Wednesday 16 March 2016

battling thyroid

So, I've got a confession _ I've been having trouble with thyroid for years now.

I wouldn't wanna mention the figure, it make me feel super crappy. I told my doctors I've thyroid a few years less though because they were very eager to put me in the OR and cut me. And boy, do I resent that idea. They had reasons though 1) my thyroid was growing so huge I looked like I had goiter, 2) I haven't cured for year, and 3) taking the medications for a long-term may have not so pretty side-effects.

My reasons for not performing the surgery are 1) it DOESN'T guarantee full recovery, 2) possibility of taking medication/vitamins every day for the rest of my life and 3) a permanent scar and 4) like I wanna be the guinea pig for you doctor in trainings. But nah, it's really 1) and 2). Ok, 3) too.

My neck is less swollen now but yeah, I think I just had another relapse recently but haven't visited the doctor... I can tell, my neck look swollen again, my heart is beating like crazy when I'm just sitting down and my hands are shaking so much sometimes I wouldn't want to have meals outside because I can't hold my spoon/fork/chopsticks still... Those are some of the obvious symptoms.

Oh, also my weight keep ping pong-ing from being fat to skinny. In the early years when I had hyper-thyroid I can gain a lot of weight (like 10-11kg?!) while starving myself and still do tones of exercise_8 rounds around my uni's man-made pond, 3-4 times a week. I felt utterly miserable. Some days I've got no appetite that last for months. Eating was like a chore, or rather torture. Imagine feeling hungry but at the sight of food, you can't bring yourself to eat. One time I couldn't bring myself to eat I must have a weird, forced face my colleague who noticed laughed. My new-found solutions? Pickles/jeruk as appetiser or orange vineger salad dressing. Yum yum.

Recently I've gone down to hypo-thyroid from medication, I'm starting to binge-eat so bad I feel uncomfy after and so I've been taking indigestion salt powder diluted in water. I think I'm gonna finish this 100g bottle by the end of this month... This and still my weight (and boobs size, maybe) just keep going down. I'm elated that I'm going back to my usual weight but at the same time dread myself losing weight because I'm not sure if it is means I'm getting better or worse.

One doctor I met last year, asked me if I've experience "bad mood because that's what people with thyroid usually experience" to which I retorted, "Well, I thought it was just PMS (getting harder to handle with age)" to the amusement of several young doctors in training. I read up recently how thyroid may have connections to depression, but I wouldn't consider it the D-word, just stupid mood swings and yeah, PMS, getting worse with age wtf.

Other days I do notice there are days when I couldn't bring myself to do anything. One time I spend the entire day (someday in the weekend) sleeping while waking up at intervals and yet I could still sleep soundly at night. Tired, most probably. Stress, maybe. Hormones, maybe. But I can tell it's unusual because I can feel so low someday yet the next day I'm completely fine, the usual optimist, unbeatable, full of win_ you get what I mean.

For years, I've done countless blood tests to check my thyroid level, visits to the doctor every 3-6 weeks and eat my meds every day. You know, I thought that will all the blood tests I have done, I'm oh-so immune to needles until just months ago a nurse demonstrated she can still make me cry having my arms poke. She poked twice, the blood wasn't coming out so she was shifting the needle under my skin looking for the blood vessel. You bet I was horrified, all freaked out inside my head and couldn't bear to look, like it helped 'cuz I felt everything. I let out a yelp, her colleague was staring worriedly, she realized it didn't work so she used an "expensive baby needle" to jab on my other arm and drew more than enough blood for the blood test FML. Like, there was no air space in the test tube ohmaigod... Now that I think about it, it may be because I was so scared my blood pressure went up HAHAHAHAHA. I can laugh thinking about it right now but then, I was so traumatized later I was shivering like crazy even though the temperature was just normal and yeah, after that I had a huge bruise on the inside of my elbow that lasted for a few days. Ouch!

Before I even met like 3 or 4 bogus Chinese medicine practitioners _ I say bogus 'cuz I never do feel better from the herbs and all. Had to pantanglah _no sour/spicy/fried food or cabbage, though on first hand account, this is total bullshit. The times I felt better are when I didn't pantang at all. Hey, my housemates love the way I cook Chinese cabbage, spicy punya and I love cabbage soup. Mamak too.  All this and my thyroid level actually went down.

One advice, if you hyper-thyroid, maybe cut down on seafood or steamboat. One CNY I had too much fish balls, fish cakes, crab balls, etc and my neck swelled up. So maybe only seafood intake need to be monitored, yeah.

Sometime last year, I only decided to go and see the specialist when another doctor I was consulting told me on my second visit that this whole thing "can get worse" because long-term consuming the meds may give other health issues. So I did. I remember my first visit to the hospital, feeling worried and wondering what I've signed up for. According to that particular doctor and specialists I met later, having thyroid for years isn't common as most patients will recover in at least 2 years after medication. Mine's been don't mention and I probably have 2 relapses, maybe 3 now? (T____T) I don't wannnaaaa. On the bright side, I haven't taken meds for a few months now I'm just crossing my fingers there isn't any relapse so I wouldn't need to take meds again. I'll cross my legs too if that works.

Some of you may be thinking, heck, it's just thyroid not even goiter or cancer but try having to take medication every single day, have crazy hormones messing up with stuff/your day/your hobby, take a needle every month(not something major for me). No, they don't make me feel the least awesome about myself. I was really into blood donation (hmm now where is my blood donation card?), swore I would do them often, but this, THIS just gets into my way! *sigh* I don't know. How many more visits to the hospital before I get better?

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