So, remember that whole debacle with the endocrinologist where she told me that there wasn't anything wrong with me and asked me why I was seeing her? Yeah. That was fun. Well, I had my annual appointment with my GP in September and I complained about it. I told him that I was still dealing with the symptoms that I was having before and lamented that there HAD to be something going on with my thyroid or something. Otherwise, why would my test results be borderline (leaning hypothyroid) in addition to my hypothyroid symptoms?
He agreed. After all, he was the one that referred me to the endocrinologist in the first place! He did say he was between a bit of a rock and a hard place, however, because he saw problems but the specialist didn't. So, if things got to a severe point for me he'd potentially have some problems referring me again. But he didn't care, he wanted me to feel better. Not only did he sympathize with my concerns and my frustration, he agreed it was worth it to try and treat it to see if there was an improvement. And he agreed with me that a generic version of Armour, the more bio-identical/natural thyroid treatment, was a better fit for me than Synthroid, the one that freaked me out. Fewer side effects, more in line with my holistic/natural treatment preferences, etc. He gave me a three month prescription for a low dosage of the generic Armour and wanted me to come back in two months for a retest and to see how I'm feeling. The low dose would be enough to hopefully start moving my levels in the right direction, but not so high as to cause issues if I didn't need treatment. Based on the followup we'd be able to determine if I needed a higher dose, if the current dose was working, or if I didn't need treatment at all.
I had my followup on November 18th, and I was pleased to report progress. A couple of my symptoms had definitely started to improve, and I didn't feel any spazziness that could indicate too much thyroid hormone. He said based on how I'd been feeling alone he was fairly certain that the treatment was making a difference and that I should stay on the medicine, but that the blood test would be our true indicator. Also, as I continue taking the medication, I'm likely to start seeing improvements in some of the other symptom areas where I haven't as of yet. It's a process. And it can take some tinkering to get the right levels. As long as there's progress, I'll be patient! Anyway, I got my results today and my numbers were clearly moving more toward normal so he wants me to stay on the current dosage and possibly adjust up a bit on the dosage later if I'm not seeing additional improvement.
...Take Control of YOUR Health...
What's the moral of this story? YOU know your body better than anyone. If you feel like something is wrong, and you're not a hypochondriac that's spent too much time on WebMD, fight until someone listens to you. It can be frustrating, time consuming, sometimes expensive, and downright maddening but once you get someone to listen it'll be worth it. Of course, the key is not insisting you know for sure exactly what's wrong with you...that's their job and hopefully they'll do it. Be able to articulate your issues. Be specific. Be cooperative and open minded. Basically, help them help you.
I'm so glad that my GP that has known me for years was willing to ignore the specialist's findings and do what he felt was best. So far, my weight issues and another one or two frustrating symptoms haven't improved but I'm going to be patient and hope that with time and possibly a dosage change I'll start to see progress. Unfortunately, my GP is retiring in January so I'll have to go to a different one. Luckily, a nurse friend was able to point me to another doctor in the same practice that she felt would be most compatible with me and most like my current doctor.
Fingers crossed that I'm on the right path! I'm excited about it and have high hopes, but not so high that I'll be devastated if things don't continue as I hope they will. :)