I have been dealing with Thyroid and other Immune diseases for over five years now!
I suppose it all started, about a year, after I had my son. I was 20 yrs old. I went in for my yearly OBGYN appointment. My Dr. noticed small bruises all over my body. I never thought much about them! He said "not to worry, but I'll run a blood test". Three days later he called me back and said he wanted to refer me to a Hematologist, it was an Immune disorder, where the body attacks the platelets in the blood, called ITP. The Hematologist put me on steroids. My Platelets went up. I didnt think about it again.
A few months passed. I started to have Migraines and non-stop dizziness. Eventually the dizziness triggered Panic attacks, and that led to non-stop anxiety. My life pretty much stopped.
I didnt have health insurance. I couldnt afford to see Dr.'s...
I quit driving, I wouldnt go out in public, I started to fear even walking to my mail box. I didn't want to be alone with my baby, constantly fearing 'something' was going to happen to me and he would be alone.
Depression kicked in, naturally. Finally with help from my family, I went to a Psychiatrist. I was put on an Antidepressant and anxiety medication. I found a little relief.....
About a year into my treatment, I started to become worse again. I lost 40 pounds, couldn't concentrate, I was extremely moody, my energy levels were high. I started to drink. It was the only thing, I felt brought me 'back down'. My Psychiatrist called me 'Bi-Polar' and put me in detox.
I got sober and educated myself on this disorder. It never made sense to me though. I never felt like I came down from the 'high' part of the disorder. I didn't really feel like I had the symptoms of Bi-polar, but the Dr. said so, and I accepted it.
This went on for about another year, but now I was just sedated on medication (Anti-psychotics). Roughly 10 different medications tried, that never worked.
I starred at walls, drank coffee, chain smoked and slept. This was my life.
New symptoms would appear but I started to think 'whats the point?', my Psychiatrist just dismissed them anyway. One day I sat in his office shaking, crying, I had lost another 15 pounds,I was losing my hair, my mind was just in a fog. I couldn't do normal things. I would get in the shower and forget if I had washed my hair! He dropped me. At this point I did thankfully have state health care. He passed me off to a different clinic telling me 'there isn't anything I can do for you'. I have never felt so alone and scared. I just cried and carried on for another 3 months.
My new Psychiatrist was GREAT. Over the first months I was with her I started gaining weight, fast. My fatigue was horrible. The 'high' I once had was gone. I had pain through my body. She looked at me one day and said "I want to run some blood tests, you just aren't like most Bi-polar patients."
Surely enough, she called me in two days later and told me my Thyroid levels were off the charts! My Thyroid Antibodies were in the thousands!
I cried. I asked her, 'could this mean I'm not Bipolar?', without a second thought she said 'Yes, I'm giving you hormone replacement now, so you can get to your GP.' She even told me I could go off the anti-psychotics, and mood stabilizers. I chose to stay on the Anti-depressants and anxiety medications.
Within two weeks of hormone replacement, the fog lifted.
My Endocrinologist suggested a Total thyroidectomy, it was Hashimoto's and it had done so much damage. My surgeon said "It was like removing concrete".
Its been two years since my surgery. I still have my ups and downs with thyroid medication adjustments and anxiety, but nothing compared to before.
I am back in college again! Slowly but surely getting my life back!
I've recently started to see a Rheumatologist for the pain. He has me on medications for Lupus & Arthritis. Possibly suspecting Fibromyalgia as well. Time will tell! Immune diseases are complex!
I've learned that I am my best advocate."If I had known then, what I know now"...
Listen to your intuition and your body!
My Dr.'s and myself agree it is not a coincidence that the 'bipolar', I was diagnosed with went away with hormone replacement. I will never stop educating myself on my health! I will never stop speaking my mind to my Dr.'s! I thank God everyday for my mind back!
That old saying: "listen to your gut" is really true. I have asked two different OBs to check my hormone levels and neither of them would do it. The first one was totally confused by my question ...
Elly commented on joanna's post My Progesterone Story -- So Far