Saturday, February 21, 2009

How did I turn into a cow? (And test results for my LUPUS/AUTOIMMUNE screen)

So for the last many years of my life I have been hiding from a camera. Okay that’s a lie, I’ve always hidden from a camera, even when I had absolutely no reason to, which makes for a funny story actually, because recently my dad found “lost” pictures of me from  my high school graduation that I didn’t realize existed and I actually ended up drooling a little bit over myself. I supposed that was acceptable, considering even my dad didn’t recognize me either, and it took my mom to convince both of us that the two girls we were looking at in the pictures were in fact me and my husband (LOL yeah, he’s changed a lot since then too).  Since high school, 1995, I have gone from what would be now considered a size 0-1 to sliding in and out of plus sizes. My weight is a shifting thing that seems to have no relation whatsoever to how much or what I eat.

As of now I am I am pretty much a vegan, not because I am in any way opposed to chomping on Bambi or tearing into thumper with any feigned show of mercy, but simply because for some reason meat tends to make me ill…and it’s expensive, so I leave it for my kids and my husband who is a devoted carnivore.   I eat a lot of salad, tons of carrot sticks, boiled cabbage, yogurt…I love yogurt, and mushrooms. Not exactly the diet of a “big girl”, ya know?

I generally eat about 900 calories a day, 1000 when I am pushing it.

I drink about a half gallon of water a day.

I don’t drink soda, and on the rare occasion when I do, they are diet.

When I drink tea, I “water” it down with lemonade.  I prefer V8 juice.

So, why was I so damn surprised when my doctor goes over my test results and explains that I do not have LUPUS, and no I do not have Lyme’s, and yay me, no AIDS or HIV or Syphilis either(Heh, my sister-in-law says they screen everyone for Syphilis  at that clinic apparently, no clue why or how in the world they thought I would have come in contact with THAT one), but what I do have is more an issue of what I DON’T have any more, and that is a functioning THYROID.

Yup, it’s a fat chick with a real bona fide THYROID problem LOL.

On the bright side of the cliché, Doc says if I take my pill, and…oddly enough start eating like five times a day, at like twice the caloric intake I am used to, I should be able to get back to fighting weight within the year if not sooner. I’ve been on the pill less than a week and I already see a difference. So much of my problem is swelling, not real “weight” or fat I guess you could say, and that weird redness hasn’t been in my face all day and my cheeks haven’t been all puffy nor has my throat. I really can’t wait to see what a whole month brings.  It’s kinda exciting to know so much of my problems can be fixed literally by one little pill.

Of course, I will be taking this pill for the rest of my life, and missing a dose is not an option, at least as far as I understand, everything from my being almost unable to walk anymore to all the pain I am in now is related to this nonfunctional thyroid, so it’s imperative that whatever medication they give me to fake its function, I take without fail, on schedule as prescribed.

Oh my goodness though, I am so ridiculously giddy…I just knew I had LUPUS LOL. I was going to have them just bury me next to my cat. XD


Wiki on the problem

I put an X by the ones I had…LOL and there is a H by the
ones my husbands swears I had

EARLY symptoms

   X * Poor muscle
tone (muscle hypotonia)


   X* Fatigue

   X* Cold
intolerance, increased sensitivity to cold


   X* Depression

   X* Muscle cramps
and joint pain


   X* Goiter  (This one almost isn’t noticeable unless you
knew how tiny my neck was before or you are my doctor. My husband used to be able to put one hand all the way around my neck and his fingers could overlap on the other side, generally weight gain doesn’t take away from that much, but his hand can’t close now and has almost a half finger length from doing so. On top of that I have serious neck pain and stress.)

  X* Thin, brittle fingernails (I have no nails anymore, they break off at the fingertip)

X * Thin, brittle hair

X* Paleness (I could be so goth)

 X  * Dry, itchy skin

 X* Weight gain and water retention.

 X* Bradycardia (low heart rate: less than sixty beats per minute)

 X* Constipation

LATE symptoms

?* slow speech and
a hoarse, breaking voice. Deepening of the voice can also be noticed

X* Dry puffy skin, especially on the face

?* Thinning of the outer third of the eyebrows

X* Abnormal menstrual cycles

X* Low basal body temperature

LESS common symptoms

X * Impaired memory (Sticky notes are my friend)

X* Impaired cognitive function (brain fog) and inattentiveness (People call me an idiot all the time anymore)

* A slow heart rate with ECG changes including low voltage signals. Diminished cardiac output and decreased contractility

* Reactive (or post-prandial) hypoglycemia

X* Sluggish reflexes (I get bonked on the head with things a lot, and then swat at them)

X* Hair loss (I was really quite sure I was going bald there for a bit…I was beginning to make a plan to shave my head and get tribal tattoos on either side of my massive white dome. Then wear a lot of leather and get a bike . That I would never ride because I am scared of bikes…but it would be a cool look. LOL)

X* Anemia caused by impaired hemoglobin synthesis (decreased EPO levels), impaired intestinal iron and folate absorption or B12 deficiency from pernicious anemia (My hemoglobin levels go back and forth from a 10 to an 8 constantly)

* Difficulty swallowing

X * Shortness of breath with a shallow and slow respiratory pattern.

X* Increased need for sleep(Yaaaaaaawn)

X* Irritability and mood instability (Of course my husband says this is a HUGE one LOL)

X* Yellowing of theskin due to impaired conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A (Lots of people ask me if I have liver issues)

* Impaired renal
function with decreased GFR

 * Elevated serum cholesterol

H* Acute psychosis (myxedema madness) is a rare presentation of hypothyroidism (LOL I think he’s the crazy one. Only time I act crazy is when my other doctors give me meds that make me loopy, and that is perfectly understandable. 0:.)   )

X * Decreased libido  (Okay maybe this is less Thyroid and more I’m just at that age and place in my life when I have better things to do than waste ten minute of my life finding more reasons to have to shower? I don’t know, just not feeling it lately.)

* Decreased sense of taste and smell (late, less common symptoms)

X* Puffy face, hands and feet (late, less common symptoms)

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