Actually, I haven’t been fighting for my right to party at all. What I recently (finally) fought for, is a referral to an endocrinologist… Which my GP was actually so forthcoming in agreeing to, it made me question why they hadn’t suggested one before.
Don’t get me wrong. In my 20’s I was under specialist care due to Graves Disease. And then post-natally when, amongst a host of other issues, my thyroid went bananas again, I was treated so quickly I barely had chance to register what was going on.
However, it was actually that post-natal treatement which, for the want of a better expression, screwed up my thyroid function on a permanent basis. You see, rather than treat me ‘conservatively’, my history of Graves led to a more aggressive approach, ultimately resulting in the destruction of my natural thyroid function and a lifetime’s reliance on synthetic replacements after a blood test revealed ‘untraceable’ thyroid hormone levels.
Almost 8 years on, I have spent the years having periods of stability, as well as periods when, in all honesty, I would make a sloth look like it had the energy levels of an olympic athlete!
Over recent years, the periods of ‘wellness’ have reduced significantly and the last couple of years have seen me gain three stone with no accompanying change in lifestyle to explain it. Alongside this has been a gradual slide into living with constant muscle and joint pains, lethargy levels exceeding anything I’ve ever experienced, pins and needles, dry skin, hair loss, brittle nails, skin pigmentation, changes to my periods, bruising (I’ve always bruised easily but I’m at a whole new level now!), brain fog, difficulty concentrating…..the list is actually (depressingly) endless..
Visits to the GP haven’t been overly frequent owing to the fact that, firstly the chance of actually getting an appointment is slimmer than pissing in the Queen’s handbag. Then the appointment generally results in an increase of my anti-depressants and the distinct impression that the GP considers my visit an utter waste of time.
Well, no more! I am sick of being fobbed off and made to feel like it’s all in my head. I’ve started doing my own research (which perhaps I should have done before), I’ve spoken to alternative therapists and found out that the general approach to thyroid treatment in the UK is actually woefully hit and miss. Mostly miss it would appear..
The ‘normal’ range for thyroid levels as assessed by the UK are different to much of the rest of the world and the approach to treatment is a generic handing out of synthetic thyroid medication with little regard for its effectiveness. As for the potential to actually dig deeper into the ‘abnormal’ results and then, where possible, treat for a cure rather than simply managing the condition – well, it would seem that’s pretty much never going to happen.
Hence my recent push for a specialist referral… although I do still have a four month wait for the appointment but still, it’s progress.
In the meantime though, my research & my history points to the very real potential for an underlying auto-immune issue. Despite knowing this, the GP’s refuse to carry out the full scope of blood tests in the community. I can only get full thyroid tests on anti-bodies, reverse T3 and uptake, ferritin, Vitamin-D, Vitamin B12 and inflammation markers by going privately (or if I happen to get lucky with a sympathetic Endo).
And that’s where we are…A four month wait to (maybe) get the tests that might acutally reveal more about what’s going on, or foot the bill myself.
Mum has insisted that she wants me to get sorted so is paving the way for me to go private for the tests. At least then I will have a full picture of things before September and my consultant appointment rolling around.
So now, we wait…