Saturday, January 02, 2010

Another Thyroid Update

By Diana Hsieh

Blah. I suppose that it's time for another update on my hypothyroidism.

It's not going terribly well. For the moment, I'm doing somewhat better only because I've learned how to best limit my activities, so that I don't completely exhaust myself. That means doing very little, unfortunately. If I'm feeling well, I can work for about three hours each day -- maybe. Yet even then I'm pretty fuzzy-headed all the time. My powers of concentration and memory are pretty pathetic. I routinely forget what I'm supposed to be doing unless I write it down and keep it in sight. I wake up from eight hours of deep sleep like I just got four. That's how I feel all day.

For example, when preparing dinner last week, I was puzzled by the fact that I didn't seem to have any vegetables. They weren't on our plates, nor on the stove. "Oh well," I thought, "we have enough food." Then I wandered to the stove to stir the turkey stock I was making. I noticed something funny in stirring it, but only when I spooned up a small red potato did I remember that I'd put them in the stock to cook for dinner. (I don't make potatoes often, but they are an occasional treat for Paul.) Paul then joked that I'm like the man in Memento. He asked me not to take his picture and write "enemy" on it. That was damn funny... but not entirely inapt. At times, I've thought to myself, "Oh, so this is what it feels like to go senile."

Unfortunately, it's all-too-easy for me to overdo it, then render myself completely incapable of doing anything. Any kind of exercise -- even just ten minutes on the rowing machine -- kills me. This week, I was completely unable to muster the energy to work for two full days because I wore myself out on Tuesday. What did I do? I had a friend over for an informal brunch, a guy came to the house to replace my cracked windshield on my car, and then I went into town to run some errands, mostly just buying groceries at Whole Foods and Costco. That killed me for all of Wednesday -- much to my dismay and surprise.

On the plus side, I've found that instead of my normal feelings of too-exited overload in social gatherings, the company of friends energizes me into feeling pretty normal. So although I'm not keen on doing anything, I'm trying to be a bit more social than usual.

Also, I'm still gaining weight, even though I'm eating little. I can't fast or even skip a meal. My temperatures are steady around 96.5. And my skin is unbearably dry and itchy. However, I'm happy to report that I haven't had any problems with depression in the past few weeks. I think that limiting my activities has prevented those awful lows. That's huge, I must say. I can tolerate almost anything -- but not that.

Overall, I'm not really better than when I went on the Synthroid back in November. I might even be somewhat worse.

I'm hopeful, however. I've found a local compounding pharmacy able to provide me with dessicated thyroid, so I'm going to switch to that as soon as I get my thyroid hormones tested on January 5th.

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