Vikki Gavin, Thyroid Thrivers
45 years old
My nickname is Giggles, but sometimes it’s just part of the act. One of the many faces I have developed over the years, to mask my hypothyroidism symptoms. Maybe, with proper healthcare and this new doctor, I can be the real GIGGLES again!
To be honest, I really do not know where the beginning is with my Hypothyroidism story. I will start with what I do know. Depression is my one of my worst symptoms, something I have carried with me since my early, horrific teenage years. I went through several traumatic things in childhood that forever changed my life. Recently discovering that BOTH of my grandparents suffered from thyroid disease, adds another layer to my overall awareness of how I got where I am today.
I have always joked around saying my drastic moods are a part of me being a Gemini. I can quickly go from one extreme to the other. Typically, I’m a happy-go-lucky person to the outside eye, those that don’t really know me. But those that do, know it can sometimes be an act (which might be true for all of us that suffer from this debilitating disease we know as hypothyroidism). Over the years, I’ve learned to wear many different, colorful and disguising masks.
Sometimes, I just feel like I am alone with my hypothyroid and no one, could possibly understand.
Honestly, I am the kind of person who loves people and loves to make them smile, make them laugh. But there are days when I just don’t want to leave my comfy and inviting bed. ‘Screw the world’, I say. Who’s with me?! 🙂 Is this part of this awful illness? Is it normal? It sure is for me. Sometimes, I just feel like I am alone with my hypothyroid and no one, could possibly understand.
2007, was the year my first, real, noticeable health issues started. Mood swings, started to be part of my everyday ‘norm’. I was only 39 years old at the time; it felt too young to be suffering the way I was. All the ladies in the office where I worked, started telling me I needed this or that. Overwhelmed and discouraged, I started to withdraw. I didn’t know what would help make me feel better or what wouldn’t. I did start taking black kohosh and over-the-counter perimenopausal medications. All to no avail.
Then, I was in a terrible car accident that caused major whiplash. A trigger?! I was constantly going to the chiropractor after that. Oftentimes, I was sick with ear infections, sinus infections, bronchitis and pink eye. It was miserable.
Finally, I went for a regular physical and the nurse practitioner started feeling on my neck. She said she felt nodules. I had no idea what the heck nodules even were, at that point, much less hypothyroidism. She sent me for an ultrasound and nodules were confirmed. I was then referred to an endocrinologist. Before my appointment, I lost my job and the insurance to go with it. I didn’t get to see the specialist, unfortunately. If only I would have researched nodules, maybe I would have tried harder to go to the endocrinologist. Or, if I was given more information or had blood work done to see if my thyroid levels were off, it would have helped me get a diagnosis, sooner.
Years later and 3 more jobs lost, I had a gynecologist appointment. It started to hurt while making love to my husband. I remember feeling like my insides were falling out. Additionally, my mood swings were in full force. I decided before I got there, that it must be menopause. The doctor at the time, told me I was too young, at 44 to be going through menopause. So, he suggested that we test my hormones and thyroid. That was the very first time someone suggested it could be the little butterfly-shaped gland Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ , in my neck, wreaking havoc on my body. All I knew about it, before that, was it made you gain weight. I was very familiar with that as I went from 135 pounds to 183 pounds, in 6 years. I had no idea it was because of my hypothyroidism.
In July, 2013, my life forever changed. Yes, my TSH was over 6, my hormones were high, I had hypothyroidism and early onset menopause, but I had answers. The doctor sent me to a family health doctor and I was prescribed levothyroxine. For about a full month, I tried to tell her about the nodules that were discovered. She didn’t listen. Eventually, she did hear me though and ordered my old records. I was sent for my much anticipated, new ultrasound. Obviously, the nodules were confirmed and I found out I had an enlarged thyroid. After that, she sent me for a nuclear scan. However; she forgot to mention I had to be off of my thyroid medications for 6 weeks before I could take the test. Oh great! Discouragingly, I rescheduled. 😳
The doctor actually said, “There is no need to check your T3!”
The nuclear scan showed that one nodule was gone, thankfully. But, there was no explanation for the enlarged thyroid. I was told to recheck in 6 months. Meanwhile, I was so exhausted and it felt like something was stuck in my throat, at all hours of the day. In addition to that, my doctor only tested TSH and T4, although I begged her to please check my T3, as well. The doctor actually said, “There is no need to check your T3!” Can you imagine? UGH!
I have an appointment with a doctor, from Mary Shomon’s list of recommended doctors, May 6th. I am so exited to hopefully and finally be getting good healthcare. Maybe, just maybe, I am not so crazy after all. Maybe, being a ‘gemini’ really has nothing to do with it, after all. LOL My nickname is Giggles, but sometimes it’s just part of an act. One of the many faces I have developed to mask my hypothyroidism symptoms. Maybe, with proper care and treatment, I can be the real GIGGLES again!
It’s a daily battle. One I don’t like fighting; I’m not a soldier on a battlefield, armor on, sword in hand. I feel weak most days. Weak because, I had to call in sick for work today with body aches and I have extreme fatigue. My arms and legs feel like 2-ton weights dangling from my listless body. I have to use my brain at work. ha! Who doesn’t, right?! Brain fog and fatigue, just don’t mix well, in this scenario, I’m afraid. But seriously, I truly need to be able to concentrate and get my neurons firing and instead, they are backfiring on me. I also have several blond moments a day, not sure if I am coming or going. No offense to those natural blonds. (I can’t help it, I’m always cracking jokes!) I want to be, the me, I once was. When joking and making people laugh, weren’t just part of my methods for coping, but a part of who I really was (and want to be again). When Hypothyroidism didn’t have a hold of my throat. Where o’ where has she gone?
Futhermore, my co-workers just don’t understand. I think they want to, they just can’t. In particular, there is this one gal, who also has hypothyroidism and isn’t on any medications, she says “I’m fine without them.” Clearly, she must be thinking I’m making up my severe symptoms and struggles. But, it really is this terrible for me. I do try to keep moving, despite, but some days I just can’t. I can’t! That doesn’t make me a quitter…..it makes me honest. I just wish others would understand that, although I don’t look sick, I’m suffering and struggling on the inside.
Take care my fellow Thyroid Thrivers — we are survivors in every sense of the word and are forever together on this hypothyroidism journey.
SMILE, even if you don’t feel like it. Smiling and laughter are a great source of medicine. 🙂
This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.
Questions or anything to add? We want your thoughts in the comments section–Please!