Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Health Updates

December 11

Oh, what a night I had last night! I ended up sick for the last eight hours of my day. Anything is better than anxiety, but it was one rough ride. It started with sharp cramps in my upper abs and moved downward. I had gas, cramps and nausea all night long. It’s a true miracle I never puked or had the runs. I felt so bad at times I actually wished I would puke.

I totally regret getting that burger and fries. I agree with Tom who says that it’s not so much because I had meat for the first time in so long, but more because I radically changed my diet that day and took in so much grease. From what he looked up, our food stays with us 24 to 72 hours. The junk food likely got stuck in my intestines and then yesterday’s food was probably forced to stay in my stomach longer than normal, thus causing the whole reaction. Another thing I had that my body isn’t used to was a big bag of popcorn. This wasn’t the diet kind either, but a full-size bag of buttery popcorn.

Ironically enough, though, getting sick has caused me to hit my goal weight for this week, which I didn’t expect to reach. So now I’m down a total of 6 pounds.

I slept horribly. I was too hot. I was too cold. Traffic was too loud. My belly continued to cramp. After about five hours of sleep, I got up to relieve my stomach again and took a lorazepam to help me fall back asleep. I slept longer but I woke up groggy because of the disturbed sleep and because the lorazepam was still in my system. These days I don’t take the lorazepam for anxiety since the anxiety has backed off, but every now and then I use it for sleep. Why not finish what I have left if I could use it at times?

I was almost afraid to eat today, but I can’t avoid it forever. Tom got me some ginger ale, so hopefully that will help. Better yet, I need to just stay vegan. It isn’t just meat that’s bad for me, but anything fried or battered. I just can’t eat like I used to and that shit wasn’t healthy anyway.

I have more to write about, but I’m still pretty out of it so I’ll do it later. Right now I just want to climb into my warm, soft comfy bed.

December 12

I’ve now lost a surprising 8 pounds! The results of my TSH test were just as surprising.

I checked the health site early in the morning and found that my lipid panel had come in the previous evening. They were just then posting the metabolic panel.

Not much change with my cholesterol, which is still bad. When I read my TSH score of 7.75, however, I started off in shock, then I was pleased, and then I started getting a little nervous.

For those of you that don’t know, having thyroid numbers in the normal range flips me from hypO to hypER possibly because I have tachycardia. I have to stay just above normal in order to feel my best. If my TSH slips under 5 or my T4 rises over 1.3, I have epic levels of anxiety that probably not even the most anxious person on earth could even imagine. I would break a bone, puke every day, and gain 100 pounds before I went through it again. It’s that extreme and that awful.

My last TSH reading in August was 10.14, and my T4 was 1.2.

My recent results are 7.75 and 1.1. I really thought my TSH might have floated to 11-12 because my skin and hair are dry.

My stomach is now stable, and as some of you also know, I had horrible stomach cramps, nausea and the runs yesterday and the day before. Initially, I believed it was the sudden change of diet.

So anyway, I’m sitting there looking at the numbers and then I thought about it…  the rapid weight loss, the stomach issues… could I be going hyper again? I still overheat in my sleep at times and my heart races me awake. I just don’t freak out about it because I know what it is.

So I Skyped Tom the info at work and he assured me I’m not even close to hyper and reminded me that they could’ve tested me the day before and gotten a TSH of 13 and then 10 the day before since that one fluctuates. The real thyroid numbers that matters is the T4 Free and it’s down, not up. He assured me I was just nervous because I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow with my PCP, and I later realized he was right.

He assures me the weight loss is because I went vegan, it won’t always drop that fast, and my stomach issues were the result of the greasy meaty treats I had after the lab. Not food poisoning, a stomach bug or me going hyper.

Fortunately, I feel a lot better now otherwise I might have trouble believing him. One of the biggest symptoms of being hyper besides the anxiety and booming heart is that you have a lack of appetite, you have the runs, and you lose weight quickly.

But then I thought about it more and realized that when I was actually hyper I didn’t have intense stomach cramps or nausea; I simply had the runs. Also, I haven’t been having any funky emotions, lung tightness or jitteriness. Yes, my heart can still race or beat a little hard at times, but nothing like when I was hyper. Your HR can soar into the 140s just sitting on your ass when you’re hyper. Trust me, it’s utterly bat shit terrifying, especially if you don’t know what’s going on.

My only concern right now is how much accumulation I might be in for in the future. As I learned from Doc O, this drug can accumulate in the system, so I’ll soon ask Doc A. The last thing I want is for the levothyroxine to keep accumulating and dropping me under a 5. Around 7 to 10 are my personal ideal numbers.

