Yes, you sound very much like me! I was diagnosed with Graves after my 4th baby and took 5 mg. daily of methimazole for 7 weeks. My labs showed elevated liver enzymes 8 times the normal amount, however, the methimazole did get my thyroid hormones stable (euthyroid). Thanks be to God, they stayed stable the 6 weeks I waited to have surgery. I had a total thyroidectomy 2 months ago. My surgery went smoothly with no complications. I am on Synthroid now and yes, I am still breastfeeding my now 9 month old.
Like you, my endo. really wanted me to do RAI because he felt it was less invasive, safer, not as many factors to consider. He tried to convince me on 3 different occasions, but he DID support me in my choice for surgery even though he didn't recommend it. That is very important. You mentioned your hormone levels are normal right now. I would ask your endo. to have your labs tested weekly until your surgery (if you decide to go that route). I had my labs done weekly up until the last week before my surgery when I started taking the potassium iodine (SSKI) drops to prep. Those drops alter hormone levels, so a lab at that point wouldn't make sense. Again, I was off ATD's for 6 weeks leading up to surgery and just had weekly labs to make sure I stayed euthyroid. I was not on methimazole or PTU during surgery or for the 6 weeks leading up to it.
I know Shirley didn't wean her baby while taking SSKI drops, but my pediatrician did want me to temporarily wean my baby for the 7 days I took the SSKI drops. I pumped and dumped those 7 days and it was tough, but well worth it. I kept my supply up and was able to nurse after surgery and am still going strong there. SSKI drops shrink the thyroid, draw blood away from it and also help with hormone levels if taken for a short period of time (up to 2 weeks) otherwise the drops can make hyperthyroidism worse. As far as PTU, my endo. wasn't opposed to entirely, but he didn't recommend it, and I wasn't comfortable waiting to see if I went hyper and then hoping PTU would work and not damage my liver, so I opted for surgery.
I understand your desire to keep breastfeeding too. As I told my husband and my mom, I want to have some positive hormones running through my system through all of this! – along with all the other positives for nursing. Of course, if for some medical reason, surgery is not a possibility, being a healthy mom is #1, even if it means weaning your baby. I know that we moms will fight tooth and nail to nurse when it means so much to us. I get it. If I had started to go hyper before my surgery date, I probably would have taken the PTU with the hopes of it balancing me out and then going in for surgery.
If you do go for surgery, please, please, make sure you find a surgeon who is really, really good and does a lot of thyroidectomies. I was very confident in my surgeon and very fortunate, but I know that problems can happen and it is a delicate part of the body.
Homeschooling mom to 4 wonderful boys!
Diagnosed with Graves Disease after my 4th baby- March 2012
Started on 5 mg. of methimazole daily for 7 weeks
Euthyroid at the end of those 7 weeks, but had to stop methimazole as liver enzymes were 8 times normal range.
Total Thyroidectomy- 6/15/12
Started Synthroid (brand name) 100 mcg. 2nd day after surgery for 6 weeks (TSH: 6.35 & free T4 in upper range and T3 just under mid- range).
Upped Synthroid to 112 mcg. 7/27/12
Euthyroid as of 8/10/12 on 112 mcg. Synthroid (TSH .79 and free T4 in upper range).