Category Archives: Thyroid

Seeking Experiences

A few weeks ago I had an appointment with a dietician. I’ve spent my life avoiding dieticians because I already know all there is to know on eating healthy with type one diabetes.

But in recent years I’ve also developed gastroparesis and hypothyroidism. These three conditions along with other factors have made it difficult for me to find a good healthy diet(lifestyle)that works for me.

I have many other health issues as well, but these are the main that can be helped the most by, and affect the most, my diet.

So I finally gave in and agreed to consult a dietician.

The dietician I met with was quite nice and knowledgeable, she also seemed to understand well my medical conditions and my difficulties and concerns. After our initial short greetings and medical rundown, she asked me:

“So, what exactly are the major goals and concerns you’d like to address?”

I went right into them.

1. blood-glucose control
2. weight-loss/management
3. reduce gastroparesis symptoms
4. overall health improvement

She asked me what my current diet was like. I told her. She asked me if I’ve ever considered a vegetarian diet. I said I wouldn’t have too much trouble switching to one, but haven’t put a lot of thought into it.

During our conversation she picked up on the fact that I have a solid understanding of carb counting, calorie counting, nutrition needs, etc. She asked me if I’d ever taken any classes. I said no, I am self-taught.

“None of your doctors have ever had you take nutrition courses or diabetes management classes, etc.?”

“Nope.” I explained they were once offered to me but at the time I was very rebellious about my diabetes management and didn’t go.

She didn’t push the issue, maybe she thought I didn’t need them now since I am well self-educated.

After a bit more discussion she gathered two guides for me. One was a daily diet plan, you know, the kind that lays out breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack measurements and suggestions. This much vegetables, this much protein, this much fat, this many carbs… and a total daily calorie count of 1200, to encourage weight-loss.

I’ve been given very similar forms many, many times in my life by both my general practitioners and endocrinologists…

The other form was a breakdown of the four severities of gastroparesis and what you should eat (and avoid eating)during each severity. This I found helpful. I have a good idea of what foods “flare” my GP (are hard to digest or cause nausea/vomiting), but It’s nice to have a good list laid out that I can work with.

We made the plan to meet again in a month.

So, getting, finally, to the point of all of this:

I have been putting more thought into a vegetarian diet. It’s more a curiosity at this point. I asked on Facebook as well as Twitter the following question, but didn’t really get much response.

If you or someone you know has one or more of these conditions, Type 1 diabetes, gastroparesis, hypothyroidism, and are eating a vegetarian diet, has it helped you? What are your experiences?

Also, if you have one or more of these conditions, what diet (vegetarian or other) have you found works best for you?

Lastly, if you have one or more of these conditions, what have your experiences been with dieticians?

I would really appreciate any feedback. Please feel free to respond and also share my post.

I Don’t Pay For The Name

A few days ago I went online, which is how I always do it, and ordered my thyroid medication (I take an NDT) refill. Today, after work, I went to the pharmacy to pick it up.

The pharmacy tech scanned my one single prescription and when the price popped up I was like:

“$60, why so much? I’ve never paid more than $20.”

“It’s a 3 month supply.” The tech pointed out.

“I always get three months.”

“I can have it halved so you can pay less.”

“But what changed that it’s so much more?”

“Go ahead and have a seat and we’ll half it for you.” Then she promptly turned and walked away.

“…”

I sat down, wondering why I’m being charged so much more for the same prescription I’ve gotten for months…

15 or 20 minutes later the tech called me back up.

“OK, so the reason it costs more is because this is the brand name.”

“Why all of a sudden am I getting the brand name? I’ve always gotten the generic.”

“I don’t know, but this is the brand name so it’s more. If you want we can fill with generic but it won’t be ready until Thursday.”

“Is there a way I can make sure I never get brand and only get generic?”

“I don’t know…would you like us to fill the generic for this? It’ll be ready on Thursday.”

“I still have a few days worth left at home, so go ahead.”

“OK, we’ll see you on Thursday.” She said and then turned and walked away, again.

What a peach, that one.

I’ve heard of pharmacies doing this a lot. If they run low on one, they fill with the other and charge the higher price if that’s what they use. And they don’t even inform the patient until they pick it up and pay!

