Who Am I This Minute, Thyroid? You Tell Me!
You make me look like a fool. I live in Florida, yet I am dressed for winter in July, because I fear the air conditioning. You know how we Floridians rely on our precious AC. Surely, my toes will freeze, my fingers will go numb. So there I sit, hoodie on, hands in pockets. I’m sure upon meeting me, upon the first hand shake, people think, “Man, that girl has freezing hands.” They over look my striking blue eyes, surely;and remember only the cold hands. I suppose, I have you to thank for that.
My moods. My exhaustion. My emotional fraility. The Casie I know, The Casie everyone loves — is gone. Thyroid Casie takes over. Everyone hates Thyroid Casie, even I hate her. No one knows what to do with her, they think she’s crazy, unemotional, robotic. Even I think that, regardless of what my heart knows; sometimes I think my thyroid is stronger. I convince myself it’s not as I stare into the mirror. It’s just the thyroid fog taking over. They are my eyes, my hair, my dimple;kind of. My heart pounds in my chest, but only because you will not let it rest. I feel sorry for my friends, my family, my boyfriend. They all have to deal with Thyroid Monster Casie. It’s like I am The Hulk;like I change in a split second, except;I do not turn green, I don’t become a giant;and so, no one knows there’s been a change, that there’s been disruption, until I’ve already exploded. Until, it’s too late.
I’m 26, and I can’t remember shit. If I didn’t write that down, I would’ve already forgotten it. I stock up on post it notes, but I’m not sure why. Because I write it down, and then I forget where I wrote it. Where I stuck it. I’ll find it months later, but by then, it’ll be too late.
You rock my confidence, and I am usually quite confident.
I’m 26. My tongue is fat. My words are slow. My brain is swollen. My body hurts. My joints, they ache. This is not me. The 96 year old woman in the mirror;is not me. I feel isolated, although surrounded. I don’t feel ugly, I know that I am not; but I surely don’t feel pretty. My hair is stringy. My eyes are circled in darkness. And I think that fat tongue has made my whole face turn chubby. I feel far, far from sexy. Being simply pretty is difficult, if not impossible. You have done this to me. This is not me.
I’m patient, but my patience wears. They try this dose, this medicine. I research everything. I don’t want to be on synthroid anymore, I want nothing to do with the drug. It works wonders for some, works great for my friends; for me? I feel it just eats away at the very person I know I am to be. I’m nervous. What if the next medicine doesn’t work? What if I run out of medicines, of doses, to try? Then what? Where will that leave us then? But, I know, I have to keep going. I just will not let you win.
I’m waiting for you, when I finally feel like me again. I’m waiting for you. What will set you off, what will anger you. What will cause you to spiral down on me again, and take over? You’re sneaky, and you’ll use any excuse that you can find. One day I feel great, and then the next, I could feel your wrath again. I know you’re lurking, waiting to kidnap my normalcy. Waiting to steal this girl I love. I am more empathetic because of you. I have to be, I feel for people; because;sometimes I know they cannot feel for me. They just don’t understand, I cant blame them. I learn to value the good days I have. I cherish the great days. As for those crappy days you love to throw at me? I keep on moving. It is all I know. I just will not let you win.
I hate you. Everyone hates you. And it takes all the energy I have (which you, Dear Thyroid, know is limited) to remind myself;
THIS. IS. NOT. ME.
It is you. And you suck!
I tire quicker. I need more sleep. Forget it, I’ll just rest my eyes — the world does not stop, simply because you have.
The loss of hair, however, is something I will probably never forgive you for. You even control my HAIR, you stupid mangy thyroid. A 19 year old female, and no one could understand why I’d cry in the bathroom, at the mirror, with chunks of my signature blonde locks laced between my hair brush, tossed within the sink.
Now that I’ve lost the weight? I absolutely live in fear of the morning where I will wake up and put on my “big girl jeans” again. Surely you’ve seen them sitting at the bottom of the drawer, you know — “just in case”. It’s been almost five years since the weight fell off, and yet still;those jeans remain.
