Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Getting warmer

Nice picture? Smathers Beach, Key West.

I'm not wishing I could be there now or anything.

It's 21 degrees now, and I took the girls running when it was 18 degrees. Isabelle didn't have any hesitation today. We ran 4 miles, and other than a few breaks to lie down in the snow and eat it, they had a good run. I went out for 3 more miles and strides afterwards. It felt so much warmer today, even though I was dressed the same as yesterday in 9 degrees.

First thing this morning I got a call from the nurse at my doctor's office telling me all my labs from yesterday were "normal" except for my cholesterol, and to give them a call. I have learned that "normal" can mean a lot of things, so I called her back. First thing I asked her was, if my cholesterol was so high, then what was my thyroid doing? My TSH jumped a point and a half since I was last tested.

I love my doc, and I know she would agree with my concerns about fixing my thyroid first, but so many other health care professionals are clueless when it comes to this little butterfly-shaped gland in your throat. Especially treating an athlete who needs her body to be fine-tuned, and knows when things are not right. I'm not one of those people who fits neatly into the "normal" range, and over the past ten years, after all I've gone through to get properly treated for my thyroid, "Congratulations, you're normal", sounds the same to me as nails on a chalkboard.

Last spring I told my doctor I wanted to cut back on my thyroid meds by skipping one weekly dose to get myself a little more on the hypo end of things so I would avoid problems with the heat in Death Valley. Since I normally keep myself around 1, near the bottom of the "normal" range, she wasn't concerned- there's lots of room to play with thyroid- unless you're as sensitive to it as I am- which I underestimated. I overshot it at first so I went to skipping only two doses a month. I was perfect in July, right before the race. You'd think that two little doses a month wouldn't have such an effect, but it changed my TSH by over a point in just a few weeks.

Well after Badwater I continued with skipping the medication doses as I was doing last spring, and here it is 5 months later, and I don't feel so great. That was my own dumb fault, I should have gone back to where I was. But now that I've overshot the point where I first overshot last spring, I'll find out soon if adding the skipped doses back is enough. I've been so stable the past two years, I was starting to enjoy not worrying about what my thyroid was doing all the time, bouncing from hyper to hypo on a whim. It appeared that the little #$%*@&! finally gave up the ghost.

I've been having all the weird hypothyroid stuff lately, brain fog, always needing a nap, feeling wiped out in the afternoons, getting back cramps at the bottom of my rib cage when I breathe hard, eye twitches, and wanting to lie down and fall asleep during my runs. I've gained back the 4 pounds that I worked so hard to lose, and to top it off, my total cholesterol went from 199 last year to 252 now! I do have HDL of 87, which is a good thing, but my LDL went up a lot.

I know that when I keep my TSH in the place where I feel optimal, my cholesterol has never been an issue. So...I'll try the thyroid fix and see where that takes me, but first, I do have an ultrasound next week and hopefully there won't be any issues. I'll see how that looks before I add back the skipped doses.

Plus having such a hard time dealing with the cold, makes me wonder if it's not just from 4 months of sauna training earlier this year. I have not been feeling hot as often, and I even put an extra thick comforter doubled up on my side of the bed last week because I've been freezing at night lately.

Like my wonderful endocrinologist in Arizona told me, when I hit menopause it might not be fun regulating my thyroid. I get the feeling I'm only at the beginning of the ride.

Maybe I'll welcome the hot flashes when they come back. I could use one now.

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