Andrea’s story is nothing short of inspiring. She is an adult dealing with autism, under the care of her parents, yet courageously managed to do all the right things to convince them she needed to be on desiccated thyroid, NOT Synthroid, which only gave her years of problems.
My name is Andrea. I am 40 years old and a high functioning autistic female. I also have hypothyroidism. I have been on Synthroid for over 10 years since 1999. I am forced to live with my parents because I am unable to be employed due to my autism.
But there is one form of irony in my story. My dad’s younger brother works for the company that makes Synthroid. Kind of shocking when you have a relative working for the company that makes the medication you can’t take anymore, isn’t it.
I had the several of the well known side effects from taking this medication too, like hair all over the house, being cold after eating dinner, unable to lose weight, sleep apnea and high blood pressure. I was on seven medications including THREE just to go to sleep at night and TWO competing hormone pills. I also had depression which had me winding up in the emergency room of the local mental health clinic.
You see, whenever they changed the dose on my Synthroid, my anti-depressant would stop working and I would have to find another brand. I have been through all the modern versions and would have been having to use the mothers- little-help types next. I was also on an appetite suppressant. Yes I even had the C-Pap machine to fool with but quit using it.
I would complain to my doctors about my problems I was having and they would give me another pill to take. I took them the list of side effects/symptoms from Stop the Thyroid Madness website, marking those which were bothering me. I was told it was all in my head, that they could be for anything, and that Synthroid was the gold standard. My mother would be in the examining room when I would be talking about this too. It is a slap in the face hearing that I am making this up since I am considered mentally challenged. It goes back to my childhood and a life history of never ever really being taken seriously about anything.
In December 2009 I started to have horrible headaches on a daily basis. In March of 2010, I went to see a neurologist after receiving my results from my autism testing. I was given a med for the headaches which would also cause me to sleep. She suggested I go have an eye exam to see if it wasn’t something eye related. I wear bifocals now and have been since the age of 30. I have worn glasses all my life. An eye exam is painful when it comes to dilating my eyes.
That doctor suggested I also have a SPINAL TAP–not the rock group either but the actual medical procedure. I was a bit nervous about it but once sedated and given the grip bars I was fine. I laid there and daydreamed about riding a horse, dressed as a minuteman soldier to a fife and drum group to a modern day audience. Hey I am extremely patriotic. I didn’t scream. Someone else did while they were having it and scared my mom.
I also had an MRI which came back showing nothing.
Finally I had had enough of this and purchased TWO copies of the book Stop the Thyroid Madness. I placed one of them on each of my parent’s chest of drawers. Dad wasn’t too happy about what I had done at first but then later came back and apologized. It was my way of saying to them this was the way we were going to do it now. I was tired of being
dragged around like a dog and not given a chance to be heard out.
You see my mother was a medical technologist before I was born and she thought she knew what was best for me. WRONG!!
Finally, in April of 2010, my weight doctor said I needed to exercise, lose weight and give up my appetite suppressant because it was doing the opposite of my current anti depressant. Mom was with me and had the STTM book in tow. The doctor still said that it was all in my head and that the symptoms could be anything. I came home and stopped all my meds cold turkey. I eventually got back on just my anti depressant and my birth control pill.
I came on the facebook STTM group page for the book and started my gripe. I then asked Janie to help me find a doctor in my area. She did, and that doctor had heard of the book. She even went through the chapter suggested by Janie for test ideas. I will hear those results soon.
Since stopping all those meds, especially Synthroid, I have lost 5 pounds that I wouldn’t have otherwise because I was too damn tired to exercise. Hmmmm I wonder why. Could it be because of the three sleeping pills I was on? Apparently that couldn’t register but it did to me. Once back to 245 I can start riding horses again which I love. At 235 I can take the introductory lesson that most riding instructors give.
I am now on what I call the pig stuff (Amour Thyroid and chewing it) and I am never ever going back to that man made stuff again. Anything worth having is worth fighting for and I am a true believer in that now.