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The Worst Wedding Gift in the World

Post Published: 11 January 2010
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 29 responses. Leave a comment

Author: Kristen, Hashimoto’s Patient

Dear Thyroid,

Well, I got married, and you surprisingly didn’t make me gain 15 pounds like I had expected right before the wedding. You did, however, cause me to lose 10 pounds unexpectedly and caused my dress not to fit. But even with you trying to ruin my day, I still ended up marrying my best friend. So what if every five minutes my bridesmaids were running over to me and pulling my dress up so my bra wouldn’t show? So what if I couldn’t do the YMCA because I would have flashed everyone, and so what if I could only enjoy two glasses of wine without hindering my medicine? I still had a good time.

You did give me a great wedding gift though, the out-of-nowhere fear of flying. I have flown all over the world pre-Hashimoto,  and never had a problem. Now I cry and pop a Xanax,  hoping to make it to my destination. What more could I ask of you? It just keeps getting better and better. I wish that you would just let me be. Not only am I embarrassed that I wake up most nights at 2:00 a.m. with a panic attack, and roll over and look at my husband sleeping, and wish that I could wake him up without feeling like an idiot the next morning. I hate that I have developed a sudden fear of chemicals that I never had before. I hate that you have caused my hair to fall out, but most important I hate that my Endo never gives me the opportunity to speak when I go see her. All it ever seems to be about is the damn pill.

I sit up at night and ask why this disease is so damn complicated. While on my honeymoon I ended up having to go to the doctor for a virus some kid passed onto me at the wedding. When I walked into the room, right behind me was a huge poster about hypothyroidism. I started to cry. Everywhere I go I am reminded of this damn condition.

You’d think after three years I’d be over getting mad at myself for having this disease, but I’m not.

It affects everything and every part of my life. I’m,  constantly thankful that my husband is right behind me 100%. I am so happy that he understands most newlyweds would be all over each other, except us. I am happy he loves me regardless of what my thyroid does to him. And so today dear thyroid, I am,  hear,  to tell you that I am still on this path of hating you. I still loathe you as much as I did three years ago. I would never wish this disease on anyone. I wish that my doctor would give a damn about me, and understand that seeing me for five minutes and pushing me out the door until the next visit isn’t helping me.

Frankly thyroid, I hate you.

– Kristen

(Bio) My name is Kristen Gast, formally Kristen Duncan. I am 28, a newlywed, and have,  Hashimoto’s disease. And I have trouble accepting it,  every day.

We welcome comments and questions from non-thyroid patients, too! Can you relate to Kristen’s letter? How does her story affect you? Share your thoughts with Kristen.

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29 Responses to “The Worst Wedding Gift in the World”

  1. Jennie says:

    Never did I realize that the stupid fears I have could be related to this thyroid disease! We have been married 20 years and my hubby has been a great support, I am not sure he understands it is all about the thyroid, but I think he is getting the idea… He is very good about being patient with me….poor guy. I have never heard of the fears of things being related to thyroid. How do they connect?

    Jennie

  2. katie says:

    Hi Jennie;

    Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving your comment, we really appreciate it.

    With thyroid disorders, patients can experience psychiatric disturbances; depression, anxiety, anger, et al.

    Are you experiencing anxiety?

    Let us know.

    Looking forward to hearing more from you.

    xo
    K

  3. Cyndi Woodruff says:

    Isn’t it strange that with a ‘slowed down’ system, anxiety could crop up? Pre-Hashi’s, and many years ago, I went through a NASTY bout of severe anxiety attacks and “generalized anxiety disorder”. So, if I do feel anxiety coming on, I have some great tools that help to see if for what it is.
    You see, the more you ‘fear’ anxiety, the more you ‘feed’ it. It is like pouring gas on a fire. The more you dread those anxious feelings the stronger they get. It really helps to understand it, get to know it and accept it. Sometimes it sounds impossible to do—but it can happen. Take it from me, someone who wouldn’t even leave my home for fear of having a panic attack, you can accept anxiety as a part of who you now are. And once that happens, magically, your anxiety lessens and mostly leaves you alone—even with illness.
    It’s all how you react to it…do you feed it or do you hug it?
    If anyone needs any help or suggestions for what to do during a panic attack, or after—-I have some great tools. I had the best doctor on the friggin’ planet. I credit this man with saving my life, literally.
    Hugs to you all.
    Cyn

  4. Dear Thyroid says:

    Cyn;

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insight! You must (no pressure), consider adding that as a topic in the forums and inviting other patients to share their stories. You can provide tips — how great would that be?!

