The Alemtuzumab treatment I had for MS gave me odds of 1 in 3 that I would develop Grave’s Disease, a thyroid problem.
I was the 1.
At first, it was wonderful, as my loopy thyroid helped me shed pounds effortlessly. I was buoyed up with an incredible amount of energy (the Holy Grail for any MSer) and I sighed with sheer bliss as yet another pair of jeans were consigned to the growing Fat Pile, tucked away at the bottom of my wardrobe.
Enter the endocrinologist who took one look at my thyroid levels and immediately put a stop to my fun, effectively reversing then decelerating my over-active thyroid into a sluggish, bored, tired under-active thyroid.
I cried when I stepped on the scales. I snivelled when I rummaged around my Fat Pile. Every single day I gained a pound. I banished carbs and chocolate (gah) from my diet. I sipped green tea and swirled cinnamon sticks in my natural yoghurt.
I have a fairly physical job, so hoped against hope that this would offset the rapid weight gain. Nope. My Duracell-Bunny hyperactivity had morphed into slow-mo.
At my last meeting with the size-six endocrinologist, I’m not afraid to say I begged. I pleaded and put my case forward: the meds I was taking were of course sorting out the thyroid, but were ruining my life on two levels:
- Relentless weight gain. I am now a blob of my former self.
- Extreme lethargy and fatigue. Commonly known as, well, common MS symptoms, so I was having a double-whammy.
She had no mercy and told me I might be on them for a year. A year. At my current rate of weight-gain, I will be dressing in tents with holes cut in them for my head and arms.
It’s getting harder to keep going at work, as weight gain plus fatigue means it takes me hours to recover after just half a day in work. Never before has my nickname, ‘Half-Shift’ been more appropriate. My body and mind shut down at a certain point and I slump onto a pile of bricks, head in hands.
On the plus-side (lol), I am yet again radically over-hauling my diet in a desperate bit to put a stop to the pounds piling on even more than they already are. I have dusted off my kettle-bell. It’s still a door-stop, but I live in hope.
For now, I am experimenting with black clothes and dramatic scarves. Perhaps I should start wearing my heavy, black-rimmed reading glasses again, to draw attention away from my triple-choc muffin top.
And I will have insane pleasure in saying, ‘oh the fat? It’s my thyroid. Honest.’