I’m missing an important part of my body, Part 1

Since no other blog topics have come to me recently, I’d like to talk today about the important part of my body I’m missing. Spoiler: It’s not actually that important.

The thyroid.

I was born with a shriveled-up little raisin instead of a thyroid gland, and it’s in the wrong place to boot. This defect is called congenital hypothyroidism, and it occurs in about 1 in 4000 births. If not caught early, it can cause severe delays to physical and mental development, as well as lethargy and a whole other plethora of nasty side effects. So why isn’t it talked about more? Well, it’s caught pretty early on these days. People used to just let it go because they couldn’t test for it, leading to… less than optimal results. It was called cretinism for a while. Yeesh.

So my twentysomething parents found out that me (kid number one) came out wrong just a little while after having me. My mother’s first question was, “Will she be able to have kids?” That wouldn’t have been my foremost concern, but hey, the general idea of having kids was probably on her mind, given her recent having of a kid. Anyway, there were a lot of blood tests and long story short, my TSH level was through the roof.

Let’s pause and take a minute to discuss some technicalish terms regarding this weird butterfly-shaped gland. It’s situated in your throat near the Adam’s apple, and its cells are the only ones in the body that can absorb iodine. The thyroid takes this, mixes it with other body stuff, and starts pumping out the hormones T3 and T4. These little guys are the regulators of the metabolism. If your body needs more T3 and T4, it starts to make TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). It basically pokes the thyroid in the face and says, “Hey, more hormone please. You made it? Okay, cool. Thanks.”

That’s not quite how things were working for my janked-up system. I didn’t have a functioning thyroid when I was born, and by extension, no T3 and T4.

Fun fact: Your TSH level should be around 5 or lower when you’re born.

Another fun fact: My TSH level was around 400 when I was born.

So basically, my TSH was not poking the thyroid, but full-on ramming it in the face with its elbow, over and over and over. The exchange probably went something like this:

  • TSH: Hey, there’s no T3 and T4 in here. Yo thyroid? Could you make some of that? We’re about to get born and there will probs be a freakout if we don’t have any.
  • Thyroid: …
  • TSH: Hey. Hey, bro. It would, uh, be nice if you made some hormone. Please.
  • Thyroid: …
  • TSH: Bro. Buddy. Pal. *pokes thyroid* C’mon. We don’t want a bad first blood test haha right?!
  • Thyroid:
  • TSH: RIGHT?! *nudges thyroid with elbow* *is panicking*
  • Thyroid:
  • Thyroid: …nope dude, haha. i’m dead.
  • TSH: WHAT?!

I hear they’re making a movie adaptation of it soon.


Published bymadzapan

Madzapan spends her time walking between two keyboards: the computer's and the piano's. Writing, music, and opinions are just about her entire life, so it only made sense for her to create a website with that stuff on it.

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