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.
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 regularly...it 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!