Gee golly bazooka: guess who started a conversation with me?

SumoWrestlersYesterday, I was meandering through a small biking/river runners store, exchanging a vest I got my son for Christmas that turned out to be too large, and looking intently for a replacement gift he’d like.

The only other shopper left—a tall, dark and handsome young man. And almost as quickly, he re-entered,  approached me, and asked if that was my car out there.

“My car?” I replied. “Yes, why?”

“I’m curious about the sticker you have on your back window,” he stated with a friendly but curious smile.

The sticker is of Calvin peeing on the word of a particular T4-only medication.  I give these away free if someone requests it with their current order of the STTM book.  And this was not the first time I’ve been asked about that attention-getting sticker.

So I proceeded to tell him that I’m a Thyroid Patient Activist, owner of Stop the Thyroid Madness, about the history of T4, how lousy many patients have reported doing on it for nearly 60 years with their own variety and intensity of lingering hypo symptoms, and how much better natural desiccated thyroid has been for patients all over the world.

I then innocently asked: “Are you on Synthroid?” I just knew I had one more victim of this treatment who needed enlightenment.

“Nope”,  he said with a confident and defiant air.  “I have until recently been a pharmaceutical rep with Abbott Labs.”

THWACK.   Standing before me stood a mighty well-trained Big Pharma champion for Synthroid who was going to reveal and defend his propaganda like a master. And that led to the most heated and piercing give-and-take I’ve ever experienced, right in front of the chagrined and wide-eyed sales person at the checkout desk. We were like sumo wrestlers butting our words against each other.

When I explained the slew of continuing symptoms reported by patients worldwide who have been on T4, and no matter how high they raised it…his response?  “Those symptoms can be the result of many issues other than hypothyroidism.”

I responded: “Well isn’t it odd that those who are hypo and on Synthroid, and who get on desiccated thyroid, find those symptoms completely removed.”

His reply?? “Heroin can do the same thing”.  Groan. I simply had to laugh at him. How many times have we heard the same kind of baloney.

He proceeded to tell me in great detail with each point he made that:

  1. He has worked with many patients and they do well on Synthroid (A rep has worked with many patients? And what in the world does “well” mean?)
  2. Clinical trials have proven that Synthroid works. (Ah! You mean those financed by Abbott Labs and which are contrary to the reported experience of millions of patients around the world? Those??)
  3. The TSH lab test gives proof about the efficacy of T4 (Funny how patients all over the world have proven by their continuing symptoms that the TSH lab test for the diagnosis and treatment of hypothyroidism belongs at the bottom of a trash heap)
  4. There are many differences in the efficacy of T4 brands to explain any issues in patients (Funny how not ONE brand of T4 has been exempt from leaving continuing symptoms according to the global rexperience of a huge body of patients) 
  5. Blaming T4 for the amount of adrenal fatigue that “supposedly” some T4-treated patients find themselves with is silly since there can be other reasons for it. (Another laugh on my part.  Clearly, when someone isn’t adequately treated on T4, something has to kick in to keep them going, and voila–it’s those trusty dusty adrenals which eventually just poop out thanks to T4 and the TSH.)

There were much more machine gun stances between us, but that would make this blog post far too long.

One truth we did agree on? That “some” patients do get benefit from using T4. He specifically referred to the elderly. And my quick response? Why accept “some” when patients all over the world report getting rid of that “some” with desiccated thyroid (and especially for certain ones who also treat their low cortisol, low ferritin, and other issues most likely related to an inferior treatment.)

Clearly, we were each deadlocked in our positions.  And he concluded, looking at the sales associate, that neither of us were wrong; we just represented two sides.

And I turned my head, looked him straight in the eye, and said:  Uhhh, no. YOU are completely and totally wrong.

P.S. After he left, the sales gal said she was totally in tune with what I was saying, and wrote down the name of this website. lol lol

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See the blog post below about favored Canadian pharmacies, plus many more comments by patients.

What the heck is going on with desiccated thyroid and current shortages? Read about it here.

28 Responses to “Gee golly bazooka: guess who started a conversation with me?”

  1. Paula

    LOL! Someone should have had a camera on that one!

    Reply
  2. Lisa Barnes Murray

    Excellent persistence with necessary FORCE!! Like Natural Bio-identical Hormone as a BEST therapy for women (men too), Naturethroid faces the SAME subjugation!

