I’ve got a Goitre and this photo (which I was unaware was being taken, or I’d have hidden my neck) shows my lumpy neck very clearly. I’ve never liked wearing scarves, small necklaces or any kind of tops which touch my neck, and polo-necks are totally out of the question. As a teacher, I frequently suffered from sore throats, and an osteopath diagnosed tight neck muscles and a strained voice. I’ve no idea whether this was in any way linked to my thyroid problems, but I’m used to the lumpiness now. I’m hoping it may settle down after the RAI, though I haven’t asked if this is likely.
Far worse than worrying about a lumpy neck is how ill I feel when hyperthyroid. My heart races, I have chest pain, tremors, upset stomach and hot flushes (though these are probably menopausal). I’d like to say I was never irritable, but my family would disagree, and it’s true – I reach boiling point far more quickly when I’m hyperthyroid. I tire easily and quickly and feel weak and lacking in energy. The drug regime has resulted in weight gain which I’m not happy with, but at least it allows me to feel ‘normal’, and for most of the time I’m able to forget that I have an auto-immune disease, which will require medication for the rest of my life.
I’m quite anxious about the probability of becoming hypothyroid (the “succesful” outcome of RAI) – I don’t want to lose my get-up-and go, become even more overweight and struggle with the flip-side to my thyroid problems. I’ll also be taking a course of steroids to (hopefully) counteract any Graves’ Eye Disease problems, and I know very little about them and their side effects.
Given that the thyroid can take up to a year to settle, I’m also not much looking forward to the uncertainty of each interim period when I may be hyper or hypo thyroid – not balanced (euthyroid) – and blood tests are normally two months apart, so I could feel grotty for a while before the drug regime catches up.