Monday, July 5, 2010

July 5, 2010

Wow~ well anyway, so as you know I started on Meridia on July 1st. So today is July 5th. I feel great! As you probably know I have been super worried about the side effects.

The first day I had a little dry mouth and felt a little "spacey".

Day 2, I felt great but still wanted to eat. Still dealt with a very mild dry mouth and quite tired. Drinking a LOT which is good. So the dry mouth is actually a blessing as I have always needed to drink more.

Day 3 I was very tired but felt good. Noticed my weight was the same as the starting day, so thinking it would probably just take time to set in.

Yesterday (Day 4) I noticed that my constipation has come back with a vengeance. I finally was able to go, but went out and bought a ton of prunes, veggies and fruits, not to mention fiber bars and cranberry juice. I have always had consitpation since my thyroidectomy, and only recently had it under control with stool softeners, until I started this medication, of which constipation is also a side effect. But I was aware of this, so now I have to probably start my Metamucil again along with the prunes and stool softeners. Pretty sad too, considering when I weighed first thing in the morning I was DOWN 2.5 LBS!!! Woo! It is starting!!!

Today is day 5. I am super pleased to only have the constipation issues and mild dry mouth, compared to some who have terrible side effects from Meridia. This morning I lost yet another .5lb. So in 5 days I have lost 3 lbs. WOW! That is great!!! All the reviews I have read are averaging about 10 lbs a month, so I might just hit that!

I have noticed yesterday and today as well, that I have an upset stomache when I eat so perhaps I am finally feeling that 'full feeling' only, it is after I eat, not during or before. SO I will just have to cut my portions in half. I really want to stay at 1200 calories, but I am lucky to eat 600 - 800 calories a day. They say that isn't good for you, but when you aren't hungry, it is hard to force yourself to eat.

Hubby and I are going on our honeymoon in December so I hope to lose at least 50 lbs by then. That would be WONDERFUL!!!

Anyway, so far so good on the Meridia. Like I said I was really concerned about taking it because of the deadly side effects, but I am taking my pulse regularly and will monitor my blood pressure often. So far pulse is staying right around 72 to 80. Perfect! Don't feel any palpitations or heart racing, but since I started with low blood pressure, Meridia may just raise mine to a "normal" level. Hopefully I won't have to deal with the side effects of hypertension or tachycardia anytime soon. I am just glad I don't have the horrid headaches that others have dealt with using Meridia! I am truly blessed~

Will keep you updated! Wheeee, I am finally losing weight! 8 lbs to date (5 lbs in 6 weeks before and 3 lbs in 5 days now) Love it!!! :) Back to the gym tomorrow. Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July!!!

Oh and I found FitDay today. Am excited to get started with that. :)

to be continued...

July 1, 2010 Update

Well it has been about a month since my last post. A lot has happened. First and foremost, my mammogram came back normal!!! It's hard to know what normal is when you are fibrocystic and have a ton of lumps. But hey, that is great news!!!

Of course I had to wait a long time before going to see Dr. F again. But I finally saw him a few days ago. He said that my levels are now on the high side. So he is now dropping me back down to 200mcg of the Synthroid. He said I am doing well otherwise, and advised me to begin taking Meridia. After all the research, I was quite unsure if taking it would be beneficial to me. But in the past 6 weeks since seeing him last, I have only lost 5 lbs and that is with eating right and exercising 4-5 days a week for a minimum of an hour. AND I am finally able to sleep. I feel great on the 225 Synthroid, but if he says the safest way to do this is to lower it to 200, then that is fine with me. Gosh I have worked so hard to lose weight and everyone I talk to, with thyroid issues all tell me it is nearly impossible to lose when you are hypothyroid.

SO I got my (very expensive 139.99/mo) perscription today and took it as soon as I got home. The pharmacist talked with me about it upon my request, because it still makes me nervous after my dealings with the Phentermine that totally screwed me up. He said my biggest concerns on this drug should be raised blood pressure (which I am not worried about, due to normally having low numbers such as 96/64), insominia, fatigue (yes, I was like, ok, so I will be tired but unable to sleep... gotcha. lol and also minor complications such as headaches, constipation (which I already have DAILY due to being hypo) and dizzy spells (I would prefer not to be dizzy, thank you).

I haven't told anyone I am taking this, because I don't want to sound weak for even CONSIDERING taking another weight loss pill, even though my dr highly recommended it. My BMI as of today WITH the 5 lb weight loss (according to the Mayo Clinic BMI online calculator) is 38.1. Holy obese city!!! Not good at all. So I need to lose a minimum of 47 lbs to get into the "overweight" range. That sounds obtainable. So my first short term range is officially going to be 50 lbs. (will most definitely break that down into two 25 lb increments.

SO, today, July 1, I have officially begun a very new "help" for my weight issue. I will continue to research, eat right, work out, and try to keep my stress levels to a minimum. From what I am dealing with right now, eating and working out alone, I am averaging about 1lb of weight loss per week. Which is GREAT, hey, I will take it. Better than gaining right? Supposidly, people on Meridia average about a 5-10% weight loss when taking the 10mg like I am. I am going to take a leap here and say that is for a 3 month dosage. I don't know for sure, will have to keep researching, but I am going to leave it at that for now just to be on the safe side. SO if that is the case, in 3 months I should lose around 20 lbs or so. So on the average, I am going up a half-pound per week, for a weekly weight loss of 1.5 lbs from the Meridia. (again just sticking with this to be on the low side for my sanity's sake. If I lose more than that, I will be thrilled. If I don't, well I won't be disappointed.)

