I haven't written a post in one week. It wasn't fibro that took me down - it was my misbehavin' thyroid gland. Did you know as many as 75% of fibromites also have thyroid imbalances? I don't know about you but I think that is an incredibly high proportion of people presenting with a hormonal imbalance under the umbrella of fibromyalgia.
Typically, my thyroid has been stable with the exception of two post-partum outbursts. One thing I've learned about living with a moody gland is, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. This is where my doc and I disagree. My doctor believes if a patient is stable on a medication, the patient should subsequently cut back to the smallest dosage possible. Obviously, she is a proponent of the less is more school of thought. Makes sense to me - NOT. I need two swollen hands to count the number of times my doctor has tweaked my meds to disastrous results.
Seriously, my medications outnumber the Tupperware containers in the kitchen cupboard. My heart rate is high and Inderal (a beta-blocker)was prescribed. I'm still agitated but at least the Inderal is resting comfortably between the Divalproex and Synthroid.
I won't lie...having fibromyalgia in addition to a thyroid disorder is not a pretty pairing. An underactive thyroid can mimic the symptoms of fibromyalgia. While one is endocrine in nature and the other is a musculoskeletal problem, they are two separate medical issues. Symptoms often associated with too little thyroid hormone, such as fatigue, low energy, body aches and pains are also symptoms of fibromyalgia. If one doesn't take you down, the other is quite content to provide back-up. No good-cop/bad cop scenario here. Fortunately, a wayward thyroid is easily treatable. Fibromyalgia? Not so much.
If you are dealing with these two health thieves simultaneously, it is imperative to get your hormonal issues under control. The fibro can then be treated on a symptomatic basis.
My thyroid was stable for several years. A blood test in March of this year showed a mildly abnormal level of T3 (one of the thyroid hormones). My doctor decided to treat it and altered my medications. Big mistake. I went from feeling healthy (other than the fibro) to having major depression, weakness and exhaustion in less than two weeks. My speech slowed and I had difficulty forming coherent sentences. I systematically shut down. My husband took me to my doctor as I was not capable of thinking or speaking for myself. I wasn't the only one left speechless when my doctor saw the near catatonic state I was in. I can only imagine what she must have been thinking to herself - how many different ways can you say holy f**k! What have I done?
My husband filled my prescription as I walked slowly to the car. I watched the traffic on the street with suicidal thoughts consuming my brain. If I'd had enough strength I would have walked into the stream of cars whizzing past. Despite the depression, a part of me saw the black humour in not being fast enough to hurl myself in front of a speeding car.
I recovered slowly but my thyroid levels have not yet returned to normal. I'm still struggling to find equilibrium. My doctor continues to tinker with my medications trying to find the right balance; the Holy Grail of hormones.
Last week, I narrowly missed another thyroid-crash as the result of further tweaking. Luckily for me I have a wise guardian angel named Chuck. He intervened and caught me in mid-fall. The hardest part for me to accept is that none of this should have happened at all. My doctor should have let well enough alone. Shamefully, she was the direct cause of my needless suffering not once, but twice.
And the little thyroid that could continues to do anything it wants.