Houston, we have circulation! (most of the time)

Written by The Thyroid Chronicles on October 21, 2009 – 9:42 pm -

I waddled into the clinic in a tracksuit, looking like a bag of ass and feeling even worse.  The inefficiency at the clinic causes a two-hour wait for most appointments and the parking is only on the street, so I had to keep shuffling out to my car to move it.  I discovered that one needs to be able to walk properly in order to jaywalk successfully.  In spite of said mental note, I jaywalked three separate times, slightly terrified with Frogger graphics playing in my mind as I once again forgot I was incapable of jogging and hurriedly dragged my left leg along behind me while trying to stumble across the street.

My fave moment was when I stepped on the scale and the nurse said “128″.  I said wistfully, “I weighed 117.5 last week.”  She glanced around and said, “Maybe we can find you another scale…” “Nope, that won’t be necessary, that one was accurate, I’m just having a bit of a situation at the moment.”  I could hear the frowns in my own voice.  I felt like I was cropdusting the clinic with those sad little Zoloft faces (which are ridiculously cute, aren’t they?).


The med student was very sweet and did not let her jaw drop like most peeps do when I discussed how I’d fOked with the thyroid.  I asked why peeps can cure themselves of cancer but I can’t stop making antibodies against my own thyroid.  She told me the usual thing, that once you have thyroid disease you have to be medicated for the rest of your life and we are lucky now to have the medicine, because people used to die from hypothyroidism.  I nodded sagely, a little scurred since I thought I was perhaps going to expire just the day before.  Regardless of the outcome of my experiment, the underlying problem still remained: I needed medicine, but could not get it anywhere.  I actually managed to get a bottle a few weeks ago (no, I won’t share) but wasn’t taking it because I wanted to do my experiment.  Here’s my rationale: if I took the full bottle, then ran out, then could not refill it, then I would be SOL on my deathbed.  If I saved the bottle In Case Of Emergency, however, I could do the experiment and start taking the pizzizzles again if my body completely broke down, as it did, which would buy me some time to figure out next steps.  Anywho, I showed the student my bottle and she said, incredulously, “But you have refills left.”  I was having trouble getting through here.  I tried to explain again that the sky could be raining Armour prescriptions but there are no PILLZ to fill them.  I tried to describe to her how it was backordered, like the Hermes Birkin bag was back in the day.

Armour backordered like the Birkin of yoreArmour backordered like the Birkin of yore

Unfort, going to the clinic at that particular stage in my illness was not very helpful.  One needs to be on consistent medication for six weeks before blood tests are done in order to know if one needs their levels adjusted, so I will be having the blood work when the time is nigh.  If I were to have taken blood tests that day, all they would’ve proven was I definitely needed medication, stat.  The clinic will give me a prescription, just as soon as I find a pharmacy that carries Armour.  If I wouldn’t have gone in, however, I reckon someone would have dragged me there anyway, so it was just best to go with the flow and get some professional corroboration, if not a little sympathy.

I have a bottle of 60mg pills but I take 75mg/day, so I am supposed to take 1 1/4 of them each day.  Armour changed the formulation of the binding, which I’ve heard is part of the supply problem, so even with a pill cutter, the pills spray apart like I hit them with a hammer.  Thus, I take 1 1/2 pills one day, 1 1/2 the next, 1 the next, which is not really accurate.  I’m almost a little too pOmped, so I think I’m going to start taking only 1 pill, 60mgs/day, just to string them along.  After they run out, I will likely have to find a compounding pharmacy and pay $60/month to have my prescription formulated.  I’ve heard of a medication called Nature-throid but I haven’t found any pharmacy that carries it.  I shall not be taking the hideous Synthroid, as I looked and felt only slightly better while taking that than I did last week on nothing at all.  Perhaps I can contract with a local meat packer to get their unused raw thyoid glands.  fOk!

I do not want to have to eat these raw out of cows
I do not want to have to eat these raw out of cows

Incidentally, I went back to the clinic today and weighed myself on that same scale: 120.  Within one week, I went from 117.5 to 128 and nine days after that I weighed 120.  My left side has circulation most of the time though I still can’t sleep on it.  I am walking normally and only occasionally feel the need to shake my left arm and leg like Rain Man.  Sometimes everything looks like it’s made out of satin or candy and I have to take a seat rather quickly, which makes me wonder if I had some sort of stroke along the way.  My throat has been closing up a lot so I make a lot of faces, which is really no different from any other time.  I do a lot of sleeping, so much so that it is more accurately termed “nightly hibernation” – up to 12 hours/day.  I feel bad for my body and am trying to be really nice to it.  I think the Vidacell stuff I’m taking has actually been quite helpful, as I have bounced back rather quickly.  I am also relieved to look cherubic as opposed to balloon-like.  Thankfully, no one had to see 128, since I was sequestered in my apartment wearing the same tracksuit like the visage of death for those few days.

Thyroid, how you vex me.  But I will still experiment, because that is what I do.

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Lesson learned: do not fOk with the thyroid

Written by The Thyroid Chronicles on October 11, 2009 – 9:04 pm -

The downfall of my overseas trip turned out to be for the best, cuz if this had happened to me while I was in the Caucasus, I’d be SOL fo sho.

