When life gets stressful or when I become exhausted, I try not to put the blame on my medication or my condition. Here’s a summary of the curve balls life threw at me the last few months.
A couple of days after my birthday in late July, my sweet dog Trixie, ran away from home. My heart was completely broken. I felt as if I had lost a child. My ten-year old cried for days and we desperately did everything possible to try to locate her. After being gone for five days, we received a miracle. A neighbor several streets over saw one of our fliers and contacted me. I was so relieved! Someone had found her and had taken her in. I quickly went and picked her up; I was elated to have my baby home.
In the days following her return, I thought the stress of the situation was lingering because I felt as if I was still having an adrenaline dump. Mid August, my son started the 5th grade at a new school. More stress and exhaustion ensued, which led me to stop going to the gym because I was drained and had no motivation. I told myself that once into the second or third week of school, things would return to normal and I would return to the gym. In late August, we adopted another shelter puppy that needed a good home. After having the new pup, Sweetie, for only a couple of days, she bolted out the front door when I was leaving for work. My ten-year old chased her down the street and broke his 5th metatarsal while stepping off the curb. More stress. The pup came back the next morning, thank goodness, but we were just getting started on numerous doctor’s appointments, days of missed school, and playing catch up on classroom assignments. My son was ordered by his doctor to use crutches and to wear a boot for approximately six to eight weeks.
Come middle of September, I was beginning to feel lethargic. I had absolutely no motivation to workout, clean house, go shopping or spend time with friends or family. All I wanted to do was sleep and be myself. Some days I felt like I was going through a minor bout of depression. Again, I believed life circumstances were solely to blame. My yearly thyroid checkup was also due, but I was too tired to even dial the phone and make an appointment. I put it off until the last possible moment.
I finally went to see my awesome Doctor on September 28th. I’ll call her “Dr. K”. I explained to Dr. K how tired I was and all the stress I was under. She asked me if my Armour Thyroid was working for me, which I believed it was. I wasn’t having an abundance of cold spells; only stress and sleepiness, which I blamed on recent events. Dr. K informed me I had gained 10 pounds since I saw her last, and I wasn’t at all surprised. Especially since it had been almost two months since I had been at the gym on a regular basis. Dr. K stated she would run a full panel of blood tests for me. The next day I received my results. I was absolutely SHOCKED.
My TSH was over 7! I couldn’t believe it! Now it all made sense to me. Maybe life’s circumstances had a little something to do with how I was feeling, but the fact that my TSH was so high, explained a lot to me. I spoke to Dr. K the following week and she arranged to increase my Armour dosage from 120 mg (2 grain) to 135 mg (2.25 grain) daily, immediately.
I have now been on the new dosage for a couple of weeks and I have noticed a slight improvement. My energy has increased a bit and I am feeling a little more like myself. Hopefully, I will notice even more improvement in the upcoming weeks.
Dr. K referred me to an endocrinologist, since she specializes in family practice. She feels more comfortable sending me to a specialist. I received my T4 and T3 results, which have me scratching my head in confusion. My TSH is high, my T4 is low, but I am not understanding why my T3 appears normal. I will see the new “endo” in November. Hopefully he can provide some clarification on these results.
I started seeing Dr. K after my first endocrinologist took an extended leave of absence, or (should we say a mini retirement?) in 2015. I searched within a 50 mile radius for a new endocrinologist, but you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to find a doctor who is willing to prescribe Armour Thyroid. I believe in Armour so much, that I almost completely refuse to ever go back to Levothyroxine, aka Synthroid®. Heck, I would be willing to fly to another state just so I can continue to stay on Armour. It’s just that important to me. Although Dr. K’s specialtity is family medicine, she sees patients with diabetes and thyroid issues. I will continue to see Dr. K for other healthcare needs because she is very attentive and knowledgeable.
Another thing I need to confer with the new doctor about is the results of my white blood cell count (WBC) and my ratio of BUN to creatinine . Dr. K says the ratio of BUN to creatinine may be off due to dehydration. I am trying not to worry about the WBC, but who can blame me, right?
I will keep you all posted on any changes regarding my energy levels and the outcome of my upcoming appointment.