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Archive for February, 2010

I finally took it upon myself to find some local resources. Even with a supportive family, no one really knows what I’m going through, especially when you’re good at faking being fine. I am, however, looking to meet people in the Kitchener-Waterloo area who also have a thyroid disorder.

I had read that coffee was not good for the condition, and reluctantly went on decaf for a couple of days, but have officially been told by my doctor that it’s alright. Thank god!

I read in my little thyroid book that if you get gray hair before your 30 that this is a warning sign of possible future thyroid problems. Sure enough, I am the only sibling in my family to get gray hair in my 20s and sure enough, thyroid problems at 31, 1.5 years after my daughter was born – almost like it was scripted.

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What has happened up until now: miscarriage, thyroid spike, thyroid dip, Graves Ophthamology, and now awaiting treatment options….

So, I got more blood work done on Friday, although I feel my thyroid fluctuate all of the time. I have been gaining weight, which is disturbing because I have tried to eat healthier and only when I’m hungry. Ironically, I haven’t been too hungry, so I’m trying to base all eating on, “how hungry am I?” and when I do eat, I’m trying to be  more healthy, whole foods to kick-start my immune.  I am an active, athletic person who has never had weight problems so I find this also particularly depressing since I have valued being a relatively attractive person. Now, between the weight and the eyes, I feel, at times, like a monster.

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So, after the miscarriage in December 2009, I was beginning to understand the seriousness of my condition. Up until then it all seemed too hypothetical.  However, after losing the baby, the moderating effect of the pregnancy on my thyroid level stopped and my levels begain to spike. My doctor, Dr. C., didn’t really give me any information. After having a T3 score of 8, which I still don’t know what it means, he said to pick a treatment option: Radiation, Thyroidectomy, or Drugs. 

I left the office confused. He seemed to recommend the radiation, but I was trying to get pregnant and a) I didn’t want to wait a year to get pregnant (he said he would not try to get pregnant any sooner than a year, despite information that says you can try after 6 months); b) I didn’t want to be isolated for 3-4 days, because I’m in school and because I have a young daughter.  I decided thyroidectomy and then after some internet research, I had read stories about going into remission and I thought, isn’t some chance of recovery better than none? So I called Dr. C. back a couple of hours later and said, I want the drugs. Much to my chagrine, he told me to get another blood test and see him in two weeks.

Okay, so I got a blood test done on the Friday, felt absolutely crazy by Monday, in retrospect, I believe it’s because I noticed my eyes going .  Everything I had seen on the internet showed me as becoming bulgy-eyed, grossly disfigured.  I was now officially terrified. Yes, I had Graves Opthamology.  Symptoms at this stage include:

  • tension in the eye muscles – it feels like they are pulling on your eyeballs
  • photophobia – light gave me bad headaches
  • double vision (at times, not all the time)
  • finally, puffiness above and below my eyes.

My eye disease is still in the early phases, however, it is the most distressing part of the disease. I could live with the racing heart, but facial disfigurment was just too much for me to handle emotionally.

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What was life like for me when I was diagnosed.

  • I had just quit my job to go back to school.
  • I had my daughter 1.5 years previous to the onset of the disease.
  • I was 31 years old.
  • I was feeling very stressed, even though cognitively, I didn’t think I was that worried about the change.
  • I had trouble going up and down stairs without losing my breath.
  • I had to sit all of the time because I was so exhausted.
  • I was just trying to get pregnant with child #2.
  • School was very stressful – very heavy workload – and I couldn’t sleep.

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I am a 32 year old female living with Graves disease and Graves Opthamology living in the Kitchener-Waterloo Region of Ontario, Canada. I am finding it neccessary to find positive sources of information and social interaction in order to better deal with the realities of my condition. I plan to diary my life, in the most positive way I know how, and am looking support, information and resources.

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