'I thought,' said Piglet earnestly, 'that if Eeyore stood at the bottom of the tree, and if Pooh stood on Eeyore's back, and if I stood on Pooh's shoulders --'
'And if Eeyore's back snapped suddenly, then we could all laugh. Ha ha! Amusing in a quiet way,' said Eeyore,' but not really helpful.'
'Well,' said Piglet meekly, 'I thought--'
'Would it break your back Eeyore?' Asked Pooh very much surprised.
'That's what would be so interesting, Pooh. Not being quite sure till afterwards.'
(Tiggers Don't Climb Trees -A.A. Milne)
I love Eeyore. He says all the things we want to say in our darkest hours but we can't because we don't want to complain or be seen as a whiner. Or maybe that is just me...
We all know an Eeyore. That person that always seems to have an ailment. The wind is too cold, the water is too wet. The car wont start which means that the milk in the trunk is sure to spoil. All their facebook statuses are dismal and full of news such as "well it looks like we are all sick AGAIN" or even worse "I just don't think I can take anymore of this!" but they never actually say what "this" is?
I have a sign in my kitchen that reads "complaints will be heard the second Tuesday of each week." I had to buy it when I saw it because "the second Tuesday of each week" is a phrase I have often said about something that I want never to happen. And complaining of any sort is high on that list.
Now I want to be clear, I am talking about whining here. Not general venting when something is frustrating and you need to get it off your chest, I understand that. I don't mean pouring your heart out when you are in need of a listening ear. No, complaining is the constant bringing up of a subject in a negative way, especially something menial and/or fixable, while in the meantime never ever actually doing anything to make it better.
All that to say, I feel as if lately I have been an Eeyore. And if I have, I apologize to those that have had to hear it!
A few months ago I started feeling weird. I would get dizzy, my fingernails started falling apart. I get a buzzing in my ears that wont go away and regular headaches. My eyes hurt, even upon waking up first thing in the morning, like I had been staring at a screen for hours or swimming in chlorine. I was droppings things, forgetting things, my feet would hurt, my wrists would hurt. I would get what I called "surges" of anxiety for no reason and I was less able to handle kids and their noise and constant movement. My heart would pound so that I needed to focus to regulate my breathing, especially at night. I was exhausted all the time, exhausted where my chest hurts and it feels like breathing takes energy (and going to the gym made that worse instead of better as it normally would). And worst of all, I had a lump in my throat that felt like I had swallowed a pill that would not go down. I went from losing a ton of weight after the baby (which I usually do) to gaining 25lbs back in a matter of weeks (without changing my lifestyle). I knew something was up, and for a while, I put it off thinking I just needed more sleep. After all, I have three kids, one under a year. My husband has to work a lot, even when he is home, so the brunt of everything at the house is on me. Surely this has only to do with all that?
I decided I needed to go in to the doctor to ask about the weight gain and the lumpy throat if nothing else, as well as ask about a few trivial other things that have been nagging me (a couple moles on my back, etc.) Well, the first thing the doctor said when I told him I had a few questions about my health was to sigh and say "give me the top 2-3." Frustrated I started on my list.
Me: I usually lose weight after having a baby, with breastfeeding and all that. And this time I did too, but in the last 6 weeks or so I have gained 20lbs back without changing..
Dr: Well, you know every kid is different. Sometimes you lose sometimes you gain.
Me: No, I did lose. And in the last 6 weeks or so...
Dr: Especially when it is your 3rd kid. I have some moms that lose it every time but then with that third kid it is just hard to get the lbs off.
Me: I DID lost weight. I lost 45lbs. after having the baby. Mid January I was 126 lbs. I have gained 20lbs back in the last 6 weeks but I have not changed my exercise or eating in any way.
Him: Oh...ok, yeah, we will get some blood work done.
Me: Another thing is my heart. I have an extra beat, I got it checked out 4 years ago, I was recently told I needed to get it checked again.
