This morning I've managed to sleep until 6.30. Approximately 2-3 ½ hours longer than most mornings recently, so a good six hours or so. I’ve been wakening in the darkest pre-gloom no-man’s-land with a heart rate like that of a Grand National racehorse, running for its life and facing falling off a cliff at every terrifying obstacle made for sport by the people who like a good spectacle, Ben-Hur-style. And needing a poo.
That’s how it feels to this mere mortal – that the gods are playing. And my mind races over the causes of each body tripwire, flipped by their sheer enormity, in ever-changing levels of fearfulness. Is it my bowels? Suddenly springing into hyperactive life? Is that because I’ve got bowel cancer? Or that I've discovered Keffir and a really good probiotic to take as well, to try and fix my leaky gut damaged by years of addiction to gluten? Addiction created by intolerance that has developed into an allergy?
Or is my heart racing so early in the morning as a result of too much rT3, or too much T4 or too little T3, therefore too little cortisol because the adrenals don’t have enough of the thyroid stuff to make it? Or too little cortisol from adrenals so exhausted they want to retire to some kindly part of this crowded little island of ours and just be looked-after by warm friends and cordial neighbours and, God forbid, interested, informed and caring doctors? Tough s***t, if the latter.
Is the anxiety gripping my guts in an iron fist from any of the above? Or from too little/too much T4, T3 or English Breakfast Tea drunk too late at night?
So I get up and have a poo. Three times, on average. And take the ¼ grain of the ¾ grains of NDT that I take with 75mcg of Levo, and hope there is enough T3 in that smidgen to give the adrenals sufficient for them to drag themselves into action and replace the mad-dash adrenaline with cortisol, and wake my poor, fat, beleaguered body like a normal person’s would. Slowly, kindly and circadianly.
And then there’s the poo itself. Is it like a pile of pebbles? Or stringy? Does it have fibres, or slime? Does it look like any of those lovely pictures as suggested by the poop aficionados, here on this infinite stream of consciousness in search of answers after being failed time and again by medics? Does it bob, float or sink, is it brown, yellow or pink (I’m a slave to metre – there is no pink, thank god!)?
And then there are the thoughts, flinging themselves around like leaves in a hurricane. My brain surprises me with its inventiveness in the memories it can dredge up just to torment. I went back to bed early yesterday afternoon to try and rest (a rare event) and one came floating up into consciousness like a turd in a swimming pool. I was about eleven, a fat, grubby, strange little girl in school at a time when no-one recognised the signs of profound abuse, and just disliked the child instead.
The music teacher, Mr Palin (he’ll be dead by now, the old tw**) had for some reason I cannot fathom, put an open bottle of varnish remover on top of the grand piano in the music room, where one of my classmates was regaling the class with a mini concert (the riff from Moonlight Sonata – the detail from my mischievous brain can be incredible). How it happened I cannot recall – it’s eclipsed by the consequences, but I somehow managed to knock over the bottle sending its contents pooling across the lid of the piano, closed to muffle the sound against our tender young ears in so closed a confine.
As he dashed at the puddle with clumps of paper towels he roared, “You clumsy great elephant!” in front of the whole class and then sniggered at his own drollery. I remember how cold and silent were the toilets outside the classroom where I hid for hours until cajoled out by my best friend – a pretty young girl called Dougal after the dog from The Magic Roundabout, because her straight blonde hair was held in long, thick bunches either side of her head. Dougal was a maverick, but being pretty and slim, clean and motherless, always got away with absolute murder. Unlike her stooge.
Where the hell did that memory come from? And why? Wherever or why-ever, it was followed by a stream of its bedfellows which finally drove me from my own, weeping over an event that took place a lifetime ago.
So, have I addressed my adrenals? Apart from swearing at them? Nooo. Can’t think straight. Or take in info. I JUST WANT A CLEVER, CARING, CAPABLE DOCTOR TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO. Is that too much to ask?
Well, er, yes, as it happens. There aren’t any. At least, any that you can access after years of paying tax into our National Health Service, because there aren’t enough doctors and too much power given to Big Pharma. Which, like every other aspect of our existence that has turned US into commodities for Big Business to use as cash cattle and has the NHS and its doctors by the b*lls. Or the t**s, depending on gender. So doctors aren’t allowed to think, care or innovate (straight-jacketed further by Evidence Based Practice, the GMC or, for us Thyroidies, the Endocrine Cabal who act like a three-line whip on any of their medical members who dare to try. Or hound them to death if they dare to defy).
I suspect I have a modicum of adrenal exhaustion, even though the medical Gestapo decry its existence, but there’s b - all I can do about it just now.
Because just now all I can think, fret and worry about, retch, weep and pray to that Great Black Hole of Silence that God has become, is that my lovely OH has prostate cancer and after being bumped five times, he’s going in to the Christie Hospital to have his prostate gland cut out on Tuesday.
Clear Margins. Sounds like a beautiful little enclave in some Floridian idyll on the edge of the Everglades, where the lucky go to retire and the not-so-lucky dream about.
Clear Margins is the phrase that lurks behind the ball of terror that sits just under my ribcage. It means that the expert surgeon (who had performed over 2000 of these operations at two years ago, when we were nudged into Active Surveillance), who works at the 9th best hospital in the world’s top 30 cancer treatment centres (these stats become very important lifelines) has got it all out. With clear margins.
We won’t know that for three months. But those words mean ‘breathe, heal and put it behind you’.
Maybe that’s behind the insomnia and the pooing and the nightmarish rising of memories like rotting effluvium. So my adrenals are stretched, along with my nerves, my heart and my guts, which feel as though they are being sucked out through a small hole ripped open just below my sternum. They might need some support but I’m b**g***d if I know what to take. All I can manage right now is the B12 injections, the folate and a sporadic taking of the other supplementary stuff. And chocolate, cake and … well, chocolate.
Sigh. Actually, anyone try those little bars of Lindt praline? Nicer than the big, flat bars, or the balls. Something to do with the ratio of praline to chocolate I think.
Cold, now. Going for a cuppa and a rummage in the fridge.