Today I have been diagnosed hypothyroid. So, what’s with the ‘lucky man’? I hear you cry. Well there are ten reasons:
Because my partner became extremely ill with hypothyroidism a few years ago, I have done a lot of reading and feel that I have learned a huge amount about the subject. So my story starts with me already having a fair understanding.
I have four consecutive, progressively increasing TSH tests (and at least one fT4 to corroborate). Starting slightly elevated and ending well above the local range (5.75 against 4.94). And was encouraged to ask for these tests by my partner.
My doctor knows my partner’s history and is, actually, a decent person.
I have not been sent away to wait until my TSH goes above 10. I don’t have to despair as symptoms increase without being recognised either by me or by the doctors. I don’t have to undergo months or years of accumulating damage from lack of thyroid hormone. I will get an ultrasound soon and another thyroid test in a month (to include antibodies)
I have been taking B12 for several months so do not have to worry about low B12. I also have some tablets to help with the nausea from my throat (and they are pretty effective).
Six to Ten
I have a partner who understands so deeply it would be impossible to hope for more.
How lucky can anyone be in terms of getting diagnosed and commencing treatment? Hard to get many more things right, really, in this, the real world.
What can anyone else glean from this story? My suggestions are:
o Get tested early. Get tested often. It was the clear upward trend that was ultimately compelling.
o Recognise subtle symptoms such as slight reduction in ability to focus eyes.
o Remember that it really is possible to get diagnosed before TSH goes above 10.
o Get a wonderful partner.
And yes, I am all too well aware of the stories which start off like this but don’t progress smoothly. Just have to see if a rabbit’s foot, crossed fingers, touching wood and appropriate juxtaposition of black cats and ladders work.
And no, no-one is lucky to be hypothyroid.
[Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Lucky Man. I know I would be spending the rest of the day trying to remember where the quote came from if someone else posts a line I recognise.]