Comment Of The Day: April 1, 2010
Reassessment, But Never Retreat is a Dear Thyroid letter written by, Jennifer. One year into being diagnosed with Graves’ disease, and a graduate student, she’s in the throes of thyroid hell; trying to find her way and feeling resentful. How many times have we all felt that way?!
The deluge of support took our breath away. Patients regaling us with their stories and gently reminding Jennifer that she’s not alone; we’ve all been there or are there. When you read Jennifer’s letter, be sure to read the comments. Bravo and thank you, everyone.
Today’s comment of the day;
Hi from another Graves patient who, like you, is a former overachiever taking blocking meds. I was diagnosed in 2007 and became underactive briefly after the first six months of carbimazole and beta blockers. Then I began reducing, with few ill effects until I was very near remission. When I went to 5mg a day, I became overactive again last April. So this is my second year of reducing meds, since I was first diagnosed as very hyperactive. This time though, I’m staying at 10mg over the summer and I’ve been in the normal range now for months. I find that good diet, gentle but regular exercise, yoga, swimming, Pilates and walking really helps me, and getting lots of sleep is really crucial too.
Don’t give up, you will be able to find a new normal that works for you. I think the key is to take it as slow as you can, which is hard for people like us. But really, So what if we have to take a little extra meds to be stable and retain our mental focus? I’m sure you actually achieve lots and that you don’t need to beat yourself up about a few extra things you’d like to have done.
Lowering your expectations just a little might make you feel a whole lot better. So, Every day, prioritize ruthlessly. Pick one thing that is the most important for that day and do it the best you can. The smaller the better.:) Accept the things you cannot change, change the things you can.And.Remember you have a right to be here. And you wrote a great letter.
Stay strong, you are getting there.
Dr. Kuppersmith, ENT, Specializing in Thyroidectomies, A New Type Of Surgery For Thyroid Patients, our guest blogger today, wrote a piece about robotic thyroid surgery. Not only did he take the time to educate us about this procedure; but he explained a lot about thyroid disorders and answered our questions with gusto! If you’ve missed his piece, we strongly urge you to read it. Dr. K will continue fielding questions.
The comments were amazing! Patients with thyroid cancer, nodules, Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s shared their thoughts and asked a myriad of questions. In fact, Dr. K offered up a few wonderful questions about how we feel regarding thyroid surgery, post-op, recovery, and more.
Beautiful work, thyamily! Very proud of youse.
The comment of the day;
What are your biggest concerns about having surgery? I was worried about cancer. The FNA showed only follicular neoplasm and I had read that the risk of cancer can be increased with large tumors (mine was 4.2 cm.)I worried even longer because it took over 2 weeks to get the pathology results after surgery!!!! But, it was benigh thank God!
If you have had surgery already, how was your surgical experience? The surgical experience was good as it could be. I love my surgeon, though I would have liked to have gotten more explanations about what my recovery would REALLY look like.
How was your recovery? Still working on it. Had a total thyroidectomy (lost one parathyroid too)about six weeks ago. Although I can breath now when laying flat, I had expected to feel a lot better than I do by now. Still have no energy and trouble sleeping.
What did you like about your surgeon? He is friendly and gives blunt answers to my questions. I just didn’t know what to ask. He is very funny and straight forward about how many thyroidectomy he does per year (100+) compared to other surgeons. Knowing his experience put me at ease.
How could your surgeon have been more helpful? I wish there would have been a clear plan on regulating my levoxyl before my surgery. My endo asked me to see her three weeks after surgery, then it took another week to get blood test results and another week (at least) for the new meds to begin having SOME effect on me. I wish I had known that I could have called my surgeon for a quicker post-surgical monitoring of my TSH and Free T’s.
What suggestions do you have for other patients who may have surgery? Don’t expect to feel better immediately, it WILL take a lot of time. Take comfort knowing that the surgery was necessary and unavoidable and DO YOUR HOMEWORK ahead of time. Know what questions you have when you meet your surgeon.
What do you think about your scar? It’s still healing, so I don’t know yet. I hope that it remains visible all my life because then people can see it, they should know there might be a physical reason for my behavior and appearance. If it were gone they would probably think I was crazy and unattractive without cause!!!
How long did it take to get your thyroid hormone levels correct after surgery to where you were feeling good? Still working. I just started my 1st new dosage and I am beginning to see a glimmer of the old me. Just a glimmer though.