    Another thing I wanted to point out is that pre-disease, I never had anxiety. My anxiety was brought on solely due to my Graves disease. Once my thyroid was balanced, I didn’t get anxiety. Because thyroid diseases cause psychiatric disturbances, the goal is to figure out the root cause of your anxiety. Once you know, you can resolve it, or manage it depending on what it is.

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    xoxoxo
    k

  5. Cyndi Woodruff says:

    I would be more than happy to offer any help that I can. Sometimes, Katie, once that switch has been flipped, it’s very difficult to stop the freight train. I am not hyperthy, but I know that it is one of the symptoms of being hyper. I also believe that in an attempt to correct hypothy, you can end up in the hyper catagory and end up with anxiety.
    So, the first thing I would suggest to anyone suffering from anxiety and dealing with a thyroid illness would be to get their labs done. Let’s check those numbers first.
    Anyway, I would be happy to help out however I can!!!

  6. Dear Thyroid says:

    Such great advice, Cyndi. I think, I don’t know for sure, but I do think that hypo patients must have anxiety, too. I know that they present with mental disturbances, as well.

    Interesting read re: Hypo/Hyper mental issues. However, it’s LOOOONG http://bit.ly/5kwQq5

    Cyndi, if you’re up for it, would LOVE you to add something like “Coping with Anxiety” and share your insight. You have these wonderful techniques, fab. I’d love to learn more about.

    http://dearthyroid.org/forums.

  7. Robyn says:

    Great letter! I have Hashi’s and lost weight too. I have a hard time discussing it, because I feel bad that most thyroid patients gain weight, and I’m all “wha, wha, wha, my clothes keep falling off…”
    I also have had bouts of anxiety. I had my worst attack when I was pregnant–full blown thought I/the baby was dying and had a hospital trip where everyone thought I was nuts. I have smaller attacks occasionally, but less often and severe than I used to have. I do wake up in the middle of the night all the time, though too.
    Gotta love the Hashi’s–not just up and down, but both at the same time!

  8. Heather says:

    I could have written this letter myself. My Hashi’s reared its head around my wedding as well. I now have horrible anxiety in crowds. I used to be a social butterfly/party girl extraordinaire, now I hate crowds, I hate standing in line in the grocery store, and I hate going to concerts or other venues where there will be a crowd.

  9. amy says:

    Gotta love the Hashi’s—not just up and down, but both at the same time!—So true, Robyn, Sadly.

    My husband really does his best being there for me. I am so thankful for that. For me, it came after pregnancy-why does it rear it’s ugly head in the most important times of our lives(weddings, children)?

    Best wishes to you and your husband, Kristen!!!

  10. Jackie Kipilo says:

    My Hashi’s reared it’s head around my wedding. It’ll be 3 years in Feb. I had to have my dress custom made, as nothing anywhere would fit. My husband decided to marry me sooner because I lost my health insurance. I didn’t have a chance to even try to lose the weight. I never got the wedding day I wanted.

    I wanted a Renaissance-type gown. I got my wish. It was a beautiful dress in emerald green satin, with gold embroidery. I wore a tiara and had my hair curled.

    It was a small, quick ceremony in my church after our regular services. No photographer, but friends and family took the pictures for us.

    As I was walking down the aisle, I heard my niece (who was 5 at the time)whisper “She looks like Shrek.” My brother’s wife said “You mean Princess Fiona.” No, my niece stated “Shrek…big green and fat.”

    I cried at my wedding and not out of happiness. Then, at dinner, my husband said “Well, you DO look like Friar Tuck.”

