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Thyroid, You Really Know how to Ruin a Girl’s Day, or is that Life…?!

Post Published: 08 January 2013
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 20 responses. Leave a comment

Thyroid, You Really Know how to Ruin a Girls Day, or is that Life

Dear Thyroid,

It was years ago that I started to feel your debilitating effects. Six years, to be exact. I was in my freshman year of high school, a year that is supposed to be full of excitement, so thank you, thyroid, for taking that excitement and happiness away. Instead, it was full of fear, sickness and confusion.

Thanks to you, I lived my life and continue to live my life in an endless haze of exhaustion, brain fog, muscle pains and anxiety.  Thanks to you, I often have to stop to take a breath after I climb a set of stairs. Thanks to you the anxiety and depression I have faced has held me back throughout the years from going out and doing normal things people my age do. Thanks to you, thyroid, every day there is a war between my exhaustion, brain fog, and my self-motivation to keep going in order to convince myself and others that I am fine.

Thanks to YOU, thyroid, it feels like no one can truly understand me. I feel too selfish to talk about you to anyone else, thyroid, for I do not want them to think I am just dramatic and whiny, when really it is just hard for them to understand that, yes someone can look “fine” and still feel terrible.

Every day I put on a tough face and a smile, but really all I want is for people to understand that you are tearing me apart inside, thyroid. You have created a new, “normal”, for me, thyroid. That normal is the endless haze you have me living in that I cannot seem to get out of. This “normal” has made me question myself and what was going on with my body every day for the last 6 years, until I was finally diagnosed with Hashimotos just a couple days ago.

So, thank you thyroid for making me feel like I was a crazy, dramatic fool all these years. Blood tests came back normal time and time again, as I was left to puzzle why I felt the way I did, but now I know it was you. I feel ripped off and pissed off, thyroid. My life has completely changed because of you.

However, thyroid, you do give me some things to truly be thankful for. If it were not for you I would have never learned to be positive, even on the rainiest of days. Also, if it were not for you I would have never gained this kind of self-motivation to push myself to do anything despite this illness.  I probably would never have decided to go into Occupational Therapy either, where I can help others regain their independence and happiness again. Thyroid, even though I hate you and I hate the way you make me feel and struggle every single day, you have made me a stronger person. At least that is something I can be proud of.

Katlin

(Bio) My name is Katlin and I am 20 years old and attend Western Michigan University. Although I had symptoms for years I was just diagnosed with hashimotos. I am now on the search for a proper diet that can hopefully make some of these symptoms less, well, terrible!  Please connect with me here.

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20 Responses to “Thyroid, You Really Know how to Ruin a Girl’s Day, or is that Life…?!”

  1. Katie says:

    Hi Katlin,
    I truly enjoyed your letter. I recently found a lump on my neck (definitely thyroid) and will be getting it checked out next week.

    I too have suffered for 10+ years with anxiety, depression, fatigue and feeling abnormal ALL the time. It is truly isolating! Anyhow, no one had ever advised me to get my thyroid checked, but as it turns out- my grandmother had a thyroid disease (my mother described it as being up and down, so she had it removed, but I am not sure if she knows her actual diagnosis) and my symptoms are completely in-line with Hashi’s.

    Trying not to surf the web too much, and really trying not to self diagnose- but it is like the sky opened up and I finally understand!
    Anyhow, sorry for the long comment. Anyhow, your letter makes me feel like I am not alone. Thank you!

  2. kzk0924 says:

    Hi Katie,

    Thank you so much :) . I know how it feels to feel alone, I’m really glad this made you realize your not. I really hope you find out the information you need to start to feeling like your old, good self again! Hashis has a terrible ability to take that away. You writing to me bout the letter made my morning, so thank you :) . Good luck with everything, hopefully your doctor will find out ways to help your symptoms sometime soon!

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Kaitlin,
    You made me cry. This is beautiful. I am also 20 years old and was diagnosed at 18 but went undiagnosed for 2 years while I was in high school. I was just also diagnosed with celiac disease and now they think I have symtoms of Polycystic Ovarian Disease. It is the ups and downs that has made me who I am today. I have set goals for myself to keep positive. It’s meeting people and telling my story and wanting them to understand what we patients have really been through. It’s the paranoid feeling I have being out in public because of the weight I gained. I would not wish these trials upon anyone and I know you would 2nd that. Do you have a motto you live be to help you stay positive? What is your coping mechanism?

