Friday, November 30, 2007

My dosage has been decreased!

I had a doctor appointment yesterday, which was quite interesting. This doctor has so many patients that I can only get last-minute cancellation appointments, so consequently I had to bring the whole clan with me. I was quite worried, because in the past I've had to wait like an hour in the waiting room, but yesterday I was able to get right in, so the kids did not have to go into meltdown, and they were quite good for the whole appointment.

In sum, I still feel like crap, but apparently it's not my thyroid this time, and it wasn't my thyroid not long ago when I told you it was crashing again. The doctor thinks it's my adrenals, and he's running more tests, and has put me on over-the-counter DHEA in the meantime.

You know what's kind of funny/not funny about being chronically ill? In the beginning, I really had that Rocky theme song going on in the back of my head. You know, like I was gonna fight it, tackle it, defeat this thing, and who needs your stupid drugs anyway! But then, as I realized that it wasn't going away, the Rocky theme gradually faded, and there was actually no music, just profound silence for awhile, and the I-don't-want-your-stupid-drugs attitude changed to I'm so sick of feeling like crap I'll take anything. Battery acid? Sure, give it here! DHEA? Pfft! Whatever! Frugivorous diet? No problem! You know, you just get desperate after awhile. And I'm about 18 months into this now. But I do feel slightly -- ever so teensy weensy slightly -- encouraged today -- and is that the Chariots of Fire theme I hear in the background?? I guess I'm in for the long haul ...

Of course what all this really means is that I don't really know what I'm talking about, or what I'm feeling, or how to interpret what I'm feeling. Still, the doctor should have at least called me back when I called him saying I felt awful and needed an appointment. It's all a complicated picture, because I do apparently have two imbalances, with my thyroid and adrenals out of whack. And I did have a dosage increase on the thyroid meds about two months ago, so I can't say this is all related to my attempts at the 811 lifestyle. Still, the doctor has lowered my dosage of thyroid meds -- whoo hoo!, and I never thought I'd see that day. I was on 100/112 mcg on alternate days, and he's put it back down to 100 every day now, which is an improvement. Yet now I understand what hyperthyroidism feels like, and if I'm to get over this on the 80/10/10 diet, I'm going to feel it for awhile as my dosage is gradually decreased.

It's 5 a.m. and here are my blood results
Lest you think that having hyperthyroidism feels good, let me tell you that it's 5 a.m., friends, and I can't sleep worth a darn. Really need that sleep too. I'm exhausted, but my pulse is racing slightly (86 at the doctor office yesterday) and you just can't sleep through that kind of nonsense. One thing that came up yesterday in my appointment is that I had a really strange night last week where every time I would lay down my heart would kind of freak out and start beating like da ... da ... da ... dadadadadada ... da ... da da da ... anyway, hard to capture in writing, but you get the point: Normal heart rate for a few beats, then like 120 bpm for a few. Kinda scary. Thought about going to the hospital, but then it calmed down, so I didn't worry about it. Turned out it was the over-dosage of thyroid hormone. Look at these numbers:

TSH-ICMA: .06 uU/mL (yes, that's point-OH-six, not point-six)
T-3, Serum: 188 ng/dL
T-4, Serum: 10.3 ug/dL
Free Thyroxine (by Dialysis) (no idea what that means!): 1.54 ng/dL
Testosterone, Serum: 20 ng/dL (yes, girls have it too!)
Bioavailable testosterone, S: 2.3 ng/dL
Bioavailable testosterone, %: 11.7
SHBG (IRMA): 116 nmol/L
Cortisol, Serum or Plasma: 4.5

I don't pretend to know what all these numbers mean, but I thought I'd publish them in case they mean anything to anyone else. What the doctor said is that my thyroid stimulating hormone is now low (meaning my thyroid doesn't need to be stimulated because I've got too much hormone circulating from the meds), all my thyroid hormones themselves are now high, and my adrenal hormone(s?) are in the low-normal range.

And now back to 80/10/10 ...
... but not today. I'm off on a romantic getaway to Portland today, returning on Monday. First time I will have been away from both my kids for longer than about a night. It will be strange, but I'm looking forward to it. Still, this trip has been one of the things that was actually weighing on my mind when I was doing 811, because we're going up there with a couple friends, and I really couldn't figure out how I was going to be going to restaurants and all that without feeling completely deprived. So after I fell off it, I finally gave myself a break and have decided that this truly is my "last hurrah". When I told Gary that he said, "You've had sooooo many last hurrahs you could have a marching band!" ... to which I had to laugh. He's right, you know, but all I can do is dust myself off and start over. I wrote a letter to my family about my decision, which I sent yesterday, so it's official: Tuesday is the day, and I have no intention of looking back. I'll be offline for a few days, until then, and I'll show you that letter when I get back.

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