My rainbow sweatshirt finally arrived from overseas and it fits great. It’s a medium and is slightly loose on me.

December 13

I’m going to make this as quick as I can because I’m exhausted. I usually sleep better after an appointment because I’m relieved to have it done and over with, but I woke up a few times after sleeping less than six hours. The last time I woke up was due to a lower backache because my mattress is beginning to sag. I have a strong core since I work out regularly, so when my mattress gets my back aching, I know it’s time for an upgrade. I will describe the new mattress I’m getting another time.

While my cholesterol is still bad, I saw Doc A yesterday and she’s thrilled that my thyroid is better. So am I, but I’m also worried despite her assurances. I’m pleased with the weight loss just as much as she is, since losing weight helps with everything overall, as she said. Yet while this should be exciting, I still worry that my numbers are going to end up in a place that could leave me horribly anxious. It really, REALLY sucks to have to spend the rest of my life on a drug that has the potential to make me feel worse than I could ever imagine possible. But that’s just the way it is. After what happened I’m going to have this hanging over my head for as long as I live.

While I have been calmer overall this year, my anxiety is borderline right now, and of course, I’m asking myself… is it just because I’m worried? Or are the meds affecting me even though my numbers don’t currently say they should be?

I think I’m just worried about those “what ifs.” I’m not always very good at telling myself not to worry unless something goes wrong. For now, I’m just trying to take it one step at a time and am applying S’s emotional tapping regimen when I feel like I might be getting anxious. My HR is in the 90s and while that’s better than the triple digits, I like it best when it’s a comfortable 80-something. The 90s are more normal for me, though, like it or not. I just worry about my numbers getting too low, or any additional weight loss affecting that and how I feel.

My body is definitely acting like it once again has a metabolism. I don’t gain as much after eating, and the weight doesn’t hang on hour after hour afterward. Like I said, where this should be thrilling, it’s a little scary. Maybe a part of me also got used to being fat for so long. Despite the fact that obesity does run in my family, I never would have gotten fat had it not been for my thyroid. I’m simply not naturally heavy, though I have been heavy for years now. Before this, I spent most of my life average or underweight, though I did have a fat spell in my late teens due to a medication I was on.

The question is whether or not S’s tricks would be as magical if I ever got as bad as I was when my endo tried me on 88’s. When something is medically induced it’s a lot harder to fight. Internal sources as opposed to external sources are always tougher. I would take the stress of worrying about money any day over health issues. Right now I’m just very thankful to be doing better and that my husband is, as he himself put it, “remarkably healthy.” He is obese and he does have high blood pressure, but he is otherwise healthy and determined to lose weight along with me. Fortunately for me, I don’t even have 30 pounds to go.

I’m glad I stuck with Doc A. The more I see her, the more I like her and feel comfortable with her as I get to know her and she gets to know and understand me. She’s a very sweet person.

She listened to my heart, lungs, and checked to make sure my ankles weren’t swollen. She didn’t pressure me at all about statins. I guess she wants to see results of the stress test first. This is the only test I feel confident about, too.

For now, she’s going to test my thyroid again in March, but I won’t see her again until June, at which time I’ll have a full panel of blood work done as they do every year.

She refilled my inhaler even though I only had to use it once. Just because I don’t smoke doesn’t mean I can’t have an attack, and I feel comfortable having an inhaler available. I have had a few attacks since quitting smoking in 1997.

She also refilled that cream that my first doctor gave me for feminine itching.

I definitely feel more comfortable with her checking my thyroid regularly because the numbers simply aren’t etched in stone. They really can and do change. I just never thought my TSH would get this low on this dose.

For now, I guess I just keep eating healthy, keep active, continue losing weight, and hope for the best.

It’s kind of funny how it’s a known fact that obesity poses health risks, yet all four of the nurses and office workers I saw were obese. Not just a little overweight like me, but seriously obese. Guess that’s just the US for you.

The thing I look forward to most about losing weight isn’t appearance or health benefits, but mobility. Everything’s harder when you’re heavy, and I miss having a broader range of motion. I’m still fairly flexible, but not like I used to be and not like I could be if I dropped some weight.

Despite the fact that I will always have an underlying fear of medication in general, I was brave enough to let them give me a flu shot. Unfortunately, it’s only good for three months, yet flu season goes until June. I rarely get colds or the flu, though, so I’m not worried.

So much for this being a quick entry, but I’m going to sign off for now.

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