Tag: thyroid

Pain or Fat?

So recently I’ve been presented with a question- would I rather be skinny or free from pain?  The answer is undeniably free from pain.   Last year I started having chronic pain in my ribcage and chest area.  After over a year of doctors and misdiagnosis I finally found something that helped with the pain- turns out I have a low thyroid.

In February the doctor put me on levothyroxine and the results were amazing.  My pain was reduced almost immediately.  I can’t tell you what a relief this was for me.  It was like a nearly 2 year monkey was finally off of my back.  My recovery from exercise improved considerably; thereby allowing me to push harder in my sets and train more frequently.

Last week, for instance, I had 5 days of intense training, one right after another. These were no ordinary workouts and yet Sunday came around and I felt pretty good.  A little bit of pain but nothing compared to the overwhelming, almost debilitating pain I experienced last year.

This was all very exciting! On Tuesday I went in for my second follow up appointment.  My trainer had noticed I had gained weight in February but I had dismissed it as one of those things.  You can imagine my shock that I was back up to 284! I blame the medicine because its the only major change that has occurred during that time period.  I was so frustrated.  Don’t most people lose weight when taking thyroid meds?  Naturally my freakish body can never have a normal reaction to anything.  It always has to be complicated.

Basically my doctor told me that the thyroid meds mess up your metabolism in good and bad ways.  Unfortunately they make you super sensitive to bad carbs and sugar.  Now I was not eating much sugar previous to this appointment but I was trying to work it in with moderation.  Evidently with this medicine I can’t have any of it. 😦

Its frustrating because in many ways I feel like I am setting myself up for eventual failure.  Nobody is perfect all the time in a diet and clearly moderation is not good enough.  I gained nearly 15 lbs since I started taking the meds despite my careful eating and training!

The thing is that I feel great! I feel energetic and healthy.  I think I look great.  So why does the stupid scale matter?  Maybe it shouldn’t.  Its just I worked so hard to lose that weight.  Took 3 years out of my life and to see it go away was so disheartening.  Thank goodness for my music because it was the lift I needed this week.

I also get frustrated being on the extreme diets because I feel like they make me super self-critical and over-introspective.  I feel guilty for everything I do, nothing seems quite good enough.  That’s why I avoided dieting for so long because it turns me into this person I hate.  People say ‘don’t diet.  Just make small lifestyle changes’.  Well, I’m sorry but small lifestyle changes don’t work.  I gained 15lbs on moderation and lifestyle changes!

For some reason going hard core is the only thing that seems to work and I refuse to have weight loss surgery. It seems like I’m stuck. Ahhhh! And then I think of that woman on the plane who wouldn’t sit next to me and I remember that so many people still see me as a fattie who disgusts them.  The whole thing makes me crazy and feel so frustrated.  I don’t know what to do but to try with the sugar fast and not give up.

In the end, I feel like I have to chose between feeling good and pain free and losing weight.  That is a really lame decision to have to make.  At least with the sugar fast I can tell my doctor confidently that I am doing all I can to eat right and exercise.  If I can’t keep it up forever well that’s a choice for another day.  I can do my best today and if I still gain what else can you do?

I just have to keep reminding myself that I did not start this process to improve my appearance.  I really didn’t.  I started this process because I wanted to have energy, to do more, to be more active.  I think anyone would be hard pressed to say I haven’t achieved that goal.

If it was the choice between looking a certain way and feeling pain what would you pick?  Be honest! Maybe God just wants me to look like this for some reason?  He’s gotten me to a healthy point but getting below 250 (my dream) seems to be an impossible task. I’ve been working so hard for over 3 years. Maybe I need to try something else? I don’t know but I am trying my best to not feel defeated and to keep trying. That’s all I can do- keep trying.

Still, its been a bit of a downer of a week.  Thanks everyone for your support no matter my size.  Thanks for reminding me that I’m still a good person and I’ve still accomplished great things no matter my weight.  Forget the stupid scale! (or at least try to…Sigh)

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/body-image/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/08/24/maggie-goes-on-a-diet/

https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2011/07/28/skinny-skinny-skinny/

Unexpected 5K

So one of the hard things about changing to the family ward is the lack of activities.  We have not had a single ward activity and only 2 relief society activities.  In fact, the attitude seem to be against activities.  For instance, before one of the relief society activities the announcer reiterated several times ‘don’t feel any pressure to come. Only come if you want to come’.   This is a downer for me because I live alone and need activities to get to know anybody, especially now that they have me exiled to primary. Its not just activities but I’ve missed all the spiritual thoughts, FHE, firesides etc that you have in the singles ward.

