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Not many people want to take advice from a fat, exhausted, balding woman

Post Published: 01 August 2011
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 18 responses. Leave a comment

Dear Thyroid,

I have much to thank you for…  The things I want to thank you for aren’t usually viewed as good skills to have. However, since it is all I have, I am learning to be appreciative.

Thank you for making me the “brave” one of my friends who tries every hair color in an effort to find one that will cover my bald spots.  Thank you for making me look like a professional model who knows exactly what smile to wear when I hear the fake reassurances of my friends that the thinning hair is “hardly noticeable,” and the color is “awesome.”  Yeah. Thanks.

Maybe I should thank you for making me an expert in makeup and push up bras?  Yes, I encourage you to check out my cleavage!  I’m far more comfortable with that than the absence of hair that causes looks of concern and disgust.  (Who knew that balding was so socially unacceptable? No wonder men are desperate for a solution!)

Thank you for making me the best actress around.  When I feel like crap, but MUST go/work/smile/move, I have learned how to hide my exhaustion and pain and get it over with. My academy award nomination will be here any day now.

Thank you for taking the fear of death from me.  Not only by showing me the path to deaths door, but also for making me unafraid to enter it, because frankly, sometimes death would be a welcome respite from the exhaustion and façade that has become my life.  After a hard workout with the trainer or on the elliptical, I stare right into the depths of hell for the 2 day recovery time.  I am no longer afraid.  I have resigned myself to this feeling.

Despite my tremendous memory problems, you have given me the gift of quick thinking.  Some may call it lying, but I like to call it quick thinking-no hurt feelings-gentle excuse- white lies.

Debi:  “Hi! Dad and I are going for a Hike later today! Come join us!”

Me:  “Oh! Darn!  I would love to, but I have a meeting at Gavin’s school.”

Why do I do this?  I am still embarrassed and ashamed to admit my feelings of exhaustion. No one would ever understand! They think I’m lazy or a hypochondriac. If another person/friend/doctor/relative tells me, “Oh it would do you good to get some exercise, it will energize you!”  I’m gonna go postal.

Isn’t it funny how sheer exhaustion can bring you to tears?  Or a trunk full of groceries that need to be brought in and put away?  Or a Dalmatian that needs a walk?

Brandon:  “Mom, have you been crying?”

Me: “No, my allergies are horrific today.”

Again thyroid, thank you for making me the ambassador of white lies, or as I like to call it, “friendly excuses.”

Oh, my darling Thyroid, thank you for all the suspicious looks and doubtful assurances I get to share with my doctor.

Dr. K:  “Your numbers are still very low…Are you sure you’re taking your meds at the same time EVERY day?”

Me:  “Yes, religiously. I have an alarm set for 8 am.”

Dr. K: “And you’re sure you can swallow ok?  It is larger than ever this time.”

Me:  “Yes, it only hurts if I turn my head and smile.”

Dr. K: “Are you taking your iodine?”

Me:  “No!  It makes me horribly ill and incapacitated for days on end.”

Dr. K: (staring into my eyes, as if to see if I’m telling the truth)   “That is not related.  Keep taking it.  You will get over the side effects once your levels get up.”

Me: “It is related.  It causes horrible joint pain and headaches unlike any I have ever experienced.”

Dr. K:  Looks of annoyance and impatience followed by a deep sigh.

(Side note:  My thyroid tumor/goiter has wrapped around my vocal cords and I will permanently lose my voice upon removal.  Because I am a teacher, this is quite a problem. So until the cells become full on cancerous, or I find a non speaking job, the thyroid will remain.)

Thank you for making me feel like a medical professional, darling thyroid. (And knowing more than my own doctor much of the time.) After all the research I have performed in absolute desperation for help or answers, I have become somewhat of an expert in the ways of fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Wilsons syndrome, Adrenal Fatigue, Cortisol, T4,T3, Hormones, Endocrine systems, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis; the list goes on and on.  I am also a self-declared expert on supplements and vitamins and homeopathy, thanks to you, dear thyroid.  Ask me anything! And yet, despite my expertise, not many people want to take advice from a fat, exhausted, balding woman.  To the stock holders of those companies, you’re welcome.

