Friday, March 20, 2009

More good news!

First, I wanted to say happy spring! I'm so glad it's here. I was delighted to open up the google homepage today and see the Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar-inspired theme for bringing in the new season. Did you see it?

So, onto this good news. I told you I went to the doctor on Monday. it had been a while since I had my thyroid checked, so the doctor ordered blood work and the nurse called me on Tuesday with the results--10.09! I told her I didn't think that was plausible, and she said the OB suggested I go to my family practitioner for follow-up (since he doesn't want to deal with anything but baby).

For those of you with thyroids that work, you probably have no idea what any of this means, so let me start by sharing with you the thyroid is checked by measuring the amounts of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) in the bloodstream. The higher the number, the less effective your thyroid is at producing its own hormone, thus making you hypothyroid if the number is consistently out of range. So, to compensate, people who are hypothyroid have to take a generic thyroid replacement hormone in order to feel "normal". Most labs register the normal TSH range as .5-5.0, but endocrinologists now recommend .3-3.0 as normal.

Anyway, I feel most normal between 2 and 3 and have been cruising at this TSH level for the past 3 years or so. When my thyroid is out of whack, I can definitely feel it--I'm tired and lethargic, my hair falls out, I become forgetful, and I have the worst dry skin imaginable. Last November when I had my thyroid last checked, the number was in the high 4s and so I requested that for the duration of my pregnancy that they up my dosage of thyroid hormone to the next level. They did so, and I felt fine.

So, imagine my surprise when the nurse called and said 10.09! This is, hands down, the highest my TSH has ever been. Eli and I just had a conversation about how my hair isn't falling out and my skin is looking so much better. If my TSH were really that high, I would have expected to sleep 12 hours a night and have trouble getting out of bed. I would be living in a thick fog. But I'm not, and therefore confused and concerned.

I went to my family practitioner yesterday afternoon to have them do a separate blood draw and went back for a follow-up today. The doctor came in with the results and asked, "Now, why are you here again?" I explained to her what happened, and she looked at my strangely because my values were all normal. In fact, the TSH was 2 something. And there is no way that the TSH can fluctuate like that in a matter of days.

So, I'm normal. No worries. I'm especially relieved because hypothyroidism can cause preterm labor when not monitored. It can also cause low IQ in the baby. I was about to have a guilt trip about not having it checked sooner, and then probably go on to worry, worry, worry about the consequences. But, thankfully, I really am as in tune with my body as I think I am. This is good news, indeed.


Stacey L King said...

Great news! And it reminds me that I wanted to tell you... If you see a cute little Spanish/English Eric Carle board book, don't buy it.

Misty said...

Hi! Congrats on the good news :) And, Eric saw the google header and showed it to me, we had no idea who Eric Carle was until Cara was born. Now we can recite brown bear from memory :)