Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Alice wouldn't be very impressed with my pill

For anyone out there who's reading with a certain trepidation, afraid that any new post on this blog will be full of woe or schmalz, or yet another reiteration of "I am having such a hard time, please help me," I am pleased to announce that this is not one of those posts. Nosiree: Not. One. Of. Those.

You see, I am starting to feel better. Instead of clinging weakly to the edges of things like off-brand plastic wrap, I'm starting to feel more robust. Saran-like, if you will. (Can one cling weakly? I think that may be an oxymoron.)

It's only been a few weeks, but I do believe that I have my little off-white pills of synthetic thyroidy goodness to thank. I was skeptical that they would do much for my state of mind--it's hard to picture feeling better when you're marginally depressed--but, while I am not yet alive with the sound of music and I'm certainly not in the mood to dance a jig with Dick Van Dyke and some animated penguins, there is more of the Julie Andrews about me than the Sylvia Plath. My head is firmly out of the oven.

It's not that I'm feeling all cheerful, it's more that I'm feeling awake. Like everything is a little clearer; most of the melancholy fuzz is gone. Maybe the big difference is that I feel a sense of perspective returning: everything is not urgent and essential and overwhelming. Some things can wait; some things can even wait forever.

I'm not getting any more sleep, eating better or reducing the stress in my life. The only thing that has changed is the color of my pill.

. . .

My thoughts turn rather often to the chicken-or-egg mobius knot of how my thyroid and infertility are related, and what that bodes for future IVF attempts. Is my pituitary just shot all to hell; have my LH and FSH gone berserk, along with my TSH, just like the hippos in Olivia's favorite board book? Did the pregnancy really whack out my thyroid, or is it impending menopause? Perhaps an infection, adding insult to long-ago injury? Nobody seems to know, and my doctor doesn't seem terribly interested. Thoughts, research articles and websites eagerly solicited. Because, holy shit, we're planning to see the RE in January. January. January.
Can you hear the giant *gulp* where you are?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy crap, Bugs. Can't wait to see what your new year shapes up to! Oh, and SO glad you're feeling more like yourself.

6:42 AM  
Anonymous Jen said...

I am so glad you're feeling better, my friend.

And by the way, Andrew is also a big fan of the hippos' nighttime exploits. But then again, who wouldn't be?

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Alex said...

Um, I am like, the queen of hypothyroid advice (hopefully not assvice, but maybe that, too. That's the thing about assvice, isn't it? One just doesn't know.).

Anyway...with 3 unsuccessful IVFs under my belt and a diagnosis of high anti-thyroid antibody titres but (high) normal TSH, (low normal) T3, and (low normal) T4, I gave up in despair on ttc #1 and went to see a thyroid doc about (just) my (own) health. Turns out my flagging libido, low energy, broken toenails, and, yes, infertility, all responded to Synthroid. We got my TSH down around 1.0, I decided I'd cycle "one last time," and it worked. Tomorrow I'll be 26 weeks pregnant with singleton (put 2 back, 1 stuck).

One other really important thing -- I upped my Synthroid dosage (with my thyroid doc's blessing and using my symptoms to guide me) while stimming. See, estrogen binds with T4 (the principal hormone the thyroid makes, and the content of Synthroid), so if your thyroid cannot up its own production, you may need to compensate. Over 11 days of stims, I went from 112 mcg/day to 175 mcg/day, and my TSH stayed constant (I didn't even bother discussing this plan with my RE, who is clueless about thyroid. I just did it.). It's also very important to get thyroid checked often while pregnant, because pregnancy throws it out of whack, too. Oh, and I needed IVF for male factor stuff, but otherwise perhaps thyroid treatment alone would have done it.

If you'll email me -- bogart99 at yahoo dot com -- I'll send you a nice 2-page editorial/lit review on thyroid function, pregnancy, treatment, and miscarriage risk.

And while bits of it are somewhat too "far out" for me, overall I recommend Mary Shomon's site,

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you are feeling better. That synthroid works wonders! Can't wait to read all about your new year.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Millie said...

Here I was going to tell you to go find Alex at the high fsh board. She found you!

I think that so very many of us have high tsh + high fsh. I'd really love to see someone looking into the connection. I can't begin to count how many people I know with high fsh who are also hypothyroid. And I think any RE sees that fsh number and doesn't think about any other number.

I'm so very glad to hear you're feeling better. I'm working on my own off white pill and it's nothing short of miraculous.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Bugs. Glad you're feeling so much better...I'm a lurker now & nolonger posting. But please see my last blog entry @ letsgenerate, if you haven't already, as I feel so strongly about undertreated thyroid problems and pregnancy loss...


2:13 PM  
Anonymous Menita said...

Nothing to contribute, but it's good to have ou back : )

4:56 PM  
Blogger Em said...

I am in a similar situation - not with the thyroid but with the pituitary gland. I am going to have to get it sorted agaon when I stop breatsfeeding and most likely go back on Bromocriptine. Godd luck for the RE.

3:42 AM  
Blogger Freudian Slip said...

Glad to see you feeling better :)
My wife is on synthroid too, and it sure does help. Onward and upward!

1:43 AM  
Anonymous Jade said...

A word of caution about natural remedies: there are some patients who do not have success in their treatments. If your thyroid becomes severely underactive after RAI, then natural thyroid therapies may not be enough. Ensure that you involve the doctor in the process.

2:37 AM  

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