Yours Truly, If Not Willingly
(Written by, Elana, 21-year-old with Hypothyroidism)
This is my first letter to you since I first officially met you a year ago, though in hindsight I can see your presence in my life tracing back a ways before that. You could have snuck under the radar with just the heat intolerance and weight gain for quite a while, but you decided a real full-blown relationship would be much more fun, and planned a big surprise party with your friends: anemia, Vitamin D deficiency, and depression. You did well. I was surprised.
I don’t know if I like surprises anymore.
Look, I’m getting to know you. I don’t understand you yet, or what supplement level I should feed you to keep you happy, but I’m trying. Really. Truly. Last spring I gave you what you wanted. I left school early to spend the spring and summer with you. I gave up quite a bit for that, you know? But I did it for you, because if we’re going to have a life-long relationship I might as well dive in and get a truce figured out so we can live together instead of fighting. I gave you five prime months when I could have been playing outside and socializing. That’s okay. I don’t resent it that much.
Last fall, I thought we had a compromise. I’d go back to college for my senior year, I’d take an easy class load, I’d drop a few clubs, and you’d come along for the ride. I still don’t know what I did to make you angry; our relationship was really new, and I didn’t know all your whims and desires yet. But something upset you, and you decided to throw a raging party. I could have cleaned up from that, but no, you invited the swine flu roaming around the freshman dorms on over to our place. He went around breaking shit: let me tell you, it took a long time to put the pieces back together.
I know it’s only been a year, thyroid, since we were formally introduced. I need to be patient. And I’m trying. But for the sake of my last semester at college, I have one small, teeny-tiny favor to ask. Can you give me a bit of a break?, Just take away one of your symptoms? I’m having trouble dealing with all your issues all at once. One less thing that I worried about and fell apart over would make all the difference in the world. Is that too much to ask for?
I not asking to be able to get drunk at frat parties three times a week, but it would be lovely to have one drink with friends at dinner and not feel like shit the next day. Especially while I’m in the Walla Walla valley, which has so many amazing wines. Now that I’m finally legal I would love to go wine tasting while still in the area.
And I do appreciate how adept I’ve gotten at French braiding so that while reading at the library and absent-mindedly (speaking of absent minded, I could not think of that word for the life of me!) playing with my hair, I don’t end up with a handful that I awkwardly have to throw away. But that’s a skill I would happily give up if I stopped shedding so much.
You’ve been good about not making me hurt as much as I did last fall. I could ask for a bit more: going up stairs still makes my thighs scream and my lower back gets twinges and my arms fall asleep while typing. But really, if you just don’t make my joints ache anymore than they do now, I’ll be okay. At least my hips don’t hurt so I can actually fall asleep this semester.
But speaking of sleep, I’m working really fucking hard to satisfy you. I’m giving you 9-10 hours a night, as a COLLEGE student. Do you know how hard that is? But I’m, doing it. For you. So can you give me at least one day of waking up and feeling refreshed?, I don’t even remember how that feels. I miss it.
And if you’re not going to let me lose those last ten pounds, can you at least give me my appetite and taste buds back so that stomach bulge is worth it? I miss feeling full. I miss feeling hungry. Who knew I would be so nostalgic about that?
Ideally, I’d ask for my brain back, so that I could be a bit eloquent with my thesis and it didn’t take me three minutes to think of the word “bill” (I know you threw “charge” and “check” my way, but neither of those worked right. Thanks anyway). But I realize that’s probably too much to ask. So I’ll just plod along with my writings, crying every few minutes when I can’t think of a simple word, and hating the freshman in my Spanish class who complain about how much work they have or girls who wear short skirts and complain about being cold, and stress for days each time I go to get more blood work done.
I guess the one thing I can thank you for the lowered libido. Not that I don’t want that back sometime, mind you; this is not a life-long reprieve for you on that count. But with everything else I’m trying to balance right now, not being distracted by being horny is quite helpful.
Look, thyroid, I’m trying. I know sometimes it takes me a while to make new friends, but I really want to like you now that I know you exist. I know the doctors might not take you seriously because on paper you’re only slightly out of whack, but I do! I simply can’t take you all at once. Please. One less thing to worry about on top of school and post-grad plans and trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. Just give me one less symptom to have to juggle. It would help the development of this next stage of our relationship an awful lot.
Yours truly, if not willingly,
Bio:, 21 years old and celebrating the one-year anniversary of getting diagnosed with hypothyroidism, after symptoms became so severe last spring I ended up leaving school early. So glad to have found a thymmunity to join!
Tags: college students and thyroid disorders, Dear Thyroid letter Yours Truly If Not Willingly, Elana hypothyroid patient, hypothyroid blog, hypothyroid bloggers, hypothyroidism support, students and thyroid disorders, young adults with hypothyroidism