The Human Condition Or Is That The Human Thydition
- Heroic: Being heroic does not rest with a patient’s ability to cope with their disease, or accept it, or happily live side-by-side with it. Being honest about it does. Assigning emotions to that is irrelevant, to the extent that whether you’re happy, sad or angry, you’re willing to speak out about it, and that is heroic.
- Bravery: Each person who engaged to discuss: Using clay, if you could mold your disease into a shape, what would it be and why? If you could ask your disease questions, what questions would you ask? and, What do you hate most about your disease? and so many others. To share your experience of your disease and how it affects you with other patients is brave. I don’t know if everyone realizes just how courageous it is. So many thyroid patients are in seclusion, ashamed of their symptoms and what their disease has morphed them into. By reaching out to each other, you remind us that we are less alone.
- Sadness: Our respective thyroid diseases and thyroid cancers make us sad, that’s human and that’s real. The idea of: “Turn that frown upside down”, is something I reject with every fiber of my being. That’s not to say that I endorse wallowing in sadness because that doesn’t help either. Sometimes we need to just be sad. The expression of sadness reflects the human condition and sharing that sadness is a beautiful thing.
- Happiness: Many patients feel gratitude and happiness after contending with a diagnosis and enduring the process of thyroid diseases and thyroid cancers. For some patients, their disease redefines the core of their being on such a deep and healing level. This is an awesome, inspiring and exquisite gift, and should be shared as much as every other emotion.
- Humor: Making wise ass cracks about your disease, wearing humorous thyroid t-shirts, writing a funny letter to your thyroid or from your thyroid, and posting on Facebook, Twitter and in the forums, funny comments about a bad endo experience, a creepy ass symptom, or just making us laugh about how you feel, all of it is healing, in my opinion. I refer to my eyes as lady balls (I have Graves Opthalmopathy, how could I not?), my thyroid has made me so fat, my hips are the size of the world wide web and my previous endo’s were so stupid, not cracking jokes at their expense simply isn’t an option.
- Outspokenness: Our glands cause psychiatric disturbances, plain and simple. The emotions we feel overpower us like a hurricane. We can’t always control the rage, or depression or paranoia, et al. Similarly, collectively, we have strong ass opinions and personalities. At Dear Thyroid, everyone and their gland is outspoken. I digress, this is a gift.
- Irreverence: Cursing, cursing, cursing. I love to curse. I was born into a family of 5 siblings and 2 irreverent parents with a dark sense of humor. When we could talk, our parents made sure that we knew the top 5 curse words; fuck, mother fucker, prick, asshole and dick. Each member of this dear community isn’t afraid to curse. You have no idea how much this warms my heart.
- Anger: Being angry about what our diseases have taken from us is a normal, human emotion. Often times, I’ve been the recipient, as we all have, of being told that anger is an, inappropriate, response and unhealthy to the healing process. Of course this makes my blood boil even more. Within the, kaleidescope, of human emotions, when was anger, omitted, because I never got the memo?! To every patient willing to freely express their anger, I congratulate you and welcome your angry glands.
- Intimacy: Though we’ve never met, we have an intimate relationship with each other. Our glands and glandless selves have stirred an intimacy between us that is so rich, it’s experienced in the text and subtext of our words.
- Connection: With every letter you share and every post you write in the forums, on Facebook and on Twitter, you connect us with each other. By chronicling your disease on Dear Thyroid, we read your words and feel connected to you. I am proud of you for writing — keep writing, don’t stop writing letters to your thyroids or posting about your experience of your disease — you bring us together.
Thank you for being your flawless selves. I hope that 2010 brings more voices, new and old school, writing to their thyroids and connecting with other patients. I hope that we achieve our awareness goals and continue our Dear Thyroid Local Meet ups and Phone Meet ups. I hope that we all continue being proactive, heroic, brave, sad, happy, funny, outspoken, irreverent, angry, intimate and connecting with each other.
Thank you for reminding me that I am more than my disease. Thank you for your unabashed letters, ideas and opinions. Thank you for making me feel like I belong to a community of people who get me and never make me feel like I’m alone.
Thyroid Patient Advocate and renowned Author, Mary Shomon, wrote an article on About.com called “The Top Ten Stories Affecting Thyroid Patients in the Decade from 2000-2009“. This article is a must read, for every thyroid patient, doctor, thyroid community and families of thyroid patients. While there is still work to be done, Mary reminds us how far we’ve come regarding thyroid awareness and how it’s flourished in the past decade–very inspiring. Similarly, Mary empowers patients by encouraging us to continue being proactive regarding our health and how we handle our treatment. I encourage you to read the entire article, it’s thylicious.
Additionally, Mary included Dear Thyroid as a patient advocacy site. We are so honored and grateful to Mary for including Dear Thyroid (Thank you, Mary Shomon!). As a community, we make up Dear Thyroid. Every single patient is the voice of this site. You are remarkable.
Whether you , have a thyroid condition or not, you are welcomed at Dear Thyroid. Please feel free to leave comments and share your thoughts with us. We’d love to hear from you