Monday, April 19, 2010

Is It All In My Head?

After battling six weeks of fighting extreme fatigue, a gushing nose, constant lethargy, and weight gain that happened so quickly that not one pair of pants will fit, I finally have some answers. I blamed my thyroid initially - seemed like a good culprit - but I've come to find out that it's all, quite likely, in my head.

My fabulous doctor who I pay big bucks to see agreed to run blood tests. I went to the lab and then went to my sister's in the Bay Area. That night - at 8pm - my doctor called me. (I was at the Pleasanton TJ Maxx, shopping for bigger yoga pants - sigh.). She said that my thyroid was fine but that my T3 and T4 levels were abnormally low. Way out of range. Low enough to be flagged by the lab tech. She encouraged me to rest, and to call her when I came back to Sacramento.

When I came home, I felt worse. The pants that I had bought were no longer fitting and it had only been 4 days. Remember the movie, "Shallow Hal?" I felt like Gwyneth Paltrow in the fat suit. A total stranger in my own body. It's a horrible feeling.

Because I have a PPO that I pay dearly for, I was able to find an endocrinologist who would see me without a referral. As luck would have it, he saw me at 7:30am the day after I called. Dr. C - I've come to find out - is highly reputable in the endocrinology field. And almost impossible to get into. "You had an angel on your shoulder when you called his office," my own doctor remarked, upon hearing that I had an immediate appointment with him.

Dr C did a full exam and then he spent some time talking with me. "Your pituitary gland isn't talking to your thyroid gland," he told me. I don't like confrontation and I guess my glands don't, either. "You're not making enough of the hormones that you need for energy or metabolism." He went on to tell me that the pituitary gland is likely diseased. He used the word "tumor."

I left his office with referral slips for more lab work, an ultrasound and a MRI. Dr C doesn't mess around. A nurse client of mine said, "Do you know how lucky you are to have all this happening so quickly? " And that's how I feel: incredibly fortunate to have the system moving swiftly and in my favor.

Treatment options for pituitary disease are all over the map, depending on the outcome of the MRI. I'm really not afraid at all; just anxious to have a treatment plan that will be effective in getting me back on track.

In the meantime, I gave up all my group classes so that I can concentrate on saving my best energy for my private clients and for Ben. The hardest decision was whether or not to suck it up and keep Wednesday nights at the club. It's one of the happiest hours of my work week; when 25 to 30 of my favorite people come together to practice yoga. I've been with them for almost three years. My director promised to step in temporarily and I can come back when I'm better, however long that takes.

I bagged a meeting for Little League tonight. Driving 45 minutes plus - in each direction - and an hour and a half of concession talk just didn't fit in with my body's plans for energy expenditure. Lying on the couch with Ben, reading books and watching youtub, did.

It is likely that I may not exercise for a long time. I thought about it today. It got bagged too. So not like me. Maybe I'll try for a walk tomorrow.

There is too much information on the internet. I've stopped reading. Too many unknowns. One thing I did learn is that coconut oil is extremely beneficial for the thyroid. I bought a jar of the good, good stuff. I mix a lot of it into my oatmeal and in my smoothies each day. I feel like I've discovered the world's greatest treat.

I need some help with my diet. There are foods that suppress the thyroid - like green, leafy vegetables. There are foods that help the thyroid. I don't know where the pituitary gland fits in and how to support it, from a nutrition standpoint.

Yesterday, I went to my favorite second hand store and spent $78.00 for a whole new spring wardrobe. Nothing from last year fits. I hit Target and got a new swim suit, too (because I just cannot buy one secondhand, NO WAY). I still refuse to sit on the side of the pool while Ben splashes around and begs for me to come in. The two piece days may be over, but that's OK.

So now the process has begun. I had my ultrasound today. Lab tomorrow morning. MRI will be scheduled soon. Back to see Dr C. Then, the answers that I'm desperately wanting.

I called my best friend after the ultrasound today. "Ultrasound - check" I told her. "It takes a lot of licks to get to the center of the lollipop," she replied.

Indeed, it does. And while this might not be very easy - this hostile stand-off between my glands - my life - the lollipop - is still pretty darn sweet.

1 comment:

Briana said...

We will miss you DEARLY!!!!! The most important thing is that you take care of yourself. If there is anything I can do to help, just call me. I mean it :)