So the way I see it (correct me if I am wrong), if I am already losing 1 lb a week average, then the 1.5 lbs a week (average) from Meridia, would it be safe to say I could lose up to 2.5 lbs a week with Meridia, Eating right and Exercising???

Maybe I am wrong, but that would be GREAT! So 2.5lbs X 12 weeks is around 30 lbs. 10 lbs a month. I will take that!!! (although if you remember, I lost 60 lbs in 4 months doing it by myself last year). So who knows where this new journey will take me but you can bet I will be updating here more often, (probably weekly) now that I should actually be seeing some changes. YAY!!!

I measured and weighed when I began working out. I have since been weighed, but in the morning, I will measure and see if any changes have been made there, plus I will have a Meridia starting point on both weight and measurement.

I can't wait to see where I am at, come October 1, 2010 when my 3 month supply runs out. (pending of course I don't have any of the blood pressure issues, etc.

;) To be continued...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Update June 1, 2010

I have my mamogram set for June 7, 2010. I am nervous yet excited to get it done. I have that fibroycystic condition (glad they don't call it disease anymore) and it is quite uncomfortable and I have yet again found several lumps. I am not concerned about them, but then again, any time you find a lump, it makes you quite nervous. So I will be glad to get this painful proceedure over with. No, normally mamos aren't that painful. But with fibroycystic condition, it is a VERY painful proceedure.

Anyway, still trucking along with my 225mcg Synthroid. Have started eating healthy, and have actually since started a blog on my weight, and what my goals are. myjourney4heath is where it can be found. So far not many changes can be felt. I am still quite tired all the time, but the breathing has really started to improve. I don't get out of breath like I used to just walking across the room when I was on the T3. So glad for that.

Hitting a sinking spell, so I am off to take a nap. Will update more later on both. <3 id="gwProxy" type="hidden">

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Update Monday May 10, 2010

Well I have officially been on 225mcg Synthroid for almost 2 weeks now (which is . Not sure if I was expecting a miracle, but I am unable to stay asleep more than 3-4 hours at a time. NOT SAYING it is the uppage in doseage by any means. But my energy levels are very very very low if not simply non-existant. Most likely because I can't sleep very well, so my body isn't resting as it should. I am still on the 30mg prevacid. I have had to call Dr. P to find out what I could and couldn't eat, and he said to just start from scratch. Try everything. If it makes me feel bad or hurts my stomache then mark that down for a non-eating/drinking item. So far I have had to cross off milk and chocolate. A friend came over last night and asked me if I was lactose intolerant.. I said no, but she said with milk and chocolate being triggers, you may have developed an intolerance. Hmm, never thought about that! Maybe I will check that the next time I go to the dr and see.

My hubby and I are planning on taking a cruise soon. I am having a fit because I don't want to be on this gorgeous multi-country trip and be exhausted, and looking/feeling terrible. :( Luckily I only have 6 weeks left before I re-lab and go back to Dr. F. for an update. But IF he decides I can be on Meridia, then I want to start it about 3-4 months before the cruise so I can loose a few lbs before going. I know that sounds bad. But you know from reading past blogs that I really have a problem with weight loss pills due to my bad experience with phenteramine. But now I am actually anxious to start it, if it will truly give me the weight loss boost I need!

When will I get my energy back and my sleep habits on a normal track. :( Is it so hard to want to feel normal? I have a great attitude around my family and friends, very positive. But here I can vent and say I am truly scared of not being normal again. I know I have to give this doctor time to work with my levels and such, and give time for the new meds/doseages to set in, but I am impatient for normalcy nowdays.

Sorry to ramble on... be continued.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Peptic Ulcer Update

Well I called my doctor (Dr P) today to find out what the correct items were that I could and could not eat, because I have been getting quite frustrated with all the opposing information found online and given to me by friends.

His simple response was stay away from the 4 things that can thin your blood: Caffine, Cigarettes, Asprin and Alcohol. In reference to my eating, he told me to simply experiment. If I eat something that upsets my stomache, then write it down and don't eat that again. If I eat something that doesn't hurt my stomache, then write it down on my "can eat" list.

Wow, could it be any easier via explanation? I guess the next thing to figure out is, if I eat a meal (like tonight I made a roast with veggies, and packets of powder gravy sauce stuff) and after I eat my tummy hurts, how do I narrow it down to what in that specific meal was the buggar that ended up hurting my stomache?

Hey, at least I have a starting point, right?

On to the next... be continued

Update Wednesday May 5, 2010

Wow, I got up this morning, and felt awake, alive and ready to face the world! I went to bed around 3 and got up at 6:30. I just couldn't lay there any longer. So I got up and got dressed for the gym. I put on a roast for dinner so it could cook slowly all day long. I got out the door and went to the grocery store for a few odds and ends, went to the gas station and came back home. I decided it was time to eat a little something if I was going to go to the gym. I obviously didn't listen. I had chicken and half cup of cooked pasta (the grilled chicken was already cooked so why not finish it up).

