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Working While Adjusting to Meds

How do you handle working while adjusting meds? Do you tell your boss/coworkers what's going on? Do you keep quiet and power through? Adjust your schedule? Quit? There is no right or wrong way, I'd just like to hear how others handle it.

I'm 28-years-old, have Hashimotos and started meds 1.5 months ago. First, I was @ 50mcg of Levo, now I'm at 75 mcg. I have been struggling off and on with the adjustments. Felt FANTASTIC for one week! Next week, on same dose, was blah; fatigued with debilitating brain fog, but really tried to hide it. While on my higher dose, this week ended abruptly with me embarrassingly breaking into a hysterical crying fit out of nowhere while talking to a coworker, on top of fatigue & brain fog. Crying did give me a nice adrenaline rush and helped with fatigue briefly :p

Just want to hear other's experiences as well.

6 Responses
649848 tn?1534633700
COMMUNITY LEADER
When I was at my most hypo, I was still working - had to be at work by 6:00 am, which meant getting up at 3:30 am in order to get ready and commute.  That meant I had to go to bed between 7:00 and 7:30 pm.  

At the same time, I was commuting an hour and a half, one way every week, to care for an elderly aunt, try to keep up with my house and yard work, do laundry, etc. I was also struggling with undiagnosed Pernicious Anemia, which brings its own form of fatigue and brain fog.  

Just prior to being diagnosed, I underwent 2 surgeries on my vocal cords, which each took a while to recover from.

There was  nothing I could tell anyone, about what was going on, other than having the surgeries, which, of course, people knew about, and co-workers knew about my aunt.  I didn't know I had Perncious Anemia, at the time, nor did I know I was hypo.  

While would have loved to take to my bed and stay there, I never missed a day's work because of my own illnesses, other than the surgeries, and that was only 1 day each.  Unable to speak for a week after each one, I went back to work with a small dry erase board and pens.  

It was just prior to my surgeries that I was diagnosed with PA and my doctor thought everything should be great, but while the B12 shots helped, they didn't change anything drastically.  It was almost another year, before I insisted on getting tested for hypothyroidism; all they tested was TSH, which came back at 55+, and was such a "surprise" to my doctor.

I was put on thyroid hormones and supposedly, all would be well; it didn't work that way, but that's a whole other story.  It was almost another whole year, before I was tested and diagnosed with Hashimoto's, sent to an endo and began the long crawl back to health.  

The whole ordeal started back in about 2004 and it's only been the last couple of years that I've felt "right".  I've since retired, so I'm no longer getting up at 3:30 am or going to bed at 7:00 pm.   I had co-workers, to whom I could discuss the way I felt, but without a diagnosis, my hands were tied.  I didn't have the option of not going to work, or caring for my aunt; I simply did what I had to do and slept as much as I could.

We all have a different tolerance for these things, so we handle them differently.  
393685 tn?1425812522
You might find some excellent support telling your employer you aren't in the best of health although you are not obligated to. You know your relation best so it is a personal choice on what you say -vs- how risky telling them it would be.

Either way you chose it should be the best decision for your health and what will help you get better. Thyroid disease can take a long time to even out and you must not push over your limits.
6322039 tn?1380727998
Depending on your employer, it may or may not hurt to tell them.  I guess only you know for sure what the environment is like and whether divulging your situation would be advantageous or not.  Sometimes having coworkers know you're having some health issues can be helpful and other times, not so much, again depending on the type of work you do and the people involved.

Stress is a big deal with thyroid disease and anything you can do to lessen it will help with your recovery, especially when trying to find the optimum dose.  Crying is a great stress release (trust me, I know!) but our erratic behavior when in the grip of thyroid disease can be very confusing to those around us.  You know your situation best; if you don't mind other people knowing and it won't jeopardize your job, then it may not hurt to tell them what's going on.  

This sure isn't any fun; I'm in the midst of a raise in dose on a different med, so I can sympathize.  I'm lucky that I'm not working because there have been a few days I would have been worthless at any job.  Try to get as much rest as possible when you're not at work.  Good luck!
Avatar universal
Thanks! I sent my boss an email today letting him know what's going on. He responded positively. He thanked me for the update and said that he hopes things level out for me soon.
Avatar universal
When you start talking about hypothyroidism with friends and coworkers, you may quickly realize a fair number of them and their loved ones have dealt with thyroid issues as well. Hypothyroidism is an extremely common condition, especially among post-menopausal women; but I am younger like you, but I've met several people my age who have also battled hypothyroidism. I have also learned who in my family has dealt with thyroid issues (both hyper and hypo). Making these kinds of connections with others who have been down similar paths has been revealing, and very cathartic for me. It's great that your boss responded with compassion. Thyroid issues can be devastating, so if one is in a position to talk about their struggles with coworkers, I am all in favor. More awareness among the general public is sorely needed!
Avatar universal
Thanks again, everyone, for sharing your advice and experiences. It gave me courage to face work today after leaving as a puddle of tears on Friday. Plus, being able to explain to everyone what was really going on probably made them less worried I would go postal in the near future ;)
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