Living With Hashimoto's ........you Will Never Be Normal Again But It Does Get Better..............

This is my story. At the age of 45 I was fit, healthy, active. After having 7 children who kept me on my toes I was always bursting with energy. I would rise with the sun and sleep 4 or 5 hours at night and still feel like the energizer bunny. I use to lift weights. I had biceps. No one believed I was 45. Oh how I miss those days. It the year of my 45th birthday. I had a regular menstrual cycle since I was 9 years of age. Always on time. If I missed it , it was because I was pregnant. One month I menstruated for three weeks. My gyn told me I was most likely perimenopausal and my period would come and go. Well come and go it did. It came for weeks on end that entire year. I would have to stop what I was doing and spend my days in bed or else I would look like water works and I was making the tampon and maxi pad quite rich. Then came the massive headaches followed by the worst neck ache I had ever felt. I preferred labor to that pain. I had a very bad car accident in 2000 and have multiple herniations so my family physician ( who has known me for 15 years) said it was most likely due to wear and tear since I was aging. It got to the point where I had to go outside with a neck wrap because the pain was so great I could not even look upward. Then came these crazy palpitations. I could just be lying in bed or sitting at my desk and my heart was on the other block. Then came bouts of anxiety. I would check my door lock once, twice , three times in a row. If the phone rang ( most of my adult children live out of state) I would imagine the most horrible news coming from the other end even though I had not even spoken to them yet. Then my blood pressure would rise and fall on and off on a daily basis and the strangest thing was my armpits would sweat and the soles of my feet excessively but not the rest of me. I went to see my family doctor who by now just told my husband I was going nuts. He tried to shove all these antidepressant and pain killers at me. I have never tolerated even Benadryl well so I of course refused. I went from specialist to specialist. I had every test my insurance would allow. I had extensive blood work. I saw an endo. I saw a neuro. I saw a gastro. I saw a gyn. I saw a rheumotologist. I saw a pulmonary specialist. I had a full body bone scan. I had my entire body MRI'd. I had CT scans. I had had an EEG and a EMG. I walked around for a week with electrodes attached to my head. I even went food shopping like that. My kids got a kick out of it. Nothing was going to stop my life. I had a heart monitor who became my best friend for two weeks as it lived attached to my body. I had ultrasounds. I had an EKG, an ECHO, a Stress test. Each and every test showed I was 100 percent perfectly fine. I wanted to cry. Was I crazy? Maybe the doctors were right so I decided to take Cymbalta. One dose and I don't know what happened but that hell lasted almost a year. Half an hour later my heart was racing, my pressure skyrocketing. I was dizzy. I started to feel as if a blow torch was inside of me. I was BURNING. If you looked at me you did not see a damn thing on my skin but inside I was screaming. If you ever got a really bad sunburn then imagine that inside your body. I spent the entire weekend back and forth to the ER of two hospitals. They ran test. I showed nothing at all. They saw my monitors jumping. My heart racing. My pressure escalating but they could not figure out why. We always think of physicians like a God who has all the answers. Well I realized then that they did not any more than I did. Of course they all said it was NOT the Cymbalta. I was just crazy. The ER doctor suggest hot flashes? I said hot flashes? ALLLLLLLLL over my body? Wow if this was a hot flash how have women survived all these years? Then the worst worst worst part of the entire scenario. I began to tremble but inside. It was not painful. It was just downright annoying. Sort of an internal thumping. It came and went. Lasted for minutes to hours to days. No one saw me thump. I just felt it. Of course everyone was ready to commit me. I went online and researched and found so many people who thumped as well but of course none I knew personally. I would tell family members and friends and they just looked at me. Again , maybe I was crazy? I decided to take lexapro. I had taken it many many many years prior for a few months and it seemed to take the edge off so I tried one dose and it started all over again, the burning, the racing, the thumping was unbearable. I felt like the punching that a boxer punches. I was going crazy. I would buy every book on menopause. Maybe I had this crazy form of menopause? My periods came and went. At this point