You guys remember that long long LONG post a couple months back about my health and where I'm at in life recently?
Well, just like I shared the tough stuff, I'm here right now to share something awesome!
After over a year of feeling like junk 90% of the time, after 5 doctors and so many tests, after many sleepless anxiety filled nights, I finally found a doctor who is listening to me.
I walked into the exam room fully prepared to have to put up a fight like I have many times before. Ready to give it my all and have him dismiss me, like the rest. But instead, I start to speak, and he looks in my eyes and says, "Why don't you start from the very beginning?"
I was a little bit caught off guard. "Are you sure? It's a really long story." He leaned back in his chair and said, "I have time."
It took everything in me not to start crying in that moment. If you know me, you know I'm not a crier. It takes a lot to get me going. But to have someone willing to listen and not just look at my labs and send me out the door, this was HUGE.
So I tell him my whole story. The journey of all the testing and so many doctors who I left because I didn't feel heard or understood. I tell him about my exhaustion, my weight gain, my emotions, my infertility, all the specialists I've seen, everything. And I say, "But every doctor I have seen just tells me that my levels are all normal. But I know myself, I know my body, I know I'm not healthy."
He types some stuff on his laptop and then closes it and says, "Samantha, I am so sorry you've slipped through the cracks in our medical system. Unfortunately many of us doctors, sometimes myself included, are quick to treat what the paperwork says instead of the patient themselves. Instead of just sending you to another specialist, will you let me help you get healthy and feel good again? Because it sounds like you've had enough of this."
Cue the tears. All the tears. A year and a half of frustration and confusion unloaded in that exam room. Poor guy. He had no idea what he was walking into.
After I composed myself, he orders some new bloodwork, the nurse comes in and draws it, and tells me that in 5 days or so we will have a plan.
You guys. It took 30 minutes. A 30 minute conversation and one SPECIFIC blood test to confirm what I had suspected for a while, but that no doctor would be willing to agree on.
I walked out of that exam room, got in my car, and just sat there for 10 minutes completely overwhelmed. Thanking God for that doctor. Thanking God for a sweet client/friend who reached out to me and told me to fight for my health. Shocked that it took so long to get to that point, but thankful that I got someone to pay attention before my illness progressed into something worse.
I got the call yesterday from my doctor's office confirming my own suspicion as well as the doctor's. He sent some new meds to my pharmacy and gave me a list of foods to avoid. And just like that, there is hope again. Not to say that my life was hopeless before this point. I love my life and have so much to be thankful for on a daily basis. But waking up every morning and having to psych yourself out just to get out of bed, not exactly fun.
I had gotten to the point where I was starting to accept this as my new reality. That I'd live at 50% for the rest of my life and just learn to adapt. And then a phone call, and hope.
Hashimoto's Hypothyroidism. Aka, my body is attacking my thyroid, causing all the symptoms of Hypothyroidism, as well as all of the issues that come with autoimmune disease.
So what happens now? Not much changes for the time being. I'm on a higher dosage of medicine that should help me start to feel more like myself again as my body starts to regulate. I get seen every 6-8 weeks to make sure that my dosage is sufficient, I cut out a bunch of foods that aren't good for people with autoimmune diseases, and I start to feel better. Maybe even get pregnant!
I am so thankful for the Lord's protection in my life. Even though the last year has been SO hard, things could have gotten a lot worse. Often time people who suffer from Hashimoto's aren't properly diagnosed until their immune system implodes and leaves them with a host of other autoimmune diseases. I am just so grateful that I finally have a doctor who is working hard and quickly to make sure that doesn't happen.
So anyway. There's a quick (well, sort of) update on how things are going over here! It'll likely take a while for these new meds to really kick in, and there's still a bit of a journey ahead, but there's so much hope now. And right now, that's more than enough!