Thank you for letting me be the one person in America who is relieved to be unemployed.  My family sees the eternal optimist.  I see the woman who is so exhausted by 2 pm that I can barely function. Every afternoon as I crawl into bed for a nap, I am silently thanking the universe for hearing my cries and putting off any job offers until I can function.

Thank you for making me an expert on cell phone apps!  I have a large selection of alarm apps, list making apps, appointment apps, etc., all because my mind can’t remember much of anything except to breathe.

My mother always said that I was fluent in sarcasm.  I guess this letter proves that!  And so, a final thank you thyroid.  For making my mother right (yet again!) and for letting me find strength within myself and my ever increasing knowledge of my body and my mind.  I will think of it as the gift of appreciation and health! (That, by the way, is NOT sarcastic.  I really mean it!)

Becca Boo

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18 Responses to “Not many people want to take advice from a fat, exhausted, balding woman”

  1. Sonya says:

    Becca – Your absolutely right to not take iodine – hope you find a healthcare provider whose using more current practices &; can get stabilized.

  2. Cate says:

    Amazing post.

  3. moniz says:

    Damn Becca! You have artfully written my dearthyroid letter!( Just swap out the dalmation for a collie and we could practically be twins.) I am so sorry this blows. Thank you for taking the time to write this all down. Good or bad, you are not alone in this nightmare. Know that.

  4. Raynelle says:

    Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone! I feel and act the same way! It’s better to hide how you feel than explain it and get that look like they think you are bs’ing them.

  5. Lauren says:

    Loved this!

  6. Mary says:

    Thank you. Hugs

  7. Kelly says:

    Well said Becca. I think we all deserve an academy award for acting the best we can. It’s sad, b/c most of the time I am acting like I feel ok too. It’s easy to forget about how great it feels to have energy. Most of time I lose it the quicker it comes. Hope your health gets better soon.

  8. Regina says:

    Thanks for sharing. Just when I think I am the only person going through something, unfortunately, I find another.

  9. S.H says:

    Becca Boo. Keep in mind you always have friends and family to stand behind you and support you. YOU ARE LOVED

  10. Mika says:

    I feel terribly sorry for you. I go through the same nightmares of being exhausted on a regular basis. In addition, I get severely depressed trying to find ways how to end this miserable life of mine. But this is not the end. Once the TSH reaches its lower normal limit range, I become myself again and stop thinking of killing myself. The swelling goes down and my thinking clears up. Till the next time. Thank you for your article.

  11. Aimee says:

    bravo brave girl

  12. Linda says:

    Absolutely spot on, thank you for writing this.

  13. Denise says:

    Becca you have been handed a plate of crap and it is unfortunate that the general population can’t accept those who aren’t feeling or looking well. You sound like a younger woman than me and far worse off than I have ever felt. I hope you continue to find strength to muscle through and hope that they find another solution for your condition. Hang in there…what else is there to do.

  14. Becca says:

    To all my dear friends here at dear thyroid,

    Writing the letter was very therapeutic, but reading your comments has given me more hope, energy and optimism than any medicine, supplement or doctor ever could.

    Thank you all so much! I feel loved and hopeful!!

  15. Jan says:

    I must have written that post, its me, its my life, I am in tears.

    THank you

  16. Jeannie says:

    That is such a good read thanks for sharing your thyroid is about as useful as mine=)

  17. Virginia says:

    I’ve had the very same feelings about my condition. I also have wondered if I’ll be nominated for an academy award for my acting. It feels like we aren’t even being ‘ourselves’ because of who we pretend to be to keep others happy.

    I also deal with the worries for my children and grandchildren who also have the genetic marker for this thyroid cancer. We all have had thyroidectomies, five of us have cancer, two grandchildren are in the clear and another one is waiting for his surgery – he’s 6 years old. So, add all that up with what the loss of your thyroid does to your mind and body and you know what I’ve gone through for the past 20 months. It’s almost more than I can bare at times.

    Thanks for the chuckles – I know it’s not a funny situation – but we have to laugh once in awhile about it or go completely bonkers!

  18. Julee says:

    Thank you for writing this. Please know that you are not alone. So much of your story could be my own. Hugs to you brave lady…

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