I need to figure out if there is a way to demand my pharmacy always fills my prescriptions with generic, put a note on my file or something. It’s the same damned medication, just cheaper! Why the hell would I want to pay more for nothing but a stupid name!

This Year (2017)

My, oh, my, has this year been a frustrating one. But, hey, there was a lot of good to happen here at the end!

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I tried really hard to start the year out happy. I was determined to get my health under control. I forced myself to think positive. But I wasn’t happy, I had zero control over my health; my body was doing its own thing and it wasn’t good in the slightest. I tried to be positive, but I was actually feeling hopeless.

Most of the problem was the fact that I was gaining weight and couldn’t figure out why no matter how hard I tried to lose I just kept gaining. I was utterly frustrated and depressed over this. I felt so lost.

It overwhelmed me so much that I just burnt out and shut down for a few months.

The first half of this year my anxiety and depression were very strong. I was on medication (Cymbalta) but when I realized it was no longer working and instead was making me not feel anything at all… well, I was feeling, but those emotions felt fake and detached. It was weird and unsettling so I stopped the medication. Once I was off the medication and other things in my life started improving the depression and anxiety shrunk to a level I can live with and function with.

Of course, the type 1 diabetes is always there, it’s never not there. No matter what happens in life, diabetes is there. There’s always that struggle. There’s always that need for constant vigilance, constant awareness, constant work. There’s never a break from diabetes and if you take a break anyway, it’ll bite you in the ass big time.

Due to my thyroid problem – and the struggle to figure out why the medication made my labs look perfect but the symptoms still raged on – my blood sugars were massively high and no matter how much insulin I pumped into myself they just wouldn’t come down. This just added to the weight problem, the depression, and the anxiety.

And  then there’s the agoraphobia. I don’t ever really go into much detail about it and I won’t here, either. I guess I’ll write a stand alone post all about my life with agoraphobia. I’ll say here that it is related to my other health issues, and very much to my anxiety.  This year I had my ups and downs with it, but I think I did pretty well not letting it control me… for the most part.

I write this blog for two main reasons. 1. To reach out to other diabetics and people with chronic illness; we are not alone! And to reach out and inform others about type 1 diabetes and related complications. 2. As my own therapy, a way to ‘get it all out’.

I want to help others. I’ve always wanted to help others in any way I can. As a child I wanted to be a nurse or a doctor when I grew up. As I got older I learned that I love psychology and I am drawn to and fascinated by behavioral psychology. I then dreamed of becoming a therapist, especially for people struggling with the psychological and emotional effects of type 1 diabetes. I never made it through college, but the desire to help remains.

This year my desire to help has blossomed into other things as well. I find myself not only involved with the diabetes online community but involving myself with other charities and awareness campaigns as well.

It feels good to help however I can.

Getting back to my health issues, obviously my main struggle this year has been with my hypothyroidism. Once we figured out that I am hypothyroid and that that wasn’t going to ever go away, I started taking Levothyroxine (thyroid replacement hormone). The Levo worked great at making my labs look good, but it did shit to stop my symptoms. I continued to have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism but the two main symptoms were the weight-gain with inability to lose and the massive insulin resistance.

As time went by and the symptoms raged on and had a very bad effect on my life and sanity, I began to do my own research. I found that a good number of hypothyroid patients that take synthetic thyroid medication have the same problem I do, good labs but no relief of symptoms. I found that many of these patients when switched to a natural desiccated thyroid found both good labs and relief of symptoms. I went to my endocrinologist with this information and requested to make the switch. We did, and all of a sudden all my hypothyroid symptoms are either gone or greatly reduced!

Now that I am actually able to lose weight again this has rejuvenated my desire to do my part to be healthy. There is no motivation better than seeing positive results! I am back to eating right for my body’s needs. I am also working out a lot. This year has also been the year that I discovered how very much I love to dance. I am terrible at it, but I love doing it, so I chose dancing as my exercise of choice. I simply put on some upbeat music, grab a couple two pound weights, and dance my heart out until I just can’t go any more. As I build strength, energy, and stamina I am able to push myself a little longer, a little longer, a little longer.

