‘Ignorance is bliss’… maybe!

I had never even heard of TSH until last week, but after I received a phone-call from the Health Centre last Wednesday, I thought about it all evening. I didn’t just think about TSH – I also thought about my thyroid gland. I had never given much thought at all to my thyroid gland, but on Wednesday evening I thought about it a lot.

I was asked to make a non-urgent appointment with my GP because the results of a recent fasting blood test showed abnormalities in my blood. The test was mainly for my cholesterol levels – so where did my thyroid fit in?

I saw my GP this morning. My cholesterol levels are lower than ever, so that is good news. And my thyroid? The TSL levels are slightly raised, and my doctor wants to monitor it and has asked me to book in for another blood test in July. That’s it. Yet I still wonder why the level is raised, even slightly. Maybe it’s just part of getting older!

What strikes me about this is that, had it not been for this blood test result, I would probably have carried on with my  life without giving a single thought to my thyroid. I have had no worrying symptoms. Yet I am thankful that my GP is monitoring it now. A number of serious disorders have no worrying symptoms at first, and it is good to know that relevant information can be picked up via blood tests.

I just remembered an aunt of mine saying several years ago,’ We didn’t have that in our day.’ She was not referring to TSH- she was referring to PMT. What she meant, of course, was not that they didn’t ‘have’ PMT in her day, but that they had never heard of it in her day. My aunt became very impatient with ‘youngsters’  who complained about how they felt before having a period, and said that she had ‘just got on with it’!

Overall I think that ignorance, in a medical and in other contexts, is not bliss. The more we know, the better (hopefully) we will be able to deal with things, albeit with professional help on occasions. On the other hand, I think that there can be such as thing as knowing too much – it gives us more potential for fretting more about things we may not be able to change!

So I am not averse to thinking about my thyroid now. I will be interested in the next test result, but I am not worried. And it has opened up conversations – for instance, my daughter studied biomedical science at Uni, and she filled me in on what she had learnt about TSH. I discovered that two of my daughter’s friends have underactive thyroids, and that they are able to manage this with medication.

…and now I shall finish tiling the bathroom floor 🙂





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