Archive for the 'hashimoto disease' Category

Hospital Visit

Wednesday, April 13th, 2016

Another morning spent at the thyroid hospital.  I always knew that the hospital was efficient but today they had posted expected waiting times in the various waiting rooms.  They aim to take blood from 50 people every 10 minutes. It always takes a little longer to take my blood, than the ideal time, as it makes me feel faint.  This seems to amuse the phlebotomists who don’t seem to understand that I can’t relax even if instructed to do so over and over.

Today I also had an ultrasound and it seems they aim to do 50 of these in an hour.  That is rather ambitious though, and they are failing to meet their targets.  The notices, inside the treatment area, suggest that they are averaging 37 an hour.  The other great thing about the hospital is that the provide the results quickly.  Today’s results were mostly good.  My thyroid gland has gotten smaller, I have no nodules, and most of my hormone levels are good.  The one that isn’t is more than the likely the reason why I’m having problems with insomnia and anxiety, but changing my medication would make things worse, so I’ll just have to find other ways to deal with that.  And hopefully it will be months before I have to have another blood test.

Health Matters

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

People often ask me questions about my life in Japan with the sound of excitement in their voices.  “Oh it must be fantastic to live there”, “your life must be so interesting”…  When really my life is full of normal things that become difficult because of culture and language.  Today I tried to go to the gym.  It really should not have been difficult but I only know of one way in and it’s via an elevator which was not working.  After pushing buttons a number of times like an idiot I finally worked out that the recorded voice was telling me that the elevator was not going to the 3rd or 4th floor.  Once I got outside the lift I saw a printed sign with instructions on how to get to the gym if the elevator was not working.  I was too embarrassed to spend 5 minutes reading this so I took a picture and wandered off to somewhere less public to read it.

After working out the meaning of the instructions I did eventually find my way into the gym only to discover it was closed for Obon.  I’m aware that the festival takes place at some point in the middle of August but it’s not a national holiday and it never occurred to me that lots of businesses would close for the week.  So 30 minutes after I left the apartment building I went back to use the small gym there.  But first I had to rest because I was so hot and sticky from the humidity outside.   The gym in my building is not great.  It contains 3 treadmills, 3 bikes, and an area for stretching with gym balls, mats, and stretch rollers.  I spent an hour on the treadmill and 20 minutes on a bike.  It was not easy in the heat and I sweated most of my life force away in order to burn around 500 calories.

I had wanted to go to the gym to lift weights but I still had to do something when that failed.  I’m really making an effort with exercise as my thyroid function is continuing to decline and my medication has been increased again.  I was told at the hospital yesterday that it’s going to be incredibly hard for me to lose weight with my current hormone levels but I’m going to keep trying.  It will take at least 6 weeks for the change in medication to have any effect but I really don’t want to gain any more weight.


Friday, December 13th, 2013

I never expected thyroid hormones to have such an impact on my daily life.  Silly really, since I studied hormones at university, but reading about them and experiencing them are quite different.  Now that it’s much colder I have become hypothyroid again.  This is to be expected but I do wish I lived in a country that adjusted medication for the winter.  At my last health check the doctor was surprised stating as always that I shouldn’t be like this on medication.  But, anyway, it happens every winter even though my Japanese doctors act as if their will alone should stop such things.

I’m aware of them today as I’ve made a mistake and taken too much medication.   I usually avoid doing this through routine.  I take my medication as soon as I go into the living room in the morning.  This morning it was really cold and I dashed out of bed to grab my laptop and went back to bed again.  An hour later, when I went back into my living room, I took my medication.  Given that I’m now incredibly warm it seems I forgot that I taken it when I got my laptop.  There is no heating on in the apartment, it’s about 7 C (44F) outside, and I’m as warm as I feel on a summer’s day.  Having an overactive thyroid must be great for the heating bills, but probably not so good for the extra food you would have to eat to burn this hot.

Short term memory problems are a issue when hypothyroid and really I should have a better system for taking tablets.  I also like to think I can change things through my will alone so I have been ignoring my short term memory issues.  Even I noticed that I spent quite a bit of time yesterday walking around the living room in circles.  I mentioned it to Marty and he tells me I’ve been like this for a while.  But it amuses him to see me behave like a caged polar bear, so he didn’t point it out.

I have been attempting to deal with the mountains of laundry and got annoyed that my hormones also cause a problem with storage space. I have too many clothes.  I need to keep them in different sizes as my weight can fluctuate horribly over the course of the year but I’m not sure where I’m supposed to store them.  I’m also annoyed that I’m bigger in winter as winter clothes are bulkier and it would be nicer if these were the clothes in smaller sizes.

Hormone changes happen gradually and it can be difficult for me to see when I’m deteriorating.  I don’t want to slow down in the winter and I do a great job at ignoring the changes.  The most noticeable change is sleeping patterns.  In the summer I would sleep around 7 hours and 45 minutes if I was left to waken naturally.  Now I’m at 9 hours and 15 minutes.  It’s not so bad though, two winters ago I was sleeping more than 12 hours a day in December.