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.
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