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Hope from a Chrysalis

Post Published: 02 July 2010
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 20 responses. Leave a comment

Dear Thyroid,

They took you away from me. I mourn my good health, of which you held the key. So little did they offer, a small pill. Both of us forever changed. Everyday holds a surprise. Who will I be without you? Incomplete, because you completed me. Alas, no longer am I whole. Without you, I am a free floater, one day a manic another day paralyzed. Complacency eludes us. Where we were “we,” now I am only me. Upside down and turned around.

People are looking at me through the side of their eye. I see them and I feel their bewilderment of me. People are always starring at “odd”. It is not a friendly look that says “Oh hi, we are the same, you and I.” It says the opposite: “What the hell is wrong with you girl?”I know they think I am bizarre I want to explain, because you see I am well enough to know I am not myself. It’s like myself is inside wanting to add, it’s okay, I’m better than I seem.

This shakingstaringwildeyedgirlisstillhuman…I think? Will you give me a chance to explain? No use, the cover of “my story” says Don’t Read. We can’t get past that! Sigh. How many times do I walk away and tell myself to breathe, stop shaking, get a grip, relax, it will be okay, let me pull all my loose threads, I’ll be back, next time I will be calmer and you won’t remember me the same way.

It is lonely in here. I have been learning to be alone. I am sometimes better at it. I can do things that I didn’t have time for before. I paint, and draw. I write and I sew. I hear music with a whole new ear (it’s better than before). I go in my garden, I see better even though my eyes are blurry. I “get” things like I never got before. I am smarter than most. I read and I learn. I witness and I laugh. I laugh harder, I think. I cry harder, too. I “LIVE ” in the moment because I am only this moment. When I think about the past, it’s a different “me”. When I think about the future, I can’t see. I only can know this very moment. I took this picture.

One morning I sat on the garden wall in my PJs and watched these butterflies open and dry their wings. My friend breeds butterflies in the summer and he gave me a twig with three babies hanging and waiting for the moment to come. I anticipated their birth. Suddenly I realized I had played too much with this twig and to my horror one fell off its hinge! Oh what could I do? You see, it has to hang just a certain way or it won’t open. The two you see opened nearly at the same time so I called them “the twins,” named for my twin granddaughters. I felt so responsible for this broken one that I thought and thought about what could I do to fix the damage I had caused.  I headed upstairs to see what could be done. I tried so many things, even thread on a needle to sew and tie it back on. Then I had a perfect idea, I thought. A long time ago I had tried false eyelashes. I looked for the adhesive. After many attempts, it held! I felt like a mother again!

I took it outside and let it hang in my tree by my window. Well I am proud to tell you it worked,  Somewhere in my memory drive is a film of it opening. She lives and flies today, because I cared, and I tried! Don’t give up, keep trying. We can all help each other. Share what we learn, and never be alone again. Perhaps someone will find the way to make “OUR” butterflies fly. Gently and normally again.

Keep believing, and don’t let them give up on us. We are waiting.

Love,

Linda Larson

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20 Responses to “Hope from a Chrysalis”

  1. faith72 says:

    I love the Linda, I do now love butterflies now more than before. I hardly see any where I moved to now. I see them in graphics online. Thank you for your story.

  2. yogichic says:

    Wonderful, wonderful, Linda. Your story is mesmerizing and enlightening.

    You may be feeling like a part of you is missing, but what you shared with us lets us see how whole you are.

    Butterflies are free to fly and so are we.

    ☮ ♥
    Monica

  3. Linda, this is such a beautiful letter! Thank you for sharing your story with us.

    Shortly after I had my thyroid removed, a friend gave me a porcelain butterfly, not knowing that the thyroid is the “butterfly gland.” I found it very appropriate. After a time, though, I grew to hate butterflies because my butterfly gland let me down. Eventually, though, I decided I should display the butterfly the friend gave me. As I was going to hang it on my bookshelf, I dropped it and its wings broke. I glued the butterfly back together and now I actually love it, because that’s us, right? Broken butterflies, glued back together.

    I know the waiting is hard, but it sounds like you are being put back together beautifully.

    xoxo,
    Joanna

  4. Dear Thyroid says:

    Linda – I love this letter. I am so proud of you for writing it. Your gentle, yet bold approach to the anguish and isolation of this disease and simultaneous mourning was addressed eerily and eloquently.

    You’re right. We must keep fighting. While we wait, we fight, we fight to reclaim more of ourselves and to feel like ‘us’ again.

