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A Thief In The Fog

Post Published: 08 March 2010
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 32 responses. Leave a comment

(Written by Elaine, Graves’ disease patient)

Dear Mr. Graves,

Why I give you that endearment is beyond me. I guess it’s a force of habit when writing letters to use “Dear”. You are anything but dear to me. I guess you know that by now. I’m not in a good mood today, so I thought I’d take it out on you. As the saying goes, “What goes around comes around.” You’ve given me such a hard time over the years. You have actually made my life miserable. So now my mind is working a bit better and I can now think halfway straight again. I thought I’d give you a piece of my mind. A very small piece, as you have managed to mess with a good part of my mind already.

I’m still trying to get all my mind back. I still have bad days. “Brain Fog” some call it. Sometimes I can’t remember how to spell a simple word. Sometimes I even forget what I’m writing about in the middle of the sentence. I just sit, looking at what I just wrote with no comprehension of what I was saying. Do you know or even care how much I’ve missed out on because of you? I have had to give up certain functions in my life because I had such a hard time remembering things. I feel like I lost so much of my memory of people and past events, and yet somehow I still miss them.

I’ve even started writing down names of old school friends, places I have been, and things I have done just to jog my memory. I cry when I can’t remember a relative’s name or something as simple as how to spell a word. This has been so frustrating. It’s downright painful at times. I wish I could make you hurt the way I do. I just want to be able to write and not misspell a simple word without having to use a dictionary for everything. You’ve taken away my self confidence. I WANT IT BACK. All of it. You had no right to take my memories. The more I write, the more pissed off at you I get. My grandchildren have to remind me of things. If not for them I’d be really lost. I’ve had to ask my 10-year old grandson how to spell a word, remind me of what I’m doing, remind me where I’m going.

Thankfully I have patient people around me. But, what about the people with nobody to remind them or who have no patience with them? Nobody should feel this lost and upset. Nobody should be embarrassed by their forgetfulness. This isn’t just old age, it is YOU. Someone else who does not have a “Mr. Graves” may not understand what I am talking about. But, there are thousands who do. Who feel the pain of losing a part of ourselves. What have you done to us ?

I forgot my name….but you know who I am

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32 Responses to “A Thief In The Fog”

  1. Elaine says:

    Still pissed off at Mr. Graves’

  2. Sara Broers says:

    Oh, I can definitely relate to the brain fog~~~ sucks, doesn’t it?

  3. Lori says:

    I have a Mr. Hashimoto and I know exactly what you are talking about. He has caused the same memory and ‘brain fog’ problems. Pieces of my life are missing too and I wonder if they will ever come back to me. As much as I have improved, this remains a constant problem, worse some days than others, but always there.

    Lets keep kicking Mr. Graves’ and Mr. Hashimoto in the ass! I am very glad you have people around you that understand!

    Hugs,
    Lori
    ♥
    🙂

  4. Dear Thyroid says:

    Hi Elaine –

    So sorry to hear that you’re still pissed off at Mr. Graves. What is the worst aspect of it at this stage in your journey with Graves’ disease?

    We’re all here for you, doll!

    xo

  5. Dear Thyroid says:

    Sara – The brain fog is HIDEOUS! How does your brain fog manifest, if you don’t mind me asking? Do you forget words, sentences, chunks of your life or something entirely different?

    Thanks for lending your support to Elaine.

    xo

  6. Dear Thyroid says:

    Lori – We have the exact same memory issues. Like you, I find it appalling and heartbreaking that chunks of my life are gone. I wonder if they will ever return, too.

    Why do you think we struggle with memory issues and brain fog? What do you think that is about? I’ve been trying to find research and can’t find anything.

    Thank you for your beautiful show of support.

    xo

  7. Lori says:

    I am told by my most recent doc that I should see improvement with better absorption from liquid DHA and D3, as well as an anti-inflammatory diet. There are a lot of claims attached to these recommendations, which I am following now, but only time will tell if these are really responsible for the many symptoms from memory to pain issues. I am told only a few months will make a big difference.

