Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I am my father's daughter

There are a number of ways that I am like my father: my sense of humor, my stubbornness and my sense of direction. Unfortunately I happen to inherit some of his health issues as well. I have hypothyroidism as a result of Radioactive Iodine treatment for Hyperthyroidism and Grave's Disease with Hypokalemic periodic paralysis of thyrotoxosis. It's been determined that the thyroid issues come from dad's side of the family.  Dad had a goiter on his thyroid several years ago and it was cutting off his esophagus and had to have the goiter and part of his thyroid removed. He was put on Synthroid for his hormone replacement and that was that. He never investigated and never dug any deeper so he didn't know that surgeries and antibiotics could affect your thyroid function and the medication absorption. But, in his defense, he didn't have the information at his finger tips like I do know. But what bothers me is that the doctors didn't seem to know any of that either. Or if they did, they didn't share it with him. The more I read about my condition the more angry I get at the medical field. Why didn't anyone say to my parents that his thyroid medicine would need to be adjusted after surgeries? Why didn't they say that absorption of the hormone was crucial and that your gut needed to be very healthy? And why don't the doctors offer more guidance then simply giving you a pill? There is so much more to this treating this condition, especially if you have an autoimmune disease, which I do, then simply prescribing a pill. You need to treat the autoimmune disease. And it seems that the Endocrinologists that I go to do not believe in doing that. Never once have they discussed my disease with me. I was diagnosed in 2004 and received RAI in 2005 and I naively thought that cured the Grave's Disease. Man was I wrong. I will have Grave's disease for the rest of my life. It will affect me the rest of my life. I will have to change my life because of this disease. If it wasn't for the internet, I wouldn't know about all of the other aspects of this condition or how to make myself feel better or know what questions to ask the doctors. And the more information that I find out the more angry I get at my dad's doctors for not being more forthcoming with my parents. Now, by no stretch of the imagination do I feel that improving his thyroid treatment would have prolonged his life, but I do think it could have made some sort of impact. 

I am now going to be faced with a major life style change. I think, after doing some reading, that I am going to have to go Gluten free. While there are a plethora of support groups and blogs and cookbooks out there about how to do this, I know myself well enough to know that I am resistant to the change. I know that it will benefit me in the long run and I know that it will make me feel better and improve my life, but I am stubborn, like dad, and a bit lazy, like dad, and I want the quickest fix to the problem, like dad. These are all traits that would frustrate me about my father. I used to say that making the changes would not be that hard, but now that I am in a similar position, it is a lot harder then I anticipated. I wish he was here with me so that we could do it together. At least we could have leaned on each other for support. So I have a new cookbook coming and I am doing more research to see what other goodness I can uncover. 

I hope I can manage to make this change and stick to it, and make my dad proud. Because I know he wouldn't mind me NOT being like him for the sake of my health.