Mr. Hashimoto, Don’t you see the Graves to your Right
Hi, I’m Natalie (but you can call me Nat!). For the first 17 years of my life, I was living in bliss. You were doing your thing and doing it really well. I was almost oblivious to your existance. I knew you were part of me, I knew you were somewhere in my neck but had no idea what you did or how you did it. Honestly, I really didn’t care! I was a teenager going through highschool, having a ton of fun and had better things to think about than this thyroid thing in my neck.
Then, 3 years ago (mid 2008); things started happening. I wasn’t feeling good. I wasn’t feeling myself. Always tired, sluggish; and, much to my disappointment, I was gaining weight. “Why? What’s happening” I’d often ask my mum. “Why don’t I feel normal?” So, it was then I went to the doctor. Well…that was a waste of time!! I was told “oh, you’re just a hormonal teenager, you’ll feel better soon”. Ok, I thought, I’ve been a hormonal teenager long before this…but he’s the doctor I guess!
So, as time went on, things changed again! Now I was feeling the total opposite, full of this nervous energy, unable to sit still, and, for the first time in my life, my blood pressure had risen and my pulse rate was fast (even when I was resting). So, this went on for quite a while until one day I was that bad my dad decided to send me to the ER. He called the ambulance and they came, checked me over and suggested we go to the hospital. When I got there, they were doing all these tests and I was quite scared, I was a healthy teenager and all of a sudden I was having heart tests and tests people of my grandparents age have!
But, the next day, we had an answer. The doctor came in and told me I was hyperthyroid. Once he broke it down into plain and simple english I sort of understood. I asked about the tired, sluggishness and weight gain I had suffered not too long before this and he said it was most likely hypothyroid. Hang on, how can there be both?!?! Well…then he told me about Hashimoto’s; where one will swing between the two extremes until the thyroid dies and permanent hypothyroidism arrives.
So, the hyperthyroid state was monitored and we also discovered a large nodule which had to be removed because it was causing issues when I’d eat and sleep. Surgery was 18 months ago (Jan 28th 2010). I did something you didn’t approve of that day. I separated you from your dear left lobe and left you stranded in there all on your own. I took your partner, your helper and your other half. For this I am truely sorry. But, you need to see my side in all of this; having been corupted by the unwelcome guest Mr Hashimoto I needed to look after myself. I couldn’t go on living my life as a normal person with Mr Hashimoto ruling over what you and your dear left lobe did.
You must realise how much I do love the hormones you were sending into my body and I truly appreciate the role you played, BUT only when you were doing it right. Please don’t be cranky with me; I was only doing what I needed to do. You did so much for me; keeping all my organs and everything working as they should…but, it is when you start to mess with me, that’s when I fight back. And I always fight to win!
Since then, it’s been a rollercoaster of blood tests, medication adjustments and multiple endocrine doctors. Most of which weren’t too good and so the search for a good doctor continued. I finally found him mid 2010.
He asked if I had been tested for Graves disease; I thought that was a stupid thing to say, I had Hashimoto’s, how could I have both? Well, apparently you can! And, so I had the test…sure enough, I am lucky enough to have both! You had us fooled. We thought it was only Mr Hashimoto we needed to worry about, but, you betrayed me and invited Mrs Graves to join in too.
So, it was decided I’d fix my thyroid once and for all. I had RAI in october 2010. It was then I realised that our time was up. You were no longer going to be a part of my everyday life. Yeah, I thought about it; and had those moments where I wasn’t sure if I really wanted you gone, but, it always came down to one point…I need to be healthy. I have a life to live
You, my dear thyroid, had lost this battle! I got rid of you once and for all. Since then it’s been a journey of getting the thyroid levels regulated through medication as I could no longer rely on you. It’s been tough at times, the lead-up to RAI and hyperthyroidism are the two most scary things I’ve ever experienced! But, I’m so glad I did it. I’m so glad you are no longer controlling me. I have regained the control you took off me all that time ago.
Please understand why I did what I did. These past few years have been tough, but, you taught me alot. Most importantly, you taught me to fight for what I feel is right. Even if the doctors say no; if I feel something is wrong I should push and push for answers. For that, I thank you!!! For everything else…all the pain, worry and stress you put me through, I say Screw you!!
(Bio) My name’s Natalie and I’m currently a 20 yr old marketing student living in Australia. I was diagnosed with hashimoto’s in 2008 and also Graves disease in 2010. I have recently posted my thyroid journey on my blog.
Tags: being called hormonal by doctors, Dear Thyroid Letters, depression and thyroid disease, doctors unwilling to check thyroid, graves disease support, Hashimoto's and Graves disease patients, hashimoto's disease support, hashimoto's symptoms can beget hyperthyroid symptoms, hypothyroidism in teens and young adults, learning to listen to your body, multiple autoimmune diseases, onset of thyroid disease in young adults, shifting from hypothyroidism to hyperthyroid symptoms, thyroid disease onset post teen years, weight gain hypothyroidism