the butterfly flew away: hypothyroidism [and anemia]

Friday: The light on the answering machine flashes. One week and one day since blood work. It’s kind of surreal knowing that the substance flowing through my body keeping me alive could also be cluing us in to something.

270877_10151770095785375_384334416_n.jpg[Blood work on May 31 after my physical; I have teeny veins apparently which required the use of the butterfly needle]

The hesitant call back to the doctor’s office to find the line busy. The second call after the agonized waiting. Getting put on hold.  The continued waiting. The click back on the line.

“She [the doctor] wants to talk to you about your blood work.” Kathy the phone lady [who may actually be Cathy, who knows] tells me.

I’ve learned from some of the best. I am not waiting a minute longer. “Is it the thyroid or the iron?” Cutting to the chase.

Both.”

I close my eyes as I sigh and mumble something to Kathy that I can’t remember.

The iron I was sure was eventually coming. Five years into becoming a vegetarian who doesn’t pay a huge amount of attention to nutrition like I know I should, it’s whatever. I’ll go in and get the lecture next week. I’ll work on it in the meantime.

The thyroid flag is probably hypothyroidism, of which I have some symptoms after consulting Dr. Google on hypothyroidism. Lazy butterfly-looking gland, what did I ever do to you?

So what happens? I get the results. I make the follow-up appointment for next Monday as it is not urgent. And then the classic tiredness that is hallmark of both anemia and hypothyroidism hits. I sleep eleven hours on Saturday night, nearly four and a half of them with my iPod on playing Brian Strean. I realize all the “random bruises” probably weren’t so random. I realize there is probably more than meets the eye. Isn’t everything?

It’s not a big deal. It’s just a pill a day. I think we caught it early, but I have no idea. Of course, at times over the last three days I’ve just wondered “what’s next?”. And for the millionth time “why?”. It’s that “one more thing”.

Even though I know I can do this, it’s that all-shaking addition . . . “for the rest of your life”. It’s that part that sucks the most.

edit: it’s been a few years since i wrote this, but all other thyroid checks have come back as normal–I’m not sure why the blip in my lab work, but as of my last T3/T4/etc. check in February-ish 2014, things looked fine.

12 thoughts on “the butterfly flew away: hypothyroidism [and anemia]

  1. The “it’s another thing, forever” part is what really got to me about my hypothyroid diagnosis, too. I’m glad you have answers to work with, now, Kerri!

    1. That’s the part that gets me, and maybe why I am obsessing on this a little bit, even pre-follow-up for it. The forever bit.
      I’m glad we BOTH have answers. [And that we’re not alone :).]
      Thanks Kim! <3

  2. A cousin of mine has anaemia from veganism. She doesn’t like a lot of the foods that are good sources of iron, like spinach. The pills can be hard on your stomach, but if you respond as well as she does, you’ll be feeling way better in a month or two.

    I totally get that it sucks, though. Kinda like when I found out about my ankle thing meaning I’d need orthropaedic inserts for the rest of my life if I want to stay active and avoid knee damage. “It’s another thing, forever” sums it up.

    1. I like spinach but it just got boring after awhile. I was a bit more nutrition conscious when I started out, and then of course, the complacency sets in. But I am super picky, which is of course an issue. I’m hoping I can get away with just a multivitamin and diet adjustment, but we’ll see what the doctor says.

  3. Yeah on the “forever” bit. I’m always scared of getting diagnosed with new things. This spring/summer I’ve finally stopped being in denial about having allergies. Not sure if it’s to pollen too or just dust which I new about already. But I’ve actually been taking allergy meds regularly which is something I’ve never done before. That and I’m (still) back on the regular inhalers too. I feel like such a druggy. Btw, SO many people I know in real life are on Eltroxin for hypothyroidism that I almost feel left out… It seems like it’s not a big deal.

    1. Yeah whenever I mention the hypothyroidism it’s like “Oh, my friend has that” or “My mom has that” or “I have that”! I’ve yet to come across anybody my age diagnosed, but I know they’re probably out there too. So I’m just ready to get in there and get it dealt with so I can stop thinking about it :].

      I totally get what you mean on the allergies. It’s SO weird when you’re trying to figure it out because of them not being an issue for so long. What kind of symptoms are you having and what are you taking for it? I’m doing so much better now that I’m on nasal spray [Nasonex]. And to think I didn’t believe my allergist when she said I had “significant” issues going on in there.

      1. At least one of my friends had hypothyroidism when she was your age. She’s had it for longer than I’ve known her, so I don’t know since when. But we were friends already when we were younger than you are now.

        I already knew I’m allergic to dust – which is an asthma thing and also just makes my nose really stuffed up when I’m in a dusty place. So I was taking loratadine as needed type of thing. Now I have flixonase (I think? Too lazy to get up and check) and also taking loratadine sometimes. Tho loratadine is a miracle drug. I always keep it on hand for when I get attacked by mosquitoes. It makes things all better.

        1. I still think it’s hilarious that you use antihistamines for mosquito bites. Then again, I was using them a couple weeks ago when I had shingles [honestly. At least thats what my coworkers said I had. All my doctor said was “its healing nicely”]. That and Benadryl cream. I hate the antihistamines though because they’ve begun to have the tendency to make me super crazy dehydrated.

          1. You clearly have never been all out attacked by mosquitoes to the point where fingers, eyes or legs blow up and/or you’re too itchy to sleep.

          2. Too itchy to sleep yes, but the rest no. Usually they manage to not attack my face. Though I did get a bite on the inside of my ear once. Worst everrr.

        2. ^ A girl in my high school was diagnosed at 14 with it, and another high school friend was diagnosed at 18. So young people do get hypothyroidism. Sadly, I’ve lost touch with both, otherwise I’d offer to put you in touch.

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