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Wednesday December 12th 2018


Maybe Old Burn-Out or Old Pain in the Arse, Or

Post Published: 07 December 2011
Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 2 responses. Leave a comment

Dear Thyroid

A very good morning to you Thyroid – I feel I should give you a name. Plain old Thyroid does not do you nearly enough justice. But what should it be? Tarquin, Timothy, Thomas or, perhaps, Tulisa out of respect to my feminine side.

Maybe Old Burn-out, Old Pain in the Arse, or Old Stop Messing Up My Life, but that attributes to you more power than you deserve.

Why? Have I hurt your feelings, my knackered, burnt-out gland?

So you think I’ve given you a bum rap, eh? You’re lucky I’m even talking to you after the hell you’ve put me through.

OK, so I accept it now.  Taking thyroxine every day ain’t no big deal, baby.

What is a big deal is the hell you put me through before I was diagnosed – crawling up to my office at 5am because I could barely climb the stairs, making me anxious about my livelihood because every afternoon I had no choice but to sleep, making me susceptible to every bloody infection I came in contact with and causing wild fluctuations in my mood.

Now I’m taking the right dose of thyroxine, I’m pretty stable, but I still battle with bouts of exhaustion, depression and anxiety and I’m prone to ill health.  But I’ve never stopped working, I’ve never stopped fighting.

I tried to heal you once. Do you member that? I began a regime based on a book written by a bloke who reckoned a certain dietary and supplements regime could get rid of the Hashimoto’s antibodies. What a mug I was. As my blog, I am curing myself of Hashimoto’s thryoiditis, concluded: “Sometimes you just have to accept this is how things are. There are far worse things. In a way, it reminds me I’m human and mortal – something perhaps we all need reminding of from time to time.”

So my old thryoid, you old done-in gland you, it could have always been worse. I don’t have thyroid cancer. I just have a burnt-out you and some very strange antibodies named after some Japanese geezer called Hashimoto.

I don’t have a big nose, I don’t have acne and I don’t have man boobs.

And what I do have that is good in my life could fill up this entire website.

So what is there to grumble about?


It’s life, thyroid– there’s good and bad and you just have to make the most of the hand you’re dealt.

You know what’s funny? I’m actually picturing you in my mind’s eye as I write this as the clichéd graceful butterfly with beautiful wings that don’t work and you’re desperately trying to fly…but you can’t.

You’re as much a victim of this Hashimoto chappy as I am, when I think about it – aren’t you?

There you were, a happy little gland converting iodine from my food into T4 and T3, when all of a sudden you started feeling sluggish and got ambushed with loads of TSH which you didn’t like so you took all your anger out on me.

You were like a child crying out for help – my child – in the only way you knew how which was to make your father aware there was a problem.

So I don’t hate you anymore. In fact, I do feel a bit paternal to you and you’ve helped me look after myself better.

And I’m in good company – Oprah Winfrey and Rod Stewart among other sufferers.

So that can’t be anything to be ashamed of can it?

Of course not.

Keep trying to flap your wings, dear thyroid.

But if you can’t, don’t worry.

We’ll live with it.


Lots of love



Andrew Don is a writer and journalist based in London England. He is author of Fathers Feel Too, a book about men who have lost babies either during late stages of pregnancy, at birth or shortly after birth.

He has recently published an ebook, Virtuality, a novella that one reviewer described as “a modern-day Alchemist.” Virtuality can also be downloaded from iTunes, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble and many others.

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2 Responses to “Maybe Old Burn-Out or Old Pain in the Arse, Or”

  1. Patricia Saphier says:

    Thanks for sharing…lovely and so well written!

  2. John says:

    Your idea of naming your tumor is a good one – I named my brain tumor “The Blob” after the 1950s-era horror picture. Somehow after naming it The Blob became less of a unknown horror.

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