Within 30 minutes of eating, I was absolutely exhausted. So I unfortunately laid down and woke up around 2. :( My whole day wasted. I am absolutely disgusted. Was it the pasta? Was it the chicken? WHAT DREW MY ENERGY OUT OF ME?!

;( Very disappointing. I guess I can start again tomorrow. Tonight I am going to take a sleeping pill quite early and maybe it will keep me asleep for the night so I can wake up tired but ready to go. :(

Dang... I had so much to do today...

Update Tuesday May 4, 2010

Well, I have been on 225 Synthroid now for almost a week. No irregular signs or symptoms other than the terrible sweating. But that could just as easily be from the weight gain. I am still not going to the gym. But I intend on going tomorrow to start up again, now that I have this new dosage in my system. Oh and this tired thing... when will I ever not be tired all the time? I wake up refreshed and ready to go, whether I have slept 3 hours or 6, or 10 for that matter, and within a few hours I am ready to hibernate. I am sick to death of being so darn tired... ugh! But again, that could be not only my thyroid levels being so low, but also the weight gain could have a big impact. :(

Anyway, I spoke with my RN friend today. She has a list of what I can and cannot eat for the peptic ulcer. I can't believe the things I cannot eat. CHICKEN? What is up with that? That is all I have been eating since I found out was chicken and rice. So much for that. but I can eat a lot of berries, so that is good because I love fruits and veggies. In fact I used to be vegetarian, until I got married to my ex and then I became a carnivore, but only for certain meats and not very often. I am highly considering going back to that lifestyle, it sure made me feel energetic and healthy and not so heavy in the mid-section.

She also recommended kelp. Preferrably raw, since vitamins are actually quite dangerous for you. She said they are over processed and if you take any vitamin on any given day, and put it on a pan in the oven, they will melt into black globs of goo. YUCK! no wonder I have stopped taking suppliments! Anyway, she told me that the kelp will help lower my thyroid numbers on labs. That her "naturalist" friend is almost off her Synthroid completely. However, I did ask her if her friend had a thyroid, and she said she does. I had to remind her I don't have one at all, so I may never be able to go off the med completely, but I would love to lower my numbers and am willing to try anything.

So, kelp it is. She is going to bring the list of foods over, tomorrow hopefully, as well as the info on the Kelp. I am excited to get started. :)

Update Wednesday April 28, 2010

I put in a call to Dr. F as requested, and let him know my labs had been done the day before. The receptionist took a message and told me they would call me back as soon as my results got to their office.

Within 2 hours (which seemed like 20) Dr. F's nurse called me. She told me that Dr. F wanted to push my Synthroid up to 225 and stay away from the Meridia for now until we can get my numbers to a more normal level. I agreed and she said she would call in the 225 right then so I could start it the next morning.

I have never been over 200 on Synthroid before and my only concern in my mind is that if you get higher than you need to be, your bones can become brittle and you have a much higher risk for osteoporosis.

I went the next morning and got the 225, and started it that day. So here we go, April 29, 2010, let's see what 225 does to my body! ugh

Update Tuesday April 27, 2010

Well I saw Dr. F today. He was incredible. I immediately felt comfortable when he walked into the room. I was very concerned about a particular thing which was bad on my part, but as soon as I saw him, I knew my concerns were unfounded.

Well Dr. F asked me some questions, and actually LISTENED! It was great! He did mention that it might be a good idea for me to go on Meridia. But I told him my concerns of any further weight pills, due to my experience with Phenteramine. He told me that Phen was very dangerous and that Meridia wasn't like that. Same family, yes, but much safer. Then he said, we needed to get updated labs done first, and IF my numbers were normal, he would call in some Meridia and try that for only 3 months, that it would give me a good jump start. He also said he wanted to check my sugar levels too, to make sure that I wasn't becoming diabetic. I was totally fine with that.

I went and got my labs done as soon as I left Dr F's office. I verified with the lab tech what was being checked and she said thyroid and sugars. I felt great at this point, knowing that this doctor might just be the one that will be able to help me. ;) I looked forward to the results the next day and to find out what Dr. F would end up doing.

I went home that night and researched Meridia. It seems to work on a lot of people, no doubt. But as soon as people stop taking it, they gain the weight back, and then some. I also read that people have headaches so bad they have to quit. And that it is very pricey and is not covered by insurance. So out of 2000 some odd reviews, those were the general concensus. I decided not to stress about it, and just see what happened the next day with my lab results. be continued

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Update Sunday April 25, 2010

I forgot to mention that my friend (the nurse), called me Friday and she had asked her ER doctor, and a few other doctors, and they highly recommend Dr. F as an endo. I immediately called to set an appointment, because I knew it would be quite some time before I could get in with him. I get to see him on TUESDAY April 27, 2010! Dang... here I go getting my hopes up again, but at least I didn't find this doctor on the internet. *sigh*

Wish me luck, I am at my wits end. All this writing may not seem like a lot, but struggling with this thyroid problem for so many years has really been a pain... can't my TSH levels just be normal? Can't I just work out and lose weight like other women? I could understand the way I feel and the way I look if I just sat down and never did anything. But I am working my butt off, and not getting anywhere, and could it just be me? Could all these doctors really not know what to do to help??? I am willing to travel at this point, just to go to a world renowned endo...

