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Thyroid Disorders Message Board


Thyroid Disorders Board Index


Hello everyone,:wave:

My name is Jackie. I'll try to be as brief as I can be, b/c this could stretch into a novel. And I apologize, because it probably will. Let's see. I'm a mid-forties aged mom of four. In fairly good shape - tall and petite/thin, usually 120lbs. My thyroid journey started about 12 years ago, after the birth of our third child, I was diagnosed with severe hyperthyroidism when she was about 8 months old. It must have got stuck after my pregnancy, my endocrinologist said. Took PTU and after 2 years thyroid levels normalized. Afterward however, I had a few miscarriages before being diagnosed with anti-phospholipid syndrome (sticky blood) and put on heparin during the pregnancy where I was able to deliver our fourth child. I was also diagnosed with gestational diabetes during that last pregnancy.

Fast forward to fall 2008. Around October, I started to become very tired. Since I work very late hours and sometimes all night when on project deadlines, I just chalked it up to excessive and erratic work hours and being a busy mom and wife. I'm also a runner (was, that is, too tired now), and I did strength training for years to control my asthma symptoms. For the past six years I've worked out 3 - 4 times/week at the gym with weights and lots of cardio, even despite previous surgeries - uterine ablation to control non-stop bleeding after the birth of our fourth child, followed by an umbilical hernia repair, and removal of my gall bladder. Back then, I went from doctor to doctor and test to test for nearly 2 years before my hernia surgeon said he would do an exploratory b/c I was so ill and tests were non-definitive, and voila, my gall bladder was diseased (no stones), he took pictures it was so bad - it was cool to look at afterward. Because of severe vomiting and adverse reactions to medication, my weight shrunk down to an anorexic looking 100 lbs by the time I had my gall bladder surgery, took about a year to put my weight back on. Point is - despite all that, my strength and will to keep up my exercise surpassed any physical discomfort I had during all this. I was volunteering at my children's schools too, cleaning our house, being a wife. I had boundless engery after my gall bladder was removed, until last October.

The first month, I barely noticed what was happening. I thought I was just tired from working so hard. In November, I stopped going to the gym. People there started to wonder why I was AWOL? I tried going again, because my pre-teen loves to go with me to work out and I found it hard to tell her no. But I was exhausted and spent most of the time supervising her. My skin got more dry and itchy than normal. I got deeply depressed. But it was winter, I thought. I became very constipated, for days on end, up to seven in a row! I thought it was because I couldn't exercise. The couch started to beckon more. Since then, my short term memory has been hijacked (I constantly have everyone around here looking for things that I cannot find, and I frequently stop midsentence, unable to finish my thoughts when talking to someone). My memory used to be sharp as a tack. I took great pride in it. And last spring actually, I noticed severe joint pain in my left hip when I was running races or doing cardio kick boxing. It caused me to fall a couple of times.

Last month I was hospitalized with what they thought were symptoms of a heart attack after I was taken to our ER barely responsive after vomiting that morning for several hours, and, unable to breathe easily, and shooting pain under my rib cage, and in my shoulders and upper back. They did lots of tests - echo, lung scan, all good. They couldn't do the heart CATH because I'm severely allergic to the IVP dye. ECG turned out, was abnormal in that the cardiologist said the readings were indicative not of heart problems, but of hypothyroidism! The test showed "low voltage limb leads" and nonspecific T abnormalities" called "T wave flattening." My blood tests, though, he said were both hyper and hypothyroid! I asked how could that be? He wasn't sure. When I was discharged, I was referred for a stress test (turned out normal), and sent back to our GP.

I've been on the couch sleeping off and on, 4 - 6 hours each day since last fall, and then, sleeping all night. I never napped during the day before, not even for 10 minutes. My husband sends the children off to school (he can't wake me up in the morning), makes dinner after he gets back from work, does the laundry, sounds divine doesn't it? But it's stressing me out because I can't get off the couch and do the things I love to do anymore - work out, go for a run, play with the kids, do homework with them, see our friends. I have an important conference to fly 4 1/2 hours to attend in a few weeks - I don't know how I'm going to manage the 12 hour days.

And I've also had severe bouts of Vertigo the last 3 weeks. Last Monday I'd had enough of the spinning motions and was unable to walk without veering to the left, and we went back to the GP that day. My BP was way low - 78/50 in his office, and my temp was 98.0. He ran more blood tests to check the thryoid, and sure enough, still reading weird, and positive for anti-thyroid antibodies (they didn't check those in the hospital). He said - you might have Hashimoto's Disease, and I said, Hashi - what??? :confused: He explained what it was, and felt it consistent with my symptoms and age bracket. That, he said, combined with my personal medical history, and my family history of auto-immune and thyroid problems as well, had to be it. He wanted me to see an endocrinologist. Since we've moved since seeing my last endo for my hyperthyroid, I picked one on his list that was closer to our home, and saw her this past Friday morning.