    Thanks,
    Elizabeth

  4. katie says:

    Hi Katie!! LOVED your letter! I am an (undiagnosed 10 years) 18 year Hashimoto’s sufferer! I breaks my heart to read stories like yours at 17, 20 years old!! Mine didn’t really hit me hard until my early 30′s. Being undiagnosed for so long, I found many things that helped slow down the attacks. 1) gluten free and maybe even soy free. This has been huge for me!! Take Vitamin D – for some reason Hashi’s depleted me of this vitamin which causes potassium depletion which causes fatigue, muscle pain, etc…stress management/plenty of sleep is a must, light massage worked well for me when I was in the fibromyalgia stage and staying on as much as possible a routine with your life/sleep. Going gluten free forced me to do a very low carb diet – protein diets work well with Hashi’s for some reason!!I have been a very low dose synthroid for 8 years and that seems to help w/diet – keep my cysts down (my thyroid is now in the dying phase, so I am slowly increasing my doses because of that)….I do not take it for regulation of the thyroid, I believe my diet keeps the attacks down! So, from experience, we can live a somewhat normal life with Hashi’s….and your attitude is what will see you through!! ps….going gluten free in the beginning can cause some IBS but, once your intestines heal, you will feel good!! Good luck on your journey!! I need to get on here more :0) -Katie

  5. Beth says:

    You hit it on the head Katie, I am 48 and still dealing with this..this site and thyroid sexy on fb is a great way to feel not alone. I live in the west Mi area. If you ever need a shoulder :) for those bad days. My number one suggestion…go gluten free..only whole foods.

  6. missy assad says:

    hi katlin
    i really loved your letter i am a mother of a son who suffers from.hashi’s thyroid.he only 15 years old and oh boy whoever think a male child can get this.not me my son life has been turned upside down from this.at one time in his life he was a happy go lucky child now all he does is sleep complaine of not feeling well.i as a mother hold back alot of tears cause i don’t know how to help him.but knowen he not alone and i am not crazy in my head from all this is good to know i hope one day.they will find a cure for this.good luck missy

  7. Adrienne says:

    Have you tried a med change?? I was on synthroid for years and felt awful inspite of labs being normal. I recently switched doctor’s and on the first visit he switched me to natural thyroid (armour) and my fatigue and haze have reduced 95% I occasionally have a bad day but before a bad day was a usual day :) ! Also to agree with above soy and dark green veggies are absolutely horrible for us. I agree gluten is to but having trouble going gfree :) Don’t accept fatigue as your fate do some research and fight back change doc’s if nessacary! I recommend stopthethyroidmadness.com as an excellent research tool also mary shomon! Good luck and God bless you are to young to accept the fate of a beaten patient!

  8. knitsylu says:

    Thanks for sharing your story! I can entirely empathize with you. I’ve had Hashimoto’s since 2007, having been diagnosed as an undergrad. The brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, weakness, etc. was unbearable. The best advice I can offer you is – do not give up on yourself, ever. Trust that you know your body better than anyone else. If you start to feel worse, even if you’re on medication, talk to your doctor. If they disregard you, push for better care. That is the key to this disease because it’s too easy for chronic symptoms like fatigue to be brushed off by doctors. Be your own best advocate! Hashimoto’s itself classically causes hypothyroidism but the fundamental underlying problem is the autoimmunity so even if your levels are normalized, you still may not feel 100% and it’s at those times you need to have a compassionate doctor by your side who acknowledges your symptoms and the devastating effect things like chronic fatigue can have on your life.

    I have learned so much from this disease – it truly has taught me to slow down, take better care of myself, and listen to my body. Though I often shake my fist at it, I am ultimately grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned, and continue to learn, from having it.

    Know that you’re certainly not alone! I’m cheering for you!

    Hugs,

    Cheryl

  9. kzk0924 says:

    Sorry everyone for taking a while to respond!

    Elizabeth, awe i’m happy this touched you so much :) . It’s really rough going through it and feeling so alone. If you ever need someone to talk to, i’m here cause I need someone too. But hmmm. I think my moto is just to try and enjoy every little thing. I look outside every morning and just appreciate how beautiful it is and everyday I try to make a mental checklist of things i’m thankful though. Theres always those really hard days though, which happen pretty often. I surround myself with friends and family those days and go for runs to try and kick out those negative thoughts! I actually have endometriosis! Also an ovary problem. Maybe there’s a connection? You sound like an awesome, strong person :) keep your head up!

    Kaiti: Thank you!! And thank you so much for the advice! I’m currently going gluten free.. its been about a week and I still feel the same but it will probably take awhile. Do you have any advice on quick, good foods to eat? I think the diets so hard cause I’m a college student and the schedules so hectic! Sorry your thyroids dieing D: I love your upbeat positive attitude about everything :D you have inspired me!

