We Are At The Beginning Of Change…
Wednesday June 26th 2019


Fat Thigh-roid Woes: Reinvention

Post Published: 08 October 2010
Category: Column, Fat Thigh Roid Woes, Graves Disease Symptoms Column
This post currently has 10 responses. Leave a comment

Fall has sorta arrived in LA.  The green and very much alive leaves are obediently jumping to their death, and they’re just as confused as I am.  Maybe they heard the weather forecast…90 degrees this weekend.  I just want some consistent fall weather so I can comfortably use my damn oven to make some delicious treats.

I couldn’t wrap my mind around my current Essence o’ ______ word assignment – that will have to wait until next week.  My mind and body are gripped with panic over needing a job.  California has a 12% unemployment rate.  I know what all these people do with their time because I’m one of them – they apply to jobs, get frustrated with the crickets responding, go get coffee and hang out with other unemployed friends.  They sit and try to stay positive despite the grim reality…

Our unemployment checks are running out.

I apply for studio jobs because of the awesome insurance, and I found out they average over 500+ applicants per job right now.  How does one get their resume plucked?  Do I really have to find a “casting couch” somewhere?

Better yet – once I get in to interview, how do I avoid the topic of my disease since it has been a major part of my working and unemployed life?  How do I not salivate when there is a possibility of having insurance in the near future?  And if they do happen to know about my disease because of grapevine chatter, how do I get it through to them that I’m fine and capable of taking on major responsibility?

I’ve burned some bridges, correction – GRAVES burned some bridges in my former career.  I’m starting all over and it’s scary.  I suppose in these rough times a lot of people are starting over for different circumstances, but I’m still resentful of getting full blown Graves at the worst possible time.  At a new job with new opportunities.  I wasn’t able to show anyone how awesome and hard-working I used to be, I was too sick and forgetting who I just spoke to on the phone.  I had to tell my boss I had something called “Graves Disease” and did my best to explain how serious it is…

I can only imagine being on the other side of the table and listening to myself rambling.  Graves Disease sounds like A JOKE.  How can one disease produce so many different and severe debilitating symptoms?

Sounded like I was being dramatic.

I’ve never been sick like this, and I’ve never had to sit down and explain anything of this nature to someone in a position of authority.  I used to hate myself for catching a cold and having to leave work early, and now, I was running from my desk.

This still haunts me, and I’m having a hard time moving on from it.  The entertainment world here is huge, yet a small melting pot.  I’m running into job postings from people who knew Pre-Disease-Nicole, but yet, they might have gotten wind of Graves-Nicole and somehow they’re all pouring into one another.

Maybe now is the time for reinvention.

Not just for careers, but everything.  Maybe Graves offers us the opportunity to discover things we would have never contemplated before getting sick.

I feel like Jason Bourne from the Bourne Identity.  Amnesia made me forget my former life, and now I’m forced into a new life with new possibilities.  However, I’m not going to hunt down anyone to find out WHO I was…I’m hunting those that will shape who I WILL be.

I might get a wig cause my hair is still too fragile to color.  I will be the only “spy” on the block that needs to use Rogaine for Women underneath my blond Marilyn style ‘do.

Guess what?  I’m not the only spy, YOU are too.  We all spy in on our new lives during and post-diagnosis.  Not yet ready to jump into them full force because of lingering mental and physical scars.  Some of us might be more daring than others, but I’ll bet each and every one of us put our toes into the water before we opt for a cannonball or to tread lightly.

Let’s be more daring now!  Who is going to join me??  Who is up for going balls out post-disease and stepping out of the comfort zone?  Who is IN for Reinvention, gearing up to start in 2011? (Possibly at the end of 2010 if you’re super brave and with it…)

If you’re hesitant, let me give you a dose of reality: when you’re sick you make your comfort zone a very small and confined space.  Time to knock the those walls down.

I’m facing my reinvention from entirely new angles, and changing up my old rules.  It’s going to be so crazy that I might get arrested for stealing someone’s identity!

Where does YOUR path to reinvention start?

