In case I haven’t mentioned it 72,000 times already, my hand is broken. I know, you haven’t heard this before. It’s totally new news! And so, complaining that my hand really really really REALLY hurts is also news. (Feel free to punch me in the face, now.) (Maybe it will distract me from the pain in my hand?) I have been a bit preoccupied with the pain in my hand, is my point. Because it hurts. DUH.
Unfortunately, life still requires that I do tremendously demanding things like get dressed, take care of my kid, leave the house for appointments, and work. Harumph. At this point, anything with a “simple,” no-fuss solution is a-okay with me. Basically the less that is required of me, the better I like it.
So when I was at the doctor last week and she said my thyroid was off, and she said she was giving me some medication, I thought that was fantastic! There was a problem; there was a solution; done. Perfect. (Also, I’m not gonna lie—it was vindicating to know I haven’t been imagining my symptoms.)
So this was all fine and dandy, right up until I went to see my therapist this week. And I got to spend the first part of the appointment retelling the “I broke my hand on an apple” story, as expected, so that was fun. And when I got to the part about going to the doctor for the orthopedist referral, I mentioned that yes, my thyroid really was being wacky, and I gotten a prescription for Synthroid. I then launched into a retelling of my orthopedist appointment, but my therapist interrupted me.
“Wait, wait,” she said. “Go back. What’s up with your thyroid?”
“It’s low, I guess,” I said. “She gave me a prescription.”
“How low?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I admitted. “I forgot to ask. Maybe on account of, you know, MY HAND WAS BROKEN.”
“Okay,” she said, slowly. “Why is your thyroid level low?” I stared at her blankly. She tried again. “To what is she attributing the problem?”
“I… don’t know?” This was weird. How was I supposed to know? “She didn’t say.”
“Did she do any imaging of your thyroid?” I shook my head. “Order any additional blood work?” I shook my head again. She sighed, loudly. “Did she set you up with an endocrinologist for a follow-up appointment?” Realization was dawning. I shook my head once more. She threw her hands into the air, visibly appalled. “So let me get this straight: Your doctor determined that there is a problem with your thyroid. But she has no idea what caused it, no clear idea of why it’s happening, but she put you on thyroid medication, and that’s it.”
I nodded, feeling chastised. When she said it like THAT, it did seem a little bit weird. “I probably would’ve asked more questions,” I protested, weakly, “if I’d gotten any sleep the night before. Or if I was, you know, thinking straight. I should probably call her back.”
I was then treated to a brief lecture on the nature of thyroid dysfunction. Apparently the causes are many, and the treatment varies, of course, depending on the origin of the problem. As we talked, my therapist’s incredulity over a prescription having been handed out without any further information continued to grow. In the space of about five minutes I became convinced that my primary care doctor was negligent at best, or trying to kill me, at worst. I promised to call for a follow-up as soon as possible.
“Please tell me she at least told you there certain things you can’t eat now,” my therapist continued, undeterred in her mission to make me feel as incompetent as possible. I raised my eyebrows, signaling for her to continue. “You know you can’t have caffeine anymore,” she said. “If you have a thyroid issue, caffeine is absolutely off the table.”
This was too much. “Are you just trying to depress me?” I ask, frustrated. “You can pry my morning coffee out of my cold, dead hands.”
“I’m serious,” she said, “ask her about that when you call back. Caffeine can really jack you up when you have a thyroid issue. You need to stop drinking coffee immediately.” I slumped on her expensive leather couch. No coffee? That hardly seemed fair.
“Wouldn’t she have mentioned that?” I asked. “I mean, if it was that important?”
“Yes, I’m sure she would have,” she said, barely keeping a chuckle out of her voice, “right after she did all that thyroid imaging and additional blood work.” Touche. “There’s other stuff, too. Like, you can’t have chocolate. Or leafy greens. Broccoli! Broccoli is right out.”
I dropped my head into my hands. “You’ve gotta be kidding me,” I muttered. “No coffee? No chocolate?? And I love broccoli. Stop laughing! You’re telling me I can’t have anything good! You’re like the angel of death. I hope you’re happy with yourself.” I rarely see her lose her composure, but I was a little afraid she was going to hurt herself laughing by the time I finished my rant.
We agreed I would call my doctor to discuss all of this. We agreed it seems that the diagnosis had been somewhat, shall we say, hasty and perhaps incomplete. We did not agree that she was trying to make me cry, but I call it like I see it. Eventually, we moved on to talking about the kids, work, Otto, and everything else.
When my hour was up, we scheduled an appointment for the following week, and I stood up to leave. “Call your doctor!” She reminded me as I headed out the door. “No caffeine!”
“Killjoy!” I tossed over my shoulder as I left. “thanks for your ‘HELP.’” I could hear her laughing as I walked out to my car. I’m glad the fact that I’m both dying and not being treated properly can be a source of amusement to her. It’s only because she’s so good at her job that I didn’t just tell her to shut up.
So, I am totally going to call my doctor. I thought about it all morning. While I was drinking just half a cup of coffee. Shut up.