What My Thyroid Has Taught Me
(Written by Dee, Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s Patient)
I thought I learned everything from my cat, but actually I learned everything from my thyroid.
Life is hard, then you nap. There were days when I could sleep 12 hours overnight and still take a nap for two hours in the afternoon — not knowing why. It was my thyroid failing in 2003. Sputtering, like a car running on the last bit of fumes down a deserted highway. Took my sex drive over a cliff ala Thelma and Louise. I gained a massive amount of weight in 2 years and became a complete harpy, my poor husband was about ready to chop me up and bury me in the backyard. Thanks Guns & Roses. Actually, no thanks to my young female doctor who listened to me when I said ‘I think something is really wrong with my thyroid, last time I had it checked my gyno said it was borderline subclinical hypo. We have news for you, it’s Hashimoto’s. Great, my friend has that too, so now we can be bookends, and trade thyroid horror stories? And collect points for whoever racks up the most autoimmune diseases?
For two years I struggled with synthetic meds, no meds, natural meds – which lead to several trips to the ER with rapid heartbeat. 180bpm, sitting in the living room thinking, this is IT, I am going to die now. Is someone trying to kill me? Must be my thyroid. Quick, call me a WAHHHHMBULANCE! Of course, at the hospital EKG is normal, there is nothing wrong. Take 2 aspirin and don’t call us in the morning. Just another one of THOSE female headcases, quick, give her a script for the antidepressant d’jour.
I started eating healthier. Completely cut out caffiene from my diet. Goodbye Starbucks (saved beacoup cashola!), no more Coke, well goodbye HFCS. I’ll never give up chocolate though, you’ll have to pry it from my cold dead hands. Too scared to go back on the synthetic meds, anti-anxiety meds were safer, but did not address why I felt like crap. OK, put your big girl pants on and just take the damn levothyroxine again. Moved to Europe, and tried a synthetic made by Merck-Sanofi. 2006 Hey, I am beginning to feel better on this stuff. Start to lose weight, get athletic and ski and bike. TSH stable around 1.00, everybody’s happy, including the “gland.” Have now lost 40 lbs. and feel terrific. Sex drive is BAAAAAAAAAACK! But husband is gone. (No, he is not buried in the backyard.)
Thyroid has taught me about the importance of living each day to the fullest, cultivating a good, positive attitude, eating healthy and taking care of myself. Every last vice has been taken away from me since 2003, but I have accepted it and learned to live a fuller life. I am turning 50 in 3 months, and after much soul-searching have decided to pursue a career in a completely different line of work, something that is holistic and healing. Had it not been for my addled gland, I might still be on the corporate hamster-wheel. So, at the end of the day, I actually thank my thyroid for acting up, I would not be where I am now if it had behaved.