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I Thyrrender; Just for Today

Post Published: 27 October 2009
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 42 responses. Leave a comment

Kathy Taylor, Dear Thyroid Letter, Thyroid patient support, thyroid disease support, thyroid literary community

Dear Thyroid;

I’m so tired, I cannot even cry, so I’ll just take my tissue and tape it to the top of a drinking straw and wave my white flag. I surrender, thyroid. You win. Well, maybe just for today.

Why, oh why did I think, even just an teensy weensy bit that MY visit to the endocrinologist might be different; that my doctor might be someone who would listen and at least validate my concerns; that my endo might want to discuss how I am feeling and critically think just for a minute that things are not right with you or me?

During one of my nights when insomnia had inserted toothpicks in my eyes to keep them painfully open, I put together a time line of my health history from day one when I was born until today. I looked back over my life and could see how you could have influenced my entire system for the last 50 years!

Well, this doctor did not want to see or hear any of this. I was happy to see that she practiced good hygiene practice by washing her hands, but she went overboard. She took my pulse. She washed her hands. She touched my neck. She washed her hands. Oops; she touched my leg when she checked my reflexes; she washed her hands. She washed her hands while she was waiting for the ultrasound machine to warm up. Carefully avoiding any eye contact with me, I felt like I had leprosy, never mind a thyroid problem.

The ultrasound showed that my thyroid has one side smaller than the other, otherwise all else appears normal. My half assed gland still has some function. Well, that’s good. I can deal with that. But, why do I still feel so awful?! I attempted to share some of my ‘this year’ on the time line paper and she stated “I don’t want to see that. I have this. This tells me what’s going on, and your thyroid is just fine”.

My facial expression apparently gave away how I was feeling, and this doctor said “Well, I guess you’re not happy with what I’ve said. What more do you want me to say?”

My reply “I am SO frustrated! Tell me,  how would YOU feel if you had gained 50 pounds in three months, if you couldn’t think, and function, if insomnia gripped half your nights? How would you feel if you couldn’t take medicines because they all give you adverse reactions?”

She just shrugged her shoulders and said “I don’t know. I think you need sleep. You look exhausted” And, if you just lose a little weight, well, that will help, too”.

She then told me to take my Levothyroxine as ordered. She said that she would follow up with recommending a sleep study. Her last words “Oh, you can leave by the back door”.

I wanted to cry so badly, but I fought it, down the elevator, down the stairs and out the door. I felt and still feel so fat, stupid and worthless—totally without value. Exactly the reason that I have shied away from the doctors for so long. The question that goes over and over and over in my head, “Why bother??”

Today, I surrender. Thyroid, you win. But just for today. Just for today, I will dig in with both swollen feet and cry and celebrate just how badly I do feel. Just let it happen. But, tomorrow, watch out. I have plans for you. I’m too tired right now, but I am going to surround myself with people and things that will lift me up higher and higher to get away from you. I will work at making myself healthier; one step at a time. Just give me today. Please leave me alone. Just for today. I’m tired.

Kathy Taylor

(Bio) When 54 year old Kathy Taylor is in a good place, she loves to listen, laugh, read and celebrate every day. Kathy is in a not so good place right now. She is going to hide under the bed for a few days. She’ll be back. Just wait and see.

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42 Responses to “I Thyrrender; Just for Today”

  1. Lolly says:

    Dear Kathy,

    I felt your pain when I read your letter reminiscent of days gone by, those sleepless nights that still haunt me even now, those rat bastard doctors that make you think it’s all in your head because the test tell them so, what do they know if only they could walk in our shoes, maybe they would think differently.

    The only advice I have for you is run from this doctor that makes you feel so bad, find one that will listen to You and take onboard what you are saying and feeling and one that is open to suggestions.

    And most of all Listen to your body, you maynot like it right now but it won’t always be this way.
    Rest when you can because sleep aids recovery, reduce the stressers in your life, because they play a big part in Autoimmune disease. I just wanna give you a big Hug I really do and say don’t let this all knowing,all rightous OCD, endocriminologist make you feel even worse than you already are.

    I remember before I was even Dx with Graves disease, I went to see my GP saying I didn’t feel well, I was sweating like a pig, I had lost nearly 28 lbs in a space of a month..You know what his answer to that was, well you needed to lose it, well grave rage isn’t the word, so glad I was only thinking it and didn’t say it..I wiped that smug grin of his face when I decided to go another route to find out what was wrong and came in with a letter from an optician saying she suspected hyperthyroidism because of GO.

