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Who Needs A Thyroid Anyways?

Originally written 9/25/18

We have been seeing Hadley’s endocrinologist every three months since she was born. We take her to the outpatient lab a few days before her appointment to have her blood

drawn. Typically when we see her provider, we are told what her new medication dose will be. At one appointment we were told to give 2 different doses of Synthroid, alternating every other day. I wrote the dosages on the blocks of a calendar for 3 months and put it on the refrigerator as a reference. Each day, depending on who was giving Hadley her medicine, Kyle or I would check the calendar, pick the correct container of medicine from the cupboard and give Hadley the correct dose. Sounds simple, but this was at a time when giving a child medicine on a daily basis wasn’t second nature for either of us yet. More than once, while driving to work, I have had to turn around and come back home to get Hadley’s medicine. Once we took the whole bottle of pills out of town with us and forgot to bring them home. Over time we have gotten better about keeping Hadley’s daily medicine in the forefront of our minds but when circumstances are often changing, it’s impossible to let yourself become nonchalant and routine. At a recent appointment, we were told to give one dose of Synthroid Monday through Friday and another dose on the weekend. Again, sounds simple, but now we have to stop ourselves and think about what day it is before we pick a bottle from the cupboard. At 6:00 am, before coffee, all days feel the same.

I tell you all of this so that you understand that while Hadley herself is doing well, her labs and her medication dosage are yet to stabilize. Adults with hypothyroidism will tell you how

terrible they feel when their labs are off or if they miss doses of their thyroid medication. When TSH levels are high they say they feel tired, cold, weak, achy. When T3 and T4 levels are too high (and TSH is low) people say they notice a change in appetite, difficulty sleeping, irritability, nervousness. Since Hadley is only 1, we have to guess at how she feels. Is she waking up at night because she’s in the middle of a growth spurt? Or is it her thyroid? She

hasn’t eaten all day, is it her thyroid? She ate more than a grown man today, is it her thyroid? She’s fussy, she’s sleepy, she’s clingy, she’s happy, she’s sad. Is it her thyroid? Or is she just a normal 1-year-old??!

I struggle with trying to decipher her behavior and responding appropriately. I worry that I am too lenient with her behavior. How will my parenting affect her later and how will it affect the boys? I know I let much more slide with her than I ever did with them. She can’t tell me how she feels. She won’t be able to fully describe what’s happening to her body for a long time. I would never want to be punished for not feeling well. It makes me sad to think that I or anyone else would ever get frustrated or impatient with her when she doesn’t feel well and just can’t tell us. We will be patient and hope that her thyroid levels stabilize soon. We will be patient and help her learn to talk. Soon enough she will at least be able to tell us how she is feeling. For now, our only clues are her lab results. We know God has picked exactly the right people to care for her and love her, and with that, who needs a thyroid anyways?

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