    My husband is very supportive now, but that comment still bothers me. I even tore up our wedding pictures. Maybe someday when this gets under control, we’ll renew our vows and I’ll look picture-worthy to walk down the aisle.

    Good luck to you and your husband Kristen. May your wedding be filled with more “in health” other than “in sickness”

  11. Jackie Kipilo says:

    Heather, I hate the crowd thing, too. I, too was the life of the party and always fun-loving. I stopped because of the weight gain. Now I get near panic attacks if I have to go anywhere without my husband. He has to be with me at all times because I am afraid of falling, walking alone, etc.

    The names and faces change, but the stories are all the same. I always wanted to belong to a sorority or have sisters. I got them in all of you.

    Thank you.

  12. Jackie Kipilo says:

    Oh, by the way, due to my myriad of stomach problems, partly from the laparascopic surgery and partly because of my chronic severe constipation caused by my hypothyroidism, my husband and I have yet to have sex during our marriage. We’ve been married three years. Last time we did anything was a couple of months prior to my laparoscopic surgery for carcinoma-in-situ in October of 2004. Although we both laugh and say we had more than enough for our lifetime when we first started dating.

    He says it doesn’t bother him. But I’m wondering if a lot has to do with the fact that I gained so much weight, too.

  13. Dear Thyroid says:

    Robyn – Being the exception to the rule, which I relate to, do you think that if others who were also the exception to the rule shared their experiences, more people would speak up and out about it?

    So sorry about the anxiety. What a scary anxiety attack that must have been for you. Glad you both are okay.

    xo

  14. Dear Thyroid says:

    Heather;

    I am really sorry to hear that!

    It sounds like Hashimoto’s patients experience life changing anxiety based on all of these comments, yours included.

    How have you learned to deal with your anxiety?

    xo

  15. Dear Thyroid says:

    Amy;

    For you, it’s both issues?

    So sorry to hear about Hashitrocious behavior at such wonderful events.

    xo

  16. Dear Thyroid says:

    Jackie;

    You’ve been through mental and physical hell related to your Hashi’s. Oh, so sorry to hear it!

    So, ladies, Hashidivas ;), how do you manage your symptoms? How do you reinvent yourself despite your disease? How do you gain control over life altering symptoms that require an enormous amount of change?

    xo

  17. amy says:

    No, it is not both…just saying it seems to rear its ugly head during these times. Is it because we are under stresses that we are not normally?

  18. Kristen says:

    Thank you so much for all the comments. It has really helped me see that I am not the only one who goes through this crap. The anxiety came out of nowhere for me, once they got off the path of me being depressed, and realized I have a thyroid disease I started to see that it was common to those who have hashi’s. I HATE it! I cant go anywhere without a huge pack of gum, ( if I start feeling anxious, I have to chew gum to settle my nerves). I get so embarassed. I tell myself over and over that my heart is fine, that I am okay, but I can’t convince my mind that I am okay. I wish everynight that I can just get through this, I am young, and beautiful and have so much to offer, and I at 28 years old can’t stay out of my bed! Thank you for all the support, this is the best therapy I person could ask for!
    Kristen

  19. Dear Thyroid says:

    Amy, that’s a really great point. Those are big life changes. Maybe the immune system goes into overload. It kind of makes sense, right?

  20. Dear Thyroid says:

    Kristen;

    We’re so glad you shared so much of you with us! We’re glad you know that you aren’t alone because you aren’t.

    You are right, you are beautiful, wonderful and fabulous with so much to offer.

    Even though you have to deal with Hashi’s, we hope it helps knowing that you don’t have to go it alone.

    Big hugs.

  21. Marie says:

    I have hashi’s too and when I go hyper I start waking up with panic attacks around 2 a.m. as well! I find that doing something mindless gets it under control. Usually reading something on the internet or logging onto facebook. Distracting myself from the panic seems to get it under control. Hot camomile tea is good too.

    I’m glad you mentioned the fear of flying because I developed a sudden aversion to flying in my mid-twenties (about the time of the onset of the illness) and had never thought to associate that with my disease.

