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So much sleeping

I think that’s all I’ve been doing, at least that’s what it feels like. It’s helping, though: I have more energy and endurance, though not as much as I’d like, and I’m down to one nap a day instead of two.

My pulse has been fast since about the time I started chemo. One of my many doctors finally did a thyroid test and determined that I’m hyperthyroid, though I don’t have any other symptoms. I had a normal thyroid test a year ago, so this is new. (And really, after a year of chemo and radiation how would I know if I’d lost weight or lost hair for any other reason?) Wednesday I got a call telling me that I could see an endocrinologist in Danville on Friday, or I could wait until January. What do you do? You go where and when they tell you.

I found a friend willing to play hooky from work (thanks again!), so that worked out. I’m not supposed to drive until I’ve been off narcotic painkillers for a week. I’ll be able to drive next week (hooray!), but Friday would have been iffy, even if I were sure I had the endurance for a 160-mile round trip.

Since I was going to Danville anyway, I asked General Surgery if they could squeeze me in, and they found a slot. Good news: I’m down to one surgical drain. Other good news: it doesn’t hurt to get the drains pulled out, even if they’ve been in this long. It does feel rather odd to have something long and thin move through your body, but it’s a brief sensation. I feel so much better just to have them out. It’s easier to get out of the recliner, to move around, everything. And one of them hurt most of the time, and that pain is gone.

But of course the drain in my butt cheek is the one that has to remain. At least now I can sleep on my side so I’m not on it all the time.

The endocrinologist put me on a beta blocker to control the rapid heartbeat, and will start me on an anti-thyroid drug once she checks with my oncologist. She doesn’t think it’s thyroiditis, a short-term problem, and she didn’t feel any nodules or anything or see them on a CT scan which showed my neck (a good thing, though I have a neck ultrasound next week to confirm), which leaves Graves’s disease. The usual test for thyroid function is a radioactive iodine update test, but I can’t do that because I’ve had too many CT scans with iodine contrast agents.

None of the drugs I’ve been on have been specifically linked to thyroid problems, but I still wouldn’t be surprised if it’s messed up because my body is so messed up right now. The plan is to take the drugs for a while, with frequent monitoring. Once I’m otherwise healthy, if my thyroid is still overactive we’ll talk about more permanent solutions.

Because, you know, I needed another health problem to deal with right now. Bah.

At least fewer drains is a definite win.


  1. Fiadnata says:

    Given everything, I suspect hyperthyroidism is marginally better than hypothyroidism, at least for now. I do hope they find an easy way to get it under control, though. Just what you need is another ingredient in your cocktail.

  2. Tamie says:

    I am sooo glad you are getting better. ‘though it does slightly crack me up to think of one nap a day as a lot of sleeping. :). the no-nodules thing is good.

  3. Laurie says:

    I have Grave’s disease as well as (benign) nodules. For me, the endocrinologist ordered a test for thyroid stimulating immunoglobulin (TSI) to narrow the diagnosis.

    New reader….great blog! Best wishes!

  4. Sarah says:

    Hi Laurie, and welcome! I had a TSI test too, along with T3, T4 and something else I’m forgetting. It looks like there may be a link between the iodine contrast used in CT scans and hyperthyroidism, but I need to do some more research into that. I’ve certainly had a lot of CT scans this year.