It’s great. I feel great!

Some of you may remember my mentioning in a previous post that I was diagnosed with yet another incurable disease but I refused to talk about it. I still refuse to talk about it but I will say, although it will never go away, I do have it under pretty good control and am getting better every day.

I talked a good deal about suicide this year. It was just that tough of a year health wise. I have never been so close and long-term in contemplating suicide as I was this year. I can’t say that I’d never actually attempt suicide, but certainly can understand how it feels, what it is like, to be so hopeless, frustrated, so desperate as to think there is no other option for relief.

Please keep in mind that it wasn’t just the weight-gain and insulin resistance that lead me to thoughts of suicide. It was those and the type 1 diabetes, and the chronic nerve pain, and regular ol’ life struggles, and depression, and anxiety, and all my other illnesses and the impact they have on my daily life and the life of my close family….

But instead of suicide, I chose to search for answers. I turned to science and I found another, better, option. It took guts to try something that might not work. I was overwhelmed with thoughts of how devastating it would be if this other thyroid medication didn’t work. But I tried it anyway. Thank science it worked!

Just getting one illness under control took so much frustration and burden off of me that I can now handle the weight of my world again.

The year started out hopeless and is ending with more hope than I’ve had in years.

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Why I’m Trying To Lose

With all my raving about finally losing weight and being so super happy about it I’ve actually gotten some looks and responses from people who seem to assume I only want to lose weight because I’m ashamed of my body as it is. They couldn’t be more wrong.

I’m the farthest you’ll ever get from a fat-shamer.

But from their responses I have come to the decision to set the record straight.

I couldn’t care any less about what people think about me or how I look. I’ve never cared about other’s opinion of me. I live for me and only me. I live for truth and reality.

*Yes, I have had moments of feeling ‘ugly’ and ‘undesirable’. Everybody does, that’s part of being human, especially in this messed up society. But those feelings are shallow and fleeting for me. I have immensely more important things to think about and worry about.*

I am not ashamed, nor have I ever been, of my body. I’m not perfect and I never wanted to be or aspired to be.

However, I do expect my body to reflect what I put into it, good or bad. This is what led me to spiral down a path of frustration and a bit of burnout/depression.

This is what happened to me: I developed hypothyroidism and one of the symptoms of hypothyroidism is a slowed metabolism which makes it tons easier to gain weight and tons more difficult to lose weight. I was on medication but it wasn’t helping the symptoms. So I gained and gained and gained weight.

I was eating healthy and exercising a lot. I should have been losing weight, but I wasn’t.

I shouldn’t have been that heavy. This is what was making me unhappy. I  was eating healthy and exercising healthy. My body should have reflected what I was putting into it, but it was reflecting the opposite.

Imagine looking into your mirror and seeing someone else instead of you. This would be quite disquieting, wouldn’t it? This was me, I looked in the mirror and I didn’t see me. I didn’t see the real me, the me I was working for.

I have nothing against big bodies. If the body you have is fine with you, then be you! But if your body doesn’t reflect the you you know you are and want to be, then change it!

The body I had was not the body I am and want to be. I looked at that body and I knew I wasn’t healthy, I knew it was an illness causing that weight-gain and not my lifestyle. That’s what made me unhappy….not the actual chub but why it was there.

Another reason I wasn’t happy was the overwhelming knowledge that I had no control over my own body. Can you imagine how it feels to have your body running out of your own control? Again, disquieting to say the least.

I am a control freak, I admit it, so when I got tired of not having control over my own body I took action. I did my homework, I advocated for my own health, and I took back control.

So there you have it. The record is straight. Fat is not my concern, my health is. What people think of me is not my concern. My body reflecting who I am, the real me, reflecting my efforts, this is my main concern. Because this is how I know I’m healthy and everything is working right.

And Cue The Anxiety

Now that I have had the time to let it all thoroughly sink in, I find myself riddled with anxiety. Things have been going so well the past few weeks. Really well…. Too well.

So I think it all over…

The battery in my scale died. It died just after I weighed myself last week and it said I had lost 9lbs. What if it was wrong? What if the low battery was making it read wrong?

