Gay is an Australian who has written such an interesting summary about years of constant problems because of untreated hypothyroidism while being “active and healthy” or “healthy” or with “cause unknown”. She concludes: “It had been my bloody thyroid!”
As you age, things are never quite the same as they were when you were younger. Yet, I still feel young inside. Not so hard to believe by younger family members as they listen to me struggle to remember what I saw on the News last night.
But what can lead to this struggle? Is it just old age or does it happen to younger people too? What about all that weight I’ve gained? Is it because I’m not a gym junkie or is it just my weekly, sometimes nightly, treat of a whole block of chocolate?
What has brought me, in my advancing years, to seek a better life? Well, this my story!
I was diagnosed at age 14, fifty-five years ago, with a ‘teen-age goitre’ and prescribed thyroxine (T4). I was a healthy teen-ager, never sick, active but with a swollen neck. After being asked, one too many times, if I had my mumps, my mother decided to have the doctor look at me. That was it, thyroxine and oh! eat iodised salt. Well, after the first packet of T4 was used and I didn’t feel any different, I didn’t take any more. But we always used iodised salt!
Two years later I had my first urinary tract infection and I suffered from UTI’s for the next 10 years. I was still active and healthy. Frequent UTI’s — cause unknown.
Then bouts of eczema started on various parts of my body, but most painful on my eye-lids. They were too sore to keep my eyes open but too dangerous to move around with my eyes shut! I was still active and healthy.
Then came the inability to conceive — infertility! Why couldn’t I fall pregnant? My husband, after his part in the proceedings had been checked, was declared by my doctor as dangerous to the neighbours! I was active and healthy. Infertility — cause unknown.
Then an ovarian cyst and then menorrhagia (abnormally heavy and prolonged bleeding) which resulted 12 years later in a hysterectomy at age 42. Less active but still healthy.
Painful joints made me less active. Irritability and pent-up anger made me difficult to be around. Counseling about my abusive childhood, which appeared to my doctor to be the root of my anger, could not save my marriage of 27 years. I was still healthy.
When I was 58 and after being treated with HRT for 16 years, I saw a new doctor and she tested my thyroid. Results — normal. I told her my symptoms ( leg pain/aches, weight gain, tiredness etc) that I felt were related to my thyroid and she agreed to put me on T4. I felt better for a few years and I was still healthy.
An ultrasound and fine needle aspiration of nodules, my neck was still swollen, followed a few years later – benign. Endo continued thyroxine. This was my only encounter with this supercilious Endo and I never went back!
After 6 years on T4, not feeling any better but not feeling any worse, thyroid results always ‘normal’, I decided to ditch the T4. Apart from painful joints, weight gain and fatigue that required a nap at lunch break, I was still healthy.
My weight gain continued, although as an early childhood teacher, I was quite active. My weight gain was predominantly around my waist, hips and thighs. Still skinny ankles and wrists. Still irritable and angry.
Early in 2016 came the kidney stone! After twenty eight days of so much pain, because the bloody thing wouldn’t pass, I had surgery to remove it. During that 28 days I spent most of the time on the internet and decided I would investigate my thyroid problems further.
Eureka! I discovered STTM!
I decided that I was, finally, going to become healthy. I realised that all that time I hadn’t been healthy and it had been my bloody thyroid!