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Losing You, Losing Me

Post Published: 01 April 2011
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 5 responses. Leave a comment

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

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5 Responses to “Losing You, Losing Me”

  1. Linny says:

    I wish you knew my daughter!
    I think a thyroid problem has effected her health.
    {I have Graves Disease}
    She had preeclasmsia with her first son. Then she gave birth to identical twins. All these children are very close in age.
    Now she is having another baby.
    Of course I love the children and being Nana is the best, but I have been so concerned about my daughter.
    She insists she is fine.
    Weight is a problem. Anger is a problem. Panic attacks, and she is so tired.
    Needless to say being 33 she has a lot on her plate.
    Fortunally she has had a nanny to help her with the kids.
    But as much as she adores her family she is racing around and filling every minute with activities.
    Her father died of a Heart Attack at 34.
    I am so worried about her.
    Verbally she attacks me.
    I cannot say anything I walk on eggshells with her.
    Now she has been exposed to fifth disease, one of the twins.
    She has had her levels checked and they tell her normal range! So she thinks I’m thinking too much.
    I hope it is only worry I have.
    Glad you are getting help, my best to you!

    • Terry says:

      Linny – I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. She will indeed be in my good thoughts and wishes. Thyroid is a hard thing to diagnose and even harder to live with when you’ve got three little ones who need you, and another on the way. This website and Mary Shomon have been good for me. I hope that you and she find peace through all of this.

  2. Linny says:

    Thank you Terry that means a lot…

  3. mike5816 says:

    Terry,

    I was happy to read you letter. I would imagine you thyroid would write back to you something like this:

    >>>
    Dear Terry,
    I am sorry for all the problems. Really I tried, I tried so hard. Everything was going along fine until The Baby. It was fun at first, but after a while I just couldn’t keep up with all the changes and demands made of me. Eat for two? Yes. Sleep for two? Yes. Thyroidate for two? No, it was beyond my abilities. And then The Hypertension came. And I felt crushed. Literally I was squeezed so hard I couldn’t work. I was completely exhausted! And then when I was down as far as I could go, The Antibodies came. I don’t know why they turned on me. What did I ever do to them? I worked so hard for them. But I could not defend myself against them; they’re supposed to be MY defense force! And they’re hacking me to bits, slowly… slowly… I know I’m dying. I do what I can. I’m sorry. I feel so guilty, but it’s not my fault.
    Signed,
    Your Thyroid
    <<<

    I'm a firm believer that our thyroids don't go bad on us. They're genetically programmed to operate normally all the time. Rather, something else forces the problems to happen. …immune systems, radiation, toxic chemicals, something else… Our thyroids are as much a victim as the rest of us. When I realized that, I was able to let go of all my anger and resentment over losing my fit and healthy 26-year old active male self. Those feelings are poison, and today I feel a lot better. Half of living with thyroid disease is your state of mind.

  4. Samara Darco says:

    Dennis, I can’t find anything truthful in your post! Nothing! Not one point can be fact-checked! That “Obama stripped $500 BILLION from medicare” comment is completely false. Those that see a loss of $500 billion will be the private (third party) insurers. There will be absolutely no cuts in Medicare benefits. None! In fact, Medicare patients will enjoy better cost savings in the future because that $500 billion gets re-deployed away from the (third party) Medicare Advantage plans that private insurers are grossly abusing by skimming huge profits and it will go directly into Medicare over the next decade. In my opinion, I think Sam makes some good comments. If anyone is to be criticized here, let’s begin with your false and outrageous statements. If you ask me, your post is the same old political partisan rhetoric we’ve been enduring since your beloved Bush/Cheney team left office in shame.

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