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The Best Of 2008

Hashimoto's Hold the MSG
By Diane Steinbach -- Staff Writer [Email This Story]

I have Hashimoto's.

I know, it sounds like some kind of spicy Szechwan dish involving shrimp and pork, but it is actually a much less tasty thyroid disease. Thyroid issues seem to be really common these days, so I am not too concerned about it, although I do have a theory that alien intelligence has something to do with it.

I was first diagnosed with this disease while living in Kentucky. My constant complaining of tiredness and feeling cold didn't gather any sympathy from doctors in the past, but I guess it was the swelling of the base of my neck that finally got someone to take me seriously. I had to get an ultrasound and the news was expected. Cysts on my thyroid.

Cysts is a nice way of saying goiter. Yes, I, too, had immediate images of that Seinfeld episode where Elaine visits an elderly lady with a goiter the size of a football on her neck. Elaine was horrified, and I feared I was soon to become too horrible to behold. Oh, the humanity!

Luckily for me, there are medicines that stop the giant goiter from taking over my otherwise swan-like neck. Whew. Then it was off to see a specialist, an endocrinologist.

Now, although this Louisville doc looked a bit like Einstein, he was no where near him in the brains or charm department. He welcomed me to the "goiter belt."

"Why is that?" I asked, "are there a lot of thyroid problems in Kentucky?"

"Yup." He replied.

"Why?" I wondered.


He said it, not I.

Then, when it came to deciding what to do about my goiterliscious dilemma, he said, "Well, we can go OJ Simpson on it and just rip it out of your throat."

I met my husband at the car.

So, now having moved to Minnesota mid-treatment I had to find yet another doctor to follow me on this glandular odyssey. I made an appointment and waited for the blood to spill.

Fortuitously, I just happened to be sick at the time of my doctor's appointment, so although I was going for the thyroid issue, my throat was sore and my regular throaty type glands were swollen to the size of kiwi. (Keep that image in mind next time you shop for kiwi.)

I met the doctor and although I was interested in his treatment plan to keep me goiter-free, I really wanted him to check out my swollen glands and give me some help for the severely sore throat I was suffering with.

I mentioned my swollen glands to the nurse as she took my blood pressure. She wasn't interested. Obviously she didn't know what she was missing. My swollen glands were impressively swollen.

I mentioned it to the doctor as we began my exam. He didn't seem to care. Didn't he notice how huge my glands were? They were spectacular! A real study onto themselves!

"Feel them" I screamed in my head as his hands inspected my thryroid. "Touch the gigantic glands!"

He wouldn't. I tell ya. I was circus side-show material and no one seemed to care!

Anyway, glands ignored I left the office and bought some Sudaphed. Screw-em.

So, now 30 pounds heavier thanks to the lack of metabolism and disfigured from my medically ignored swollen glands, I sit here in my house hiding from society and further develop my alien invasion theory. Thank goodness for internet chats, everyone there thinks I am normal and look like Pamela Anderson.

She's got some swollen glands too doesn't she? I guess I am in good company.

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