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Middle aged

I got teased today for being middle aged before my time, or potentially before my time as the word “cougar” was used despite any evidence for it.

The reason I’m middle aged is the whole hypothyroidism thing. When I’d web-diagnosed myself in November the blood test showed I was only kinda sorta hypothyroid (TSH level of 5.9, where “normal” was somewhere under 5 or 5.5). My doctor even said we could forgo the synthroid drug since it was only slightly off, but I had been feeling somewhat shitty since the spring and wanted to try it out. I did end up with an abundance of energy for a while, my apartment got cleaned and I finally had a housewarming party and was more productive at work. Then that kind of waned but you can’t be on speed forever.

So I wasn’t completely surprised but still pissed off that my 6 week checkup had my TSH level now at a 9, which is the wrong way it’s supposed to go (TSH = thyroid stimulating hormone produced by the pituitary gland, higher values means it’s trying harder to get the thyroid to work, and taking synthroid should make TSH levels drop). The treatment is a higher dosage of synthroid, but my doctor now thinks I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which is an autoimmune disease where your body is attacking the thyroid.

Everything I’ve read on the internet says that Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism are most common in middle aged women. So there it is. Next stop, menopause!

I get another blood test in 6 weeks that should indicate the Hashimoto’s or not, though it doesn’t really matter, treatment is the same. But besides the sadness over the loss of my few remaining shreds of youth, I am also upset to have acquired an actual disease. I’ve had plenty of injuries and I’m far from sane, yet I had avoided “disease” up until now and I thought I still had some time to limp about in the pastures of moderately good health.

Having older parents (I mean, older than average) means that in recent years I’ve watched them get diseases like they’re buy 4, get the 5th one free. Diabetes, parkinsons, rheumatoid arthritis, several kinds of cancer, collect the whole set (note I’m including stepparents here). I have absolutely no desire to get past 60 as they make it look like retirement is just what you’re doing when you’re not at the doctor’s. And here I am, starting early.

2 Comments

  1. sarkasmo says:

    When you say you’ve been feeling “somewhat shitty since the spring”, what do you mean?

  2. Gillian says:

    @sarkasmo: I guess I just generally felt unwell but not with the sort of symptoms that made any sense: lethargy and depression, concentration problems, muscle aches, hair falling out. But not at horrible levels. My doctor just chalked it up to stress until I asked for a thyroid test.

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