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Monday December 10th 2018


Why Are Family Letters So Damn Important to Dear Thyroid?

Post Published: 29 June 2009
Category: Dear Thyroid Family Letters
This post currently has 7 responses. Leave a comment

Writing this post is nauseating, in that, it strikes a deep, unresolved, butchered, blood soaked, salt laden nerve, thinking about the impact of my disease and our disease, on our families. Yes, I know I skew dramatic, but I do believe this super hard.

Everything my disease took from me, it took from my family, especially my girls, my ma and my sister. They watched a disease they couldn’t control devour and almost annihilate someone they love. Hi, can you say guilt?!

I’m not alone; at least I don’t think I am, in wondering and needing to know how our disease affects our families. Not to marginalize the thyroid patient experience, is it naive to think otherwise? Is it disrespectful to exclude their stories as equally relevant and important? Don’t we have a responsibility to know what our thyroids took from them, too? And not just to fill in the gaps of our lives. Rather, to genuinely understand the depth of their pain as a means of catharsis for them and for us.

I try so hard to place myself in their shoes. Not because I hate myself. Oh, who the fuck am I kidding, of course I do; still. I do it because I genuinely, almost desperately, want to see, hear and feel, and understand what it would be like to be on the other side of my disease — the textures and range of emotions, the heightened rage, the frustration, the helplessness all accompanied by unreserved heartache. Imagine?!

I can only cite my own experience, of course; even though I’d kill to project (after all it is my cardio). Every time my mother or my sister is capable of discussing what they felt what was taken from them and how my thyroid forever changed their life, which is overwhelmingly difficult for them to do, and while painful to hear, I do think a sort of path towards healing in other ways begins, maybe (oh, don’t worry, I still have guilt). And so, I can’t help but wonder if other families feel the same way. Do they? Do yours? Do you?

I hope one day our families will be ready to allow a torrential rain of emotions to pour into the page — not for us, the patients, but more for themselves. Sure, a byproduct of mutual catharsis would be exquisite, and sure it’s something we hope for. However, our families’ stories, their experience of thyroid disease, separate from ours, is equally important and relevant.

Yes, I know it took me forever and a day to make it. What am I, new?!

I implore and encourage families to please, please, please write their Dear (Name’s) Thyroid letter.

I’m done now. Happy?



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7 Responses to “Why Are Family Letters So Damn Important to Dear Thyroid?”

  1. Kathy says:

    For those family members brave enough to get involved and write a letter, I salute you. My poor family is hiding, waiting to see, hear, feel what will happen next. I have not had any get up and go to do anything, so they don’t ask anymore. If I have a day off, all I want to do is sleep. It takes all the energy that I have to do the dishes, make the bed, straighten up. Go out and do something fun? Wouldn’t it be great, but I can’t even get to the door. I itch. I’m hot. I’m cold. I’m restless. Way restless. I’m nauseous. Sounds like I’m a lot of fun, doesn’t it? I wish that they would put down thoughts and feelings here, but for now, if they can’t, it’s OK. I love ’em. Thank heavens they love me just the way I am, messed up thyroid and all.

  2. Fran says:

    Oh my dear Katie…

  3. quin browne says:


    i love you.

  4. Oh my goodness…I absolutely *LOVED* *LOVED* *LOVED* that letter. Not only was it amazingly well-written but I wasn’t sure if I should cry or laugh or both… Cry for how truly sad it is & laugh at the awesome wit behind the words…I really enjoyed that one-GREAT JOB!!!

    Take care,

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