I got a new battery and today, a week later, I weighed myself. I only lost 2 lbs this week…

Yes, I have lost a good amount of weight. It is evident in my face, arms, and legs. It is evident in how my clothing fits a little better. But what if I haven’t lost as much as I thought this month?

I know that doesn’t matter, but, you see, it plants seeds of doubt in me. It causes my anxiety to rage. I slip from wondering if I’ve really been doing as well as I thought to wondering if I’m adjusting (in a bad way) to the new thyroid medication that has made this all possible and am going to end up right back in the thick of insulin resistance and weight-gain and not be able to lose no matter how hard I try and how perfect I am with eating and exercise.

Not having control over your own body is just as bad as it sounds. Trying with all you have and getting opposite results is just as bad as it sounds. Looking at yourself in the mirror and not seeing you, the real you, is just as bad as it sounds.

I can’t go back there. I just can’t. I will kill myself if I end up back there. No joke, I will.

I really have been doing very well, no matter how much I have lost, a lot or a little, doesn’t matter. That I’ve lost weight is what matters. I am no longer stuck in constant weight-gain. I am losing.

But what if it stops again? What if I start gaining against all my efforts to lose? What if I end up back in that pit of hell? What if the thyroid medication stops working? There’s nothing else I can turn to now to make it all work right again if this medication stops working.

I’m terrified it will stop working.

I’ve had plenty of experiences in the past of medications working for a bit and then my body adjusts to them and they stop working all together. I’m frightened this will happen with the Armour.

But in the past all those failed medications were synthetics, not natural medications. Does that make a difference?

I know, I know, the anxiety is keeping me from thinking totally rationally. And it’s causing me to overthink things that don’t really matter.

Don’t worry about me. This is just my anxiety talking, I’m just letting it out on this page.

I’m not going to give up. I just worry that it’ll all be ripped away. I’m not allowed to succeed. I’m not allowed to be happy with myself.

Don’t worry. I’m holding on to this good that I have right now. I’m working with it to keep it going.

I’m just worried….

 

I Told You So!!!!

I have been doing so good the past few weeks! It all started with a change in thyroid medication. That’s all it took, a simple change from synthetic to natural medication and everything just fell into it’s proper place. I don’t usually prefer or advocate for one type or form of medication over another, whatever works for the individual patient should be used, IMO. In this particular case natural is way better than synthetic for me.

I had been complaining for over a year that something wasn’t right. I felt like no one believed me. I felt like they all thought I was trying to skirt my own blame and put it somewhere else. But now I can say with proof that they were all wrong, that none of this was my fault, it was an illness, and medication for that illness that wasn’t doing it’s job.

I told everyone I could that I was continuing to gain weight even though I was eating to lose and exercising like mad. They looked at me like I was lying, like that just isn’t possible.

I told everyone I could that my BG’s just wouldn’t come down even though I was eating right and exercising, taking 2k mg of Metformin a day, and tons of insulin. They looked at me like I was lying, like that just isn’t possible.

I told everyone I could that my thyroid labs looked perfect but I still had all the symptoms of hypothyroidism. They looked at me like I was lying, like that just isn’t possible.

I did my research, I figured it out, I changed my thyroid medication. And then everything got better. Just. Like. That.

I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!!!!

That one simple change in medication and all of a sudden my blood-sugar levels are perfect again. One little change in medication and all of a sudden I am losing weight like mad! One little change in medication and all my hypothyroid symptoms are history.

I feel so good!  I am motivated to actually try again! Now that I know my efforts will actually bring positive results instead of seeing nothing but continued high BG’s and weight gain no matter how hard I try to bring the opposite.

It feels so good to have everything working right again!

 

When Frustration Turns to Hope

April 11th was the last time I met with my endocrinologist before today. Any type 1 diabetic knows that nearly 7 months between visits is not good.  I was supposed to see her in July but cancelled the appointment and didn’t reschedule until now. Let me explain why.

A bit over a year ago I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, at the time I wasn’t happy about yet another new diagnosis of an incurable disease, but I took it in stride and figured “Just another thing to add to my managements”.

