Catherine Hall, Thyroid Thrivers
44 years old
Maybe my lethargy was due to my age, I thought, since no blood tests were coming back to really indicate anything else?
My journey with thyroid disease began in 2005 when I moved to Maryland with my amazing husband. I lost a lot of weight, effortlessly (which, in all honesty, I didn’t need to lose) and had profound fatigue. It was something I struggled with immensely. Eventually, I just chalked it up to my person. I was tired and had general, overall fatigue, like many other women, right? Wrong! Maybe my lethargy was due to my age, I thought, since no blood tests were coming back to really indicate anything else. I was not aware that my thyroid was to blame, but in hindsight, it all makes sense. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.
From 2007-2009, I struggled trying to conceive. I was given several reasons, many of which didn’t really help to explain or lead me in a healthy direction to try and correct my difficult situation. I was told my thyroid levels were a little low but not too low, and I wasn’t officially hyperthyroid, they said. I wasn’t even sure what that meant for me and it wasn’t explained to me, fully, either. Why not? Feeling somewhat desperate, I finally decided to try IVF treatments…..3 different times.
At this point, I decided to take my health into my own hands, and changed my diet, started going to acupuncture, I practiced yoga and introduced herbs. I wanted a child, we both did, and I wanted to be healthy. Surprisingly, the happy day came and we found out we were pregnant. We were elated and over the moon with joy.
After having my beautiful, healthy daughter, it was just more and more of the same. I was exhausted and had night sweats, heart palpitations and achy joints. Maybe this is what all moms go through, I thought. But, how? How could it be this tiring? I wanted to enjoy my precious moments with my daughter and it seemed like the other mothers were thriving, why wasn’t I? Disappointingly, I continued to see the same doctor for 3 years, even after miraculously giving birth to my amazing daughter.
I was still without a diagnosis and just as tired and confused as ever!
Finally, during a routine check-up last year, my doctor felt a lump on my throat and ordered a sonogram. I went to a specialist and was told I would have to have a thyroidectomy. Couldn’t this have been detected or maybe even avoided, had my doctor done more? This and many other questions still haunt me? I couldn’t believe it. I was living my life as healthy as possible and I was undiagnosed and suffering for all these years?! Discovering, eventually, that I had hyperthyroidism, multi-nodular thyroiditis. I had one hot nodule that was causing my hyperthyroidism. The other nodules were possibly causing other complications. After a second opinion, I reluctantly went under the knife in November 2013. I was terrified to have the operation. I didn’t want to get rid of my thyroid, even if it wasn’t very healthy. Surely, something more could be done?
Since my surgery, I have been taking 100 mcg of Synthroid. My levels have been in the standard ‘normal’ range, so far. My symptoms; however, haven’t gone away. I suffer with joint pain, along with physical and mental fatigue. My energy is completely sapped, especially about 7 o’clock, every, single night. At which point, I can hear my bed, calling my name. I am young and vibrant, at least I thought I was. Why am I so tired, still? I’ve had my thyroid gland removed, I am on medication and under the care of a physician. You cannot imagine how excruciatingly painful it is, to feel like I am missing out on memory-making activities with my family, because of this pain and fatigue. I don’t want to be like this. I want to run around and play tag or dress up dolls or even swing at the playground, but oftentimes, I am too tired. My heart is extremely saddened every time I have to say, “No, mommy can’t, she is exhausted!”
I have always been more into alternative therapy, and natural healing, than conventional methods. But they are the experts, right? The specialists I have seen, don’t offer different healing methods or ideas or even suggestions. So, I am still searching, knowing there is better treatment out there. In my heart, I know there must be a better way. I exercise, eat really well, take vitamins at lunchtime and get plenty of rest. I know I can feel better and more alive because, recently I’ve seen on forums that there are healthcare providers that can help. There are physicians that actually care about my overall well-being, I have learned, as I am forced to advocate for myself.
Because of my research and my ongoing fatigue, I went for a recent check-up. I don’t have the results yet, but will continue on this journey to healing and thriving. I won’t give up, for my husband, my daughter or myself.
I am too important and I, like so many others, deserve a second chance!
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