Nancy shares what went through her mind and what her fears were when she was diagnosed with Graves' disease.
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They didn’t call it Grave’s disease. They said you have an overactive thyroid and we need to get it—you need to treat it. And I said, “What did you do?” And the choices where radioactive iodine, anti-thyroid drugs or surgery, that was a fairly straight answer that I got. I said, “Well, then why don’t we just take it out because I had hysterectomy. I wouldn’t afraid of surgery.” And the doctor said, “No, they’ll cut your vocal cords and you’ll never talk again.” Well, that would have been scary. He said and the drugs would give me leukemia. I’m also a nurse and they don’t give you leukemia. They give leucopenia. So, that was unsettling and they he said, “Oh you can take radioactive iodine which is 100% safe.” And I so I don’t think I’m really stupid. Let’s do the one that safe. And being afraid, I think I was 44 when I was diagnosed and I wasn’t afraid. I didn’t know enough to be afraid. The internet had not been invented yet and so I couldn’t on line and look it up. I’m trying to think if they’ve had it I would have type in hyperthyroid and wouldn’t gotten to Grave’s. But I wasn’t particularly scared. The radioactive iodine a big nothing and you just go in, you take the pill, you leave. So I wasn’t scared at that time. I did get scared later. Shortly after—within about two weeks, I went back to see my doctor at the time, he wan to know how I was doing. And I said, “I’m doing okay.” I said, “My eyes are really bulging, blinking.” I said, “They’re just there. I can feel my eyes. I could see sort of a highly concerned look in his face.” He’s started, “Here’s your thyroid. Here’s your thyroid medicine. Do this, do that.” And what I know is he knew that I was getting Grave’s disease. There is considerable controversy now that radioactive iodine will trigger existing disease and I think it probably did. But they didn’t know that then. They thought I had to with your thyroid level so they weren’t bill my levels backup. And I caught their anxiety and then when given me that medicine didn’t work, that was when I got scared. It’s like, “Oh my gush. My arms are going to fall out to my head.”