AnonymousDecember 15, 1996 at 6:29 amPost count: 93172
An interesting and valid point. Since I’ve only been fighting this thing for
a year or so, I still haven’t completely accepted my GD as “part of the family,”
as you so eloquently put it, Bobbi. I agree that we don’t have much control
over the fact that it exists, but we do have control over how it affects our
lives. I also agree that it could be worse. What bugs me so much is that the
things that are supposed to make us thyroid-healthier are so hit and miss or
trial and error. There’s no definite way to fix the problem. When my doctor
first explained my options, I was so furious that I stormed out of his office.
He said that I could use anti-thyroid medication for at least a year and hope
that it goes into remission and stays that way. In that case, it could come
back at any time. I could get RAI, which means putting radioactive substances
into my body. Plus, just because they destroy part of my thyroid doesn’t mean
that what’s leftover can’t go hyper… If it did work, I would go hypo and
would have to take a pill a day for the rest of my existence. Or I could do
nothing and probably die. In other words, no matter what I chose I was screwed.
That really bothered me. I surrounded myself with a haze of sarcasm and anger
for a while after that. I think it’s still there sometimes, but only on my
Bruce, I’m not a positive thinker, either. In fact, I’m probably one of the
most pessimistic people I know. I am convinced that everything is pointless
and so when I say that you make me look at things more positively, that means
that I can see past the sarcasm and self-doubt long enough to notice that there
really are things worth living for.
I’m sorry for ranting, but I guess I needed to get some of that out. My poor
boyfriend doesn’t need to hear that anymore… He gets an earful all the
CarolineAnonymousDecember 15, 1996 at 11:06 amPost count: 93172
I think we have to distinguish here between activities and treatments that make us “feel” better, and those that actually make those of us who are hyperthyroid HEALTHIER: that is, those that bring DOWN to normal ranges the level of thyroid hormone in our systems. Hyperthyroidism can be a killer. Untreated, it can cause ongoing heart problems, and other nasty problems. In order for us to be “cured” (again, of HYPERTHYROIDISM) those levels have to come down, and stay down. Beta blockers make me FEEL better, but they don’t do diddly for the thyroid levels. So while I am feeling better taking them, if they were the ONLY thing I was doing, I would be actually getting SICKER from too high a level of the thyroid hormones. I think acupuncture is great for pain and stress relief, which we have a LOT of because of this disease. But nowhere has it been shown to bring about the proper levelling off the those thyroid hormones. American doctors can be arrogant, uncompassionate boobs a lot of times, but one thing that they do have going for them is EVIDENCE that the treatments they offer bring thyroid hormone levels back to where they should be. Say what you will about their lack of personality or bedside manner, they do go with procedures that statistically offer the best chance of people getting better.
It is a total bummer to be told you have a chronic disease. There’s a tendency to want to deny it, to rage against it, to blame all kinds of things and people for the fact that we have it. It helps to get those feelings out, but it doesn’t help to live with them on an ongoing basis. I’m with Bruce on this one. I won’t “love” my Graves. Graves, to me, is like the maiden aunt who keeps poking her nose into my affairs and giving me unhelpful instructions. But, it’s part of “the family” now, and I’ll make some accomodations to it. But as far as chronic diseases go, I think I’d much rather have Graves (if I HAVE to have one, drat the luck) than many others I can think about. It CAN be treated. Maybe the results won’t be exactly what I would want, but it’s a whole lot better than those diseases out there that debilitate and kill.
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