First of all, you guys, you are all amazing. I was so nervous to publish my post yesterday, and then the incredible outpouring of support and love and encouragement that you all gave me, through emails and comments and links from your own blogs, made me feel so much better, and affirmed to me that publishing that post was the right thing to do. And I'm glad that so many of you were able to relate, and that those of you who couldn't relate on a personal level felt that you learned something from it.
Anyway, after such an intensely personal post, I would normally try to lighten it up, but apparently this is the Week of Serious Posts (with the exception of Monday's frivolous post on boots), because I want to talk about the doctor's appointment I had yesterday.
The day before yesterday the doctor's office called to tell me that I needed to come in to meet with the doctor about the result of my blood tests. Knowing this probably meant something was abnormal, I demanded to know if there was a problem. The nurse reluctantly said that there was, then tried to transfer me to the receptionist to make an appointment.
I had to fight with him. FIGHT. Just to get him to tell me which test came back abnormal. I was most worried about cholesterol, but as he told me, it was thyroid. Then he absolutely refused to disclose any further information.
I've never had a doctor refuse to give me my lab results over the phone before. This doctor is not one that I selected carefully, and honestly, I don't like him that much. He's thorough for sure, but he and his staff do not make me feel comfortable, and I never feel like I have full information. He's a GP and an OB-GYN, and the only reason I went to him was because I needed my pill prescription refilled, and I don't much care which doctor does that, so I picked the closest guy in my insurance company's network.
Had I known that it would turn into a whole thing with blood tests and whatnot, I would have done more research and picked a highly-recommended doctor, but I had no clue, so now I'm stuck with this guy whose office policy is not to tell patients about their own lab results without first getting a co-pay out of them. And I am not impressed.
Anyway, they wanted me to come in on January 18, but I informed them in no uncertain terms that I would not be waiting that long to be told what was wrong with me, and wrangled an appointment for the next day. So I went yesterday afternoon after work, and after handing over my stupid co-pay and receiving a lecture from the nurse about how I should not try to push them to give me my lab results over the phone in the future, was informed that I have hypothyroidism.
This is not necessarily a bad thing. First of all, all my other tests came back normal, which means that I don't have diabetes, high cholesterol, or any other health problems that are often associated with being overweight. Also, my blood pressure is a perfect 120/70. And if I'm going to have a health condition, this is a pretty good one to have.
Basically, it means that my thyroid, which controls the metabolism, is underactive. Thus, my metabolism is too slow. It is impressive, therefore, that I have managed to lose over 50 pounds on Weight Watchers with hypothyroidism. The treatment is straightforward, too--a single dose of synthetic thyroid hormone, every day for the rest of my life.
It's not quite that clear-cut--the doctor drew some more blood to check out other hormone levels in my body to get a more complete picture of my thyroid, and I also need to visit an endocrinologist to get fully checked out. This will ensure that my hypothyroidism isn't caused by a more serious condition (which is unlikely). The endocrinologist will also be able to monitor my blood levels to establish exactly what dose of synthetic hormone I need.
Also, because the synthetic hormone replaces a hormone that your body is supposed to produce naturally, there shouldn't be any side effects of taking it. It's not like birth control where you intentionally alter your body's hormone levels in order to stop ovulation--instead, you're just restoring equilibrium.
So the short version of this drawn-out story? I have a medical condition that slows my metabolism down. Which means that the treatment that I'm about to start will increase my metabolism. Which means that Weight Watchers should become more effective than ever. And in every other way, I'm healthy.
Not wholly bad news, huh?
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