Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hoshimoto's Disease

So this afternoon I got a call, out-of-the-blue, from Ashlyn's endocrinologist's office. The nurse said she was calling about the results from Ashlyn's bloodwork taken in early October. At her last endo. visit at the end of September, our doctor said it was time to get some bloodwork done just to have a baseline so they could recognize any changes that may crop up over time, and to check for any initial "tag along" issues that may come along with Type 1 Diabetes. When I didn't hear anything after several weeks, I figured all was well.

When the nurse identified herself, I immediately asked her, "You're not calling me with bad news are you, because I wasn't expecting a call from the doctor's office?" When she paused ever so slightly, the bottom of my stomach fell out as I listened to what she had to say.

She started with the good news: no celiac disease which diabetic children are more prone too. You can read about that here and here.

But she did say that her TSH levels were slightly high. Ashlyn's was 6.72 and normal ranges are
.5 - 4.3. Her Free T4 level was .9 where the normal ranges are .9 - 1.6. Her antibody levels were normal which when you have Hoshimoto's those are usually high also. The doctor said that that can be misleading though, and because of her levels in the other areas he suspects that she is in the early stages of Hoshimoto's Disease. This is also something that diabetics are more prone to, but thyroid issues run like a river through my side of the family.
Rather than me trying to explain exactly what this disease is, I'll point you to a couple websites that give lots of great information about it.
You can read about it and here and here.
The good news is that it's very easy to treat and can be managed without a lot of complication. She will be starting on a generic synthroid medication as soon as we pick up her prescription, and will most likely be on it the rest of her life. After speaking to her for several minutes, the pieces of a puzzle in my mind came together. "Maybe this explains why I was noticing what looked like more than normal weight gain on her?" I asked. I hadn't noticed any other symptoms on her, and was thinking that the weight gain was possibly due to one of her insulins which is known to cause weight gain.

When I was telling Ashlyn about this, she was very good natured about it. She immediately asked, "Do I have to go to the hospital and have an IV?" When I told her, "No! Just a half pill a day," she was satisfied and ran off to play hide-n-seek with her siblings.

Honestly, I wasn't as care-free about it.
In fact, I had to call my mom for re-assurance that she would be okay and that I shouldn't get freaked out.

I guess when you see your child, who you remember so vividly as this precious sweet baby, having life threatening challenge after challenge piling up on them, I feel blanketed with fear. Fear for her future.
So what's it going to be next year??
How will this affect her body long-term?
Just when you get used to the idea of one issue and handling that nicely, here comes ANOTHER thing too.
It all can be overwhelming at times, this sea of life with wave after wave of uncertainty.

That is why I am so very grateful that I can put my faith and trust in a living Savior, who I know holds my daughter's future in the palm of His hand. He has a plan for her, and has brought this into her life for a very specific reason. I don't know what that reason is yet, but I know He is in control here and is walking through this with us!!

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