Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Don't Mess With My Meds!

I should have been for protective, but I didn't know what would happen.  My doctor had me do some blood work to check my thyroid levels.  The nurse practioner called to tell me that my levels where on the high side (which is what the blood work said) and that she would like to prescribe a slightly lower dose of my hormone replacement.  

"Sure" I said... like an idiot.

For each of my thyroid scans I had to go off my replacements completely and during that process I felt mostly fine so my reasoning lead me to believe that just a mere decrease of a mere 25 mg would be hardly perceivable.

Wrong.  Very Wrong.

Now it wasn't all that bad.  The thing about these hormone replacements is that they are long acting.  A change in dose takes a whole six weeks to take full effect.  This can be a very good thing, say, if I forget to take my pill one day it won't make me crash-- that's a very good thing.  But about three weeks after taking the new slightly lower dose I started to drag and it took me a few days to realize why.  But I would have to wait another three weeks before my next round of blood work to show that this was bad and that it needed to be fixed, which I did.

This was a new experience for me.  I've felt tired before, but not like this.  I've been lazy before, yet this was different.  Tired, but not sleepy, and sleep didn't make me less tired.  I faked it, I did what I needed to do and even some things that I just wanted to do when I was coasting on the fake mustered energy.  That actually helped a little, it felt good to get some things done but I would pay for it later in extra tiredness.  I made it a point to get up and still do things.  I know sometimes acting tired or lazy can cause additional tiredness or laziness.  It's an odd sensation to just 'run out of gas' especially when I wasn't trying to do anything extraordinary or physically demanding.  After a while it just got frustrating.  Immensely frustrating.

It was finally time to do blood work again.  The next day I started taking my old pills because at that point I didn't care what the results would say, I concluded the experiment was a failure.  Typically the nurse practitioner calls me the day after I receive my copy of the lab results to make further adjustments.  When no call came that week I made an appointment.  

During the appointment she said that my numbers looked fine and I'm grateful that when I told her that the new dose wasn't working for me and that I felt normal with my old dose she agreed to write a new prescription for my old dose.  Funny, I was half-expecting her to say 'well you're numbers say you're fine' and leave it at that-- not because of my interactions with her in the past but just because I know that medical professionals can do that sometimes.  I was prepared to get defensive... I'm glad that was not necessary... I didn't want to hurt her.

About three weeks after that (long acting is also code for slow acting) I started to feel a slight improvement.  I'm now feeling pretty normal and getting back into the usual swing of things.