Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Not Losing It

Some neighbors think we've lost our minds. Since school began in August, EJG and I have been waking at 5 AM to hit the streets before sunrise. We make our 5.5 mile round-trip to Starbucks on foot, burning 1,000 plus Kcal according to the counter on the heart rate monitor. When I'm home I supplement this insanity by visiting the Y at least 3 times a week for weight training, the occasional aerobics class, an alternative cardio experience on the stepmill, or the fierce personal training session with Judi the Intimidator. Months into this program, I'm really feeling great. I sense a strength and developing muscle tone beneath the soft outer layers. The blood pressure and resting heart rate have never been lower. I've changed departments in the stores, now able to choose fashions for the stretched-out and somewhat slovenly lieu of the tall and tubby. One problem remains. My weight hasn't moved.

Yup. Burning over 10,000 calories a week from working out hasn't moved the damned needle downward. Sometimes the instrument of evil has the nerve to read higher than the day before. We bought another scale, but it agreed with the first. I'd shoot the messenger but I'm not in favor of guns in the house. Besides, I don't want to clean up scale shrapnel from my bathroom floor. Instead I try to focus on the other benefits of my new fitness fanaticism. For the first time in my life, people actually think of me as a fitness freak! But the stock-steady scale looms large in my mind.

Yesterday I may have uncovered the perpetrator in this wrongdoing. I can blame it all on Centrum.

Nearly 15 years ago an endocrinologist confirmed what I had contended throughout my tubby teen years. I maintain the metabolism of a a three-legged tortoise. Prescriptions were administered to simulate the hormones my thyroid refused to produce, and I was sent on my way. I could hardly wait for the pounds to melt away. Alas, the great meltdown never happened.

Last week I sat through a routine blood-drawing so that my doctor can send along the renewal prescription for synthroid, my hypothyroidism maintenance medication. Usually this results in a phone message a few days later advising me to come pick up the paperwork. Instead this time the nurse left a message with an alarmed and urgent tone to come in as soon as possible to review my lab results.I debated calling back with some fighting words. Were they just looking for another copay, or was there a real concern? After all, an office visit means I write a check for $35. I decided to play along and scheduled the follow-up as advised.

Yesterday in the office we reviewed the numbers. Lipids. Check. Cholesterol. Check. Triglyceride. Check. LDL and HDL. Check check. TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone). Uncheck. My thyroid, oh great regulator of all systems metabolic, was trending toward the toilet. It is progressively worsening in spite of progressively increasing prescriptions. We ruled out all the warning signs of goiters, thyroid cancer, or other catastrophic illnesses. Then we discussed my daily medication routine. I swallow everything in one fell swoop. In the morning, with a tall glass of whatever's available, down go the synthroid along with its buddies, the glucosamine, fish oil, and Centrum multi for women. Once a day is the most realisitic time frame for me to remember to do it at all.

"Eureka!" shouted the doctor. Well, not really, but it might have happened that way. It turns out that synthroid is some kind of medicinal reciprocal of calcium supplements. Combine the two and you end up with nothing. I checked the literature that has come taped to my synthroid bottle for the last dozen years, and I saw no mention. Basically, I've been negating the medication. Quit the Centrum and the meds can do their job. Give it a few weeks, we can run the bloodwork and verify. A functional metabolism in the era of Judy the Gymaholic? Maybe all this exercise will result in me losing something other than my mind, after all.


MJ said...

That is amazing! I'm so glad you figured it out. I hope that you finally see the results you've been hoping for all along. You deserve it.
BTW, that post had me so engrossed that I let LMJ unpack a whole setion of my backpack. Riveting; I mean it!

liz said...

I am very frightened...the idea of you with more energy. I can't even imagine it!

BJNR said...

Holy Smokes!! I'm SO glad you got to the root of the issue! Let's hope the next set of tests confirm the hypothesis!!
Hope to get in touch with you soon!! MISS YOU LOTS!!
Keep up the great work with your program. You are truly an inspiration to me!

Cora Spondence said...

I agree with liz. A more energetic and springy you boggles the mind.