Saturday, May 24, 2008

Where are Your Bedside Manners??

As much as we would like to have free medical care for every one in our country, I sometimes wonder if we are whining just a little too much. I often wonder what is the lesser of two evils: health care only to those who can afford it with some suffering without or living where health care is free but the system doesn't totally work.

In England, where health care is free, many women who want to get tested for thyroid disease are being refused or are told to see an endocrinologist (which they would have to pay for). Those lucky enough to get their thyroid levels check are being refused their lab results. I was reading an article, from Mary Shomon (a thyroid patient advocate who has thyroid disease herself), at (which can be found here) how the UK National Health Service are not competent enough to deal with thyroid patients and seem to dismiss them. What surprised me the most was another article by a UK advocate, Joanne (which Mary refers to in her own article). The article can be found here.

Here are three things she was surprised to learn (this was taken from her article Fat, Mad, Middle-Aged, Menopausal Women:

  1. not being taken seriously and being talked down to by GPs
  2. having test results withheld by receptionists - being told they are allowed to know that they are normal, but not the detail
  3. being charged £50 for special consultations if they want to know their full results
What I was surprised to learn is that they actually have this doctor practicing:

Dan Brett is a GP partner in Bristol. He qualified from St Mary’s Hospital in 1992. He has an interest in sports medicine and is currently the team doctor for the Bristol rugby club. He is also the practice based commissioning lead for his practice.

Here's what he said in regards to women and thyroid disease:

"Joanne - tell the "goitre girls" to find a new hobby! Here are some facts to save an unecessary[sic] fax [sic] Under-active thyroid disease (which nearly all our thyroid patients are) doesn't need support - It's very simple - keep taking the tablets - if you do, you will have a normal blood test once a year - no GP consulatation [sic] required - end of story! If you don't believe me got to: [sic] Don't make an issue of something that's not - we've got PCTs to do that job... PS I like the £50 fining system for ridiculous consultation requests, though I'm not sure its[sic] currently strictly kosher under our terms of service."

Is this guy flipping out of his mind?? I would truly like every doctor who has told a thyroid patient that their TSH is normal to define normal. Is normal the TSH range you've been taught is acceptable, or could you maybe think outside the box for just one moment and realize what is normal for some is not normal for others?

What gets me is how can this man, who is supposed to provide care in a reasonable manner, dismiss women with thyroid disease so completely? I was reading around the blogs and came across his. This man is highly chauvinistic and insensitive.

I have seen many doctors for my thyroid problems and have encountered some problems of my own. We are not taken seriously, we are often misdiagnosed with depression, or just thought to be a hypochondriac. What I will say, is that through all this, not once has a doctor dismissed me or degraded me in such a manner. If someone treated me in the way that he obviously would a patient, you could bet that I would find another doctor in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, it's not that easy, from what I hear, to do that in the UK. I guess we should be grateful for the freedom of choice.

Update: Just to let you all know, this is simply my opinion. I'm not totally down on either health care systems other than the way thyroid patients are treated (I say this because there are things that I don't like, some that I do). One thing they seem to have in common is the lack of thyroid knowledge. As with our health care system and England's, too, there are doctors who are actual thyroid patient advocates and are willing to buck the system. Too bad there aren't more of them out there.

*The doctor mentioned above was merely a commentator on the original article from the site.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Weight Loss Update #4

I have actually been down to 213 for a bit. But today, as with yesterday, I am once again swollen and retaining stupid water weight. Therefore, I am UP two pounds today. :(

I do know that I will fluctuate. I have been trying to cut the sodas cold turkey with no luck. It is the main reason that I retain water. Very frustrating. I need to just keep drinking actual water to counterbalance I guess.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Weight Loss Update #3

I haven't weighed in in awhile. I felt maybe it wasn't necessary since I wasn't doing what I needed to do. I have maybe only exercised three times in the last 4-6 weeks. My eating is still under control, but it probably could be better if I was doing my weight loss journal. With all this being said, I stepped on the scale this morning and found a surprise. My weight was down! Not a lot, you see, but it is closer to the current goal of getting down to 210.

Last Weight: 215

Current Weight: 214

+/-: 1

Can you imagine what I could do if I was exercising?? I think it's time to start back up again.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Thyroid Info Week #2, Video #2

I would get so frustrated when people would tell me that I wouldn't gain weight if I didn't eat so much. But if anyone knows anything about thyroid disease, those who are hypothyroid actually eat very little and get full fast. No matter how much I explained it, it just didn't matter. Like I've mentioned before, I have to work twice as hard to lose weight as those with a normal thyroid. Here's a little more about hypothyroidism and weight gain:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Thyroid Info Week #1, Video #1

I've decided to start a little something here on this blog. I am going to put a video that relates to thyroid disease once or twice a week. The first one is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Thyroid disease. There is a difference. This is how people often go misdiagnosed. A lot of what they discuss in this video is what I have been going through for years, and it did take me a long time to get diagnosed and even longer to be treated properly.

Remember, if you feel any of these symptoms mentioned, ask your doctor for a thyroid test. Millions of people suffer from thyroid disease everyday and don't know it. Be informed.

Friday, May 2, 2008

A Song About Hashimoto's....Check It Out! LOL

One of my favorite sites that I visit and also receive newsletters from is It is a very informative site in regards to thyroid disease. The newsletter is written by Mary Shomon. She is a patient advocate and suffers from thyroid disease herself. In one of the newsletters I received to day it mentioned this: (You can find the full article here)

"Dallas, Texas endo Dr. David Feinstein, and his friend/colleague, Canadian family physician and stress management expert Dr. Mel Borins, believe that there's a place for humor in medicine. And now, thanks to them, thyroid patients can enjoy a truly hilarious song: "Ode to Hashimoto's Thyroiditis," written and performed brilliantly by Dr. Borins. I don't want to spoil the surprise of the lyrics -- it's really funny, and if you have ever been hypothyroid, you will totally relate to this song!"

You can find the song here. Take a listen. It's really rather funny and highly accurate! LOL