First off I would like to shoutout to Nick Seluk at The Awkward Yeti. I love his work, and he always has the right cartoon for me. It's the highlight of my Facebook feed.
I have been going to see my family doctor for 17 years. She and I have known each other, kind of intimately, for a long time. Our relationship is a little one sided, and I only go to see her when I need something. But our relationship works. Annual checkups are often entertaining, I think for both of us, and she respects my aversion to pharmaceuticals. I have her forward my test results to my naturopath and she often asks my opinion on the direction of treatment I feel is best for me. Maybe I have her fooled into thinking I'm an expert, that I read things, and have good body awareness. Maybe it's because there have been times in our relationship when she couldn't help me, but a naturopath or massage therapist could? Maybe she just doesn't want to fight with me. Maybe it is a little of all of those things.
My tests came back in the “normal” range. Sigh Of course they did, my T3 and T4 were right smack in the middle of normal. So that is a good thing, right? If it isn't my thyroid, what is wrong? Do I have lupus? Chronic fatigue? Clinical depression, and a sharp case of hypochondria? My mother was mis-diagnosed with lupus when I was a teenager, my grandmother had a debilitating case of polymyocitis. These, among others are things I have looked into, but they don't seem to fit quite right.
I ask about the antibodies: if I have auto-immune thyroid issues like Hashimoto's, the T3 and T4 will be normal. Well you guessed it, my antibodies are high, not excessively, but on the high side. I asked what that ment, and she said is was headed for hypo-thyroid. But wasn't there yet. I started to cry in the doctor's office. If there is nothing wrong with me… why do I feel so crappy? What can I do to feel better?
As I mentioned, my visits are often playful. And matter-of-fact. There was a time a few years ago when I battled depression, and she made me go in every 2 weeks in case I had changed my mind about taking antidepressants. When I started to sniffle and big alligator tears rolled down my cheeks, she pulled out the depression questionnaire again. We went thru the questionnaire: being tired and sleeping all the time, and the immediate symptom of crying were the only signs of depression, but she was obviously concerned. She wanted to put me on an antidepressant, but I insisted that I didn't want them.
I feel okay mentally, emotionally even, I just want to know why physically I feel terrible, which was why I was sitting there crying. She didn't want me to leave without a prescription for anti-depressants, but we settled on TSH tests, and a promise that I would see my naturopath and maybe my therapist as well.
I saw my naturopath as promised and we made a plan. She explained what my GP meant by “headed to hypo-thyroid”. And she tossed out Hashimoto's. No I will not be awesome at karate, but my body is fighting itself: King Thyroid is producing hormones and my immune system is sending antibodies to thwart the efforts, which causes the thyroid to work harder, and eventually fail. While my GP doesn't know how to help me with diet, my naturopath has given me direction. I'm not crazy, or lazy, my body just isn't working right.
With a little effort, I can and will feel better. I have a plan to support my adrenals, repair my immune system, and restore my vital energy. I'll keep you posted!