Sunday, May 13, 2012
Last week the doctor called to confirm that my scan showed that I have Grave's Disease- before I go on please know that this is treatable and even perhaps curable. I am writing this post because I am seeking out guidance. There are basically 3 methods of treatment. The first one is surgery to remove my thyroid. At this point that is really not an option. The second is Radioactive Iodine Therapy, otherwise known as radiation, which will kill my thyroid and cure me of Grave's but will bring about hypothyroidism. The third option, is to be on the medication Propylthyouracil for the rest of my life or until Grave's mysteriously disappears, if it so chooses. I am really not sure about which of the latter two I want to do. The radiation will require me to be in isolation until my body stops emitting Iodine- this usually takes about 7 days. I then will be tested every couple of weeks-once a month to monitor my TSH and T4 levels until I reach a state of hypothyroidism. In addition to the seven days of isolation, which in and of itself seems almost unbearable for me, I have to wait six months before I can try for a baby and could possibly be infertile for a year. The radiation seems like it is a "quick fix" but is it really? I will still be medicine dependent because I will have to be treated for hypothyroidism instead of Grave's and hyperthyroidism. Moving on to Propylthiouracil and my concerns with that. My doctor told me that this medication is safe during the initial stages of pregnancy. Not sure what this means exactly? I have read that it is "safe" during the first trimester and then often you have to switch to a different medicine during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. I also have read that is is transferred through the placenta. The medication also has other risks just like all medications do. Now I am sure after reading this you are all thinking hello Megan do the radiation, but I have had doctors tell me to avoid it. Not just my doctor but doctors my mom has talked to on her flights- one doctor actually has Grave's Disease herself. I am just hoping that someone will read this who has been in my shoes and be able to offer some advice. I am looking to hear from someone who is still in their child bearing years or who dealt with this disease during their child bearing years and either has taken the medication while pregnant or has done the radiation before getting pregnant. I need help! Please know that this isn't all because I want a baby. I would rather have no more children if it is too risky to have a baby with Grave's disease. I have a child and a husband to think about here and now. That is my concern. But there are so many factors that go into choosing between the medicine and the radiation. I feel at a loss as to what to choose. Praying for help!!!!