    Still he was so slow in doing anything about it blood test then repeat, referrral to endo still no treatment before I even had a chance to start treatment I ended up in hospital.

    The only good thing that ever came out of it was now he lets me do my own thing, to a degree, even if he hasn’t got a clue how to read thyroid labs, he allows me to have them when I want, I don’t see him I call him because he dare say anything I don’t like and he would know what it was like to get a Lolly lashing the last time I had a go on him I asked to be referred to a new Endo because I was sick of him not understanding my labs..I got what I wanted.

    Trouble is I can’t fault my GP with anything else other than thyroid issue, he asks me now what I want to do, I tell him, he’s okay most of the time but there are times when he pisses me off to the max especially when it is obvious I was hypo and he says labs normal carry on with same dose..but I think to myself better the devil you know than the devil you don’t..

    We don’t always need an Endo to work with us, if you can find a good GP who is willing to work and listen with you then try that way.

    My new endo is only on trial with me so far he has been okay but not sure about hios love for TSH all i can do is try and educate him about it, but some just don’t want to listen, at least he will be writing to my GP and requesting FT3 tests which up until now I have been paying out for myself.

    Don’t just take today take as much time as you need to face it head on with red flag not white.

    We are all here your thysistas, laugh and cry with you, Looks like I’m gonna have to make you laugh.

    Cor blimey didn’t realise I had waffled on.

    Hugs

    Lolly

  2. JANE ELLIOT says:

    I’m having a bad day too!!! a really bad one! I know EXACTLY how you feel. you gave me a small smile that broke through all the shit today, THANK YOU

  3. Erin says:

    Kathy, I’ve been there and I’d really love to tell your endo. what I think of her! You would think some doctors out there must have thyroid problems of their own, making them better at treating their patients and being advocates, but I guess not. Today is a new day and I hope it brings you to a good place.

  4. Bee says:

    WEll, girlie-I’m actually feeling your despair-just for today-b’cuz I’ve been in the same situation more than once. Let me tell you a story:
    In the throes of diagnosis and unstable hypo labs, I went to yet another ENDO who came highly recommended by my husband’s work friend. Going into the office for the 1st visit, I fell over the curb, slid my face and hands along the sidewalk and tore my pants at the knees. I hobbled into the office looking and feeling like shit. I asked for warm water and gauze to clean myself up. “I’m sorry, we don’t have any.” HMM? not good 1st impression. They get me into a room- no one acknowledges my wounds, doc comes in, i get out my list of questions, she looks at me and says:”if you think i’m going to answer those you probably want to consider finding another Dr.” Here’s the funny part; my brain immediately thinks this woman is mad at the world and no one is that intentionally cruel, then I saw the end of her arm(which she kept covered with my chart) and it looked like she had a baby head growing off her wrist. I am not making fun of handicaps—but I now knew why she hated me- I looked normal from the outside!
    Found a sleep specialist & went back to my old GPs partner-all’s been good til my last lab visit-GP now thinks I’m taking too much meds (BP, thyroid,sleep meds) and gave me the “Heath Ledger” lecture and asked that I get sleep meds soley from my sleep doc as she doesn’t want to apparently be responsible for my untimely death,just in case…but wants me to start on anti-depressants when I go back for lab work—can you all not see the humor-sick as it is-in all this? sounds like a polka-dot kinda boot day to me

  5. Robyn says:

    Oh, Kathy.
    Hearing this kind of story over and over makes me so mad. If I treated clients like this I would have none. How this gets tolerated in human medicine is beyond me–none of these people should be allowed to hold a job, much less be in charge of people’s health. It’s one thing to miss a diagnosis, or not be clearly understanding all the minutiae of a disease process. It’s quite another to belittle, patronize, and bully your clients. Shame on them! SHAME!
    You go on, Kathy–give ’em Hell. And give your thyroid hell, too. Unacceptable on both their accounts!

  6. Bee says:

    Kathy-we need to take Robyn with us to these a-hole docs—or at least ask them why her animal patients get more respect than their human counterparts– I love that you are a doc and understand and give us “heatherns” some educatin’. Robyn—-Kathy is today a better day?

