Here is what I’ve noticed… all this hypothyroid stuff is overwhelming! There is so much to learn. We have low energy, difficulty coping with everyday tasks and have foggy thinking. So simple things for other people, like calling a doctor, ordering labs, learning about medicine, etc… is totally overwhelming for us hypothyroid peeps. How can we possibly find our way to treatment alone?
That’s when I realized: We need to Get a Buddy to help us through! It’s one small thing that will hopefully change everything.
Here’s what to do. Find someone you trust (who won’t nag or judge) and ask them to be your support buddy. You might fear it’s an imposition but it’s really not. Helping you on the road to good health helps everyone in your world. So a good friend, mom, sister or coworker may be happy to step up.
Ask your buddy to read about hypothyroidism (like my worksheet and symptoms list, or Stop the Thyroid Madness). Send them this blog post. They can do the simple tasks that may be overwhelming for you like:
Do you like this idea? Are you feeling a huge sigh of relief? I hope so! So find a buddy today and be okay with asking for help. Trust me, we all need it! And when you feel better you can help someone else.
My yoga teacher, Katie, is one of the great influences in my life. She has a unique talent for challenging her students to push their limits but in a supportive, encouraging way. She never says “Tonight we are doing handstand… oh silly you, you just fell! What were you thinking?”. Yet that’s the kind of thing we do to ourselves all the time. We try something challenging or new, and then flog ourselves with regret and self-doubt. Or we stay in old patterns that aren’t working for us simply because we are afraid of making a change. Change is scary! I totally get that.
In yoga class when we approach a scary pose like handstand, Katie says just touch in with it, even if you don’t do the full pose, keep touching in and it will become less scary. And here is the connection. This applies to everything in life. To reach any goal, we have to decide to make that change, have courage, then do it like it matters. Know that its okay to fall because falling will happen, that’s how we learn.
So tonight my message is…. if you want to make a change in your life, only you can make it happen. No one is going to say “I told you so,” but no one is going to do it for you. So get out there and do it, start now, start tomorrow morning, but make a decision to start. Be proud of your willpower and courage.
Ever since my first lab work for Hypothyroid testing came back “normal,” I have a terrible fear of failing my labs. I always knew my body wasn’t working right, but year after year the lab work claimed otherwise. Frustrating! And the doctors only believed the numbers, they didn’t believe me. It was a dreadful feeling. In my heart I knew something was wrong. But somehow I felt like a liar, because see there, the numbers don’t lie so it must be me. But how does one actually fail at lab work?
Its easy to feel judged and criticized if doctors only look at labs. Therein lies the problem. It wasn’t my lab work that was failing, I hadn’t found the right kind of doctor, someone who looked at the lab work but also listened to how I felt.
When I finally found the doctor who treated me (let’s call him Dr. B) he explained that lab work has ranges of normal, but “normal” is different for everyone. In addition to lab work, he said we needed to look at symptoms, as well as a my “sense of self” (meaning, trust my own instinct about my health). Hallelujah! This philosophy about medicine was totally different from my past experiences.
Here is a great example of where symptoms and labs didn’t line up, where my lab work failed me. In my situation, my TSH was low before getting treatment. Currently with treatment my TSH is .01. By the standards of many doctors and Endocrinologists this TSH level is considered suppressed, which means they would take me off thyroid medicine immediately (horrifying). Yet with suppressed TSH, I feel better now than I ever felt in my life. My Hypothyroid symptoms are almost all gone. Its confusing when the labs say one thing but your body says something else. Luckily my doctor looks beyond labs.
Still many doctors and Endocrinolgists are using the unreliable TSH test results to diagnose Hypothyroidism. According to my experience and patients on Stop the Thyroid Madness TSH is not a reliable marker for Thyroid function. If treatment is based entirely on the TSH test, how many people out there are “failing at lab work” and not getting treated?
So beware any doctor who makes you feel like a Hypothyroid failure! It may not be the lab work after all.
Whether you are just getting diagnosed as Hypothyroid and want to try a natural desiccated thyroid medicine like Naturthroid, or you’ve been diagnosed and want to switch from a T4-Only medicine like Synthroid or Levoxyl there are ways to talk with your doctor. Start with then end in mind; the goal is getting to “Yes”.
I have found the easiest way in getting to yes is to approach everything like an experiment. This takes the pressure off everyone, and gives me a chance to learn with the guidance of my doctor. Here is what say:
Hi Doc, Let’s try this experiment and see what happens! If we feel it doesn’t work I am totally open to trying something else.
Finding the right treatment has been a journey for me. I needed to be able to test and try new things. So this approach created an open dialogue with my doctor which allowed us both to learn. Success!
Please note: any experiment is at my or your own risk. So be careful, educated and ultimately follow the advice of a doctor you trust.