This week I met with two endocrinologists to begin regulation of my thyroid medication. I mentioned in the last post that I was concerned that I had reached a “new normal,” but this week gave me hope.
My blood work showed my TSH level at 3.389, which as I said before, is in the normal range of 0.5-5.0. When I received these results before going to the endocrinologists, I was very discouraged, because I still don’t feel “normal,” and I have several hypothyroid symptoms that remain. I didn’t think they would increase my medication like I’ve been praying for. Increased medication = more energy, higher metabolism, etc.
Below is a chart that explains a little bit better the difference between hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Since I’ve had my thyroid removed, I was immediately hypothyroid and regulating medication is trying to get to the norm which is between hypo and hyper.
What I learned this week, however, is that even though this TSH level would be acceptable for anyone with good health history, it is not acceptable for anyone with thyroid cancer. The goal with any thyroid cancer patient is to get the TSH as low as possible so that the thyroid cells, cancerous or not, are not encouraged to grow. In order to lower a TSH level, thyroid hormone medication must increase. Which means victory! ha 🙂
I met with the first endocrinologist on Tuesday. I have not had a good experience with this doctor, and I have been seeing him since the day of surgery. Unfortunately, he has always left me feeling like more of an inconvenience than anything else. Every time I go to see him, I have to tell him why I am there and where we are in the process.
When I unexpectedly was in the hospital for two days because I was having trouble breathing, the hospital told me to see my endocrinologist a couple days after I was released to tell him all that happened and see if he had any input. The office didn’t sense my urgency when I called to make an appointment, and I had to practically beg to have an appointment even five days after I was released. When I went to that appointment, my doctor started with, “so, it looks like I told you we would meet in four weeks, why did you come so early?” He made me feel very foolish for making an appointment with him addressing concerns of breathing difficulty before our next scheduled visit. He finished with, “You’ll be fine.”
This week, he didn’t remember that he had ordered blood work for me to start regulating my thyroid. I had to ask if he got the faxed results, which he somehow misplaced, and then tell him what they were. In any event, he gave me the first glimmer of hope by telling me he would increase my dosage from .125 to .137 mics. I was thankful for any sort of increase because I desperately want my energy back and to be seeing results from going to the gym daily, as opposed to working so hard to maintain the weight I have.
I had scheduled another endocrinologist appointment for the day after this one, in hopes of finding a doctor that I have a better rapport with and someone who I can trust. I am very happy to say that I had a great appointment with this new doctor, and I will be seeing him from this point on. He intently listened when I told him the hypothyroid symptoms I’m still having (which ideally will be solved with correct dosage) and responded to my concerns with grace.
The best part is that he didn’t believe the increase from .125 to .137 was sufficient for someone who has no thyroid, thyroid cancer and continuing hypothyroidism. So, he increased my dosage up to .150 mics and said he wouldn’t be surprised if I end up getting bumped all the way up to .175. I’m so thankful I chose to seek out another doctor, because this adjustment will be instrumental in getting closer and closer to feeling the way I did before surgery.
While it will take up to six weeks to see the complete effects of having higher medication, just the knowledge that my body is getting more help is giving me hope to press forward. I’ve been reading a lot lately about how God promises to make us new. He doesn’t look at us in shambles and shake his head in disappointment. He draws near, taking our brokenness, our pain, our sorrow and making something new, something beautiful.
“See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”