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Dear Thyroid: It’s Not Just ‘I’m Tired’

Post Published: 08 January 2014
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 8 responses. Leave a comment

heather roan, im tired of being tired, dear thyroid letter

When my thyroid symptoms started (before I knew it was you causing these issues dear thyroid), I first noticed the joint pain.  I’m a runner, so it makes sense I noticed that first.  But, the fatigue wasn’t far behind.

Granted, it did start with just feeling more tired than normal.  After a few weeks, though, “I’m tired” turned into “I’m exhausted,” which soon led way to “I can’t make it through the day I’m so exhausted.”  There were weeks over the summer that are now just a blur in my memory because I was so exhausted.

During those weeks, my husband literally had to drag me out of bed in the morning so that I could start my day and help with the kids.  Thankfully, I work from home mostly with flexible hours, so I took a nap (sometimes even two naps) to help me make it through the day.  By the end of the night, it was all I could do to make it through dinner (at 6pm) before I would crawl to the couch where I would remain until I could get up and drag myself to bed around 8 or 8:30.  Yes, those were the bad days where you really had me, dear thyroid.

Close family members and friends who knew about my symptoms asked me questions such as “Is it the medication you’re taking?” or (my favorite) “Aren’t you just tired because you are a parent of two young children?”

Oh no, I knew that kind of tired.  That was my world for the previous year and a half.  I thought having one child was hard.  Ha!  That was nothing compared to the tired my husband and I would experience at the end of the average night because of raising one infant and one toddler.  No, that tired I could handle.

The tired that you caused me, my friend thyroid, didn’t even compare.  It was a life-stopping and life-altering kind of tired.  A tired I didn’t even know existed.

Luckily, I was able to stop you somewhat in the act when I started taking thyroid medication this fall, but it wasn’t enough.  No, you are a tricky organ, thyroid.  I’ve had to do even more over the last few months to fight the fatigue you cause.

Here are a few things I’ve learned about battling your fatigue:

-Taking naps is not just for little kids or college students—I’ve learned that feeling I need a nap is my body’s way of telling me I need more rest.  Period. That means I should listen and slow down.

-Supplements are amazing—fish oil, multi-vitamins, vitamin D, and iron have really helped me fight off the fatigue.

-The little things matter—We all know we should eat right and exercise regularly.  But, I learned that actually doing these things can make me feel a whole lot better. Trust me, it’s not easy to go for a run or even slow walk when I’m so fatigued, but just getting my rear off the couch can boost my energy levels.

-Caffeine injections won’t help in the long run—I went down that road of using large quantities of coffee and diet coke to make it through my day, but once I cut down on these, I found that they were actually fueling my fatigue, not helping it.  Don’t get me wrong, I still drink coffee and diet coke, but I’m setting limits for myself and drinking reasonable amounts (not gas station-sized styrofoam cup amounts).

With these things, dear thyroid, I’m now able to make it until at least 8pm before your fatigue takes hold.  Sometimes I can even stay up with my husband and watch Sons of Anarchy until 10pm.  Just sometimes.  But, it’s a lot better than sitting on the couch watching my kids play and not being able to join then.  No, thyroid, I won’t let you take hold of me like that again!

Heather Roan is a mother of two girls, wife, friend, and communications director for a small educational company.  She was able to balance it all fairly well until hypothyroidism reared its ugly head in her life in 2013, bringing her life nearly to a halt. Heather has spent many months learning about thyroid disorders by reading and researching as much as she can. She looks forward to sharing her journey back from thyroid madness in order to raise awareness about thyroid disorders and help other thyroid sufferers avoid what she went through if at all possible.

Heather Roan has joined the Dear Thyroid team to write a column titled, “I’m Okay With Just Being Okay.” Learn more about her here and give her a warm Dear Thyroid welcome. You know how we do…

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8 Responses to “Dear Thyroid: It’s Not Just ‘I’m Tired’”

  1. Joanna M says:

    Welcome aboard, Heather!

  2. Casie says:

    AWESOME post, Heather! I was RIGHT there with you the entire time. This past year my thyroid has flared up once again — it’s aches and exhaustion surprising even ME this time around (and we’ve been fighting this battle for 12+ years!) …I’ve been thinking of re-writing to my thyroid (I had a post on here a few years ago) — and I think you’ve inspired me to do just that!

    You’re 1000 times right on how exercise and movement actually help too! Hang in there, you’re not alone! 🙂

  3. Heather Roan says:

    Thank you so much!

  4. lollyjolly says:

    Welcome aboard Heather I know that feeling of tiredness know when my thyroid levels aren’t in a good place time to get them checked out and taking a Nap I used to feel guilty not anymore as it’s our bodies way of telling us to rest. It can also mean other things as I my case I thought it was my thyroid when instead it was severe anaemia but my thyroid levels were still partly to blame. You will get your energy back just takes time and a lot of effort and educating yourself on all things thyroid is a great start.

    Hang in there kiddo Lolly

  5. Heather Roan says:

    Thanks so much for the encouragement. It’s great to know there’s a light at the end of this tunnel of fatigue 🙂

    Casie, I definitely think you should re-write to your thyroid. It really helped me get some feelings and frustrations out! Look forward to reading your stuff!

  6. Kyna Caudle says:

    Hello. This is my first time writing. I have hypothyroidism and I need your help. I have the joint pain, im tired all the time and the kicker is the weight gain. I am gaining almost a pound a day. This has put me in almost a depressed state and Im not quite sure how tom come out of this. There is so much information out there on the foods to eat and avoid that I have found to be overwhelming. Some say eat this others say stay away from that…So please if any of you have any information please help help help…..

  7. Joanna M says:

    Hi Kyna! I’m glad you commented! As you read through all the letters on this site, you’ll see that you are not alone! A great starting point for you is Mary Shomon–you can find her at http://thyroid.about.com/. She has tons of great resources about lab tests, medicines, doctors, lifestyle…the list goes on and on. I think you’ll find the community support you need right here at DT. 🙂

  8. amyjolo says:

    You made my day. As a marathon runner who was recently diagnosed, I’ve felt as if I’m losing my mind – especially since the one thing I could count on to make me feel better on bad days (a good run) no longer works. Thanks for taking the time to write and being a blessing for me today! I think I’ll be firing off a few notes to my Thyroid as well for a bit of therapeutic expression as I pursue my recovery. At least I know I’m not crazy now, well relatively 😉

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