    Reply
  3. Amy M

    Like the old saying goes Janie, “Don’t confuse me with the facts”. Drug reps are programmed to push one point of view only and push it hard despite any evidence to the contrary. The sad part is that their companies own the endocrine societies here and elsewhere in the world. Kind of makes you look like David against Goliath. You go girl!

    Reply
  4. Sally

    Janie! You should have asked him why he no longer reps for Abbott Labs! Now that would have been interesting!

    Reply
  5. Emma

    That’s the kind of arrogance I really hate! A basic scientific principle – Occam’s razor – dictates that we MUST rule out lingering hypothyroidism in a symptomatic patient on levothyroxine before turning to other possible causes of listed hypothyroid symptoms. The onus is on the levo industry to DISPROVE that those lingering symptoms are caused by hypothyroidism, and that’s something they can’t do!

    Reply
  6. Alana

    Lol… well done Janie!! What’s with the constant reference to heroin or other illegal drugs when it comes to saying how well patients do on natural desiccated thyroid meds?!?! How patronising and judgmental, ignorant and arrogant such a comment is! It just makes my blood boil. Honestly, it’s so frustrating… I don’t know how you do it Janie… I hope you have a big punching bag at home! Thanks for sticking up for us all! Good stuff 😀

    Reply
  7. Brock Gunter-Smith

    Fascinating. Keep up the great work. Patients need websites like this and good, open, relationships with their physicians to help cut through the marketing and make decisions about effective treatment based on their body, the reactions to the medications they’ve tried and all the options out there, not just the ones currently available in their corner drugstore.

    Reply
  8. Dwayne

    What an idiot. I have come to learn the reason Dr’s and other personnel are so against dessicated thyroid hormone is because they KNOW it doesn’t work but don’t want to admit it so the defensive attitude and shortness they have with patients is to cover their own insecurity with the fact they are giving out a medication they should not be- And no matter what they say or do- will not CHANGE the people from switching back to Synthroid- This is America and we can just get it from Canada going forward- so they can take their Synthroid and SHOVE it right up their ass.

    Reply
  9. Alex

    Well, that young man’s time will come soon enough. I guess since he hasn’t personally experienced the devestation T4 (and lack of adrenal treatment) can bring, he won’t entertain a larger thought than himself. Its amazing what happens when a wife and/or mother is affected. Give him a cortisol/norepinephrine agonist for a couple weeks/months and he might be just a little more open-minded.

    Reply
  10. Heather

    Thyroid issues run in my birth family – birth mother & sister were on synthroid for years & it NEVER seemed to help. My birth mother was actually able to do VERY well on an herbal solution, and my sister actually felt BETTER not on anything at all. I’m on Armour Thyroid – I’m quite sure there will be 2 more people in my family on it soon. 1/3 feels fantastic… (that’s me lol)

    Reply
  11. Janet Wilson

    My first thought is “oh, to be a fly on the wall during THAT conversation!” LOL! But, in thinking about it further, I’d rather have been right there, in the flesh, standing RIGHT BEHIND YOU, hands on hips, repeating lots of “YEAH!” after each or your responses.

    It’s good to know that I’m not the only one who gets into this type of “discussion” in public. LMAO! I’m quite sure that you’re MUCH better at the comebacks than I am (after all where did I learn it from?). And, thankfully, I’ve never actually come in direct contact with a big pharma rep. 😉

    All I can say is, I certainly hope this guy isn’t ignorant enough to not let some of what you told him into that pea-brain of his. In other words, I hope you were able to, lets say, “plant a seed”. 😀

    Reply
  12. Andrea

    I have it worse as bad. My dad’s younger brother works for Abbot Labs but NOT in the Synthroid department. He thought Armour was an over the counter treatment and NOT perscribed.

    Reply
  13. Trina Plummer

    People like this young man are pointless. It’s a job, money, it’s not his health on the line. I love this website and am grateful for all the information. Thank You Janie for fighting this battle. Because of this website I have been able to address symtoms in other family members and get them on the road to health.

    Reply
  14. Linda

    Bravo!

