Bella’s Thyroid Eye Disease Journey
- Posted on: Jun 20 2019
In this week’s episode of Thyroid Thursday, Dr. Raymond Douglas talks to his teenage patient, Bella, and her mom, Cheree.
Although Graves’ disease can strike at any time, its symptoms are generally not as severe for young, non-adult patients. Unfortunately for Bella, that was not the case.
Bella’s Graves’ Disease Symptoms
Around age 12, she lost over 10 pounds out of nowhere. At first, her parents assumed it was just a stomach virus. But once they didn’t see any improvements, they took her for a blood test, where it was determined she needed treatment for her thyroid. They went through beta blockers, methimazole, and IV steroids. But the symptoms only worsened.
“[My eyes] started getting swollen, and I realized that I looked tired all the time,” recounts Bella.
6 months after various medications, Bella’s symptoms worsened. She had eye pain, double vision, bulging eyes, and orbital pressure. It quickly took a toll on her. Although she could play it off as no big deal while at school, she came home and let her true feelings out. It was an emotional time, where she felt very emotional and socially withdrawn.
Finally, she went to an ophthalmologist. After learning more about her condition, reading everything she could, and searching the internet for support groups, Bella and her Mom discovered Dr. Douglas.
Bella’s Orbital Decompression
Bella, her Mom, and Dr. Douglas formed a customized treatment plan and went into action. Her orbital decompression surgery went great, and Bella had a smooth recovery. Now she is back to full functionality, with an occasional bout of blurry vision.
Raising Awareness for Graves’ Disease
As if a successful surgery wasn’t enough of a good ending, Bella decided to take action in order to help those who are also suffering from Graves’ disease and thyroid eye disease. She set up a 5K charity run to raise money to spread awareness and help others dealing with this disease.
“I felt like I should give back, considering all the support that I’ve gotten. I just felt like I should raise money and help set awareness for this disease, because there’s not really that much awareness going on about it,” said Bella.
Dr. Douglas and Bella are in touch on what they can do together in the future to raise money and spread awareness about Graves’ disease. At just 13 years old, Bella had to deal with something most girls her age don’t know anything about, but she came out on the other side stronger than ever.
Contact Dr. Douglas Today!
If you or someone you know is suffering from thyroid eye disease, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Douglas – 310.657.4302. If you do not live in Los Angeles, ask us about our Out of Town Patient programs.
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