The past few months I have been really down. Emotionally, financially, and physically. My dog’s medical bills are weighing on me. I feel constant stress over it. I picked up another job so now I have three 10-12 hour work days to pay for her care. I’m exhausted. I justified that exhaustion to my new work schedule combined with physical therapy. Trying to recover from two injuries has been exhausting. On the weekends, all I do is sleep. I don’t just sleep in late. I get up early to give the dog her insulin and time outside. I eat breakfast, then I go back to sleep around 8 or 9 am. I sometimes sleep until 1, 2, or 3 pm on Saturdays and still feel tired. Then I walk downstairs, see my messy house and feel depressed because I slept the day away instead of cleaning it up. Again, I chalked this all up to my busy schedule and I even threw in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) because the weather was cold, damp, rainy, and the gray skies did nothing to help me feel perky.
I gained about 15 pounds which I blamed on my broken foot and not being able to walk for over 3 months. I cried over commercials, books, songs, and sometimes….I cried over nothing at all. I blamed that on the stress of life. I blamed peri-menopause. Or menopause, as I haven’t had a period in months. I turned down social outings, avoided talking to people, and put on a happy face only when I needed to do so. I couldn’t even read a book. Focusing on the words was too hard. So I’ve been listening to audible books when I can. I thought my eyesight was getting worse. I’ve been miserable. Then my hair started falling out. Not a little bit…. A LOT. It started out slowly, so I thought it was just regular….but it is coming out in huge clumps. Even my physical therapist is constantly pulling hair off of my clothing. I pull my hair out of my ponytail and a clump comes out with it every time. I couldn’t justify the hair loss, so I finally went for blood work.
Then I got the call….
My rheumatologist called and said all was well except for my thyroid levels. Last time my blood work was checked, I was hyperthyroid (mildly) in the fall. This time, I’m mega HYPOthyroid. Double digit hypo. Yikes. It explained my exhaustion, weight gain, depression, brain fog, and hair loss. It justified my symptoms. I almost congratulated myself for not being lazy, depressed, and fat without a reason. (Although seriously, this is so depressing.) I’ve been through all this before, but I kept ignoring the signs because of my injury. I battled Graves disease almost 19 years ago and have been battling to keep my thyroid levels stable with medication ever since. Lately, it was just too hard to get to the blood lab (seriously, their hours are horrible) after work my crazy hours on a broken foot. (Excuses, excuses)
I met with my endocrinologist who asked a zillion questions to try to identify the cause of this shift. Still not sure what caused this, but I have a new plan moving forward. I’ll get a blood recheck in two months. I even told Alexa to remind me to go get my blood drawn. My thyroid has been sneaking up on me a lot lately. I need to do better for my health and my sanity.