I just want to feel NORMAL!!!

Why is my health such a battle???

Will update soon...

A Little History... well, not SO little... Part 10

I had a complete and utter fit on the way home. My dreams had been dashed, from one simple statement from this doctor who knew me no more than 10 minutes. Who is he to tell me that I will never change? That I have zero chance of ever getting thin again? Is he freaking kidding me? Who the hell does that man think he is? He didn't even have any labs to go by! At least I got a few more prescriptions for my normal Synthroid. I can always use that, right?

I got very mad.

I got very sad.

I had my pity party.

I swore off doctors saying I lost all that weight before, I can do it again, and I can find herbal remedies or something, I will FIX MYSELF DAMNIT!

Good Lord if my steering wheel could talk...

... and then I got strong.

I decided that I could not give up. My health was on the line here. I have a family that needs me, and needs for me to be around a long, long time.

So I started researching, AGAIN. I started researching other big cities for a good Endo. I have a friend who is a wonderful nurse, so I asked her if she could recommend anyone and she said she would get back to me on that.

On Wednesday, April 21, 2010 I was feeling just fine. Had a very busy day, and didn't eat much at all, but I did mess up by having several pieces of chocolate from the freezer throughout the day. At night, before bed, I started feeling a little nauseous. I brushed it off for a few hours. When I stood up and went to go to bed, I told my husband I was going to go throw up, which is something I never do. I went into the bathroom, and nothing came out but I felt really yucky really fast. I laid down and couldn't lay comfortably, my tummy was upset. I woke up an hour later and had projectile vomiting, as well as water (from the other end, sorry). I have NO idea where that came from! I was fine all day, and the flu begins with several days of achy joints, right?

Needless to say I had a very rough night and by Friday I was still feeling horrid, having to sleep on my hands and knees because laying any other way was painful in my upper abdomen. My husband was getting mad at me because I didn't want to go to the doctor for something stupid like that, and we had a very busy weekend ahead of us. I don't have TIME to be sick much less go to the darn doctor!

Well, when I woke up in a heavy sweat on Saturday morning and I still felt terrible, I took it upon myself to call my husbands family doctor, Dr. P, and go in to satisfy him, and to also see if I could feel better because Saturday was too busy and I couldn't lay in bed all day feeling awful!

SO I show up at Dr. P's office and I end up leaving with a twigs and berries diet, and a wonderful new Peptic Ulcer. Ok, so can anything ELSE happen? Why is this body such a battle! Where in the world did THAT come from!? I am quite frustrated now because everything I do eat, I can't eat. But I was vegitarian 2o years ago, maybe I can go back to that lifestyle. I did like it, but I need to learn it all over again. *sigh* What's next?

to be continued... we are finally at the present!

A Little History... well, not SO little... Part 9

We're getting closer to the current, but there's a few more details about the recent history.

Well I started my 5mcg of Liothyronine that Thursday. On Friday, I decided, since I am now on the right dose, and my body will be "allowed" to lose weight now, I am going to go join a gym. So I researched the local gyms and found one I liked. I went that very day and joined, and had a great 3 hour workout! Felt good to push myself, too. I measured myself, and weighed in (at home) for a great starting point to measure goals by.

I went daily, and worked out a minimum of 1 hour and a max of 3. I didn't take a day off for 2 weeks. Finally my friends told me I needed to take at least one day off every now and then or I would burn out. I agreed. Plus I noticed during the 2nd week, that I was getting winded quite quickly. As time passed, I noticed simply walking to the phone, or standing up folding laundry, I would get out of breath. By the 8th time someone asked me if I was running when I was on the phone (and I wasn't) I realized I must be having some sort of side effect to the T3. So, I went to the computer and read up on the side effects and sure enough, difficulty breathing is a definite side effect, as well as the mild "pulsating" headaches I was having.

I went back to Dr. M and told him about this and he said I needed to be on the 5mcg for a minimum of 4 weeks before he could do labs to have a true result. So I left, not knowing any more than I did when I went in, only carrying with me, orders for the labs in 2 weeks.

2 weeks came and went. So did 3 weeks. I was delaying having my labs done, but why? I think I just didn't want Dr. M to send me away for yet another 6 weeks, saying everything would be ok. My workouts had started going from 7 days a week upwards of 3 hours per workout, to 4-5 days a week and maybe an hour and hour 1/2, mostly because I couldn't breathe properly and my heart would pound terribly during a workout and I was afraid of keeling over right there in the middle of the gym! My reps on the strength machines were becoming increasingly harder too and I hated that.

March 23, 2010 I went to yet a new doctor, a true endocronologist, Dr. S thinking wow, this will be great! I can just use Dr. M for my primary care doctor and use Dr. S for my endo, right? (Dr. M was an O.D but had high feedback online from endo patients) I will finally have the answers I long for!!! I mean after all, I am not looking to be anorexic, or even 98 lbs again and I am most definitely not wanting any stupid weight loss pill... I just want to feel NORMAL for goodness sakes and maybe my exercise efforts pay off, well, at least a little! I measured on Sunday and weighed in and I have gained and I have increased by at least an inch. I was fed up and I was hoping that this doctor could at least give me some answers.

