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346355 tn?1219858547

Graves Disease is ripping my marriage apart


My wife was diagnosed with Grave's Disease over two years ago, and I've watched her slip gradually since long before then, which leads me to assume that she had the disease and was undiagnosed for some time. She hasn't been able to get insurance, and we are currently waiting for approval so that she can seek treatment.

I am well aware of the emotional effects of this terrible disease, and it has literally pushed our 17-year relationship to the brink. I hardly recognize this woman anymore. She cannot focus, she suffers mood swings, she lashes out, she is very distant, she has become detached, has no libido whatsoever, acts irrationally and I cannot even talk to her. She will not be bothered with even simple problems that we face. I watched it become worse over time, so much so that I suffered a nervous breakdown this year. It is very difficult to watch the person you love slip away like this.

It took me six months to reach her and convince her that it was this disease that was largely responsible for our marriage difficulties, and not me. She is so irrational, that she is ready to throw away a 14-year marriage, and leave with no place to go and no money. She was ready to take the kids and move 5 hours away to her mother's. I've watched her make bad descision after bad descision, and become completely self absorbed.

Does anyone know of any alternative remedies that we can try while we are waiting to seek an endocrinologist? Has anyone else suffered these types of symptoms, and if so, do you have any advice on how to handle this situation. I am truly at my wits end, and I am a very patient man; it's just that this has become so difficult to deal with. I haven't found any support groups in my area (central NY) but my wife has finally become willing to come to see my counsellor with me.

My poor wife is tired all of the time, and she gets sick so often, I assume because her immune system is so stressed. If this went undiagnosed for too long, is there a chance of permanent mental damage? That is my greatest fear, because the sweet lady that I married is not here, and I want her back! I've been through a lot in this life, and these are unquestioningly the most difficult times I've ever had to face. If there's any advice anyone can offer, I am certainly open to it.

Thank you very much. Most sincerely,

83 Responses
Avatar universal
Your wife needs medical test and medical treatment or else she could die if this is prolonged.

Could you make some kind of arrangements with a medical office until the insurance kicks.  

This can be serious consequences if not treated.

Sorry, there is no other treating method other than medical.

Good luck to the both of you!
I want to say a very big thanks and appreciation to Dr. Lawrence for bringing back my husband who left me and the kids for almost two months. I am very much grateful to Dr.Lawrence  who brought my husband back to me within 3days. I pray to God almighty to give you the strength and wisdom to help more people having similar problem like mine. ***@****
11852 tn?1216845043
It's as hard if not harder on the family member being afftected by any disease.  I took the news of my thyca last year a lot better than when my sister found out this month.  Mainly because I feel more helpless since she's in anothe state that the one I live in.  Definitely get counseling for you both.  Maybe both of you need to come to this website to see what patients and their care givers go through.  

In the past year sinc I found out about my Graves disease and then thyca.  My personality has changes...some for the better. a lot for the worse.  My motivation to do simple things like keep a budge it just too hard for me to focus on.  However, as a thyca survivor, I am a little more tolerant of some idiot drives on I-95 in Northe VA.  Before I got on "happy pills" I was extremely intolerant the the inconsiderate drivers on I-95.  May want to check into you wife getting some type of anti-depressant or anti-anxiety pill, which ever her doc thinks will help the most.  Another trait of hyper I had before surgery and it continues because of the necessary med level for cancer supression, is insomnia.

I hope  you find some answers quickly.  Suport your family the best you can.  There but the grace of God could go you.  Think of what you would want you wife to do if the situation was reversed.  Most vows to say in sickness and health....just a thougt.

209384 tn?1231171906
Am very sorry for all you and your poor wife are going through.  I too had Graves'.  There are anti-thyroid meds that can be very useful short term.  They are dangerous when used long term, but if she can just get into see some one there is immediate things that can be done to help her.  I hate to think of not only all your marriage has gone through, it can be resolved with time, but what her body has gone through.

Her mental problems should right themselves when her thyriod levels are brought into check.  Mine have.  I am now a fully functioning adult again. =)

Hang in there and get her medical treatment as soon as you possibly can.

