Monday, June 15, 2009


So despite a mild case of the Errand Lethargy recently (you know how you have five phone calls to make during lunch hour, and you should really make them all Monday but then it's Friday at 5:15 and you've made one of them and you realize you need to wait till the next Monday again? I get that pretty badly, a lot), I've actually been pretty good. I got most of the way to getting the car title reissued for my baby brother (lot of good most does him, but then we found the original), and I cancelled the SA and I called the RE and the rotten lab that wouldn't pass on my p+7 blood test results from two cycles ago.

Sparing y'all the really mundane parts of the story, my RE's nurse is awesome. She stayed on the phone with me last week for almost half an hour answering questions (I'm pretty sure she answered some of them wrong, but some of them were unfairly technical), and agreed to call in the new tamoxifen prescription so I can get it filled before my next consult. Because she's awesome. She also called the blood lab (sic 'em on each other - works every time), and they finally coughed up the results - from a blood draw on April 27. Typically (I think), they drew progesterone, estradiol, and TSH.

The misfit's prediction: progsterone will be low. This is kind of a gimme, because I have endo (which is linked to low progesterone), I have two days of normal flow and then five days of spotting every period, my luteal phases are short-ish (12 days?), my temperature increase in the luteal phase is noticeable but not large, and sometimes the temp drops back below the cover line. Also, I've never been pregnant. In other words, I have all the symptoms of low progesterone. Estradiol will be high - because that runs in my family, and it seems to me to make sense with high FSH (we know that's the case) and low progesterone, doesn't it? Also, if it were usually high and the tamoxifen moderated it, maybe that would explain the lack of CM? Finally, although this just occurred to me last week, TSH will be low. My mother, grandmother, and some of my aunts are hypothyroid and have been since their twenties, and the constant mild depression and mild lethargy I've felt for months that I chalked up to just being old are probably something simpler.

Actual results: progesterone is normal (and I was tested on p+8, actually, because p+7 was a Sunday. I have noooooo idea what to make of this - now what?); estradiol is low (what??? And what does this cause?); and TSH is high. So, I should have no CM (in that cycle - this cycle is something else again, OK?), never spot, and be hyper all the time, skinny, and constantly hungry. Hmm, not so much.

Anyone have any wisdom to share on this anomaly? I need to visit Dr. Google, but I'm totally thrown for a loop here. (I wonder whether it makes the tamoxifen completely pointless.)

UPDATE: Apparently high TSH is diagnostic of low thyroid, so I may be hypothyroid, after all. (This makes more sense to me.) Apparently, fatigue is a symptom of both hypo- and hyper-thyroidism, so I guess that's a wash.


  1. I have hypothyroidism and I take some meds which help (T.3 and T.4) with the tiredness. Actually, since the lap surg...I'm not as tired at all. I wonder if endo makes people tired or was it the cysts and adhesions? Ha! I feel really good now. So anyway, talk to your dr about some meds...I'm sure they will help. God Bless!

  2. Wow, your guesses were a little off :). Weird how nothing is what you assume, huh?

    The only thing I'd recommend is staying away from Synthroid. A lot of times it will make your TSH levels look normal, without changing any of your symptoms. Trying one of the others instead - Armour, Naturethroid, etc - is the recommended way to go. My cousin with PCOS just started Armour and is starting to feel better after only a couple weeks! I did a lot of research on this back in January - a good website is
    A ridiculous number of people get pregnant after going on thyroid medication, did you know? Probably why I wanted to by hypothyroid so bad back in January...oh well.

  3. I'm very mildly hypothyroid, and reacted very well to Synthroid (actually, the generic equivalent which is cheaper)--had more of my old energy, had easier periods, lost 5-10 pounds. The old-fashioned Armour stuff (made from porcine thyroid glands) works better for some folks, as do the addition of T3 drugs (Synthroid provides just T4), so you might have to try some different approaches and doses before you start feeling better. A good endocrinologist will steer you in the right direction.

    I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, but treating your hypothyroidism may or may not lead to pregnancy. Even when my levels were in that magical realm of 1-2 TSH, I didn't get knocked up. I did get knocked up (twice in a row) with levels around 2.5-2.75 during my FSH/IUI cycles. Then, for reasons unknown, my TSH last check was a beautiful 1.5 (I did increase my dosage around week 6), at a time when it's supposed to be rising madly. So it's all very individual and mysterious.

    But most likely, if you treat it and get to a good place level-wise, you'll feel much better and will be in much better shape to have a successful pregnancy.