Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Do What You Gotta Do

My doctor’s appointment on Monday ended up being a real Catch-22. I was so happy to go and get the electrical stim cortisone treatment on my back. Between that and using a muscle relaxer Monday night, I woke up Tuesday feeling pretty good. I even went to Thai Boxing Tuesday night and had a decent class. This morning I ran!! I can’t explain it to you but running in the morning is as an essential part of my day as that first cup of coffee. Without it, my whole day feels very off.

The catch was that the appointment had originally been set up for bloodwork followup. As you all know I have to have tests done every 6 months or so due to my thyroid. Depending on what else is going on, my doctor often orders other tests. After I had the treatment, the doctor came in to go over my results. It was a lengthy conversation that I will not go into here in detail but suffice it to say, changes are on the way.

My thyroid levels are going back up - not good. That also equals a medication increase. There were some other tests that came back not so good either, which resulted in a medication change. Most upsetting of all was my cholesterol reading. While my “good” cholesterol is keeping me within an acceptable overall ratio, my "bad" cholesterol had increased 40 points in the last 6 months. My bad cholesterol number almost equals what she wants my total cholesterol to be! Unbeknownst to me, this is quite common with thyroid disease. My doctor was very, very concerned because I am young and I am an avid exerciser who tries, for the most part to live and eat healthfully. Not to mention the fact that my mother’s side of the family is full of heart disease.

The doctor immediately left the room and came back with a diet plan that she wants me to follow. Yes, you read that right. A diet plan. With rules and food restriction.  Then she told me she wanted me to start taking an additional medication, but I flat out refused. I argued for a 3 month reprieve – which I got after our lengthy discussion. What all this means for me is that I have until January 10, 2011 to (in her words) “show at least a 10 pound weight loss and a "significant" drop in my bad cholesterol number.” If not, the new medication will be non-negotiable based on my thyroid disease and family history factors.

So that’s that. This means an end to moderation eating of whatever I want and a beginning of having to eat within certain foods. As much as I h-a-t-e restrictions, I've always said if I needed to do something medically I would do it, because you do what you've got to do when it comes to health. And I definitely have to think of this as doing it for my health, otherwise I might lose my everloving mind. If I give this my best shot, if I do what I gotta do and nothing changes, well then, it’s out of my control and I’ll move on to the next step.

I think this Garth Brooks tune is going to be my theme song for the next three months,

Sometimes you've got to take the heat
If you're gonna walk down on the mean street
Take the heat and you see it through
'Cause sometimes it comes down to
Do what you gotta do

Sometimes it goes right down to the wire
And you might have to walk through the fire
Walk on, boy woman all the way through
Sometimes it just comes down to
Do what you gotta do

Well, there's people that'll tell you
It's just no use
And there's people that'll tell you
That you're gonna lose
People that'll tell you
Anything you're gonna listen to
Do what you gotta do

Someday they're going to call your name
They'll come looking for some one to blame
What's your name, boy woman
Hey, you just tell them true
'Cause they can't take the truth from you
So do what you gotta do

Well, they'll call you a hero or a traitor
But you'll find out that, sooner or later,
Nobody in this world is gonna do it for you
Do what you gotta do

There ain't nobody in this world
That's gonna do it for you
Do what you gotta do

Wish me luck.


  1. I'm running out the door, but just wanted to send you luck and good wishes. I know this isn't what you wanted to hear - nor is it what you deserve. You are so good with your healthy lifestyle and this just doesn't seem fair. I know you are strong and will adjust and do just fine, but for right now, this sucks and I'm sorry.

  2. I'm with Roxy - this sucks. But you will find the right way without the extra medication. Does this "diet" plan encourage more good fats? I have read many times the good stuff really helps in bringing those bad numbers down. Increase your consumption of almonds, Olive Oil, Avocados - that kind of stuff. I use EOO instead of butter in most of my meals these days. I especially like it on rice.
    You will bring it down in 3 months - You are too strong not to :)

  3. Good for you for standing up to the doc on the meds. That's a great incentive for you to shift it into high gear. Three months? Game on!

  4. I love that line in the song - it applies to so much that we face in life. And I know that you can handle will be a challenge for sure, but I bet if you face this like you face your training for big races, it will be a pretty smooth transition for you. As always, I'm here to listen if you need to vent. :)

  5. Better to get on this sooner rather than later. Good luck on your new treatment plan, and I'd be curious to learn what the new diet entails.

  6. Good luck Helen. You can do this!

  7. I agree with Jack. Great that you could represent yourself and negotiate. With your determination, I know you'll be successful in staying of the extra medication. Interesting how the thyroid affects other stuff that seems unrelated.. I guess the hip bone really is connected to the knee bone.

    Good luck - I'll be rooting for you!

  8. Sorry to hear this Helen but I am so glad you are going to do what ever it takes and I hope you don't have to take another med!

    Wishing you well.

  9. Only YOU can prevent forest fires.

  10. Hi! I am new here. Found your blog a few days ago and I feel so inspired!!! I look forward to keeping up with your blog and journey through weightloss. I am now following your blog. Please feel free to drop by my new blog sometime. I'd love a new follower.

    I am glad you were able to get a 3 month period on deciding on extra medication. I hope it goes well!

  11. Helen, I am sorry. And, I am impressed. I am with you. I am behind you and you inspire me all the time, especially with this darn thyroid. I would have thrown the towel in a long time ago.

  12. There is a lot of evidence that high cholesterol is directly linked to how much processed food we eat. That means flours and sugars. There is a lot on that on He's pretty cutting edge, totally nutrition oriented.

  13. well crap. Sorry about your cholesteral.
    that being said...hmmmmm....what is this diet? lol.
    must be something to cause a 10 pound drop.
    Hope it works...fingers crossed.

  14. oh gurl this does suck and yet shall we seeeeek the silver lining?
    pretend that it is a wee gift to just be told what we have to consume and take the guess work out of it (I know. Im reaching.)
    let me know if I can lend a hand at all.

    glad the back is better

  15. Hey Ma'am!
    It's been way to long since I've read about all that's going on in your life. Hey...I love that you are doing everything that you can before taking on an extra medication. Says a lot about you Helen. You got this!

  16. Helen, I feel for you, really. But you are taking control, and this can be an AWESOME ride! All the best of luck, I'm rooting for you!

  17. Helen, I am glad to read that you were able to convince the doc for a reprieve. Now you know what you need to do.

    One other thought - I have had good success with high doses of niacin for cholesterol. While it is still a pill, it is a vitamin. I don't know if it would work for you or not, but it might be worth looking into. If you want more details, send me an email.