97628 tn?1204465633
I am also very sorry for all your wife and your family have been through. Is there anyway you can speak to the billing person at a doctor's office and find one willing to work with your budget for payment? If she can get examined and tested she could at least start some threapy to try and help her and maybe it won't be that much out of pocket. Do you have family members who can help you out on this?
Often it's not all that much. One of the best Endos in our area charges between $75-125 for a visit and then there's the labwork. Call and get an estimate of the cost of an appointment, labwork and possible medication and see if there's a way to work that out.
Her condition can be very serious.
125112 tn?1217277462
I'm running short on time, sof forgive me on keeping this short:

If it's been sometime since your wife has been checked:


and here is a all-around good one that includes the testing above:


You don't need doctor's orders and it will be an out of pocket expense. However, from what I have heard from other's who are uninsured, this is a cheaper avenue then the testing that occurs through a doctor's office.Code 12345 takes 10% off your order.

In receiving the results, you will just where she is at. I would then follow kitcurious's advice or do so anyway, if you choose not to test. I just posted the above, as it may come cheaper beings you are uninsured.
I would take the lab results into the doctor. She does need a good endo but even a good doctor would be better than no doctor at this point. She needs treatment, uninsured or not. This isn't anything you let "slide."

I hope you both have better days ahead!
Avatar universal
I am very sorry that you and your wife are going threw so very much right now.  I understand the medical insurance thing.  I know that seeing an Endo is really out of the question right now, and Endo's are really not required to have treatment for Graves.  They are good, but almost any medical doctor can treat Graves as long as they know what they are doing, and are willing to do it.  Most MD will treat Graves as long as you have medical records showing infact that this is what is has(that would mean taking labs with you from when she was Dxed with Graves).  I see a family practice doctor for my Graves, and there isn't an Endo within 2 hours from my home.  So it is less expensive to see a family practice doctor anyway.  Also there are clinics out there(not sure about one in your area)that do have doctors that will treat on a sliding scale, some are even free.  I know we have one here.  Sometimes it takes awhile to get an appointment, but it would be worth a try.  If your wife continues to have such emtional problems I would even recommend that you have her visit the local ER.  They can even start her on meds there for her thyroid, as they would do thyroid testing in there lab.  Anti thyroid drugs are a good start, and will soon start to help her in all areas of her life, but there has to be regular labs done in order to keep her healthy as there are major complications sometimes accociated with them, such as a low white cell count that can kill you.  That is why labs are so very important, as well as the causes you already know can come from being over or under medicated.  I hope that you look around your area for a free or sliding scale clinic that can help, you might start with a phone call to you local Health Department, they  may be able to point you in the right direction.  Also try calling the last doctor that Dxed your wife with Graves, they know this disease can't be left untreated, and should at least be willing to help you find some way to work out payments.  Good Luck,
Avatar universal
I am 22 years old, and was diagnosed with Grave's disease about 4 years ago. I can not express how urgent it is that you get her to a doctor as soon as possible.
I know you have concerns about insurance... However, you may want to ask around or do some research on doctors (endocrinologists) in your community... you may be able to find one that will see your wife for free... or for a minimum fee. When i first got diagnosed i didn't have insurance either... my family doctor saw me for free and gave me samples of medications for about 2 months (until i got insurance).
By the time i was diagnosed I was in really bad shape... and it wasn't until i found out what was wrong with me, that i realized if it wasn't treated it could be fatal.
There has to come a point when you say your wife's health, and well being is more important than the money it will cost to see a doctor, without insurance.

Once she gets on medication, such as an anti-thyroid like tapazol, her mood should improve. I agree that the disease causes mood swings, and irritability... But please keep in mind that she has a lot to deal with right now. She has probably been on the internet, or picked up a medical book in the two years she has had the disease. She knows what effects it can have, and she probably knows that if it goes untreated she could die. And that is a lot to think about, on top of having to deal with the side effects of having hyperthyroidism. Like i explained earlier, i was diagnosed 4 years ago, and had been dealing with the symptoms 2 1/2 - 3 years before that. So i know how hard it can be.

