Living with Hashimoto’s
I recommend playing this track while reading this post about Hashimoto’s and me. It’s sets a tone *wink*.
About 2 months ago I started seeing a new doctor named Dr. Charlie Seltzer. He sent me for blood work to get a starting point of where I was physically. I innocently went for my blood work, being the good patient that I am, at 7:30am the next day. 15 vials of blood later and on the verge of passing out, I knew this doctor was the real deal and checking absolutely everything. At least I hoped he was because 15 vials is no joke.
As it turns out my hypothyroidism had been slightly misdiagnosed all these years. What I was told was hypothyroidism was actually Hashimoto’s. Although similar there are some very big differences. I needed some help to explain this so I Googled. I’m still learning.
Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid disease, is a common disorder. With hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.
Also called Hashimoto’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease, a disorder in which the immune system turns against the body’s own tissues. In people with Hashimoto’s, the immune system attacks the thyroid. This can lead to hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid does not make enough hormones for the body’s needs.
You can see that Hashimoto’s is really an autoimmune syndrome. It was an astonishing revelation that this is what was plaguing me. Let me add, that it is really common in women and super treatable! The shocking part was that I had symptoms for years that I couldn’t explain. These symptoms appeared even when my thyroid levels came back normal from endless lab work. I started to think that I was a hypochondriac or maybe I was just depressed. I didn’t know and I couldn’t explain it and either could my highly qualified doctors. I tried everything. I quit smoking, changed my diet, did yoga and exercise when I had energy. I pushed myself as much as I could.
There were days when getting out of bed seemed nearly impossible. There were afternoons when I needed to lay down out of sheer exhaustion. Fighting to keep my eyes open, I would fill up on caffeine so I wouldn’t fall asleep at my desk. Some mornings I would get up in such pain that it took a lifetime just to walk to the kitchen. Leaving the house sometimes took all the energy I had for a week. I wasn’t eating and gaining a ton of weight. My head hurt, my stomach hurt, and even my eyeballs hurt. I would go from freezing cold to sweating in a minute. Happy to extremely sad in thirty seconds. I avoided people when I needed to. I hid the tiredness and symptoms as best I could. And I cried in private a lot. I felt like I was going crazy and some days I was convinced I was going to lead this miserable life forever. Honestly my husband, my mother, and my sisters heard me complain all the time. If it wasn’t for them listening, I would have lost my mind. Thank goodness for my support system.
It took one doctor to test for the right things to tell me I wasn’t crazy. Everything I was feeling and experiencing these past couple years was not depression and I wasn’t dying. It took one doctor to care enough to say let’s check everything and find out what is really wrong. I suffered for so long that when he told me I had Hashimoto’s I cried because there was a reason for my failed health. There was a cause and it was treatable. I didn’t have to feel this way anymore. The joy I felt from being diagnosed was indescribable. I was the happiest person alive with an autoimmune disease 🙂
He changed my medications up and added some natural supplements to help cope with some other small issues. Very low vitamin D and iron are common in women but absolutely need to be treated. My levels were really low and we addressed that with prescription iron pills and 5000 IUs of vitamin D a day. He switched my multi-vitamin to something more natural. He didn’t stop there. He wanted my treatment to be all inclusive. He gave me a daily calorie limit (1500 calories with 85 grams of protein), the amount of water I needed to drink per day (96 ounces), and the required amount of exercise I needed weekly (3 kickboxing classes a week). I’m held accountable for all of these things daily and I appreciate that attention.
Not all the symptoms have disappeared but they are all considerably less. A few weeks ago I noticed that a fog had lifted from my brain. It was like not being able to see and then given glasses that made things sharp again. I was thinking clearer and felt something I hadn’t in a while … hope. I stepped on the scale and it was moving down. I was getting to kickboxing classes and I wasn’t falling asleep in the middle of the day. In just a short amount of time my whole life was changing. I feel beyond grateful.
So what does a girl do when she is feeling empowered again? Blonde hi-lights is the answer to that question. Thanks Moko 🙂
I’m not sure what is going to happen next. I still have a ton of weight to lose and my body needs a lot of TLC. What I do know is this, If you feel bad in any way, you have to keep going till you find the reason why. You know your body better than anyone. Listen to it. Care for it. Love it. It’s the only one you have. *Hugs*