Today I spent the day with my middle child, Hannah, to celebrate her 20th birthday. Her actual birthday is on Sunday, but we wanted to take a day for manicures, lunch and shopping.
Hannah has had a tough year. In April she was diagnosed with Grave’s disease. The last 9 months were filled with doctors appointments, labs and experimenting with a wide array of prescriptions and doses. She was a trooper, rarely complained and completed 2 successful semesters in college while feeling pretty crappy. In all honesty, she dealt with the situation much better than I did. As a parent, it is so hard to see your child struggle. Her symptoms seemed to come out of nowhere. It started with the a phone call from her at school saying “I need to go to the ER” and ending with a life changing diagnosis.
Because her heart symptoms were severe, she underwent radioactive iodine on January 2 to “kill” her thyroid. Once she enters hypothyroidism, which will be a life long diagnosis, she will go on Synthroid. It sounds extreme, but in her case, it was the only choice. The radioactive iodine lead to 5 days of isolation because she was literally radioactive. Since the thyroid absorbs the radiation, for her to be around other people would have put their thyroid at risk. Again, she dealt with it like a trooper, rarely complained and just asked for food on a very regular basis! To prepare for the treatment, she had to eat a low iodine diet for 3 weeks which eliminated cheese from her diet. As a Wisconsin girl, cheese is very important.
She was released from isolation earlier this week. She spent her time packing up to go back to college, spending time with her boyfriend and spending time with us. We ended the week by celebrating her birthday, which felt like a perfect reward for enduring a long 9 months.
My girl enjoying a birthday cake.