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Wednesday October 16th 2019


Oh, Dear Thyroid, Can’t We Please Gland Along?!

Post Published: 29 July 2009
Category: Dear Thyroid Blog Carnival
This post currently has 15 responses. Leave a comment

You’d think I would have started asking for rent already.   You know, a monthly fee of some sort to justify the presence of this ugly thing that’s living with me; a most unwelcomed roommate.   A funny thing happens after a diagnosis: your body keeps reminding you just how sick you are.   Sure, you may still have the same personality or temperament, and if you’re lucky, you may even look the same.   But once you hear those words (whichever specifics they happen to be), your body continues doing painful and strange and expensive things to remind you that you’re no longer alone in this skin.   With a blood test and a history of symptoms, your suspicions have been officially confirmed; you’ve got a roommate for life.

Disease, also, is the guest you didn’t invite, the third wheel, the rain cloud that follows us unrelentingly, at every social function, every dinner, every coffee and tea, every car drive and meeting and picture snapped.   We keep trying to outrun and outshine it, but there it is, right next to us (the person), announcing its presence so loud that everyone forgets that before a diagnosis, you were only one.

If we’re really being honest, disease is the first thought in the morning (because, of course, disease requires maintenance and things like pills and timing) and also the thoughts right before bed.   It’s the dreams we have while sleeping and the fantasy that one day we’ll wake up to it gone (which hasn’t happened yet).

Because we clearly distinguish between the person and the sickness, we act.   We get mad, angry, we lash out at the disease itself.   We think about it, we try to understand it, we research it, and, also, we talk to it — we write, from patient to illness, because illness needs and deserves to be addressed directly.   Something has been irrevocably stolen and changed and the fear and unfairness need to be given voice.   For those of us with thyroid disease, we call it Dear Thyroid ,   It’s not only a means of catharsis, but it’s also our attempt at getting this “easily treatable condition” taken seriously; our lives and the damage are proof enough, so we share our stories.   No disease is easy to treat.   No disease is fair.   No disease can go unacknowledged.  ,   Our letters to our thyroids are the best way we’ve found to express this.

Kicking Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis’ Ass,

Editor-In-Chief, Dear Thyroid

Liz Schau

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15 Responses to “Oh, Dear Thyroid, Can’t We Please Gland Along?!”

  1. quin browne says:

    Sometimes, we have it removed…bringing on a whole new set of problems…

    Meh. (In a thyroid funk today)

  2. Well, us peeps with thyroid cancer actually spend the rest of our lives hyperthyroid. They jack us up with T4 to slow down thyroid growth i.e. cancer growth. Though we have to enter hypo-hell for RAI treatments and body scans, unless we are lucky enough for thyrogen – my savior.

    Anyway, digress. Excellent post. Can’t wait to share it with the world!


  3. Susan says:

    I try not to define myself by my disease but you are right that it is constantly with us hovering in the shadows waiting to pounce. Thinking in the shower did I take that pill or do I need to do that when I’m done? Can I actually have a BM today? PLEASE!! Constantly picking off the hair that is continually falling all day. Feeling ugh for several days because it takes that long to recover from a late or sleepless night.

  4. Zari says:

    I think after thyroid cancer they keep you hyper enough that you feel like you have a mild case of Graves. This becomes ones new definition of good health.

    Of course compared to something like liver cancer which is untreatable, fatal, and killed a couple of my extended family members, treatment of thyroid cancer is EASY. I say that not as a put down in any way because who wants to have any of these diseases.

    Anyway Liz your post is beautifully and movingly written. As I mentioned here one time, most days I can forget about my thyroid stuff now. (yes folks there is hope) but your description of what you think about first thing in the morning and then the rest of the day rang beautifully true for my other disease, osteoarthritis.

    Thanks so much for your post.


  5. lizschau says:

    thanks so much Bee. that’s so kind of you to say 🙂

  6. […] less-than-impressed with her “roommate”, the unwelcome guest in her life in her essay Oh, dear thyroid, can’t we please gland along? Like the unwanted house guest, it just won’t go away… and like fish and relatives, it […]

  7. talesofmy30s says:

    Thank you for writing this. Even though hypothyroidism is so very easily treatable, sometimes the damage done to other parts of the body when undiagnosed for long periods of time is irreversible.

  8. Laura Muckefuse says:

    This was wonderful. And as someone whos worked in the hospital for 6 years and went through nursing, I spent most of my time working with cancer patients and doing I-131’s ( iodine swallows)

    I know what its like to be sick, becuase I am too.. and I know what you mean about wanting it to go away.

    You have written a great peice that a lot of people who are suffering with the same illness can get some good perspective from, and as a healthcare provider, it is certianly a great article to read and gives me that much more insight on how my patients are feeling inside.

    Good job!

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