Please Pass the Geiger Counter

Momservation: Sometimes it’s just best not to explain.

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I guess I can thank my thyroid and not the gym for my sudden weight loss

So, I found out today I have Graves Disease. It’s simply a fancy name for an over-active thyroid and excellent excuse to eat all the Oreos I want (excessive weight loss is a side-effect. For all my friends out there who have been telling me I look great – thanks, but evidently I’ve been cheating).

It’s tempting to let this condition have its way with me in the name of gluttony without repercussions. However, constantly feeling like I’ve just shot-gunned a 12-pack of Red Bull is the trade-off. For someone who has been known to yell at a Starbucks barista in a panic after just a few sips of a botched order, “My God woman! What have you done to me? I said DECAF!” this can be a problem.

Another side effect of hyperthyroidism is hotness. I’ve been running like a ’69 Buick chugging uphill on a hot day with the heater on in hopes of not overheating.

Every time I had a hot flash I’d say to Hubby in alarm, “I’m only 40! I can’t be pre-menopausal already!”

Hubby, who affectionately calls me a lizard because I’m so easily too cold or too hot, would assure me, “You’re not premenopausal.”

“But all of a sudden I sweat like Richard Simmons‘  Sweating to the Oldies when I’m at the gym!”

“You’re not premenopausal,” he repeated.

“But I’m hot and cranky all the time now!”

“Trust me,” he said, “It’s nothing new.” Then he ducked a swing.

Basically, it turns out, my thyroid circuit is blown and my metabolism is going haywire. To check and confirm this I had to take an iodine pill rendering me slightly and temporarily radioactive.

I thought this was very cool. I felt like I had super powers. That is if it’s a super power to keep everyone out and away from my bathroom (so my pee wouldn’t contaminate them).

When I picked up my son from school I announced, “Hey, guess what? I’m radioactive!” 

Unimpressed he asked, “What’s radioactive?”

“It means…it means I’m…” Shoot. What does it mean? “It means I’m emitting radiation.”

“What does ‘emitting radiation’ mean?”

“It means I’m radioactive! It means I could make a Geiger counter go haywire!” I said thinking I was totally cool.

“Oh…Jackson did a backflip today at school!” Apparently, I was not as cool as Jackson.

Not getting the proper reaction from my son, I tried my radioactive bit on my daughter.

“So…you’ve been playing a lot of songs on the radio?” she asked confused and only mildly interested.

Okay, so no one in my family was impressed that I was radioactive or that I was the human equivalent of a runaway locomotive – recklessly churning, steaming, powering down fuel.

In order to set my body straight, I need to either take a pill every day that may possibly regulate my thyroid or radiate my thyroid into oblivion, shutting its overactive a** down forever. Then I’d have to take a pill for an underactive thyroid.

I’m trying the pill first, but I considered just shuttin’ her down. If I did that the doctor advised having my own bathroom for a little while because I’d be pretty radioactive.

I’d be so cooler than Jackson…


  1. Chase McFadden says:

    So you’ve been playing a lot of songs on the radio? That’s funny.

    Glad your feeling okay with this because honestly, “graves” is a pretty disheartening name for a disease. Take care of yourself.

  2. kellimwheeler says:

    Wow, thanks for pointing that delightful perspective out Chase. 😉 Let’s think of it more as a “condition” (as my doctor put it) – a condition that allows me to eat the heck out of a bag of Oreos and actually have cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory until we get a handle on it.

    Thanks for checking in…

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