    If you search “omega-3 and brain” you will find good information that backs up what my new doc is telling me about DHA. Studies have shown it to improve memory issues as well as emotional and mental health illnesses. She prefers liquid “Metagenics” brand(with lemon)for better absoroption 800 mg a day.

    http://www.naturalnews.com/016353.html

  8. Elaine says:

    Like many others I have good days and bad. Sometimes there is a lot of fog other times I not so much. Those days I take advantage of the memories and write stuff down.
    I have also tried to find out why we get this brain fog. It does not make sense to me. I think that is one of the worst things about it. Sometimes I look at old pictures and can’t remember when , where or who is in the picture. I hate that.
    To help I made a DVD of favorite old pictures. When my grandkids are over we put it on. They recite everybody’s name. Keeps all of our minds jogged.

  9. Dear Thyroid says:

    Lori; thank you so much for sharing this information and the link. Hands down, I’m researching it and trying it. Memory issues are the worst, IMO. Thank you sooooo much, doll. You made my day. Xo

  10. Dear Thyroid says:

    Elaine – that’s beautifum. I created a memory jar, so I understand the need to have something to remind you of special moments. I especially appreciated the point you made regarding the good days. In your research, what have you found? I ask because it seems that regardless of what type of thyroid disease we have, memory issues abound for each of us. For the life of me, I can’t find any solid research about this. You hang in, my sweet. XO

  11. Lolly says:

    I can soo relate I have good days and bad days I make awful mistakes and can;t even remeber how to spell the most simplist of words now did I spell that right who gives a fuck. I have to laugh at some of my foggy moments and there are plenty.

    It does get somewhat better but there are still things lost and even now if somone tells me something a few minutes later I couldn’t tell you what the fuck they were talking about. Is it age GD or has it damaged the old grey matter.

    I have that many post it notes around the place I decided to wallpaer with one room with them. now to find out which note is current and which is old.

    elaine it will get better you’ll have good days and bad days I honestly don’t think we truly ever get full memory back buit I will settle for just remembering where my bed is so I can get some sleep because that doesn;t help..another GD person understanding how pissed off you are, I get frustrated with myself for not remembering things.

    Now where was I oh yes

    Lollyx

  12. Lori says:

    Lolly, speaking of “grey matter”, you just jogged a memory. Anyone ever have a brain MRI? I had two or three when they were ruling out MS/Lyme or other neurologic disorder, and it showed several scattered white matter lesions that were of nonspecific pattern but other “atypical” demylination cannot be entirely excluded. In the end, I was told it meant nothing and there was nothing to worry about.

    So glad I scanned the reports in my computer back then. One more thing I need to research now. I don’t know the difference between gray matter and white matter.

  13. Chelle Miakoda Harris says:

    Hi Elaine, I have hypothyroidism & I can relate to what you have said fully about the brain fog ~ I’m medicated on 150mcg Thyroxine daily, but still have alot of symptoms ( when i was first diagnosed my TSH level was 98.7! my consultant had never in 40 years seen such a high level – that was nearly 2 years ago) I now can get up out of bed & function to a level well below still what i used to be like say 4 years ago – I soooo wish for the old me back ~ I have an appointment with my DR on wednesday to find out the results of my latest round of blood tests ~ keep intouch sweetie x chelle

    if you would like to keep in contact you have my email or find me on Facebook

  14. Myka says:

    Oh, I think I may have found the answer to the brain fog issue but the fog still comes and goes, some days I think I am living in San Francisco!

    I found the following today when searching for “lack of t3 neurotransmitter” on this website (http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/thyroid/overview.php)

    “Some of the most profound effects of TH imbalance are in the mental arena. Hypothyroid people sleep easily and do not get full refreshment from their sleep. During waking hours, they experience fatigue, apathy, and “brain fog” (short-term memory problems and attention deficits). These problems may affect their daily functioning and cause increased stress and depression.

