Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Glands

I'm pretty tired.

In fact, I'm always pretty tired. It seems that I never sleep well, that I get up groggy and am ready for bed early. I'm always the first one nodding off at a party, and I'm always the last one awake when camping or overnighting. And I've been this way for a very long time.

Apparently I have an excuse.

I went to the doctor on Wednesday to get checked out. He asked when the last time was that I had had a proper physical, and any answer that starts with "Ummm.. It would maybe have been... sometime in nineteen.." is the wrong answer. So I got all poked and prodded and checked out, etc.

He sent me for some tests, and checked off about 1/3 of the crazy sheet of 'what to test my blood' for. (Gave me the works, apparently.) They said that they would only call me if there was something abnormal and they needed to discuss it.

Then they called me. Apparently there was something abnormal and they needed to discuss it. (!)

I have a thyroid problem. What that problem is, they don't know, but apparently the way that they test for thyroid issues is by measuring how much thyroid activation hormone my pituitary gland is producing. Apparently the 'high' end of normal is '4.1'. I am at '6.66'. (The devil gland!) Don't ask what the numbers mean because I don't know myself.

What that means in general terms is that my brain is saying to my gland, 'More! No, really! MORE MORE MORE!', and usually it would do that because it's not receiving the hormone it is ordering. (And a side salad.)

The doctor gave me two possible explanations: One is that my immune system is bored, and is treating the gland itself like a disease. (as in: it is producing antibodies that are harming it now, and will eventually destroy it completely.) The other possibility is that there is something wrong with my thyroid gland. (A cyst, growth, cancer, etc.) That would be somewhat more serious, although I'm assured that it is a) Unlikely, and b) Treatable. (Still makes me nervous.)

Since it is overwhelmingly likely to be 'door number one', he prescribed me some medicine. I have an ultrasound in two weeks to be on the 'sure' side, but we're going to approach it as if it's an immune system issue.

So now I have a small bottle of pills. The advantages of this are 1. it's 99%+ effective, 2. The side effects are generally minimal, and 3. The drugs are very inexpensive. The downsides are 1. The directions as provided by the doctor and elaborated on by the pharmacist are, "Take one daily, for ever."

Blah.

But more 'blah' to be dopey and grumpy and not be able to concentrate. Doubly 'blah' to not know why. If this is something treatable I will be in a happy place, regardless of cost and inconvenience. It would be nice not to be exhausted after a normal day of work, especially considering the frequency I experience 'crazy, stupid, busy, stressful, annoying, 'kill me now' days at work.

It takes 4-6 weeks of this pill before I can expect to notice anything, and in 2.5 months I get checked again and have levels adjusted if needed. And then fairly infrequently for the rest of my life.

I'll let you know.

-iRob

"I got the bill for my surgery. Now I know what those doctors were wearing masks for,"
-James H. Boren

3 comments:

Drhaggis said...

Dude! That totally sucks and/or blows.

Petranef said...

Meh. Been there, done that. Thyroid gland disappeared, eventually.

I'd only worry about it if civilization collapsed and no one made the lil' pills anymore....

iRob said...

True enough. It turns out that the pills will cost me a grand total of 87 cents per month, so at least that's something.