The endo glanced real quick through my labs from the hospital, and from last week. She smiled at me and I felt like I was crazy as I specifically described my symptoms and complex medical history. I told her I was depressed, a chronic sleeper, couldn't work out anymore. I was falling out of my chair in the exam room, ready to fall asleep as I was talking. My eyelids have become droopy and they always want to close. My quality of life was gone! I told her. She smiled some more and took my blood pressure. 120/95 she said - perfect! I looked at her -my top number has never been so high?? My BP typically runs 85/55, or 90/60 at the most, but the top number is never above 100, for as long as I can remember, and my bottom numbers are usually very low, below 65. She smiled again and suggested I might have been "stressed" and that's why it was higher than my typical low readings. She then goes on to say that my thyroid numbers aren't that far out of the range, and she even sees improvement in the numbers since my hospitalization - she said that my body was probably stressed in the hospital, and she said that can cause the thyroid and other numbers to be off (my labs were all over the place in other areas too). My billirubin, for example, always runs very high, but it was very high last month, and my APA (anti-phospholipid) numbers were critcally high, off the charts. So is my BUN/CREA (kidneys). She said she didn't believe that I was having thyroid issues, and she said she was confident that if I have another bloodwork done in a month, that the results will be normal. She kind of blew off my insistence about my previous medical history, family history of thyroid issues, and my severe symptoms. I told her about my conference coming up - she said I'd be fine. I don't think I will. She smiled again and kept writing up the script for the lab work in a month, she said it was highly unlikely that I had Hashimoto's. She was suprised my GP's office even recognized my ECG tests as hypothyroid indicators. I retorted that he is a good guy, super family doc, which is why we've been with him for nearly a decade now. The endo seemed to want to humor me with a request to have a thyroid scan? Why, I asked her, if she felt my bloodwork was normal? And, that's an expensive test! She shrugged and said it was up to me.

Here are my lab blood work results:

Hospital results (one month ago)
TSH .31 (Low)) lab range (.39 - 4.)
FREE T4 .80 lab range (.71 - 1.)
TOTAL T 3 .56 (Low) lab range (.58 - 1.)

And there was a note at the bottom - these results were confirmed by repeat analysis (they stuck me every hour on the hour in the hospital for 2 days).

Results from last week (billirubin and BUN/CREA still very high too, and this is new - glucose was slightly elevated, APA still high). My cholesterol, especially my triglicerides, is very low. My trigs are only 26. But they've always been very low despite the fact that I eat a lot of healthy fats.

TSH 3rd GENER. 1.74 lab range (.39 - 4.19)
TOTAL T3 .92 lab range (.58 - 1.59)
FREE T4 .69 (low) lab range (.71 - 1.48)
Anti-thyro EIA 22 (high) lab range <20
Thyroglobulin 20.6 lab range 2.0 - 35.0

Despite the fact that my numbers aren't off the charts - my body is responding full force with all the raging, debilitating symptoms of Hashimoto's. I was feeling a little "up" (in mind only) going to the endo Friday morning, thinking - finally - an answer! I wasn't crazy! And then I left there feeling like, "okay, maybe I am crazy?"

So I have to wonder - do I just suck it up? Prop myself up with cans of Red Bull or metabolism boosters and make my physical body move anyway so I can start living off the couch again? I'm going to see my GP again this week, to see what he thinks about the endo's response. We have an obscenely high deductible on our health insurance plan, so jumping from specialist to specialist is too expensive, and not an option right now. Was hoping I'd hit it lucky with the endo, I've been to a few dismissive type MDs in the past and I flee them quite quickly, but typically, I find wonderful doctors, like our GP out there.

I know you all can't give out medical advice here, I'm not looking for that....just hoping to see if anyone has had an experience similar to mine, and still be found to have Hashimoto's? Or could it be something else? I also can't wait to call our GP on Monday, and schedule another appt this week, at least his fees for a visit are reasonable, more reasonable than an endo.

Also just need to vent. Sorry this first post was far too long, hope I didn't bore anyone or waste your time. But this has been a strange odessey and my life is truly limited right now. Please let me know if any of you have had a similar story, or see anything in my post that I should definitely remember to bring up with my GP? Who knows, he might just up and decide to treat me himself? He's taken swift action before. We'll see. Meantime, I gotta get back to sleep. Soooooooo tired.

Thank you all for your time. Best wishes to all.

J





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