    Beth: I’m sorry you’ve been dealing with this for so long! Gluten free is working good for you? How long did it take for you to feel a difference? Thank you so much for the advice and shoulder to lean on :) I just liked that thyroid sexy group on facebook!

    Missy: I’m so sorry for what you and your sons going through! That’s about the age it started for me, it’s rough trying to get through highschool feeling that way. I don’t know if this is good or bad, mostly good, but the first year was the roughest for me.. then I just got used to feeling bad and learned how to be positive through it :) . If he ever needs someone to talk to, he can probably contact me through here!

    Andrienne: I tried synthroid, went to armour, gave up on both, and am now back on synthroid. Now I kind of want to try armour again.. aha. Armour I felt more awake but more anxious as well! I wasn’t sure what to do and kind of gave up for a bit and just stopped taking it…Thank you so much for being so motivational :D I’m going to try my best not to let it get me! I’m glad armour works for you so well and your feeling a bit better! Maybe I’ll try it again.

    Cheryl: Thank you so much :) Love your positive attitude! Your so right about the be your own best advocate.. I have an endocrinologist right now but we spend 10 minutes talking and he’s off to the next patient! Not too much gets done. I’m going to try harder to get some answers next time though! :) Thank you so much. Keep up that positive attitude! It is very inspiring.

    Thanks ALL of you for being so supportive <3 it's amazing hearing from other patients and knowing that none of us are alone :)

  10. Marci says:

    Thank u for sharing your story. I cried too. Having a yuck Hashi’s day and related to your struggle. Diagnosed 2 years ago-had symptoms about 7 years with normal blood tests. First year on Synthroid and it didn’t help. I found a doctor (through calling a compounding pharmacy and asking for docs names who RX Armor. Now 1 year on Armor and feeling a lot better-less tired, less fog, 20 pounds down (20 to go)-weight loss is very very slow. I can tell when my levels are off because, first my nails become paper thin (almost over night)-they rip off so easy I can scratch my arm and my nail is hanging off. Then, my thyroid hurts-more like a pressure, then paranoid anxiety and depression. These symptoms last only a few days-I think it is from eating things I shouldn’t or stress or not taking Armor on an empty stomach, etc. I have read for 2 years to try GF if u have Hashi’s. finally gave in. GF 6 days and I lost 2 pounds (not typically for me-I am on WW and usually only lose 1/2 pound a week and I don’t cheat). Also, maybe my imagination but my skin cleared up! Suffered with acne my whole life (horrible acne!). I get a new zit every other day! I have tried everything from OTC medal to Accutane-nothing helped! I read gluton can cause inflammation anywhere (mostly small intestines). Some say GF cured their adult acne, but this quick? WOW! I haven’t gone 6 days without a new zit in 30 years and have the scars to prove it (I am 40). Excited to see if it lasts! I bought Cooking Light Gluton Free Cookboook and highly recommend it. I am also a v so it’s tough to figure out what to eat! I noticed last week my hair is out my hair is falling out again and I have bald spots.

  11. Marci says:

    I hit send accidentally. Anyway, I guess I can’t expect to never have symptoms. I was upset tonight reading this because my hair is falling out so bad it’s scary. I have a doc appt in a few weeks. I understand everyone’s post on here. Oh and quitting soy made a HUGE difference in how i felt. google soy and u will find a wealth of info on how horrible it is-mostly the processed soy (soy milk, tofu, etc). i switched to almond milk. People at work make fun of me-I cough and they say “oh is that your hashimotos” it’s an ongoing joke. Sometimes I don’t take myself so seriously and shake it off. One of them made fun of my thyroid awareness month post on FB and that was embarrassing. I wish I would’ve never told them. I wouldn’t wish tired, overweight, brain fog, trouble completing a sentence, baldness, etc on anyone. I show up for work everyday-I never ever call in, I am working on my graduate degree, and I have 5 children. I won’t let this disease take me. Sometimes we do feel alone and cry it out. Best wishes to everyone!

  12. kzk0924 says:

    Marci: Thanks for your response :) It sounds like armour might be the way to go. I’m thinking of trying it again. Sorry your having a bad hashis day :/ that’s absolutely terrible people at your work make fun of you and this disease. It’s not a joke for you or anyone else experiencing it, that’s really cruel of them! It’s awesome to hear how well gluten free is working for you, i’m trying it right now and am on synthroid but nothing has improved yet (3 weeks on synthroid and 1.5 week of gluten). You sound like a very strong person! Taking care of kids, going to school, and going to work! That is strength. Keep your head high, you deserve to be happy. Best wishes to you! :)

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Kaitlin,
    Thanks for responding! I would love to talk to you! It sounds like we have had the same exact issues and we are also the same age! It is so frustrating and we are so young! I just submitted my dear thyroid letter! I hope it shows up soon!

