My Personal Hypothyroidism Story

First Endocrinologist Visit

I would like to tell my own personal hypothyroidism story because when I first learned I had it, I looked online for all the personal stories I could find from other people who had it. I was looking for comfort and comparison; for hints what to do and how to handle this new disease I was faced with. Surprisingly, I didn't find too many. There were snippets in forums, but not many satisfying, personal stories. Now, I'd like to share mine.

Let me start by saying that it was a shock to found out I had hypothyroidism. Sure I was tired all the time and couldn't think as clearly as when I was younger, and was gaining weight while eating the same way I used to eat. I just chalked it up to getting older, and was taken aback when my gynecologist told me my TSH was high and referred me to an endocrinologist.

Naturally, I made the appointment.

It begins with an early morning office visit. My doctor was a nervous-acting little man who walked very fast from room-to-room and typed frantically on his laptop as I answered his questions for what he called the "history and physical." He then got behind me to perform a neck palpation, and revealed to me that I possibly had a multinodular thyroid.

In a few weeks time, I discovered I had high TSH and now a possible multinodular thyroid. What was next, or dare I ask?

I then had a blood sample taken. This procedure isn't too bad at all. It's just a little pinch. I've had an ant bite and a bee sting that hurt worse than this. He said he would put a rush on the results. I had to wonder if he was always in such a hurry with all his patients, or if he sensed I needed medical help as fast as possible. Either way, I was glad to get things over with so I didn't have to dwell and wonder longer than necessary.
The next step was to do a thyroid ultrasound. He said I definitely had a very large goiter and we needed to see what kind of nodules I had on the thyroid. I hadn't even noticed my neck was enlarged, yet he told me the thyroid was very large?


Thyroid Nodules Ultrasound

That afternoon, I went back for the ultrasound because that's when the "ultrasound guy" was available. I laid flat on the exam table with a towel tucked into my blouse to protect it from the cold, slimy goop he put on my neck. Then he took the wand part and slowly went over my gooped-up thyroid area.

If I hadn't been so nervous, I would have been bored by how long it seemed to take. Actually it wasn't more than a half-hour, but it seemed to go on forever. There was one point when the tech left to get the doctor. Then the two of them came back into the room and went straight to the computer screen. They began saying stuff like, "large nodule … complex cystic ... hot nodules … non-toxic … toxic."

That didn't sound too promising.

Afterwards, he told me he couldn't be sure of anything until he saw the results and in the meantime, he wanted me to go to the nearby hospital for a Thyroid Nuclear Medicine Scan. I asked what that was for and he told me it was simply a part of his testing protocol and not to worry about it. I hadn't read about that in my research, so I decided to go along with it thinking this guy knew what he was doing. After all, he was an endocrinologist.

Then after the doctor left the room, the ultrasound technician started saying stuff like, "Go home and relax. Don't worry about any of this. Nobody has ever died of thyroid." Somehow that didn't comfort me, and what did he mean by "died of thyroid?" Maybe he knew something and wasn't going to tell me.

When I got home late afternoon, I never looked into what a nuclear scan was or entailed on the Internet when I could have had a chance, either. I was positive the doctor knew what he was talking about and I just wanted to do fun things to unwind from the hectic day.

This is getting a bit long, so I'll continue the story in my next article, My Personal Thyroid Nuclear Medicine Scan Story.

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