Wednesday Weigh In

I’ve decided to do something different from now on with my blog. I’ve been pretty tight lipped about my health for the last decade but now that I’m actively seeking ways to make things right I want to share what I’ve been going through. So every Wednesday I plan to talk about what’s been going on and what I’m currently doing to achieve my goals.

The last seven years have been a real learning experience for me when it comes to my own body. My weight has been an issue for me most of my life, and by no fault of my own. I could eat right and exercise and end up gaining weight or I could eat like crap and sit in front of my computer for hours and drop 20 lbs. in a week. All through high school and college I would fluctuate and I never really could find a reason, but what I did know was that I couldn’t loose the amount of weight I wanted to no matter what I tried, so I gave up trying.

A few times doctors would order me to have blood tests and they always said my thyroid levels were abnormal, but follow up tests resulted in nothing. Finally, once I was done with college I told my latest doctor what had been happening and she ordered a blood test, and then another, and after getting the results of both she told me I needed to see an endocrinologist as soon as possible. So I scheduled an appointment with the man that not only saw my mother but my grandmother as well. I thought it would be my best bet since he already knew half of my family history.

He ordered another blood test that was so thorough I thought I was donating blood that took so much. After those results came in he ordered a battery of other tests that included an ultrasound of my thyroid and an uptake and scan. After all of that, I finally had my answer. I had an overactive nodule on my thyroid that had shut the rest of the gland down. The doctor told me I needed to kill that nodule off so the rest of my gland could function properly. That is where everything went wrong.

I went into the hospital and headed to the radiology floor where I was placed in a room that was the size of a closet. It had a chair and a bunch of posters. Someone came in wearing massive gloves and holding a container dropped two pills into my hand and instructed me to take them. I then had to sit there alone while the radioiodine got into my system. After a little while I was allowed to leave with a laundry list of instructions. I couldn’t be around seniors or children, I needed to change my toothbrush out frequently for the next two weeks, don’t use silverware and don’t use styrofoam. Most important was the instructions to keep a low iodine diet for two weeks. That was crucial, I screwed up once and it made me sicker than I had felt in a long time. I would never recommend having this done, if your doctor suggests it as a treatment, ask for alternatives.

After the pills were left to work what was supposed to be magic, I had to go in for yet another blood test and see the results; and to my horror they were not good. My doctor told me that I had gone from essentially having hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism. My gland did not recover at all and the doctor told me it could have been the result of too large of a dose of radioiodine, which he increased at the last minute. I was furious but I knew I needed to figure out what to do next.

Pills, everyday, for the rest of my life; that was my next step. I hate taking pills and I’m notorious for forgetting them, but I agreed and started on the next phase of my life. After two years of trial and error with dosage, my doctor said I was finally being treated with the right amount of medicine yet I managed to gain 100 lbs. during that time. It’s an insane amount of weight and I knew that I was going to have to make some major lifestyle changes if I was going to lose weight and stay healthy. That was 2009.

Since I ended up being pretty long winded I’ll continue the story in next week’s post.

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