Jessie James, Thyroid Thrivers
Thyroid Nation

25 years old
North Carolina, USA

How it all started, up until now, my Hypothyroidism woe’s….

At the end of 2012, I decided that I wanted to make a change and get healthy. So, I got moving. I was on a mission to start working out and becoming a more healthy and fit me. As August 2013 rolled around, I had dropped an incredible, 40 pounds.  Wow, what a load off! I was feeling better than ever, and more amazingly, I had tons of energy. During the week, I was at the gym at least 4 or 5 days. Running was my passion. Heck, anything that involved getting a great workout, was where I thrived. I was eating really healthy food. I was smiling more and felt like I could conquer anything! I was back.

As weird as this sounds, after about 4 weeks of taking Levothyroxin, I began to have all the symptoms he said I should have had, BEFORE the medicine. Crazy, right?!

That was, until my yearly physical, due that August. It was as routine as anything else in my life had been. Except, that it wasn’t! The results from my blood work came back with some abnormalities and I was immediately, thankfully, referred to an endocrinologist. I couldn’t believe it when the doctor said that I was Hypothyroid and had Hypothyroidism. What?! He told me a little about it and explained the symptoms.  (I didn’t have ANY of the symptoms he explained, at the time, but he said I must have just pushed through them, because the numbers said differently) Levothyroxin was to be my new everyday friend. By starting this medication, he said that soon, I would start feeling much better. I thought I was feeling good already?

After 3 weeks of the medicine, I felt the complete opposite. I was miserable and I felt, not better, but much worse. As weird as this sounds, after about 4 weeks of taking Levothyroxin, I began to have all the symptoms he said I should have had, BEFORE the medicine. Crazy, right?! I started getting terrible migraines, no energy, I couldn’t think cleary and by 3 p.m. every day, I felt like I could soundly sleep the day away! And sometimes, that’s exactly what I did. Me, the energizer workout girl.


By mid-September, it had been 5 weeks since my diagnosis and surprisingly, my numbers were even worse. So, my doctor raised my dosage.


Then, on October 3rd, just 8 short months ago, I went to the doctor for a different reason. I was suffering with a painful rash under my arm. It was excruciating and it turned out to be, of all things, Shingles. First hypothyroidism and now this? For the whole month of October, I was taken out of work. Every medicine they tried, did NOT get rid of it. I took 2 cycles of a strong prescription medication and still nothing. I was beginning to give up hope and I was miserable. Finally, the 3rd cycle of medicine did the trick. Shingles no more! But, why did I get it to begin with? How could all of this have happened in such a short amount of time. I was ready for a new year and I kicked it off right, making myself feel better and living more healthy. At least, that’s what I thought.

My doctor claims that my immune system was so depleted, from all my thyroid problems, that it caused me to break out with shingles.

I continued the course of action, per my doctor. Eventually, however, I stopped having my period. No cycles in December, January and February of 2014. I kept thinking, “Help! What is going on with my body?” My doctors are still unsure why my menstruation stopped and they are the experts. I absolutely have no energy anymore. The brain fog is awful and it is difficult to do anything, much less exercise. (which used to be such a form of happiness for me) Also, I’ve started to gain back the weight I was so successful at losing. It just won’t go away. I work out, eat healthy and obviously, get plenty of rest. What more can I do? Or do I need to be doing anything? Not to mention, I have the worse dry scalp and itchy skin. I’ve never had either of those symptoms in my entire life.  I’m still young, so why? What caused this?

Without a TON of coffee in the morning, I would never have enough energy, to even get out of bed, much less do anything productive, each day. Am I being cared for, correctly? This is a question I ask almost daily, now, as this is all very new to me. I was just a healthy, happy, responsible girl, who, less than a year ago, was taking fabulous care of herself and going to her yearly check-up. Then, BAM!  It’s as if someone bopped me on the head, knocked me out and I woke up in a awful nightmare of Hypothyroidism.

What questions should I be asking? Should I get a second opinion? Should I change doctors? I am online all day researching, when I feel OK, which isn’t very often lately. It is a definite struggle and I know I  am not at the end of my journey. I am hoping to learn and encounter more wonderful guidance and suggestions, along the way. Thyroid Nation, as well as many others including Mary Shomon, have been very enlightening and helpful. Great advice is around every corner now, which I am more than grateful for, but I still have a ways to go. I know I need more help defining me and this disease. I’ll keep searching, please keep leading the way.


Just know, I am fighting with all my might. I am a warrior and a Thriver. I will get back to normal, and the old me, again soon. Just wait and see!

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