I did not even care anymore. I was a mess. I could not work. I could not think. I thought I had this rare disease. I would look at my youngest child who was 10 and cry. I thought I would not live to see her grow up. I must have a disease these doctors have never heard of . My family doctor tested me for diseases I found online . I thought I had pheno so I had to collect a 24 hour urine in a jar and keep it in the fridge. I tried to make a joke out of everything so the kids would not worry. I labeled it MOMMY juice, please DON"T drink. I had horrible brain fog. Sometimes I would get in my car and draw a blank. I did even remember how to start the car. My 10 year old would draw GET WELL cards and put them around my room. I could no longer drive her to the bus, my husband God bless his soul, I so tortured him, would take her. My daughter and I use that as our quiet time and I knew she was missing it. I could not even sit in church on Sundays. I would get into such a state of panic. I who once sat and sang in church could not even sit for five minutes. I would drop the kids off and pick them up when it was over.My kids would look back at me with such sad faces. I was angry at God too. Why was this happening to me? I would take my blood pressure monitor everywhere. My poor husband would try to stay up with me . I would sit in bed thumping, burning, pressure rising and heart racing till exhaustion caused my eyes to close and I feel asleep only to awaken to the same hell the morning after. I took all my weights and gym equipment and got rid of it. I cried the day my dumbbells left. I spent almost a year in this hell. Sometimes I just wanted to go to sleep and not wake up but I knew I had to. I had 7 beautiful kids and grand kids too who I wanted to watch grow. When I went to see my regular doctors am sure they cringed. Here comes the crazy lady again they must have said. One day I sat on the floor in Barnes and Noble scanning the menopause books. I picked up a book in particular called FEMALE BRAIN GONE INSANE by Mia Lunden. I scanned the pages and in the middle of the book was the story of a lady like me. She had my symptoms and she THUMPED like me too. I jumped up on my feet, ran through the isles to find my husband and said LOOK LOOK I am not crazy. I came home. I read the book in one night. I emailed Mia. My husband told me not to count on her emailing me back but maybe someone from her staff but Mia did email me. Not once but a few times. She took me to heart. She asked for my number and she even called me. Now if you look up Mia Lunden even a phone consult is a few hundred dollars. She never charged me a dime. She listened to me and was very concerned about the emotional toll this was taking on me. She told me that it was a mixture of my hormones going crazy and my thyroid. She told me that when I took the Cymbalta and Lexapro my nervous system had overloaded and my symptoms were glitches. I began to research everything she told me and if there is nervous system damage it regenerates itself. I read somewhere that if in one year you are not repaired chances are you never will be. I went back to my ENDO. I asked him to rerun my thyroid level test. He said OK but he had recently checked them. She told me to have my blood work before 8:30am and on an empty stomach. She also told me to have a thyroid ultrasound. I asked my endo for one. I waved my book at him and he chuckled but agreed. I went for my sonogram and three days later my endo called me. It seemed I needed a biopsy. I went to see a great pathologist someone recommended. The day of my biopsy came. I was not even nervous. After so much searching I would pray for a diagnosis, any diagnosis. I just wanted to know what happened to me . I laid on the table and the pathologist looked at his ultrasound monitor. Ah he said to me even before he biopsied me. I see you have Hashimoto's. Hashi who? Hashi what? I said NO I don't think so. He laughed , " of course you do" and proceeded to show me my thyroid on my sonogram. He told me " didn't your endo tell you your levels are off? is that not why he sent you for a sono?. Now I laughed and told him my self diagnosing story and how he just sent me to humor me or shut me up. My levels were always normal. He told me in all his years of practice he has encountered many women who has symptoms for years before being diagnosed. He told me a doctor could not merely treat symptoms because that would be dangerous. I asked about my burning, thumping etc. He had heard of patients who experience that too. He said about 10 percent of Hashimotos patients have odd symptoms and I was sadly one of them. I returned to my endo after my biopsy and he just looked at me and apologized. He had my blood test results. Yes I did have Hashimoto's