A Grave Decision

yayIf you choose to have Alemtuzumab treatment as I did, you’ve got a one in three chance of developing Grave’s disease, a thyroid disorder.

I got the illness and yet another insert in my medical file.

It’s fine – when I was rapidly losing weight and feeling like I could take on the world with the excess energy I had, it was sublime.

The severe cartoon-like heart palpitations were another matter however, and were sadly followed with beta-blockers to bring me back to earth with a thud.

Since then, I’ve been on varying doses of thyroid meds to calibrate me back to normal. Up a little, down a little.

I had a consultation with an empathic and lovely endocrinologist today who fortunately has a great insight into Alemtuzumab-induced Grave’s Disease.

I’m to stay on the meds for another six months, but the likelihood is I will have to choose between losing my thyroid or becoming radioactive (for a week).

Hmm. I googled, and wish I hadn’t. One post started, ‘so, you’ve elected to have your throat cut – are you aware of the risks?’

I met The Boss for Emergency Talks tonight (long, sorry work saga) and explained my dilemma.

I took a sip of wine and said, ‘and I’ve looked in to it, you know, if I get the thyroid taken out, I could, like, lose my ability to … shout.’

‘Can you go private? I’ll pay.’


I asked him how he was, what with his broken arm, dodgy knee and headaches.

That obviously reminded him and I waited as he popped out a few pills from their blister packs.

‘Well ..’


‘You know my dodgy knee?’

‘How can I forget, Boss?’

‘Erm, well, the doctor thinks its, well, um …’




‘Isn’t that what older people get?’

If looks could kill …

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6 thoughts on “A Grave Decision

  1. Sónia says:

    I have a friend who did that radiation treatment some years ago and she’s been fine ever since. I’m wishing you good luck for whatever you go for.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you!
      We discussed both options and he seemed more inclined to offer me the thyroid removal 🙁
      Hopefully the thyroid will behave itself – I have another appointment in the summer and should know for sure then!

  2. Judy Epstein says:

    Gout’s nasty! It’s about Lifestyle. I say this with hesitation, but here goes… To avoid it:
    1. Change your diet:
    Some foods – and beer – are high in natural compounds (purines) which can trigger gout. Avoid offal (liver and kidneys, heart and sweetbreads), game (rabbit, pheasant and venison), oily fish, seafood and foods or ­supplements that contain yeast or meat extract (Marmite, Bovril and commercial gravy and beer), and stout too. Low-fat dairy foods appear to protect against gout as milk proteins raise the body’s ability to remove uric acid.

    Good for gout: dark blue and red fruits such as cherries, blueberries and bilberries contain antioxidants which can lower uric acid levels too.

    2. Lose weight:
    Being lighter and exercising more will help reduce your uric acid levels significantly. And a daily 500mg vitamin C supplement can cut your risk by increasing the amount of uric acid excreted in urine.

    Tell your boss it was me who said all this!

    • stumbling in flats says:

      You are an angel! I was telling him some similar things yesterday but he never listens to me. I shall print off your comment and give it to him, as he will no doubt listen to you!
      Really kind of you to take the time to write this, thank you.

  3. Judy Epstein says:

    Thyroid? I don’t know anything about it. Hope you feel better soon! ps: Gout can strike younger people too.

    • stumbling in flats says:

      Thank you 🙂
      I was only joshing the boss about gout being an older person’s illness. His dad had it a couple of years ago!

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