Thursday, July 19, 2012

I am not crazy! But Hashimoto might be...

When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability... To be alive is to be vulnerable.
 - Madeline L'Engle

There is a "Christian-eze" saying I cannot abide. Would you like to know what it is?

'God will never give you more than you can handle.'

There are two main reasons that I hate this saying. The first is that it is not in the Bible. No where does God claim this - and yet Christians spout it as if it is quoted directly. God DOES say in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that we will not be tempted beyond what we can endure. But that is talking strictly temptation - not hard life stuff. 
The second reason it bothers me to no end when I hear this saying, is that it is entirely not true. OF COURSE God is going to give you more then you can handle. How else do we learn to rely on Him?
 There is a tiny dust-devil in the corner next to me.(I am sitting outside at the moment) I love it. It keeps making me smile. It has such personality for a bit of wind and dust. Coming up at such odd moments. Like it grows tired and stops for a bit and then remembers something exciting and simply can't contain it, he has to spin around and around! It is these small things that feel like tiny gifts, the little joys that can't help but make you smile. The dust devil twirling 2 feet from me, this stolen moment of solitude, the smell of summer. My ice-tea is almost gone though. That is not good. That problem must be remedied asap.  

Life right now is more than I can handle. More than I can handle alone anyhow... I feel so entirely wretched most of the time, tired to the point of tears most of the day, and so very lonely lately. But with no energy to entertain or even think of carting kids off to a friend's house only to chase The Monkey around in an environment not safe for her for however long it takes for me to beg an excuse to leave, only to just be able to sit for a moment...and then I am so tired for the rest of the day I get nothing done at home.

My throat hurts constantly, my right foot is always aching so that I am limping half the time, and the rest of my body tends to just feel as if it always needs a good oiling. My chest is always tight, my ears constantly buzz to the point of pain and my fingertips are all cracked and splitting, so that I cannot wear clothes that are not 100% cotton or they will pull at my fingers, snagging them on everything. Breastfeeding, which has always been easy for me, causes me such extreme pain right now because my beloved Monkey has nicked me with her ever blossoming teeth while attempting acrobatics during her supper and nothing on me is healing. So it stays nicked, and painful - which causes great anxiety while nursing, which makes my ears buzz worse, which makes me tense, which makes her tense, which makes her want to nurse more...

I can't think. My mind is in a fog. I used to have a quick I do not. I get flustered very easily and it is embarrassing and frustrating and I feel trapped and dull and slow witted. My people skills are going away, I have no hobbies since it takes everything in me to just get through a day and if I get the dishes done and the children are alive at the end of the day it is a victory.

And I just now sat staring at my computer for far too long trying to remember what letter makes the “Vvv”sound and would therefore start the word “Victory.” Bad I tell you.

I am so thankful for patient kids – they know mom is not well. And they know that when I get grumpy it is not because of them. We have talked about this. But still, I cannot handle the questions, the touching, the whining, the arguing, the messes, the fussing, the noise, oh the noise! The running, the wildness, even the laughing and playing will hurt me because I have no filter. And so I raise my voice before I should, causing them pain. Causing me to apologize and give them hugs, but that is no excuse.

Yes, this is more than I can handle. Which makes me feel like a wimp, because in the grand scheme of things? This is really not that bad. I am not in great pain most of the time, it is all just annoying. I know many moms that are in constant pain, and they don't complain. They amaze me. So I am going to shut-up about my physical ailments. 

I may be lonely and anxious and probably more then a little depressed most days, but I have a husband that I like a whole lot and he is a very good friend. Besides, he is cute and I get to go to bed with him every night. What more could I ask for? So I shall stop complaining of that. I have many friends and beloved family, I am so very lucky. I may not get to see them as often as I would chose. But I also have many friends who do not get to see their husbands at all, sometimes for months at a time. I am so very blessed.

I grew up lucky, my family was healthy. I have avoided some of the body issues that plague the female population in the US today. Health has always been important to me, I like being healthy, exercising is (usually) a hobby of mine. And I have discovered it was a point of pride for me. Because when I gained 30lbs almost overnight without changing anything in my gym/diet routine, my self-esteem was bruised very badly and I have not yet recovered. Clothes not fitting is hard, but I find it even harder to accept buying new ones that actually fit. It feels like I am giving up, (and a waste of money since I HAVE clothes and hope to not be this size for to much longer). But if I go to the gym right now I am so tired the rest of the day I can barely get off the couch, much less chase a one year old around the house. And it doesn't do any good anyhow...I keep gaining. My hair and nails have started breaking and falling out (the hair, not the nails). I hadn't realized it had gotten as bad as it was (Aside from being annoyed that there is hair EVERYWHERE) until I found a bald patch near the front of my hair-line this morning. I just sat and stared at it. My body is not ok!

