Thursday, August 22, 2013

My body is SEEERiously pissing me off now

I haven't posted anything in a while, I know.  This is because my body has decided to have a tantrum, and I feel cuh-rappy most of the time.

It's a long story that normally I'd share (what's a blog for, if not to indulge in the long story?), but I feel crappy.  Shitty, actually.

In short, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's thyroiditis.  This is a disease in which my autoimmune systems has decided my thyroid needs to DIE DIE DIE! and goes on the attack until it is completely destroyed.  There is no cure.  Some fortunate people are diagnosed early in the disease and are medicated with gradually increasing doses of thyroid hormone to compensate for the doomed gland and it becomes no big deal.  However, I've likely had this disease for over 20 years, and it was only diagnosed when things got so bad it interfered with function.

I have literally every symptom of Hashi's listed on the WebMD and MayoClinic pages, and seem to be enjoying the more unusual swings of going hypo- and hyperthyroid.  This means at times I am drunk-overtired and severely fatigued (I've heard it described as three steps ahead of a coma), throbbing with severe body aches, constantly freezing, and gaining weight despite eating light and healthy, as always.  Then, in the span of a day (or even less), it'll swing the other way: I'll be jittery, with a resting pulse around 110, and annoyed by ridiculously shakey hands and constant heart palpitations.  During that phase, I'll drop up to four pounds in 36 hours.  From what I understand, the hypo phase is when the thyroid is under attack during a "flare up," and a hyper attack is when the still-valiantly-if-hopelessly-trying-to-function thyroid swings into overdrive trying to compensate.  Severe headaches, paper-dry skin, chest pain, foggy vision, inability to concentrate (that one really grates me), thinning hair (AWEsome), seriously funky muscle weakness, a chronically hoarse voice, and joint aches join in the fun on a regular basis.

What I struggle to understand is why I've felt progressively worse in the last three months.  It's gone from infrequent sprinklings of bleh to impossible-to-function periods that are becoming closer and closer together.  The last month has been really, really rough.

I'm in the midst of testing and specialists.  A thyroid ultrasound revealed a solid nodule on the left lobe, in addition to the thyroid having a general appearance "consistent with diagnosis."  Now, a nodule is not unusual in this condition, but a singular solid one is.  Multiple, fluid-filled cystic ones are more common, and more typically, benign.  Singular, solid ones are more likely to be cancer.  Suuuuuper.  Not that I'm in a panic of "OMG! CANCER!"  More like, "Ah, FUCK ME.  Another physical set back?!  Can I just go on about my life now?"

Still, while statistically it is more probable to be cancer in a patient like me with the symptoms I have (and their increasing magnitude and frequency), it's still also statistically unlikely to be cancer.  Numbers are my friends (teaching math and all), so I understand the logic.  Even emotionally, I understand.

I've started medication, but it's a low dose and will take about another month or so for me to see results.  But hey, at least I'm on that road as opposed to trying to find it.  Next up is an appointment with an endocrinologist to determine if the nodule will be biopsied (I'm going to push for it), while also going over some quizzical blood test results that point toward yet another possible autoimmune disease.  (I was told ADs are like potato chips--you usually don't have just one.)

Thing is, I'm seriously pissed I'm not out riding my horse.  I miss it.  I need it.  Yet at the same time, no, no I'm not.  I'm too tired and worn down to get upset, which is, intellectually, more upsetting.  This is particularly the case considering nearly all of my physical energy has gone into going back to the classroom this fall for the start of a new teaching year, my muscle weakness and general physical fatigue has reached the point where, shockingly, I don't want to ride.  I can't imagine having the energy to.  Hell, I told my hubby you know I'm feeling shitty when I say I'd rather lie on the couch than go just sit in the shade at the barn.

Part of me is feeling a certain amount of despair and wants to just quit.  Sell Trilogy, maybe keep Firefly for the boys, maybe not.  Give up.

That's my body.  My heart can't bear it.  Although right now, I'm too tired to feel that heartache.

I understand my health needs to take priority, and Tril and Fly will be okay as long as their needs are met, but I'm exasperated that I have finally started getting back in riding shape, finally making that connection, finally learning Tril's language, and boom.  Right now, I don't even want to go to equine message boards or read horsey magazines...I don't want to be reminded of what I'm missing.

Believe it or not, this is the short version of the story. The long one goes into the ER visit, and the cardiologist, and the heart rhythm specialist, and then goes back even deeper into the doctor-visits-that-went-nowhere-but-showed-SOMEthing-they-couldn't-determine 20 and 15 years ago as symptoms first started appearing.

I'd type more, but I'm tired.


I need to go watch some kitten videos.