Him: Alright (he listens) Oh my, that is not right. Have you been to see someone about this?
Me: Yes, I just said that in 2008 I had an echo and wore the monitors for 24 hours and they said I had an extra beat, but it doesn't seem to be a problem. It is just how my heart is.
Him: (still listening to my heart) But you HAVE seen a cardiologist?
ME: YES! I just said in 2008....etc
Him: Ok, I'll go get that referral set up for you now
Me: I had another question as well..
Him: (Sigh) Alright, ONE more.
Now, I have mentioned, have I not - that I don't like complaining. I believe I have also mentioned in this blog in the past, that the number one thing that bothers me is when I am perceived incorrectly. Well, in the case of the this doctor I was perceived as an Eeyore. And I understand that in his line of work he probably sees LOTS of Eeyores. But please be polite!
All that to say I got the bloodwork. I got the scan of my thyroid. I got the cardiologist scan. I have been given the results...
I probably have Graves Disease. Trust me, it is no better when it turns out that there was reason for your Eeyore-ness. You see, there is a good chance that if Pooh and Piglet had stood on Eeyore's back it would have broken.
I don't like being broken.
I REALLY wish I had just been one of those over-paranoid people now. Why can't I have just been one of those over-paranoid people?
Graves Disease basically means my body is attacking my Thyroid (no one knows why) causing it to produce to much...of whatever it is that it produces. It is an auto-immune condition. I hate auto-immune things. Google tells me that "Graves' disease is rarely life-threatening." Which makes me feel better? I feel as if this is supposed to make me feel better....
I saw an Endocrinologist on Monday. There is a small chance this is still just temporary postpartum hyper-thyroidism that will go away on it's own. But he has told me that with my numbers and how it is all lining up that he doesn't think that is the case. He has also informed me that the tests and treatment are not really compatible with breastfeeding. I have done my own research on this of course, and it is a controversial subject in the medical world. You CAN, but it will be harder and they have to do extra monitoring of both you AND the baby. And the pediatrician has to sign off on it too.
It is funny to me that as I go through this, one of the things I find myself focusing on is that this can change how your eyes look. They "bulge" as the medical termination puts it. Sometimes bad enough that you have to "tape your eyes shut" at night to sleep. I don't want to look different because of this, I don't want my husband to no longer be attracted to me...
I know this is ridiculous, and in the grand scheme of things makes little difference, but gaining 25lbs in such a short time has done a number on how I feel about myself lately. (My clothes don't fit) And so my mind is choosing a meaningless part of all this to focus on. Especially since it feels as if there is nothing I can do about it. There is nothing I can do about any of this. And once we get to the point where there is, and I need to take medication (which will likely be talked about on Monday) it seems there is a long road ahead trying to find the right balance, and then ultimately it will get worse and worse (after or before one or more remissions) until I will have to have my thyroid removed, and then be on medication for the rest of my life. Not to mention how this affects my baby girl and whether or not I can feed her how I choose as her parent.
And I know this is not a big deal when it comes to medical conditions. It is easy to treat, remember? "Graves' disease is rarely life-threatening." So I should feel better! And I do...I am glad that if it has to be something it can be something as "easy to treat" as this. But...I still feel like an Eeyore. Or perhaps like a Tigger in a tree? Being broken feels wrong. Like it was not supposed to happen but it did... Maybe I was not paying close enough attention? Maybe I tried something I was not supposed to try? Maybe I jumped too far?
You see, after he had already climbed the tree, Tigger thought that he was rather more of a swimming animal then a climbing one. Although he had never really tried swimming before... But it is very easy to imagine something that has not happened yet, good or bad. And have you noticed that we like to imagine nice things? Especially when we are in the midst of one that is not so very nice?
I wish I could just jump out of the tree onto something nice and bouncy like a jacket, held out to catch me. Of course, when Tigger fell he fell right on top of Eeyore...