After once again giving my life history to him, and having him *scarcastic tone here* "draw out my thyroid and show me how it works" Dr. S bluntly told me that T3 doesn't work, none of his patients are on it, so stop taking it. Then he said something very interesting to me...

He said, and I quote, "Some people are simply destined to be overweight. You are one of those people. Don't go chasing mirages of ever being thing, because it won't happen. You need to live your life the way you are. But don't stop doing what you are doing because working out won't work for you in the physical sense, but it is working wonders for your cardiovascular system and keeping you from getting diabetes".


to be continued (in tears)...

A Little History... well, not SO little... Part 8

I started the Liothyronine 25mcg on a Tuesday. I remember it, because it was only a few months ago. Thursday night, I started having mild headaches that lasted. Friday all day I had this headache that wasn't TOO bad, but it would not go away even with Tylenol or IB. I noticed I was sweating quite a bit, but just figured it was part of the process. I went to bed with a headache Friday night, and my heart was starting to pound, so much that it shook the bed.

Saturday morning, I woke up in a huge panic. It felt like a wrecking ball was hitting my head over, and over, and over. It was just about as bad as after my surgery! The sheets were soaked. I was shaking like a leaf. I could hardly breathe, and I stunk! OMG I have never stunk like that, even after a long run or a hard workout! Sweat? Yes, but stink?!? EEWW! I went to the bathroom and noticed my face was beet red. I went out to see my husband and he got quite concerned that I needed to call the doctor. I did, but had to leave a message, so I called the pharmacy.

The pharmacist (Mr. T) said it sounded like an overdose and he asked me what the doseage was. I told him that it was 25mcg. He said I needed to call the doctors office right away because it should have been 5mcg, and he pulled the prescription and told me he could see how it could have been misconstrued for 25mcg. I panicked, because on Sunday I was supposed to start taking 2 a day. What would have happened?

So I persisted, and finally got the doctors nurse to call me back and she said stop taking that immediately, and confirmed it was supposed to be 5mcg not 25. She said she would call in the 5mcg but she wanted me to wait until Thursday to start taking 1 a day, and then in one week, start taking 2 for a total of 10mcg.

I was more than happy to stop taking what I was taking but the headaches didn't subside completely until around Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, and at that point they were mild, and I could handle that no problem, after what I had just experienced.

to be continued (things calm down... a little...)...

A Little History... well, not SO little... Part 7

Ok. So I have ruined my metabolism, and my hard work of losing all the weight, by blindly taking a weight loss pill from Dr. J. My fault. But I tell you one thing, I will NEVER take a new medicine like that again, without researching the heck out of it. We are very lucky these days to have the internet. What amazing amounts of information out there for all of us to read to make sure what we take, is right for us BEFORE we take it! Gosh this is so very important.

I let everything settle down, and did not go back to any doctor concerning my thyroid again for some time. In the mean time, I did go to my gyno (sorry lol) and had myself tested for every std under the sun. All negative! Yippee!

In October 2009, I went to a new doctor. Dr. M I finally decided I have to get things straightened out, because now, not only can I lose, but I am GAINING! ARGH! I mean it isn't like I am sitting around eating bon bons all day! My first visit with Dr. M was basically informational, and he had me go get some labs done to check my T3/T4 levels. He went through the whole process of drawing out my thyroid and explaining what T3 ad T4's do and just how my thyroid works. I told him of my weight concern, and he told me that right now where I stand, my body is probably needing some T3, in order to ALLOW myself to lose weight.

The following week, I went and had my labs done, after fasting for 10-12 hours. When I went back in a few weeks later, Dr. M told me that he would recommend that I go on Liothyronine (T3) to allow my body to lose weight. He said my numbers were very high (2.76 when the normal should be around .02) and so along with the T3, he will most likely lower my synthroid, but he wanted this to settle in first, and then I would come back for more labs and see where we stood then. I researched the heck out of this medicine and it is sooo controversial... I really had to think long and hard about this one, but when he explained what it did and how it would help, I gave in and said OK. So I went home and started taking the Liothyronine in addition to the Synthroid.

to be continued (the plot thickens)...

A Little History... well, not SO little... Part 6


I decided since I was doing so well with my weight loss (I hadn't really noticed how well I was doing until September 2008), that I would go to a new doctor and give up on Dr. K, who had herself even become frustrated, keeping me on the 200 mcg, which as she said was the highest level of Synthroid out there, even though she said I do tend to feel better at the higher end of normal.

