Laurie’s story of years of problems, following by HC and Florinef, and getting off both thanks to the T3CM!
About me: I am 44 years old and I’m sure I’ve been hypothyroid my whole life. I think I can pinpoint what finally tipped me over the edge. I got married 12 years ago, moved to California from Idaho, and thought I would live happily ever after … but not so. I won’t go into all the details, obviously, but I found out my husband was cheating on me which is a horrendous discovery. We decided to try and work it out and although I gave it a valiant effort for the last 3 years of our marriage he sure didn’t…..enough was enough and we separated.
As soon as we separated I went right back to college and started working on pre-requisites to go to nursing school, and finally got accepted into an accelerated nursing program to get my bachelor’s degree all to be completed in one year. Looking back, I believe all the stress in my marriage shoved me to the edge of the cliff and it was the nursing program that pushed me right over. During the last 3 months of my program I started having hot flashes and felt like I was having a heart attack. I went to the doctor who ran a series of blood tests which revealed that I was in menopause. I was heartbroken because I still had hope that I would have children and now that dream was gone.
The shock of being told I was hypothyroid after lots of “normals”: I struggled off and on with depression my whole life and my thyroid always checked out “normal.” What I would give to see those test results now. I’m sure I would now see a very different story when I was diagnosed as hypothyroid. Anyway, they gave me all the bio-identical hormone creams and Naturethroid and I carried on with my program somehow. It was a nightmare and sometimes I can’t believe that I finished but I guess adrenaline and sheer will helped me get to the finish line.
Depression and anti-depressants: After I graduated, I thought I would sleep for a month, start studying for my state boards and take them in 3-4 months, but my body had different plans. When I stopped and took a breath after my program ended everything seemed to fall apart. I went into a severe depression. It was so bad that all I could do was sit on the couch and stare at the wall. I dragged myself to a psychiatrist because I knew I needed someone who was knowledgeable with antidepressants. I have never handled medication of any kind very well and I wanted someone who could tailor something to me. He put me on Cymbalta and then he added Prozac to counter the withdrawal symptoms I was having on the Cymbalta. For some reason it seemed my body just chewed right through the Cymbalta and I had terrible headaches from the withdrawals. He had me dosing both about 4-5 times per day and I didn’t feel any better. I can say that the Cymbalta did wonders for my anxiety but I had zero motivation for anything.
Weaning off anti-depressants and looking at my adrenals: Because my thyroid medication didn’t seem to be helping me I decided to start researching hypothyroidism on my own and discovered Janie’s Stop the Thyroid Madness book which then somehow led me to the Adrenals Yahoo group. I couldn’t believe what I was reading in the book and in the discussions on the group. It all made such sense to me and so I decided to start weaning myself off of the antidepressants. From the time I started the Cymbalta and the Prozac to the time I got myself completely off of both it was about 11 months.
HC and Florinef: In October 2010 on the advice of the adrenals group I started Rhodiola and T3 because I had a reverse T3 issue (around 394). I could never get stable temps so I moved to Isocort in January 2011 (same month I finally weaned from the antidepressants). Still couldn’t get stable temps or raise the T3 past 68.75 mcg so in June 2011. I started HC and then added Florinef in July 2011. I did finally get some stable temps but STILL could not get my T3 up past that 68.75. I waited, juggled electrolytes, tried to balance sex hormones and constantly monitored the HC and Florinef and all that goes along with taking those two drugs and hoped that my body would find a happy medium.
In the meantime, I saw that Janie was beginning to talk about the T3CM protocol but I wasn’t brave enough to give it a try. I know the massive following Janie has, I know she would not steer us wrong, and I trust her, but I couldn’t bring myself to get on board. Besides, I had worked so hard to get where I was with the Florinef and the HC that I felt I had to give it a bit longer to see if I could level out somehow. The regular way of weaning seemed daunting and I didn’t even know if I should even be thinking about weaning because I didn’t know if it was too soon??
I felt completely trapped by this HC/Florinef protocol. I felt like I was at this fork in the road and I couldn’t decide if I should go right or left and I didn’t want to make a mistake so I stayed put on the Florinef and HC. I even bought and read Paul’s book and as exciting as it was I couldn’t commit…yet. I read daily all the posts in Val’s and Janie’s Yahoo groups and I kept seeing more and more discussion about the T3CM protocol, and it was a post in the Chat group that gave me the nudge I needed to join the T3CM group.
T3CM: At the end of April 2012 I decided to join the T3CM group to watch the discussions. I saw a friend from one of the other groups there giving it a try and I saw Dave preparing to go for it. I knew Dave was a moderator from the adrenals group and I felt like if he could do it then certainly I could too. It was then that I knew I had to give it a try. (Thank you to Jim, Suzanne, and Dave for giving me the courage to jump in…even though you didn’t know it..lol!)
On April 23, 2012 I started the T3CM and on May 23, 2012 I took my last dose of HC. My last day of Florinef was 5/8/12. How incredible is that?!? I have fantasized about the day when I would be off of both and now here I am….steroid free! I still can hardly believe it. And, I feel fine. In fact, I feel better physically than I have in a very long time. I still have a ways to go to get my thyroid optimized (actually it might be quicker than I think!) but at least I have the HC and the Florinef out of the way now so I can fine tune the T3CM protocol. Because of that I was hesitant to write a ‘success story’ but without the T3CM protocol I would never have been able to wean off of HC and Florinef in 4 weeks! LOL! Janie pointed out that that IS success right there and she is right, of course, but that is why this is a ‘part 1′ story because I know I will have a ‘part 2.”
I would like to add that I have some major life stressors happening in my life right now. My divorce is being finalized, I’m 44 and not only looking for a new job but will be starting an entirely new career, and I may be looking at moving out of state. It’s all very overwhelming but I have managed to keep it together and wean off HC and Florinef while juggling all of my personal life stressors. I am scared everyday about the unknown and I struggle with grief over the loss of so many years of my life to this stupid disease but I’m working on finding the positive, the creation of new dreams and hoping that the next part of my life will be a whole lot better than the first half.
I feel like I’ve been given the keys to the castle. I often wonder “why me?” … how was I so fortunate to stumble onto this lifesaving information? I don’t know yet but I’m grateful and I know I will always keep myself involved in the thyroid community and I will somehow find a way to give back. It’s ironic that I’m going into the medical field that I find so disappointing and criminal but I guess that may be where I can make my difference, hopefully. I will certainly try and I thank my lucky stars that I don’t have to do it sneaking off and dosing my HC 4 times a day! LOL!
I give to Paul the most sincere thank you that I can say. There aren’t enough words or hours in the day to convey how grateful I am that you decided to share with the world this amazing protocol and gift. Oodles of thanks to Janie who gives tirelessly to the thyroid community and who has an open mind and welcomes new ideas because without her belief in this protocol we may never have had the courage to try it. I feel so blessed to have the support from all the other thyroid/adrenal patients who share their wisdom and give encouragement on a daily basis. It really does take a village.
Thank you, Paul 🙂