i hope all goes well for you and your family.
I want to say a very big thanks and appreciation to Dr. Lawrence for bringing back my husband who left me and the kids for almost two months. I am very much grateful to Dr.Lawrence  who brought my husband back to me within 3days. I pray to God almighty to give you the strength and wisdom to help more people having similar problem like mine. ***@****
Avatar universal
I was the person your wife seems to be,I know I had it for a longtime but due to our great medical system I am on it was a late diagnoses of thycancer,thought this was going to be my first good year 07'that was,but it turned into a bunch of family members that just blamed me for some things that happened;which if I had not the bi polar stamp woulda been easier to deal with.Hope that you stick with her for her sake and your conscious.though is a living hell,physically and emotionally for both of you.take care.
393685 tn?1425816122
You are unbelieveable and I am totally honored to add a thread to your post. I will be late for work - but I do not care. You are a very supportive individual to your wife and you are "in tune" with her - more than she is with herself. You are my hero.

Although the link "borinquisitive" shared with you may be a good start I don't know if it will provide treatment for you. Instead of taking it into your hands - you need both medical and mental support/treatment right now - from a doctor.

She needs to see (even a regular) MD right now for basic treatment - and YOU need it to stay sane!!!!  Most insurance companies will not list this a pre-existing - so relax on that. and if you are getting a "group" plan - They are forced by federal law to take anyone applying within the group. She will need meds to help her with the thyroid disease itself along with a possibility of beta blockers for her heart and anxiety - mood enhancement meds. The internet CAN provide that for you - but I wouldn't trust that with a ten foot pole. !!! A good bonified doctor will work with you. FIND ONE NOW.

Frankly - your marriage may be in danger b/c she is not chemically right. She is not able to make good decisions right now. Anyone with a disease whether this or many others can't function normally.

Briefly - I believe I was Graves / Hyper Thyroid 15 years prior to an actual Dx. I put my parents - boyfriend (now my husband or 23 years) through hell. I was not in control as much as I had myself convinced I WAS. THEY were crazy - not me. This man - my husband put up with a loon - a - tic. He is patient and caring like you and loved me to pieces. I believe - as I do with you -  he did one thing wrong. He became co-dependant to my disease. He put up with it b/c of his love for me. That is wrong. He should of demanded me to get help - or HE should of made threats to leave. Trust me after 17 years you say - she is only lashing out b/c she feels like garbage.

I honor your dedication to your research and it sounds like you have really learned alot about thyroid disease- especially your wife's situation - but YOU are not able to get her the help she HAS to GET NOW to SAVE HER LIFE. Surrender that thought - and get a doctor. Unless you are a doctor and can write Rx's - that is what she needs.

Believe me - the only way you can save your marriage and get her healthy is to "step up to the plate" if taking her kicking to the doctor's office screaming is what has to be done - then do it now.  I feel for you - know that I have gone through so much and fell much better - My marriage is the best ever and I am grateful for him. NO BODY would of put up with my behavior when I was ill - --- except him.

Thank you for sharing - you are a miracle man and deserve to share a wonderful life in your marriage - please forget the money aspect and look to saving her life.

Avatar universal
I feel for you as well - I am 30 and my wife is the same - we have a toddler whom is 19 months and we just have arguments after arguments - I find it difficult just to go out and see my family on my own without it becoming a blazing row - Our relationship was never that solid from the start - has had its ups and downs - However I've taken the vow of in sickness and in health and felt that I need to stick by it - I can't help but wonder however that life would be better with a new start - I'm not that difficult to get on with but when we have what should be simple conversations about normal day to day things turn into a blistering row.  To make matters worse she is seeing a doctor through private medical care whom can't prescribe her any medication at the moment as she has a variant form of Graves - As u can understand she is not deailng with this too well and has bouts of mood swings.  

I'm currently receiving counselling which is helping me but I think I need to get her to come and see my therapist together.  She had an arugunment with my sister a year ago which is thankfully slowly getting better but during that time my life was even more stressful as my sister had an overactive thyroid then and I was stuck in the middle of them!  Constantly battling between them both until I thought ENOUGH! and had to distance myself.

Her family aren't easy to communicate with - her Mum doesn't soeak much English and her brother is easy to talk to but even he has had ebough of hearing about our constant bickering (he has his own marriage to worry about!)

