Well, okay. I finally got a treatment plan for my hyperthyroidism. I got my most recent blood work back a week and a half ago, but since my doctor was at a conference in Scotland, I never had anyone let me know what any of this meant. I looked online at the numbers, so I was pretty sure I had Graves Disease, but I still wasn't sure exactly what that meant for me. So, I messaged the doctor who was filling in for my physician, and told him I would love to have more information about everything. All I knew about my new disease was what I had read online, and some of it was confusing.
I sent the new guy a bunch of questions, so he would have time to find the answers before he wrote back: Could I go on vacation? Was there a certain heart rate I should try not to go above? Did I read the latest result right, and do I have Graves Disease? If so, what was my treatment? If they weren't able to start treatment right away, could they give me something for the insane anxiety I suddenly started having the last few days? One of the things I read when I was doing my scary internet searches was that if my disease wasn't treated, I could have this thing called "Thyroid Storm". Contrary to what you might think, it isn't just a great name for a classic rock cover band, it's a life threatening situation. Imagine me reading all of the possible issues, and not having any medical professional to talk to about them, and being a spaz to begin with, but then having severe anxiety on top of that. Oh, the scenario storms I can create in my head...
Anyway, the substitute doctor messaged me back and said he would text Endocrinology and get back to me as soon as he heard back from them. Then he called me at work and was very kind and patient and answered every question I had. He told me they were going to start me on Methimazole. I told him that I am pretty sensitive to any drug or alcohol (they don't call me two beer Churly for nothin'!), so he might want to start me on a fairly low dose to see how I reacted. He told me that my thyroid levels were so high they would have to start me on a big dose, but that he'd use the lower tier of it. Most importantly, he said that I could go on vacation, but just to really watch my heart rate, not to ride or hike alone, and to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. So, we leave this weekend, and Jaysus, Mary and Joseph! do I need a vacation.
I started taking my new meds on Saturday morning. They can take up to 4 - 6 weeks to really start working, but I have noticed a slight change or two already, and some side-effects too. I've been having some joint pain now, but my anxiety has calmed down a bit. I actually woke up cold last night. Between hot flashes and the hyperthryroidism, I can't remember when the last time the whole world didn't seem to be burning up. I also had a horrible nightmare for the first time in years, and I'm hoping that's not some kind of awful side-effect too.
So it is that I have a treatment plan finally. I've read that there could be a lot of medicine dose adjustments in the first year, but sometime after being on the drugs, the symptoms go away, so I am crossing my fingers, and my eyes,and my legs and whatever else I can, that that is the case for me. I have a follow-up appointment in October, and when we get back from vacation, I have to swallow irradiated dye, so they can scan my thyroid. I have so many things to look forward to. Sigh.
We have excellent house and cat sitters at the ready, and I will get to go to my beloved Southwest. Don't worry...Or do, depending if you want to be inundated with pictures, I will take a million photos and obsessively document that whole trip. Most importantly, I will be careful and keep any storms (thyroid or anxious scenarios) at bay.