So, after all I've been through over the last 5 1/2 months, I have discovered a few things. I've written about many of them here previously, so I won't be repeating myself. However, I will be making a few concise points.
After having a specialist say my levels were "normal" (despite my protestations of the symptoms I've had), I went back to my doctor and requested further testing. As I expected, they did reveal something. Here's the thing, though--while my levels were in the lab's normal range, if I use the standard ranges that I found on medical sites online, my levels are low on FT3 and FT4. Anti-TPO is "slightly" elevated, according to my doctor. Autoimmune diseases run in the family and the closest relative was my brother, who had Graves' Disease when he was only 21.
Yeah. I'm not buying the I "don't yet have and may never develop" part of my doctor's statement. I know how I feel. I may be at the early stage of an AI disease known as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, but I'm going to do all I can to put it into remission and keep it contained like the beast it is, because this particular beast can multiply into other AI diseases.
What I can say is that, from what I've been able to glean from message boards and posts, I've been doing everything right to improving my quality of life--going gluten/soy/dairy/[insert other inflammatory substances] free, healing my gut, correcting nutritional deficiencies, and insisting on the medical tests needed to diagnose and monitor this thing. I don't want to end up incapacitated, especially the way I was when this all blew up after an upper respiratory illness the last weekend of February.
I'm on the right track, have been through most of this, playing detective to solve my own mystery. I'm disappointed in our medical system for not taking on this role. These so-called professionals aren't doing the evaluations. We have to advocate for ourselves.
And I'm very happy to report that my efforts have been paying off with improved concentration, memory, and creativity...and the return of a few other things I lost over the last few years. Yes, the creativity has finally returned! I'm taking it day-by-day, since each day, or even time of day, can be different. I'm working on resolving the rotating insomnia issue--when the creativity bursts back, it often keeps me up all night. I'm not sure whether to love or hate it.
I've been working on editing The Lereni Trade to get that up for sampling before the release date, which is coming up quickly. And I may have another small surprise shortly after that, but it's still in the works and I don't always feel focused enough to write when I do get time. Because of this, I may have to push back the release of Nemesis to later next spring, but I'll only make that change if it becomes an issue. I'm hoping to squeeze in finishing that for February 2016.
In the meantime, thank you for all positive thoughts and prayers. It has been a trying time in my life when I have most needed support. I appreciate your continued support as I learn to accept this new "normal". I don't know what's to come, but I will take it as it comes.