  7. Kathy says:

    Wow! I just peeked here and am needing and feeling the hugs and support today. I had been on a slow and steady upward trend with depression, but today..the season..the weather..I dunno, is an overwhelmingly sad day for me. I’m at work, so there’s no time for weeping, unless of course I am hiding in my office and surrounded by the hugs I’m feeling from here. So..let me go and find another tissue and get back to work. I have such PTSD from that endo, I’m not sure when I’ll be brave enough to go find another, but knowing that you are all doing OK, tells me that it’ll happen.
    I DO LOVE YOU ALL! Hugs right back atcha! OOO

  8. Zari says:

    First things first. Regardless of what your thyroid is or is not doing, you are not fat stupid and worthless. Perhaps you are overweight but that is a simple statement of physical being, not a judgement on you as a human being. Perhaps others are smarter, but you are obviously not stupid. And no one is worthless. You have the same intrinsic value as a human being, no more, no less.

    As for your thyroid, well here in email land how can we make a diagnosis? Maybe something else is wrong. Maybe not. How can we know. But what you have clearly stated is that SOMETHING is wrong.

    If your thyroid is so fine, why are you taking levoxythyrine. Obviously something is wrong and it’s a question of did the steps taken to correct it work and there are additional problems, or maybe they didn’t work.

    It didn’t sound like he told you what the TSH is, and although not everyone here agrees with the TSH as the definitive answer to all this, I’m wondering why there isn’t even an annoyed comment about how she said it was fine without perhaps telling you what it was. If she didn’t know what it was how can she have much of an opinion anyway? But maybe you just left that out.

    Most days my thyroid seems good now although I take a little bit more of my medication that the doctor said to. Which is perhaps a very bad suggestion and I hesitate to bring it up. But if you’re still hypo that might tell you something. If you do this, be careful.

    My wifes endo told her she was fine. A month later her GP said she was hypo. Maybe the blood tests aren’t always that good, I don’t know. I have a friend who’s thyroid seems to turn itself on and off at random intervals. He has 3 different prescriptions for differing amounts of synthroid. That really sucks. Reading how people feel here I wonder just how common this is.

    Today I’m having a good day. I have lots of good days. Hang in there. Recovery is possible, even if it doesn’t always seem to be.

    Zari

  9. BEE says:

    someone help—what is PTSD? Brain frog does not enable me to compute today. Thanks

  10. thy_r88gous says:

    OMG!!!! Why is it that everytime i hear these heartbreaking stories i just cant believe how rude these idiot endo’s are. I totally feel ur pain and frustration and its perfectly ok to have a day or two to yourself. By the sounds of your letter you wont be letting your thyroid get away with much. Go get em!

    Ps
    please dont be sad or depressed. That endo is stupid and rude and heartless and cruel, and probably dealing with her own issues,(we all have our own issues but we dont have to be rude.) and guess what???? you dont have to go back to her, you can find another one and if they are rude then you can find another. Until u find what YOU need. Nobody needs to be treated like that. And you can also write bad reviews about her online, give us her name and we all will, lol !!!
    call the board of endo’s or something i dont know but dont let this 1 rude person make u sad. :):)

  11. Robyn says:

    Bee and others,
    I’m with you. I’m lucky I have a good endo (not that this makes my disease any less a pain in the ass). While he tells me flat out that I am a tough case, and he may not always have all the answers to “fix” me, he says he will always listen. And so far he has. He has told me I can come in and/or call as often as I need. I’m early on the journey, so have not tried *everything*, but feel confident he would (ie, NDT, cytomel, etc.). He is open to any ideas I have. My friend’s hubs (who diagnosed me over the phone when an asshat ENT could not with me and my labs sitting right in front of him ASKING if it could be thyroiditis) is a great endo who listens.
    These men are in Raleigh, NC and Va Beach, VA in case that helps, btw.
    And yes, this last 6 months has had me SERIOUSLY considering if I should quit my job and become a personal patient medical coordinator/patient advocate. I have a big mouth and a medical background and I *WILL* be heard! (I can also be very charming–as my hubs says, I can tell someone to go to Hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip! 😉 ) If only that could pay the bills–especially the flying all around the world to stand next to each and every one of you and demand respect for you!
    What the $#^&^# has this world come to?

