Friday, 30 August 2013

Overactive Thyroid & Radioisotope Therapy

The Beginning:
As some of you may know already I had an overactive thyroid and back in June I had radioisotope therapy so I thought I would tell you all about it now.

Lilliwhiterose default pic


Back in 2010 I was diagnosed with an overactive thyroid. I didn't really notice my symptoms because I was too busy organising my wedding day, but when I went for my normal check-up and my doctor noticed a shake in my hand and asked if she could take bloods and there we have it I had an overactive thyroid! Then   started noticing the symptoms.

My Symptoms:
Hand Tremors
Hyper
Lose of weight
Hot flushes (I wore a t-shirt in the middle of December!)
Insomnia
Lost some hair
Anxiety
Increased heart rate
Goitre

The Middle Part:
So I was referred to a consultant Endocrinologist, who put me on some medication but nothing ever changed. I then went on to have a beautiful little girl, but after I had her things got much worse for me. When Lillibug was 5 months old I was asked to go for the Radioiodine treatment but with Lillibug so young I knew I couldn't leave her so we decided to hold off for as long as we could.

By 2013 I couldn't take it anymore, my hair was falling out more and had a bald patch on either side of my temples, my whole body was shaking and I was constantly having hot flushes and about 1-3 panic attacks a day, my heart rate was so fast I was put on beta-blockers, I was constantly jittery and it affected everything I done. I started to just hide away! My Lillibug kept me going, everything I do is for her so knew it was time....

My usual appointment came up for the Endocrinologist and I was planning on bringing up about the treatment, but I didn't have to he took one look at me and said we couldn't hold off on it anymore. My eyes were now affected badly and was now diagnosed with Graves Disease. I had noticed for about a year that my eyes were affected but no seemed to take it seriously, I wouldn't consider myself a vain person I don't spend ages in front of a mirror, but it made me so self conscious and I had enough to deal with at this stage.

I thought I would be forever on a waiting list to get the treatment but it only took weeks...Just enough time to prepare but not long enough to run!

Treatment:
You go for an initial app at St. Luke's Hospital in Dublin to meet with your new consultant and you go through the ins and outs of the treatment, it's like an assessment of how overactive you are and the dosage of treatment. The consultant was so nice and friendly and there was a nurse present to take notes and go through stuff as well. I was able to ask as many questions as I wanted and so was my husband. You also meet with the physicist who goes through it all with you as well so you do start to think you are repeating yourself but they can't be too careful. I was given a lead capsule and inside was a tablet to be taken 6 days later which is like a pre-tester of iodine to see how my body reacts to it.

So 7 days later myself and Dad took the road trip to St. Luke's, i'm very upset at this point as i know i won't be going back home to Lillibug but to an empty house! I took my tablet the day before so I am all set. I am brought into a room and in here a computer measure the flow of iodine going through from the tablet I took the day before, this is to establish the dose and that I am reacting well to it. I am given the full dose of radioiodine and have to wait one hour. So hours up and i'm good to go.........

3 Weeks of hell:
So home I go without Lillibug and hubby, they are staying with Grandma and Grandaddy. During treatment I am not allowed near any babies, children, and pregnant woman this is for 3 weeks. After 5 days hubby was able to come back to me, he had to as i couldn't take the quietness at home and I slept with a baseball bat at night ha ha (and I am dangerous when it comes to the bat, just ask my dad!). So things got a little easier or so I thought until I nearly drowned us with tears because I missed my baby so much.

There were no side effects really to the treatment except for a metallic taste in my mouth for 3 days, a rash for 5 but otherwise I felt like I normally did. By the time week 2 came along I notice my hair was growing back and my eyes were looking better and hot flushes on the way out (yet we were in the middle of a heat wave here). It was extremely hard to be away from everyone and my heart broke to see my baby but knew she was having the time of her life being spoilt.

I had to cook/eat/wash clothes/sleep separately to my husband for the remainder of the treatment process, and send a dirty look his way from my corner of the sitting-room. It was extremely hard especially as I would be affectionate I do love a great big bear hug after all.

