☆ June 2, 2015
So much has changed in just the past two weeks. My energy has popped to a happy level, and my voice came back, enough for my doctors to cancel the appointment they had made for me to get scoped (to see if thyroid surgery had damaged my vocal chords or nerves). My voice isn’t 100% back, but it has improved enough to indicate that it will continue to improve.
I’m thrilled to avoid the scoping appointment and spare my bod from the additional stress – I’ve been far more concerned about the state of my adrenals than the state of my voice. I took a 24-hour saliva cortisol test a few weeks after surgery, and while my cortisol arc is the proper shape, my levels are way too low. I’m sure this issue has been building for years, but I was able to ignore it before my thyroidectomy – honestly, it never dawned on me to check out my adrenals until after surgery, when I was at zero energy and not happy about it.
There’s really only one pharmaceutical treatment for adrenal insufficiency (and to be clear, I’m not at that dire stage) which is hydrocortisone, which I consider a very last resort as it can become a life-long dependency. So, I am working with an incredible herbalist who I met through the Daily Coyote blog and who got me through a severe depression some years ago. She has given me an extensive regimen of plant medicine (herbs, roots, mushroom tinctures, and more) and I have felt such a transformation in mood and energy since working with her.
For a solid two months, it seemed there was a three-legged race going on in my body, with my adrenals on one side and my thryroid replacement on the other, with a lot of stumbling from one side or the other bringing everything tumbling down. And now, finally, thrillingly, they seem to be in sync, zipping around the imaginary meadow of this metaphor with their arms around each other’s waist.
Regarding my thyroidectomy and recovery thereof – in many ways it was more challenging than I expected, and in many ways it was much simpler. Surgery is traumatic, and I think because it’s so common, I was very blase about the event (even though it was a first for me and I was terrified of anaesthesia). I was far more gentle with myself prepping for and decompressing after my big speech! So, my recovery expectations post-surgery were skewed and a little mean. And allowing time for my replacement meds to get regulated and even out was extremely frustrating, in that it required patience, and patience does not come naturally to me. Yet it’s something I’m now grateful for being forced to learn and practice; I actually feel stronger for it. The common thyroid horror stories have not come into play – I’ve not gained weight or entered depression or had my hair fall out. I think having a proper dose based on my symptoms versus TSH range and choosing dessicated thyroid over synthetic have helped me on those fronts.
And tackling my adrenal issues has been (and will continue to be) the keystone in all this. I highly recommend Becki of La Yerberia – she is a biologist-turned-herbalist, and I appreciate the science she shares during consultations (which she does via phone and email – we have never met face to face).
Thanks, again, for all your well-wishes, good vibes, and support!