of do. It like an instinct to go to our mothers when something is wrong because they always have a remedy for whenever you’re not feeling well. My mother tells me that maybe the food wasn’t good, or I had food poisoning. I’ve always eaten this soup and had no issues with it, so I figured she was right. When I felt better, I went back to my classes. I started noticing that I had stomach pains in the morning before my classes. It would be to a point where I felt completely sick and I can’t even say how many times I ran to the bathroom and threw up. I knew something was wrong. I began missing classes because it was so bad. It was so bad that I missed a week of classes and I felt like my world was spinning. I emailed my professors and tried my hardest to keep up with just the power points and textbooks. I managed to get through midterms. After that ordeal, I made an appointment with my doctor. The doctors asked me questions and didn’t have any tests run. They basically told me that I might be lactose intolerant and to cut off dairy products. They said I was perfectly fine. I didn’t feel fine.
Weeks go by and I don’t feel better even though I cut out dairy products. I felt tired all the time even though I got enough sleep. My joints were achy, my hair was falling out more than usual whenever I combed it or washed it, and I had gained a noticeable amount of weight which made no sense. I was a very active person, I was always moving around and worked out almost every day. I was also inline skating almost every day as well. My diet was great. I hardly ate any junk food and I mostly ate tons of veggies. I continually made appointments and went to the doctor to be told the same thing and to be more active, to eat healthier. They ran blood tests and couldn’t find anything wrong. By that time, I have gained even more weight. I felt like the doctors weren’t listening to me. I knew within my heart that something was wrong. My body felt like it wasn’t mine and I didn’t have control of it. I started noticing that I was always feeling cold when everyone else was fine. I was always bundled up. I slept with two comforters. I wasn’t happy anymore, I managed to pass one of the two classes I was taking but failed one because I missed a lot of days even though I did all the work and passed all the tests with flying colors. This took a toll on me, I was so stressed out and I felt depressed.
As the summer went by, I wasn’t feeling any better. The fall semester was approaching, and I wanted to do better this time around. I wanted to retake the class I failed and do better. My job was getting harder for me. I also missed days of work and I used up all my sick days. I felt exhausted 24/7. My once strong nails were getting brittle. My skin was drier than ever, my face was so puffy, and I still had the bad stomach pains. I felt so weak. I ended up not doing so well because I missed days of school and work. I lost my job and couldn’t go back to my classes. I was distraught. My whole life was going up in flames and I couldn’t do anything about it. I decided to switch hospitals and go to one that was much closer to me. The one I used to go to be all the way downtown and being that this one was closer to me it was more convenient. I explained everything to the doctor I saw there, and he immediately started asking questions to which I responded yes to and I told him everything about how I was feeling, and he said, “it sounds like you have hypothyroidism, but we will run some blood work and see what comes up”. I just give him a look like wait what, what’s that? And he begins to explain. Hypothyroidism is when you have an underactive thyroid and your thyroid doesn’t make enough hormones for your body to run properly. I had all the symptoms, fatigue, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, brittle nails, hair loss, puffy face, unexplained weight gain, muscles aches, joint pain, brain fog. I was mentally checking them off in my head.
After the blood work was done, I came back a week later to see what my blood tests showed. Just as the doctor assumed, Hypothyroidism. I finally knew what was wrong with me and now I can be helped. If I hadn’t changed hospitals, I would have never known, and it probably would have gotten worse. My TSH levels were at 22. My doctor immediately put me on Levothyroxine 25 mcg. He explained that they always start patients on this dose and gradually add depending on the blood work and my TSH levels. During the past year, I have had increasing problems and have gained more weight, I honestly am still struggling with the symptoms more now, but I am hoping that I get better. My new doctor now, has changed my prescription to Levothyroxine 100 mcg and she says this should help me feel better. My TSH levels are now at 7.5, which she explains is still too high. I have been dieting with a gluten-free, lactose free diet working out every other day, and I still see no changes yet. I am not going to let this illness defeat me.