So I set an appointment with Dr. J for the following week. That day came, and I was rather excited to have a fresh start with a new doctor, who may be able to help finalize all my hard work and post surgery issues. Dr. J I found is a VERY VERY money hungry guy. He is great, don't get me wrong, but THAT DAY ALONE, I Had almost 2000 dollars in charges! He ran every test under the sun! I swear, he ran a hart stress test, had a heart ultrasound, lung xray, mri, breathing tests, everything you could think of! I was astonished, but all of them came back great, and no problems found. Well, I guess with results like that, it is ok to pay money to know you are truly healthy. So he too, pointed my problems towards the thyroid and my remaining weight. So I told him that I had just lost 60 lbs all by myself, and was so proud. He then smiled, tapped me on the knee, and said, "Let me help you with that". I had never ever taken weight loss pills from a doctor, so I thought to myself, hey, I have worked my butt off losing the first 60, what can it hurt to have a little help? So my greed stepped in, and I said OK as he handed me the prescription and told me to lower my dose of Synthroid BACK down to 175.

Oh My Goodness. 6 days later, I hadn't slept at all. I hadn't eaten and my breath stunk bad constantly. SURE I lost 5.5 lbs in less than a week! But I was doing nothing but shaking, with heavy heart palpatations, constant headaches, and GOING 300 miles per hour and people around me were starting to say... um, what in the world is WRONG with you! I went in to Dr. J's office that Monday (the 6th day) and told him something was wrong and I couldn't do this medicine anymore. (it was Phentermine 37.5mg) It was killing me. He told me to just keep at it and everything would level out soon enough. (talk about pushing that drug!). I went back home and researched it. Holy cow, this stuff is hurting people! I talked with several nurses from different places, as well as pharmacists, and they all agree it isn't the best stuff to take and that it can most definitely be dangerous, so please be careful if you are taking it. My doctor told me I had to come in regularly for heart tests, and I asked his nurse why he said that, and she bluntly told me because Phentermine can cause serious heart problems. That really made me angry, because why would he prescribe a medicine that could injure my heart much less give me such terrible headaches?

So I immediately stopped taking it. And I stopped going to Dr. J, except to get refills (from phone calls) for my synthroid until I could find another doctor that may be able to pull all the loose ends together.

Since this point, and to date, I have not been able to lose a pound. I attribute it to not only thyroid problems, but to the fact that Phentermine completely stopped my metabolism at least for a while. (which from what I was reading, it will stop a LOT of things, even if you are able to stay on it, including it's effectiveness).

To save arguements, these are my opinions, and my experiences alone. Some people may have better (and worse) experiences with the medicines I have mentioned thus far, and may mention in the future.

to be continued...

A Little History... well, not SO little... Part 5

The REAL Battle Begins...

Ok, so as of this far, it is noted that I started having thyroid problems beginning with the birth of my last baby in 2000. I became aware of the actual "thyroid problem" in May 2006. Had it removed August 2006.

So I make my follow up visit(s as in PLURAL, as in MANY visits) with Dr. C (surgeon). Each time, I have my blood drawn. Each day I am choking down 2400mg of calcium via these hugemongous white chalky pills. (gotta love it!) Dr. C told me the surgery went well and soon enough I would be able to squeak out some sounds, as through a scope my vocal cords are not damaged, but highly enflamed from the envasive surgery. That was good news. Sure enough 2 weeks from that visit, I was able to whisper (and squeak as Dr. C called it) some audible sounds, noises. Within another week, I started to actually sound like I had laryngitis. (to follow up, I was able to speak in a calm low voice only by 8 weeks out, but yelling or talking loudly was NOT going to happen). My levels maintain for about the first 2 weeks to a month. Then wham, they start plummeting. Then Dr. C puts me on Levothyroxine (Levoxyl). I was on that for about 6 weeks, when I went in yet again for further blood testing. The lab tech told me I would have to have my blood drawn every 6 weeks until they get my levels correct now that my body is void of a diseased thyroid.

6 weeks out, I went back for another lab series, and they found with me feeling not so good, and the numbers not looking right, that Levoxyl was not working for me. So they switched me to Synthroid. I began at 125 mcg daily. 6 weeks out, they put me at 175 mcg, because the numbers needed to be leveled off again. On my last visit, Dr. C put me at 200mcg and said I can start seeing my local physician again (Dr. K) because he feels I am stable enough at this point for her to maintain, without me driving all the way to Nashville. YAY!!!

So... why is the weight still here? Dr. C told me I would be able to lose weight easier once we got the silly thyroid out, that wasn't even working. Why was my hair REALLY falling out now?

Ok, so I go back to Dr. K and tell her of the situation. by this point, I had been on 200mcg for about 8 weeks (she didn't have an opening, and frankly, I was sick of being poked at this point). She told me after reading fresh labs done that day, that I really needed to go down to 175 mcg again because my numbers were on the high end of normal. So, here we go again. I stayed on 175, and my hair continued to clog the shower, and fill my brush, and my nails continued to peel... what the heck!?

HOWEVER. One good thing did come of that, I completely lost my appetite. And I walked every single day. I ate what, a half a cup of cottage cheese, some fruit, maybe a small chicken breast (baked) and some celerey each day? No, I know that isn't good, but I wasn't going to eat, when I didn't feel like it! So I went with it. Well holy smokes, from April 1st to September 18, 2008, I had lost 60 lbs! I was EXCTATIC! By this point, I was fed up with going in to Dr. K, because she wasn't helping my skin and hair and nails issues, and the basic feeling bad all over (not as bad as before the surgery but again my goal was to just 'feel normal' and have some energy.) Oh trust me, losing 60 lbs in 5 months did give me some energy, but I was still tired, and not sleeping more than 2-3 hours a night.

to be continued (the plot thickens)...

