From Abby: Hello Hypothyroid.
With diabetes comes many "bonus conditions," like blood pressure issues or thyroid problems. Recently, Abby visited her endocrinologist (four hours away, thanks to a complicated insurance situation) and ended up checking a completely new "yes" box. More from Abby below ...
I'm living four hours from my endocrinologist now. I can't get a new one here in Boston because I'm still under my mom's New York State insurance, so it has come to me uploading my pump and allowing my endo to look at the data when I need help, and getting bloodwork done at her office when I make a trip home. (Which honestly is fine with me at this point.)
I got all my yearly labs drawn a few weeks ago, without an appointment. It was a quick visit, in-and-out of the lab and on my way home with a bandaged arm and that anticipatory "What will the results BE?!" feeling.
A few days later, I called the nurses line at the office to see if my results were in yet. For some reason I couldn't put my finger on, I'd been really stressed about my thyroid levels all week. I usually couldn't care less about them, basically just knowing in my mind it was only a matter of time. This week though, I thought about that more than my A1C. I don't have any symptoms, just have had this strange feeling.
A nurse's voice that I didn't recognize from the office (It's a really small office; I think I've met everyone there and probably babysat their kids) called me back with my results. At first, she told me that I had a letter in the mail, but she could give me the results over the phone, too, if I needed them. ("Yes, over the phone would be great," I'm thinking. Not to be rude, but that is why I called - for the results?)
First the nurse tells me that my A1C is 6.8%. Which is awesome, because this officially marks a whole year under 7.0%. [Editor's note: NICE JOB on the A1C, Abby!!] Frankly, I haven't been trying my best - but I guess I've been doing well without knowing it. Sometimes being good isn't even good enough with diabetes, which is really frustrating.
Then the nurse tells me, in a very nonchalant sort of way, that my thyroid is too low and my endo wants to start me on levothyroxine. I immediately had tears in my eyes, and then thought, "Wait, why are you crying about this ... you knew this could be coming at some point?" Except that "knowing it's coming" and "having it be here" are two very, very different things. A new diagnosis of a chronic disease is not easy - hypothyroidism or not. This one fortunately won't affect my life much, is easily controlled by a daily pill, and is well understood in the medical community. I mean, thank goodness I had diabetes first and hypothyroid second, right?
Still, all that logic and reasoning can't outweigh my emotions. And these emotions are for the birds because I am not a crier (except for after a drinks or at a really sad movie). So why the waterworks with this news? I just don't get it. Was it the ease in which the nurse told me? Maybe because my blood sugar was over 300mg/dL when she told me? Or are all the other stressors in my life piling up and this one is the icing on the diabetic cake?
Nevertheless, I am now officially adding to the "high probability" that people with type 1 will also have hypothyroidism. So can I go stuff my face with cake now?
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If you're living with a thyroid condition and you have some words of advice - or support - for Abby, please chime in. A little support goes a very long way. And Abby, I'm working on that cake. ;)