    Beautiful letter.

    Love,
    DT

  5. Bee says:

    Linda- just beautiful, really! i felt like you let me into a secret garden in your mind and felt a connection to you thru your imagery…and it also made me realize that I have felt like so many of your descriptions on my own journey-it was like reading an enchanting uplifting story. Thank you

  6. Cate says:

    very brave and beautiful, like a butterfly

  7. DAT says:

    Linda,

    Your letter is so beautiful. Thank you for writing it. You are an amazing woman. I love that you have found a way to not let this disease take over and you recognize the differences in who you are. I am especially blown away with how you sense others look at you. For awhile I felt like I was not an active participant in my own life. Wow, you are an inspiration to me. Your kindness towards the butterflies and ability to find beauty in your life says so much about who you are as a human being. Thank you again and good luck to you. You are a gem!

  8. Linda says:

    I believe we have to have hope and think positive. This has really helped me to cope. Of course there are “bad” days and we all know how tough they can be. Thank you for your kind comments, I’m glad my story has comforted others. As long as we have this problem we might as well find things that make us feel better about ourselves. hope we all get the answers we need. xxxoooLinda

  9. Linda says:

    Oh I thought of something else that Bee you mentioned, about my “secret garden”, truth is my secret garden helps me a lot…..
    You see after I had radition I had been so very hyperthroid for so long it took over a year to even get to a place where I could function much at all. I had such a time bringing those annoying numbers down….{I hate when all they do is talk numbers}. I was on a beta blocker. But even on my worst days I had the desire to get outside in my garden, I fought thru the body stuff saying you can’t do that. Most often once I got moving it was like I could loosen up. My secret to feeling better, for me it was my passion for my garden.

  10. Lolly says:

    Linda a Beautiful letter and wonderful story about the butterfly. I feel so at home in my garden can forget how i feel and be one with nature form butterflies to bees who have taken up residence in the bird box to baby birds and squirrels even toe odd hedgehogs but what amazes me the most, is the new life that springs up in spring and transforms something that looks so bare into something that looks so colourful and beautiful.

    Just like this disease transforms us into something we don’t recognise until we too can blossom into something we do.

    Lolly

  11. Linda says:

    That is exactly it Lolly, I just don’t want to miss anything growing or going on outside. Our winter here is so hard. The gray days and heavy snow keep me in enough. I can never get warm. I pile on PJ, scarf whatever. Summer comes and no matter what ,I’m going outside. That dose of sunshine can fix me up best of all.
    We need that vitamin the most…….
    The baltimore orelos are my favorite. They come early spring, so beautiful. It is our life, maybe messed up a bit but we are still alive! xxxxLinda

  12. Lolly says:

    Linda,

    I’m pleased you understood where I was coming from. I love my Garden the heat isn’t my friend but I have to get some sun in my life we are having a bit of a heatwave in the UK right now and it so brightens a day. I can’t imagine having long winters with little sunlight get it while it lasts enjoy the beauty around you it can transform you into that butterfly even for a short while.

    I too had my thyroid removed and can honestly say I have not felt the same since. I miss my thyroid it was part of me, even if I did have graves disease it wasn’t the thyroid that was actually sick but the immune system that saw it as the enemy and decided to attack it. If only i hadn’t had a suspicious nodule that had inconclusive Fine needle aspirations(FNA’s) I know I would still have my dysfunctioning thyroid today but at least I was more in control.

    That one or two tablets are no substitute for the real thing, it’s gone nothing i can do about it but try to fight to regain ME back.
    Like you say we are ALIVE and that is what counts. Even though right now for me it is a miserable existence I am not ready to give up on Life.

    Lollyxoxox

  13. Linda says:

    Dear Lolly, I am so happy to connect with you. I love your name, my nicname growing up was Linny.

    I am so happy that you found your garden passion.
    I live because I love life.
    I had many hard roads before I discovered my Graves. As a young woman I was widowed and raised small children. They grew up and I have new passions. My garden of course , and another marriage of now near 19yrs.

    I live near Chicago in a smaller town. I have woods in my garden and I am blessed by this joy.
    I have been to the UK and love love love your countryside. My mothers family came from your areas.

    Lately the heavy storms have damaged many of our fine old trees. But the silver lining is the light that comes thru and my flowers wiggle and dance. You have heard whenever a door is shut, a window will be opened.
    It is the same with us my dear new friend.
    Take care, your life can still be good. xxxxLinda

  14. Lolly says:

    Linda,

    I am happy to connect with you too.

