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: http://thyroid.about.com/cs/basics_starthere/a/thyroid101.htm
"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.
...to be continued