Thursday, December 15, 2011

I'm Not Dead Yet!

I must apologize to you, my friends, for making the last post sound like I am barely clinging to this mortal coil.  I got a few emails asking if I was all right and what in the world was wrong with me?!

My own mother even called to ask, and I talk to her nearly every day.  She thought maybe I was suffering with some kind of illness that I had decided not to disclose.

I'm okay -- I really am.  I am just . . . tired.  And I feel too old for my actual age.  Does that make any sense?

It's like that scene from Monty Python, where they say "You! Old woman!"  And the actor replies, "I'm only 37!"

Exactly.  I'm only 35, but sometimes I feel like an old woman.  Much older than I should be feeling, anyway.

(And if you are unfamiliar with Monty Python, I'm sorry but I don't have a better analogy.  Get thee some Python.)

I have yet to make it into my doctor for a checkup and blood work (not stalling, she was out of the country), but I strongly suspect a thyroid problem.  I know Rob hates when I consult Dr. Google,  but that was actually my last resort.  I have also been reading some very interesting books, written by real doctors, about thyroid disease.

I don't know if I have true, permanent hypothyroidism, or if I am more in a state of "thyroid fatigue", but either way it's doing a number on me and I need to address it.

In reading about thyroid irregularities, I came across those risk factor/symptom checklists, and although I knew about my family history of hypothyroidism, I was still surprised to see how many I was checking off on each list.

My energy levels are through the floor, and even though I have six children, none of them are routinely waking during the night anymore (thank you, Baby!).  There is no reason for me to feel like, at any point during the day, I could just lie down and sleep for about three hours.  I feel that way more times than not.

My hair has stopped growing, which is more upsetting to me than I thought it would be.  I've always had a lot of hair.  So much hair, in fact, that I've never been one to worry about it.  But now that it's not coming back in, I'm sad about it.  Does that make me vain?  Most likely.

I cannot lose weight, despite all my best efforts.  And I am not fudging about the best efforts.  I have been exercising more than I've ever exercised in my life -- every single day, in fact.  So much so that a 2.5-3 mile jog on the treadmill at 5 miles an hour and a steady 3% incline is a lighter workout for me.  That might not sound like a big deal to a real runner, but for my body that is really something.

I've also tracked all my calories, which has always worked in getting rid of the weight in the past, but not this time.  I haven't lost a pound in four months and I feel like I'm killing myself.

And if anyone out there ever asks me what NFP is good for, besides being able to be at ease with my conscience, I can tell them that all the effort has been worth it just for the past few months of information that I've learned from my own body.

Maybe this is oversharing, and you are welcome to stop reading now, but that temperature reading and ovulation tracking has saved me so much trouble and guess work.

One of the symptoms that can be indicative of thyroid dysfunction is very low body temperature.  I can go into my doctor with the information that my basal body temperature is abnormally low.  I'm talking practically reptilian.   My temps are usually right around 97 degrees, and they have been lower.

My metabolism isn't just sluggish, it is at an absolute standstill.  I am fighting against my body.

I can also tell her that I have stopped ovulating, which after two babies back to back might seem like a nice little break, but it's not normal.  It tells me that my hormones are really out of whack.

Now what to do?  Well, blood work and a physical now that my doctor is back.  But even if all my levels come back in the normal range, I still know how I feel and what's going on in my body and it's not good.

So what else?  That's where all the changes come in.  

I honestly feel like the last two babies threw my system into a tailspin.  I'm not grousing, and I'd do it all again for those little girls, but being pregnant for 18 out of the last 22 months has done a number on me. I am not bouncing back this time like I have after the other children, and my body is telling me so.

I have started working with a nutritionist to help me create a diet that will be thyroid supportive.  There are certain foods out there that will help to repair your thyroid -- or at least alleviate some symptoms.  I didn't know enough to create the diet on my own, so I found someone who does.