A Little History... well, not SO little... Part 4

I arrive to the hospital at 5AM for my surgery. They were running a little behind so I had to sit in the waiting room for over an hour. I was already in panic mode, so this waiting didn't help. When they finally called my name, I was literally in the elevator getting ready to leave, because I couldn't stand it anymore.

They took me back and had me change into one of those very flattering and stylish gowns. They had me put my hair up in a darling matching bonnet (lol) and started running IV lines and taking my stats. Blood pressure was through the ROOF (go figure). Then Dr. C came in and reminded me about possibly losing my voice, if not partially, then fully, due to the location of my vocal chords. He also told me the surgery would last about 2 hours, etc etc (can't remember much more than that). Finally I was left alone. I stayed on that stupid cot for what seemed like hours realizing more that I was fixing to literally let someone cut my throat! OMG what in the world was I doing!? When I heard them come in to get me, I turned over and faced the wall, and told them the surgery wasn't going to happen, I couldn't handle it, that I was scared, that I didn't...

The next thing I know, I am seeing blurry and my throat was sore, but my head was POUNDING. My 2 hour surgery had lasted just over FIVE hours. I vaguely remember hearing the doctor talking to the nurses telling them it was the worst thyroid he had ever seen (yeah, um, thanks doc). He was reminding them to check the drainage tube and to force drain it every 30 minutes to an hour and that he would be back later. My head was POUNDING!

It was just the nurse and I in the room now and I opened my mouth to let her know my head was excruciatingly painful, but nothing came out! I thought to myself, omg he was right, I will never speak, sing or laugh out loud again! Thru blurred eyes and a painful head, I motioned for the nurse with my hand and pointed at my head and made a fist symbol (ie, my head is pounding) and she said, "oh your head must be hurting quite badly right about now". She tried to give me a tablet, but it was not going to go down (um duh after throat surgery?) So she injected something into my IV and I went to sleep, for a while.

I kept waking up with severe migranes (I never have migranes but these were terrible) and her routine was to put me out again and again since I couldn't swallow or speak. She was really nice, and would often cool me off with a cool washcloth. The forced dranage wasn't fun at all, but it had to be done.

Long story a little short, I finally got to go home a few days later. Healing at home is so much nicer, in my book. The doctor had come back in before I left and instructed me to take 2400mg of calcium per day and to come back in and see him in a week, and that the stitches were desolvable.

To be continued (the real battle begins)...

A Little History... well, not SO little... Part 3

SO. I go to Vanderbilt YET AGAIN the following day to speak with a new doctor and possibly have an ultrasound. I went to several buildings (Vanderbilt is huge!) looking for this particular doctor. They took me in for the ultrasound and the doctor walked in and told me we weren't going to have an ultrasound today. He then proceeded to show me the scans of my thyroid and showed me how thick and black they were, and were almost completely cold on the scans. He said this is pretty much a determining factor for thyroid cancer, and that my thyroid needed to be removed. My mind went blank from this point on, and I couldn't tell you exactly what else was said on this day.

I went home, alone, and quite upset. I would dare tell my husband at the time, because he tends to enjoy running his mouth and telling everyone he can think of, all of my business. So I went a few months, deciding just what to do, and how to handle this, with nobody in my life knowing what was going on. Heck, I was fat and depressed anyway, so what would be different, right?

I eventually made an appointment with Dr. K and discussed everything with her. She told me to get in there immediately and have the surgery. She called Dr. C and got my appointment set up for the very next week, which was now the end of July.

I met with Dr. C, and he went over everything with me and did a workup on me for pre-surgery. I thought he was very nice, but was so nervous, I don't think I asked everything that I should have. (my MISTAKE #3 ~ always write down questions for your doctor as you think of them, before your appointment, on a notepad so they all stay together, and take them with you, so you don't forget what you need to ask!).

After this it was a whirlwind. My surgery was scheduled with Dr. C for the beginning of August, 2006. I went home, swallowed hard, and told my ex husband what was going on. He wasn't even mad that I had hid it from him. He proceeded to get on the phone with his freakin ex wife and tell her all about my "sad situation". I hate him for that. It is nobodys business what I am going through, much less his EX WIFE's??? I will leave him out of the rest of this because it only makes me angry. Guess that is one reason he is my EX, right?

to be continued (the surgery)...

A Little History... well, not SO little... Part 2

I arrive the next day at Vanderbilt, quite unsure of what is going to happen. Immediately after drawing some labs, the doctors in NMI (Nuclear Medicine Imaging) begin the RAI process (Radioactive Iodine treatment). I was given a pill, which I believe was for the uptake.

Following the RAI pill, I had to go sit in a room for several hours. When they finally called me back in, I was placed in a room by myself, away from everyone and then an IV was begun and the guy said it contained the radiotracer (ok, so now I am a remote control gps, right? lol). I think this was the funniest part of everything that happened thus far, because they told me to stay away from security posts at airports. I was like, mmmkkaaay? They said precautions like this are necessary because of the amount of radiation that will be emanating from my neck could expose not only friends and family to radiation, but will most likely also alert security and set off alarms, especially in the airport. What was I now, a robot? lol So I took their advice and stayed away from the airports and at least one arms length from my friends and family for the next 24-48 hours following RAI scan and uptake.

