Thyroid Disease: A Blessing from God

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It’s strange how looking back you can see certain events as blessings, even though at the time you would never have thought so.  Strange and beautiful.

So at the beginning of this year 2020, I was feeling quite well, full of energy & lots of plans.  My apnea was under control and my weight  ( which affects the apnea ) was doing well.  About mid January I started feeling tired. My weight started going up for  no reason, along with my apnea numbers. Hummm not good. So I went to see Dr. James, my nutritionist who ordered some blood work. A few days later when we got the results, she said something did not look right. She told me I needed to find a family doctor. Ken & I had just been going to walk-ins whenever we needed to, seeing a different doctor each time. I had often thought of it but always something more pressing came up and I never got around to it.

I casually started looking but was kinda busy you know, and it didn’t seem a priority. But I kept feeling worse and worse. No energy at all. Then on January 31st, I was sitting at work feeling just terrible. It was hard to get a breath in. Couldn’t take a deep breath at all. I was on the phone which is 90% of my job and couldn’t get a full sentence out without having to stop to get a breath. I was vaguely wondered if I was having a silent heart attack. ( I was not ) I began desperately  looking for a family doctor. I knew I had to see somebody soon and as Dr James said it would be much better if you had someone on a regular basis. Thanks to God he brought me to Dr. Sussan Iriji.  He ordered full blood work, put me on blood pressure meds ( my bp was 180/79 which I’m told is too high ) and got me to a cardiologist within the week. Dr. Karen the cardiologist ordered several tests and found I was retaining fluid in my chest and put me on a second medication for that. And I have some extra heart beats that make you feel like you’re having a heart attack but you’re not so that’s ok. They’re not harmful, just uncomfortable.  No damage to my heart. YAY!

Then Dr Iriji sent me to an endocrinologist, Dr. Alice, because my THS T4 & T4 levels looked wonkey. More blood work and ultrasound because she suspected it might be thyroid cancer. More good news, it’s only Hoshimoto’s disease. My immune system is attacking and killing a perfectly good thyroid. Oh well, that can be taken care of. She put me on synthroid, a synthetic hormone that my thyroid is supposed to produce on it’s on, were it not being killed off by my confused immune system.  Bloodwork every few weeks and each time an increase in the synthroid. She said it will take about a year or more for it to finish being killed off and then get me stabilized on the right dose of synthroid. I will feel crappy and have little to no energy but eventually  I will have my old level energy back again. The apnea, weight gain and blood pressure are most likely products of the thyroid disease. So once it’s stabilized it will all be good.

So how is this a blessing from God you ask. Yes it’s a blessing here is no heart problems or thyroid cancer.   But there’s more.

Ken’s knee has been giving him a lot of pain for a while now. He won’t go see a doctor about it, silly man. I would see him limping or struggling to get up the stairs and I would say why don’t you go see Dr. Iriji, who I never would have found at this time anyway, had I not been so sick in January.  Finally in August he said, ok if you like him I’ll go see him. Thank you Lord!  So he went to see Dr. Iriji. Since Ken has not had a complete blood workup in like forever, he ordered everything.

Well we got the results back and there were 5 red flags. One of which was the PSA. It was elevated. After seeing a urologist and several tests, ultrasounds and biopsies, we found out Ken has prostate cancer. Stage 2 Gleeson 7. Treatable at this point with an 80% survival rate. Only 2% chance it’s spread outside the prostate, yet. But he needs treatment within the next 6 months.

So why is it such a blessing from God that I was so sick back in January?  Let me tell you, I had to get that bad before I made finding a family doctor a priority. Had I not found such a good one in Dr. Iriji, Ken would not have gone when he did. And the cancer would not have been found in time.

So yea looking back getting sick and feeling really really bad, was a blessing from God. There’s no question about it.

The next 1-2 years will be a challenge, but with faith and love we will get through it. Of this I have no doubt. Thanks be to God!

By: Diane