s’ disease. I have Graves’ disease. I know, I know, I just blew my wad on this post but how could I not open with that joke? I COULDN’T NOT, and now you know something about me, that I like to defuse tense or stressful situations (especially medical ones) with humour.
Anyway. Remember way back in early June when I said I was sick? And how several times this month I said I was still feeling sick? Turns out I’ve been getting sicker and sicker and developing more and more symptoms. My main symptoms are sweating, insomnia, and jitteriness (although I’m also nauseous, manic, and weak and floppy like a kitten). I feel like I’ve had fifty shots of espresso a day when I’ve only had one, I’ve barely slept a wink this week and the sweating! THE SWEATING OMG. I’ve been head-to-toe drenched in sweat 24 hours day for weeks. I’ve been taking 2-3 showers a day and ten minutes after getting out I’ll be sweaty again. GROSS.
Taylor has been pestering me to go to the doctor and after reading some terrifying WebMD articles I finally made an appointmentx for this afternoon. After I told my doctor my symptoms she was like “sounds thyroidy. Let’s get some blood work done- OH WAIT YOUR HEART RATE IS 117 GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM BEFORE IT EXPLODES.” I mean she didn’t LITERALLY say that but it was the gist.
After that I went across the street to the hospital, where I spent the next three hours. I had an ECG, blood work, a chest x-ray in case it was a heart thing and not a thyroid thing, and was asked if I was hallucinating.xxb Eventually my blood test results came back and as it turns out my thyroid hormone levels are all messed up. One of them is slightly elevated, and one is almost three times as high as it should be. GREAT.
I was given an IV injection of a beta blocker to help calm my heart rate and the sweating and then I waited for the endocrinology team to come get me. They checked my eyes for bulginess (no, thank goodness) and lid lag (which I do have a little of), and checked my thyroid for swelling (yes) and tenderness (no). Based on everything they are 95% sure it’s Graves’ disease. In case you don’t know what Graves’ is, it’s an autoimmune disease that causes your thyroid to FREAK THE FREAK OUT and be super overactive. The cause is unknown- it is possible that it can be triggered by pregnancy but with Gwen almost 8 months old the doctor said it wasn’t that likely to be the cause. But WHO KNOWS, it could have been caused by that, or a virus, or genetics (although I don’t know of any thyroid issues in my family medical history), or even just stress! It’s a mystery of science.
There is a test to confirm the diagnosis, but with the long weekend and the fact that the test is only performed a couple of days a week I wouldn’t have been able to get in for at least a week and a half, and since I literally cannot continue to live life as a big sweaty hummingbird the doctor decided to start me on medication right away. I was given a prescription for a beta blocker and an antithyroid, instructions to make an appointment with the endocrinologist at the end of July and a requisition to get my blood tested again before the appointment.
So yeah. I’m happy that I know what’s going on with me know and that it’s something treatable, I’m happy it’s not something more serious, but after spending the whole day keeping my chin up (not literally because it’s hard for doctors to check your thyroid that way) and being jokey about the whole situation, I’m mostly just really, really tired and really, really sad.