Thanks To My Mad Hyper Skills, I’m Hairless And More
(Written by Dee, Graves’ disease patient)
You’ve had quite the year, haven’t you? Made quite the little spectacle of yourself, starting with the chronic, never-ending stress, severe anxiety, panic attacks; I was positive that next phone call would be my boss telling me I’m fired. “Just stressing out over the new job, I told myself. Dizzy spells, night sweats, shaky hands, no short-term memory, no sex drive… “Just remnants of that year with the shitty boyfriend when I ended up on anti-depressants, I told myself. Waking up in the morning feeling like there’s absolutely no hope, nothing to look forward to, feeling like the world had sucker punched me in the gut… “Just stuck in a rut,Ã¢â‚¬ I told myself. I put up with this crap for years, and never thought much of it.
Then, sneaky little thyroid, you go and make my hair fall out! You wanted my attention? Well hell, that sure got it! But hmmm, what kind of doctor to see for hair loss? One who wouldn’t dismiss my problems? The pill-happy doctor who prescribed me anti-depressants and thought the whole world should be taking them? The one who insisted that my vertigo was just a little motion sickness? The ob/gyn from two years ago who declared my thyroid test results normal just so I would participate in her clinical trial for low libido? The other ob/gyn who told me I just needed a little testosterone cream? A neurologist? A dermatologist? A trichologist; whatever the hell that is? Not sure how I made the connection to endocrinologist, but I still remember calling up a top-ranked doctor in the city and saying, “My hair is falling out; you treat that, don’t you?
Imagine my surprise, dear thyroid, when the doctor I see for hair loss comes back with, “You’ve got Grave’s Disease… The nice doctor tells me, “Oh, don’t worry, radioactive iodine treatment will take your thyroid out of the picture altogether. Then you’ll just take a little pill for the rest of your life… Very simple, he tells me. Yeah, right. Just a simple rollercoaster ride through hell. That RAI treatment sure did a number on you, didn’t it, little thyroid? TSH level skyrocketing off the charts into hypo-land; extreme mental, physical, emotional, fatigue; feeling like a failure because I can’t concentrate at work; excruciating pain between my shoulder blades that landed me on the floor for a week; feeling like a basket case, just fine one day, then a crying mess for absolutely no reason the next. Up, down, up, down; Geez, you’re giving me freaking whiplash!
Oh, this has certainly been your year, you little attention-starved gland, you. But watch out, because next year is mine. Because, dear, sweet, lovely thyroid; did you hear the latest news; the grand prognosis? Normal.
Thanks thyroid, it’s been fun, but I’m ready to get off now.
(Bio), Dee, 35, was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease in March 2009. She didn’t think Grave’s was too bad, but is pretty sure she should have been admitted to the loony bin when she went full-blown hypothyroid three months after RAI. She wonders why more doctors aren’t knowledgeable about thyroid disease, and thinks thyroid blood testing should be mandatory before doctors are allowed to prescribe anti-depressants. She doesn’t quite feel normal yet, but is hoping to reclaim her mental and physical health in 2010.