Losing You, Losing Me
Dear Thyroid –
I want to hate you, but I can’t. In my earlier years you regulated my body beautifully. I ate well. I slept well. I had energy. I exercised. I had hair.
Then I became pregnant. But it wasn’t just any pregnancy – I nearly died from pregnancy-induced hypertension. After my son was born healthy and happy, I still had weeks of recovery. So no more babies for me.
And oddly enough, that’s when you decided to leave me too.
It wasn’t all at once. It is a slow departure. It was so slow in the beginning that everyone just thought I had lingering postpartum depression. Doctors told me that being a mom exhausted me while I watched other mothers run circles around the playground. Family wondered why my baby weight was still hanging around, and growing. And my friends attributed my temper to the stress of being a working mother.
Why don’t they ever attribute a man’s temper to being a working dad?
Then, of course, the panic attacks set in. And the crying spells. And the much-needed morning nap. And afternoon nap. Then early bedtime. My husband wondered who he married.
After reading that problems in pregnancy can lead to hypothyroidism, I asked my general practitioner if this could be my problem. He said no and prescribed an anti-depressant. I couldn’t lift my head off the sofa. But it was you all along, dear thyroid.
I persisted with my GP, and he gave me the blood test – but he said my TSH was borderline at 5.5, which I know now is not really borderline…..but my doctor still doesn’t know. And he gave me a pity-prescription for a super small dose of Synthroid, which the pharmacy filled generically. Needless to say, the panic attacks became more frequent and my weight ballooned.
And where were you, dear thyroid – the gland that was my friend for the first 33 years of my life? Why couldn’t you muster enough hormones to pull me through? Even when I dieted at 1200 calories a day? Even when I worked out for an hour every day in weight training and cardio? Why couldn’t you put forth the effort I was putting in?
Right. The rest of my body is destroying you.
I finally got a referral to an endocrinologist who found that I have Hashimoto’s and you, dear thyroid, are half gone. There is no cure. There is only Synthroid. And it will get worse.
It’s worse now. I wake up in sweats from the anxiety dreams that filter my day. I eat a slice of cake and I’m up two pounds. I can’t focus on work or family or gardening or cooking. All that’s left is resentment.
When I go to Dr. Endocrinologist, she tells me that my numbers are good, so it’s not my thyroid. And then she suggests an anti-depressant. Nice. And so in absence of a doctor who looks at my symptoms and not my chart, I’m left cruising the internet for a way to feel better.
So what is to be said? It’s complicated I guess. You have hurt me and I have hurt you. You are only half of what you use to be and because of that I weigh more, yell more, seclude myself more, and cry more. I am moody rather than adventurous. I am grumpy rather than inclusive. I am drained rather than active. I can’t give any more time, effort, and energy to this battle.
But to give up means what? You have given up and so I’m left with a body I don’t recognize. To stop my fight means that I let your apathy win. I can’t let you go and I can’t let you win. And without the tools for battle, without an army on my side, what is to become of the “me” I want to be? For the love, is there any way to win?
Written by: Terry
(Bio) My name is Terry Menefee Gau. I’m an actress, a minister, and a mom. I’ve had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis since 1999 and it’s just been within the last two years that my doctors have been serious about treating it. I love to cook and garden, and of course…write….
I have space online at my website: Terry Gau . I’m also on Facebook and Twitter, and I write a blog for a program that I use to direct called Project Burning Bush. It is a vocational discernment program for high school youth. The blog is found at www.projectburningbush.org
Tags: Dear Thyroid Letters, hashimoto's blog, hashimoto's effect on pregnancy, hashimoto's forum, hashimoto's letters from patients, hashimoto's literary blog, hashimoto's support, hashimoto's thyroiditis, postpartum thyroid issues, thyroid and pregnancy, thyroid pregnancy letters