I visited the specialist yesterday. I picked up my blood results beforehand from my primary care physician. The levels meant absolutely nothing to me. For example, I had no idea a low something-or-other equalled an overactive thyroid. My laymen guess would have been high equals high but lo and behold, those zany medical people have to confuse us normal folk with their fancy medical terms. Or something.
I began by apologizing. I was supposed to have one more blood test before visiting the specialist. My primary care doctor assumed he had time to do so since he didn’t think that I would get an appointment with the endocrinologist until after the holidays. That wasn’t the case due to a last minute cancelation. So I ended up visiting the endocrinologist before having that blood work done, hence the apologies. He interrupted me after a bit and said, “Well, Michele, say no more, clearly there’s a problem here. This isn’t normal at all.” Someone, other than myself, has finally decided I’m a Crazy Nut!
I had half a mind to have him write it down as such.
He did some testing which consisted of having me look in certain directions, show him my legs, my hands, my eyes. He also made me swallow a lot. He asked me a lot of questions about my behavior and my sleep patterns, my pain and my pregnancy. He prescribed to me some temporary medication in order to keep my manic behavior at a minimum. (Toby thanks him. This morning I woke up and didn’t immediately put him to work cleaning the house.)
The good news is, this could all be due to postpartum. (Just as many of you suggested here and via email.) He said that some women experience this after pregnancy and that it does sometime work itself out by 6 months. So, I may be coming down off crazy. The unsettling news is, if it is due to postpartum, that doesn’t explain the last six years to TobyJoe and, well, the last 10 to me. The doctor is going to run a few more tests to figure out if this is permanent or if it’ll work itself out over time.
The next step is to have a snapshot done of my thyroid, which is scheduled for the beginning of January. My thyroid stimulating hormone levels are low enough that he’s worried about my heart palpitations and my heart rate, hence the drug I was prescribed. It’s only purpose is to keep my heart from exploding. And I do feel calmer today. I haven’t had any sudden jolts or spasms and my heart feels pretty even. I even slept finally. (Usually, I wake up every other hour and have trouble falling back to sleep.)
The bad news (which I have come to terms with) is that I am no longer able to supply breast milk for Emory. But since my supply tanked from an already low supply, it’s not a huge change or surprise. He’s doing well. He’s strong, healthy, and I gave him almost five months worth of milk. I asked the doctor if hyperthyroidism could be responsible for my very low milk supply (10 oz now, 23 at my highest) and he said yes. Granted, things could have been different had Emory and I worked on a latch, but for whatever reason, we never got that worked out. Maybe my supply was too low and he became frustrated. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough (although I tried all the time back then and I continued trying up until about two weeks ago). I realize I have talked about this a lot (too much). I even said it’d be the last time I talked about it a hundred times before now. It’s hard to let go. Plus, I have received dozens and dozens of email (a beautiful one just yesterday) from mothers who have run into problems breastfeeding. Many have met nothing but nastiness from other women. A fact that will never stop shocking me. I can’t figure out why women do this to other women. I am reminded of a paragraph from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
“Most women had the one thing in common: they had great pain when they gave birth to their children. This should make a bond that held them all together; it should make them love and protect each other against the man-world. But is was not so. It seemed like their great birth pains shrank their hearts and their souls. They stuck together for only one thing: to trample on some other woman… whether it was by throwing stones or by mean gossip. It was the only kind of loyalty they seemed to have.”
Now, even I think that’s a little harsh, but you get the point.
I (what pumpers call) “hung up the horns” last night and I started to cry a little bit. I turned to TobyJoe and said, “If it’s this hard for me to put a pump away, it must be really difficult to wean a child.” (Breastfeeding mamas, you have my sympathies.)
I’ll know more in January. And I’m trying not to think about the possibility of having my thyroid irradiated because the thought of being away from Emory (and EVERYBODY) for several days makes me want to break down and cry in place. Right now. So, in the meantime, I’m going to smooch my baby boy, take care of myself, be nice to my husband and eat as much crap as I want. I fell off my diet due to this ravenous appetite and have managed to stay at 148. (I wonder… if I stay away from entire chocolate cakes, would I actually lose weight from all of this?)
This is so boring, these medical posts. So, I’ll leave you with this adorable picture of my two boys.
Thanks, y’all for dealing with my crap. xoxxo