Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The T4 wars, Part 8: My second year of thyroid illness

I am well into my second year of sickness due to the removal of my thyroid.

I don't feel that ill this week.  This is great because I know thyroidless people who go 10 or 20 years in misery.  But I am recovering somewhat, mainly because I have gone my own way.

First, I am an endocrinologist now.  As C Kurt Alexander of Muncie Indiana yelled at me "I am an endocrinologist!  I took your TSH!  I don't CARE how you feel."   So, since the only requirement for being an endocrinologist is learning to read a TSH test, I am now an endocrinologist. The only differences, and I admit they are critical, are that:

1 I know there is something wrong with that TSH test and I don't dose my thyroid hormone based on TSH test results.

2 I care how I feel (which by C Kurt Alexander's definition makes me a GP as well. My honors are just adding up.)

So, I now take, exclusively, four grains of Thyroid S from Thailand.  My TSH tests are low (natch), which, to us endocrinologists, means I am hyper.  My T4 tests normal and my T3 tests high.

In terms of symptoms, I actually had an idea yesterday. AN IDEA.  AMAZING.  Do you realize how unbelievable original thinking is for someone who has had a lobotomy... er I mean a thyroidectomy?  It is unheard of.  Most of the time I complain about brain fog to which my own GP responded that I should retire. Rueful laugh.  None of you are getting off quite that easy.

Also, the lingering symptom of my eyes. I see double.  A neat little post-surgery treat which is also not C Kurt Alexander's problem because he took a TSH test.   Prism glasses have helped me work on the computer, but going places like Wal-Mart with a very busy vista of clothes and boxes, is difficult for me to sort out.

Besides these symptoms, all of my other symptoms are hypo symptoms, not hyper symptoms. If C Kurt Alexander had taken my TSH test this time, he would have instantly seen (as I did, since I now know as much about surgical hypothyroidism as C Kurt Alexander) that the test results say I am hyper.  He would have ignored the fact that I am usually tired, disinterested, gaining weight, constipated, hay-like hair, dry skin.... in short, I APPEAR to be hypO -- not enough thyroid hormone.  That's what we call in the endocrinologist trade, clinical presentation.  As C Kurt Alexander pointed out to me in his tirade, as endos, we ignore clinical presentation and take a TSH test.

But, luckily, ME to the rescue!  As a combination endocrinologist, GP, and patient, I do not ignore symptoms, which makes me a kind of super-endo. I ignored the TSH test. I did not reduce my dose. And, zounds, brain fog lifted enough for me to have an idea.

 I'm starting to think the TSH test is just for laughs but, if that were true, I wouldn't be an endocrinologist anymore and I hear that they have great conventions.