I have no idea what the hell your problem is, but you are ruining my life. Six months ago, I was sitting in a movie theatre with friends, enjoying my healthy life and minding my own business, when suddenly out of nowhere, I felt like I was having, either a terrible panic attack or the onset of a bad flu, or something.
At first, it felt like my tongue was growing in my mouth, the area under my tongue went dry. My heart started racing. I began sweating and shaking with a nauseous sensation in my stomach. Panic attack? At that time, I was under the least amount of stress. Flu? I never got sick. An allergic reaction? Ha, I don’t have allergies.
And, for the past six months, to this very day, I have not had one good, healthy, happy day since then. Not one. I’m only 20.
I’m young, female, and although tiny (5’0″ and 100 lbs), I’ve hardly been sick with more than a cold in my life. I have had the strangest symptoms that come and go, and last however long they please. I had symptoms in the beginning that I don’t really get now, and I have symptoms now that I never got in the beginning.
My upper back and shoulders ache all the time, sometimes cracking just from taking a deep breath. I have bad cramps in my legs at night, not that I’m sleeping. I don’t remember what it’s like to have a good night’s sleep. I lie awake, in pain, unable to sleep, despite exhaustion. Every day.
I have a twisting, burning feeling in my stomach (CT scans and the endoscopy revealed that my stomach looks fine). Even though, I’ve never vomited, I feel nauseous constantly. I get a feeling like the skin on my neck and sometimes my scalp is tingling. My neck feels warm, and I feel like my throat is being pinched extremely hard from inside my body. Sometimes I feel like something extremely heavy is pushing against my neck/chest area, or that it’s been punched really hard. I feel out of breath easily when I do a lot of talking or when I sing. Sometimes I feel so dizzy, I think I’m going to pass out, like there is a heavy weight inside my head. I have headaches, and head pressure; pressure from my chest up to my neck that tightens along the sides and along my jaw, into my ears. It feels like there is poison inside my body.
I get bad cramping in my chest, most often my heart feels like it is clenching really hard, sometimes it pounds and races. I flip out, constantly in fear, constantly wrought with anxiety. Constantly shaking like a leaf, even when I’m not. I feel a tightness and overproduction of saliva under my tongue that drives me crazy. I feel like I am dying every day. I’m not exaggerating.
What did the doctors first say when I told them of all these crazy symptoms? Obviously, they said “I just had anxietyÃ¢â‚¬. I was handed a bottle of Klonopin, which did nothing.
I was then handed a bottle of Alprazolam, which I now take occasionally, grudgingly, only when I feel like I’m about to die in a frenzy. After a week, anti-depressants left me in so much pain and with such a burning stomach that I was unable to get out of bed, let alone go to school or work; I called it quits with the anxiety diagnosis. I’ve been to the ER twice and had nurses roll their eyes at my symptoms. I had a thyroid panel done and a thyroid ultrasound, both come back normal. I don’t have signs of a goiter.
I went to an endocrinologist who diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s and said, “There is no treatment for this. You have to wait until you become hypothyroid to even need medicine, which could happen in a year or when you’re 80.”
So, I went back to dying every day again, feeling there was nothing I could do for myself.
I lost friends, I went through a terrible time with my boyfriend, who I can’t believe has stayed by my side so wonderfully and unwavering in his commitment through it all.
I became a hermit, afraid of everything. I stopped going out. I stayed in bed all evening every day, afraid to so much as move. When I workout or try doing yoga, I feel sick and dizzy. I have about four other endocrinologist appointments that, of course, I’m not getting into for another few weeks. I did see someone in integrative medicine and acupuncture. He sat with me for hours.
He basically said “Go gluten free” and even seemed a little puzzled that my symptoms were Hashi symptoms. Frustrated, I left again.
Gluten free? I tried going gluten free for a few weeks more than once. I tested negative for Celiac’s disease and still don’t really understand the issue.
I recently got into a last minute appointment with an endo. I was hoping I’d tell him my story, and he’d say “Yes! Hashimoto’s is your issue, but we can help you. Here, take some Synthroid and you’ll be better in no time!”
But, that’s not the way it worked. He listened to my symptoms and looked through my blood work. He said that he’d never seen anyone with Hashimoto’s have the type of symptoms that I had. Although, he did say I definitely have Hashi’s. My blood work shows that it’s not very severe, and he thinks there must be some other autoimmune disease that hasn’t been caught yet. He hesitantly gave me Synthroid, though. I took one the next day, and had heart pain and palpitations so badly throughout the day, that I stopped taking it.
The next day I saw my holistic doctor and acupuncturist, who said that he thinks it’s Grave’s disease, but the only way to know for sure is to have a biopsy.
Thanks to you, thyroid, I have been through hell and not-even-close to back again. It’s been over six-months, and I have no treatment or anything to go on. Eventually, I have to make a decision to go holistic or try actual Western medicine and I have NO IDEA what the right direction to take is. I wish I could understand everything better, but I’m not a doctor. I’m 20-years-old. I want to look forward to the future, but instead, I worry about dying constantly. I used to be an optimist, now I’m never happy. Thanks for nothing. I hate you.
(Bio) Jenny Baran is a 20-year-old lady in college working towards becoming a speech-language pathologist. While she’s not fighting crazy symptoms or hiding in her room watching corny romantic comedies at 2 AM, she feels happiest when she’s doing yoga, sewing, and spending time with family and friends. Visit Jenny’s Blog Time Unwinds to learn more about her.
Tags: Dear Thyroid Letters, hashimoto's patient letters, letters written by thyroid patients, support for thyroid patients, thyroid autoimmune support, thyroid community, Thyroid disease support, thyroid literary healing, thyroid literary support, Thyroid patient letters, thyroid support