Sleepy Rachel: Hypothroidism and Carpool

So, every time I sit down to write something, especially after a long break, my first thought is always that whatever topic I choose, is that it’s not interesting enough to share. I’ve decided that I’m just going to write from now on. That’s the whole point, right? To share what it’s like to be sick, to be well, to be healing, to be moving forward. I’m always all of these things. When I wait for something “worthy” to talk about, I forget that life is lived in the spaces in-between.

1

Among my many, many, many health issues, I’ve got hypothyroidism. If, when I was originally diagnosed with number 673 on my list of “issues.” BTW, pronounce that with a “sh” sound in the middle; so, say it “ishues,” because it’s weightier and more annoying. This is similar to hypothyroidism, which is mostly just annoying, and makes you weightier. See how I brought that around?

If I’d had better insurance when I was originally diagnosed, I’d have pushed for a more thorough blood workup and insisted on a bit more analysis, like figuring out if it’s Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism, which is likely, and if there are any other autoimmune disorders I should be looking for, like Sjogren’s Syndrome, which I have a lot of markers for, hangs out with hypothyroidism, and could explain the ridiculous number of UTIs I’ve had in the last few years, and the equal number of false alarms I’ve had. Ah, the joys of a bad bladder.

Alas, I had an HMO, not a PPO, and so I took my Synthroid prescription, or actually, my generic, like a good girl, and moved on with life. Once, I let it lapse, and figured, “meh, what’s this really doing for me?” Turns out, it was doing a lot. Within a few months of forgetting to renew my prescription, my hair was falling out in clumps, I could hardly stay awake for a full “Game of Thrones.” Wait, that wasn’t the Synthroid’s fault. “Game of Thrones” is super boring (I know that’s an unpopular opinion). Not the least severe symptom was that I was having an increasingly difficult time swallowing.

As I still had the HMO, of course I couldn’t just go to the endocrinologist; I had to go to my PCM first, to ask him pretty please if I could go to the man who knows about hormones. Thankfully, the PCM noticed the golf-ball-sized goiter hanging out of my neck. The odd thing is that I’d never noticed it. Even odder was that Bryon never noticed it. I guess when things like that grow slowly, you don’t notice them? Or, Bryon never looks at me.

He told me not to worry, that it is probably not cancer. Oh, okay! No big deal, after an ultrasound, and pissing my pants, it wasn’t. It was just the result of lapsing on my “Synthroid” (fake Synthroid). Lesson learned. So, I don’t lapse anymore. And, I get my blood drawn once a year.

2

Turns out, I think I need to get it drawn right now. Here’s why:

I have been falling asleep, a lot, in lots of not embarrassing places; but also, at carpool pick up. Not just once in a while, either. This isn’t early in the morning, or after a busy day, or a rough night. This is every day. At 3:45 in the afternoon, after lots of caffeine, because, yeah, I know it’s coming.

Today, I fell so hardcore asleep, in a matter of minutes, that I was full-on dreaming. Let me paint you a picture before I go on. I was wearing my painting clothes, as I’d planned to paint today. In other words, destroyed leggings, and my Alabama sweatshirt, both covered in old paint stains. Hair is better left undescribed, as it was uncombed, and in a wide, fabric and flowered headband. I looked like hobo-mom. At least I was wearing nice boots, which sitting in a car, are invisible. Last shower: best left unsaid.

In my defense, Bryon is both TDY, and locked down. I got the ring, no need to do a thing. In case you’ve not seen the new acquisition, I’ve clearly got no need to dress to impress, right? Kidding! I’ve got nice things, and I wear them. But, not to paint!

 In the most un-Bryon thing he's ever done, Bryon bought me a ring that I've been asking for, for longer than I can remember. It wasn't cheap, and I think he almost vomited, when they scanned his credit card. But, I have vowed never to ask for another thing...for months. But...so sparkly. So many diamonds. So pretty!

In the most un-Bryon thing he's ever done, Bryon bought me a ring that I've been asking for, for longer than I can remember. It wasn't cheap, and I think he almost vomited, when they scanned his credit card. But, I have vowed never to ask for another thing...for months. But...so sparkly. So many diamonds. So pretty!

Anyway, I heard a car door open, within my vicinity, and assumed it was my child, and my car. While I was sleeping, my mom-nag brain wasn’t turned all the way off, apparently; so, I rolled my window down, and began peppering my assumed-child with questions about whether he’d had a talk with his teacher about his missing assignments. (Side note: how does the queen of A+ assignments and never having missed a single one, raise a child whose folder explodes with missing work? How?! It’s maddening).

My eyes hadn’t woken up yet, however. So, when my assumed child kept asking “what?” I wasn’t thinking that I had the wrong kid. Nope. Instead, I was suspicious about why he was getting in the wrong door, and being frustrating about, assumedly on-purpose, misunderstanding my question, repeatedly, because I had to keep repeating it.

Finally, my eyes decided to cooperate, and open all the way, just in time to notice that I was quizzing one of my son’s friends, and his little brother, as they loaded into their mini-van with their mother. Rather than addressing, or acknowledge me, she spoke rapid

Oh God.

So, that happened.

The best part, I was still asleep enough that I just lolled my head to the other side like I was mid-meth overdose, and conked back out. Yep. Zonked.

So, rather than blame myself for a lack of self-control, I’m going to blame the hypothyroidism. Perhaps, I won’t get it checked. I’ll just keep going with this perfect excuse for slovenliness until the end of time.

3

In other news, I am super terrified. I have to have the scariest test of my life, tomorrow. They are strapping me to table, then flipping it up and down to see how long it takes for me to either barf or pass out, whichever happens first. It’s not a medical thing, just some guy in a garage, who says he’s going to give me $50.

Obviously, not. It’s at UCLA cardiology. Based on the fact that I have to steady myself, count to 20, and then wait for the black spots to dissipate, if I stand directly up from a lying down position; oh, and the doctor, upon taking my blood pressure from lying to standing, gripped my arm with the vice-grip of death, and then asked me to lie back down, I’m giving it about 90 seconds max. We’ll see. Any over under bets?

I’m not excited. Not one bit. It’s all to confirm a diagnosis they already know that I have, but it’s more a diagnosis of elimination, and thanks to medicine being an imperfect science, I have to be tortured, so that I can have a complete medical history for appropriate treatment. Hooray! It’s awesome to be a complex case.

Oh, and thanks to all this, I’ve had so much blood work taken in the past three months, I’ve discovered that I have early liver disease, which no one can figure out, despite tracing all my medications, my diet, and my history. I basically have the liver of a lifelong alcoholic, and I’ve only ever been buzzed maybe three times in my life. Apparently, I was to live to regret those glasses of champagne, and that half a Heineken. And, I also have massively high cholesterol. So, thanks genetics!

Come to think of it, genetics gave me hypothyroidism, too. Dammit. I can blame that for humiliating me in the car, today. Apparently, I should be glad that we are moving next month, and I don’t have to face any of those mommies any more. Phew.