Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Year Later

A year ago, life was really rough for me. If you've read through my posts, you probably already know that I got the bad news about hyperthyroidism on Christmas Eve. After doing a bit of research, I was fairly certain my symptoms pointed to Graves' Disease, which was confirmed shortly after. But by the time all of this happened, I had already been feeling rotten for months. By early December, 2010, I was feeling downright awful but had no idea why. Extreme dizziness, heart palpitations, and even chest pains so intense I swore my heart had stopped beating. ("Could I have a heart attack at 35?" I remember wondering.)

I want this all to be clear because now--one year later, I finally feel myself again. It's been quite a year. I'd love to sugarcoat it for you, but unfortunately, I can't. It's been one of the toughest years of my life. But now it feels worth it.

I only hope this feeling good lasts.

Why would I say that? Because the last year has been such a roller coaster. I'd have a few up days and figure the worst was over, just to be hit with more days of feeling awful again. Right when I thought I was back to normal, I had a night of hell where I was certain I was overdosing on Synthroid--only to be told by my doctor the next morning that my symptoms had nothing to do with my thyroid. Turns out I now had gallstones too. This might sound unrelated, but in fact, it's not. According to the research I conducted, if you are hypothyroid--as I had then been for months--you are more likely to have gallstones.

Ok, enough of me telling you my ups and downs. The upside is that I've had about two weeks of feeling good (the longest stretch I've had all year). The holidays are here again, and this year--though it will be low-fat and caffeine and dairy free (I chose to keep my gallbladder since I'd already lost one organ this year!), I will be able to enjoy the holidays. And that's much more than what I could say for last year.

Best wishes and happy holidays.


  1. Thank you for your story. This is my first day after taking the pill. Your blog has made me feel better as I had some of the same feelings as you. I was very sad yesterday to have the radiation and lose a part of me but perhaps it was a part I don't want. It is funny - I prayed to God for a clean heart and he answered but not how I expected - a clean colon (cancer 3 yrs ago but am now clean) and now Graves and I will have a clean thyroid. haha does He have a sense of humor!! Many blessings to you this Christmas

  2. I'm so sorry to hear about the rough times you've had in recent years, but I'm happy to hear that my blog has helped. Perhaps it will also help to know that since writing this post on the 4th, I've continued to feel good. In fact, I've remarked to my husband several times that I really don't know when I felt this good last (months? years? decades?), and he's said several times now that I seem like a new and improved Amy. :) I hope that the days and new year to come bring you the same good feeling and a new and improved you!

    Merry Christmas!

    PS I love your bit about God having a sense of humor. So true!

  3. Hello Amy,
    Though it has been a few years since you wrote your experience, I ran across your blog today. I have been trying all that I can to avoid thyroid ablation and I can no longer outrun or outsmart it. Friday is the beginning of the end for "thyroid Mary" (I named mine). I have cried reading your experiences. It is such a relief to hear from someone who has been there! I too tried PTU and Methimazole but both affected my liver. I went gluten free tried cutting down on caffeine and dairy, saw a naturopath, but nothing has really fixed the problem- that my body is attacking my thyroid. Your blog is the first I've found that didn't make me feel guilty for finally deciding to kill the thyroid. I am sure that there will be some difficult times ahead, but now I can use your three rules as a primer. Seriously THANK YOU for sharing your experience.

  4. Hello Amy,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all! I am scheduled for radioactive iodine treatment Sept. 8, 2014. This decision, (as you know), did not come easy for me. I had previously made the appt. to have the treatment, but called and canceled it. I was not 100% sure. I have been taking Methimazole since about 2006, but probably should have been on it four years earlier. I purposely have scheduled one month later so I can lose some weight. I've gained about 15 pounds over the last year. Most people lose weight with hyperthyroid, but I have gained. The Graves makes my body hurt all the time, so I do little exercise and eat large portions of food(because, I'm hungry). My levels for T4 and T3 have been up and down. So, after three Endocrinologist later, I finally have made this hard decision. Hopefully my hair will stop falling out and I am able to maintain a healthy weight. Most of all I hope to feel better. (It's been years since I have felt good). I too will remember your three rules while walking this journey.

  5. Hi. I looked up for blogs on hyperythyroid and just clicked on your link. I've been feeling really sick. First thought was that it's an all an emotional thing cause there really was an emotional matter. Then dr said I have hyperthyroid. Then later she said my thyroid lab tests show very insignificant issue. Now friends who went through thyroid issues think i should ask my dr to look at my thyroid again. I did a thyroid assessment online and showed all maybe except one or two symptoms are in me. They say i may have these slightly offl ab results but my body may just not be handling it well.

    1. I'm sorry to hear you haven't been feeling well. It's difficult when you feel rotten and can't identify the source. There is a wide range that doctors will consider "healthy" for thyroid levels (TSH), but within this range, many people will still experience symptoms of thyroid disorder. If you appear to have many of the symptoms, it can't hurt to ask your doctor again. If they don't want to look into it further, you could consult with another doctor. Some are more sensitive to the fact that while we might fall into a "healthy" range, we may not feel healthy.

  6. Please what to do if you have bad insomnia? Because of hyperthyroid