What in the hell just happened to me?
Something snuck up on me so slowly that I didn’t see it coming for years. No warning signs, at least not enough signs at one time. A family history that led my doctors in a different direction. It tricked them into treating my mother’s symptoms in my body. I’ve left the hospital with heart monitors on 4 different occasions.
A Diagnosis of Gerd…
PMDD… Offered antidepressants on more than one occasion.
I’ve been told I had anxiety by one doctor… #NOPEgetbent
And one ER Doctor that couldn’t even look at me nice because I was a smoker. His advice after no clear results from his bland-kale type of diagnosing people was “…take aspirin.” I definitely did not feel worth his time without insurance in my corner.
The strangest part about an anxiety diagnosis, for me, would be that awkward is my comfort zone. Some people have general anxiety, fears of some sort. I don’t have that. Some people can’t stand to be embarrassed, also not an issue for me. And some people struggle with second hand embarrassment. Anxiety from seeing someone else’s embarrassment. I’m not shy and I don’t struggle in public in general, although, I prefer an introvert identity.
I will say that my friends with anxiety probably struggle in public more so when I’m around, because all of the above mentioned things… I’ve always found it a little amusing when they start to happen to someone else. My friends will tell you that I may be guilty of even egging these situations on, sometimes, out of boredom and a lack of entertainment at the moment. I always thought it was just mind over matter.
Until it happened to me. Typical, right?
Virtual learning is going well for us. I’m still working a little part time on the weekends or evenings. I’m walking six miles a day, three in the morning and three at night. On really nice mornings I’m walking the track around the property that I’ve managed to keep stomped down after my husband mowed it for me, and spending time with my new dog. Then, all of a sudden…
I get a cold.
No fever. No body aches. Just a straight up cold.
I wait a few days and keep exercising. I mean, c’mon. I quit smoking so I wouldn’t have to let a little thing like a cold slow me down.
A few more days go by…. I’m losing energy so fast now. I stop walking the three miles in the evening… I end up feeling guilty so maybe I do four miles in the morning.
I’m still gaining weight even after a couple months of this vigorous exercise and working part time. I’m two weeks into this cold, or what ever it is.
I’m done walking all together. I haven’t gained any stamina and, in fact, by 10 AM, I am exhausted. I no longer do my morning walk. There is no way in hell I can work like this.
I learned a dear friend has passed away in between all of this. I start to worry that maybe I’ve had a stroke because I no longer have words or any kind of short term memory.
I fear the worst.
I go for a COVID test. Negative. What the hell?!
My brain is not capable of rational thought at this point. The anxiety sets in along with all the fears of dying. I call my oldest daughter, she calms me. I’m twice as worried now that I may have had a stroke because I can’t make my legs walk, I can’t make my hands work in concert, and my skin is constantly vibrating or buzzing.
I steal a doctor appointment from my husband’s scheduled appointments so that I can get in right away.
The anxiety has fully set in.
I am convinced I’m going to die. I think maybe I’ve had a cardiac event and didn’t realize (cuz that’s a thing for women) and it’s potentially led to a stroke. I am retaining water in my legs, feet, and arms, along with my face. Everyone knows what congestive heart failure looks like. At one point I flew into such a panic that I had to go lay down because I was afraid I would tip over dead in front of my eight year old, but not before I wrote down our address for her and did a refresher on how to dial 911 if she needed to.
I looked at it yesterday…
I wrote it wrong. I have since updated the address card.
Three weeks in… I’m crying every day because I don’t understand what is happening to me. I hurt everywhere I’m swollen and my head feels like it’s going to explode. I can’t express how I feel because I can’t make real sentences. My youngest daughter is seeing a scary mommy right now and I wish she weren’t.
I can’t help it.
I’ll try to make it up to her. Keep checking her meeting schedule. focus on school.
