We Are At The Beginning Of Change…
Tuesday February 19th 2019


Fat Thigh-roid Woes: In a Fat Neck, Slim Lies

Post Published: 18 June 2010
Category: Column, Fat Thigh Roid Woes, Graves Disease Symptoms Column
This post currently has 18 responses. Leave a comment

One of my favorite things to do is go out to a restaurant with a book, or journal, watch people and just chill.  While I had my gargantuan goiter, since I was starving all the time and felt like spending $30 at breakfast – I’d go out to eat a few times a week.  My journal would be with me, but the most I ever wrote in it was “Lady at the table ordered eggs, and bacon.  Must not be dieting this week.”  WHAT KIND OF BULLSHIT IS THAT?

The words would never, ever come.  I’d been going to a life coach during this time because apparently I felt like dropping $80/hr, but also, because I felt like I needed some help communicating and finding a way to get the words on the page.  In addition to the added benefit of having someone help center me while I was a raving lunatic.

Before I got sick, I wasn’t using my creative talents like I should’ve been.  I lived like that for years, and by the time Graves really progressed and my goiter was massive, it felt like a pair of hands were constantly around my neck, holding me down – and not in any sort of sexy way either.  I felt like I had no other options but to put everything off to the side while working for other people, and helping their passions come to life.

I know some doctor got a lot of shit for being on Oprah and saying that what we needed was “chakra balancing” to cure our disease, and that after years of repressing our throat chakra (center of communication and speaking our truth) we’ve become diseased.  This is actually a common theory, and not just exclusive to her.  I do believe in chakra balancing, and I practice Reiki on myself.  I do believe in the connection between mind and body – what I don’t believe is that not being truthful is the sole reason for my Graves, or that anyone else got their disease from a closed off chakra.

I believe it’s the food in this country, hormones, environmental crap, stress, and genetics that triggered my disease – and yes, maybe a dash of closed off throat communication.  But if this doctor were right, I’d expect more thyroid disease coming from places and cultures around the world where women and their voices are repressed, but yet…I don’t think that’s the case.  Or, I’d expect to see a decline in thyroid disease over the past 100 years in American history – because women fought to have their voices heard with success.

We’re just fucking sick in the US of A, and we just know it has a lot to do with chemicals in our food, lifestyle, and stress – not as simple as a blocked chakra.

For the purposes of this essay, let’s just entertain the idea that maybe we’ve brought sickness on ourselves – which really, isn’t fair – we have enough to deal with and don’t need to put that shit on our shoulders too.  But okay, let’s have fun with it!  I’ll start off with my own journey on speaking my truth, and some advice for others…

Because the Graves heightened my innate lunacy, I was yelling and shouting but that wasn’t really using “my voice”.  My anger might’ve been A truth, but it wasn’t really MY truth.  It was the Graves psycho and a dash of Nicole thrown in.   It was as if my real voice had really left me, and I had NOTHING.  I’d stare at a blank page, cry, and then go back to staring at a wall.  Btw, I’ve perfected my staring at a wall technique, and when I land in an old folks home – I’m SET.

Therefore, I decided that to take a step in the right direction I needed to do a few things on my own end while the doctors attempted to pull their asses out of THEIR collective ends – I needed to start speaking my mind, and become more selfish.  We’ve often heard that being selfish is wrong, however, we need to make time to take care of ourselves before we can extend a hand elsewhere.  Even a damn walk around the block helps.

Everyone has been in a situation where a friend calls and desperately NEEDS something ridiculous.  “Can you do me a favor??”  What do we do?  When we’re sick, even sitting and staring at a wall with our minds blank is beneficial to our health.  No one understands though.  No one but us, Graves sufferers, that we can’t leave the house because for one time today we’re not crying – and the couch has managed to make me sit still for more than 10 minutes.  Therefore, we start to invent reasons why we can’t help out with…”help me move”.  Are you serious?  I can’t walk up a flight a stairs with my purse, and not be panting by the end – and you want me to move your tv?  Blow me.  How do we get out of this situation as honestly as possible, and not sound like a complete weenie?  Shit, I wish I had an answer besides “blow me”, but I don’t.  Wait no, okay, go with “you know what, I really don’t feel up to it today, and I hope you can understand that – I’m very sorry, but that’s just the truth.”  Add in a “BLOW ME” if you feel the need too, cause I always do, but I end up losing friends – soo…..sorry if I don’t have better advice for you.  Maybe you could start with “I’ll help you move when you get on your knees.”  That usually throws the ball in their court, and the dance around “suck it” can go on for minutes – but it gives you time to come up with a honest, and truthful reason why you can’t help someone out.  Be selfish for your health.

