We need to talk about my thyroid

Yeah, I'm banging on about my glands again.

Having a broken thyroid is a pain. Not that it hurts physically — it doesn't, although it might be useful if it did — but what it does to you is mentally wrecking. You don't know that your thyroid has packed up. You get slower and fatter and thicker, but you don't ever leap up and say "I don't have enough thyroxine in my system!" like you might with Vitamin C or Marmite.

Instead you just get slower. Your thinking slows down. Your energy levels drop. Your eyebrows and patches of your secondary hair drop out. But beyond that: no clues. Eventually someone notices, usually by accident, and your GP puts you on thyroxine, which is what you need. But two pills a day aren't the same as a natural odd squirt here and there from yer actual brain.

So most of the time you're a bit dull. A bit dim, even. My main symptom is a fear of being asked a question. Any question. I dread having to churn my brain around into making a decision because IT CAN'T. Tea or coffee? Don't ask me. How the fuck would I know which one I want? All I really want is to lie down on this rug and sleep for a few weeks. Right now, if possible.

Sometimes, mercifully rarely, it's the opposite. I'M ON FIRE. Want a decision making? I've made one before you've finished the question. Want something doing? Consider it done because I anticipated your request and did it before you asked. Don't pause before answering me, I need to know NOW. For fuck's sake, hurry up and GET ON WITH IT. For the last week, that has been me. Of course, just to confound the doctors, my eyebrows have dropped out and I've got missing hair patches while on a high, which cannot happen ever ever. The forthcoming low is going to be deep.

Neither high nor low appeals to me but the highs are actually worse. I get so much more done, but the silent times, when I'm not doing something with my brain, are a nightmare. Because my brain is racing away with itself, it comes up old memories, old feelings, old thoughts, and reprocesses them when I'm idle. I spend the quiet times trying not to talk to myself because I'm brimming with old stuff that should fuck off and leave me alone. I remember people and pets who have died, what I was doing when they died, what I was thinking, what I could've said or done differently, all of this crap in a neverending rush. Oh, but it tires your soul. Remember that online dispute you had with someone in 1998 that lasted 5 emails? No, you don't and why would you? Suddenly, I do and I'm reliving it like it was this morning, even though it didn't matter then and does not matter now.

I've learnt, slowly and surely, not to punish the ball and chain for my thyroid highs. He's slow and bumbling and takes no notice of anything and doesn't care… because he's NORMAL. I need to forgive him this flaw. Of course he doesn't want to hear — again — about the things that with hindsight I could've done to keep Graham alive. He doesn't want to know how much I continue to seethe inside about what happened to my pets when Graham killed himself. He would like me to live in the now, like everybody else does. But on a high — not a low, on a low I don't give a flying fuck about anything — on a high I find myself caring deeply and pointlessly about the past.

The bizarre thing is that this mental rush of crap tires me out. So I go to bed and have vivid dreams and wake up at 4am and I'm at work by 7. Work passes in a flash and I'm suddenly alone again with my tiring thoughts and ready for bed… which will see me totally refreshed by 4 hours sleep and raring to go again. No wonder I drink of an evening.

I'd love to end this post with a pithy point, but I don't have one. "Cherish your thyroid gland" is great but insane. "It doesn't matter" is a truism but unhelpful. So I've nothing to end on.

Have your pets neutered.