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Thy-What?!: Don’t You Just Hate Those Thyroid People?

Post Published: 24 October 2011
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Category: Column, Thy-What?!
This post currently has 6 responses. Leave a comment

A few months ago I was chatting with an acquaintance about this and that. We started talking about how so many of us moms in particular are busy, time-starved and seemingly always tired.

It was one of those conversations in which each seemed to be “speaking the other’s language.” There was a lot of nodding in agreement and laughs of understanding.

It was a nice exchange between two people with many shared experiences and situations.

But then the bomb dropped.

As we were talking about being tired and worn out, sometimes moody and irritable, she said something that stopped me cold:

“If I hear one more person use the ‘I have a thyroid problem’ excuse, I am going to scream,” she said. “That’s such a fake thing, I mean everyone is tired, give me a break!”

Uh oh.

I didn’t know what to say. Almost automatically, I flipped into a different mode, one that was still, on the surface, laughing and agreeable, but below confused and probably offended.

You see, I don’t like excuses. I never play what I think of as the “victim card.” When I am not at 100%, my body and brain have always done other things to mask it or make up for it.  People who have known me for two decades learned only recently (some from this site) that I am one of those “thyroid people.”

But you never seem tired to me,” they’d say.

I didn’t “seem” tired. I didn’t “seem” run down. I was able to do and accomplish so much, even more than “regular” or “normal” people. I was “different” than other people who “complained” about their thyroids. Until a point. Or until I would hide until I could regain some semblance of strength.

So, yes, I am one of those people with a thyroid condition. I don’t know why I have it, though I do know that after 20 years, changing my diet radically has positively affected my symptoms (and my numbers) more than anything else has since I was 19 or 20 years old.

I know that nothing happens in a vacuum in our bodies, so if I feel tired or worn out or “off” in some way, there is a definite reason why you feel that way. While a pill or some other short-term fix can quell the symptoms, the underlying cause remains. And if that underlying cause is not addressed, other systems in my our bodies can and will be affected. It’s all connected and intertwined, that’s just how our bodies work.

All of this brings me back to the “fake” thyroid condition conversation. Did I say anything or speak up for the millions of us who suffer from this “fake” thing? No, I didn’t. Could I have? Yes. Should I have? I don’t know. Could go either way.

I can’t be the Spokesperson for All Things Thyroid. I can be the spokesperson for me, and I can work to feel and operate as well as I am able to.  I also can’t take it personally – even in a personal conversation – if someone doesn’t get me or get my condition.

Does that lack of understanding mean that my condition or my symptoms are any less significant or pervasive? Hell no.

Does it mean that the thyroid has a long way to go in terms of catching up with its more media-friendly body part friends such as the breast or the heart? Heck yes!

But that is a job for another day and not for any one person on his or her own. Maybe tomorrow. I’m too tired with my fake condition today.

Written by, Allison Nazarian

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6 Responses to “Thy-What?!: Don’t You Just Hate Those Thyroid People?”

  1. Staci Garcia says:

    Wow. Absolutely nailed this one! I’m trying to adjust to the medicine and keep my eyes open and work and keep up with the boys and still keep my eyes open and function like a normal person and not complain…
    Love,
    One of “those thyroid people”

  2. Sue says:

    I agree, wow, you did nail this one head on. I am also sick of people telling me “oh yeah, I have Graves and it is no big deal”. My body is not liking it, nor the thyroid cancer. Thank you for such a great letter!
    Love,
    another of “those thyroid people”

  3. Corey says:

    Hey great post! You make a good point about media friendly diseases. I can’t watch a football game or heat up lunch without seeing pink. No disrespect to breast cancer patients, but I think we are all aware that breast cancer is out there. There are plenty of other diseases out there that people need to be aware of. Thyroid conditions are certainly one. I’ve heard that only half of the people who have one are diagnosed with one. 50%? That’s an F- in school.
    Love,
    Yet another one of “those thyroid people”

  4. Tracy Goldberg says:

    Amazing post! This is why I adore the Dear Thyroid comunity. We all understand each other’s situation and what it is like to live with autoimmune thyroid disease or cancer. I absolutely agree with Corey! There must be increased awareness of these conditions. The lack of education on this matter is unbelivable…especially when people ask me why, at 17 year old, I have thyroid disease. Their exuse? “I thought it was a middle-aged woman’s disease?”
    Love,
    Dont forget about me…I’m one of “those thyroid people” too

  5. Julie says:

    Amazing, and sadly too true. Yup, I am another one of those people who are always using that excuse too! It isn’t though about lack of understanding. It is back to the old thought process, just because there is nothing visibly wrong, doesn’t actually mean there is nothing wrong.

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