I think back about my mother.
At age twenty-one in 1939, she had most of her thyroid removed due to Graves disease and hyperthyroidism. Because a small part remained, hyper set in once again by 1960 complete with bugged eyes. So Radioactive Iodine I-131 was the next step to once-and-for-all annihilate the thyroid. Not long after, as her thyroid hormone levels fell, she was one of the early victims of the “new and modern” T4-only medication called Synthroid.
And all hell broke loose. Depression enveloped her everyday life—one of her worst lingering symptoms of hypothyroidism due to the shoddy treatment of a T4-only med as well as the TSH lab test. I remember her moods, her frequent anger and lack of patience, and her constant counseling appointments.
By 1963, and right before President Kennedy was shot, she submitted herself to Electric Shock Treatment in a futile effort to control her depression. What a crock. She was never again the bright and quick-witted woman I remembered as a younger child. Her brain was fried and she had a new dull flat reaction to life. And for the rest of her life, she lived on her antidepressant/anti-anxiety med Elavil and had daily constant naps, weight gain, rising cholesterol, dry hair, heart surgery, stiff joints, brain fog and inability to stand on her feet long–her own manifestation of lingering symptoms while on the lousy thyroxine.
And she did the T4-horror show…all…by…herself. No internet, no patient groups and forums, no Stop the Thyroid Madness website, blog or book, no good doc, no thyroid Facebook or Twitter groups, no other good thyroid books or websites. Nada. I came along as a Thyroid Patient Activist too late for my mother, who died in 2003.
It makes me shudder thinking of that lonely hell. But then again, it’s not just in the far past: it happened to her only daughter, me, for nearly 20 years. Complete lonely hell of my own with intense and disabling Dysautonomia induced by my continued hypo state while on Synthroid and later Levoxyl.
And today, because the mass media or any media personality refuses to speak the truth of the 55 year scandal of T4-only meds like Synthroid, Levoxyl, levothyroxine, Eltroxin, Oroxine, or the cuckoo’s nest of the TSH lab test and range, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of individuals still suffer. How stupid can they get. This is a scandal that has effected a huge mass of individuals globally, past and present, including those today who STILL linger with undiagnosed hypothyroidism thanks to the worthless TSH lab test or lingering hypo on the lousy T4-only medications. And all the above when we, as patients, have learned a far better way to treat our thyroid problems
Did you have relatives like my own Mom (who died in 2003) who lived the T4-only scandal alone? Use the Comment form to tell us about them. Have YOU suffered from a T4 med? Report it to the FDA here.
Also below, read about Jane Pauley and the health issues that make you wonder, since they can all be connected to a thyroid problem, either undiagnosed or untreated. Below that, you’ll see posts about Oprah, Reverse T3, the problem of cellulose in our meds, the desiccated thyroid shortages, and more.
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