Before my Africa trip, I needed to see a doctor to arrange for my anti-malarial drugs. Plus, even though I’ve been really vigilant about my OB/GYN-related health my whole adult life, I hadn’t been to a family doctor for a good old-fashioned physical since…well, probably since my last well-child check-up.
I know. That’s bad. Momma gets so busy managing everyone else’s health that she kind of neglects her own.
Melanie loves her family doctor, so she recommended I visit him. She promised me he was a straight-shooter, a trait I value in a doctor. And she praised his sense of humor. Bonus points!
I should’ve known what I was in for when one of his first sentences to me was, "So, how long has your neck been big?"
Excuse me, what?
Forget that straight shooter business. I didn’t mean that straight.
It turns out that Doc thought my neck looked swollen. The more we talked, the more he began to wonder if my thyroid is out of whack. He scheduled a bunch of blood tests upon my return from Africa, and he told me we’d talk again when I got back.
So we did, last week, and it turns out my thyroid is out of whack. Really out of whack. He told me this is not uncommon in women mid-thirties and later, because pregnancies can be hard on a thyroid. I reminded Doc that, including miscarriages, I had six pregnancies in eight years.
"Oh, girl," he said. "Your poor thyroid is up there wearing sunglasses and popping a cold one."
I like this guy.
Several of the symptoms of hypothyroidism I’ve actually had for some time. I just thought I was getting old. And I am getting old, but a gunky thyroid hasn’t been making it any easier.
Thankfully, the solution is a fairly easy one. I’ll probably have to take synthetic thryoid hormone the rest of my life, but that’s no biggie. I actually am quite hopeful (and not at all unrealistic) that I will take my Magic Pill daily and never again be tired or irritable, and The Extra Thirty Pounds, lo, they will leap off me with great haste. But before I start the meds, Doc wanted to get a good look at the "before" picture, so today I’m going in for some more tests. So today (Monday), I’ll have a thyroid ultrasound, and I’ll also have an uptake scan, where they’ll inject radioactive iodine into my veins and take a scan.
Radioactive iodine! Injected into my veins! I wonder if I’ll be glowing the rest of the day?
Anyway, I’m telling you all this in case any of the rest of you are having symptoms like these, especially if you’re in you mid-thirties or older. Get thee to a doctor, and talk to him about your thyroid. We mommas need to take care of ourselves too.
By the way, all my other various blood levels were fine and dandy, except my dang triglycerides. "It’s from too much sugar and carbs," Doc explained.
"Yes," I offered, "but you mentioned my thyroid can cause me to metabolize improperly, so maybe it’s that?"
He peered at me over his glasses. "Or maybe you’re eating too much sugar and carbs."
Oh, I definitely like this guy.