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Wednesday October 16th 2019


The Thing with the Fish…. Or Thyfish Cravings

Post Published: 09 December 2009
Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 10 responses. Leave a comment

Dear Thyroid

So yesterday I went out and had Sushi.   Lots of Sushi!!,   Lots of Fish and scaly and crusty sea creatures.   Definitely iodine overdosed, one could say. – Thanks to you, Dear Thyroid,   – or more specifically ‘lack’ of you and your functions -, I had to be on this,   infamous “low iodine diet” for two weeks again.

Oh I really enjoy this particular diet. Breakfast was the one I looked forward to the most; dry bread with some jelly or marmalade. No butter (nope, can’t have that,   is dairy, and that has iodine in it).   Bread itself was a problem also, luckily dear wife knows how to bake it so that it doesn’t have the i-word in it. Fried eggs were out (egg jokes contain the offending element), and ham and bacon was out also, because of the curing process and the salt involved.

At lunch time I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to go out and

have a lovely sandwich somewhere. But hold it, — no, not so

good an idea; never know what kind of salt they use. Most commercial restaurants use, of course, iodized salt.

Dinners were actually not bad on the diet. Dear wife knows how to cook around problems like dairy or fish. – Even managed to make some plum galettes (a type of sweet danish pastry) without butter. Was really yummy.

Then we had guests over and they invited us out to dinner. Whooops,   no can do!,   Better cook some i-less stuff at home. – Cheese it out, fish is out, and soy products are out also. Hmmm.

The first week was bearable. I grumbled, I mumbled. – But it was ok. — Then in the second week the hallucinations started. I began to dream of fish platters, of shrimps and crab , then of flying hams and bacon pieces, of cereal with yoghurt, or of a beloved piece of chocolate.

As time went on it got worse. I was reading a book about George Washington, and there he was, the infamous Eggs Benedict Arnold.   Soon I felt headless like the poor king of France, Crab Louis the 14th.

Luckily yesterday the spook ended, — but first I got another fright: received a phone call early in the morning of my full body scan for thyroid cancer remnants (thus the need for the diet in the first place) that the machine was out of order and a repair person was summoned. Well, I thought if they have to order parts, and that will take a few days, my Thyrogen injections will have worn out, and I will have to repeat the damn procedure, diet and all! — But luckily the scanner was repaired by 4 o’clock, and after 90 minutes on my back, by 6 pm I was inserting the first piece of delicious Maguro (that is raw tuna) into my iodine starved mouth.

I feel better now.

P.S.: Of course it will be a few days until I have the results. Till then “Bon Appetit”.

HD in Oregon

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10 Responses to “The Thing with the Fish…. Or Thyfish Cravings”

  1. Robyn says:

    Ah, sushi. I heard on NPR it was actually invented by Canadians to get rid of excess Tuna. I don’t care if it *is* Japanese, Canadian, or from the devil himself, it is the best food evah.

    Good luck on your test results. I hope you are cancer free!

  2. Lolly says:

    Good luck with your results HD you made my mouth water just thinking about all the things you have missed, I still don’t eat half of them now. I bet that Sushi tasted good, bon appetite.

  3. HD inOregon says:

    UPDATE: Well the scan results showed another “uptake” meaning there was “something” at the bottom of my neck that took up the radioactive Iodine (I131). This is the second time there was an uptake. – On the other hand my thyroglobulin was extremely low indicating no cancer cells evident in the blood stream.

    Well, my endo was not too quick off the mark of informing me about the results of the scan. And then he started to fiddle with the medication instead of discussing the uptake. And when it took 20 days to get the results from a TSH test, I had enough with him, and went for a second opinion to a different endo.

    The new Endo explained things much better. He seems to have his priorities straight and can empathize that a patient might, just might, be a little anxious about an “uptake” in his or her scan. – Anyway, I like him much better and decided to dump the first guy, and become a patient of the second.

    The current theory is that there was some saliva trapped in some of my scar tissue, and that that caused the uptake. So, with a rational explanation found, I feel much better now.

    And in addition I just got back from my radiology oncologist after having a PET scan last week. The scan is clean!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippie!!!!!!!!!!!

    I thought I let you all know,
    HD in Oregon

    • landsman2010 says:


      I had this happen to me also, very common — uptake, that is! The radiologist told me he saw this frequently and to not worry, he told me he could have almost sent me home right then and there. I do appreciate his conservatism though, he had me do a pelvic scan to see the uptake in my bowel or possibly bone. It turned out to be only a small amount of RAI left over in my bowel — thank goodness! I was super clean : ) I AM super clean.

      I’m glad you’re clean, that’s most important for all of us thy-vivors : )



  4. amy says:

    What a good letter HD! I like your style!

  5. Giggle G Giggle says:

    Hey HD I hear ya but i did it without injections and carting off 5 to destingations without meds and LID uhhh, and i know soon will have to do , yes I have put off the call to schedule only because i know starving and going Hypo is hard and I ended up at 100tsh last time so I am not anxious to repeat especially when I have to find a helper.
    I have to say though you are brave to eat the sushi before results as they had me do LID as long as possible and I did not want the possible repeat right off if the scan or machine buggered up lol, so I suffered through another 10 days part of which was while in Isolation which made it much easier because then all I could do was sit in the room and the hospital had to cook the food lol,I could only stay awake for an hour at a time at that point lol, I DID beg for cytomel ASAP lol so i could start getting more awake.

    Definately give your Dear WIFE a huge Props and HUGS for being Great at helping you through the tricks of eating pretty much NOTHING for the 2 weeks of LID.

    Well let me know how it goes and boy you reminded me of how difficult it is but also to investigate the shot option which I am not sure I will have access to but least i know it is out there now.

    Good Luck and Take CARE!

  6. Bee says:

    love the flying ham visual—you even made me want sushi, a food i’m not crazy about because of the whole raw thingy

  7. sherree says:

    Wow…I never really considered what an iodine free diet would be like…and here I thought going gluten/dairy free was miserable! 🙂

    Thank you for the visuals (flying hams, eggs benedict Arnold, etc) and congrat’s on the PET results.

  8. Zari says:

    I’m glad the test results came out okay.

    I love sushi although I don’t do the whole preparation route, I just eat a big piece of salmon or tuna uncooked.

    A word of caution. Never make sushi from cod. It has a seriously unpleasant parasite in it. This is true of some other fish also, which is why I limit myself to tuna and salmon. I have a friend who does a lot of deep sea fishing and she is fond of commenting on all the little creepy crawlies she finds in the flesh of some of the things she catches.


  9. HD inOregon says:

    Zari, – Thanks for the warning, but our sushi came from the Japanese sushi restaurant in town, and we hope that the itamae (that’s what the call the sushi chef in Japanese) knows what he is doing. – I have done my own sushi in the past, but only, as you suggested salmon, different types of tuna. — HD

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