After having the Little Fella (thyroid) nuked back in February - necessary to shut down the war between the body's attacking auto-antibodies and the thyroid - we were in waiting mode - waiting for the final verdict that the Little Fella was dead or essentially non-functioning as a result of the radiation treatment. That final verdict came about 7 weeks ago and thus started my new, daily, life-long regimen of synthetic thyroid hormone replacement ~ levothyroxine. For fellow hypo-thyroid folks, this is ho-hum stuff. For me, it's new territory. I've always had a nicely humming metabolism so there have been many fears and unknowns encountered along the way.
The morning set-up
I have now been on levothyroxine for almost 7 weeks. Doc had said to expect to really start noticing an improvement in how I feel at the 6 - 8 week mark. She was right on target. I felt like a 'switch' finally 'flipped' right around 5 weeks - I started to feel a flicker of 'good' and catch a glimpse what 'normal' is. When a person is in a constant state of various levels of crumminess for so long, she forgets what 'normal and good' really feels like. It's a nice feeling.
Sweet nectar of life
So today, I am two weeks post-banana bread mixing break-through and the improvement has continued. I am seeing the potential of being able to rebuild the withered and lost strength and stamina for the trail running and biking we so love but also the strength and stamina needed for life in general. With the active Graves, I found myself withdrawing socially, to a great extent, because I just didn't have the strength and energy to invest in relationships, which are so precious and invaluable. It is exciting to come full-circle and return to being "me" again. It has been so long.
Despite feeling the remarkable improvement, I am not "there" yet - it will take time. We essentially had to "tear the house" down to the foundation in order to re-build a new and better structure. I wonder, too, if the foundation got a little chunked up in the process. The rebuilding process will need to proceed slowly and not go "buck wild" and try to regain strength and fitness too quickly. I've learned (sort of) the virtue of patience through this process - a necessarily slow and gradual one - exercising that virtue a little longer won't hurt. I have to admit, though, that running and riding SO slowly and somewhat feebly is a bit frustrating but it can't be helped and it IS getting better and will continue to get better. So incredibly THANKFUL and INCREDIBLY BLESSED....... Our bodies are certainly fearfully and wonderfully made!
My doc (whom I started with in Dec 2011) is having me put off blood work for another 2 to 4 weeks and maybe a bit longer if I continue to experience improvement and feel good. Normally, folks go in at 6 to 8 weeks after starting a replacement regimen or a change in dosage. Thyroid is my doc's gig - not only is she a physician who deals ONLY with thyroid related disease, she is an endocrinology professor, and is involved in active research related to thyroid disease. She knows her stuff and is experienced and confident in her treatment protocol. I am confident, as well, as long as I continue to feel good, that is! :-)
Initially, I am/was expecting a dosage adjustment which is normal. But if things keep perking along in a positive manner, maybe not yet. I am carrying around a few pounds of extra 'fluff and puff' which doesn't thrill me and unsavory images of morphing into a puffed pastry or the Pillsbury Dough Girl have flashed through my mind. In actuality, it has had me FREAKING out because I've never had to worry about extra, uncontrollable 'fluff' and seeing numbers on the scale NEVER seen before in my life has been unsettling. After being assured this is part of the normal process, I've subsequently calmed down about it and am hoping that once the hormone levels stabilize and I am able to start rebuilding the muscle that was cannibalized by the Graves, some of that 'fluff and puff' will start to melt away. Fingers crossed...... :-)
I am sensing a spark just beneath the surface - something not felt in a VERY long time. Steve and I are excited to have, at the very least, parked at the Comeback trailhead - soon to be soiling our shoes on the actual trail - the best trail ever!
A BIG THANK YOU for all of your care, concern, encouragement, and from several of you - wise and personal expertise - it has calmed fears, helped keep me going, and has been a priceless treasure to US. You guys are awesome. Thanks, too, for enduring this LONG post! Here's to a return to true Happy Trailing, hopefully just on the horizon......
Steve will do a post on our weekend fun in a few days......
Happy Trails to all this week!