AnonymousSeptember 1, 1998 at 9:39 pmPost count: 93172
Yes, I do seem to have had a spontaneous recovery, acccording to my endo. I must admit, though, that I have wondered whether the original diagnosis was correct; my thyroid hormones have always been in the normal range, but my TSH has been persistently abnormal. In any case, they are all fine now, with nothing but beta blocker therapy. I initially had many of the typical Graves symptoms – weight loss, palpitations, heat intolerance, fatigue, etc., but the beta blockers controlled all but fatigue and occasional palpitations. In any case, I seem to be fine now, so I’m happily accepting my endo’s optimistic assessment. I have had to change primary care providers this week, and my new doctor is an endo as well as a general internist. He seems less sanguine about the prospects for a long-term recovery without treatment, alas. We’ll see…AnonymousSeptember 1, 1998 at 10:34 pmPost count: 93172
I can’t help but think that I will feel better someday despite what you say in your e-mail. I also took offense at your commment that M.D.’s are not in the business of caring and curing. What business are they in? I have sensed a lot of resentment toward M.D.’s on this bulletin board over the past 4-5 months since I’ve been diagnosed. I am in a difficult spot because I am training to be an M.D. and I have Graves disease so I cannot join in the doctor bashing. So I try my best to ignore it. As with any profession, there are individuals who are good at what they do and bad at what they do. I’m sorry for those who are bitter because they have been treated badly by doctors. But contrary to what you may believe doctors ARE in the the business of curing and caring. However, they are not miracle workers. They do the best with what they have. Unfortunately, the treatment of Graves disease is difficult and controversial. It’s not like a swollen appendix that can be cut out in a simple operation. Graves disease is not well understood and unfortunately the treatments take a while to be effective. Most of the time its a trial and error approach which by its very nature means that there will be errors before there is success. Hence there is a lot of suffering before Graves is under control. I can’t help but think that the majority of doctors out there have their patients best interest at heart. If you don’t feel like yours does, then go to another one. In response to another e-mail that intimated that they thought their doctor recommended RAI based on cost, I doubt it. I am being treated at an academic medical center and I am fully covered by fee-for-service insurance so cost is not an issue. My doctor told me the same thing about how it is easier to treat an underactive thyroid than an overactive one so I don’t think you were being pushed into RAI because of cost but rather because, for many people, it is more of a hassle free way to take care of this disease. I am on ATDs right now and welcome RAI in the future. As far as taking a pill the rest of my life, it seems like a relatively insignificant consequence of RAI. Besides, I’m taking a pill everyday now on ATDs so what’s the difference? I know what the difference is (holding out for remission) but if RAI will give me a sense of closure or finality to this disease then it sounds attractive. I know that one day I will feel better. If I wasn’t optimistic about that I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning.
George.AnonymousSeptember 1, 1998 at 11:00 pmPost count: 93172
In three short words: I feel normal.
I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease in 1990, a month after Barbara
Bush. (I told people I had a Presidential disease.) I was treated
at Mayo Clinic with RAI, before they knew about steriods being able
to help deter the eye disease. Over the next three years I adjusted
my thyroid hormone replacement meds, underwent a number of eye
surgeries, and returned to the land of “being normal.” The aches and
pains I experience today are normal growing pains, as in growing older.
Nobody can guarantee health, wealth, or happiness. One can only
hope that each new day will bring another chance to find them.
Best wishes to all, DebbyAnonymousSeptember 1, 1998 at 11:21 pmPost count: 93172
Did I read your post correctly? Are you saying that you did not have
any treatment? No ATD’s ? Your thyroid level just corrected by itself?
Please respond!!!! I asked three docs they all told me that your Thyroid
cannot just correct by itself. I had (have?) what I call a mild case as
far as symptoms are concerned—but my uptake was 83% I am looking back and wondering whether or not I had RAI for nothing. I know it’s too late to do anything about it now, but I would just like to know for my own piece of mind if I had been right all along. I wouldn’t be surprised. I’m learning to trust myself more than medical community these days.AnonymousSeptember 1, 1998 at 11:46 pmPost count: 93172
George, I found your post to be a positive addition to this BB, and especially wish to second the motion regarding finding another doctor if you don’t like the one you have. You didn’t say what kind of doctor you’re studying to be, but my vote goes for you to become an endocrinologist. (How many of us have wished our doctor only knew what it was like from this side?)
Debby J, thanks for your post also. This kind of encouragement from someone who’s been there is very helpful!
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