Apologies and Some Totally Irrelevant Information

Dear Readers,
Please accept my most profound apology for ignoring you. I wasn’t doing it on purpose.  In the last few months I have experienced some health problems that affected both my heart and my ability to think straight. So I was saving my energies for more lucrative ventures, like writing that I might actually get paid for.

But seriously, there were actually times when I started to write a new blog post, but got tired (physically, not mentally) and started dozing off. Dozing off isn’t a good thing when you are writing.

By this time you might be curious about what is going on with me. And now that I am feeling somewhat better, and actually understand it myself, let me tell you. It’s pretty simple, actually. I have chronic migraines and Grave’s Disease.

Those of you who actually suffer from migraines know all about the chronic part. Migraines are just chronic–one of those things that you just have to deal with. It’s very difficult to function during one, and once it’s over with, you have to deal with debilitating fatigue. Many years ago, I was diagnosed with chronic depression;now they tell me it was those headaches all along. Fortunately, the doctors are finding different ways to deal with it, and despite a rough start where new medication brought on a cluster of migraines lasting two whole weeks, I am feeling much better today.

You don’t have to tell me; I already know–it’s all in my head. That might even be true for the Grave’s Disease, if you count my neck as part of my head. Grave’s Disease is hyperthyroidism. It really has nothing to do with actual graves like the ones I usually talk about in this blog. My thyroid is actually over-functioning, and wreaking havoc with other parts of my body–like my heart. And if I’m not careful, I’ll be the one in the grave and I no longer be able to blog about it.

We discovered the problem when I landed in the ER with Atrial Fibrillation, more commonly known as A-Fib.

So now I am taking piles of meds: for my allergies, which contribute to my migraines; for my migraines, so I won’t have to deal with them on a daily basis anymore; for my heart, to keep it beating regularly; and for my thyroid, to keep it calm.

And then come the negotiations.  My thyroid doctor wants to radiate my thyroid, effectively killing it off.  I don’t like that idea, because I will have to rely on medications for the rest of my life.  My heart doctor will not take me off of the heart medication until I have removed ALL risk factors. Otherwise, I’ll be on heart meds for the rest of my life. And of course, that means doing something about my thyroid.

I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t. But I really am shooting for a totally med-free life.  So here’s my plan: I negotiated with the thyroid doctor to try reversing the Grave’s Disease with medication and a healthy diet. He’s giving it three more months. And then, he says, he’s radiating me. He also says he thinks I have a 30% chance of success. Yuck.

Once I have successfully beaten the odds and reversed the Grave’s Disease, then I have to lose weight. Once that happens, I will be able to go off the heart meds.  And of course I haven’t mentioned the allergy shots.  Following that, I am hoping that I will be able to wean myself off of the migraine medication.  If you’ve got any suggestions, puh-lease, let me know.

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12 thoughts on “Apologies and Some Totally Irrelevant Information

  1. I have the opposite. Hashimoto’s disease, which causes Hypothyroidism. It took two years for me to be able to walk normally again after I was first diagnosed. My TSH levels were so high, that the doctor couldn’t believe the results were accurate and he immediately retested me. I am much better now and just take one pill every morning before I eat. I am currently having heart trouble myself and they are trying to wean me off my Fibro meds to see if that helps. I don’t have much advice to give you, except that I felt my best when I went on a gluten-free diet for three months under my doctor’s suggestion. I think the diet helped because I had cut out sugar and salt for the most part. I tend to feel best when I don’t eat a lot of sugar, salt, and caffeine. If you can cutback on those three things, I think you will notice a huge difference. Hope you start feeling better soon!

    • Thanks Michelle! I think that the gluten-free diet makes sense. I had been off of sugar for three weeks until yesterday when I bought and ate an Almond Joy. Too sweet! Yuck! As for caffeine, I have been strictly warned against it by my heart doctor. But I have to admit that energy shots are sometimes the only thing that work for my migraines. If the migraines don’t kill me, I think the heart doctor will when he finds out! Yikes!

      • The problem with a gluten-free diet, is that gluten isn’t necessarily your problem. It’s the processed foods that being on a gluten-free diet help you to eliminate. Plus, eating gluten free can be expensive and overwhelming. It certainly was for me! So if you can’t quite do the gluten-free diet, at least the low sugar, low sodium diet could be a good start. Caffeine was the hardest for me. It took about month of having severe headaches before my body adjusted to eliminating it. I have switched to de-caf coffee which still has some caffeine in it, but not enough to make me feel horrible. Best wishes to a new healthy you!

      • I have been easing up on the gluten for awhile. And since I only have to shop for myself and my husband, it is a bit easier. I have learned that bun-free burgers and sandwiches are quite yummy. However, my husband still LOVES his bread, and I have not given up on whole-grain pastas!

      • It is! And I think this company makes a bunch of different breads like this. I have only been able to find it at my local health food store. I think Trader Joes sells it too.

  2. Hey I have graves disease. They radioactively killed my thyroid when I was 12. I was sick and tired of going from hyper to hypo thyroid… losing and gaining weight. I love being on thyroid replacement hormones because if I feel like I need a little bit more I just need to go to a dr and get my dose upped. The downside of having a thyroid removed is during child bearing years… nobody knows how to regulate my thyroid during pregnancy. With the migraines… I also feel good on a gluten free diet… but I definitely like someone said above don’t think that’s the trigger… I think it’s just that if you cut out gluten you cut out a lot of processed and unhealthy… and sugary foods.. which sugar triggers my head aches. So may be just eating healthy will help migraines… lastly, I hate saying this (because my husband studies pharmateuticals and doesn’t always buy the herbal remedies) but peppermint oil has helped me deal with my headaches… I put a drop on the back of my neck and in a few minutes I feel better… for me it’s way better than taking pain meds all the time… but idk if it works for everyone.

    • Thanks Mother Hubbard! It helps that I am getting input from people who have “been there, done that.” I think MSG is a trigger too. I love Chinese food, and since my husband is Chinese and his family owned a Chinese restaurant as a kid, we ate a ton of it when we were first married. I got pretty sick that first year and had to give up Chinese food for a while. Now I have to eat it less than once a month. Thanks for the reminder about the peppermint oil! My mom has a bottle from DoTerra for me, and I need to go pick it up!
      🙂

      • There is gluten in soy sauce and msg!! Ya there are pro and cons to getting the thyroid radioactively removed but for me I’m a lot happier than when I was on those hyperthyroidism drugs… downside… if there was any big disaster you would need some stock pile of the thyroid replacement hormones..

      • Didn’t know that about soy sauce and msg. The plot thickens! Now about those drugs. First reason I don’t want to go on them is that I am ALWAYS forgetting them! I was rudely reminded about my heart meds when I had another a-fib attack. And the second reason is that I worry about not having access in an emergency (as you pointed out). I have been trying a brown seaweed supplement, and it seems to be helping. Time will tell, I guess.

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