I’m Sorry I Can’t Hear You

This has been a fascinating week in my crazy thyroid world and I just have to share it now that things seem to be on the upswing. I will try to be brief for those who are bored by mundane subjects regarding the butterfly shaped organ called thyroid, so you will have to refer to previous blogs to get all the facts.

On Wednesday I had my now regular three month phone appointment with my functional medicine man, Dr. Rob Bruley. As always he asked how I was feeling to which I replied “great”. Then we discussed my present opinion of my thyroid which included the question “how are the heart palpitations?” I responded “Knock on wood (and I did just that) they are really good at the moment. I haven’t had any for a week and ever since I started on the dessicated thyroid from Women’s Health America they have been much better.” I also foolishly told him I was sleeping like a rock with my newly updated amount of bio-identical progesterone. Next time just put duct tape on my mouth.

Why oh why do I say these things? Within an hour of my conversation with Dr. Bruley the palps started up with a vengeance and persisted for most of the rest of this past week. When the irregularity is bad during the daytime hours I feel the need to cough especially if the palpitation or irregularity is more than every 20 beats or so. If the irregularity occurs every 4th or 5th beat then I cough this dry cough that seems to nip it in the bud for the time being but it will return soon after that. Usually by the time I go to bed or shortly after supper the daytime palps are gone or not noticeable. Normally I then sleep perfectly with no palpitations or irregularity during the night.

However, when I have them at night it is different and this week I was rudely awakened three nights in a row with palpitations stimulated by really bad dreams that I am calling my night terrors. I have the night terror, wake up with a start and my heart is pounding. Within moments I can feel a small blip, twenty beats later another blip and so on. It lasts about an hour and then finally I can sleep again with a calm heart and no more night terrors. Being the health investigator that I fancy myself to be this causes quite a stir  because I simply have no answer, well no answer at first.  I have a theory now and that is what prompts me to share my experience in this week’s blog entry.

Yesterday,  frustrated by several nights of interrupted sleep I changed my regimen. First I reviewed whatever information I could glean from Stop The Thyroid Madness. In that information one point stuck with me because I have been suspicious that this was the case. Sometimes what you think are hyperthyroid symptoms are really symptoms of  a hypothyroid state and you need to increase your dose of dessicated thyroid. This is a scary thing for me to do because I HATE the racing pulse that comes with the increased dosage but a rapid heartbeat beats an irregular heartbeat every time. The other thing that a lot of thyroid advocates state over and over is divide your dosage throughout the day, something my doctor poo-poos (But then again I told him about the Armour shortage and the bad reaction people were having to the reformulated Armour and he said he had no knowledge of either. He does now.).

Being armed with the information I needed once again (amazing how one forgets what you read) I took half of my 90 mg tablet in the morning, the other half at noon and around supper with some trepidation I took less than a quarter of my 180 mg Armour tablet (I have about three months worth of what I now assume is the newly reformulated Armour that doesn’t work very well). That should be very roughly 135 mg of dessicated thyroid and nothing bad happened, all my fears were for nothing. The good news is I slept much better. I did have a night terror episode but it was accompanied by the startle and the racing heart but only one or two minor blips and I was soon sleeping soundly again. It is sad when a night like last night somehow seems fabulously restful but it is the truth I feel like a new person or perhaps better said, I feel like me again.

Here is the summary (for those who are now yawning) I am going to continue to take the 135 mg of dessicated thyroid until I start having the palpitations again at which time I will increase the dose to slightly more. I suspect that my normal dose will eventually be 180 mg but by then I will be using the dessicated thyroid from Women’s Health America and I will not return to Armour as Forest Labs has proven to be unreliable and uncaring about the people who take their products. My adrenals for all intents and purposes are fine. I pass all the tests with flying colors (blood pressure, pupil dilation), so I see no need to take cortisol despite STTM’s recommendation to do so. If my pulse starts to regularly be greater than 80 bpm I will cut back my dessicated thyroid as my normal resting pulse is close to 70 and my blood pressure is a comfortable 110/73.

Wish me luck because I suspect I need a smidgeon of that as well. I am keeping a diary of events, so that when I next talk to Dr. Bruley I can with certainty tell him all about what has happened in the last three months. I suspect when asked how I have been feeling I will cautiously say “fine” and as for the heart palpitations question I may just feign cell phone static or some cosmic interruption, tell the good doc I can’t hear him and carry on from there.

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