My Guardian Angel - Thanks a Million!
Many thanks for your wonderful advice many months ago. I have taken a while but my health has finally improved. You were my guardian angel at that time, and if not for the help and advice of your thyroid support group, I would still be laying around, crippled and in a daze, 24 hours a day.
I have been wanting to write for months but only now has my health improved enough to organize myself. I thank you so much for listening to my complaints and giving me good advice, which helped me to get my life back into some sort of order.
To recap: I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in January 2000, after 10 years with all the symptoms and problems it causes. My TSH was 14 (range .5-5.5), and my T4 was 10 (range 10-23), but my then GP didn’t treat me and at that time I knew nothing about thyroids.
By 2002 my fatigue had increased severely, blood tests revealed T4 now 5 (range 10-23).
My doctor prescribed 50 mcg of Oroxine. After 3 days and only 1 tablet per day, I collapsed and ended up in Intensive Care, on heart monitors and oxygen for 3 days, with angina, tachycardia, severe fatigue, exhaustion and breathlessness. All heart and lung tests proved normal. So, I was given beta blockers and my thyroxine was cut down to 12.5 mcg per day. It took 5 months to get my thyroxine to 75 mcg because of the severe reactions to the increases. My health deteriorated rapidly with each increase.
In July 2002, my blood levels were normal according to my GP. TSH was 0.8, T4 was 14, and T3 was 3.8. But I couldn’t breath, talk, think or walk properly, and I was bed/couch ridden all day. Along the way I had seen two endocrinologists, a lung specialist and two heart specialists, and all said that everything was normal.
Then in July I tried to hang out the washing on the line, but clasped and laid on the grass for half an hour till I could crawl back inside. I turned on the computer and found your support group – determined to get some answers from someone. From your good advice I did indeed get to visit a Sydney doctor (who has Hashimoto’s) and she has got my health back to some normality. My husband had to practically carry me along the street as I couldn’t walk more than 20 metres without stopping. I couldn’t talk very well for getting out of breath and the brain fog, memory, concentration was so bad the doctor had to talk to my husband.
After many blood tests and another near hospital visit all other concerns were normal, leading everything back to severe hypothyroidism (at the cell level) and adrenal issues. Apparently, I had thyroid troubles since puberty; all my medical problems strongly suggested this. Further blood test results revealed:
Hashimoto’s (high antibody levels)
Low T4, T3 levels
Abnormally high Reverse T3 levels
Low Estradiol and Testosterone
The medication I am now taking is as follows: Thyroid Extract, Synthetic T3, Hydrocortisone, DHEA, B12, Magnesium, and Zinc. The doctor said I was the second person only, she has seen with such high reverse T3 levels – my cells were well and truly blocked. I am sure you are familiar with all this.
My new doctor encourages education – having revision questions with each new visit. I have had to study hard about thyroid and adrenal problems as I am stuck with them. The internet has been great. I read everything. Having been off work since Xmas, time is plentiful. Only this last month have I been walking with considerable speed, doing small jobs outside, and feeling somewhat normal. Aches and pains are still a big problem, but changes in medication upwards is helping with this.
I would hate to think what I would have been like now if I hadn’t changed doctors. I have experienced first hand the lack of knowledge about thyroid conditions. Since my troubles, my three sisters and mother have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s antibodies, Fibromyalgia, nodules, and mitral valve prolapse have also been diagnosed. My remaining brother tested normal but has lots of aches and pains. We often laugh and wonder if we could break any records for this.
Thank you again for being there when I needed someone. I have probably rambled on with my troubles. I’m sure you have suffered similar, but when you feel well you feel like telling the world. Today I joined the thyroid association and look forward to more information and news.
Thanks a million, take care always,