July 26, 2010

Thyroid vs D the battle continues...

If you'd asked me what the thyroid was 6 years ago I would have looked at you blankly. Now I know more than I ever wanted to know. When we were still living in London, the summer before moving out here, D started losing a lot of weight. We thought it was a diet he was doing or just his metabolism speeding up. With time we felt something was wrong when he started to develop other symptoms; he could not stand the heat that we used to sleep with 2 fans on us and he was still hot, his hands started to shake so much that he could not even sign his own name at, the muscles in his legs were so weak that he had a hard time walking or going up stairs, his eyes became bigger and towards the end he would just stare at nothing for hours and not even reliase he was doing it, he was also super excitable and super hyper and he could not control it, his heart rate was so fast and his blood preassure through the roof. We went to doctors in the UK and in Belgium and no one could tell us what was going on. One stupid doctor even told us that he might have some sort of cancer and to come back in 3 months for more tests!?!?!? Idiot.

Then at the end of August after we packed our house and as we were on our way to the UAE we planned two stops, the first in Italy to see my family and the second in Greece to visit D's. When my parents saw Dimitri they realised he was not well. They took me aside and told me they thought he had a severe thyroid condition. I looked at them blankly and they told me that my aunt had the same thing and that he needed immediate medical attention. When we got to Greece his aunt who also had it, organised for him to go get his blood tests done so that he could receive treatment once we got to Abu Dhabi.

The results showed a severe case of hyperthyroidism that if left untreated could have caused heart failure. We were shocked and relieved that finally we had a name for what was going on. We saw many doctors for his condition and D has been struggling with his thyroid since. Through my boss we were able to start seeing this amazing endocrinologist who from the first visit made us feel like we finally were in good hands. D's hyperthyroidism was so out of control that even the medication were not helping and almost 3 years ago he took a dose of radioactive iodine in the hope that it would help control the thyroid function without needing to do surgery and have his thyroid remove.

We felt it was the right approach and it has worked until now. His thyroid seemed to be doing ok and after many ups and downs the doctor was confident enough to tell him that if his latest lab tests came back looking good he would be considered as any other person. We just got the results and his thyroid has finally realised what happened and is now fighting to keep on responding but the doctor believes it is showing the signs of hypothyroidism. We knew going into the radioactive treatment that this could have been one of the outcomes but we were hoping it wouldn’t come to that. I keep telling D that millions of people live with hypo and that once you find the right combination of drugs you can live a normal life. I believe in his doctor and I have faith that waiting to see how things develop in the next couple of months before starting medication is the best course of action. I can also understand his frustration in that he would rather not have to take a pill for the rest of his life starting so young. I tell him to keep thinking positive and that with his new diet and his exercise routine he will be in a better shape come the next check up. If there is one thing I have learnt in the last 2 years is not to underestimate the power of your body.

In the meantime I am researching “living with hypothyroidism” so I know what to expect and can be of help and support to D. I am sure that as long as we are in this together there is nothing we cannot conquer.


  1. Oh Laura, what a story!! I'm shocked that doctors in London and Belgium didn't know what was going on!! Delighted you found a good endocrinologist.

    Sweetie, taking a pill is not such a big deal, so I wouldn't make this bigger than it really is. Of course he may not need pills at all, like the doctor says, we'll have to wait and see.
    Big hugs,

  2. My mum had thyroid problems (Grave's Disease). The pill is really nothing. Many positive thoughts.

    An ICLW Visit from #107 (mfi, speedskating, strength)
    liddy @ the unfair struggle

  3. Wow, thanks for sharing this and I agree there is nothing the two of you can't conquer.

  4. This is so crazy - I love that you're helping him out so much. Definitely you both need to be healthy for Izzy!

  5. I'm so glad D found out what was going on before it was too late! It isn't fun to live taking a pill every day but it IS LIVING so think of it that way! You're doing a great job encouraging him!

  6. I have hypothyrodism and take synthroid (or the generic version) every morning. It is very easy to remember to take as it needs to be taken in the morning on an empty stomach - and you are not supposed to eat for 1/2 hour to an hour afterwards. It is much easier to remember than my iron supplements! I was diagnosed in Feb/Mar 2009 and I feel so much better now that I am taking the medication. I was lethargic, cold, lost a lot of hair etc etc. And for me, I believe it was a big cause of my infertility.

    It is so wonderful you are helping to research and to understand what your D is going through. I hope that the medication will help him as much as it has helped me!!

  7. Hi from ICLW! I enjoyed reading your TTC history on the right side of your page. It's always so encouraging to read about SUCCESS stories! My husband and I will be diving into the scary, scary world of IVF in the near future and I'm going out of my mind just thinking about it. So, really nice to "meet" someone like you who it worked for!

  8. I can't believe that all those doctors missed such an obvious diagnosis! Those are all classic symptoms of hyperthyroidism. I'm so glad that your parents noticed the signs.

  9. I am so glad D finally got some doctors who figured out what was going on! I am sorry to hear about the hypothyroidism and I hope his health improves quickly. You are so right, as long as you guys are there to support each other, you can conquer anything. Especially with your research skills ;)