enlarged thyroid with cystic nodules
I am a 36 year old female, have had problems with my thyroid for about 8 years ... It's a long one, but here's my story:
About 8 years ago I was diagnosed with severe depression. For a little over a year it was all I could do to get out of bed just to do normal daily activities. I would get out of bed long enough to get something to eat, use the restroom and shower twice a week. For about a year I was bounced back and forth between numerous anti depressants, and at one point in time was on 4 at one time and nothing seemed to be helping. My Dr finally decided to do some blood work and other diagnostic tests, she was convinced I had to have something else wrong since the anti depressants weren't helping me. After running blood tests numerous times and it coming back normal, she decided to order an ultrasound of my thyroid. The ultrasound showed that my thyroid was slightly enlarged and since my blood tests were all normal it was determined I should have tests once a year to check my thyroid levels and ultrasound to see if there were any changes. I had the tests done once a year and everything stayed the same, or so I was told, and the Dr told me I didn't need to have anymore followup tests unless I started showing other symptoms. I was still having extreme fatigue, sleeping more than normal, weight gain, achy 24/7, and a slew of other symptoms.
2 years ago, about this time of year, I noticed I was loosing more hair than I normally do. I made an appointment with my primary physician (different Dr now since I got married). I went in, explained what was going on and everything my previous Dr had done and he requested all of my medical records and ordered new tests. Again all my blood work came back normal, this time the ultrasound was larger than before and now had nodules. I was referred to an Endocrinologist, who reviewed all of my test results and did a repeat ultrasound in the office. By now, I was having some difficulty with food and medication getting stuck at the base of my neck. Endo said the nodules weren't anything to be worried about and my thyroid wasn't big enough to cause any problems with swallowing and of course to follow up in 6 months and if nothing changed I would have yearly follow ups. Well, nothing changed.
September 2012 ... I've been in cosmetology school for about a year now, living my dream, and I notice I'm starting to loose hair again. I let it go, thinking it was the blood pressure medicine I'm on to control chronic migraines. At the beginning of December, one of my fellow students asked me if I had been loosing hair because it looked a lot thinner. I didn't think I was loosing that much, but when I shower I loose a full handful and when I brush my hair after I loose another half handful or so in my brush. Needless to say, I don't wash my hair but 2-3 times a week now because of this. I want to keep as much hair as I can, wigs are expensive. I've also noticed my eyebrows aren't as full and the hair on my legs seems to be thinner than it used to, and for the last 4 months or so I have been having pain off and on right under my lower jaw that continues to right behind my earlobe (this is on the right side)
As much as I didn't want to,I called my Dr and made an appointment. I went in the middle of December, went over all my symptoms with my Dr and he immediately ordered an ultrasound to be done the following day and scheduled an appointment for me to go back go the Endo. Less than a week after my ultrasound I got a call from the nurse at the Dr office. My thyroid has now gotten larger and I have more nodules, with some of them being cystic nodules. My Endo can't get me in until Feb 18th and I'm about scared half to death. It's a struggle everyday to get out of bed and even be a halfway productive human being. I've missed a ton of school and am on the verge of getting kicked out. It's so hard to explain and imagine how hard it is to do the simplest things unless you've been there, and I'm just miserable anymore.
Here I will list all of my current symptoms and medical conditions I've been diagnosed with:
cold all the time, especially hands and feet
irritable bowel syndrome
achy all over
sleeping more than normal
feeling of something in my neck (I can't stand anything touching my neck at all, even just a light touch, like a very small chain necklace, I feel like I'm choking)
food getting stuck
feeling of swollen throat, especially in the morning
pain under jaw line to back of ear right side
*** I would also like to note that my mom's sister had a thyroidectomy because of thyroid cancer. She had no symptoms at all of problems with her thyroid. The cancer was found during a surgery to open a clogged artery in her neck ***
also, my Dr did not order any blood tests, only the ultrasound. Not exactly sure why no blood tests were ordered. I'm thinking maybe because of my family history.
Any advice, opinions, words of encouragement, or anyone with similar issues that would like to share anything I welcome the advice and knowledge.