    My passion is my garden too and gives me great delight. Only today I was out for an hour pruning the roses getting rid of the dead flowers .And generally tiding it up, I had done all the hard work a few weeks before and even though I love my garden it is getting increasingly harder to go out and do all the hard work it requires only sheer determination and the thought that I don’t want to see it go to pot gets me out there and after I feel a sense of relief and joy at the same time knowing that i have achieved what I set out to do. The same goes for managing my thyroid disease I have had to fight all the way for what I should be getting and haven’t won yet but i am not ready to quit with it.

    My daughter has been to Chicago a few times with her company she worked out there for about 3 months and only this year she was out there supporting her work colleagues who did the marathon, she couldn’t do it herself this time as she was just recovering from a knee injury after training. She will be doing the race for life this year in aid of Kidney research as her dad is on dialysis now after the Kidney she donated 6 years ago finally packed in.

    I hope if she ever does another Marathon that she will do it for thyroid disease and the money go to research but here in the UK they are so behind the times it’s like living in the middle ages.

    You take care too, live one day at a time enjoy the good days and rest on the bad.

    Yes this is my nickname and I love it even my grand daughter calls me Nanny Lolly.

    Katie calls me Lollylicious and love that too.

    Lollyxoxo

  15. Linda says:

    I am a Nana Too!!! Love, Love being Nana~! My daughter has 3 children, I love being Nana! Twin girls 4 1/2, son 6. Also step-grandchildren all boys totaling 7! And I am 57 years young~! Does thyroid run in your family? I want to learn so much for my family…..my mother is Hypo and my nana’s sister had a goiter, as did I. I had radition……not sure that was best but my goiter was so tangled and not visible from my neck size. Part why I didn’t know until my heart trouble. My first husband had a heart attack at 34. I don’t want my illness to continue in my family…..I will continue to battle and learn!

  16. Lolly says:

    I have one Grandchild 3yrs old and another on the way due near xmas.

    No thyroid disease as far as I am aware doesn’t run in my family well not on my mothers side anyway.

    So far I am on the only one who has had Graves diease and TED.

    sorry to hear about your first husband that is very young too. I was worried about my heart in full blown graves with a pulse rate of 140+ and hypertension I had to be admitted to hospital this was before i even started anti thyorid medication I thiouyght my head was going to blow off my BP had hit the roof 205/110 pulse rate 150.

    Whats done is done even if RAI is not the ~1 choice treatment in Graves disease sometimes surgery isn’t an option and ATD’s just don’t work for some people.

    They put me on beta- blockers straight away and then I started treatment.I had an Echogram and ECG heart was fine.

    Lollyx

  17. Linda says:

    Me too, the heart stuff and beta blockers…..I took over a year just to get hyperthroid levels down. They were so high. Also spent a night in the hospital as a result of heart condition. But luckily my heart seems ok. Graves has been a host for many off shoots. Sleep aphea, restless leg, allergies to food, lactose intolerance, the list goes on and on. Doctors here are in the dark ages too. The disappointment of Doctors knowledge of the issues have been the biggest factor in getting depressed. I have found myself knowing more and they6 get so annoyed when I ask guestions revealing that I have studied~!

  18. Linda says:

    Do want to add that I got a lot of help with Holistic medicine. Can be $ie but consider the choice…..The “cleanse diet” really helped me get rid of toxicines and felt relief and surprising weight loss. Choose carefully and watch the balance.

  19. Lolly says:

    Linda maybe you coud write about your cleanse diet I would be interested in reading it.

    I hear you on the disappointment of some doctors, sone donlt like you aksing questions it oputs them in a difficult position when they don’t have or even know the answers then change the subject. fair enough if they don’t say so.

    Lolly

  20. Linda says:

    Well that is a good idea. I will try to come up with something to share. I do believe “we” know our “personal” bodies better than anyone. One persons food can be anothers poison. We are what we eat is so true. Being underweight is as much a concern as being overweight. I have been both! In my late 30’s to present I have been as little as 90 lbs thru to 160’s. I am almost 5’3. After this correction to my diet I have managed to stay in the middle range. I found allergies to many foods that I was eating. My body could not digest.These foods would cause so many stresses. Some food will change the absortion of thyroid medicine. Also key is what kind of water do you drink? On and On. Doctors are not telling us these things. They would rather give you pills $$$$!!!!

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