Underneath my yellow skin

Sickness, Hypothyroidism, and Depression, Oh My!

constant criticism running through my brain.
Weighted by the world.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling depressed. I have no idea why as there is no logical reason I should be any more depressed right now than I was, say, a month ago, but depression isn’t logical. I know that having suffered from it for most of my life, but it’s still frustrating to feel it descend upon me and not be able to do anything about it. It’s also weird to actually realize it’s happening as it happens because I used to just live in it before. It was like a warm coat that suffocated me as it clung to my every curve. I didn’t know what it felt like to be depressed because I never felt anything else. Now that I’ve gone several years without being chronically and debilitatingly depressed, I know what it feels like to be depressed.

You know how it feels? It sucks. It drains all the color from the world, leaving it a drab gray. It doesn’t help that the environment around me in the physical world right now is also a drab gray, so it’s matching my interior mood. The grass is brown, and the snow has melted. This is the shit time of winter, which is my favorite season by far. I love the cold and the snow and the crisp bright air. But, I hate it when it starts warming up and everything is dead. All the bugs are flying in the air, and it’s easy to get sick during this time.

I feel as if I’m going through the motions, even with things I enjoy. I’m tired all the time, no matter how much or how little I sleep. This is how I used to feel all the time, and I don’t understand how I dealt with it at all. I hate feeling like this, and it’s not nearly as bad as it used to be. I remembered days when I had to force myself to brush my teeth, and that was the only thing I did all day long. I hated myself and my life, and I wanted nothing more than to not exist. I didn’t want to die, per se, because I was convinced that whatever existed after death was worse than life itself. However, everything in my being was telling me that life was a chore and that I shouldn’t be alive.

I’m feeling whispers of the same sentiment now as well. Why am I alive? I don’t want to be alive. I don’t want to die, but I can’t be stuffed to actually care about being alive. I have good things happening in my life and in my friends’ lives, and I know intellectually that I have a lot to be thankful for, but I. Just. Can’t. Care. I try to talk myself out of it, but to no avail. To someone who’s never suffered depression–are there any people who haven’t any longer?–it’s incomprehensible that someone can’t just shake themselves out of a bad mood. That’s why there are so many annoying pieces about¬†Top Ten Ways to Beat Depression!¬†and such shit.

I have to get my levels checked for my thyroid because I’m on a new dose of my meds. The levels were too high, but I have a hunch they’re too low now. My temperature is regularly under 96 (it’s normally 97.5), and I’m feeling more lethargic than before. I know I need to get my blood drawn, but I can’t make myself make the appointment. It’ll take five minutes, tops, and I can’t force myself to dial the digits. It literally is just me making the appointment and then going in to get my blood drawn. It’s easy-peasy and yet, I haven’t done it yet.

Speaking of drawing my blood, it’s always an adventure when I have to get that done because I have bad veins. Back when I had hyperthyroidism and the doctors were trying to regulate it through pills, I had to get my blood drawn every month. That was fun, believe you me. I remember one tech bragging about how good he was with drawing blood. He poked me and came up dry. He refused to take it out, though, because his pride wouldn’t let him admit he’d failed. He started wiggling the needle around in my arm, which hurt like a motherfucker. After several seconds of me gritting my teeth to ride out the pain, he finally pulled it out and poked me again. Another time, I was at the Red Cross giving blood. My blood stopped flowing for whatever reason, and the volunteer came over to check it. She accidentally pulled the needle out, and my blood started spewing everywhere. Another time, they had to call the expert over to draw my blood.

The best thing that has happened to me at the doctor’s regarding drawing my blood was a technician who pulled out a butterfly needle and told me she was going to try the back of my hand. She got it in one, and it’s something I started suggesting to technicians when they couldn’t draw blood from my arm. Lately, I just offer it up right away to save on time, and it’s never failed.

My clinic is five minutes from my house. Getting my blood drawn takes five minutes. This entire endeavor will take fifteen minutes from start to finish. I don’t even have to talk to my doctor in order to get this done. I know this is not a big deal, and yet, I’m making it a big deal in my brain. The longer I go without doing it, the worse I feel about myself. Plus, the longer I’ll be on a wrong dose if I am.

One of the side effects of hypothyroidism is depression. So, it’s possible that my recent bout of depression is related to my meds being off, but I won’t know for sure if I don’t go to the damn doctor. I really wish I had known more about hypo/hyperthyroidism back when I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. At the time, there wasn’t an internet with reams of information readily available at my fingertips, and I relied on my doctors to tell me what was the best treatment to try. I was fourteen, deeply depressed, and I didn’t care much about anything. At the time, the go-to was blasting the thyroid with radiation. It wasn’t an exact science, and I ended up with a destroyed thyroid. Now, I’m hypo rather than hyper, which is better for you, but I hate the side effects of it. Lethargy, crankiness, and depression, oh my! Plus, a slowed-down metabolism. The only side effect that I don’t suffer from is being cold.

A few days ago, I started to feel physically unwell. Exhausted, but not in a ‘I need more sleep’ kind of way, and my body just ached. I could feel the change happen, and I knew I was getting sick again. Part of my hypothyroidism is that my immune system is compromised. When I get sick once, I have an increased chance to get sick again. My throat is scratchy, and my nose is stuffed. I feel like utter shit, and my energy is really low. I’m ensconced in the couch with Shadow sleeping on the cushion above my head–I love his snuffly little snores–and it’s taking all I have just to write this post. My brain is fuzzy, and I’m so grumpy. I hate being sick, and I’m a massive bitch when I’m feeling under the weather. I’ve written about this before, but I become so whiny. “Ohhhh, I hate having no energy.” “Wah, I wish I could do something other than sit on the couch.” “I wish someone would bring me some chicken soup.”

Again, the worst part about being single is not having someone to take care of me while I’m sick. I have to make my own tea–ginger, lemon, honey–and I still have to make sure I get all my chores done. I don’t even want to get off the couch, and my brain is running at half-speed. I’m alternating between hot and cold. I’m at that point where it takes all my energy just to go to the bathroom and back. I hate feeling like this, and I resent every second of it.

The thing is, I’m not sure how much is what in this case. Meaning, I’m physically not at my best, yes, but I’m also depressed, and I have thyroid issues as well. It feels as if it’s a confluence of these three things, in which case the sum is worse than the parts. I’m so unbearably tired. I just want to close my eyes and never wake up again. I can barely keep them open as it is, but I still can’t easily fall asleep.

I know I have to get my levels checked, and I know I have to be patient with myself, but it’s not my strong point. I’ve had to pare back my morning routine, AGAIN, and I’m not happy about it. I’m acutely aware that my strength is at half-level, if that, and I’m just going to have to deal with it for now. Hopefully, it’ll pass in less than two weeks this time.


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