Fat Thigh-roid Woes: How Did I Gland Here?!
Please welcome Nicole Wells, one of our new columnists. Nicole’s column is about Graves’ disease, symptoms, symptoms management, health insurance issues, hyperthyroid issues, and much more. Welcome, Nicole! We’re so gland to have you aboard.
I’ve always had some sort of weight problem, and as a teenager doctors had told me to get my “goiter” checked out. Not wanting to ever hear the word “goiter” again, I blew off that advice cause I was far too sexy (in my own mind) to ever have an unsexy word like that be associated with me.
I started to workout a lot when I got out of high school, and ever since then I’ve made it a point to make it a habit. During college my weight went up and down, 30 – 40lbs usually. A lot having to do with if I was working at Marie Callender’s at that time, and shoving a slice of pie into my face every single night – btw, never have and never will blame the goiter for that particular weight gain….I take full responsibility.
A few years ago I noticed that even after spinning class 5x a week, and careful dieting – I still looked like a linebacker. The final straw was being a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding and getting pictures back – I was THAT girl. The one that shouldn’t have been wearing THAT dress. Fed up, I chucked my lowfat Subway sandwich out the window (damn you, Jared) and made an appointment to see a doctor.
My mother has Hashimoto thyroid, and I figured maybe I was in the same boat. The doctor took my blood test, and long story short I was put on 30mg of Armour thyroid because she said I was indeed, hypothyroid. I started dropping weight within a few months and felt great. When I went back in for my tests after 6 months (and now knowing what I know, she should’ve monitored me a lot better) turned out – I now had Graves Disease. She wanted me to come off my meds immediately, and wouldn’t give me a refill. Ps, this is when my general distrust of doctors started. I have heard different opinions on if I actually was hypothyroid, or if it was just the start of my Graves “mimicking” hypo symptoms, etc.
Anyways, I had no idea that anything was wrong with me, and all I saw was a 1-digit pant size and went “Suck it doc, I’ll go get my prescription somewhere else”. After seeing an endo and realizing my heart was beating at 120 beats a minute, I still wasn’t convinced. I spent 10 minutes trying to convince HER that SHE was wrong, cause I felt great! This was Los Angeles, and everyone kept telling me to “keep up the good work” and “you look fantastic, what’s your secret?” My secret? Eat 5,000 calories a day, be close to a bathroom, and be okay with watching all the muscle on your body deplete into skin and cellulite.
It’s absurd what I did to convince myself that something wasn’t wrong. I never noticed that my eyes took on a bulging, villainous glare – mostly because I never wanted to notice. The explosive anger I felt during that time was because, der, “everyone is a moron”. I chalked up the constant stomach issues to “must’ve been something I ate”. I also was eating enough food for a family of four, and rationalized it as “I’m skinny because my metabolism is suddenly kicking in my late 20s”. Really???
I know we’ve all had these similar experiences in one way or another, so I ask you, DT Community, if you refused to believe that something was wrong, what lengths have you gone to stay in denial in the face of your disease?
Tags: body changes thyroid related, Editors Dear Thyroid, Fat Thigh Roid Woes, Graves Disease Symptoms Column, hyperthyroid weight loss, hyperthyroidism symptoms, mental issues Graves disease, Nicole Wells writer, weight gain, written by Nicole Wells