Benjamin Franklin’s Black Eye
It’s been awhile since we’ve connected little thyroid. Don’t think I’ve forgotten you. I think of you every day, at least once. What do you mean I should have at least sent a postcard? “Having a great time; wish you were here” crap? Maybe I would have, had I been having a great time, but that wasn’t so either. Let me see if I can remember everything that I’ve wanted to tell you…
First of all, I went gluten free as an experiment in January. I was told that it would take a good ninety days to feel the beneficial effects, so I tried to be patient and wait. Lo and behold, after a month, I noticed that I was not waking up with a pounding headache every morning, and my ups and downs on the porcelain throne were diminishing. Hmm..maybe this works. I’ve been able to stick with it, and still feel well, and have lost over twenty pounds. I don’t weigh myself. It makes me obsess.
After my excruciatingly painful and traumatizing visit with the endo in the autumn of last year, I decided that I was never ever ever ever going back to any doctor, for any reason. Enough was enough. Well, someone somewhere made other plans for me. I woke up one Saturday morning with a black eye. Over the course of the day, it got worse. Folks wondered if I had been beaten and were interrogating me every time they saw my face. My eye began to feel as if it were being pulled out of the socket. I did call my primary’s office and when she was not available, took an appointment with an associate. He took one look at me and shuffled me off to an ophthalmologist, who ushered me into hospital for an MRI and a CT scan.
I kept thinking..what the hell?! It’s only a black eye. A hematoma had formed spontaneously behind my eye, and was pressing on it. Did you know little thyroid that the medication that I take to control you can cause bleeding? Yup. I was watched closely and examined over the course of a couple of weeks and the hematoma resolved itself. With my foot back in the door to the doctor’s office, I decided to ask at a follow-up appointment if this particular doctor would just go over my history with me.
He listened. Intently. Quietly. Focused. He listened to me.
I asked him if he would help me explore my health issues and he said, “Yes! If they’re important to you, they’re important to me.” I gave him permission to guide me, treat me, and kick my ass if need be. He is now my primary care physician. Good move. He did state that my thyroid numbers looked all right, but my body was telling another story. He asked me to pursue a sleep study and just humor him.
It was not the greatest experience of my life that night, but the information proved to be very useful. See..thyroid disease sufferers can suffer from sleep apnea. Oh, I forgot, you knew that. My oxygen goes lower at night than a dying elderly person with dementia, who may forget to breathe. Great.. So now, thanks to you, and the extra weight you have given me, not to mention the paralysis in my throat at night, I have to wear a very not so sexy CPAP mask. I am sleeping more than the 1½ to 3 hours a night you were allowing me before. Gotcha there. Also, with the autoimmune issues, I have been suffering with breathing issues even when I am awake.
I relented to having a test that I will never ever ever ever repeat. (Uh Oh, I said something like that before, didn’t I?!) A methycholine challenge, where an asthma attack is induced indicated that I am suffering from the beginnings of COPD. Now, I can’t blame you for all of that. We had a bad fire last year, and apparently I have some lung damage from smoke inhalation. Aren’t you glad now, you’re not alone. So, all in all..I have a little handle on what’s happening until recently. Are you causing this nausea and vision issue? My eyes are not focusing and I have this low lying morning sickness feeling all the time. Oh goody. And.. the newest symptom..drumroll, please….my hair appears to be falling out.
Um, the Benjamin Franklin look went out with Benjamin Franklin, thank you very much. Higher than normal blood pressure, cholesterol that a few months ago made my doctors have heart attacks, and my glucose level does more ups and downs than a kid trying to blow up colored condoms with a bicycle pump.
So…I’m trying to stay in control and have a life other than staring at you all day and night, but you’re beginning to piss me off! It’s been a couple of years since I was in my over the rainbow stage, and when I have a little symptom or sign that brings be back there.. can you say PTSD?? I am terrified of being that sick again. I will go to this doctor who listens so well. He will listen. I will listen. And I will advocate for myself, and not be afraid anymore. Not afraid of doctors. Not afraid of you. Not afraid of finding out what I need to know. Not afraid of life and living. So there!
Tags: Benjamin Franklin's Black Eye, Dear Thyroid Letters, hypothyroid community, hypothyroid patient symptoms, hypothyroid support, hypothyroid women, hypothyroidism, Thyroid patient letters, women and thyroid disorders, Written by Kathleen Taylor