Friday, May 17, 2013

Armour Thyroid

I got the results back from my thyroid and hormone testing. The only abnormal results based on the reference range was my sex hormone binding globulin (high) and Free T4 (low). My TSH was 3.3. And my reverse T3/free T3 ratio was 15. I showed some mild anti-thyroid antibodies as well.

Don't ask me to interpret these. I had a very had time focusing at the appointment for some reason. Normally I understand things (including medical data) very well but this week I'm completely exhausted. All I heard was that it was up to me to decide if I wanted to do a trial of Armour. I decided to try it. At this point I'd pretty much try anything.

One thing I don't understand about the range is that all sites say that for people on thyroid medication the goal TSH is around 1.0. Yet a "normal" range for those off of meds is up to 5.5? That doesn't make any sense. If optimal is 1.0 why are people with a 5.5, 3.0, 2.0, etc. considered "normal?"

In some ways I'm really happy that my thyroid was not completely normal. Part of me hopes that some of my symptoms will go away easily with treatment for hypothyroid. I've gotten to the point where I wish I had another disease other than Lyme to explain my symptoms. Treating Lyme is so frustrating because of all the uncertainties and the length of time it's taking to see improvement. I wish I didn't have to take anything at all anymore. I just want to feel normal again. I'm afraid that if I start Armour I'll be on it for life. That upsets me the most.

I'm completely disgusted and mortified at the thought of consuming a dried pig thyroid. I have OCD that I've written about in the past. It's self-diagnosed because I don't discuss it with anyone and it's germ related so this is going to set it off. I mentioned this at the appointment, but I think that the doctor thought I was kidding. They have no idea how severe my OCD can get.

I'm just coming off of a VERY bad time last week where my mind was racing and I was in a total breakdown state of anxiety. I couldn't eat or sleep all week. I had gone off B12 because I'm sick of having to rely on things to feel normal. That was a mistake because my anxiety/OCD quickly became completely out of control to the point that it scared me.

This week I've been back to my "normal" level which isn't very good. I'm having a ton of heart palpitations though which are kind of scary. They aren't provoked by anxiety or activity. I don't know what to make of them but nobody else seems concerned by it so I guess I'll just ignore it.

I was asked by my LLMD what my timeline is and when I will take a break. My timeline is simple: I don't have an alternative so I will keep trying something until I improve. To me it doesn't matter how long it takes. I cannot live my entire life feeling like this so I'm not going to settle. 

Tomorrow morning between 3-4 a.m. I will take the first dose of Armour. I hope it goes okay. I'm a little worried that I will lose even more weight while taking it. I'm already underweight. The doctor said I might get more heart palpitations but they aren't dangerous. I'm a little scared about it. To me they feel dangerous and abnormal.


Friday, May 10, 2013

Horrendous Anxiety

A few days ago I was incredibly stressed for no reason and couldn't calm myself down. I was unbelievably overwhelmed and upset. That level of anxiety has happened before. I remember it clearly a few times. It usually happens when I first start meds and usually B12 keeps it at bay. Lately I have been skipping B12 and other supplements. It crosses my mind that it could be a side effect of one of the antibiotics, but I don't think it is. I think it's the diseases. I haven't changed any meds in many months. This came out of nowhere along with the increase in temperature outside. In my opinion, the weather change set it off.

The other day I had to take 50mg of benadryl and some ashwagandha and magnesium. I hadn't slept in days and I wasn't eating. My mind was racing from one thought to the next. I was so upset and was constantly crying for no particular reason. Well, I have some reasons, but nothing that I haven't dealt with before. Everything is so difficult for me sometimes. I can't run anymore and I don't even want to attempt walks. My whole day consists of trying not to collapse in exhaustion. Sometimes I completely hate how my life is. I just can't be positive.

I was really nearing a breakdown and then I had to add back artemisinin for another pulse. I was pretty nervous about that but now my symptoms seem to have reversed back to total weakness and exhaustion. I am trying licorice root tincture. The anxiety seems to have lessened since I started that, but I'm very skeptical that it could have been coincidental. I believe the only way that licorice root could have helped anxiety would be by normalizing cortisol levels which I don't believe are abnormal for me. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Heart Issues

I'm having a lot of heart palpitations this week. I don't know what's going on. I haven't changed any of my meds or supplements in the last 5 months. The other day I was at an appointment and the doctor asked if it was happening at the time. I said no because I didn't think it was. Then I felt a single unexpected skipped beat that he picked up. Still, that's nothing like what's been happening in random spurts for days. It's like my heart skips multiple times in a row. It's extremely often and it's away from exercise and lifting.

I'm also getting anxiety again. It's not from the heart palpitations and anxiety wasn't the cause of them either. It's building from everything that's going on lately. I just can't calm down. My mind is constantly racing from one thing to the next. I was asked if I have ever done an EKG or worn a Holter monitor. I haven't. I don't want to do it. I'm sick of tests. They never show anything and even if they did show something what would be done about it? Probably nothing so I don't even want to know.

I'm in my 20's and my heart should be fine. I just want all of these symptoms to go away. I want to feel like a normal person and not have to worry that I'm going to have a heart attack. Someone very close to me died suddenly of a heart attack right at this time of year. Doctors didn't help. That's where a lot of my mistrust comes from.

I had a tick on my back this week. I had another in my hair the other day that came out on a brush. I also had a barely attached one on my neck a few weeks ago. I was at a friend's house and their kids were playing outside. When the one year old came in to get his diaper changed he had 3 deer ticks inside his diaper. It's a bad season this year. If you don't already have Lyme (or even if you do) please be careful. 

I had a glutathione IV this week and had two really good days. I still am not able to running or for walks or hikes but I felt substantially better and closer to normal than usual. It was really hot out so I took the kids up to a pond to swim. Pools aren't open in the Northeast until Memorial Day. When we got there, the entire pond was dried up. The kids weren't disappointed though. They were eager to play in the massive mud pit! There were tons of salamanders all over the place. Since I was feeling pretty good, I allowed it but it was disgusting and soon my germ OCD got the best of me. I was sinking up to my waist in mud. The only place to wash off was a tiny ice cold stream running through the middle of the crater. As soon as you stepped out of the stream you fell back into a sinkhole of quick-mud. Then the 7-year-old pulls off her croc and tells me there are slugs in it. I go over to look and there are leeches in her shoe.

Even though that sounds like a horrifying bad experience, I loved that day because I was close to my "normal" pre-Lyme self. Unfortunately, it's artificially induced by glutathione IV's. I can't get anywhere near that level of improvement with any other method (and I've tried a lot of things). I always loved teaching and taking kids out to catch frogs and salamanders, swim, and be active outdoors. Lately I'm barely able to even walk around at a playground supervising. I can't stand my weakness. I don't even feel like myself except when I'm on glutathione.

By the 3rd morning, it felt like a truck hit me with all my normal symptoms returning. This morning as I'm trying to eat my bowl of gluten free cereal, my hands are trembling so much that I can barely keep the milk on the spoon. I just woke up and I'm already incredibly tired. If I could sleep the entire day every day that's what I'd do. Unfortunately sleep makes me a lot weaker physically.

Next week I get the results of my thyroid and hormone testing. At this point I'm really hoping something comes back abnormal. I know that sounds really weird but because nothing ever shows up on blood work or tests for me I feel like I'm crazy. How can I feel this bad all the time and be considered perfectly healthy based on testing?

I know I have Lyme because I'm CDC positive with a low CD57 and the symptoms match up perfectly with Lyme and co-infections. However, sometimes I wish I had something else. A thyroid issue would be fairly easy to remedy compared to this.