but he could not understand why all my other test had been normal. I just smiled at him. I said " God must have answered my prayers, I needed an answer ". My levels were off the wall. He put me on Synthroid for about 6 months. I felt a bit better day by day but I had other issues. My hair started to really thin out. I read online that could also be from Synthroid. He laughed. I warned him he had laughed at me before. He now took a serious look and asked me " what I wanted to do?" I asked about Armour thyroid. He looked at me for a few minutes and then agreed. I started Armour thyroid around my 48th birthday. Its been two years now. I feel almost brand new. Now at 50 I also have menopause to deal with so my skin is drier. My hair has lost its shine. I use Rogaine to keep my strands growing but its okay. I still thump but not as often, a thump here or there I could deal with. I still get palps sometimes but they do not interfere with my day. My sweats are gone. No more burning skin or feet. Neck pain gone. Headaches gone. My muscles are always sore but I have managed to get back to exercising once again. I can actually lift weights maybe not as heavy but I am determined to get back to where I was. I never took pain killers. I do not live on antidepressants. I take a Caltrate daily. I take a Vitamin D supplement and I try to eat healthy to keep my cholesterol in check. Yes I do have some sluggish days where I just want to lie in bed but I force myself up and keep on moving. I do tired easier but I try to rest a bit when I feel worn down. I was a perfectionist. House had to be immaculate. Dishes clean. Floor mopped. Everything in order. Now sometimes the laundry hamper is full to the rim. Sometimes I skip a day or two of vacuuming. I have learned to savor life less for who knows how many days we really have on this Earth. Last year I watched my youngest daughter who was always up with the sunrise begin to tire a lot. She lost her chipper self. She seemed always sad and began to suffer from anxiety. I dragged her into her pediatrician. I asked her to check her thyroid levels. She did not find it necessary. I took her to an endo and guess what, she has Hashimoto's too. I now thank God for my experience because this way I can help her too. Now I have the knowledge. She is on Synthroid and it works well for her. She has her good and bad days. I don't care who tells you once your levels are regulated you will feel fine. That is not true. Maybe your symptoms are lessened but never erased. Now will I ever be the same? No but I strive to be the best that I can be and I do this day by day. I try to keep a positive attitude and when my daughter has those " why me ?" days I tell her things could be worse. We do not have a non treatable terminal disease so we just have to make the best of what we got. I remember lying in bed at night asking God to please let this thump go away and he did. He has restored me 90 percent to who I was and if I will never be 100, its okay. I am happy with how I am now. As for my doctors. Well one by one they apologized to me.I was NOT crazy after all. All my research led me to that pathologist who today I call my friend. Had I listened to what the medical profession recommended I would most likely be a pill popping junkie today instead I rise each day. I take my Armour. I take my vitamins. I drink my decaf and I start my day with a smile..............My advice. " Don't let anyone ever tell you there is nothing wrong with you or its all in your mind or you are crazy". You know your own body. Change doctors. Ask for tests. Research. Only YOU know what YOU feel. It gets better ladies. Never the same but better. Just hang in there...............................
AVeryPeriMom AVeryPeriMom
46-50
2 Responses Dec 6, 2012

Thanks for this. It's a confirmation of my plan to switch to Armour. I'm still on Euthyrox & on Adrenal supplements. Feeling lousy still with muscle pain, falling hair, failing energy levels mood swings despite being on Euthyrox. I live in Shanghai so waiting for my insurance application to be processed so I can go to the 1 clinic that will actually have a doc who can prescribe and supply be with Armour. Praying for positive results

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I have also experienced the thumping, brain fog, and Palpatations. I thought I was going crazy or dying. I've been experiencing it since Junior High or just before actually. I also went to all kinds of doctors and no one had a clue. They put me on anti-depressants and upped the dosages over and over until they would then put me on a different one. I thought you post was very helpful and just wanted to say thank you for sharing. I haven't met anyone else yet who had the palpatations and thumpings and brain fogs.