  22. Heather says:

    I just push through the anxiety out in the grocery store or market. I don’t deal with a lot of anxiety by not going out, not accepting invitations to parties and such. I also found taking GABA has helped a lot of my anxiety.

  23. Pam says:

    I just read this letter and comments and thought “OMG-I’m not the only one!” My husband and I eloped because I don’t like crowds. Now if I go somewhere with a large crowd I sit in the back or along the side and my hubby is used to leaving early. Also have the stomach problems as well as the weight fluctuations.
    Thanks for such a great place for us to “talk”.

  24. Robyn says:

    “Robyn — Being the exception to the rule, which I relate to, do you think that if others who were also the exception to the rule shared their experiences, more people would speak up and out about it?”

    Well, obviously I don’t know how many others have lost weight with Hashi’s like me. I think it’s hard to talk about for me here because I feel like most women *wish* they had this symptom–and believe me I realize in this society it is much easier to LOSE 20# than to gain it. But it really does scare me. I don’t recognize myself in the mirror, I feel like maybe there is something else sinister going on in my body causing the weight loss, etc. And then I have to try to not get the anxiety…

    Vicious cycle. I’m not marginalizing anyone who has gained weight with their disease, but losing it is no picnic either–largely due to feeling like I should be “happy” about it and not talk about it.

  25. Kathy says:

    Oh, the anxiety.. cripes..I get anxious thinking about being anxious! The phobias! I have a horrible driving phobia, that I just accepted in myself after so many years..I even bought books to get over phobias, but I couldn’t even open them! What the hell?! I think this..the Hashimoto’s has been in my system for a long long long time..when I think about my entire life and all the issues that I’ve had..and no one ever found it til a year and a half ago..It’s a slow journey to healing, but I’m walking it..and I’m glad you’re all there to walk along with me.

  26. Kristen says:

    I was scared about wieght loss as well, I lost like 25lbs in 2 months, and I wasnt even exercising. I felt like something else was wrong as well. While everyone was telling me how great I looked, I was like why am I losing so much wieght?! My husband is also used to leaving early, and always sitting on the aisle seats in the theater, even if the theater is empty. It is a hard thing to get over, I swear, never a dull day 🙂

  27. Mary Beth Agase says:

    Wow –simply knocked me off the chair this morning. I am three years into Hashi’s as well. The 2am wake up call is horrible. Hashi could care less about my full time job with travel, my 4 beautiful kids, my husband who just stares and wonders why, and my boss who I don’t mention a word of this to for fear of getting fired. I was doing well on Naturthroid until this setback.And you are spot on about the doctor. His snarky comments about hair are humiliating. He threw me on Cytomel and I walked away. Searching for a new person to help me. Always a journey. Thank you for your letter. Peace.

  28. Jamie says:

    Kristen

    Reading your letter was like reading one of my own. I too am just 28 years old and have had hashi’s for 3 years now. I am young, beautiful, life-of-the-party type too (or used to be anyway) now I am like a turtle that can’t go out of her shell. I have terrible panic attacks and anxiety. I’ve never experienced anything like it until hashi’s. I am finishing a BS degree and can hardly go to my classes without having a severe panic attack. I have to sit by the door just in case I have to get up and leave. I can feel every heart beat and have trouble thinking about anything else! I constantly worry that something is wrong with my heart. It is very embarrassing, it is hard for me to go anywhere without my husband. It takes a lot for me just to go to the grocery store. The doctors will not listen to me either. Hashi’s affects every day of my life and everything that I do. I hate it! Hate it! Hate it! Although I would not wish this disease on my worst enemy, it is nice to know that I am not alone. I too am different from the norm and actually lost weight (only 15 lbs but I have never weighted more than 105) I continue to have trouble gaining weight.

  29. JoAnn says:

    WOW!!! I could have written every post here!!!! I have Graves and it really starting hitting me after my second baby.

    The anxiety is always there…….its changed my life completely and its there everyday and effects everything I do. I used to think maybe I was crazy until I found out how many of us suffer the same exact way. It really does help so much to know you aren’t alone.

    My life is extremely limited but I learned to just accept it, work around it and do the best I can. Everyday is an adventure.

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