I wanted to start a series on thyroid issues. This will be an ongoing series about my thyroid issues. I have seen lots of new books, sites, and Facebook pages on dealing with thyroid issues. I thought I would share my personal experience here, just in case it helps someone else.
The information that I am sharing here is just from my experiences. I am definitely not qualified to diagnose and treat thyroid issues. You should always use information that you read on sites as something to consider and then take the information to your doctor and make your own informed decision.
My thyroid journey started about 12 years ago, after my daughter was born. It was June of 2002. I was still breastfeeding and I was up during the night for feedings. My daughter was 6 months old when I started experiencing symptoms. It felt like I was pregnant again. I went to my OB/GYN and told her what I was experiencing.
My symptoms were:
Really tired during the day
Pain in my wrist, like carpal tunnel
Low body temperature in the morning-97 degrees was my normal
Swollen feet and hands
Heart racing, kind of felt like a pounding feeling
Bowel movements two to three times a day
I told her that I had already taken a pregnancy test at home and it showed negative. She ran some blood work to make sure that I was not pregnant, which did come back negative. She told me that she suspected that I had something going on with my thyroid. I am so thankful that she recognized the symptoms right away. I know women who have gone years without getting a diagnosis. She ordered blood work, testing my TSH levels only, and told me that she would get in touch with me in a few days with the results.
We went out of town to visit family. While we were there, the doctor called and wanted to talk to me. She said that my TSH was sky high! I had no idea what she was talking about. The normal range for TSH, for the lab that was used, was .3 – 5.0. My TSH was 55! Yes, fifty-five, not 5.5. I asked her just to make sure that she was reading it correctly. She said that based on that level, she was surprised that I had energy to even get out of bed! I just thought I was tired from taking care of two small children, then 2 years old and 6 months old. I was up nursing the baby during the night and just thought I wasn’t getting enough sleep. I was still preparing meals daily, cleaning the house, and we had traveled several times to visit out of state family. I didn’t think that my energy levels were THAT low. I just thought I was tired.
I was so surprised and overwhelmed. I had no idea what to do with this diagnosis. I did not know anything about thyroid function, symptoms, or medication for treating it. The information about blood work and what to test for was foreign to me.
I remember sitting at my parents’ house where we were visiting, talking to my husband about it, and using my mother’s computer to search the internet for any information that might help me to understand what was happening.
The next “My Thyroid Journey” post will have information on what we did next. Please follow along in this series. I hope that you will find something helpful, especially if you or someone you love is struggling with symptoms of thyroid issues.