Sunday, 10 July 2011

As I suspected & coming out

As I suspected

I've not been feeling "right" for a number of weeks now- just not myself really. I've been dizzy, headachey, tired- more than normal and I just suspected something wasn't right with regards to my thyroid. I knew I had a blood test due soon anyway, as I have them every 3 months just to keep things in check. At first I wasn't sure if I was just stressed or tired from work, but as time progressed it became clear it was a thyroid issue. So I went to my doctor to request a blood test form, and explain I'd been having palpitations, feeling sick and was dizzy. I actually suspected I had swung into the HYPER range (when you have too much thyroxine), but as the days passed I wasn't sure if I'd gone into either the hyper or hypo range, but I definitely knew something was up.

So I booked a blood test for the next day. It was a fasting blood test too, as my Doctor always likes to check for Diabetes and torture me (lol!) so I can't eat anything from 10pm the night before until after the blood test. The trouble is the blood test was at 9:40am, and I was struggling for weeks now to get out of bed on time. Luckily for me my job stated at 12pm, which was quite fortunate really. Anyway, I told my Mum it was at 9:40 am, I even tweeted it for goodness' sake, yet I got confused and convinced myself it was at 10:40 am instead. To cut a long story short, there was a lot of shouting from my parents' behalf to try and get my lazy arse out of bed, but as hard as they tried I just didn't manage to get ready on time. This incident proved to me even more that something wasn't right with regards to my thyroid, yet my parents weren't very understanding. I was so embarrassed about the whole situation, that it took me a whole week to book another blood test.

Anyway, so Tuesday the 5th July, I went off to the hospital at 10:20 am this time- I knew if it was any earlier we'd have a repeat of last time- and I got three bottles of blood drawn out from my left arm. I didn't know what the results would show, but I was hoping they'd show an imbalance in my thyroid hormones; TSH and free T4, nor did I know how long it would take my GP to be given my results. On Thursday 7th July, I received a letter in the post saying:

The Doctor would like you to book a non-urgent routine telephone appointment, and this can be done within the next 3-4 weeks.

In my experience, whenever I receive a letter with the wording above, there have been many, it usually entails a change in the dosage of my thyroid medication. So there was no way I was waiting for 3/4 weeks to be told, by phone, that I needed a dose change. I really hate how my GP surgery does that. I guess a dose change is "routine"- but to me it IS urgent that I get on the right dose as soon as, and not prolong the effects of  incorrect balance of thyroid hormones to my body. So naturally, I wasn't buying into it, so I phoned up the surgery to get a physical appointment.

There I was on Friday, and the surgery was very quite which is rare, so I got seen quite quickly, much to my surprise. I was told that I'd gone into the HYPO range (not enough thyroxine), as my TSH was over 5 (should be below), and my free T4 was only around 17/18- should be higher. My dosage was to be increased from 100mcg to 125mcg, so I'd need to pick up some 25mcg tablets from the pharmacy. I was actually happy for once that I was getting a dose change. I was also glad that I suspected something was wrong, as it indicates that I'm listening to my body more, and can recognise when something isn't right.

So, as of yesterday, I've been taking 125mcg. I would kindly request your thoughts, dua's and prayers please, because dose changes can be pretty confusing for me. I wrote this in my personal statement, when I was going to apply for medicine (I didn't in the end):

I find it fascinating how a single hormone can have such a profound effect on the functioning of the human body

And I still believe that today, it's pretty fascinating, baffling and bewildering- all in a SubhanAllah kinda way.

Coming out

By coming out I mean, of course, telling people I have thyroid disease. All of you that read my blog, and those that follow me on Twitter all know I'm hypothyroid. Yet only a handful of people I know in "real life" know of my thyroid disease. It's not that I'm ashamed, you see I'm quite a private person, and I don't believe in telling everybody your personal business, just because they simply do not need to know. None of my university friends know. I was quite close to telling one, but I didn't in the end.

Some of you may know from a previous post that I have been working for an accommodation company, distributing leaflets etc. I have since left this job. Anyway, I met some really fantastic and interesting people who I worked with and got to know on quite a personal level. Everyone was just so open and friendly, and we all just got stuck into the task at hand. I'd been saying to them for a number of days that I hadn't been feeling too well, and one day I mentioned that I'd been to the doctor and he's decided to send me for a blood test. One of my co-workers commented "That's a bit drastic, isn't it?" Without even hesitating, the words just rolled off my tongue and I said : "well no, it's not really, cos I'm hypothyroid and I'm always having regular blood tests." 

Of course then proceeded lots of questions about what hypothyroidism is, what it means for me, and is there a cure etc. And I was glad to be equipped with the knowledge to answer their questions. I don't know why, but I was so surprised that they were completely fine with it. I didn't want them to start treating me differently, and they didn't, which I was glad about.

On a final note, I'd like to thank and welcome the new followers to this strange little blog of mine; thank you for following, reading and commenting, it means a lot to me :)

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