  12. BEE says:

    Robyn-when I win the lottery I will pay to fly you around with me—even tho I’ve been going to my GPs office since the early 90s I’ve never felt completely at home-I always feel like the pt with 3 legs —- Hey Kathy —just checking in on you…b

  13. Lori says:

    WOW, Kathy I too can so relate in many ways…
    You said, “I looked back over my life and could see how you could have influenced my entire system for the last 50 years!”…I am turning 50 in a little over a month and I can look back as far as my teen years and know I had symptoms even back then from Hashimoto’s…

    Your story hits home in other ways also…from June ’08 until August ’09 I was treated with levothyroxine. I wasn’t diagnosed properly until my TSH went to 98 and then they finally checked antibodies and I was diagnosed with Hashi’s even though my throat was swollen and I had trouble swallowing long before then.

    I was so tired and my memory was so bad I could barely remember which way to turn leaving the driveway and most of the time couldn’t drive because I would fall asleep behind the wheel. I gained weight at an alarming pace and nothing I did changed my course. One thing I did find on my own to help the depression was omega-3 fish oil (Natrol brand). If I hadn’t worked out of my house doing medical transcription, I surely would have lost my job long ago.

    After doing much research and reading others stories on here, I was sure my problem was that I was not converting the T4 to T3. Levothyroxine is a T4 drug only. I stopped going to the endo who had treated me the same way your’s did, and went back to my primary care armed with information and what I felt was going on, and I asked to go on NDT. This has had a made a huge improvement, I knew the first day I was heading down the right road, but over time I knew it wasn’t the whole answer for me. I cut out wheat/gluten which helped initially but then I couldn’t metabolize any carbs. Remembering things I had read on here and doing more research, I was sure adrenal fatigue was playing a major role and I just started supplements this week along with meditation and other things to reduce stress. Insomnia was and still is sometimes a major problem and I relate this to the andreal gland also. I read with adrenal fatigue people usually get a second “wind” after 10 p.m. and then can’t sleep. I found this rang true for me. I was overwhelmingly exhausted at night but then almost like magic by 10-10:30 p.m. I would wake up. I still felt exhausted and couldn’t accomplish anything but was wide awake. I find the closer to 10 p.m. I can get to sleep, the better I feel, so it seems to be true.

    I had been to so many other doctors over the last several years and so many of them made me feel worthless, like I wasn’t even human, when what the real problem was that they couldn’t say the words “I DON’T KNOW”. I was actually diagnosed with narcolepsy five years ago and put on ritalin so I wouldn’t fall alseep working or driving. I only wish I had found the “balls” to fight for what I knew in my heart long ago, but I am here now and on my way.

    When you get up in the morning, get your thyattitude going and say to yourself, I WILL recover and no one is going to STOP me. I say those words everyday! No doctor is going to make me cry again, no way, it’s MY life and I’m not stopping until I have the quality life that I want and DESERVE!!!

    Probably the best piece of advice I could give is, listen carefully to what your body is telling you and absolutely DO NOT disregard your instincts. Our instincts are always right. Find another doctor, any doctor that will listen and not treat you like your worthless, it doesn’t have to be an edo either.

    HUGS,
    Lori

  14. amy says:

    Kathy, Is it time for a second opinion? You deserve to be heard by your doctor, as does any human! I hope that you won’t mind that I say I am disgusted at your dr. Should you even call her a dr? Where is the compassion?! I feel so blessed that I found a great ND who specializes in a few things, one of which is thyroid. I am glad you wrote this letter, I am sure it felt great to get all that off your chest! Amy

  15. Hi everyone!
    I have to agree with you Kathy, I am feeling the same way today. Not sure if it is because winter is on it’s way or my thyroid is acting up again. Maybe it’s both. I am actually on my way to the Doctors to discuss what we are going to do with mine. I am going to ask him if I should just give up and let the thyroid take over or if we (the doc and I) are going to fight. I won’t be able to read all the comments here before I go – But I am coming back to read them. I am guessing I will have much more in common with them than I’d like. But at least I am not alone. I am taking all your voices with me to to the doc today!

  16. Lolly says:

    Lolly, VERY TRUE!! Getting our hands on everything is so important!

    And most important is getting your hands round your Endo’s neck and squeezing just that little bit harder than they do yours, might not do any good but would sure make some of us feel a whole lot better.

  17. BEE says:

    it is my humble opinion that Endos are entirely sadistic-in fact, i believe they take a class in how to look down their noses and make their pt.’s feel like shit. I’ve been fortunate enought to have found all the ENDOS who got A’s in this class.Billie

  18. Bee says:

    DearThyroid-you may want to re-read my last post and then reconsider your response—i have found all the docs who got A’s in sadism—and they’ve been practicing their voodoo on me

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