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Personal Stories

Written by
Eileen Gannon

"I found out I was hyperthyroid on July 15, 1998. I have only a very slight swelling of the goiter. I am adrenalized sometimes, and my heart is wired. I took the medication like a "good patient" to lower the TSH. After 1 1/2 months it was dangerously low (then the endocrinologist stopped the medication. We checked after 2 weeks and found the TSH almost normal).Then it was another month until the next appt. and it was normal but going high.

Looking back now, I think the lady doctor should have monitored it better. I thought I was coming down with a cold, and like you did not want to seem like a complainer. I dropped the doctor, and am going for acupuncture every week for 12 weeks, then every 2 weeks, then every week is what the doctor there said would be the schedule. Insurance does not cover it and $200 a month total for once a week visits is tough. I have some dependents. The acupuncturist said she has treated hyper- before- worse cases since I have few symptoms other than a wired heart.

Sometimes I feel a lot of emotional energy in my throat and talk with a high pitch.

Anxiety attacks-all day at work-were common in the 1980s. I too am highly sensitive (is what people call the person who cries easily). Thyroid problems run in my family. I had very bad depression in 1982 after the birth of my third child (out of wedlock) so I know what you mean about the stress level being initially the problem. Here I am just starting my adult, single life, with grown daughters. I was happy looking forward to some easy mid-life years, and now I feel wired. Say a prayer that acupuncture will help a bit just after the 12 weeks; then I can hang on for whatever time it takes to normalize it.

My T4 and T3 were normal when I began acupuncture. The t4 was too high in July 1998.

The Chinese herbs (granules) have kept me from heating up from inside and has ended the heart palpitations. I sleep well...but I keep in mind to keep my pace SLOW intentionally. I spoke recently to a naturopath who has hyperthyroid patients who are on maintenance remedies which include Jasmine. If the acupuncture does not do it, I'll maintain.

Has any doctor ever taken tapasol? They should have to...I mean taking that medication and going from TSH .01 to TSH 15.3 in 1 1/2 months was an ordeal. I know it could have been avoided if the monitoring were more frequent. A reason such as "this will take some time, it always does" did not cover the bruises, cuts, and tunnel vision, and very close accidents that were caused by the hypothyroidism which was due to bad monitoring of medication.

I told my endocrinologist in Portland, Oregon (and I am suspicious of why she changed work places), that if it were my child which were neglected as I was she would have more a fight at this point. Instead I called her money grubbing and left.

The effects of the tapasol medication: my head feels a wave of movement over large wrinkles from front to back (of course that is a description and not visible). I found the nerves in my head were numbed and places where I would visualize thoughts (of course I took that all for granted until there this medication left a blank screen) were no longer there. I FELT ALONE. I must admit here at least I did not feel the emotional need for isolation, which my personality does fight for and leads to stress in the work place. I learned a lot about my psychology though. For instance, I immediately began asking others to do things for me. I have NEVER done that before. I after going back to normal off of the medication I do ask now and then. I do not lift heavy objects anymore (groceries are the exception). I remember that to be pressured by time is an individual thing. I do not see a lot of folks do that. I do not have to...either I make time for what is important or learn to...but dual tasks does not make for security and health. I am working on this point.

Eileen Gannon

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