We Are At The Beginning Of Change…
Tuesday February 5th 2019


Fat Thigh-roid Woes: The Apathetic Arms of Absurdity.

Post Published: 19 November 2010
Category: Column, Fat Thigh Roid Woes, Graves Disease Symptoms Column
This post currently has 8 responses. Leave a comment

I’m going to preface this by saying the following:

The following might have you balking, and angry with me.  I am bringing this to the table to open debate, but I am bringing it with love.

I know it’s hard not to dwell on the plethora of symptoms when we’re sick.  That one fucking little butterfly controls so much of what goes on in our bodies, it’s amazing how the range of symptoms varies so dramatically we don’t know what’s coming next.

Last week I was walking around with my camera and happened upon a woman and her son.

The reason homeless people make killer subjects is NOT because it’s easier to get a great shot of someone down and out.

It’s because they’re not afraid to show you who they are.  I’ve mentioned this before, but if you take a nice looking camera out into the world and start snapping away – people start posing.  Guts start getting sucked in, hips get shaken around, and pleasant looks fall across faces.

This is what every photographer DOES NOT WANT.  Homeless people have reached a point where their body language just says “f it, snap away”.

Her name is Michael Terry.  Her story?

“I was hit by a bus.  Twice.”

Now, I’m not here to try and to evoke sympathy or pity for her.  I’m here to tell you….

Shit fucking happens.

Michael Terry made that clear with her blunt and matter-of-fact, “oh fucking well” attitude.  Of course her situation might make you want to put your own thyroid disease issues into perspective, but the perspective I’m coming from is not “at least I’m not homeless” it’s more of a…

You have thyroid disease?  Oh well, pick yourself up and keep chugging along.  SHIT FUCKING HAPPENS.

My Graves symptoms, and the lingering issues is turning that “WHY ME?” into a “Oh well. Shit happens.”

Go ahead, you can start rolling your eyes and telling me off right now.  I don’t mind, but at least make it productive.

There’s something raw and healthy about turning that “WHY???” around.  I’ve moved on from my former existential crisis into the Apathetic Arms of Absurdity.  I am embracing the phrase “no rhyme or reason” like a long lost friend.

Think about all you do to combat your disease.  Medications, doctor visits, dietary changes…the list goes on.  Once you reach a certain point in maintaining some semblance of health, what else can you fucking do besides pull out a wand, dance naked in a forest, and say a spell?

There is a comfort in thinking the universe has a fucked up and sick sense of humor.

Of course I felt badly for Michael Terry, but if she doesn’t feel pity herself…then I have no business pitying her.

I don’t want pity from people who know I have Graves.  When I let you know I’m sick and dealing with a disease, it’s simply to warn you my emotions might make me eat your face off.  NOT because I need an “aww you poor thing”.  Let’s get that straight.

Guess what?  Remember how my hair was growing back in a few months ago?  Turns out, that was ONE. BIG. FAT. COCK. TEASE.

It’s FALLING out again, in clumps.

Fuck it, shit happens.

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8 Responses to “Fat Thigh-roid Woes: The Apathetic Arms of Absurdity.”

  1. Amanda says:


    It may be the one thing I HATE THE FUCKING MOST about Graves Disease… the new “why me” thing. Never in my entire life have I thought/said this little phrase. I don’t allow my kids to. But I find myself dwelling on that so much. I push it away and scold myself… but damn… what the hell? I catch myself saying to my unruly son… “I am sick”… but it really isn’t about me being sick, it is about him being an ass. I think my general “make all nice with everyone” mindset is so far out of whack with adding the “I am sick, for reals” thing. I wobble to keep mental and physical balance.

    So ya. I am not quite at the “meh, it happened” phase, but it is truly my goal. As usual, the only thing holding me back is me.

    And I will be keeping this paragraph in mind…

    “I don’t want pity from people who know I have Graves. When I let you know I’m sick and dealing with a disease, it’s simply to warn you my emotions might make me eat your face off. NOT because I need an “aww you poor thing”. Let’s get that straight.”

    Because I really feel the same, I don’t want pity from others. I really want it less from myself, but I will get there.

