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Friday July 19th 2019


The Family That Graves Together, Statys Together

Post Published: 16 April 2013
Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 4 responses. Leave a comment

the family that graves together stays together

Dear Thyroid and your partner Graves Disease

We first met 14 years ago, when I was a young lad at age 8. I did not know we shared the same body until age 9. Back then, I still had no idea what you were capable of, I just listened to whatever my mother told me. I did not know you were the cause of my stubbornness to eating, nor the reason I was a very emotional young boy. I just took the pills they gave me. Sometimes once a day, sometimes twice a day, sometimes three times a day whenever the Doc felt like changing it.

You introduced me to drugs and needles at a very young age. You’ve made me reliant on them as well to this day.

Throughout the years, I’ve come to observe and learn about you, but still not achieving concrete answers. You’re about as misunderstood from my eyes as I am to everyone else who doesn’t know a damn thing about you or what you’re capable of. You’re not life threatening like other diseases, but you are a drain on my life for the rest of my life. Just because I don’t like you, doesn’t mean I can’t get used to you. You’ve certainly “grown” on me.

I do wish sometimes you’d go easy on me. You know like how before my parents and doctor found out “about us”, I was making high honor roll and straight A’s? Then after, I barely could make a B to save my life. You gave me a break in 8th grade. One of the best years I ever had. Then you came back with a vengeance in High School. As I grew older, so did you. You sure made sure I was distracted when I had important assignments to do. You also made sure no matter how many times over and over I tried to read that important chapter in the book, that you’d wipe it clean out of my memory in 2 minutes. You also made sure that you’d put me to sleep in the middle of the day and forget to tell my brain to wake-up the next day on time. You manipulate my body more than I do.

High School ended 5 years ago, you didn’t even let me finish it unfortunately. You made it such a drain to go to school that you convinced me to just drop it altogether. I still don’t understand why you let me keep my expertise in mathematics, my articulation for literature, grammar and poetry, and my love for politics, but you wouldn’t let me make space for everything else in my brain and memory bank. I could’ve just opened another account you know.

It’s kind of bittersweet between you and I. Without you, I’d probably never have found my true love. Yes I admit, of all the bad things you’ve done to me over the last 14 years, the only good to come out of this was you introduced me to Tennis. I have no idea where I’d be without my Tennis. You sure didn’t want me to be with Baseball, but you sure as hell don’t seem to mind me being with Tennis. I take it back, because two years ago, you barely would let me play 10 minutes of Tennis without my body shaking on the court or shortness of breath. Damn you.

You’ve also come to make it harder for my social life. You know how annoying it is when a beautiful girl gets the impression I’m nervous talking to her because she sees my body shaking and I’m breathing hard? Let’s not forget the fact that I’ve always loved public speaking and singing for crowds. The fact that the ladies think I’m nervously shaking and breathing fast because you think it’s funny to show up is a sick joke!

Other people I meet who don’t know me very well also wonder why I can be a bit moody at times. I guess because they don’t see you in my shadow.

Looking back, you’ve been such an attention grabber. Seems like every time I’m trying to do something productive, you know when to show up on cue.

Yet, I realize that I’m stuck with you and we’re just gonna have to make it work. Because I said so. Yep, I’m the one calling the shots here. You can voice your concerns every now and then and, of course, I have no choice but to oblige, but for most of the time just know that I’m going to be in charge. I don’t like it, you don’t like it but we’re gonna have to deal with it until we get the Grave.


 Short Bio: 22 year old male from Savannah, GA. Both sisters have also had Graves Disease, as my mother and aunts on both sides of my family.


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4 Responses to “The Family That Graves Together, Statys Together”

  1. Diane Gallagher says:

    Dear Jeff

    I have just found your article and I must say that I have found it very moving. I myself are hypothyroid and still after 18 years suffering to deal with the multitude of symptoms. Muscle pains, enormous fatique at times, depression, weight gain to name but a few. I wish you so much happiness and most of all improved help, to deal with these terrible diseases. Much warmth Diane

  2. Diane Gallagher says:

    See comments above

  3. Jo says:

    Hello Jeff,

    Thank you for summing up just how tempestuous a bedfellow Graves can be. I was diagnosed with the disease 3 years ago and can relate to every word that you say. Your post has been passed on to my friends and family in the hope that they might got a glimpse of what it is like to live in our shoes.

    Best wishes for the future,


  4. Faye says:

    Jeff- I feel for you but am also concerned. I was diagnosed at 14, a few months after being misdiagnosed by a family dr. He prescribed iodine supplement without any blood work causing my thyroid to go into hyper-drive and full-blown thyroid storm. Meds wouldn’t do a thing so they decided I should have RAI. Although I, as a girl, went though a voice change, eye color and hair color changes, have no memory to speak of, etc. I have managed my health with thyroid replacements quite well for the last 30 years. Please don’t give up on yourself and your education. You can do it. The skill I’ve found the most important? Take notes…everywhere all the time. You got the math? I got the English. Try a MOOC, take one class online, you can get there. I’m finishing my masters this summer while working full-time. Just believe in yourself. Good luck kiddo!

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