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Wait For It

Post Published: 23 April 2009
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
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Dear Thyroid,

You really aren’t so clever, you know. You think attack is something new, something radical. But you’ve got to realize that I, myself, am the best at attack and destruction. My mind’s been cutting away at pieces of my own cells for years and years, ever since childhood and well before you started dropping your hints here and there: well before the red hair; well before the yellow skin and childish rebellion in my back and legs and kidneys; well before the blotches of itches and puffy cheeks, and the so-many tears since; well before the years and lines of my life had been erased (and even with photographs before me I still can’t remember the stories everyone else seems to know by heart, which usually makes me cry too); and sometimes the dark skin lines to remind me how this body has stretched and squeezed into a new form. (As if I needed another reminder).

Doctors tell me you’re localized — only you as that pretty butterfly shape at the base of my neck is affected. Well, I never liked butterflies anyway. They’re so delicate, like one pinch too hard and the wings disintegrate under the sticky hot fingers of children and beaks of birds. And I remember one summer when little black butterflies landed in twos or threes near our house. By the end of the day, we kids had caught so many and all but one of them had died just from the sheer pressure of fingers: index to thumb. Pretty things like butterflies never seem to last. I should have seen it coming. All those summers and paper-waif wings should have been the warning.

And so, I keep hearing the same thing: you can’t be cured; you’ll just stick around with all your complications and pain and embarrassment and all of the destruction you’ve already done. Whatever inkblot shape you’ve crafted for yourself inside of my neck will be left that way forever for me to keep interpreting and extracting some sort of meaning over and over and over. The only thing is that, I’m in the habit of fighting ugly things (and maybe even some things that are good and beautiful and don’t deserve a waged war. Sometimes lovely things just get in the way and end up in the battle). It’s nothing personal; it’s just my nature.

So look, there’s something I’ve gotta tell you; something you need to know: as close as we’ve grown over the years, as much as I know about you and as much as I think of you everyday, as much as you’ve taught me, as many new and good people as you’ve introduced me to, there’s something you should know. I think it’s only fair to warn you — to be perfectly honest with you…

Thyroid, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I’m going to kick your ass and you won’t know what hit you.

Love Always,
Liz Schau

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