I tried, people, I worked with my endo and tried so frickin’ hard to get and keep everything, EVERYTHING, under control. But life doesn’t cooperate and hypothyroidism mixed with type 1 diabetes is the worst oil and water mixture you can get…as far as I’ve experienced.

Very quickly after my diagnosis, and eventually getting on medication, and getting my TSH, T4, and T3 in line (as of April results) I noticed I was still gaining weight and unable to lose despite tight diet and exercise, and also my insulin resistance was through the roof! There are other hypothyroid symptoms I still have as well, but these are the only two that halt my life and rip my sanity to shreds.

What’s the point in being on medication and having good labs if you still have the horrible symptoms of the disease!? The medication is helping nothing at all; all it is doing is tricking my body into thinking everything is okie dokie when it is not at all okie dokie!

The most soul-crushing thing to experience is putting everything you have into working so hard to do everything right to make things better and then seeing zero positive results of those efforts.  This was me trying to regain control of my blood sugars and to lose this extra 30 lbs I gained from being hypothyroid.

All that hard work for absolutely nothing.

I gave up…I stopped trying at anything at all. Why try if nothing you do works? I shut down for several months.

Then, as is classic me, I thought to myself, “Me, we need to look at this problem from a different perspective.”

There obviously is a cause to this outrageous insulin resistance and weight gain.  Duh, hypothyroidism. OK, so, we know the problem, we know the cause, so why is the treatment not helping?

Who cares why the treatment isn’t working, it isn’t, that’s all we need to know at the moment.

OK, so what are my other treatment options? Is there something out there that will treat my hypothyroidism AND counter the symptoms?

I did my research and I talked to other type 1 diabetics who happen to be hypothyroid (there are a lot out there). I discovered three options I could try, they were not guaranteed to work, but since my current treatment isn’t working the other ones are worth a try.

Option 1: Switch to a Natural Desiccated Thyroid (NDT) medication.

Option 2: Stay on my synthetic thyroid medication (Levothyroxine) and add synthetic T3 to the mix.

Option 3: Switch to an NDT and also add synthetic T3.

Now I had a plan of action, all I needed to do was go in and run it by my endo and hope she would be on board for me switching things up, and possibly switching to a homeopathic treatment….and hope my insurance covers it.

Oh, and there was the issue of facing my endo with the fact that I hadn’t been checking my BG’s hardly at all (why bother when I know they’re high no matter what I do).

Let me add here that in the mean time I was so upset with the knowledge that the go-to treatment for hypothyroidism so commonly doesn’t work well at all, and the knowledge that the go-to “treatment” for insulin resistance is to not treat it but to just give in to it (take more insulin) that I was just livid at doctors, big pharma, scientists, the government, and everyone who has a hand in how very screwed up medicine is and how the patients are the ones who suffer so very badly…

The frustration is very, very real….and constant.

Where are the useful treatments?! Where are the cures?!

So anyway, today was the day, the moment of truth. I was expecting my endo to be very disappointed in my behavior. I was expecting my endo to be not on board with the whole homeopathic approach.  But, yay, she totally surprised me.

I told her my story and experiences from the past several months. And I told her how I want (NEED) to try a new approach to treatment for my thyroid. I suggested to try option 1, the NDT. She listened.

“When you use the term ‘soul-crushing’, believe me, I totally understand, I totally get you.” She said (I swear I saw a glimmer of a tear in her eye).

She was ‘all for’ me switching to an NDT. “Personally I have nothing against homeopathic treatments.” But, of course, because she is a scientist, she does have her concerns. But, in the end she is fully aware as an endocrinologist that specializes in both diabetes and thyroid issues, that although the standard treatment for hypothyroidism (synthetic thyroid replacement hormone) works most of the time, sometimes (in a large enough group of patients to warrant attention) it doesn’t work well at all.

“We must acknowledge that there is something we don’t know.” She says. “So, yes, I do support an alternate approach to treatment in patients like yourself where the synthetic just isn’t cutting it.” (I don’t remember her exact words, but this is the gist of it).

So, beginning tomorrow morning I will no longer be on Levothyroxine. I will be trying the NDT known as Armour Thyroid. Here’s to hoping that it helps me.

