My Next Week

If you read my blog during the first six months of 2010, then you’ll probably recall that in January of last year I had my thyroid removed[1] because I had thyroid cancer[2]. I went through five weeks of voicelessness[3] after that, and then I endured a month or so of being hypothyroid as part of the requirements for the radioactive iodine (RAI) scans the docs wanted to do in early April to see if any of the cancerous thyroid cells remained.

What does all this rehashing this have to do with diabetes? And, why am I writing about this topic again?


As I brought up last year in several entries, I was often hesitant as to whether or not I should devote so much space in a diabetes blog to my thyroid issues. However, because I write the blog about my experience living with diabetes, and because diabetes is systemic — as those of you who live with the illness know — every other aspect of our lives and what goes on with our bodies has the potential to affect blood glucose and our control. Oh, yeah, and also, the double bonus in all this: the thyroid (butterfly shaped and living in the neck) is one of the largest endocrine glands. Endocrine? Ring a bell?

So, yeah, why not write about it? It may not be completely germane to your existence with diabetes, but it sure as heck makes an impact on mine.

The RAI whole-body scans in 2010 indicated that they’d probably gotten all of the thyroid cells when they removed the thyroid. A very good thing. However, as it goes with medical issues, they want to follow up.

Now that it’s a year later, it’s my time to be followed up on.

Next week I begin the weeklong process of RAI stuff. I have packets of information on my desk about the low-iodine diet[4] that I’ve been on for almost two weeks — and which I need to remain on through the end of next week — as well as where to show up at what time on Monday, on Tuesday, on Wednesday, on Thursday, and on Friday.

Yep, it’s a process.

The good news is that I do not have to go hypothyroid this time. The development of a drug called Thyrogen[5] that they’ll inject on Monday and Tuesday means that the only major preparation I’ve undergone for this round of scans is the low-iodine diet, or, as those of us in the know refer to it, the LID.

I actually wanted to write more this week about the LID and my hesitancy and anxiety leading up to and starting that diet again (it’s restrictive, but this go-round has been much more pleasant than the last). I think, though, that I’ll save the LID-and-diabetes entry for another time. It seems that in backfilling my story to prepare for a blog about my diet, I indulged my preoccupation with next week’s many medical visits. Is this just a routine follow-up and should everything turn out just fine? Of course. Am I scared or worried? No. Not really.

It’s just that, as you know, any time a visit to the doctor is ordered in which there’s a procedure that could possibly show something abnormal, and especially for those of us who’ve had these procedures before and who’ve learned that results were not normal, thoughts seem to pick at the brain. The less-than-positive what-ifs.

I admit that I’ve had a few of what-ifs pop up, tiny though they may be.

So, yep, thanks for allowing me the space this week to speak, again, about thyroid-ish stuff.

Next week I’ll update you with where I’m at in the process of radioactive scanning, since I’ll be right smack in the middle of it. I promise to speak some about diabetes in all of this, as well!

  1. I had my thyroid removed:
  2. I had thyroid cancer:
  3. five weeks of voicelessness:
  4. low-iodine diet:
  5. Thyrogen:

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Eric Lagergren: Eric Lagergren was born in 1974 but didn’t give much thought to diabetes until March 2007, when he was diagnosed with Type 1. He now gives quite a bit of thought to the condition, and to help him better understand his life as a person with diabetes, he writes about it. Eric is the senior editor for the Testing Division at the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute in Ann Arbor. (Eric Lagergren is not a medical professional.)

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