That sinking feeling

October 9, 2015

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while. I’ve thought about it but, well, life’s been a bit rough lately. I’ll be writing about it one of these days, but I’m just not ready it. So instead, let’s talk about the phone call I just received 15 minutes ago.




Hi, this is H from Dr. Z’s office. Do you have a moment to talk to Dr. Z?

Oh boy.

I’ve been Dr. Z’s patient for 10 years now, and this is the first time his office has ever called me for anything other than rescheduling an appointment. I immediately thought about the bloodwork I had done last week. Could it really be that bad? I’m seeing him in two weeks; what couldn’t wait?

I’d had a few things tested it. As it turns out, the concern was about my thyroid results. Unfortunately, he doesn’t test the Free T3, which I think is the most useful. Still, my TSH was very low. It could have been worse, but it was definitely too low. I’d raised the med during the spring and summer. I’ve read that some people need to make changes seasonally and I guess I’m one of those people. I’d completely forgotten about it, though, until a few minutes ago. Apparently, I need to lower the dose again.

So why did he call? Because at these levels, I’m at risk of being hyperthyroid, which means having an overactive thyroid. That would put me at risk of all sorts of things, include heart problems. You don’t want to mess with that shit! I’ve had low numbers before, but never this low. So he wanted to check on me.

Thankfully, I’ve done enough research to know what the symptoms of hyperthyroid are, and I’m not having those. Well ok, I’m having some anxiety, but it’s a very specific kind of anxiety that’s completely warranted, but I’ll get to that in a future post. I’m not jittery, my heart isn’t pounding, I’m not shaking. So I’m ok. For now. But I better start figuring out when to lower my thyroid dose.

There are people who never have to worry about that feeling. They never get medical tests. Or they get tested for relatively harmless things that are easily cured. They don’t know that sinking feeling of hearing that a doctor wants to talk to you about recent test results.

I’ve had that sinking feeling many times before. Sometimes it worked out ok (like when the biopsy showed I *didn’t* have breast cancer) and other times not so good. And those not-so-good memories are why I get the sinking feeling in the first place; because I know it really might be bad news.

Today I’m lucky. Today it’s not so bad. Today I know what symptoms to watch for and I know that I’ll be just find as long as I take the right actions.

I just hope I’m as lucky next time.

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