Well, it turns out I don't have Graves' Disease. At least that is the consensus of my doctor's front office staff, and this site: ClinLab Navigator. If it's really true, that's a good thing, since that means I don't have an autoimmune disease. I say, “if it's really true” because as I've learned, the opinion of patient experts, those “in the trenches” can be far different than the medical field's. For example, when I asked my doctor if I had a reverse T3 problem, she shook her head sadly and said “no”. But according to the ratio between by Free T3 and Reverse T3, I do have a reverse T3 problem.
I've been doing a lot of research over the past week. I've been reading about leptin resistance over at Dr. Jack Kruse‘s website and blog, and have no doubt that I have leptin resistance. My husband keeps asking me, “What's leptin?” and I can't really tell him. I'll be researching and learning more, and I'm starting here: Mark's Daily Apple: A Primal Primer: What is Leptin?
But I'm getting ahead of myself… last weekend I found out why I'm getting more tired and exhausted. In one of the groups I'm on, a lady posted saying she was feeling more fatigued and it could have been me writing, our problems and situation so similar. She and I started on hydrocortisone about the same time, started to feel better as a result of being on it, we had recently spent an entire Saturday in bed, we both have the reverse T3 problem, we both are waiting on medication… the answer she received was that when she started on the HC it allowed her body to use more thyroid function, but waiting so long to get medicated with T3 has caused her to become more hypothyroid. So that answered why I've felt so much worse lately, and I decided I need to get moving on the next step. Medication. Even though I don't want to, I don't want to, I don't want to!
I tried to get myself to call my doctor's office on Monday, but never could work up my nerve. Finally I called on Tuesday, and asked when she would be back from vacation, and was told it would be November 21st. Then I told them that she had said she would start me on T3, and I'd like to let her know I have decided I do want to get started on it. They told me she does call to check in on occasion and they would let her know. They also at this time let me know that my test results for Graves' came back negative.
Later that day I received a call from the doctor's office, they told me my doc had not written anything on my chart about starting me on T3, so her partner was looking over my records and wanted to know if I was on any thyroid medications when taking the tests. I told them I wasn't.
I had a terrible night and hardly slept at all and was so wiped out I could not get to work on Tuesday. Not to mention my vehicle which went up in smoke on October 4th is still broken down, and I don't have my own vehicle to drive but dependent on my husband's vehicles which he uses interchangeably and so I never know from one day to the next which one I'll be using. He was supposed to get the flat fixed for me. I ended up working from home on Tuesday. On Tuesday night, while applying my hydrocortisone I realized that in beginning to use a different sized syringe on Monday I had accidentally given myself twice as much HC Monday night, hence my inability to sleep. And I realized I had probably been overdosing myself by just a little bit all day Tuesday. I had trouble sleeping Tuesday night also.
I dragged myself to work on Wednesday, finally getting there around 11:30! Actually my husband drove me in, I was so exhausted and he still had to get the tire fixed on his van so that I would be safe driving it.
When I finally arrived at work I went to my boss' office and proceeded to tell her what had been going on for the last few days, and also I told her I had an idea for something that I hoped would help me reduce some of the stress I'm having. I'll tell you honestly what caused me to consider this idea is that I've been looking into the leptin reset idea and I couldn't figure out in my mind how I could do it and still get up at 4am.
I told my boss, since I have 50 days of vacation accrued, and I accrue two days every month, what did she think about my going to six hour days, and taking two hours vacation each day? I work four days a week, so this would mean I would be taking one vacation day a week. I could do this for a year and still have vacation time left. I can't ever take a regular vacation for a week or two weeks, so this would make the powers that be happy that I'm not accruing a ton of vacation, and maybe this will give me some much needed relief. She was more than thrilled at my suggestion, and told me I wouldn't be any good at work or at home unless I take care of myself, and she even told me to set my own hours! Isn't that wonderful?
The only trick is going to be how am I going to get my work done in six hours, when it seems I have been unable to do so in eight hours? When I spoke to my boss, I assumed the T3 medication would be in my hands within days. I figured I'll soon be able to think more clearly, so I will be able to concentrate and I'll be able to work more efficiently and will be able to get my work done in six hours without any problem.
Later in the day I called the doctor's office to ask them if they would fax my results over and they said they would.
They never did, so on Thursday I called back and while they had me on the phone they told me they wanted more tests run, since they had looked at my labs and my T3 “looks stable” so they didn't think I needed T3 after all. Uh, hello? I have a reverse T3 problem, people. So I asked the lady if she would please have whoever is looking into this for me to please look into reverse T3 problem. And I briefly explained that I have too much T4, my body isn't converting it into T3 but reverse T3 which is why I am having the hypothyroid symptoms.
After that conversation it felt like my brain went on vacation for about ten minutes. I couldn't think, I couldn't concentrate. Essentially I heard, “We're not going to prescribe this medication for you, so there is no hope of your improving” and it really made me feel helpless and deflated.
Later in the day I faxed over information about reverse T3 and asked the doctors to please review the information. I have not heard back from them, and I did not call the laboratory to see if I was supposed to get blood drawn. If they want me to have more blood drawn, I will agree, but they need to at least test me for the two tests necessary to get the ratio. Reverse T3 and Free T3.
I've spent the weekend trying to relax. I've known this, but the Stop The Thyroid Madness book tells us it is so important to laugh. I caught part of a movie on satellite television last weekend and I laughed and laughed and decided to order it so that I could watch the whole movie. I should warn you there is some profanity and adult humor, it is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation My youngest son and I watched it this weekend and an hour into the movie he said he had to take a break because his face was hurting from laughing so much. I showed my husband a few parts that were funny and he laughed, and he agreed to watch it with me sometime soon.
Speaking of my husband… he has been home the last three nights and I have been able to sleep well without worrying about where he is. We also have been discussing my health situation a lot, and we have come to the conclusion that his main business is literally killing us both, so he has agreed to finish up the jobs he has outstanding and then become super selective about taking any work, while concentrating on his other business.
So I am slowly but surely removing some of the stressors in my life, which should help me heal.