Speaking your truth is freeing.  Once you get in the habit, things will flow and you don’t waste energy on the bullshit.  If you have a problem with someone, bring it to their attention.  Don’t waste your time talking about it with everyone else in the world, except for the person that needs to hear it.  What good does that do?  It only build up resentment and negative energy, and we don’t need that shit; we’ve got enough of our own thyroid stupidity to bother with anymore bull!

I speak my truth via this column, my blog, and photography.  I’m also trying to do it out loud to everyone around me.

What might do it for you is singing, public speaking, counseling,…OR it might be to write Dr. Christine Northup via Oprah or her own website – and speak YOUR TRUTH about how she views thyroid disease.

What’s the harm in entertaining her ideas?  What’s the harm in working on the mind and body connection?  What’s the harm in working with your disease from all angles?  I’m trying to be tolerant of all views, but also, I LOVE irony – and if she got a flood of emails with many women speaking pure uncensored THEIR truth towards her statements, that would be RAD.

What do you guys think about the possibility of our throats being closed off, and therefore, the cause of our disease?  Do you believe in the mind body connection, or do you think something else might’ve been a bigger trigger – food, chemicals, air, too many blowjobs in college – let’s discuss!!

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18 Responses to “Fat Thigh-roid Woes: In a Fat Neck, Slim Lies

  1. Donna says:

    Wow, you are using your creativity in a wonderful way. I believe in speaking my truth and find it very freeing and could care less if others think I am crazy, outspoken or whatever. I have to be a little selfish and do what makes me happy because I can’t depend on others to do that. Helping others makes me happy so that is a little selfish too. I make my own rules and answer to me first because I know my heart is in the right place. That does not mean I don’t care, it means that I want to surround myself with people that make me joyful and get it. The negative ones need to move aside, the judgemental ones have no place in my world. I also am on my way towards not putting those chemicals in our bodies. I figure at least my son will have a chance at a better life. Our food is the source of many illnesses, it has to be. We were meant to eat real food, not chemicals, and even the food coming from the ground does not necessarily have the stuff in it anymore because the soil has been depleted for so long of the minerals it use to give the food. I don’t have it perfected just yet, but I have started. My son loves the organic milk and is reading labels and getting grossed out as he should be. We will never do it 100% perfectly but whatever we do do will help us somehow. You got it going on girl and you will attract like minded people into your world who get it and the rest of them can keep moving, lol. Sad they had to go but who needs them really? Good luck. Keep writing, you are talented and funny!

  2. Great article Nicole – and lots of positives to grab out of it, thanks!
    People who ask me to do them favours always seem to pick the times when I’m feeling well enough to say “yeah, sure”…then, sod’s law, when the time comes to actually do the favour, I’m on my knees with lethargy, and totally unable to remember my own name, so I end up bowing out with some feeble excuse, and then picking up a reputation for being unreliable…ho hum! I really need to start being more honest with people and say, “if I’m up to it, I’ll help out” and be a lot less free & breezy with my ‘yeah sure’ responses!
    Glad you brought up the subject of reiki…I love receving reiki, if nothing else its addictivly relaxing…but I can’t help wondering how my throat chakra is effected now I’ve had a TT…?

  3. nicholle says:

    “Because the Graves heightened my innate lunacy, I was yelling and shouting but that wasn’t really using “my voice”. My anger might’ve been A truth, but it wasn’t really MY truth. It was the Graves psycho and a dash of Nicole thrown in.”

    This part made me start crying, because it expresses so perfectly how I felt at the height of my Graves psycho. Thank you.

    As for the other part – I fully believe in the mind-body connection. But not using my personal voice in relation to my personal Graves? No. I was 15 when diagnosed, so I could totally see environmental and social factors, particularly stress.

  4. Dear Thyroid says:

    Nicole; another brilliant installation!

    These responses are so great. I’m learning as much from the column as I am from each person’s comment.