    Thanks again!

    Elizabeth

  14. Evelyne says:

    Hi Katelyn
    I must admit that this letter hit home for me & brung tears to my eyes. After years (@least 6yrs) of me having this same symptoms she talks about & a fight with my weight, I found out 2 weeks ago that I have severe Thyroid problems. Not many know but just 2weeks ago I went to the ER with chest pain & wasn’t breathing well, got hospitalized for 2 days & after so many test done to me turns out my heart is fine, Thank God but found out My Thyroids aren’t doing so well & look pretty bad. Now, I have a Doctor Appt this coming Monday with a Endocrinologist to see what’s my Next Step!

    • kzk0924 says:

      Hi Evelyne!

      I am so sorry you had to go to the ER! That sounds terrifying. Sometimes I have trouble breathing too but its never been that bad (yet). Stay strong and keep positive! Positivity is the only thing that really gets me through.

  15. Kierstyn McGregor says:

    Kaitlin,

    This was truly a beautiful letter! I have had some pretty dark days since finding out about my thyroid. It’s hard to stay positive when you are facing thyroid issues alone. A lot of people just don’t understand how much it plays a part into your daily life. This post hit home. No doubt about it.

  16. Diane says:

    Hello everyone. My first time here–thanks for all this sharing ! Katie mentioned how important ‘regular habits’ are for those of us with Hashimoto’s, and I couldn’t agree more. The body responds well to routine.

    I’m currently working on my ‘sleep hygeine’–sleeping in a dark room, cutting back on late night computer usage, etc. Along with environmental toxins, artificial light is having a big effect on our endocrine systems, throwing so many of us out of whack.

    Light stimultes us, just like the birds who wake up at the crack of dawn. When we’re up late at night, looking at screens in the dark hours, it’s like staring at an artificial sun or full moon. It can take several hours to ‘come down’ from this stimulation, so that a body can achieve the truly deep sleep it craves for restoring and healing.

    Our endocrine system (thyroid, pituitary, pineal, ovaries/testes) is so sensitive to light. If we want to bring our hormones back into balance, it seems important to work with a daylight / nighttime cycle closer to what nature intended. Personal computer usage (including iPhones, Kindels, etc.) has grown exponentially in the past decade–and so has thyroid dysfunction.

    Consider that in industrial chicken houses, the daylight cycle is shortened in order to force chickens to lay more eyes–and it works! Our bodies respond similarly, depending on the ‘daylight’ situations we create for ourselves.

    I hope that this information will inspire / help others in piecing together their own health puzzles. Our bodies want to achieve balance. Sometimes a misfiring thyroid is just trying to draw our attention to that :)

  17. Joanne says:

    Katie, I loved your letter. It was as if I had written it myself. I have multi-nodular goiter but my Dr. refuses to treat because my tests are within the “normal” range. It’s so frustrating that he won’t hear what I am saying about my symptoms :-( I am a fighter though and I’m not giving up. Looking for a new Dr!

  18. Keisha says:

    Thanks… I cried while reading your whole letter…. Pictures of my life…foggy, tired, depressed..

  19. Staci says:

    I am so tired of feeling like a “nut” … I’m down and out and tired for days! Then seems like my thyroid decides to work in triple time! I cannot talk enough, clean enough, sleep! It’s like I’ve done some drugs!! I’ve been up all night can’t sleep, then I may be tired a month and cannot think straight! I was put on synthroid in the beginning and that was a HUGE NO NO!!! Besides breaking out in huge whelps it spun me out and I was mean to everyone!! Switched to armour and I was calmer and able to handle it more. I just don’t know what to do… I’m exhausted, take meds and feel “ok” then I’ll be wired to the max!!! I cannot handle this!!!! I am literally to the point of going crazy!!!!!! No one will listen, so I will not take my meds during the times I am sped up. I literally cannot handle this!!!! I have occasional days of paranoia too!
    I was diagnosed with hypothyroid about 4 years ago (I’m 43) I’ve never been told I have hashimotos but I’m starting to wonder!!!! I also have a high c reactive protein for inflammation. I’m so so confused and feel so so alone!! My husband doesn’t understand nor anyone at work. My boss treats me like I’m on something all the time! Tells me I do not need thyroid medicine and makes rude comments all the time. I weigh more than I ever have and I’m just disgusted!!!

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