There is one other thing my endocrinologist surprised me with after we finished discussing my thyroid:

“OK, now that we’re done with your topic of discussion, we can move on to my topic. I’m so excited to talk to you about this!” She said with such excitement in her voice and a big smile. “Do you know about the Medtronic Minimed 670G? It’s an artificial pancreas…”

“Yes! I’ve been so excited about it ever since it was approved by the FDA.” I responded.

“So you want it? I think it would be great for you.” She said (or something very similar).

“Yes. But I want to take a short pump break first.”

I swear I could see her heart sink. “Oh, Really?”

“Yeah, not for long, it’s just that…well there are a lot of reasons that lead to this decision, but I just want a break for a short while. Then, absolutely I want the 670!”

We made the agreement that I will go back to MDI for a couple months, then, in January when I see her again, I’m gonna be artificial pancreasing it!

All-in-all a good visit, I’d say.

 

 

 

 

 

Look to Change

My health is good right now. I have a couple of struggles still; keeping my blood sugars down, and my chronic sleepiness.  But most of all I need and want to lose weight!

I’m so huge right now.

I look in the mirror and feel nothing but disgust and shame.

My weight struggle started at puberty. I didn’t know it for many, many years but my doctor and I suspect I developed PCOS at the time I began my journey into womanhood. I was finally diagnosed in my mid thirties!

I’m pretty sure it was at puberty and the development of PCOS that my insulin resistance set in…it is a symptom of PCOS after all.

I also have hypothyroidism which slows down the metabolism and therefore causes easy weight gain and difficult weight-loss. I’m on meds, but they don’t help the weight issue.

I can go on and on finding health issues and other things to blame my obesity on. They aren’t lies, they really do make it too easy to gain and very difficult to lose. But it is also my own fault. I eat too many carbs and calories, and I don’t get enough exercise.

But things may change soon. You see, I have been unemployed for almost three years now. I have kept busy with projects and chores, etc. but living with no real schedule or responsibilities makes it very easy to be lazy, and to eat whenever and whatever, and however much you want.

I may be getting a job soon. If I do, this will be a full-time job. A career! I will have a set schedule which means I will be eating at set times, and active at set times. This, hopefully, will make it much easier for me to eat healthy and less, and loose some weight!

And my hubby is more than willing to do it with me. It always helps to have a partner.

Wish me luck at my interview! I really need and want this new career for so many reasons!

The Hound of Diabetes Hell

I really like my general practitioner. I only see her maybe twice a year, but I’m glad to have her. She is easy going in personality, she’ll joke and chit-chat with you. She is very well educated and knows her stuff. And she is thorough…and she takes the time to listen!

I have been getting monthly B12 shots because I am deficient. The nurse does them so I do not have to see my doctor and pay a co-pay. The doctor’s office usually schedules the appointments a month or two in advance, but this month they didn’t. Of course I called to inquire about this. The nurse on the line told me my doctor would like to see me to touch base since it has been six months since I started the shots.

OK, I set up the appointment.

Now, let me let you in on my anxiety and frustration about this office. The following rant does not in any way change how I feel about my general practitioner, it’s not her fault, really.

My general practitioner orders yearly labs for me. All the normal stuff, including A1c. Well, even though my endocrinologist orders A1c tests every three months (and the doctor’s share info on patients), there is still the yearly order from my general practitioner.  Whenever I get the lab done that is ordered by my GP, if it is above 7 her diabetes nurse calls me to discuss it.

She calls, and calls, and calls, and sends e-mails, and sends snail mails. And then when I go in to see my doctor, or get my B12 shot, or for any reason, the diabetes nurse will jump in to talk to me. I have told her that I do not want to or need to talk with anyone except my endocrinologist regarding my diabetes. I do not need or want any other hands in my diabetes pot! I work very closely with my endo on my diabetes care, we know what’s up, we need no help on this.

I’ve been a type 1 since 1987, I think I know all there is to know about my care. I’m not perfect, but I know what I am doing!  When people (anyone) hounds me about my diabetes care it crushes my spirit. I’m not non-compliant! I’m not stupid! I’m not untrustworthy! I know what I’m doing and I don’t need or want your help!

