Thyroid Ultrasound and RA
I wrote previously about how my thyroid is currently in the process of some kind of self-destruction. Maybe a bit dramatic, but isn't that what an autoimmune disease is in its essence?
I now have a thyroid goiter
Well, now something else has cropped up that's related to the thyroid: I have a goiter, meaning my thyroid is inflamed and enlarged.
And because of that, I have to have an ultrasound of my thyroid to determine if there are any bumps or nodules on my thyroid.
What I have been experiencing
What's upsetting about having a thyroid goiter is that, at least in my case, it's very visible. Especially if I lift my head up, you can see the imprint of my thyroid on my neck. It hurts to swallow, it makes me cough, my throat hurts a lot, and is mottled and checkered in the back.
Surprisingly, these former symptoms (not the thyroid problem) have been happening for a while. So, having the ultrasound will at least corroborate some of the feelings and symptoms that I have been experiencing. Maybe it's more of a formality than what I'm envisioning — I think I'm hoping that the ultrasound will be the panacea of all of my thyroid woes.
Feeling scared about the thyroid ultrasound
I'm scared to have the ultrasound. I know, realistically, that it won't be that bad. I have had an ultrasound of my heart before, but having something like that done on your neck is more uncomfortable. I'm also scared of the possibility of pain since my thyroid is swollen.
I can feel a few bumps that aren't my lymph nodes, but even the ultrasound won't differentiate whether or not the nodules are cancerous.
If the nodules aren't cancerous, then it just means that there's something wrong with my thyroid which I already know.
What if the nodules are cancerous?
And, of course, I'm also worried that there will be nodules that could potentially be cancerous, which is a possibility, something on the table since my bloodwork came back abnormal.
It's been hard to sleep at night lately because I'm so worried that something like cancer is wrong with my body and that a never-ending cycle of pain and treatment will ensue. Like I mentioned before, even if the ultrasound does show thyroid nodules, I'll have to have a fine needle biopsy to determine if the nodules are cancerous.
I don't want this to be true
This makes me think of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and how these stories are connected.
When I was first diagnosed with RA, which is also an autoimmune condition, the initial shock was almost overwhelming to the point where I did not know what to do. I listened to what the rheumatologists and doctors told me, but it all washed over me as if my ears were shut off, trying to prevent myself from hearing what they were saying.
In the same way, I don't want this thyroid problem to be true; I don't want any of this to be true. I just want peace.
So, I have a question for our community: have you had a thyroid ultrasound before? Why did you have it and how did you find it connected to your RA? I'm interested to hear about your experiences!
Does your RA impact you financially?