Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Addison's Update

I have mixed feelings about my visit to the endocrinologist on Tuesday afternoon. It was a concoction of good news and meh news. I learned I have lost weight, which I attribute to the fact that I physically cannot eat Pringles without Nat, although the mile walk to and from campus every morning may have something to do with it as well. According to the bloodwork, my thyroid levels are still doing well and though hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism could arise at any time, now is not that time and I am thankful. I confessed some not-so-wise health decisions I made in Europe, earning a glare and a "we learned our lesson speech" from my doctor (who I LOVE by the way-she is the most thorough lady on the planet). 
I have been really forgetful about taking my 2.5 mg hydrocortisone at night, pretty much since January, but I haven't been feeling any unfortunate effects from it. However, it does leave me with only 17.5 mg of hydrocortisone in my system daily, which is rather on the low side. My doctor encouraged me to take the 2.5 with my afternoon dose, depending on how I feel. Addison's is a very subjective disease in that regard. 
The final part of my appointment was an ultrasound. About two years ago she felt something in my thyroid and wanted to check on it again now. This time she found two cysts, one on each side. She was hesitant to refer to them as nodules, explaining that the fluid characteristics denoted a cyst. She said nothing about them looked sinister or worrisome, but the fact that they were there at all wasn't exactly a comfortable thought. She took measurements of both (they are tiny, like 2-4 millimeters) and said we would check them again in a few years to make sure they aren't doing anything weird. 
Also during the ultrasound she mentioned that my thyroid looked like the beginning stages of Hashimoto's disease which, after some extensive Google searches, I learned is a fancy/terrifying name for what happens when my derpy immune system attacks my thyroid because attacking my adrenal glands 3 years ago just wasn't satisfying enough. Where do I sign up for a new immune system? I'm ready to fire mine. Hashimoto's would likely lead to hypothyroidism, so I would just pop an extra daily pill or two, which is honestly not a big deal. 
As frustrating as my body can be, it could be so much worse. I read an article about chronic illness that my Addison's friend Eva posted the other day. It mentioned that those with chronic illness cannot fight what opposes their health. It is impossible for me to beat Addison's disease. But I can live with Addison's disease. And it's a Very Lucky Life. 

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