Thursday, 17 March 2016

LIFE: Living with Hyperthyroidism

dont worry22 Dont worry, be happy (36 photos)

Exactly a year ago I went crazy.

I say that offhand, like a joke. But it's true. And not funny.

Hyperthyroidism is an umbrella term for someone who's thyroid has decided to throw in some overtime - there are two main sub diseases that come under that umbrella; Graves and Hashimoto.

I have Hashimoto.

The three main hormones that are affected when you are diagnosed with hyperthyroidism are T4, T3 and a tiny thing called Thyroid Stimulation Hormone.

T3 should be within 3.5 - 6.5. Mine was 10.9.
T4 should be between 9 - 23. Mine was 34.
TSH should be 0.55 - 4.78. Mine was less than 0.01.

In the past I've tried explaining what kind of crazy I felt when I hit rock bottom and fiiinally went to the Doctors, and the best way of doing that is to imagine a simple task/question/scenario.

Like going to Tesco to buy some bread. Sounds easy.

Well, no. Not when you're crazy.

It starts really early on. In order for me to go to Tesco I had to plan it out a week in advance, I'd have the right clothes washed; I'd have to know the opening times; know whether I'd be driving or walking (probably walking because then I don't have to really navigate - but then I'd have to know which coat I'd wear which means I'd need to check the weather report); I'd have to know how much money to take with me (and if that involves going to a ATM, god help me); I'd have to know what time I'd be going (definately not when school kids are about). The list of things that I thought about before and during doing anything were infinate.

I've only ever met one other person who described their brain like that and I immediately liked them because I felt like my crazy wasn't a weird lonely kind of crazy any more. It's good to have a pal who knows what the hell it's like to be trapped by your own brain. 

And when your thoughts are infinate and your body is suffering from the excess hormones so you constantly have the shakes, your hair falls out every time you wash/comb/touch it and your heart is pumping so fricking fast (even when you're laid in bed waiting to fall asleep - actually, especially then) it's a guaranteed downward spiral of doom and gloom.

Your crazy exhausts you.

And then the mistakes happen. First little things at home. Then it becomes noticeable to the people you work with. Then it becomes blatant to your boss that you have some kind of 'home issues' and it's at that point the stress on your mind and body become so, so much worse.

I ended up sobbing into the Lads shoulder for an entire night dreading going to sleep because then I'd have to wake up and actually live. I couldn't hack it. I was completely broken.

And all that, just began with going to Tesco for some bread.

With Hashimoto, my thyroid yo-yo's with it's hormone making. It can rise at any time which means for the rest of my life I'll have to be vigilant and watch out for the signs of it happening again.

Although I was only diagnosed last year, I believe I've suffered from it three times in the past ten years or so. Firstly when my Grandma died when I was sixteen - she died five days after our dog passed away and three days before my GCSE's. The second when I was twenty one; I had a part time job, was renovating our house and commuting 140mile round trip to a full time course at Uni all at once. And finally, this last time I think me coming off the contraceptive pill and having a rough time at work contributed to the downward spiral swallowing me again.

So by power of deduction, and now clear thinking, I've realised that it's stress that brings it on.

The first time I wasn't diagnosed with anything. I didn't go to the Doctors, I just assumed it was grief for my Grandma. The second time, I did go to the Doctors and they diagnosed me with a form of anxiety. Which, fair dos like. I went to CBT for nine months. This last time I was immediately diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and given Carbimazole tablets to take every day.

I'm usually against using pills to sort a problem out (I support the holistic approach), but in this case I was so mentally unstable I was just glad to have a) a medically proven problem meaning I wasn't just being weird and b) pills that could stop me being weird.

As of this week, exactly a year since I was diagnosed, I'm considered completely normal. My T3 is 4.6, T4 is 13 and my TSH is 1.3. I don't have to take any more pills.

When I was first diagnosed I felt like I was the only one in the world suffering (go me) and I hated that it was happening to me (I'm a gem aren't I?), but I was definately not alone and there's always options to get to a better place.

This isn't the kind of post I usually write, but I'm hoping that if just one of you has hyperthyroidism or knows someone that does, that this makes it a little bit easier to understand and make you feel okay. Because okay is good. You can do this.

If you want any more information on Hyperthyroidism, the best website I've found to support how I felt and what options there are available is this one, though there are plenty out there.

Find me here too!

1 comment:

  1. Stress 'ey! That darn thing! Sounds like you have been through A LOT with it but your the one coming out on top :D


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