Anyway, last week I decided to go ahead and attend activities in my singles ward again.  Why not?  Yesterday I checked my facebook and they announced a 5K in my ward.  They’ve done these 5K’s as a fitness challenge every once in a while and there probably was a lot of build up in the ward but this was the first time I heard about it.

Trying to be super intense this week in my exercise I decided to go for it.  I was a little nervous because the Turkey Trot in November had been so rough on my muscles.  I figured this would be a good test on my improvement and recovery since the thyroid diagnosis, so I decided to go for it.

Before the race

Fortunately I had friends to walk with and it went by much easier than the race in November. I felt energized and good.  (Of course, the race in November it was freeze raining and was exhausted from all the Thanksgiving prep).

At the end of the race. It was a great experience!

Even today I was a little sore but well enough to meet with my trainer!  I don’t think I had realized how much my pain level and recovery time has improved since I started on the thyroid treatment until yesterday.  It is so exciting!  It makes me all the more confident for my upcoming swim (which I am excited but freaked out for at the same time).

I feel like I have finally figured it out after all the junk I went through last year.  I am able to do something like a 5K without being near bedridden for the next 2 days.  I couldn’t say that in November.  Hurray!

Let’s just hope and pray that the progress continues and I am able to keep progressing, hopefully at an accelerated rate from last year. (Wouldn’t take much to make that happen!).

 

 

Interesting Results and Hope

So this blog has road the ride of my crazy health the last year and a half.  In addition to the struggles of getting in shape and losing weight, I’ve faced borderline diabetes, PCOS, a fall down a stairs, unexplained ribcage pain for over a year, possible fibromyalgia and more.  I’ve had a hard time finding a doctor I can trust.  Because I was having so much ribcage pain I decided to go to an internal medicine doctor in August.  Dr.  Ling in American Fork.  Between her and her nurse practitioner Sarah Smith we have made headway.

Yet, still the pain persisted.  Finally Sarah ordered 14 tests last week and xrays. She said ‘we are going to test everything!’.  I really appreciate her investigative spirit.  I find this is the rarest but greatest trait in a medical professional.  I was going to meet with her next Monday but the anxiety (and pain) was making me crazy and I couldn’t take it another week.  So, I called and met with Dr.  Ling today.  I went in anticipating a ‘all your tests were normal’ response but after talking to the doctor she revealed some interesting results:

Low Thyroid level

Low vitamin B12

Low vitamin D.

(By the way this doctor’s office gives you a print out of notes from your visit. How great is that!)

I had been taking a B12 vitamin but evidently you need to have a sublingual pill for true absorption.  This is kind of like a melt-away.  You put it under your tongue and wait 30 seconds to swallow and it absorbs the vitamins into your blood stream faster.

I also got a thyroid med and a prescription vitamin D.  I had no idea before today that these deficiencies could cause pain. She said the pain meds don’t work very well because its not a muscle strain in the traditional sense.  It has more to do with the nerves and endocrine system.

I had also been tested for thyroid problems many times but evidently those ‘normal’ results needed to be dug into more completely. I’ve also learned there are 3 tests not just one TSH/T4/T3. Perhaps that test was done before.  Who knows.  All that matters is we had results now and we’re trying something out. That feels exciting! (I really feel like I should get an honorary medical degree after this year!).

Even if this isn’t the full answer I just feel excited to have a doctor who is asking questions and helping me figure things out.  I will meet with her again in 6 weeks, repeat the tests and see how things are going.  As I was leaving she said ‘I hope you feel better’.  I said ‘That’d be great but I really just want to know what it is I’m fighting against’.

We will see but I have hope and feel more encouragement than I have in over a year.  Still have the pain but at least some of the anxiety about the pain has lessened for the moment.

Will be sure to keep you posted! Anyone who has experience with any of these 3 deficiencies I would love to hear them.  Thanks in advance and thanks to everyone for all your support during this insane year and a half.

Please continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers. What a journey! I feel exhausted just thinking about it.