Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chiro update, and fun with the hypothyroid!

Hey guys!  :)  Been a little while, had a lot going on!  So, an update!

My back issues and the chiropractor working to correct them continue.  I was having relapse pain/strain when I lowered my number of visits a couple weeks ago.  I'd been going 3x a week for 4 weeks to work on getting my pain under control, and the pain itself left, but I could feel things slipping back to where they'd been at the beginning of the pain when my visits lessened.  Not good.

The chiropractor did a follow up visit to see where things were compared to where they started off, and I'd made some progress.  As I mentioned before, a healthy neck curvature is not what I had.  It's supposed to be a 42* angle.  When all of this started, my first X-Rays, which I shared, my head was at an 8* angle.  Not good.  After 3 visits a week for 4 weeks, my neck improved to a 12* curve.  Better, but still not good.

So, we discussed the options to getting me back to normal, which will take roughly the following course of action:  3x a week for 8 weeks, 2x a week for 4 weeks, and 1x a week for 4 weeks.  After that I should be able to go back to 2x a month, biweekly, and that should be enough to hold me in a "normal" range.  We may never get back to the full 42* curve, but 30-35* would be so much better than where I am now.

But, my husband, a chiropractor skeptic, despite making my initial appointment, decided he wasn't sure continuing to go was the right thing to do.  Our compromise said I get a second opinion from a medical doctor, so I made my appointment for my physical for the year.  Two birds, one stone, and all that.

So, my physical came and went, they stabbed me a few times before they got the blood drawn that they needed (I have tiny veins that are hard to get without popping all the way through them), got my tetanus shot updated and all that stuff that needs doing every now and then.  And they essentially told me if my pain came back, they could medicate me, and run tests at that point, but where I am right now, they won't do much.  Well, that's really no surprise to me, but I'm not happy with the idea of waiting for things to get bad again before we do something about it.  So!  Chiro it is!

Anyway, so I started back on the 3x a week thing and have done that for a week or so now.  Feeling better every time I go.  So yay for that!

But...  then I get a phone call.  My labs are back.  They want me on a Vitamin D supplement because my levels are low.  No huge surprise to me, I've been inside all winter.  It's still pretty cold out some days, and I don't like being outside unless it's reasonably warm, because cold and I don't get along.  So that was no huge surprise, and I can take a vitamin, that's fine.

BUT it wasn't just my Vitamin D.  Apparently I've got low thyroid function as well, otherwise know as hypothyroidism.  (hypO, not hypER)  At first, this sounded kind of scary, because, as I recall, my aunt with non-Hodgkins lymphoma (a lymph node cancer) first showed thyroid issues...  so I asked them to look at my blood cell levels and everything there looks normal.  They'll keep an eye on it, but that's something to know, that there's a family history...

But then, I started looking into WHAT hypothyroid can present as.  And the more I looked at the lists, the more things sounded familiar.  My hair falling out as though I just gave birth.  I make jokes that it's a miracle I'm not bald, lol.  I have these little bumps on the backs of my arms, and dry skin.  My joints ache.  My muscles ache.  I get frequent, albeit mild, headaches.  Nothing to take pain meds for, since I try not to use those, but still there.  The older I get, the more PMS symptoms appear.  I get more mood swings, am more irritable.  I sleep a lot, have always been one who needs lots of sleep.  Fatigue sets in STRONG and I just have to go to bed.  I have difficulty losing weight, and if I'm not actively trying to lose, I tend to gain pretty quickly.  And cold sensitivity.  I've always had that.  I get cold and I just can't warm up again.  And my teeth have always been somewhat cold sensitive too.

All these things, alone, I didn't think were hardly anything.  Nothing to mention at the doctor, nothing to make note of.  Just things that happen to me, or things that happen as you get older.  Whatever, no big deal.  But when you add them all up together, it IS a big deal.  And if I can do something about it, why the hell wouldn't I?!  That seems SO SILLY to let it go and do nothing, knowing what it is.

If you want to take a peek at the symptom list, and if any of this sounds familiar to you, see the tests you can request to have run over here:  Squidoo's got a good page with lots of links worth following, and The Mayo Clinic's hypothyroidism page (more child related) is another good one.  HyPERthyroidism also presents with similar but opposite results.  Sensitivity to heat, loss of weight, etc.  Thyroid issues are VERY common, the more I look into it, the more I realize this!

Anyway!!  They want me on a synthetic thyroid hormone to correct the balance, and called in the script for me.  I've started taking it as directed, but of course, being the natural person that I am, I asked the chiropractor about it at my appointment this morning.  I need to get a copy of my blood work for him so he can figure out just what to do exactly for the supplements and all that, but there are things we can do without prescription medications.  As I suspected.

There are some supplements I can take and some stuff I can do (like more high impact exercise than yoga) to help stimulate the thyroid and get it doing what it should.  I plan on talking to my doctor about my plan, and hoping my levels are better enough they can lower my doses on the hormone meds, and hopefully the supplements can replace the synthetic hormone altogether soon.

There are some things I want to do alongside a medical doctor, and this is one of them.  I will take the synthetic hormone and do the supplements as well.  If the supplements and exercise program don't help enough, I will continue to do so.  But!  If I don't have to take the synthetic hormone, I'd rather not have to.  It's worth a try!

So, crazy long post later, here I am.  Doing well, on my way to even better.  Hope all is well on your end!  :)  Have a lovely weekend!