Hypothyroidism and I
I’ve had hypothyroidism since I was 12 – maybe 11.
I don’t really remember.
But my thyroid issue has been with me since I was baby.
I have hereditary hyperthyroidism – meaning, I inherited the condition from my mother, who has the same condition. My mother had her thyroid gland removed when I was a kid. I don't really have much memory about it. I just remember her wearing a bandana on her neck to hide and protect the surgery wound. The scar can't be seen that much today.
My condition was discovered when I was around 10 years old, and I was treated for it immediately. At this point, I already had a literal lump in my throat, and it was growing quickly. My thyroid was producing way too much thyroid hormones and it was swelling and affecting my whole system. I was in danger of heart attacks because of my increased heart rate. Dehydration, because I was going to the bathroom way too often than needed and I was sweating – a lot. I was also having sleep issues and I was losing weight despite eating a lot.
My options were limited. Oral medication, operation or radioactive iodine.
We took the oral medication route first – no luck. There were three kinds of medicine available for me, and I had an extremely negative reaction to all three. I broke out in rashes, high fever and basically lived in a hospital for a majority of my fifth grade year. Operation was something my parents are not amiable with – I was a lead singer in the choir and there was a chance that my voice would be affected. So we took the radioactive iodine route, which destroyed my thyroid.
Good news, I no longer have hyperthyroidism. Bad news, I now have hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism means my thyroid is inactive. Since the radioactive iodine has now taken effect, I’m getting too little hormones.
I was given maintenance medicine to compensate. I now have to take synthetic hormones (Levothyroxine) for the rest of my life.
I should have taken that a little more seriously.
I do remember being a good girl and taking my meds on time, but as time went on, I kind of just forgot about it. What usually happened is that I’ll just take my meds when the doctor’s appointment is near so that I can pass my tests and everything. I went to the doctor every six months or so, so imagine the lapse of hormones and the havoc I was causing to my body.
Now, at 21, I am paying for Every. Single. Lapse.
I have thick, straight and long hair. It’s almost to my butt, and I plan to grow it even longer. It’s one of my prized possessions. I love my hair. I take good care of my hair. I hate cutting my hair. I love it long and flowing. I want it to like a mermaid’s, or a siren, or a dalagang Filipina. Like Maria Clara’s or Mariang Sinukuan’s or Maria Makiling’s. I never imagined my hair would have to pay for my disregard of my body.
With long thick hair comes hairfall, yes? It’s just a way of life, and I didn’t take much notice of it.
Come December 2017, my hairfall became hair loss.
Hairloss due to Hypothyroidism
I was brushing my hair, and there was the expected shedding – and more.
I was alarmed, really, really alarmed and in my head I had a hunch of why this was happening. I’m running low on hormones. I need to replenish myself. I need to visit the doctor.
I knew it, but still I didn’t go to the doctor until five days later.
My test results came back being the highest ever. My pituitary gland was screaming for my body to produce more hormones, but since my thyroid gland is more or less dead, it can only produce a super tiny bit.
|My TSH was wayyy too high|
So that’s the reason why I’m suddenly shedding this much hair. Still, it felt like the world is crumbling, and it’s only getting so much worse. I was already having bald patches on my head and it’s not pretty.
I actually broke down when I felt these areas, because it’s my hair. I’m losing my hair. I decided to cut a few inches of my hair as well, as I thought it would help me think that less hair is falling – IDK, it makes sense in my head.
Uneven ends but that's okay for now. No one gets to see it anyway. Well, except you.
I now style my hair mostly in braids and ponytails.
Whatever that can hide the bald spots because I am ashamed of them. I hate them. I want to them go away. But I know this battle is just starting.
I’m not going let hypothyroidism take my glorious hair away.
Blog post was written in the third week of December. I didn't have the courage to post it until now.. But I have been writing more and more about this issue and I feel like I'm lying to myself.. posting about other things while keeping this a secret. It's time to come out.