Tag Archives: hashimotos

You Can’t Have Me Hypo

673F058A-7B7A-4E9D-B078-9EDB041D2A2AIt sounds like such an innocuous, old lady thing, this “hypothyroidism”.

Hashimoto’s.

Like something that maybe grows on your foot.

Or something your mom would off-handedly complain about after she’s had a fuzzy navel or two…but would then dutifully take her medicine in the morning with all the rest of the pills that are there to “help”.

But now that’s it has been two whole years of walking with it…now that I can look back on that December afternoon appointment with my doctor and finally be thankful…

I have learned that this disease is anything but innocuous.

I have learned that the thyroid operates, regulates, or effects virtually every system in the human body and that there is nothing going on inside of me that isn’t somehow connected to that obscure little butterfly at the base of my throat.

I’ve learned that I must work harder than I’ve ever worked in my life to get through a day without running myself ragged, physically or emotionally.

I’ve learned that if I don’t make my health as big of a priority as my children, marriage, or finances, I may not be very effective at maintaining those things which are most important to me.

I’ve learned that I can’t do all the things I used to and do them well.

I’ve learned that some people will drain my emotional stores and that boundaries are essential to the health of my psyche.

I’ve learned that God is constant and quiet and a gentleman with my hormone swings and wild mood shifts. He never leaves me or gets sick of me, and instead whispers gently to my soul that all will be well and how to do the next thing.

I’ve learned that sometimes the best thing to do is just let something go.

I’ve learned that Western medicine places embarrassingly little focus on the thyroid and that you have to go looking hard for the answers to figure out how it’s all tied together.

I’ve learned how to know when I’m doing too much, worrying too much, working too much. That the ache over my kidneys and annoying buzz in my ears means something important.

I’ve learned not to hate my body, even as I still want to. It is fearfully and wonderfully made and will never be magazine beautiful, but it is a vessel from which my children came and it is soft and loved and warm for my husband to hold and for friends to hug, and it will become -is becoming- healthier and stronger, but never will be what it was. I have made peace with that.

CB7DF51B-C9BD-4829-BFD1-A99D099C3526

I’ve learned that talking about hypothyroidism is boring and so I don’t that often. I have learned what I need to know to listen to my body, and I quietly learn and read and research to help me be all I can be, but talking about it makes other people’’s eyes -and mine- glaze over, so I try not to.

I have learned how to smile and serve even when it hurts my body to do so. There are days when I won’t push because I need to be kind to myself and take care of a setback or a particular challenge, but most times I’ve learned that instead of the outward, visible strength I’ve always exhibited, my strength is now quiet, and sometimes just between me and God.

I’ve learned that my family truly is the best gift and that they love me unconditionally.

I’ve learned that whole-food Vitamin C is a miracle and that my life looks so much brighter when I take it in high doses.

I’ve learned that sometimes the trip is a lot longer than what you thought it was going to be when you set out on the new road. Sometimes the destination is never even in sight and all you can manage is getting back onto the right road after a wrong turn.

I’ve learned that sometimes problems aren’t tidy or an easy fix. Sometimes you just have to let one sit for awhile and not mess with it.

I’ve learned to avoid soy but that my body can tolerate some caffeine. (Thank you Jesus!)

I have learned that my diligence wavers, my discipline gets dodgy, and that my disappointment in myself goes deep.

I have learned that I am a loyal and faithful friend in spite of not being able to maintain a social life.

I have learned not to take myself too seriously and to laugh more because laughter makes everything better.

I have learned that I am coming into myself.

I have learned I am so loved.

And so, two years to the day, when we had a flat and we were hit with one challenge after another while fixing it…I realized that two short years ago, an adventure of that sort would have done me in, made me cry, drained me and left me depressed (truly, that little gland, when hooked up with the adrenals, it has that much sway) and set my whole endocrine system into a spiral.

DF565855-4E85-4BD1-BA65-D50971CDE1CE

But this time, I had peace and I worked with my family and we laughed and we played and we got the job done and I was happy.

I still have so far to go.

But I celebrated yesterday too.

I smiled as I thought of the past two years…

and realized just how far I’ve come.

E32641AA-CB70-4F9B-A10D-B7ED18045F76

I Was Paddling

When a disease moves in, the whole household is rearranged.

And a tough girl will fight it and push it and kick at it and work hard to keep it outside on the front porch where she can keep the door closed and hit the deadbolt when the intruder gets too unruly.

IMG_0348

But diseases don’t have house manners, so Hashimoto’s has moved right in and brought her friend hypothyroidism with her, and they’ve taken up residence and settled into their own wing, and after almost a year of Delores the Thyroid paying her rent in mood swings and thinning hair, we might maybe just now be getting used to this new ugly roommate.

And do you know what happens when you have an unruly house guest who won’t go away and who doesn’t want to follow the rules?

You finally get tired of being polite and trying to figure out how to deal with their behaviors in a quiet and civilized manner, and you get assertive and you learn how to stick up for yourself and the people you live with and love with, and after enough time goes by and your guest is still being uncooperative, one day you take your life back and you tell her that you’re not going to put up with her shit any longer.

