Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thyroid Battery Part 3 - A Day at the Endocrinologist Office

The doctor I was assigned to (after leaving the ER with heart palpitations and blood pressure spikes) took all the same blood panels they took in the ER. I told her that my levels have never been normal, explaining my history, again.

"We need a base-line to go off of now that you are out of the ER."

Sigh. "Fine."

Upon the follow-up visit, I was told my thyroid levels were actually "low", and she increased my current Synthroid dosage. (I only have a good 2.5 cm left of the thyroid I was born with. I wasn't surprised. It still bothered me, however, that the ER lab had said all was well.)

"I understand that low levels can cause hair loss, brain "fog", and feeling exhausted, but what about the heart palps?"

"It is possible for hypo (low) and hyper (high) symptoms to occur at the same time when levels are off. Let's try the new dose and see how you do."

I hoped she was right, but the heart pounding loudly in my ears and waking me up at night was more extreme than the last bout I had gone through 10 years ago. True, I was 10 years older and could expect some differences with general age, but this stuff was scaring the heck out me, no less.

I waited. As of January 2013, the hair was still clogging the drain, my heart was still randomly skipping beats all over the place, and my face started breaking out while the rest of me was as dry as the Sahara. Despite living in the balmy Southwest portion of Florida, I also found myself shivering cold. It was not uncommon to see me walking about with a heavy sweatshirt and wool hat...even in the grocery store.  It was horrible though, because once I finally bundled up enough to where I was warm, the heart would start pounding like mad. Adding the ongoing cycles of sleep-disturbance from this whole ordeal, I sincerely began to feel I was going insane.

The assigned physician said that it could be early menopause, but she would order an ultra-sound of my thyroid to confirm. After more testing, and money, the results came back from her radiologist saying they saw no growths or anomalies in the thyroid. The doctor then suggested I go see a cardiac specialist, and contacted a local cardiac group to look at me. Grrrrreat. More money.  Off to the cardiologists I went. After another useless EKG that showed nothing, and wearing a holster to report all "events" for a month, I was ordered to have an echocardiogram. (Translation: they didn't know what was wrong from what they got.)

Meanwhile, Life-Line Screening sent me a "friendly reminder" that it had been awhile since they last saw me.
I decided to go. Once again, thank goodness I did. 

More to come.

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