    Do you believe what thyroid patients have to endure?! We will change it. We are changing it.


  5. Nicole Wells says:

    Donna – Thank you for the support and kind words! I love that you totally get that being selfish isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    I’m trying to make the changes in my diet too, and it’s hard – I can’t shop at Whole Foods because I’d have to pass out handjobs to be able to pay for one basket of goodies! Instead, I buy certain things with the organic label, like milk, strawberries, apples, etc. from my local supermarket. It’s definitely an uphill battle to strive for food perfection, but as long as we’re making little changes here and there – they all add up.

    I love that your son is reading labels and getting grossed out! After awhile of doing that, it makes you no longer want to reach for that bag of Doritos.

  6. Nicole Wells says:

    FuzzyThyroidBrain – I totally empathize with the “yeah sure”. The thyroid explanation puts us in a tough spot – do I tell my friends that I’m not feeling well AGAIN and have them roll their eyes, or do I just keep flaking? It blows.

    I really hope you find the happy medium that works for you, while trying to maintain your relationships – just remember that right now, it’s about YOU and your own health and happiness.

  7. Nicole Wells says:

    Nicholle – I feel like I’ve done my job connecting to someone out there, and that pleases me. I’m not happy you cried though, unless it was a good cry!

    So often Graves makes us feel like we’re losing our minds and NO ONE understands. It’s very bittersweet to know that you felt the same way at the height of your Graves. I’m sad that you had to experience it, but happy that we’re not alone in our symptoms. Also, to imagine that you were 15 and not only dealing with teenage hormones, but GRAVES TOO? I can’t even imagine that! I was already a psychotic teen, but if I had Graves – I would be on the local news nightly for some kinda “disturbing the peace” issue.

    Please take care and have a great weekend! No more tears!

  8. Nicole Wells says:

    DT – Thanks! I know, thyroid patients are almost treated like “the boy who cried wolf” when going to the doc. I’m so happy we’re changing it, and if things don’t get way better soon – I say we freakin all call each others doctors and start crackin’ skulls. F IT.

  9. Shan McKenzie says:

    Nicole, its all good talking about our thinking about what it’s doing it to us. I find it fascinating that my brain won’t rest on the puzzle. I come up with new and fascinating theories every day, as well as wondering what’s going on inside of me physically and chemically. Certain people with certain beliefs tell me for sure that I can be healed and my thyroid become normal again, all I have to do is ….. and its really just a mental exercise, as though my sick brain can heal my sick gland/s. People don’t understand that if I stop taking the little white pill, I’ll go insane, lapse into a coma and die! What I can control is my stress level. I recently spoke to a new friend who in the past was researching cancer causes and her job was to call the women who’ve experienced breast cancer and survey their experiences. She found in every case that they’d been through a period of extreme stress prior to getting cancer. She tried to explain this to the professionals in charge, but it wasn’t rated as newsworthy! So I believe that there’s a lot to be said for meditation, taking control of your life, saying no, knowing your limitations, feeling the goodness of life, and venting the toxic emotions as well as putting good stuff into your body. Having people and pets to love and being in a good place also make all the difference. Thanks for your rave, its helped me clarify my own brain messiness. Good stuff!

  10. Nicole, I’m LOVING your column! You’re hilarious and brilliant. Thank you for reminding all of us that it’s okay to be selfish when it comes to our health…what a wonderful nugget of wisdom we all need to hear.


  11. nicholle says:

    Nicole – good crying. 🙂 (“Yay, some else *understands*!”)

    Shan – SO true on the stress!!! It’s an instant trigger for me now, and I’ve since done a lot of reading on thyroid and stress and the dump of T4 rushing through my body. I actually moved to a smaller town specifically to escape stress and to heal.

  12. Graves Situation says:

    I live in a town that’s overrun with New Age dingbats, and I am sick to death of the game of blaming the victim for his/her ailments. No, I didn’t give myself Graves by repressing my voice. When every single relative on my mother’s side of the family has had thyroid problems, I don’t think the issue is my lack of spiritual awareness.

    I think this attitude comes from a sense of superiority and also the bit of magical thinking that if one lives a pure and healthy life, nothing bad will ever happen. A few years ago, when my 47-year-old sister was dying of cancer, someone asked me what in her life she was so bitter about, because that’s what gives people cancer. What is the correct response to that? Years ago, while trying to find a solution for a chronic pain problem, more than one person asked me why I had chosen to bring pain into my life, and what I needed to learn from it.