There were a lot of windows and doctors on well-lit machines on the other side of one of the walls. They told me I would be in there for 30 minutes to an hour. As soon as these funky fluids started running into my veins, I noticed I kept getting colder in my arm, and in general, and I heard over the speaker that there was a blanket in there for me if I felt cold. Then a man came in completely covered from head to toe and had me lay on a metal table with my head back, and my neck extended, and he then covered me up. He told me they would be scanning my thyroid for hot/cold spots, as well as nodules/masses/goiters, from several different angles, to see exactly what was going on.

I came back the next morning and had to sit in a chair, with this probe touching my neck for a little while as they took more images. Once that painless proceedure was done, I was told to go sit in another room for a bit as they went over the scans and test results because they found "mostly cold" the day before (ok, so is this a good thing or a bad thing??).

I was told to come back the next day to talk to a new doctor and possibly have an ultrasound. (ok, nah, this isn't unnerving, is it?) I was then placed on a low iodine diet and reminded to flush twice as my body would be ridding itself of all the radioactive stuff. FUN, I mean what doesn't have sodium in it!?

to be continued (the results)...

A Little History... well, not SO little... Part 1

My weight had always been very little issue to me. Even through my previous pregnancies and deliveries, I was able to take the post-pregnancy weight off, in no time. Trust me, this was no feat, since I have had everything from a c-section to natural childbirth. December 2000, I gave birth to a precious little baby. Everything seemed normal, however, I had put on about 50 lbs during the pregnancy. I knew from past experiences, that it shouldn't take too long before the weight once again dropped and I was able to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight, which ranged from 98 on a good day to 118 on a normal day to a max of 135 on a bad day. Yes, that is a wide range, but for me, only being 5-2 1/2, that was pretty ok in my book.

The months rolled by, and I got very busy with the children, and with my precious newborn, and never realized that I wasn't losing the weight so easily. Time passed, and soon my newborn was 5 years old. I was a HOUSE. I looked in the mirror one day and realized that I had gained more than I ever had in my life! I started walking and working my ass off to get back to my normal self. By Jan 2006, I had well broken 200 lbs. I was absolutely upset with everything that was going on in my life, and with my body. I didn't even know who I was anymore. I was absolutely exhausted ALL the time, my appetite was up and down, my mood was... well, depressed. I had given up on things that I loved, I had become a bitter, grumpy mom and wife, and just didn't care anymore. When May 2006 arrived, and I had reached an all time high of 238 (for Goodness sake almost 3o pounds gained in FOUR MONTHS even with walking and trying to eat right???).

I was a cheerleader! I was a runner! I was a gymnast! I was very active!!! I WAS A MOM!!! I couldn't LIVE like this anymore! Something had to give... but what?

Other than being as big as a house, and feeling exhausted, with no energy, and a little depression on the side, I was perfectly fine. I hate going to doctors, and I didn't want to be one of those that went to the doctor because I wanted weight pills, but I HAD to do something. I was dying here!

I called my doctor at the time, Dr. K. (I will only use initals for medical professionals). She is an internal medicine doctor, and I just used her because I didn't have a regular family doctor for myself (my MISTAKE #1 ~ always always always have a regular physician that you can go to, so they can keep a history on any ailments you may have over the years...). Dr. K asked me what was wrong, and I told her about the humongous weight gain over the past 6 years, and how I felt all the time, and how fatigued I was, and oh how I fought with insomnia, and would mainly get 2-3 hours of sleep a day, (no wonder I was tired!), and how my skin was getting bad, my hair was falling out, my nails were peeling and brittle...

Dr. K ran a series of tests on me and surprisingly enough I was fit as a fiddle (besides being OBESE mind you). She gave me the lecture on sleep habits and requested that I go do a sleep study (my MISTAKE #2 ~ if your doctor suggests something, think about it and research it, but don't sluff the idea off like I did!). She then told me she had just one more test to run, and ran a thyroid test on me, course I had to come back the next morning for this one, as I had to fast first. ThYrOiD? What the heck is a thyroid???

exerpt from:

"Your thyroid is a small bowtie or butterfly-shaped gland, located in your neck, wrapped around the windpipe, behind and below the Adam's Apple area. The thyroid produces several hormones, of which two are key: triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). These hormones help oxygen get into cells, and make your thyroid the master gland of metabolism."

So the next day, after fasting for 10-12 hours, I came in and had my thyroid test done. It was a simple blood test, so it wasn't really invasive at all. Dr. K had the results in a very short period of time as she wanted them returned to her immediately. She came into the room and told me that my thyroid was out of wack, and that she was going to send me to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for a Nuclear Medicine exam because she doesn't handle these cases. I heard her on the phone with someone at VUMC, telling them I needed to get in right away. She had my appointment set for the following Tuesday, and she let me know not to cancel or miss this appointment because it was quite important and that I had to initiate a low iodine diet until my appointment. This was my very first indication that there might be something more serious going on, and that I better take her seriously. be continued