I just don't know what to do sometimes - Arguments come and go and we end being ok later on but am just fed up of the ups and downs - I sometimes feel that divorce is the better option but feel pressure from my family to keep things together for the sdake of son if anything else.  Life feel s**t - I suppose you just have to deal with it - Wh knows maybe things will improve some day..
168348 tn?1379360675
I don't know what to say as I have not walked in your shoes but want to welcome you to the community and let you know we are here for you, anytime.

346355 tn?1219858547
Thak you all so much for your support and heartfelt, kind words. I fought as long as I could, but the marriage ended, which is for the best. I am now legally seperated with a divorce pending.

I can't say for sure if it was the thyroid that caused my ex to change so dramatically, but regardless I am better off without her. I don't mean to sound cruel, but I would've gone bonkers if she didn't leave.

She is a 38-year-old teenager. I have a 14-year-old daughter and determining which one is the grown-up is a chore! My ex decided to leave me for a man she met while playing X-box live. She began talking to him through the internet and having a phone-sex relationship. She refused to go to counselling with me, after 17 years of being together, and she still refuses to seek medical help. She is sick constantly, but does nothing. She is not even interested in alternative treatments such as vitamins or immune system boosters.

The man she left me for lives in another state, and allegedly, they've never met face to face. He is a former heroin user, is 31 and lives at home with Mommy. He deals pharmaceutical drugs illegally for money and has Hepatitus C, and this is just what I know of him.

My ex put me through a year of living hell, and she did it deliberately. Grave's or not, I couldn't take it any more. I bent over backwards to try to help that woman, but if a person does not want to help themselves, there's nothing you can do.

She's the one who wanted divorce, and she tried to take it all from me. She wanted me to leave, and she wanted to keep the house I bought, the new car, all of the contents of the home, full custody of both kids, and both disability checks I receive for the kids. Then she wanted child support on top of that. I put my foot down and retained an attorney. We were able to persue an uncontested divorce, which of course saves thousands.

I got the house, custody of my son and ALL of my disability money. I tried to be fair; I gave her the car, and refinanced my house to pay the $14,000 in debt she stuck me with. Now she's pulling ancient bills out of the woodwork and trying to get me to pay them. I'm not. I'm disabled, out of work with severe spinal problems, so now I'm forced to work, which I don't mind so much, but she's still trying to nickel and dime me to death. She wanted me to buy her things for her new apartment. She wanted to do her laundry at my house, and have me continue to cook for her. She basically wants to have her cake and eat it too!

She lied to me for almost a year, while I knew what was going on; lied right to my face. And the one time I convinced her to go to counselling with me, she made a joke about how I never had my heart broken; she is a sick woman and I'm so glad she left me!

I told her for months to come and get her **** out of my basement. Finally, trash day came around, and I can't tell you how gratifying it was to purge my home of the last remnants of junk that reminded me of her. I wish I didn't give her my wedding ring back, because I would throw it to the bottom of the Mohawk River.

As fate would have it, I wound up meeting a wonderful woman, a true grown up, who has her priorities straight. I was not looking, believe me. She went through a very similar situation with a decietful spouse, so we were able to really relate to one another, and help each other greatly. It's a blessing to have someone that can help pick you up when you are in the pit.

My ex, tried to keep me in the pit; she deliberately used my emotional breakdown to try and destroy my life, and told all of her dorky X-box buddies my personal business, rallying them to her cause with lies. She lied to her family too, but the mutual friends we had all sided with me, and can't believe she would do what she has done.

She also blathers her ignorance all over Myspace, like you would expect a teenager to do. She has people that don't even know me commenting on how I'm so terrible. The freeing thing, is that I no longer feel bad for her. I don't mean to sound cruel, but thank God it ended! Despite the financial struggle I must now endure, I am free from a basket-case, decietful, backstabbing woman who refuses to do anything to help herself. I cannot allow myself to feel bad because I would be taken advantage of again, and it would prevent me from putting my life back together.

Thanks for letting me ramble; it does make you feel better to express like this knowing that there are supportive people out there. And to all of you that have reached out and showed that support, I appreciate it more than you know! Thank you. Walk in peace.
Doug M  

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