    Reply
  15. Lori

    I have to comment on this… My younger sister is a nurse in a big hospital. She was hypothyroid before I found out I was and she introduced me to an endocrinologist who prescribes synthetic T3/T4 capsules. I have been telling her about the STTM website and what I am learning going through my journey with RT3 and T3. My sister shared with me yesterday that an endocrinologist was on her floor last week and she started asking him about T3/T4 compounded medication for hypothyroid that she has been taking for years… She said the doctor went off on a tangent- telling her that her doctor was prescribing more medication than she needed by adding the T3 to the T4. She said she just stood there is shock thinking of all the people he was treating in the hospital and giving them plain T4. She is looking at dessicated thyroid (thank goodness) but I don’t know if she will switch…

    I thought of your blog with the sales rep and now here with an endocrinologist in a hospital…

    This madness has to stop sometime, Right??

    Reply
  16. Robin

    He’s nothing more than a trained seal. Let him have thyroid problems for awhile see what he thinks about his precious meds then.

    Reply
  17. Gigi

    Right on Janie! You go girl! We appreciate you and the work you do.

    I have my opinion on lab reps which I won’t even go into because it wouldn’t be pretty.

    Glad you stood up to him!

    The fight goes on to better the treatment of hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency and all hormone imbalances.

    Reply
  18. Linda

    Very interesting conversation I am sure! Wish I could have been there. The synthroid has not totally worked for me, but 3 docters that I have seen says it is working fine…phst. They only test the TSH and so I stay on the Synthroid/Levothyroxine.

    I am sure if this man had thyroid issues he would see it all in a different light!!! I am so glad that you were there Janie telling him just how it is!! He don’t care, but at least he heard it!

    Thanks,
    Linda

    Reply
  19. gg in USA

    You go Janie! I have had similar battles, with a drug rep who is a neighbor. If people hear it enough, it will become more of a norm, accepted, etc. Thanks as always for all you do!!!! gg

    Reply
  20. oplap

    I have only one thing to tell you: YOU GO GIRL!
    When you told him he was wrong, you did a right thing.
    He was wrong! People like him are torturers that put people like me through misery for years!

    Reply
  21. Chris

    Great job! Especially telling him that he was wrong. I’ve corrected a lot of people at work. I’m a hospital pharmacist. I actually had a fellow pharmacist say that of the chronic illnesses, if you’re going to have one, hypothyroidism is the one to have. Easy to measure (TSH) and easy to treat (T4). Yeah, right!! I calmly put her in her place. I try to educate every pharmacist I can on the subject, even writing comments on CE websites. Keep up the good work Janie. I’ve learned more from you than my five years in college.

    Reply
  22. Tricia

    I want that sticker!
    🙂

    From Janie: It’s a free gift when anyone does a current order for a STTM book from the publishers website (http://www.laughinggrapepublishing.com/all-about-the-book ), and at the same time, uses the Contact from STTM at the bottom of any page to let me know it’s wanted when the book is sent. So if you already have the book but not the sticker, consider ordering another book and give it to your family member, friend or doctor, and keep the sticker. lol.

    Reply
  23. L. Morgan

    Let ’em have it Janie…Way to go!

    Reply
  24. Julie

    Those reps are just well-trained parrots. Most have background in sales and no medical degree. You go Janie!! We all know the truth and are spreading the word! We are grateful for what you do!

    Reply
  25. Monica L

    Janie – I admire your stand and applaud your courage. We have been engaged in this battle since 1992. In our practice, we never wanted to deal with thyroid issues for our patients…that was considered best left to endocrinologists. Sadly, the patients always paid the price for that so back in 1992 we began to offer natural, desiccated thyroid to our patients whose symptoms and clinical evaluation warranted it, even when the blood tests failed to correlate to the symptoms. All I can say is, 15,000 patients later, we are still on a mission to change the way people are treated for hypothyroidism, and most of those we have helped consider that they have gotten thier lives back! Keep up the fantastic work. Seriously….heroine?

    Reply
  26. Laura

    I’m always suspicious when there are absolutely NO opposing viewpoints in the comments. Black-and-white thinking always gets us into trouble, whatever side of the issue we are on.

    (From Janie: Hi Laura. Not sure what you are talking about it. lol. But in case you are referring to comments to these blog posts, there are definitely opposing viewpoint comments on many posts.)

    Reply
  27. Elizabeth Hitchcock

    Go, Janie! You made that drug rep look like the jackass he is!

    Reply
  28. aprillv68

    YOU GO JANIE! Man what a moron, was he serious? I agree with Sally & i bet that jerk was fired, would love to had been there to put a finger in his face!!

    Reply

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