    TH acts as a neurotransmitter. TH imbalance can mimic psychiatric disease because T3 influences levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter integral to moods and behavior. Low levels of T3 can cause depression. Some anti-depressants make hypothyroid patients feel even worse because the medications depress T3 levels. Paradoxically, some substances labelled depressants such as alcohol or opiates can increase T3 levels by impairing the breakdown of T3 in the brain, thus lifting mood. This may be one reason why these substances are so addictive.”

    So my thought is that our brain fog is greatly enhanced when we are lacking in T3, what we have to break the synthroid or synthetic thyroid down to to use it in our brains and elsewhere in our bodies. I know I am now doing much better now on a combination of natural thyroid (has a lot of T3 in it) and a smaller dose of synthetic. I am having much less brain fog but what I have lost… those “chunks of memory” are gone but hopefully not forever. I am just beginning to find out that other prescription drugs and even stress can block thyroid hormone and impact our thyroid hormone levels and thus impact our memory as well.

  15. Lolly says:

    Myka so glad you bought this up because T3 is exactly what I am lacking I am an alternating dose of 200mcg and 175mcg Levothyroxine, FT4 just now is in the hyper range while FT3 is still in the lower scale. If only the docs could see it as we feel it then there would be no need to suffer or even forget why you are suffering.

    Lolly

  16. Joanna says:

    Great letter, Elaine. Thanks for being so open and honest.

    “I wish I could make you hurt the way I do.”
    I love this sentence. I, too, wish I could turn the tables. The only way I know how to seek revenge is to get out of bed everyday. To not let cancer win today. But believe me, I wish I could carpet bomb every thyroid cell left in my body.

    We’re here for you.

    xoxo,
    Joanna

  17. Dear Thyroid says:

    Lolly – I so agree with you! my question is; why, why, why do we have to go through memory issues to the degree that we do, regardless of whether our thyroids are balanced or not?

    I do love Lori’s resources and definitely want to give them a whirl.

    Like you, I am desperate to recover my memory. I want more funding and research to understand this symptom because all thyroid patients seem to suffer with it.

    Thanks for your lovely support.

    xo

  18. Dear Thyroid says:

    Lori – I have not had an MRI, but that’s a kick ass idea. I wonder what that white matter means. We’ve got to check this out. Maybe the explanation does circle back to thyroid diseases in some way… I don’t know, what do you think?

  19. Dear Thyroid says:

    Chelle – Thanks for sharing more of you with us and your story. Please let us know how the results are. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re struggling with this, too. It seems none of us are immune to this symptom.

    Wonderful support. Thanks.

    xo

  20. Dear Thyroid says:

    Myka;

    I am so happy you shared your findings with us and a bit about your own story. Thank you for sharing that link, we so appreciate it.

    A lot of psychiatric disturbances, including brain fog come with Graves disease and hyperthyroidism, too. My question is, even when our thyroids are balanced, why do we still experience these symptoms on such a grand scale? Why do we have good days/bad days? What is it? I want to better understand it.

    I think you and Lori have given us fantastic resources to do more research.

    Very grateful to you and for you!

    xo

  21. Dear Thyroid says:

    But believe me, I wish I could carpet bomb every thyroid cell left in my body.

    Could I adore you anymore right now, Joanna 😉

    xo

  22. Elaine says:

    Lolly, I thought I was the only one with post it notes all over the place. I even have one over my computer with my kids phone numbers and another with my email and pass words.
    It gets so sad it is actually funny sometimes. Like an ugly dog. So ugly it is cute. If I can’t laugh at it sometimes, I will cry.
    Challe I will keep in touch.
    Hugs to all of you before I forget

  23. Dori says:

    I understand exactly how you feel about Brain Fog, Elaine.

    I have thyroid cancer. I’m taking 200mcg of Synthroid each day, and that causes me to go into hyperactivity, since they want to suppress my thyroid tissues. Until recently, I never noticed nor thought that my horrible memory, mouth-twitches, and contstant mind-churning was the result of my hyperactive thyroid. And, it isn’t like I have a choice in the matter, either.