    And re: your hair… .so sorry! I have been reading [too much again], but there are natural times when we do have “shedding”. It is probably a myth, but I am hanging on to it. And I am reading Mary Shomon’s advice about hair. Good stuff.. but you probably know that.

    How is that for a bunch of random sentences?

    Anyway. Thank you. I get your point, and I agree.


    • Nicole Wells says:

      Dear Amanda,

      I hear what you’re saying regarding your son. I remember announcing “I’m sick” to people that gave me a hard time, and my subtext was something like this…

      “I’m sick, and you’re not bringing out the best of me right now.”

      It’s already hard enough to find the sweetness inside when dealing with disease, and some people don’t make it easy.

      Either way, we’ll all have our moments of “f it, shit happens” once we come to terms. You’re a strong gal, and have obviously have a lot on your plate – don’t beat yourself up over anything that you haven’t “achieved” yet. Since Graves plays so many games with us, we gotta play games back. I like to think of him as a separate entity, a malicious dickhead crouching somewhere in my body at all times.



  2. Lisa says:

    Ahhh, to finally reach that moment where we can make such a pivotal bold movement of not only saying, “shit happens” but to really feel it. It makes such a difference and helps to gain a totally different perspective than when living all those nightmarish days leading up to that point. I so agree on the “don’t want pity but just a forewarning and a reason of why I am feeling the way I am!” Get out there in that forest and stop, scream and yell all you need to about the tease of your hair and anything else that comes to mind!

    • Nicole Wells says:

      Dear Lisa,

      We should all climb a mountain top and yell “F IT, I’M GOING BALD AGAIN” – whoever wants to join me is more than welcome.

      If you say it enough times, you’ll start to feel it – then all you can do is turn around and laugh.

      Best medicine ever.



  3. Graves Situation says:

    A woman I used to work with had an old Hagar the Horrible cartoon on her fridge. It showed Hagar waving his fist at the sky asking, “Why me?” In the second panel someone is shouting back down, “Why not you?” This woman was in her 70s and had had her share of shit to deal with over the years.

    Most of time, the people who seem like they richly deserve liver cancer aren’t the ones who get it, and it’s the really sweet, productive people who make the world a better place who die in the head-on with the drunk, while the drunk walks away with a few bruises.

    Whinging about things that are out of our control is pretty fruitless. My late sister did absolutely nothing to deserve the pancreatic cancer that took her life in her late 40s. After that one, complaining (too much, anyway)about Graves’ disease just isn’t very satisfying. I’ll take it over a lot of other things out there.

    • Nicole Wells says:

      Dear Graves Situation,

      I love the way you phrase things, your comment read like a “f it, shit happens” all along the way.

      I completely agree with you. Find me one person who is struggling with a debilitating disease, and I’ll find you 5 more people worse off. It invariably leads to a competition of “who has the bigger and badder disease.”

      It doesn’t matter really. If it’s not one thing it’s another, and someone without legs can turn around and go “at least I’m not that guy” and point to someone without arms AND legs.

      On the other hand, some people have hidden handicaps. All of us have shit to deal with on some level, and I’m choosing to make Graves a funny blip in my absurd life.



  4. Jen says:

    I could not agree with you more. “Victim” and sitting around thinking about the bad things I deal with all day DOES NOT WORK FOR ME. I’m not sure it works for anybody. This doesn’t mean I gloss over everything with a chocolate fudge glaze, but I can simultaneously identify my problems/troubles and not dwell on them and get mopey over them. As Mom always said, you’re the only one at your pity party.

    Sometimes life stinks. Bad things happen to good people and great things happen to rotten people…this has been recognized since the beginning of time and pops up quite a bit in the Bible. But I think everyone is better off just rolling with the punches, grinning and bearing it and cracking a joke about the ridiculous things we have to deal with. A few tears shed here and there are not criminal, but I don’t think wallowing in ‘the bad’ is going to help anyone feel better. Face that pain in the butt, tell it off, learn a way around, over, or beneath it, and keep on trucking!

    • Nicole Wells says:

      Dear Jen,

      I love your take on this – I have hosted my own pity party from time to time, but I feel like we’re all entitled. However, that party ends early and all I can do is make jokes from then on out.

      Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!



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