My grandmother has been on medications to treat her hypothyroidism since before I was even born. I remember, even as a child, seeing her take her pills and her explanation that something was wrong with her thyroid and that was why she needed medication. When I was little, I always thought that they were just pills to keep her alive since she was (in my first-grade opinion) really old. I didn’t learn more about her condition until I was eighteen, after I had given birth to my daughter.
When my daughter was born, I was always tired. I thought it was just part of being a new parent. I did what everyone told me to do. I slept when she slept, taking several naps throughout the day, and making sleep as much of a priority as I could with a new baby in the house. It was still an issue though. It seemed like no matter how much I slept, it wasn’t enough and nothing helped. I kept getting the same advice, but it didn’t seem to make a difference.
At my grandmother’s house, I asked her if she could babysit my daughter just so I could catch up on some sleep. She seemed concerned and I ended up telling her more. She asked me a few questions, and only then did I realize, I was sleeping over fifteen hours a day and there was no reason for me to be so exhausted. My grandmother told me more about her hypothyroidism and I decided to do so research. I found out that it’s not uncommon for hypothyroidism to begin after a woman gives birth, and decided to schedule an appointment with my doctor.
My doctor conducted a general physical and asked me some questions about my general health, as well as how the birth of my daughter went, and the ordered some blood work to be drawn. Within a few days, I heard back from my doctor with the results of my labs and it turned out my thyroid was the culprit behind my excessive exhaustion. My doctor prescribed me a medication called Levothyroxine to help balance the levels of thyroid hormone in my body. Within a week of beginning the prescription, I began to feel better, more energetic and able to cope with the demands of daily life.
If it hadn’t been for my grandmother’s knowledge of her condition, it may have taken much longer to determine what was wrong with me. The medications can be a hassle to remember to take, but improve the symptoms of my condition drastically.