As I reflect on the last two years, and as I get more healthy by the day… I am faced with the reality of what has been my life.
Yes, I was down… as in depressed… Bad?? Sort of. It was a combo of mental health, and physical health. As I have learned… the mind/body connection is no joke… and it is something to be taken very seriously.
So what was the culprit??
——> MY THYROID
Oh my… I never knew the hell that such a simple, small, butterfly shaped gland can produce! I have been Hypo-thyroid off and on for years… but it’s NOT that simple … and it is not a black and white type of thing. As anyone with thyroid issues know… it is not exactly easy to treat, not because of the meds but because the “range” for diagnosis is way to broad, and not all doctors will treat you for a hypo-thyroid if they think your levels are just “fine”. I learned this the hard way. Fortunately, the way they are treating hypo-thyroidism is changing… and they are smart enough now to recognize that two people with the same elevated levels, well, they may not experience any of the same problems or symptoms. In fact, one could be just fine, and the other in living hell. That was me…
I am not in the medical field, but the way it works (that I understand) is that a low TSH level means you are HYPERthyroid, and a higher TSH level means you are HYPOthyroid… yep, it is backwards compared to most other things. So, as I have looked back over my medical records, I noticed that I function best under about 2.4 TSH levels… in fact, about 1.5-2.0 is where I like to be, and once I start going over the 2.0 TSH, I begin to notice a difference.
So… WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?
MY HELL——-> For the last 2 years… I couldn’t get enough sleep. I went from having insomnia issues to needing to sleep 12-15 hours a day… and needing a nap. A couch, to me, was an invitation to lay down and sleep. Can’t lay down?? NOT A PROBLEM. I could sleep sitting up… with a drink in hand. I kid you not. I have never been so exhausted in all my life as I have been the last year and a half /couple years. Imagine… I no longer went out in the evenings, not out to dinner, and certainly NOT out to a movie. A movie, no matter the time of day, was a guaranteed snooze for me. No matter what I did, I could not stay awake. I loved 3D movies – I got to wear dark glasses and nobody could tell I dozed off. It was a constant battle for me…. AND NO AMOUNT OF EXPLAINING IT COULD MAKE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND. No amount of Red Bull, no amount of Red Lines, no amount of sleep at night, and no amount of coffee or “No Doz” would keep me awake. Even worse… no matter how much I slept, I was still tired. It was never enough. I wanted more… needed more… I was so exhausted, so much so, I could not function. My house wasn’t being cleaned, laundry stacked up, in fact, we moved back in May, and there is still shit in boxes.
HOWEVER- HERE IS THE GOOD NEWS ——-> I have been experiencing many different health issues of which we haven’t found answers for. My doctor has been able to diagnose a couple things, but was still scratching her head over others. Finally, she brought up my thyroid, and expressed to me that the doctors now consider a TSH level of 3.0 and greater as generally needing treatment for HYPOthyroidism. My level was just under that… at 2.8 TSH. So, she prescribed a low dose of Levothyroxine. I KID YOU NOT… the day after I started that medication, my boyfriend, who I live with (and thank God has been so patient), told me that he noticed a difference… and the next day (2 days after starting the med), he told me he noticed a HUGE difference. I could feel it too. BIG TIME. I was awake, I was not in a foggy cloud, my mind was clear… and at 9pm, I was still awake and sitting up on the couch! SAY WHAT?! That was HUGE for me! Here I was, wide awake and talking, laughing, participating in life when just days before, I couldn’t stay awake beyond 6pm. I made dinner for my boyfriend and myself, then I would sit next to him to watch something on t.v. and next thing I know, he is helping me get into bed, and then I would wake up at 10 in the morning. I slept for 6p.m.-10a.m. and napped at least an hour, usually 2 or more… and then I was back asleep at 6p.m. If I was lucky, I’d last until 7p.m. IT WAS HELL.
Now, I feel so much better!
It sucks because I may have Hashimoto’s (hypothroid caused by your immune system attacking your thyroid)- BUT, if I do, it will explain many things that weren’t understood. I plan to dive into more of that in a follow-up post.
Being excessively tired was not the only symptom! It was, for me, the most problematic. It affected my quality of life the most. I have MANY other symptoms, but as this post is already quite lengthy, I will post another with more info about Hashimotos and my symptoms that finally make sense!!
To those still following me after such a prolonged absence, I am so very grateful for your continued support… THANK YOU… it means more to me than you could ever understand. ♥