This is long overdue, but my computer died awhile back and I had to figure out how to rescue this picture. I was amazed at the difference in myself when I saw the two bottom pictures next to each other. A short bit of history...
I did not know that I was born with a thyroid issue. My mother was told I had thyroid problems but..."that I would out grow them!" NOT....All through my life as far as we knew I was "fine" according to blood tests. My mom did her best and brought me back to the doctors and told them something was wrong....she hardly eats anything and gains weight, plus a whole host of what I now know as hypo symptoms. The stress and weight gain left me diabetic, but the diet changes helped me get that under control.
But as you can see by the pictures I was anything but "fine." In the past six months since my total thyroidectomy due to an enlarged thyroid gland with a huge goiter and nodules that were "suspicious" and so large that they were hindering my breathing and swallowing, I have learned alot about thyroid health. It was difficult to learn while the brain is in fog mode but so necessary to research on your own and stay active in your health care. Life could have been so much different from this vantage point, but hindsight is 20/20, and God is still in control so I trust that He will continue to hold me up through this life.

In about 2000 I realized I was gaining much weight, and really tried hard to find out what was going on. The blood tests were based only on the TSH test, so they were not revealing that the thyroid was struggling to survive. 
I had developed severe allergies that left me with hives and anaphylactic shock so something had to be done. We  had just finished homeschooling two sons, very active in life, and the daily care of my mother in law with Alzheimers fell to us. I had been trained as a CNA, specializing in Alzheimers care. I had also injured my knee around that time. The pain and stress of life as well as the "main gear" in my body not operating properly all my life and now sputtering for dear life left me overwhelmed to say the least, plus Diabetes was getting worse due the stress on the body. Yes stress can cause the sugars to go up too!
 
In the 2005 photo I can... now...see the hypothyroid face...puffy, thinning eyebrows, hiding the bald spot on the top of my head with thinning hair, extra weight gain no matter how well I ate. At that point I was unable to move without pain in every joint, was dizzy and off balance, had brain fog, and could not even concentrate enough to read a paragraph. I used to listen to the Bible being read online just so that I could still find comfort from God!

My mother in law died a few years ago, and my husband and I took some time to mourn and rest, and then in Jan of  2012 I was hit by a car in a local parking lot. It was a hit and run, but I wasn't injured. In Feb 2012 my car slid on the ice in an ice storm early one morning and I ended up spinning a few times and crossing the highway to end up stuck on a pole just before the car slid down the embankment into the rocks below, with the front of the car windshield inches away from a pine tree branch coming through the window into my face. After some chiropractic care, the Chiropractor thought there might be something else going on so he sent me to my physician. 

My doctor scheduled an MRI and called me at home a few hours later and said...don't eat anything, how soon can you get to the hospital? We have an operating room ready for you. You have a gall bladder that is ready to burst with a gall stone stuck in the bile duct the size of a thumb! It was an awful surgery with a week long stay in the hospital and it really took a few months before I began to feel better. After some online research I realized that the difficulty breathing, the pain in my chest and the dizziness and balance issue as well as the pain at the top of my head were all from the gall bladder! Who knew? My arthritic type pain in the joints had dissipated after diet changes and some of the stress in my life being relieved over the years, so the pain I had before surgery was from my injured knee years ago and what I thought was "Seat Belt" trauma across my chest from the accident. The gall bladder did not issue me any warnings except a few days before the MRI. So a few months later, when I had one pain in my thyroid, I made an appointment. 

My doctor schedule another MRI and Ultrasound and swallow test. Here we go again...second surgery of the year. I did have about a month to research before the surgery to make sure this is the right course of action. The thyroid had grown too large to take much more time to try to shrink it, and from what I had read, shrinkage of the thyroid doesn't usually happen. 

The thyroid surgery went much better than the gall bladder surgery! I was preparing for the worst, but hoped for the best. The tissue was too large to get an accurate reading from a needle biopsy, but after surgery they confirmed there was no cancer! PS: if you find out someone may have thyroid cancer, please don't tell them that "if you do have cancer, it is the best cancer to get as it is treatable" It's still cancer. 

It was a difficult year, after a few stressful life situations, but I see the car accident as God's mercy! If it weren't for the accident we would not have found the gallbladder problem before it was too late, or found the thyroid problem.  I am now on Armour, a Natural Desicated Thyroid medication, 2 grains, and have my 6 month test coming up this week. No more insulin, just oral meds to help with sugars, but hoping that when my Armour med is correct I won't need those either although there are variables. It has been difficult to lose weight all my life. I am hoping to get to the appropriate Armour dose so that the gears will work properly again and the diet and exercise wisdom will once again work! I am not allowed to give up, for as long as I am on this earth, God has more in store for me! There is so much more to this life story that cannot be written in one post, so until we meet again....


 


Comments

Fran
02/19/2013 12:16

Your so beautiful Monika,,

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02/21/2013 11:20

OMG, I am going through this right now. My right side hurts sometimes when I eat too much rich food. I'm wondering if that could be my gall bladder? What were your symptoms regarding your gall bladder? I do have Hashimoto's just got the letter on it from my dr. and am seeing her next week. I cannot lose weight no matter what. I just keep gaining, it's terrible and have lost half of my hair. I so can relate to everything you have written, thanks for this blog! You look so much better! Wow, I still look like your before pic...Take Care, Deb

Reply
Monika
02/22/2013 10:18

It sounds like it could be your gall bladder. You might check with your doctor. I think I remember them doing a blood test first to check some enzyme levels and then the MRI and then the Ultrasound. All of this, gall bladder, diabetes, and more are connected to the endocrine system and if the thyroid is not treated properly can contribute to these underlying conditions. I am not a doctor, just a person that has suffered with this long enough, and want to help others recognize the connection. Keep me updated Deb ((hugs))

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