Sunday, April 7, 2013

Part Two

I left Dr. Gage's office with a lot of information.  One of the things he emphasized was the fact that Hashimoto's disease is an autoimmune disease, NOT a thyroid disease.  Often times practical physicians treat it as a thyroid disease because there is no treatment for Hashimoto's itself.  There is only the management of the "triggers" which increase the overproduction of anti-thyroid antibodies.  Dr. Gage's mission is to help people like me determine the "triggers" and manage them.

The primary way to manage the triggers is through diet and nutrition.  Go figure.  What we eat can affect the way we feel.  Huh.  I wanted to be shocked but the truth is, I wasn't.  Not one bit.

Later that week I was scheduled to meet with my regular Doctor, Dr. Sutton.  It was my four week follow-up and anti-depressant check.  I had stopped taking the Wellbutrin the previous Sunday after a MAJOR panic attack.  I woke up that Sunday morning feeling a bit off.  I showered and started to get ready for church and my heart started racing and I felt so shaky.  After a frustrating episode with two pair of pantyhose, by the time I got to church, I was in tears.  I texted my sister (my personal webMD) and described how I was feeling and she said it sounded like an anxiety or panic attack.  I'd never really had one before and didn't know that's how terrible it felt.  I left church early and came home and cried my eyes out, took a warm bath with lavender oil and spent the rest of the day in bed.

I called Dr. Sutton's office on Monday morning and the on-call doctor recommended I stop the Wellbutrin.  So when I met with Dr. Sutton on Thursday, I told her what happened.  She changed my meds and added Xanax.  Awesome.  More drugs.  Another 4-6 weeks before I'd feel "normal" again.

While I was there, I asked her about the Synthroid again and was she sure I should be taking it?  After my conversation with Dr. Gage, I wanted to get a feel for how she'd feel about me working with these non-traditional (alternative) physicians.  I also wondered if the panic/anxiety I was feeling was because I had too much thyroid - which can happen in surges with Hashimoto's.  Her response was what I expected based on what Dr. Gage had told me.  Dr. Sutton ordered a blood test to check my thyroid but she was sure that my levels were still in the "normal" range.

When I asked her if I could figure out what was triggering the overproduction of anti-thyroid antibodies, would I be able to go off the Synthroid?  Her response was that there was no way to control them.  My best and only treatment was to take the Synthroid.  I left her office sad and frustrated.  In my heart (and mind), I believed what Dr Gage told me.  I knew there had to be a way to manage this disease with something other than an drug I didn't need yet.

I looked forward to my next appointment with Dr. Gage.  February 12th couldn't come fast enough.

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