First things first: I need to thank Judy Coates Perez and Jenny K. Lyon for sharing with me their luck with Armour thyroid. For years I have not felt well or normal, always tired, despite having “good” levels on my thyroid checks while taking Synthroid and Lyothironine (T3 and T4) to deal with my thyroid disease. My endocrinologist REFUSED to prescribe Armour, however, because it is derived from pigs (whom I bless for sharing their thyroid) and not as precisely quantifiable as the synthetic thyroid replacement drugs. Finally after 2 1/2 years trying the endocrinologists way, I got fed up and looked for another doctor. I kept asking my GP, and it took two years to find an in-network (Blue Cross Anthem) doctor in Maine that would prescribe Armour. It is a 4+ hour drive round trip. And worth every minute!
In March, in preparation for my soonest-available-appointment in May, I started a diet, using the phone app MyFitnessPal.com (free, easy to use, and really has helped) to track my calories and weight. Despite eating about 1400 calories a day plus walking regularly when I could (I could either exercise or work, but not both as I was sleeping 11+ hours a day), I didn’t lose an ounce for 6 weeks. Then, astonishingly, a slow weight loss began even on synthroid.
On Monday, May 9th, (and I didn’t have to look that up–it is ingrained in memory) I visited the new doctor. She said she’d let me try Armour, but said some people saw no difference, and that it wouldn’t help the being tired as my levels were just right (so I should investigate whatever else might be making me so tired). Hah! By Saturday I was feeling SO MUCH BETTER I went to ask the pharmacist (LOVE the two at Hannaford in Camden) to find out how long it would take for the synthroid etc to work out of my system. Six weeks. By that point I felt better than before, but not as good as when I started. Turns out I needed a tiny bit more RX.
Since July, I have felt NORMAL for the first time in YEARS! I can sleep 8-9 hours and FUNCTION like a normal human being! I can go for a 30-40 minutes walk and not feel obliterated! I totally get that Armour doesn’t work this well for a lot of people. But for those of us for whom it does work, it is quite literally LIFE-CHANGING. And yes, I am *shouting* because this is so flipping amazing. I was delighted in my follow-up appointment to tell the new doctor I was happy to say she was wrong about the tired thing, that it too was so much better!
Do I feel like I did when I was 35 or 40? No. I feel my 59 years (my knees and feet and hands think 79), but I am functional again! And (DRUM ROLL) as of this morning, I have lost TWENTY POUNDS and 11.5 percent of my body weight! I am within 2 1/2 pounds of my original goal (which I never thought I could reach) and maybe 7-8 pounds of my revised goal (since I think I can actually do that). I am very careful, most days eat around 1400 calories with occasional hot fudge sundae splurges, and it is Very Slow Going. It has taken nine *months* to lose 20 pounds, but I’ve done it. But the weight is GOING!
So I just wanted to share my delight. I am, most importantly, feeling NORMAL for the first time in years. I can get stuff done. Usually when I have returned from teaching in Houston I am obliterated for at least a week, maybe two. This time, one day, then I bounced back and started getting stuff done again. LIFE CHANGING!
So thank you to Judy and Jenny. HUGE Thank you to the pigs whose thyroid hormones make me feel normal (I hope the thyroid can be extracted somehow without them giving their lives, but since they are bacon anyway, I can live with this). And thank heavens for the new doc who was willing to let me try!