OK, so I got my labs done a few weeks ago and the nurse was hounding me again because my A1c went up significantly. I know why it went up and myself and my endo have been working on it. I have thyroid issues and this was making my BG’s impossible to get and keep down. As soon as I started thyroid meds (just after my labs were done) my BG’s plummeted to where they belong.

So, in the back of my mind I was thinking one of the reasons my GP wanted to see me was because of the A1c…

So I went into this appointment a bit aggravated. I kept going over my responses in my head if the diabetes nurse came in to talk to me.

Don’t blame me if I punch her….

The appointment was a normal visit. Weight first – It came up too high, as usual, but a good 12 lbs lower than I was expecting, so I was mildly happy with that. My blood pressure was 127/65. My temperature was normal.

The doctor came in and she was her normal sunny, pleasant self.

“Oh, I love your hair! The style is the same but you changed the color.When did you do that?”

“I just dyed it like two days ago.” I smiled.

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“I haven’t seen your husband in awhile, how is he doing?”

I was pleasantly surprised that she remembered my husband and that we’re a couple (who I go to most of his appointments with). This is one reason I love my GP so much. I told her he’s doing well.

She listened to my heart, looked in my ears, and felt my neck.

She asked me how I’ve been feeling, do I still have B12 deficiency symptoms? I told her the dizzy spells are gone and I feel great except that I am super sleepy all the time, I sleep an average of 15 hours a day… but I think that may be due to my thyroid issues.

We talked about my thyroid, and all my vitamin (B12, D, Iron) deficiencies… and, yes, we talked about my BG’s. She was very understanding about my A1c going up, she knew it was because of my thyroid issues.

“Well, your endo has thyroid labs ordered, so I’ll just add on some other tests as well. We’ll figure out the cause of your sleepiness and get it fixed.”

I’m so happy she is thorough.

After the visit, I got my B12 shot and then headed home.

It was a good, happy, visit after all.  🙂

 

 

 

We Have Such Complications to Show You

Thyroid issues are pretty common in type 1 diabetics (and type 2). They are both endocrine issues, they are hormone problems. Also, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, and some thyroid diseases are autoimmune as well. So there are a number of links between diabetes and thyroid issues.

I for one have apparently (not 100% clear, yet) have a thyroid issue that is a fairly common complication of diabetes. I have developed permanent (also not 100% sure, yet) hypothyroidism due to a bought of general thyroiditis.

Thyroiditis can present in many different ways depending on what is causing it. Mine went like this: Really bad pain from the shoulders to the top of the head (migraine), swollen lymph nodes in the neck, hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) -excessive sweating, weight loss, muscle weakness, tiredness, physical hunger, fast heart rate, anxiety, moodiness, goiter, insomnia, high BG -. Then the hyperthyroid turns into hypothyroid (under-active thyroid) – Always cold, weight gain, overwhelming sleepiness, depression, joint pain, dry skin, hair loss, acne, fuzzy thinking, high BG.

Usually after a few months the thyroid will return to normal function, but something like 5% of people end up stuck with permanent hypothyroidism.  Apparently I am one of the few…

What I mean by the type of thyroiditis I had being a complication of diabetes is that when the body’s blood-sugar is too high too often this causes widespread inflammation throughout the body, including the thyroid gland. When the thyroid gland is “abused” in this manner it can become very angry…or sick…or sad…or hurt…(pick whichever flowery word you’d like here) this is called thyroiditis. As I said, this is usually a temporary condition that resolves itself over several months…but it can become chronic, come and go; or you can develop permanent hypothyroidism from it.

So, for those type 1 (and type2) diabetics out there who have been constantly berated and warned of losing your legs, going blind, having heart attacks and such, due to your uncontrolled diabetes, just be aware that there’s even more out there to be afraid of. Diabetes has “such sights to show you…”

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Diabetes is a living horror flick that we are trapped in. But we can survive. I like to imagine myself as the heroine, the one who goes through all the shit, pain, suffering, and tragedy, but comes out of it by defeating the monsters, and stands bloody and sore, but alive and strong!

So try your best, OK? Please? It’s not easy, I know first hand, and diabetes will never be willing to cooperate. But give it your best fight and never stop trying.