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Saturday February 16th 2019


It Began With A Goiter, And Ended… Never

Post Published: 11 September 2009
Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 22 responses. Leave a comment

Dear Thyroid,

A long time ago in a land far, far way, a doctor felt my neck and said, “How long have you had this goiter?” Goiter?! Isn’t that something old people have?,   What is it and what is it doing in my throat?,   He mumbled something about my thyroid and cancer, which sent me into a 28-day freak-out until one, when-am-I-gonna-glow-in-the-dark?, thyroid scan later, I was told it was fine, nothing to worry about, go live your life.   NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE ever said Word One about possible hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s, not that I would have known what either of those was, but I would have gone to the library and looked them up.   Mind you, this was long before the days when you could simply turn on your computer, do a search, and instantly get 4,382,963 references.

So, dear thyroid, I suppose you tried to warn me, but I didn’t get that message.   No one ever told me that, ignored and left to your own devices, you would just get crankier and crabbier until you had a full-fledged drama queen meltdown.   I had zero clue that 20 years later you would turn my life upside down.   But, seriously, did you ever hear the saying “cutting off your nose to spite your face?”   Attention-getting though it may be, wreaking havoc and making my immune system so mad it finally turned on you probably wasn’t the smartest thing you ever did, now was it?,   Or is this whole routine you have of sulking, pouting and refusing to do anything, followed by Tasmanian devil tantrums which make me spin in circles some kind of payback for ignoring you?,   Or maybe you thought all those times I went to all those doctors and was told I was stressed and depressed were pretty funny.   Oh, yeah, being told by the therapist I was sent to that I might be bipolar was freakin’ hilarious!,   To say nothing of that last conniption fit you pitched which involved a trip to the Emergency Room, an EKG, an echocardiogram, wearing a Holter monitor for two days, an ultrasound, getting every blood test known to man until they finally decided you were the problem, and then being jabbed with needles every three weeks for six months until you finally calmed down.   For your own good, I feel I should tell you that kind of comedy won’t get you a special on Comedy Central.   Do NOT give up your day job.   Oh, wait.   Your pretty much already did!,   Oh, what, you can’t take a little snarkiness?

You know, dear thyroid, what you really need is a time-out.   Of course, our wonderful new endo tells me you are way beyond that point because, even if we take you out, you have my immune system so worked up it will probably just attack something else.   Great.   My options are either living with the evil I know or braving the evil I don’t know.   So, I guess we are stuck with each other, like it or not.   I don’t know about you, but I could use a vacation.   Oh, wait, you spend half your time on vacation.   Woops, I did it again.   Okay, okay, I’ll try to play nice.   Good grief, you are so sensitive.

Dear thyroid, you craved my attention, and you know full well you have had my undivided attention for years already.   But even the worst diva knows she can’t demand attention 24/7, 365 days a year.   Look at it this way, the new medications and dosage schedule our endo has us on have me thinking about you at least three times a day.   Plus, I am doing the whole anti-inflammatory diet thing, which is supposed to make you/us feel better.   And that diet is no piece of cake.   Get it?,   See, I can be funny, when you let me.   I’m thinking together we could make a great team.   So, how’s about we call a truce?,   I’ll stifle the snarkiness, if you’ll ditch the drama.

Unable to comprehend your actions but still really trying to love ya,


(Bio) Brenda Ford lives in a small rural community in the High Desert where she gardens, writes, takes naps every time she gets still, and is still trying to figure out how the toaster got in the refrigerator.   She used to live in the Big City and go to a real job where she was a highly productive, high energy, go-to person who could multi-task with the best of ’em.   Big sigh.

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22 Responses to “It Began With A Goiter, And Ended… Never”

  1. bee says:

    your letter strikes a way too familiar chord. It also brings to mind that dreaded thought “If Only…”as in, what would our lives have been like if only we knew or the drs treated us before we got so sick?! I so appreciate your honesty and your humor and your continuued respect for your self in moving past the “what ifs”

  2. fisherwife says:

    I love the comment about the tasmanian devil dance that your thyroid does! How apt is that? I can totally relate to much of your post. So sweet that you are willing to try to love that thing which goes berserk.

  3. yodat says:

    Love your letter! What a great read. It seems as though you have come to be one with your Thyroid. I am still in the process. I was also looking at the Anti-Inflammatory diet. I hope it works well for you.

    Your friend in hypoville,

  4. Robyn says:

    OMG–we are sisters. I was worked up for a “lump in the throat” and mildly enlarged thyroid by an ENT–who later pronounced me “normal”. Had I not immediately called a friend who’s husband is an endo AND surfed google on my iPhone after my 3rd appointment where it was “in my head” I would still be undiagnosed. Hashi’s sucks. My current ENT does not understand how ANY doctor, much less one that looks at necks for a living, could miss the diagnosis with my signs and a TSH of almost 5. Two different doctors have told me since that he probably wrote me off as soon as he realized I was not a surgical candidate. The kicker is when I called him for a referral to an endo, and he said no. Bastards.

    Good luck and good health to you!

  5. Mike5816 says:

    I was diagnosed in January 2000 because I did *NOT* have a goiter. It turned out the tissue pressing against my epiglottis and closing off my throat was just my sublingual tonsils, but at the time my doctor didn’t believe tonsils could grow *that* large, and she tested me for thyroid disease instead, thinking I had a goiter. (My initial TSH value was 23!) I had other symptoms of thyroid disease, but all could be blamed on other things. So, it was serendipity that I got a weird tonsillitis, because I may not have been treated until I DID grow a goiter.

  6. Freida Bee says:

    I needed to read this. I had a honkin’ goiter, went on thyroid suppressing meds until my pregnancy was over, then had surgery when I could take a break from breastfeeding. A million pounds later, with all of my pregnancy weight, after years of getting skinnier and skinnier, I was exorcised of my thyroid via surgery a hundred pounds heavier than I was originally, and I just gain a few pounds each year. I hate this!

  7. Brenda says:

    Unfortunately, waaaaay too many doctors look at that TSH number and think that tells them the whole story. I don’t know who’s to blame for that, but it’s most likely the medical schools. I have seen many doctors who tried to convince me everything I was experiencing was all in my head, when it was all in my thyroid and immune system. They seem to forget the thyroid can and does affect practically everything in your body.

    Keep up the good work. My husband is very understanding and supportive, but researching this stuff is a bit beyond him. Your wife is a lucky woman!

  8. jj says:

    Thank you.

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