Finding Normal

I stayed up later than I meant to last night, knowing I had to be up and out of here early for my doctor’s appointment to find out about the results from my lab work.  In defense, I was up trading message with Silly Sissy about gluten-free bread recipes and with Bunchkin about gluten-free in general.  Bunchkin was diagnosed with Celiac’s last year after over a decade of tests and biopsies that yielded nothing.  I stayed up reading myLiving Well With Hypothyroidism book after prying myself away from the gluten-free talk.  Yes, all this thyroid health and nutrition stuff has me completely fascinated and I can’t seem to get enough information while feeling like I’m burning out from information overload at the same time.

I rolled out of bed when my alarm went off and made my juice and a bagel.  I didn’t have enough time to fix more if I wanted to be on time.  The important thing is I broke my fast rather than just running out the door on an empty stomach.  I knew I was in for a long wait when I got to the office and was told to have a seat while they wait for a room to clear.  Normally, they send me right on back and I don’t have a long wait.  My doctor is one of those that only sees a set amount of patients per day in order to spend more time with them.  Today was going to be a long wait, but I had The Book Thief to keep me busy while I waited.  I was near the end when I sat in the waiting room and the story became more emotional.  I was sitting there reading while choking back tears so I didn’t look crazy to anyone who walked into the building through the front door.  Then I finally got sent back to a room and kept reading while waiting for the nurse to take my vitals.  I’m still choking back tears, but some managed to squeeze through.

Here’s where it gets interesting.  Remember my blog post about finding out about low blood pressure being a sign of hypothyroidism and about my low body temp?  Well today both of those were in the “normal” range for the first time together and it wasn’t due to stress or illness.  My blood pressure was 129/84 and my temperature was 98.8.  Seriously.  My blood pressure is never in the normal range unless I’m under extreme stress when it’s taken or I’m having a reaction to a medication or the medication is interacting with something else.  My walking temperature is never 98.6 or above unless I’m sick.  “Normal” temperature for most people is feverish for me.  There I sat though.  No stress.  No illness.  Both of things that had always been low as long as I can remember were normal. I took this as a good sign for my labs.

I wound up finishing my book before my doctor came in.  Yes, more tears.  It’s a great book if you haven’t read it.  My doctor and I even talked about when he came in since he read it.  (I love when I can talk books with my doctors.)

We finally get to talking about the labs and he says, “Your TSH is within normal limits.  4.2.  Your T4 is also within normal limits.  Your Hemoglobin is still low.  11.4.”

“How bad is that?”

“Well, it’s been 11.2, 11.3, 11.4, so it’s pretty consistent.  Your Vitamin D has gotten low again.”

So, I go over what I’ve changed since I last saw him and being such a good patient, I even brought the Thyroid Support bottle with me knowing he’d ask about it.  It was funny.  He read the list of ingredients out loud and then says, “I don’t know what all that is.”

I laughed, “Most of it has iodine in it.”

“Whatever.  What you’re doing is working and that’s fine by me.  Keep doing it.”

WOO HOO!

Okay, to explain some of this stuff for those of you who just read the above and are thinking, huh? TSH is Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  It’s what the pituitary releases to tell the thyroid to release the T3 and T4 hormones into the bloodstream.  With an underactive thyroid like mine, the pituitary will keep releasing TSH to signal the thyroid, but the thyroid isn’t releasing as much as it should.  That leaves a lot of TSH in the bloodstream.  Now, not all labs go by the same standards as far as “normal” limits for TSH.  The standard has been 5.o on the high end.  However, many labs have changed to 3.0 being the high end because of studies that show over 3.0 is still hypothyroid.  My lab uses 4.5 as the upper limit.  My goal is to get it to 3.o if possible.

The hemoglobin has to do with my anemia.  Right now, it’s 0.1 under the low limit of normal.  So the numbers he rattled off meant it is slowly creeping back to normal.  YAY!

My Vitamin D level is 24.4, 7.6 under the lower limit for being within normal limits.   Don’t gasp.  When he discovered the deficiency nearly a year go, it was dangerously close to 0.  The last time he checked the level I was fine, but he also had me on a weekly pill that was time released.  We discussed what he asked me to take over-the-counter and why I changed it.  The Calcium with D he wanted me to take I felt wasn’t doing enough, so I changed to an Omega-3 with D that helps me more.  So now he told me to up the dose to get 2000 IU per day.  Sounds like a lot and it is, but with having gone through Fall and Winter, I haven’t been out much because it’s too cold for me.

I felt elated after that visit knowing that I had myself on the right track all along.  I felt so good that I went to Rainbow Blossom to check out their gluten-free breads.  That was a waste of a trip.  Left with nada.  I went to look at the blender I want since ours broke on Saturday in the midst of making my smoothie.  *sob*  I had to finish the smoothie in my mini-prep, but it was still chunky and not really smooth.  I couldn’t even justify the expense of the blender right now even with my 10% off I’d get with it.  Why?  It’s high-end and with the daily use, I need something that will handle that much wear and tear.  Our blender lasted a long time, but that was only because it wasn’t used often until the last month.  I knew it would eventually give out.  I could hear it sometimes.  So Saturday, while devastated that it happened while I was trying to make my smoothie, I wasn’t surprised.  Until then, I’ll use my mini-prep and deal with a chunky smoothie.

On the bright side, I did find a gluten-free recipe for bread that had no sweeteners or dairy in it.  I’m going to alter it a little when I try it out.  Can’t wait!

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