Posted by Pattie on 3/25/2009 05:24:00 PM
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Last year I went on thyroid medication for the first time in my life and within 2 months I felt better than I had in years. I thought "Wow, this is it. I finally am down to root of health and well-being and it is as simple as replinishing something I was missing."

A year later and I'm finding it not so easy. In November I started having symptoms again. I need an afternoon nap to make it through the day. I've spent the winter freezing any time the temp gets below 60 outside. Even after sleeping all the time, I'm exhausted and have brain fog half the time. I've become more and more dependent upon energy drinks to get me through work and I'm able to work less and less.

The blood tests confirmed my suspicions. My doctor even questioned if I was taking the medication daily. I am religiously, but after two increases in the dosage, I'm still symptomatic.

Add to the list, I cry daily. I seem to be at the whims of my hormones right now. My skin has dried out and I think I may look 10 years older. My hair is thinning and brittle. My hands and feet hurt all the time. Sometimes I'm up for hours at night because I'm struggling between feeling cold and feeling like the blanket is a 5 ton weight crushing my feet.

Here's the good news. I'm more convinced than ever that I've been suffering from this for a long time. I've even discussed with two doctors now the fact that the lupus diagnosis may have been incorrect and that what I was experiencing was early symptoms of hypothyroidism.

I'm also seeing from my reading and research that this is a fat-acceptance issue. My weight gains, my difficulty in losing weight, the affects of severe dieting and over-exercising all have a relationship with the fact that most of my medical practitioners have never done anything other than blame me for my body size.

But I'm not sure I'll find much solace on the fat acceptance side. Many advocates for fat acceptance (me among them at various points) have resisted the hypothyrodism explanation because it is often a pathologizing of fatness. The "glandular condition" has been generalized often and still carries with it a considerable amount of baggage from the days that alternative practitioners have touted increasing thyroid as a means to lose weight.

For me, I see now that if fat were not regarded as an important and stigmatized characteristic of individual worth and weight-loss at all costs were not the singular cure to most of what does or could potential ail us, someone somewhere might have wondered why I gained 90 pounds in the year I was diagnoses with lupus when the only thing that changed in my "lifestyle" was that I stopped riding a bicycle to and from school. Looking back on it, I can't believe how I readily accepted my decrease in activity as an explanation.

But all this aside, here I am now, struggling. I can't seem to get my doctor to take seriously how much this is affecting my life. I can't seem to find a solution or solutions that doesn't involve doctos. Oh, yeah, and because medical care isn't universal, the less I can work, the less chance I have of actually paying for more than one opinion about this.

Still, that brief relief last Spring inspires me. Those few months where I felt right again reminded me of how important finding that balance is. I struggle. But I struggle with a real hope of success, a taste of it, as it were. That can make all the difference.