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10 Responses to “Fat Thigh-roid Woes: Reinvention”

  1. Amanda says:


    Reinvention is essential throughout life, but so much more important after trauma. I believe that what you have gone through with Graves Disease is akin to trauma. I know in my case I have felt that way. Many times in the past months, I have had that cold “in shock” feeling. The physical exhaustion from learning about and dealing with chronic illness has taken away some of who I am. This forced reinvention isn’t who I want to be. But I am not ready to move forward just yet. I want to come to some sort of terms with my Graves Disease. That sounds like a pipe dream, I know.. but I feel that if I can just hold steady for a bit, then I can come to terms with and accept this disease and maybe begin to move forward.

    We all go through unconscious reinventions all through out lives. Embracing and conscious reinvention is so wonderful because you have to look at who you were, are and want to be. You can select your path and if you visualize it you can achieve. There are so many “past” Amanda’s, all of which I am proud of. Currently I am just happy to stay my comfortable self [exactly like your reference to small comfort zone]. When I have fully accepted who I am, who I must be, and this damn disease, then I will move forward.

    Thank you Nicole, this is so good to read. I love the way you think.


    • Nicole Wells says:

      Dear Amanda,

      Thank you for being so supportive of my words, and you have no idea how much your kind comments mean to me.

      You seem to be handling this shitty disease pretty well, and we all know how hard it is to try and manage sane and productive thoughts when Graves turns everything into mush.

      We’re all in different stages of managing Graves and its symptoms, and I’m so happy you’re embracing the thought of accepting this damn disease in an attempt to move on one day. It’s hard, and some days I accept more than others. I still kick and scream from time to time.

      It really does get better, and the path starts to open again once mental focus returns. I wish you the best, and I’m excited to see how your healing unfolds going forward : )



      • Amanda says:


        You have helped ME so much. And I really don’t know how well I am handling it, I am just doing stuff and some of it works. I think that my prior experience with dealing with my son has given me the skills to work at this. Maybe.


        • Nicole Wells says:

          Dear Amanda,

          At least you’re making choices. If even 1 works, I consider that accomplishing something. I was completely stagnant when I was sick, and couldn’t do anything productive. I was lucky in the sense that I don’t need to be accountable to anyone except for myself. No husband, no kids, so like – f it, I lost my mind and sank into CRAZY TOWN.

          I admire your courage, and you always know where to find me if you need any words to help you along : )



  2. Nicole, I love how you’re taking charge of your life. We all have to face change. Many times we CHOOSE change. But when disease forces us to change it is SO UNBELIEVABLY hard to accept. It’s even harder to embrace. I’m proud of you for embracing YOU and for reinventing your life. You’re an inspiration, baby!


    • Nicole Wells says:

      Dear Joanna,

      Thanks lady! Sometimes when you’re backed into a corner you have no other option besides punching back.



  3. HDinOregon says:

    Hi Nicole,

    Your attitude is inspiring! I am rooting for you and keeping my fingers crossed. May you soon hear better employment news! You deserve it so much!


    • Nicole Wells says:

      Dear HD,

      Thank you! It’s a scary prospect, going back to work after all this time of dealing with Graves, exploring new hobbies, etc. I suppose I can’t be a Lady of Leisure forever though, which sucks because I think I’m really good at it.



  4. Robin says:

    *wow* you have been thru a hell of a lot. I know what you mean about the not calling out sick, etc. So far I’ve managed….but this isn’t about me…
    Your attitude is great! I wish you the best of luck finding a new job. And quick…..


    • Nicole Wells says:

      Dear Robin,

      Thank you for your support and kind words : )

      Also, everything I write on here isn’t just about me, it’s about all of us! Through these columns I hope to open up dialogue, thought, debate, whatever works so we can ultimately help and heal each other. So of course it’s about you! PS – kudos for not calling out sick, I started to call out sick all the time because I couldn’t deal! Please keep me updated on your progress, and email me at nicole@dearthyroid.org if you have any questions!

      Take care,


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