I am the unfortunate recipient of some pretty gnarly stuff in my family’s gene pool. I think I have been a good sport about that for the most part. I got my teeth straightened. I wear contact lens and wait for the cataracts I’ve had since birth to demand removal. I cope with always being kinda anemic. But, I thought I had weathered the worst of that and headed into my adult years as a healthy gal in complete control of her body and her destiny.
Then, I found out that I have Grave’s Disease.
My grandmother had it too, and on the outside of it, it doesn’t appear to be too much of a show stopper. Grave’s disease, otherwise known as hyperthyroidism, can be treated with medication, eating a radioactive pill to kill off part of your thyroid, or worst case, having the whole dang thing removed and living on thyroid meds forever. But, fortunately, the long and short of it is that you live.
I am blessed with a wonderful team of health care providers who have worked together to manage my disease and help me make decisions about how long my thyroid will continue to take up residence before it overstays its welcome. I don’t know all the answers yet, but I am working hard with both traditional MDs and with a fantastic holistic doctor as well to find some level of healing. However, I would still be suffering in misery if not for the quick thinking of my primary care doctor in checking my thyroid during his first round of testing. He’s a thorough guy, and I am grateful for it. Which brings me to the point of this post:
Go see your primary care doc once a year. Do it. Do it now if you haven’t yet done it. Do I need to wait here while you go make the appointment? Don’t tempt me. Ok, I’m waiting….
The only symptoms of my thyroid disease that I noticed before being diagnosed (even though it was already waaaaay out of hand) were hives, blurry vision and a general sense of anxiety and on-going panic. Research shows that thyroid disease (both hyper and hypo) is often missed because its myriad of symptoms can look at first like depression or anxiety. If my doctor had not been so thorough, he would have given me a script for Xanax and asked me to seek counseling. When I was put on the correct thyroid medication, my symptoms subsided and I was able to resume a life I recognized.
I have been toying around with starting a support group for individuals with thyroid disorders and/or fibromyalgia in Raleigh because my own experience with thyroid disease has been so profound. Would this be helpful to you guys? Let me know and we’ll get it on the books. Also, if anyone wants to know the names of my providers I would be happy to hook you up with them.
Your Partner in Healing,
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