If there has been one thing I’ve been saying too much here on the blog, and even more in real life, it’s “I’m too tired.” For the last — I dunno, maybe two years? — I’ve been growing increasingly weary. I’d come home from work on Friday and not leave my apartment again until brunch on Sunday; Saturday was often lost in a haze of dozing. And at least a couple of days a week, I’d come home from work and fall asleep on the couch almost immediately, before having dinner. I still managed (as most of the posts here can attest) to go about my life, but I was crushingly exhausted a lot of the time.
Then, somewhat lost amid her MS diagnosis was the news that Eileen had also been diagnosed with a thyroid disorder — one where the primary symptom is unexplained tiredness. She told me that her doctor said it ran in families, and in chatting with Mom, it came out that our dad had also had thyroid issues. Needless to say, given this information, I quickly added “is my thyroid OK?” to the list of questions for my doctor.
And then I waited, first for a month or so until I could get an appointment for a physical, and then for another 16 weeks for a new-patient appointment at the endocrinologist. But finally, it has been confirmed that I have the same thing as Eileen has and my dad had — Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, or, as it’s more commonly known, hypothyroidism. (I’m calling it by its full name whenever possible, though. I think it sounds fairly badass, like an opponent of Godzilla or the villain in an anime movie.) And it turns out that it’s responsible for a lot of other complaints I have, not just the tiredness, but little things that I had just chalked up to aging or other factors: weight gain, hyper-sensitivity to cold, forgetfulness.
Hashimoto’s, fortunately, is a manageable disease. I’ve been on the meds — synthetic thyroid pills — for two weeks now, and I am already blown away by how much better I feel. Eileen had told me that they were “life-changing” for her, but given our genetic predisposition for hyperbole, I took it with a grain of salt. But no kidding, these tiny little suckers are freakin’ amazing.
It took a week for my thyroid level to get up to normal, but now that it is, I could honestly dance for joy — I feel that much better. But lest it sound like I, too, might be succumbing to exaggeration, this is what I’ve been up to in the past seven days: Over the weekend, I went to the Maryland Renaissance Faire, a Caps game, and, as already noted, ice skating. I’ve been to a couple of happy hours and went to a party on Friday night. I haven’t once had the urge to fall asleep while watching tv — or during meetings. Freakin’ amazing, I say again.
Now I just need to get past the one side effect my little miracle of chemistry has produced — I am starving all. the. time. From the moment I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, I am hungry enough to eat my shoes. Rationally, I know that this is just my body adjusting to a new metabolic speed, but holy crap is it hard to not just eat, eat, eat.
Speaking of which, it’s lunchtime.