: what’s wrong with me :

I have Graves’ disease — there, the cat’s out of the bag. It’s an autoimmune disorder that leads to overactivity of the thyroid. Frankly, I don’t like the sound of Graves’ disease. It sounds grim and menacing and hopeless.

It is none of those things, of course, but it does throw a mighty big wrench in the works. A racing, erratic heartbeat was just the tip of the iceberg, Graves’ also causes anxiety, fatigue, depression, insomnia, irritability, trouble concentrating, and, my favorites, pop eyes and goiters. Think Barbara Bush, who suffers from Graves’ disease.

These days, I’m on thyroid medication, beta blockers for my heart, two kinds of antibiotics, and aspirin therapy. I have a delicate ecosystem here and it’s under heavy assault. Who knows what the fallout’s going to be. The rapid heartbeat doesn’t worry me nearly as much as the irritability and trouble concentrating, I think they caused my chronic blunk (blog funk). Damn thyroid.

Gone are the days when I could focus like a laser. My mind is now afflicted with wanderlust, happy feet. And it’s adios to my good-humored nature, hello, cranky scatterbrain. I don’t like the upheaval of illness nor do I like knowing something  in my body has betrayed me. It seems like a warning, like a shot across my bow. In plain English, I’m completely unnerved.

Is this a harbinger of things to come? What’s next, my gall bladder? See, I like to think I’m made of hollow plastic, like a Barbie doll. No messy organs, no veiny circulatory system, just hollow plastic. This thyroid thing blows that little theory right out of the water. It’s back to the drawing board for an all-new delusion.

Yesterday I had yet another blood test, they’ll use the results to decide how best to proceed in my treatment. They’re deciding between removing my thyroid surgically or destroying it medically or controlling it. That’s my choice, controlling it. Surgery is out, too dangerous. Destroying it seems kind of extreme. It’s a gland, not Osama Bin Laden.

In a way, I feel sorry for my thyroid. My whole life it’s been hard at work, doing whatever thankless job a thyroid does. It never once asked for a vacation or a lunch hour or even a bathroom break. Who wouldn’t go a little nuts, right? I think it deserves some slack.

In other developments, my heart rate was 103, which is down from 110 last week. So things are going in the right direction, that’s promising. I’m also told it could take months to notice any significant improvement. Well, fine, I’m in no hurry. I’ve gone without coherent thinking this long, a few more months won’t matter much.

Look at that, I need to trim my nails.

Copyright © Publikworks 2012.

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24 Responses to “: what’s wrong with me :”

  1. totsymae1011

    You seem to be confronting this as a humorist with grace. You putting this out there can help others. I don’t want to go cliche on you with anything silly, so I’ll be brief. Above all, take care of yourself.

    Like

    • publikworks

      Hi, totsy! I’m not sure how to confront this to tell you the truth. Everyone tells me I need to take it seriously, but why? Is that going to change anything? For now, I’m just bumbling my way along and taking my medication pretty close to on time. Thanks for stopping by, it’s great to hear from you.

      Like

  2. Lenore Diane

    Well, I still see your humor even in the midst of the diagnosis. And, I agree with you wholeheartedly the name ‘Graves’ is wrong for any illness/disease. Seriously – who decided that would be the best name? I think it is noting the person who found it – but couldn’t you use his/her first name and/or his mother’s maiden name? “Graves”? That’s just cruel.

    Keep swimming, keep swimming …

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    • publikworks

      Isn’t it awful? What kind of ego must these folks have if they want their names to be known as a disease? Yikes. Why not just call it Runaway Thyroid or something descriptive? Graves is just unfortunate.

      I will keep swimming, LD. Thanks for the encouragement.

      Like

  3. angelvalleywed

    “Look at that, I need to trim my nails.” You are still hilarious, Lisa, crazy thyroid or no crazy thyroid. I’ve been wondering how your tests came out. It’s great to hear from you and don’t worry, you’ll get past this and will again one day feel like a Barbie Doll casing. Now if only we could figure out how to keep our casing as perky as hers, we’d be all set.

    Like

    • publikworks

      Flattery, that’s the best medicine — thanks for a good dose of it, Jo. Funny you should mention the perky thing as I had the exact same thought the other day, I decided on a thin plastic coating. Or for special holidays, a hard candy coating like m&ms. What do you think? Will that work?

      Like

    • publikworks

      You’re sweet, vodajevoda, thank you. Mostly they’re tasteless, but one of them is just plain foul. It tastes and smells like garlic. Ew. I’ll be by soon to check out your terrific new photos, yay!

      Like

    • publikworks

      Thank you, worrywart, I appreciate your well wishes. I can definitely use them about now — this whole thing has thrown me for a loop, you know? I still can’t quite believe it’s happening.

      Like

  4. nevercontrary

    At least they have figured it out. I was beginning to think you would be on the next episode of house.
    I wish I had some inspiring thoughts about life I could say without sounding totally lame. So I will just say what I used to say to my mom when she would get bummed. Life is tough get a helmet.

    Like

    • publikworks

      Congratulations, nevercontrary, on being Freshly Pressed! I thought your post was really terrific, I laughed out loud. Then looked around to see if anyone heard me — that would’ve been embarrassing. But I couldn’t help myself.

      About that helmet — I have a hat with earflaps, will that work?

      Like

  5. Angie Z.

    Oh, Lisa, damnit all to hell and back. Well, when life gives you lemons, ram them into your head a few times until you forget all about your thyroid and the damn lemons that life seems to be giving you all too many of lately. I hate lemons.

    Please keep writing here, even if it’s just health updates. You even make health updates funny. We’re rooting for you.

    Like

    • publikworks

      You’re the best, Angie — what a great idea for lemons. I’m going to try it.

      The good news is, I don’t have to go near any medical facilities until the 20th. I like that. I can do regular things like the laundry, instead of getting scanned and tested. That will be a nice change.

      I intend to keep on posting and, unless things take a nasty turn, don’t see why I can’t. Thyroid be damned, right? Thanks for the encouragement, Angie, it means a lot.

      Like

  6. suzymarie56

    I know it’s not funny, and I’m sorry about your condition, but you do have a way of making it pretty amusing. At least you know what it is now and you can start working on it. Hope you feel better soon x

    Like

    • publikworks

      It is a little funny. But I’m ready for it to be over now, just in time for spring — yay! Thanks for stopping by, suzy, it was nice to hear from you. How are things with you?

      Like

      • suzymarie56

        Yes that would be great timing wouldn’t it :) Things are ok with me thanks! Just started a new job at a florist which is great so yay for that! Also, I don’t know if you remember us talking a while back – you mentioned about pyjamas with pockets? Well I got some – best.thing.ever!!! And so comfy to sleep with pockets! :)

        Like

        • publikworks

          I do remember and I’m tickled you got a pair. I’m even more tickled you like them. I just took mine out of the dryer, they’re all warm and fluffy and ready to wear. I love ’em.

          And congratulations on the new job — a florist sounds like it would be fun!

          Like

  7. the home tome

    Well, knowledge is power – good to have a diagnosis and a good team of commenters, er, I mean doctors on the case. My mother was diagnosed with this years ago and is doing great (they did the killing method…)

    Like

    • publikworks

      phew I’m glad your mother is doing great, that gives me hope. I’m still a little squeamish about destroying it, though. The idea kind of freaks me out. Thanks, home tome, I feel a little better about things now.

      Like

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