    I’m only 21 years old, and I feel like I have the memory of a 75 year old. I forget what I did the day before! I have to think A LOT. Finally, when I’m on a different topic, my mind races and then BOOM it hits me! I finally remember.

    It’s sad, isn’t it? I have to use Facebook and Twitter to help me remember what I do every day. I take so many pictures when I go out because I want to remember the night.

    I know how you feel, Elaine. I am sorry to know that another person suffers from this crap, but you know, at least we aren’t alone, right?

    <3 Chin up, girl!

  24. Elaine says:

    Funny thing is I had it since the start when I was first told I had Graves’ Disease. Didn’t think to much of the forgetfulness back than. I didn’t know much about the disease or symptoms. Now 10 years later after RAI and now Hypo and 8 eye surgeries, I know it is this disease that makes me forgetful. I just don’t understand why as yet. Give me time and if I don’t forget I will check out some of the information I got here today. Thank you all for the feed back.

  25. Mari says:

    I agree with Myka 100%. Brainfog is NOT something you have to accept and live with. I have been on T4/T3 for over a year and my brainfog has almost disappeared. I didn’t think it was due to the addition of T3 until I forgot to get my T4/T3 prescription filled and had to subsitute left over Synthroid for a week. It was terrible! I was constantly forgetting things all week. I’d even stop mid-sentence, pause and ask the person I was talking to “What were you just saying?”

    I’m glad to be back on my compounded T4/T3. My DHEA supplement has also help get rid of brainfog.

    CHECK YOUR T3 PEOPLE!!

  26. Lori says:

    Mari, my DHEA-S is high. I hadn’t considered that part of the memory/fog equation. I do feel it’s probably not related to just thyroid hormones. In my case anyway, there seem to be several factors contributing to it. Thanks for mentioning the DHEA.

  27. Paula says:

    Memory loss and brain fog, I deal with them on an on-going basis. Obviously I am doing what I can to be healthy and deal with the issue, but here is the most important thing:

    I live in this moment right now, and I enjoy it completely. I may not get to re-live it later, so I pack it full RIGHT NOW!

  28. Elaine says:

    Paula you have the right idea

  29. Chelle says:

    Hi all again !

    I want to ask a question please is Synthroid the same as Thyroxine? it seems in UK we use Thyroxine & US use Sythroid am I right in asuming this correct. lol

    if this is so why oh why oh why dont the pharmacy & DR’s call it the same! i’m confused enough already lol

    Huggerz to everyone x
    Chelle x

  30. Elaine says:

    Chelle,

    I hope someone here can answer that. If they are made by a different company, even with the same fillers I don’t think they would be the same.
    I just asked of friend who does research into things like that. She helped me understand a lot. Get back to you

    Hugs Elaine

  31. Elaine says:

    Thyroxine: The active ingredient in Thyroxine sodium BP. Thyroxine is a Thyroid hormone; other ingredients include: lactose, dextrin, maize starch and magnesium stearate.

    Synthroid: The active ingredient is Levo thyroxine. Other ingredients include; lactose, dextrin,maize starch and magnesium stearate.
    So Syntyroid has talcom powder and Levo Based Thyroxine Thyroxin has no levo and no talcom powder.

    The talcom powder usually causes rash if allergic.

    I hope this helps you understand it better. I am still trying to myself.

  32. Tracey says:

    I can so relate to everyone here re the brain fog. Mine is improving now that I am on Whole Thyroid – Naturethroid, but I have good days & bad days too. I recently ran out of my supplememnts & have just today received a new batch. I take Vit D, DHEA, HC, Magnesium, Iron, Iodine and a good Multi. My plan is to see which of these makes the difference – When I was taking them all over Christmas, I not only lost 9kg, I had no bad days! I was pretty much average, not 100% but I certainly wasn’t complaining. Since running out, I’ve been slowly going downhill, getting colds that won’t go away, having trouble remembering to load the washing machine or the dish washer, forgetting a million other silly little things that really piss me off! I know that one (or maybe all) of these supplements was helping my brain. Even if it was just by helping the receptors utilise the T3 in the NT better – whatever it is – I want it back!

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