I do not get complimented anymore, and that is ok. I don't really need compliments from anyone but my husband. I don't want them from anyone else. But it has been a hard adjustment to make when I got them pretty makes me feel shallow. Which of course makes me feel even worse about myself... But deep breath, that is ok. This is not me, this is my body being not ok. It is embarrassing when my clothes don't fit, especially being the one that goes to the gym and just gets bigger.... But this too will pass. And all this is surface and really doesn't matter. So I will stop complaining. I am blessed. So very blessed.

And you know what else? I am not crazy!!!

I'll admit, I was worried. I was really worried. Is this all in my head? Was I causing all this by stressing about something that wasn't there, and then that stress caused the symptoms which then made me stress more? I couldn't handle life, it was too much. I felt cheated – this is all more then I can handle. And yet I would grow ashamed because when it was broken down, this is all not a big deal. So I am tired, yeah, that happens when you have small kids! So I was gaining weight, yeah – that happens when you are over 30. Give me more symptoms, I'll give you more reasons why. My mantra lately has been “God, HELP!”

But listen, I am not crazy! I cannot even begin to tell you the relief I feel.

Remember when I wrote about being broken? And my golden ticket when it went away for a while. Well it came back. BAD. But not the same. I couldn't manage it as well as before. I started to feel lost. My two month pass ran out, I got another blood test only to discover my doctor was on vacation for the next 3 weeks. So I waited.

I just went in yesterday. I was so very stressed not knowing what the outcome would be. And I will openly admit my biggest fear was being told that everything honky-dory. That I really WAS crazy, I had felt this way for no reason. It was all in my head. My blood pressure was through the roof when they first took it. I did some deep breathing and it was better by the 3rd time the nurse took it.

I was miserable in my 10 minute wait in the room for the doctor to come in. The room kept spinning, my ears were buzzing, I was dizzy. And then he came, he looked at my chart and his first words were “Ok, so now you have VERY low thyroid levels!”

I'm not crazy!

He said I have full blown Hashimoto's disease. I asked where I was on the scale of high vs. low and he said that putting “normal” levels at 100, when I first came in in March I was at a 120. Elevated, but not dangerously so. Then late April my levels had gone back down to around 100 (my golden ticket). Now (or 3 weeks ago when the blood was taken) I am at about a 60.

I am not crazy! Thank you God I am not crazy.

I got some medicine, I should start feeling MUCH better soon. I am so very VERY happy. I will likely be on this medicine for the rest of my life. It will take some time to get the dose right, but that is ok. I will likely go up and down. Occasionally have “Thyroid attacks” (though they should be less with the medicine). And I may even have to deal with bouts of hyper-thyroid again. I will take a pill a day forever. And that is just fine with me, because I am not crazy!

Funny, how putting a name to something can help so much. Nothing has changed in the past 24 hours. But I feel so much better today just knowing. I don't have to wean, the medicine is completely safe for breastfeeding. I have hope of becoming myself again. It feels like such a gift. I am so very thankful.

I can't handle this. I am vulnerable. But God will give me strength, of this I have no doubt. Because He has, He has answered my cry for help every time. I have made it through everyday so far. And the best part of all?

I Am Not Crazy!


  1. Sarah, I know this feeling well. If you get a good endocrinologist (one that specializes in the endocrine system which is thyroid, metabolic system, diabetes etc.) they can help you regulate it so you are feeling pretty well. I would be happy to send you some links to more info. if you like.
    Be patient and loving with yourself. It's a process, but when you know what to look for you can manage it.

  2. Oh my Dear sweet Friend, I miss you so much. I'm glad that you now have a name to put on this thing. Praying the medicine works soon so you can go back to being YOU.
    1 Pete 1:6,7 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
    James 1:2-4 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
    Romans 5:2b-5 And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

    Love you sweet friend and I love watching God work in and through you.


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