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Energy Level

kmwhit39
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2006

I am newly diagnosed with Pappilary thyroid cancer and have one nodule on my thyroid and a larger one in the left lymph node. I'm very worried I won't have the energy to play with my children once I go hypo- for the radiation treatment. My surgery is scheduled for August 11th. Anyone with experience in this could you please let me know what I can expect?

Rustifox's picture
Rustifox
Posts: 131
Joined: Mar 2005

Hi - sorry that you have had to join us, but glad that you have begun searching for resources and support for your next steps.

You may want to consider joining this group, Km - it is free to join - but because it is an extremely active group, it is often best if you chose the 'no email' option, and just read the posts at the website:
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Thyca/
This is the web & email based support arm of this org:
http://www.thyca.org/

One thing about 'going hypo' for our scans and treatments is that it affects each of us differently - some people have very few symptoms, others will find that they have alot of them. There is a fairly comprehensive list of symptoms of hypothyroidism on page 4 of this document:
http://www.thyroid.org/patients/brochures/Hypothyroidism%20_web_booklet.pdf

Personally, I find I have very little energy during the later stages of hypo. It can be exhausting just to walk from one end of the house to the other for about the last 2 weeks before treatment/scans and for about 2 weeks afterwards. If at all possible, it may be a good idea to enlist family and/or friends to help entertain your children during these brief periods - and you must not drive when you are very hypo, either... our reflexes can be slowed to a snails pace, making it dangerous for you to be behind the wheel until your TSH is stable once again.

The good news is that this loss of energy, if it occurs, is temporary. It may take some people 6-8 weeks after starting hormones to regain energy, however, many people once established on hormones will find more energy than they've ever had before... the biggest thing to keep in mind is that the situations are temporary.

Hope this helps a little bit - it is a good idea to prepare as much as you can prior to becoming very hypo - then set things aside... get your housework done now, do your shopping for the Low Iodine Diet now, as much as you can - then take time to be kind to yourself while hypo. Try not to 'push' yourself when your energy is low - think of it like a bank account - when your account is running near empty, you don't want to write NSF checks... the same applies to energy. When your energy is limited, don't plan to do anything... just take it easy.

If you give your self permission to just take things one day at a time, one activity at a time, and only do the things that you feel up to, and you will be fine... if you push yourself beyond exhaustion, it makes things much more difficult, so just take it easy during hypo, ok? Just like any 'weak' point in our health, you need to give yourself a break for a few weeks...if you do, you'll recover your strength more quickly. All the best.

times3
Posts: 5
Joined: Jun 2006

Hi km,
I've been through it a few times, even when my kids were small. You will be more tired than you ever thought possible. Don't get discouraged, you will eventually get your energy back when you get past the iodine. Think positive, there are going to be times when your brain is a little foggy, that's normal. Lay on the floor and let the kids play around you. Decisions will be more difficult to make because of the fatigue. If you know what to expect, you may be able to cut yourself some slack. IT WILL END and you will feel energy again. Most of all don't isolate yourself, accept help from anyone who offers. It helps them feel like they are helping. Which they are.

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