Finally, the doctor appointment…
He knows me and knows I’m a hard person to slow down. He takes this very seriously. He observes, he listens, he reads my records in depth while I sit with him. I feel comforted by all of this. He knows what I think is going on but he doesn’t pursue it. Instead, he calmly talks me through what he thinks it is. He explains what he’s thinking, picking out the less evident things in what I’ve given as symptoms in previous visits. Things that I didn’t know were symptoms, but that he had written down in the conversation part of our past visits, or notations he had made when he observed me.
Even though my family history is screaming at him to go the other way, he’s not moved by it. He is direct and confident in what his diagnosis is.
I feel hope crawling back to me.
My anxiety is alleviated just by someone looking me in the eyes and saying “I think I know what’s wrong with you”. Instead of the usual…people asking me “what’s wrong with you”?!
“Hypothyroid. I want you to take this red sheet, put it in the basket by the room across from check-in, push the lit up button, and have a seat”.
“Okay.” I say.
This is my answer to everything right now. It’s all I can manage.
The girl comes out to get me. We go in and she takes my blood (Americans. I gave it to her willingly).
The world seems to move slowly to me.
When the vials start to fill, it reminds me of a cranberry juice commercial as they pour it in slow motion into the glass. The theme song from Hawaii-Five-O starts to play in my head.
‘I love the Ventures’ is what I’m thinking the whole time she is talking to me. I don’t think I talked back to her.
I go home, and an hour later I receive a call.
Apparently the high end of good numbers would be around 4.2. I was 184 for T-3 and T-4.
Whatever that means…
That’s my homework now. Figure out all the lingo for this.
Another day goes by and they call me again. Hoshimoto is what they say. By this time I’ve heard of a bunch of things it could be from all the people on Facebook.
This one definitely came up the most.
I’m four days on my meds now… Levothyroxine. It seems to be working because I can now string sentences together…
I feel like I can get up and go do things, but my body quickly rejects that idea when I try. The doctor says It will be a couple of weeks before I see real progress physically because of how bad my numbers were. I still don’t know the science behind that. I’ll find someone to explain it to me slowly.
I was wondering…
Is this how everyone finds out they have hypothyroidism? Omg it sucks.
I never really took the term seriously before. I thought it just meant a person would have shitty hair and problems losing weight and be kind of tired all the time. I didn’t know about all the other stuff. I feel like I should have felt way more sorry for my friends that have it now.
What a jerk.
I joined a militant diet group.
Nope. Gonna un-join this week sometime.
So now I wake up every morning for the rest of my life and take this little pill. I’m 50 this year so I’m sure eventually it’s family will grow and there will be Big Pills, Medium Pills, and a box with a calendar on top.
Until then, this little guy is my new best friend. A perfectly fine trade off for feeling like I’m not going to die. It’s a small window into the debate I feel is probably a good one to have.
Quality of life vs. quantity of life.
If I knew that everyday for the rest of my life was going to be like the last two weeks I had… under no circumstances would I want that to drag on very long. That is not a life that could satisfy me.
But we can have that discussion another day.
Right now I’m thrilled to be out of the fog and on the mend.
I’m grateful to have this platform to share these things with my readers and friends. The support you guys gave me was wonderful and I want to say thank you. I am trying to provide a place you can come and read and take your mind off the craziness for a while.
Everything on the Blog has been pushed back and I’m so sorry about that. I’m really trying to get this thing off the ground. This lull has not helped.
So if everyone that reads this would be so kind as to share it and like it that would help so much.
And if you could like and share the tag in Read Me Books on Facebook, that would mean the algorithm would pick up on it and place it on more timelines as well. I feel that the lull has shuffled us to the back again.
I’m trying really hard to support people that want to write and enjoy it as much as I do, so keep sending in the contributor poems and shorts.
I love them so much.
I am also trying hard to support other self published Authors too. Think about how they sell their books. They used to do readings and public events.
They can’t do that anymore, so I’m trying to make the blog kind of a virtual-book-tour-stop for some of them.
Please show them a warm welcome. Comment on their stuff. Like it and share if you feel moved by what you read. If you happen to buy one of their books and like it, make a review for them. Reviews are how their books move up in an ocean of books on the different sale platforms.
Until I see you guys again…hopefully sooner than later. Holy Hoshimoto!