In July 2005 my husband called me at home. Although I had been resting, I was so breathless he assumed I was doing intense housework. Two days later, my hands shook so badly that I could hardly write.
That Sunday I couldn’t sing more than two words without losing my breath. Soon after, short walks left me breathless. My hair began to fall out and my weight decreased.
Immediately I agreed to undergo medical tests. Both my resting heart rate and active heart rate were abnormally high. My thyroid was producing hormones at a toxic level three times above the average.
Convinced I had Graves’ disease, my doctor called in a specialist who put me on eight pills a day. Three days after starting this prescription, I was covered with hives, forcing me to discontinue the medication. My specialist believed this reaction confirmed the diagnosis and that I should begin treatment immediately.
The first treatment option involved one of two prescriptions for hyperthyroidism. Knowing that I was allergic to one of the medicines, my specialist assumed I would also be allergic to the other.
My second option was iodine therapy. Radioactivity would destroy my thyroid, eliminating hormone production. Consequently, I would develop hypothyroidism and require hormone-replacement therapy the rest of my life. A third option—thyroid removal—was ruled out because of my fast, irregular heart rate. I was given a week to choose which treatment I preferred.
I chose a fourth option: corporate prayer. My church and my family began praying regularly. My pastor placed a cloth that had been anointed with oil on my neck and prayed. I fell asleep praying with the cloth on my neck the night before I revisited my specialist.
During that visit, I felt much better, but my doctor assumed that I was trying to convince myself that I had improved. He was sure I had Graves’ disease and needed treatment. However, my weight gain and improved heart rate led him to test my blood once more.
Two hours after I left the hospital my specialist called and said: “Traci, your levels are so much better. Both your hormone and antibody levels are normal.” He said he had never seen symptoms such as mine just disappear. He rationalized that I must have had a form of hyperthyroidism unfamiliar to him.
During the following months my thyroid function was tested often. Each time, the doctor could not believe the disease was gone. After my final visit with him last spring, he released me from his care and printed on my lab report “PERFECT!”
Life can come at us really fast! I went to bed feeling fine and woke up the next day struggling for breath. However, one thing is certain: When we have done all we know to do, we can grab hold of the Word of God and hang on for dear life, knowing that He is faithful, His Word is true and that He never fails us.