A Thyroid Story
- What if you could rewrite your story?
- How would you tell it? How would you do it over?
- What changes would you make?
- What have you learned?
- What was taken from you that you need to reclaim?
- What would you tell your thyroid?
- What would you tell yourself or your doctor, or your caregivers?
As I sit here now writing my answers to some of the questions listed above, I’m feeling pretty good and have been for a few weeks now. I can say that, finally, after 32 years of suffering with untreated thyroid disease.
Since my first pregnancy at the age of 20 everything changed for me. I couldn’t exercise as I had, needed to eat less to maintain a healthy weight, tingling in extremities, dizziness, clouded thinking, sometimes had to put my head between my legs to get enough blood to my ears just to talk, hair loss, extreme fatigue, too cold to go in the snow without developing a migraine headache, heavy monthly cycle which developed into iron anemia, heart aches and palpitations, and so on. I spent the next 25 years trying to find a doctor that could give me a diagnosis. In that time, many tests and scopes of my body were done and things were found, but never the cause. I was diagnosed with “alopecia”, “chronic fatigue syndrome”, “IBS”, “mitral valve prolapsed w/regurgitation”, “dizzy broad”, “molar pregnancy”, “fibroids, you just need a hysterectomy,” (thankfully I ran far away from that doctor). I had doctors laughing out loud at me when I mentioned my hair loss and one even said, “So, just get a haircut.” One endocrinologist said to me as he **STARED** at my labs, “Hmm . . . there’s nothing here that I’m ALLOWED to treat.” I could go on and on and on and on, but won’t, you get my point.
I finally did get a diagnosis of hypothyroidism by an NMD and he prescribed a natural desiccated thyroid (NDT). But, every time I took the NDT, my limbs would turn white as a ghost, I was dizzy. I told the doctor and he said I should be fine since my FT3 looked good on my labs. Needless to say, I stopped the medication and thought to myself he was a quack (which he isn’t, but he didn’t understand at the time how important having functioning adrenals was to taking thyroid medication.)
A few years after trying Armour, I had another doctor diagnose me with hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. I told him that I can’t be hypothyroid and about my previous experience on Armour. He treated my adrenal glands first with low dose cortisol, then, put me on NDT. I felt great for a month, better than I had the previous 29 years. Then he had me take Iodoral, which triggered Graves’ disease in me. After two and half years of trying antithyroid drugs and whatever else I could come up with that failed, I had a total thyroidectomy. That was last month and even though the NDT isn’t adjusted quite right yet, I feel good!
“What if I could rewrite my story? How would I tell it? How would I do it over? What changes would I make? What have I learned? What was taken from me that I need to reclaim? What would I tell my thyroid? What would I tell myself or my doctor? My initial reaction is to say YES, I want to rewrite my thyroid story, reclaim so many things that I’ve lost, tell off doctors, apologize to my thyroid for my immune system screw ups, and live the majority of my adult life all over again! I just want to vomit when I think of all the pain and suffering that went along with the undiagnosed hypothyroidism that could’ve been avoided just by taking a little pill every day.
After thinking about these questions for awhile, though, I realize that it is not so simple of a subject. My whole adult life up until this point, I’ve spent fighting this, figuring out how to eat healthy, exercise, get proper rest/sleep, etc. which has allowed me to sort of cope. Now I have those health skills in my back pocket. I’ve learned to love others and believe others when they say they have issues, even when they’re unseen issues. I’ve learned to trust and love no matter what this life throws at me, knowing I will spend eternity with loving is far better than any hurt and pain this life has. So, I want to answer the questions by asking myself this question, “How am I going to finish my thyroid story?” I want to help others, prevent others from this needless suffering. Stop the greed, pride, and despicable non-caring individuals that are keeping our medical system in the dark about the truth that many doctors and informed thyroid patients already know that could help others suffering with thyroid disease. I would like to stop the pharmaceutical and insurance companies from having so much control over our doctors, medical schools, and medical professional entities; they just perpetuate the lies for their own personal gain, they are ‘for-profit’ companies. I have read so many stories of individuals who have suffered horrendously. So many lives needlessly jeopardized, compromised, and even permanently lost!! I hope to be a part of a group of thyroid patients that bring change and truth to our (global) medical system so that others won’t have to suffer as our generation has and still does.
Rachel Pino, B.S.E.
Tags: adrenal function, graves' disease, hypothyroidism, misdiagnoses, mistreatment, proactive thyroid patients, rewriting our thyroid stories, taking control of our health, taking control of our thyroids