She is a really great woman, and she has designed a lovely meal plan for me.  She is supportive and helpful without being overbearing, and I am learning so much about how absolutely mistaken I've been about what my body needs right now.

I'm not going to lie -- it's not easy.  I'm not living on twigs and grass and honey, but neither am I having the afternoon cup of coffee and cookie in which I used to indulge.  And I am about ready to slap my granny for a piece of chocolate cake.

(Not really, I love my granny.  But I have felt close to inflicting bodily injury a couple times this week.)

I've only been doing this for a week, and I'm still sorting out a lot of these changes -- especially my extreme emotional attachment to my particular comfort foods.   I've been berating myself for so long for not having enough self control or will power, and at the same time I've been denying myself so many good things.

So there you have it; the answer to the big mystery!  I told you it wasn't really that bad.

Do you even want to hear updates on my progress?  It might make me more accountable, but it may also bore you to tears.  It's a toss up, so I guess I'll just see how I feel about it as I move forward.


  1. I'm sorry. I know EXACTLY how you feel. And I mean EXACTLY. My hair has thinned tremendously and in fact a few years ago (around 37) starting falling out. I had actual bald patches. I.Can.Not.Lose.Weight. I've tried everything. I even tried Nutrisystem (nasty food, didn't work). In fact with all my dieting and exercising since last January, I've gained 15 pounds. I hope they find out what's going on with you. They say my thyroid numbers are fine and that I'm "over 40" and just have to deal with all this. :(

  2. I'm so glad you've taken steps to get this taken care of. You're in my prayers that your metabolism will work out these problems.

  3. Funny. I found the same reason to be glad for NFP. I was able to catch something waaay earlier than I would have otherwise.

    I'm sorry to hear you are struggling so much right now. Go ahead and share your progress. We won't mind. Together we'll look forward to the day you can say (a la Monty Python),"and now for something completely different..."

  4. Very glad that you are gonna hang around for a little longer ;)
    And hooray for getting help with taking care of yourself. I could take a lesson from you on the nutrition thing- I know my daily afternoon crash is due in part to what I eat/drink each day.
    I also agree (from experience) that back-to-back babies definitely trips the system.

    In the meantime of figuring out what is going on, I've got lots of prayers up for you!
    If you are willing to share, then yes updates please!
    PS- Thanks for the coccyx advice :)

  5. Ugh. So ugh. I also had the last two babies within 14 months so I feel ya. It is a major, MAJOR toll-taker on the body. That's just one more reason to be grateful for a system of NFP that actually works! Cece just turned two and, look at us, no baby yet! I knew that I wasn't healthy after those last two. I didnt have thyroid problems (thank God) and even I can tell you that you are 100% right, it's hard on your body to do that. I would also do it again for the two I have but there's a real price to pay. I'll be praying that this gets quickly resolved!

  6. So glad you are seeking out answers. Hopefully you'll get things worked out and then you can eat the occasional piece of chocolate cake. You can't live your life the way you want to the way things are now, so I'm glad you are working on it. Also, I wish I had your motivation to exercise! Maybe I'll be able to kick it in gear in the new year or something. And, finally, so glad I had my "stair step" babies when I was much younger! (and I"m only 32 and saying that!)

  7. Now I'm wondering about my own thyroid. I have always been exhausted, have been losing lots of hair (more than I normally do) and my cycle still hasn't returnd. I chalked it all up to having a baby - but maybe I should get a physical soon. It's so hard to know what "normal" is when your normal changes each year and each baby. Good luck figuring it all out, and YES I would love updates!

  8. Good luck sweetie, sorry to hear of your issues. I know exactly how you feel and have been through tons of blood work myself. It's more common then we think and it makes you feel just horrible when your own body rebels against you even when you think you are doing everything you can. Hang in there, be persistent at the doctor's office and keep up the awesome work. You will find the key to bouncing back, just give it time and keep all of us updated - it's always a good place to find out you are not alone!


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