At 150 lbs on my tiny 5’4 frame; I never considered myself “big” – The pictures, however, do not lie. My swollen cheeks, my dark and droopy eyes, my wider hips. I had an ass! I wish I could’ve kept that from time to time — you know, it is a family trait;to have a bubble butt. Now, I swing from 120 to 130. I look thinner than that though, and people notice. They think it’s an eating disorder, because along with the weight? Well you’ve stolen any sense of a normal appetite, as well. I pick, I snack. It’s not an eating disorder; it’s you.
I worry, as I get older, if someday when I get married — will it all be too much to handle? Will the groom know what to do with Thyroid Casie? I barely know what to do with her. I’d hate to put that monster on him, too. I read your books;you run people out of our lives; they just run — and who could blame them, if given the choice? I’d run too. You cage us. You end marriages practically before they can even begin. You just won’t give us a chance, will you?
We’re not crazy. Our thyroid is.
Please let me be happy. Please allow my groom to understand; I have no control over you. Help him recognize when you crash — the sluggishness, the moods, the emotional distress. How could you NOT recognize it, I know. I think the same thing. But some people think it’s US, when, really;it’s YOU! Help this man, my groom, to help me. To be patient when new doses are in order. To let me rest when I need to rest. To help around the house, when I just can’t. To just;wrap his arms around me and hug me, when I least deserve it; because it isn’t ME. It’s YOU.
Do not run that groom, my groom, off. He is my happiness. He gives me everything that you do not, stupid thyroid. Most of all, I need him. Whether he knows it or not, I need him.
Please, just let me be happy.
I worry, too, about pregnancies. Will I even be able to be pregnant, someday. Will it be an easy pregnancy, or will you make that unbearable too? Will my symptoms equate to misery? Will all the hormones be able to live peacefully inside of me — or will they erupt? Let me, please, just be happy.
Let me be a good woman – a good wife – a good mother.
You scare me, thyroid. As I get older, the fear creeps into me more and more, as life becomes less about me and more about we. What will I do on the days when my energy is too limited to lift my baby, when my body aches too much to pick up toys, or to clean a kitchen — and you know how much I love a clean kitchen. Will people question me? I’m not perfect. I never have been, but you make it more noticeable. Will they look at me differently? Will you team up with post partum? Why can’t you just make things easier, thyroid? I will not let you win, you do know that by now, right?
It’s because you’re selfish though. I try to take care of you, I do my absolute best. I’m on top of my health and yet you fight me. You’re mean, thyroid. I swear I’d punch you;if you weren’t in my own throat, that is. I’m jealous of people who don’t understand, of people who don’t HAVE to understand; because they have normal thyroids. If I had three wishes, you bet that could be one of them — a normal thyroid.
How nice does that sound? I particularly think it has a beautiful ring to it.
I hope those people, those normal thyroid people, appreciate their thyroids. I hope they thank them every day, and then — I know they probably don’t;.because, most people, don’t even know what a thyroid is. Where it is. Or what it does.
It does; EVERYTHING. And even that is an understatement.
Brain fog. Confusion. Frustration.
I know you’ve become so impossible, that even good doctors rarely know what to do with you. How am I supposed to figure you out, if even they cannot?!
Thyroid, I assume it’s safe to declare you erratic, and unpredictable, and indecisive. I’m grateful for a good, strong heart. I’m grateful that I am positive – that I know how to dance in the rain and navigate rough waters. You’re lucky you have me, really.
But, I swear — I’d get rid of you, if I could.
I will not let you define me. I will not let you win.
(Bio) Casie Shimansky, 26, is a vibrant chick living in the sunshine state. By day, she is chained to a cubicle. By any other light, she is an Orlando Area Wedding Photographer. Diagnosed with Graves Disease at 19, she’s been fighting the battle since. Recently, put on Natural Thyroid — she finally feels that she is LIVING, not just SURVIVING. Blog and Facebook
Tags: Graves disease Dear Thyroid Letter, graves disease support, hyperthyroid blog, hyperthyroid community, hyperthyroid support, hyperthyroidism, self-esteem issues thyroid patients, thyroid changes body, thyroid changes mind, young adults with thyroid disorders