By week three I noticed that I looked like me.... strange one I know, but my physical appearance seemed like the old me. All previous symptoms of having an overactive thyroid seemed to have diminished! I was back to my old self, even personality wise I was back to my usual happy go-lucky, spring in my step ways. Oh goodness where have I been all this time, so that upset me even more. The realisation that I had faded away slightly and nearly lost upset me even more.

Back Together:
Yep we got there in the end, 3 whole weeks and everyone reunited and back where we belong. Lillibug was in such shock on the Thursday morning when she woke up that she thought I was a dream, but after a few minutes and a zillion hugs and touching my face we were one again. It did affect us all in more ways than I can imagine and as I write this I am welling up. Lillibug would not leave my side for 4 weeks after she got home, everywhere I went she had to come even if it was to the toilet and someone else was in the house she had to be my toilet roll bearer! Now things have settled down.

End Result:
The outcome we were all looking for from this treatment was to go from overactive to either normal or underactive. It was achieved and I can now tell you all that I am under active! I have started new medication for this but it's safer than what I was on for the overactive thyroid and my heart is now in better shape. The only downside at the moment is the tiredness that comes with being under active but I can really deal with that. My sanity is back, my family and friends have me back.

A Thank You:
The support from my family as always is amazing! Thankfully my hubby didn't divorce me, my baby didn't run away, my mum and dad didn't disown me and my friends still know how much I weigh. During the 3 weeks my amazing friends from the Irish Beauty Blogger community kept me going with tears and laughter, you know who you are and will never be forgotten.

If you have any questions or want further details on any aspect please don't hesitate to e-mail me or leave a comment below.

*I am not a doctor or in any way a medical professional, I just wanted to share my experience and maybe help someone else by doing so.

14 comments:

  1. You were so brave going through all that! I think I would have gone mad. You've a very lucky Lillibug!

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    1. I wouldn't go that far with the brave but lucky i didn't have complete breakdown! Thanks for all the support during the treatment on Twitter and the blog the company was great to have during that time xx

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  2. God, you really went through it - it's brilliant that there's a treatment that works so well but I can't imagine how isolated you must have felt at the beginning, it's terrible enough being sick without being told you can't go near anyone! You're a great person and you ARE brave to have come through it, I'm glad things are better for you now x

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    1. Thank you and thank you for the support and all the chats through those few weeks it really helped a lot and got me through x. I think when we all got back together it was hugs overload for a few weeks and Lillibug has finally realised that Mammy isn't going anywhere again xx

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  3. I'm so happy everything turned out so well for you. You're such a strong person and I admire your strength and bravery to go through 3weeks of hell away from your family but thankfully it was worth it in the end as you got what you set out to achieve. I hope the tiredness becomes more bearable for you.xx

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    1. Hi Jess. Thanks for taking the time to read this. All going well now and the tiredness i can live with :-) i am on new medication now and it seems to be doing the trick. Hope all is well with you x x

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  4. I feel exactly how you felt, i have been on carbimozle for 4 days and beta blockers, endoctrinologist can't confirm if it is post partum or Graves, my baby is 10 1/2 months today and i feel like i've not been able to be myself since he was born - hoping their is light at the end of the tunnel x

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    1. There is always hope at the end of the tunnel, I really hope the medication starts to kick in the next week or two for you. I really feel for you I understand what you are going through and with a young baby to look after too. If you need to talk you can e-mail me on lilliwhiterose@gmail.com. Would love for you to keep me updated on your treatment, best of luck xx

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  5. I need to give you the biggest hug right now. That was so emosh lol. So glad things are back on track now. <3

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    1. I hope that hug comes my way this week ;) Things are well on track now, and I'm as sane as I ever will be lol xx

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  6. Wow, well done hun. It's really hard being away from family, friends and our little ones even for a day let alone 3 weeks.
    Stuff a tough time for you hun & thankfully a positive outcome x

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    1. It all seems like a lifetime ago now but when I think back those 3 weeks were the longest in my life. xx

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  7. It's not always easy to open up like this on a blog, so thank you for sharing your experience.

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