My diagnosis took nearly 10 years as well – DESPITE – strong family history of Thyroid disease on both sides (which was documented since I have been showing ‘signs’ of becoming hypo since I was about 8). I don’t think they ever actually looked at my history when I would come in with related complaints. OOOOpps 😛
It started with chronic and persistent hives on my legs and a diagnosis of depression. Over the next years, I suffered from exhaustion, hair loss, steady but slow weight gain, eczema, inexplicable joint pain and paralysis. I was told to stop using soap products, I was put on anti-depressants, I was told it was all in my head.
Most worrisome – I felt like I was losing my mind – I kept this part to myself since it terrified me. I couldn’t walk from one end of my 600-foot condo without forgetting what I had started out for.
I lost two jobs and racked up 30k in debt supporting myself since it happened during the economic downturn and I was unemployed for nearly 8 months.
Barely functioning at my annual physical @ the start of 2012 I told my family doctor ‘my family is now calling my rash and scabs my scabies.’ She laughed. I told her ‘I don’t find it funny. I’ve given you almost seven years – I want to start seeing specialists’. She told me ‘they won’t do anything I haven’t’.
The Allergist diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s based on family history and symptoms in the first visit, but did thyroid panel bloodwork to be sure. The results were <1000 – I was carrying more of the antibody in my body than the labs could measure. I was ‘off the charts’. Felt good to be an overachiever for a change 😉 My TSH, however, was in the mid 2’s, I insisted we re-test since I felt horrible and returned a 5.29 (I am in Canada, where normal is still designated from 0-5). I was reluctantly given .25 mg of Synthroid and told I was ‘just’ outside of normal and that there was nothing to be done other than sending me to an endocrinologist who ‘wouldn’t do anything for me.’
Flash forward to January 2013. The only resolution I had was to fix this. In tears, I called HealthCare Connect (a public health service here that assists Canadians in finding Doctors) and fired my family doctor.
In tears, I told them that while I was not currently suicidal – I could see how one becomes so. That I live each day just keeping my head above water, and I am about to drown.
I don’t know that my condition factored into the clinic I was sent to. Or if it was just dumb luck. Or maybe, just maybe there is such a thing as guardian angels. Because the next thing I know I am in a clinic with not one but TWO doctors well versed in Hashimoto’s/Thyroid Disease. It’s been a bumpy year – but flash forward to 2014, I am on .88 mg of Synthroid today and I feel like a million bucks! I have some catching up to do with life – but I am again planning for my future and laughing!
But I shouldn’t have had to fight so hard. No one should.
My life has forever been altered by this disease and I hope with education others can be spared.
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