Thursday, June 18, 2009

MY Story (Part Seven): Taking A Leave of Absence from Work

My last post discussed how I got off of antidepressants and asked to be switched to another type of Thyroid Hormone Replacement.

This post covers what happened between November 2007 and February of 2008).

The Endocrinologist that I had for a few years decided to reduce my Synthorid, and he added Cytomel (another type of synthetic, Thyroid Hormone) to my regimen. After taking this medicine, I still wasn't feeling any better. So, I decided to consult another Endocrinologist. He turned out to be rude and very arrogant. But, through blood work, I did find out that I had become extermely Hypothyroid while on the new combination of medications.

By January, I decided to visit the Endo who prescribed me Synthroid and Cytomel. I asked this doctor to put me on Armour Thyroid, a natural Thyroid replacement that comes from Pigs. I had found a site called Stop The Thyroid Madness. The site discussed many aspects of how Synthetic Thyroid Hormone Replacement is not good for some people. Well, I knew that it never worked for me.

So, I went back to the Endo who had put me on Synthroid and Cytomel. Since it wasn't working, I asked to be put on Armour Thyroid. But, I let the doctor talk me into taking Levoxyl, another Synthetic Thyroid Hormone Replacement. Well, if I thought my body was jittery and out of control on the Synthroid, Levoxyl really upped the level of anxiety and nervousness. I remember being at work and just feeling terrible on this medication. I called my Mother from work in tears, because I felt so poorly. She called the Endo for me, and I soon had a prescription for Armour Thyroid.

The next day, I began taking the medication. I felt a little better off of the Levoxyl, but not much better. By, the middle of February, my body was giving me more signs that something was terribly wrong.

By the middle of February, I left my job as a teacher. My intentions were to take only a temporary leave of absence until something could be figured out in terms of what was going on with me. That day, I also stopped taking my antidepressant. I figured why take it since I felt worse than ever and was having the same symptoms as before and then some. I had even been noticing that my neck was moving involuntarily. I would later realize that this would be the final stages before the Dystonia would fully reveal itself.

Anyway, I told my Vice Principal that I didn't feel well and would need to leave work. I did this very abruptly, because I didn't really know what the heck was going on. So, many of my co-workers had no idea what was going on and many still don't know. How could I communicate to them what I was not understanding? I felt bad about leaving so suddenly, but there was nothing I could do about that at the time. I knew it was physical, but I truly felt like I was losing my mind. None of my doctors (Endocrinologists and Psychologist) were being of any help in helping me to try and figure out what was going on.

In a desperate attempt for help, I even went back to that arrogant Endocrinologist. He took a blood test to check the levels of my Thyroid Hormone, etc. Those tests came back normal. Since my tests were normal, he had nothing for me. I explained that I was uncontrollably hyped up and I felt like crap--fatigued and depressed and light headed at times. He told me that was something for my "shrink" to handle. Needless to say, he is no longer my physician. The nerve!

So, I ended up trying another Endocrinologist. I often joke that I will have tried every Endocrinologist in my city. I asked her to check my Adrenal Glands along with my Thyroid Hormone level. The blood test showed the Adrenal Glands were okay. I theorize that they were not okay, at this time, even though the test showed that my Adrenals were okay. Sometimes, these types of test do not tell the full story. She also told me to increase my Thyroid Hormone Replacement.

I wasn't totally comfortable with that suggestion--my palpitations were worse, the circles under my eyes were darker, and the list goes on and on. I looked and felt physically ill. So, I went back to the other endocrinologist (not the rude one). The blood test showed that I needed to be on more Thyroid Hormone Replacement.

While I was still weary of taking more Thyroid Hormone Replacement, I started to increase the amount since two doctors had told me to do so. For those thinking about trying Armour Thyroid or any other natural Thyroid Hormone Replacement, PLEASE make sure that your doctor has experience with this medicine.

I now see that my Endocrinologists did not know what they were doing. They are so used to prescribing Synthetic Thyroid Hormone that they probably do not have much experience with the others(natural Thyroid Hormone Replacements). In fact, I am finding out through my research and reading that many Endocrinologists will not prescribe natural Thyroid Hormone Replacement. These are strong medications that can and will harm weakened bodies if not administered correctly.

Even though my blood tests were normal, my symptoms were not normal. PLEASE be careful...I wish I would have known what I know now. But, I guess it was a process, and I would not know the outcome until it reared its ugly head.

In retrospect, I think that I should have been properly weaned off of Synthroid. And, my dosage of Armour Thyroid should have been slowly increased. I was given 60mg right off. Then I was told to increase to 90 mg of Armour Thyroid shortly after. This coupled with other issues (some known and some unknown) was obviously too much for my body to handle.

In the next "My Post," I will discuss what happened next: I ended up going to "An Alternative Doctor." Finding this "doctor" was a mixed blessing and a disaster rolled up into one...

No comments: