Health: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an invitation for understanding

We all have personal struggles and having been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, is mine.

Where has the sexy gone?

The excerpt letter below my post describes well the “mind” of Hashimoto’s and came from a Facebook site called “Thyroid Sexy”.  There’s really no more “sexy” in my life since this disease took over but I keep in mind it’s temporary – maybe (the sexy part, not the disease unfortunately).  One never really knows how tomorrow will be, and that is specifically the part of life which makes it less and less attractive to engage in the world under these conditions.

There was a time I believed that if I could just get out of bed, force myself outside with my camera or stop putting myself down for being too lazy, too unmotivated, too weak (none of which I really am or exhibit realistically) maybe I could get through it because mind over matter, right? But when your mind is brain fogged there is no mind you can call your own. I’ve learned to forgive myself for days where I lack the vivaciousness which usually surrounds me because I still manage to do more than those who don’t have this disease and most days that alone allows for a more self-forgiving attitude, especially for going from being amazing to barely there.

Living diseased or go hardcore for hardcare?

I invite you to understand what it’s like to live with this disease.  I’ve discussed it in the past on my blog (March 2012, July 2012 (humor), August 2012Sept 2012, )but I like the “I am Hashimoto” letter below. I’d make my own version but Gena Lee Nolin did a good job so I pass on an excerpt of her words of Hashimoto truths.

After about 2-3 months feeling on the upside with stable thyroid hormone replacement medication and a great little part-time job, Hashimoto’s hit me hard a few weeks ago with massive anxiety and hypothyroid symptoms and this present fall brought me right back to more doctor visits and general life hating.   Not good.

My one only option I can’t seem to find the “JUMP!” attitude for committing fully to is plunging into a full dietary and lifestyle change (hard core Paleo) with the kind of focus and excitement one might expect to see in an individual taking their health to the next level, sans doctors!!  BUT… hard core Paleo is hard core.  Take a look.

Hardcore for me is a limited time experience, not a way of life.  Get that?

L-I-M-I-T-E-D!

Yet in the case of inspirations such as Dr. Terry Wahls, who has found a way to “cure” herself of stage 2 progresssive Multiple Sclerosis through eating  ‘hardcore’ bunny rabbit food and veggies aka primarily Paleo diet, I’ve personally been slammed with a non-drug choice.  How does one NOT TRY?!  That’s stupidity to have a choice that works for others in positive ways and not try it yourself.  Pure stupidity…

There is a slew of info on the net about the benefits of strict dietary changes for Hashimoto patients and it’s hard to unlearn, hard to ignore, yet soooo hard to dive into fully.  Thing about me is when I ‘just do it’, I do it right and doing it right requires at this time a great deal of energy, commitment, support and planning, all of which I’m low on.

My endocrinologist sees no scientific research linking gluten to hypothyroid/ Hashimoto problems but my body doesn’t need special interest (pharmecutical) funding research to prove it to me.  Upset stomach, extreme fatigue, massive mood swings, body aches, joint pain, headaches, brain fog and depression are the results of my research which includes injesting grains, primarily gluten-based ones. Every. Single. Time.

Finding strengh and motivation

True hope for recovery brings excitment, no? Somehow the true hope part eludes me.  I feel like banging my head on the wall for sense to fall into action!  In part it may be that I just don’t know what or who to believe anymore and self-trust gets eaten away as though it were the thyroid gland itself. With this disease your mind is a hostage not just your body.

So, I’m back to finding new coping strategies to heal my body while realizing rather painfully that just as importantly, I’ve got to find ways to heal my mind and soul. It’s very difficult, all of this. It’s absolutely the most challenging undertaking I’ve ever had, this Goddamnfuckingshit disease.  Oh, sorry.  I was trying to just making the cussing look like a long German word…maybe it needs an umlat somewhere.

I’m a pretty fearless human being but this disease minimizes my ability to face those fears.  Personally, I feel like a huge failure until I remember the truly weak souls, the ones who brush off their struggles as “that’s just the way life is” mentality and then try to fit their misery into a box of mediocrity of self-victimization, ill-health and excuses for a life of struggle. No!  No way is that approach healthy. No way is that appropriate for a spirit like mine.

“Bunny rabbit food, give me strengh!”

* I gave this post a day to “set” because I felt it sounded like a pity post. Perhaps it is. However, I chose to post it because Hashimoto’s and thyroid issues effects millions of unsuspected souls. The more you understand what it is, the more chance you have of giving support to others around you who need it or get help yourself if you qualify with symptoms.

Thanks for listening.

 “I am Hashimoto’s” letter  (full text)

(text excerpt)

“Hi. My name is Hashimoto’s. I’m an invisible autoimmune disease that attacks your thyroid gland …

I’m so sneaky–I don’t always show up in your blood work. 

Others around you can’t see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me. 

I can attack you anywhere and any way I please. 

I can cause severe pain or, if I’m in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over. 

Remember when you and energy ran around together and had fun? 

I took energy from you, and gave you exhaustion. Try to have fun now. 

I can take good sleep from you and in its place, give you brain fog and lack of concentration. 

I can make you want to sleep 24/7, and I can also cause insomnia. 

I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal. 

I can also give you swollen hands and feet, swollen face and eyelids, swollen everything. 

I can make you feel very anxious with panic attacks or very depressed. I can also cause other mental health problems. You know crazy mood swings? That’s me. Crying for no reason? Angry for no reason? That’s probably me too. 

I can make your hair fall out, become dry and brittle, cause acne, cause dry skin, the sky is the limit with me. 

I can make you gain weight and no matter what you eat or how much you exercise, I can keep that weight on you. I can also make you lose weight. I don’t discriminate.

 …

You will be put on the wrong medication for you, pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants.

 … 

You’ll be told to think positively, you’ll be poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken seriously when you try to explain to the endless number of doctors you’ve seen, just how debilitating I am and how ill and exhausted you really feel. In all probability you will get a referral from these ‘understanding’ (clueless) doctors, to see a psychiatrist. 

Your family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and just how debilitating I can be. 

Some will start talking behind your back, they’ll call you a hypochondriac, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially if you are in the middle of a conversation with a “normal” person, and can’t remember what you were going to say next.

They will not understand that having this disease impacts your body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, and that every cell and every body system and organ requires the proper amount and the right kind of of (sic) thyroid hormone medication for YOU. 

 I am Hashimoto’s Disease.”

Here’s a great post from “Hypothyroid mom” about more details of Hashi’s if you’d like the information: http://hypothyroidmom.com/hashimotos-your-body-is-not-supposed-to-destroy-itself-right/

*a special thx to the women I linked to for their informative websites

2 thoughts on “Health: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, an invitation for understanding

  1. Don’t worry about the swearing. It’s somehow therapeutic in its own way. Is Hashimoto’s related to any other disease for which there are more encouraging signs? I really hope you can overcome this, Tatiana.

  2. Thank you, Ian. Very kind of you… Hashimoto symptoms fall into many other categories but all of them are autoimmune in nature pretty much. Many who have Hashi’s tend to have Celiac Disease as well but I’ve tested negative for it and many other autoimmune diseases which is good. No complaints there! :) … I will overcome it. The challenge is positively overcoming it. Always nice hearing from you, Ian. Cheers- Tatiana

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