I though to write about postpartum thyroiditis mostly because I couldn't identify myself with those who had it. The symptoms were so different and I felt alone and lost.
I little bit of my story, we managed to get pregnant in the third IVF treatment in Århus, Denmark. My first trimester was very difficult, I was having very seriuos anxiety attacks, (I have never had anxiety, so this was very new to me) sometimes I woke up my Husband around 2am to go for a walk and became claustrophobic during the whole pregnancy. During week 9, I started to have insomnia which last until week 20. During week 17 I was having some kind of allergi reaction, later on I understood that It wasnt allergy but a sign that things were not quite right and that my body was really fighting.
IVF due date was 8 of July. My water broke 7th of July and the baby arrive naturally 8th of July. No water retention and during my whole pregnancy I went up 11 kg in weight. My baby weight 3.7 kg.
After 5 days in the hospital We went home, and then started the rollercoaster of symptoms:
1.- Really strong sense of smell. (after few days it was gone)
2.- Stye in my left eye (after few days it was gone)
3.- My lips became swollen like I have inyected botox. (After two days it went away)
4.- A kind of sore throat never going away
5.- My hair was falling dramatically.
6.- My breathing was really uncomfortable. Something with what I never had problem during pregnancy. It was difficult to sleep..
I got postpartum depression, at the beginning I just cried alot, I was always thinking about protecting my baby, but then escalated and my only thought was: I wanted to die.
My Doctor took bloodtest of my thyroid during the whole pregnancy, not just the hormones but also antibodies, and during the whole pregnancy the results were really good.
My doctor also took bloodtest of my thyroid first, second, third and fourth month postpartum, because I was having really strange symptoms. But they came back in my optimal values. My pulse was great. So I couldnt understand anything. Was I getting crazy? What was going on? I was still having that "allergy" reaction.
Fifth month: I woke up and I barely could walk. I was sweating and trembling. I went to the Doctor and said: Take a new bloodtest and I did have to insist. Then, she said: Ok, but not more until two months later. I agreed.
Finally, fifth month postpartum I received the diagnose: Possible postpartum thyroiditis. Did I know what was PP thyroiditis?: Yes. During my whole pregnancy I read alot.
I cried. I was relief, I was not crazy after all. Now people started to believe me. I was not imagine my symptoms. My depression was linked to my problems with the thyroid.
I was referred to the hospital and then an endocrinologist followed up. After 4 straws of blood, the diagnose was confirmed: Postpartum thyroiditis Hyperthyrodism phase, no antibodies.
In Norway the first approach for PP thyroiditis is: if the symptoms are manageable the doctor will not prescribe medicine. I was not having critical symptoms, So I was happy to avoid medicine. I was breastfeeding my baby and my goal was to do it for a year. It was hard because I was not feeling so well, but I am getting closer to my goal (^.^)
After two months of very close follow up the spesialist told me to go back to my GP Doctor, and take blood test every month, my thyoid was in its way to be stable.
Stable???? But why I am not feeling good yet????
Well, one month later my TSH shows 2,5, one month later 2,7 and then 3,5. I was in Hypothyroidism phase, even when my GP told me my values were inside the normal, my body was not feeling good. My optimalt TSH is between 1.6 and 2.
I have access to some of my bloodtest electronically so I did a graphic
From 1 to 6 my TSH was quite stable, but then one month later my TSH was 0,02. Three months later (Number 8) my TSH was 2,5 and as you can see in the graphic the tendency was: Hypothryoidism phase. My T4 and T3 were quite good, so I did have huge hope that this is going to be fine.
One month later I started to feel better, minimum changes in my body, but I felt it. My TSH went from 3,5 to 2,8.
Symptoms of Hypothryoidism phase.
1.-My breathing was better.
2.- Still sore throat.
3.- The right side of my neck got so stiff. My doctor suspected of salivary glands stones but it was so strange than during my ultrasound in my neck everything did look ok, but after few days I was thinking this was something else. I went to the physiotherapist and it went away.
4.- I did have swallowing issues, something I started to have problem with when I entered the hypo phase. I could eat and drink, that was ok. My voice didn't change.
The ultrasound didnt show anything abnormal with my thyoid gland, so it seems that you dont need to have a huge thyroid gland to feel that you can not swallow the whole body just get screwed up. I could think that the surround tissue is the one to get swollen also.
My anxiety disappeared, my claustrophobia feeling is gone.
I am grateful because I got a lot of help from: my moms group, nurses, doctors, and even psychologist.
During the whole process knowing what was going on helped me to avoid medicine, get help from others and help myself. But for getting that help you have to be your own health advocate. Listen to your body and fight for being listened.
June 2018 the weather is amazing, sunny, and today I am feeling 90% better. Sore throat is still a bit there and my swallowing issues are much much better. I will have a new bloodtest in July. I will update this post.
July 2018: My sore throat has disappeared and I can confirmed that It wasn't due to my PP thyroiditis. It was due to my postnatal vitamins and my swelling issues were due to stiffness in my back and neck solved by a one hour massage. I feel now great with my throat. The Graphic is updated with my last blood test. My TSH is getting better and T4 and T3 are working together. That's nice to see.
To My Husband, because he was the best of the best in this difficult period. I love you.!!!