The Thyroid is Like a Butterfly...

Yeah, if the butterfly is a predatory, soul-sucking vampire beast.

Over the past three years or so, I've been all over the web seeking info and help about the gland also-known-as my thyroid, and I keep finding these pink and lavender, feel-good, fluffy-teddy-bear pages that compare it to a fucking butterfly, with the accompanying tripe about metamorphosis and personal growth. It's even innocuously called, "The Butterfly Effect". Yeah, it's kind of shaped like a butterfly, but let's cut the crap, okay? It's a gland that has been eating itself , destroying my hormone levels and making hell of my life for about 15 years. Do we say cancer is like a velvet night that takes over the sky, revealing a billion glimmering stars? FTS...

Here's what's going on: I have an auto-immune disease. My immune system is fookered up. It's attacking my body, which is otherwise healthy, and it makes me sick. It's called Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and it's incurable. It raises my blood pressure, gives me migraines, makes my hair fall out, ages me, gives me fibromyalgia, and makes me chronically fatigued. If the TSH levels get too high I could have a stroke. If they get too low I could go comatose and die. And my doctor says that I'm hyper-sensitive to this and will probably never find the right dosage because my levels fluctuate abnormally. Other, more fortunate people take the little pill every morning and live completely normal lives. Not I. Not old "Lucky Pierre" (as mom used to call me, because nothing has ever come easy for me).

Butterfly, my ass.

I got the results back from Thursday's blood test and my TSH levels were so high that my doctor doubled my dosage. Doubled. But the worst of it isn't my TSH levels, although I've felt like hell for about three months now. The worst is that every time she changes my dosage, I'm sent into a nightmare for at least two months. So there's nearly half of the year during which I feel like hell. The other half is spent feeling like hell due to the disease. Then it starts all over again. I think, honestly, that since January 1st, I've felt really good during two spells of about three days each. It's crippling. I can't allow myself to get excited about good things, I can't get worked up about bad things. I have to stay calm. It makes a mockery of the libido and has all but annihilated my creativity. What kind of crap is that?

I know that a lot of people have this. It's actually pretty common since it's caused (they think) by undue, long-term, trauma-induced stress, as well as genetics. I try not to focus on it, and I don't like talking about it because I'm terrified of coming off like I'm full of self-pity, but even that creates stress that affects me adversely. Sometimes, however, I get so tired of this roller coaster that I just have to vent.

The painting, "Thyroid: Butterfly of Life & Death" is by John Faherty.