So all this summer I’ve worked hard at keeping Delores in her room until she learns to behave, and on those rare days she kicks down her door and comes to interrupt our days, I’ve learned that the best way to handle her is to sit around cozy and comfortable and curled up with my people while we laugh at her antics.

Ten months ago I could barely drag out of bed and couldn’t wait to get back to it at night.

Ten months ago I had so much anger in my heart I hardly knew myself.

Ten months ago my joints hurt so bad I could barely lift my arms or bend my fingers or my knees.

Ten months ago I had no joy, no care,  no understanding of what was the matter with me or any idea of how long it had been going on.

My houseguest had crept in without me even knowing, and all I could do was just keep pushing, keep doing what needed to be done, and keep focusing only on the absolute essentials.

Today, I can focus on the good.

I can see the the beautiful.

I can find the peace.

IMG_0351

Today, I still sometimes drag out of bed, but I can face the days. I am no longer slugging through, but actually beginning to EMBRACE the moments. I am starting to look forward to things again instead of just dreading.

Today, the anger is replaced by patience, and when irritation does rear its ugly head, it is short lived and doesn’t possess my whole being like it once did.

Today when my joints hurt I know it’s because it’s time for a med adjustment or because I’ve eaten something that does not agree with my disease. I don’t hurt all the time anymore.

I still  have hurts.

But every day they are less, and I’ve hiked three whole times this summer and I’ve been able to ditch the 3 pm thyroid nap and I’ve listened to my body, and as I keep working toward kicking Delores out for good –or at least banishing her to the outhouse–  I can see the beauty and the good and I can keep my focus on peace.

So today I hopped in a canoe and I paddled. And when the kids bickered from their own little boat I told them to quit ruining the moment and I picked a spot on the horizon that was beautiful and I hunkered down against the wind of the day and I prayed and I headed toward the peace…

and I was paddling.

IMG_0349

When my muscles warmed I was so happy that I was able to use them without feeling stabbing pain.

And when the wind blew me sideways I was so thankful to have the strength and the focus to put my canoe right.

And when my calves wanted to cramp, I was so tickled to realize my awkward body was in a position I had yearned to try in yoga class not too long ago.

Today, I realized that I’ve gained some things since battling hypothyroidism, and not just extra weight.

I’ve gained confidence.

Assertiveness.

Self-care skills.

The ability to laugh at myself.

Patience for others.

I realized that life…our faith…is just like my canoe ride today.

Choppy. Awkward. Full of cramps.

But so beautiful.

Worthwhile.

Intertwined with the Creator.

So I kept paddling.

And every day as I battle this new season of life…or you fight struggles or job loss or pain or a nasty new roommate of your own…remember we have the power to not let it ruin our moment here…and we’ll pick a spot on the horizon that is beautiful, and we’ll hunker down against the wind of our day…

And we’ll keep paddling toward peace.

IMG_0350

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

 

 

 

In Sickness and in Health

So…it seems tough gal is okay giving horses shots but isn’t tough enough to give herself shots, so her tough guy does it for her.

Isn’t it always something new in marriage? I bet over our twenty-two years he never figured he’d be pulling meds and hovering over syringes and working up the courage to stick two needles into his wife’s left leg.

As we sat in the bathroom and he figured out his alcohol wipes and his game plan, he told me about his dad and how Hoss could cut his own finger off and probably not even flinch, but would practically pass out when his wife was hurt.

“I feel like my dad right now.”

I told him to hurry up and get it over with, that I was just fine.

And it didn’t even hurt.

Ok maybe an eensy little bit but don’t tell him that.

The older I get, the more wee glimpses I see of what the preacher man meant when he said “in sickness and in health”.

And the more thankful I grow with each passing year for the one who honors that promise daily.

img_8316

img_8310

If you are experiencing ANY of the symptoms of a diseased or low-functioning thyroid, or suspect your adrenal system is not working efficiently, PLEASE begin the big work of researching this little organ that controls so much and make an appointment to see a functional, integrative health doctor to have your blood levels checked.

Start on the road to healing and don’t let a malfunctioning thyroid and/or adrenals take any more time or joy away from you and your loved ones.

*Chronic exhaustion*Always feeling foggy*Cold all the time*Tired upon waking*Unexplained weight gain*Inability to lose weight*Unexplained muscle pain*Achy joints*Hair loss*Dry, brittle hair*Skin/nail changes* (There are many more, these are some of the most common.)

I am learning so much about this disorder that affects so many today, and along with the weekly B12 shots, a wonderful functional health doctor, the love and support of my precious family, a good supplement program, extreme diet changes, and a low dose of natural thyroid replacement, I have begun the path to healing. It is my prayer for you that you too, will be able to find a diagnosis and begin your healing journey as well. Our years are numbered…let’s spend as many of them as we can in good and balanced health.

I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you. 2 Kings 20:5