    Maybe someday these people will all end up with intractable illnesses and injuries of their own. Maybe they will learn great spiritual lessons from pain, palpitations, and liver metastases. Maybe they’ll learn to get rid of their own feelings of superiority and invulnerability. In the meantime, could they just shut up?

  13. Dear Thyroid says:

    A Graves Situation;

    To be clear: Dear Thyroid does not believe that we create disease or that we invite disease into our lives, in any way, shape or form. We certainly hope you didn’t feel this installation was about that.

    In fact, one of the most interesting aspects, we felt about this column was the concept of mind/body healing; do we agree with the concept? How do we feel about it?

    We’re very glad that you took the time to speak up and share your thoughts regarding the topic. Speaking for myself, I very much appreciated what you had to say on the matter as much as I valued everyone else’s input, and the columnists post.

    Katie/Dear Thyroid

  14. Graves Situation says:

    I was actually speaking to the part of the original post about the woman on “Oprah” recommending chakra balancing to cure Graves and other thyroid diseases. It’s right up there with some of what people’s doctors have told them: smile, dye your hair, quit eating ice cream 8 times a day, and you’ll be fine. (No, I won’t, but thanks for sharing.) Easy for someone who hasn’t lived with illness to give advice, I guess.

  15. Nicole Wells says:

    Hey Shan – I fully understand, when I tell people I’m on thyroid meds they go “why?? I thought you had it taken care of..?” Then I explain while their focus drifts off to something more interesting. People shouldn’t ask unless they really wanna hear an answer, it’s not like I love talking about my disease.

    It’s great that you’re able to manage your stress effectively – that’s an uphill battle for me, and pets are sooo helpful. Snuggling up with my doggie is one of the best stress busters I’ve ever come across : )

  16. Nicole Wells says:

    Hey Joanna – Thank you so much, and yes, let’s all be selfish together! I’m gonna get some freakin’ tshirts made!

  17. Nicole Wells says:

    Dear Graves Situation – I have a good story for you. During the whole height of “The Secret” some people were BOMBARDING me with “just think yourself outta your disease” and were hinting that I put myself in a bad situation cause of some negative thinking I put out into the universe.

    So, this column goes up on Friday, and Friday night I go to the ER for stomach pains that I’d had for 3 days – turns out, my appendix needed to come out . Had surgery Saturday morning, and I’m supposed to start school tomorrow. BALLS.

    If anyone came to me and said “you jinxed yourself and that’s why your appendix got inflamed” I think I would’ve gone postal.

    Point is – shit happens, that’s why I got Graves and that’s why I had to have surgery yesterday. Might there be some reason for it out there in the universe? Sure, I’m open to that, but for now, I’m going with “BALLS”.

    When I meet people who disregard the other logical reasons I got Graves, and say “think positive” and that’s it – I reply with “In certain situations, there’s a very fine line between being positive and living in dreamland.”

    I choose to think positively, BUT realistically. Anyone who says disease is simply a manifestation of an imbalanced chakra isn’t taking into consideration the realistic reasons – nutrition, genetics, chemicals, etc. Therefore, they can suck it.

  18. Melissa Travis says:

    Powerful. Big. YES. I too am a BIG FUCKING FAN of holistic healing. But I am NOT a fan of BLAMING THE VICTIMS OR POINTING FINGERS at the already sick.

    What happens if people being sick are there to help OTHERS LEARN COMPASSION? What then?

    What if chakra balancing is there not just for ME or YOU as individuals but for an entire fucking nation – so we can COLLECTIVELY call bullshit on injustice? See there? We are a nation and a world of injustice already. We HAVE NOT spoken our voices. And so – what happens when a few sensitive people DO GET ILL.

    Fuck that shit about blaming illness or “dis-ease” on people and get on to just healing it. I’m OVER the blame and into the HEALING OF IT – with compassion.

    I say- it rains, it snows, the wind blows and we do not blame. But when people get sick – we are the first to start blaming and pointing instead of collectively saying, “what now can we do to EASE the burdens of the sick and the healers alike.”

    Love this article. Love your introspection.

    Love it.
    Thank you for sharing it and you.

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