I have been having trouble getting my prescription filled for Armour thyroid medicine in the correct dosage.  Armour only comes in a few different dosages, which need to be cut up to make the correct combination.  As my usual combination was unavailable, I called my endocrinologist to ask for a different combination, but her nurse said that she would not write me another prescription until I came in for an appointment.  This is fair, as I haven’t been to see her in two years and haven’t had my levels checked in that time.  As you may surmise, two years is how long it’s been since I’ve had decent health insurance.  Since I left CBS, I’ve had a Blue Cross plan that should be considered criminal – I pay $91/month for what I am told now told is called “catastrophic” insurance, because coverage does not kick in until I’ve paid $3500 out of pocket in a year.    What’s catastrophic is that I am not eligible to be seen at a free clinic, because I am technically “insured”.  To see my endocrinologist and have the requisite blood tests would be, at minimum, $1000, which is just a little out of my price range at the mo.  I was in a lather about the injustice of the health care system in this country, until I saw this article from Natural News and got a whole different issue to get worked up about: http://www.naturalnews.com/027073_thyroid_the_FDA_health.html.  Armour’s website says there is a problem with obtaining source material: http://www.armourthyroid.com/.  I believed this, but am a conspiracy theorist at heart, so after I read the NN article, the light went on.  OF COURSE the FDA would try to shut down production on the natural medication, as they are in the pocket of the makers of a drug that was grandfathered in as “safe” without long-term testing.  So instead of being outraged that I was being denied the medication I needed because I couldn’t afford the health care, I turned to being outraged that my truly effective natural medicine was being blacklisted to make way for a chemical mess.

Which is when I decided to fOk the man and go rogue.

People cure themselves of cancer with vegetables, for chrissakes, why can’t I cure myself of a little thyroid condition?  When I ran out of pizzizzles, I didn’t sweat it.  I said, “That’s cool, I’m gonna beat this thing – I’m a freaking survivor.”  I envisioned myself like Jenny McCarthy when she told the world she cured her son of Autism with proper diet.  I was gonna cure my thyroid disease.  I read up on a nutritional supplement called Vidacell, which has pages of testimonials written by people cured of various ailments: http://www.thehealthiestpeople.com/.  I started taking it twice a day.  I’ve been religiously drinking a shake loaded with healthful components each day, including iodine, cinnamon, cayenne, spinach, Greek yogurt, nutritional yeast, and maca root, just to name some of the ingredients.  I lessened my drinking considerably.  I STOPPED VISITING THE BURRITO WAGON.

I really thought it was going to work.  I spoke brusquely of unmedicated Hashimoto’s sufferers falling into comas, but how this was not going to happen to me.  I was going to become a Super-Powered Human Being.  My moods were getting a little wonky, but surely that would even out when the Vidacell had time to work its magic.  And my hair, falling out and landing on the plates of my dinner companions?  Sure to pass.  My eyes, dry and scratchy as when I went without sunglasses in the Middle East?  My skin, once so soft but now almost unbearably dry to the touch?  The complete and utter exhaustion, which kept me in bed for up to twelve hours per day and made me feel as if I was taking each step with Hulk Hogan on piggyback?  Of niggling consequence.  What greater body to experiment with than one’s own?

That is, until the unthinkable happened.  Out of all the symptoms I’d had, only one was insurmountable.  Only one had provided the impetus several years ago to fire three doctors in an effort to find one who would finally switch me from Synthroid to Armour.

Getting fat.

Being chubbed out through no fault of my own gave me the outrage and self-pity to get on Armour in the first place.  After all, if you’re bald and look like a cancer patient, everyone pities you; if you’re fat, surely it’s your own fat fault, right?  But it’s been so long since I’d been fat that I thought I could never be fat again.

Tuesday morning, I noticed I was waddling.  I finally got on the scale Thursday.  I’d gained 5 pounds, practically overnight.  I hadn’t even seen it coming.  I went camping this weekend.  Friday night, sleeping was impossible; if I laid on my shoulder for a minute, my whole arm would go Novocaine numb because my circulation had become so poor.  Saturday morning I was shuffling and slurring my speech – the coma cometh.  When I bend my arm, the skin twists and looks like it will crack like a natural casing hotdog.  I have literally become a sausage bursting its casing, like so much “dead meat”.  I am not digesting or eliminating anything, I am just stagnant – I guess I had that in common with the campsite toilet.    My eyes are bulging and hurt to turn.  My face is puffy and blends directly into my shoulders.  I have no neck to speak of and no mobility in it.  I envy owls.  Typing is hard, especially since I can’t feel my fingertips.  Making a fist is impossible, so I guess it’s as good a time as any to make me angry.  Everything I consume seems to be sitting in my throat.  I am taking shallow breaths, because there is no room for my lungs to inflate.  I look rather like my friend Ani right before she had her twins, so I got on the scale again this morning – I’ve gained 6 pounds since Thursday, a tidy sum of 11 pounds in just under a week.

Apparently, while I was thinking I was not being terribly affected by not taking the Armour, there was actually still enough  in my system for me to get by, but when it was gone, it was G.O.N.E. gone.  Like fo real gone.  Like “car stopped on the side of the road cuz it’s got no gas” gone.  Thankfully, I still have my mental faculties and will be calling a more helpful clinic when they open tomorrow at 8:30am.  To string out the metaphor further, I will be running waddling to the gas station with my little red gas can.

No gas = no thyroid

Fill 'er up!

If anyone asks if I have a name for my impending bundle of joy, I shall tell them Hashimoto’s Chocolate Starfish, or: How I Learned To Embrace Big Brother and Take My Freaking Medicine.

I am such a tool.

Posted in Armour, Thyroid, Travel | No Comments »

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