Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sometimes You Can't Win

Jim's internal thermostat is a bit out of kilter. He has an under-active thyroid, and takes thyroid hormone to help regulate. Unfortunately, even if blood levels normalize after starting medication, the body's thermostat can still remain a bit out of kilter. Jim's blood work is perfect, yet he still has problems with either being too cold or too hot, even when others around him are comfortable.

The biggest problem comes during hours of sleep. I've kept the thermostat at 73 degrees at night, as this is the temperature at which he seems to be most comfortable while sleeping most nights. Most mornings he awakes and says "I slept great! The temperature was perfect." But occasionally he will awake and say that he was too cold, or sometimes too hot. I then explain the rationale for keeping the thermostat at 73 (where he is comfortable most nights). He is not capable of adjusting the thermostat, by the way. He says he "let me take charge of it because I wanted to" (not true), but in the next breath he will say he doesn't understand how to adjust the thermostat.

His primary care MD has explained to him that there is no perfect regulation of internal body temperature once you are on thyroid medication. I remind him of this, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. He is focused on the fact that he slept way too hot (or way too cold), and wants to know what I am going to do about it! His brain has robbed him of the ability to remember these past conversations and discussions. His brain also has difficulty processing information when he is upset or anxious. So sad.

No win for anyone. He is unhappy, and I am unhappy that HE is unhappy! This is just one example of frustrating times, where rational discussion does not result in a good outcome.

I tend to be over sensitive. My goal is to keep him happy and content. This reduces his anxiety, and in general results in him being happier. And then I am happier! But sometimes it seems hard to do. I'm working on changing how I react internally to this type of conflict. I'm a work in progress....

Still lots of good times together. But sometimes the difficult times overshadow the happier times.


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