Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Well, the bloodwork from Penny's quarterly checkup with her endocrinologist came back, and her thyroid levels have fallen below the approved threshold. So she'll be starting on a dose of synthyroid (or whatever the generic is called -- I don't object to using generic drugs, but I could wish the names weren't so impossible). It's a relatively small, once-a-day dose, and although the instructions always say it needs to be taken on an empty stomach, the doctor said it would be fine if she took it at breakfast.

It's disappointing, to say the least. There wasn't much doubt that she would develop hypothyroidism eventually -- it's got a strong genetic component, and it seems like half my family has it: me, my dad, my grandmother, my uncle... And though diabetes doesn't cause it, the two diseases seem to be linked. That's why they've been monitoring her levels so closely, and we've been watching them drop steadily over the last year... but we were hoping it would hold off longer.

On the plus side, I'm glad that we've caught it before it presented any outward symptoms. And at least treatment is both cheap and easy. (In the fifteen years since my diagnosis, I've never had to pay more than $8 for a month's worth of pills, which is practically nothing, especially compared to the cost of her diabetes supplies.) And it's a pretty forgiving condition -- accidentally missing a day's treatment won't cause problems, either short-term or long-term. Heck, I once lost my pills on a trip, and went more than a week without, and didn't have any ill effects.

So it could be a lot worse.

But damn, you'd think the poor kid could catch a break.

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