Living With Hyperthyroidism….
It all started when I felt very ill completely out of the blue. I had no idea what was wrong with me, as a healthy, active person I never had felt way this before. So I ignored all the signs and symptoms, telling myself that this was probably just some phase I was going through, maybe I was just getting old? In my head I was aware that something was not right, but as I was an active healthy person not once did it occur to me that there could be something medically wrong. Over time the aches and pain got worse, I would complain to my family and friends but they didn’t seem to understand. I would take painkillers and let another day pass by: soon I realised the painkillers were not working.
I took myself to my doctors. I told my doctor how I felt, but he didn’t seem to think much of it, he asked me to have a blood test to see what the cause could be. The test came back all clear and he told me there was nothing wrong with me. By this point, each day was always the same: wake up with endless pain, try to clear my mind, but end up thinking of only how I was going to get through another eventful day. Nothing seems to help, my mind couldn’t rest. The trips to my doctor became frequent: facing the same rude receptionist over and over again and each time being told that nothing was wrong with me. I gave up; I felt so depressed, some days I could barely get out of bed.
Luckily for me, my work colleagues picked up on my low moods, my aches and pains. They noticed how I had gone from being a happy, lively person to a complete dead zombie. They advised me to change my doctor. I found a new GP right near my house and registered straight away, I went and saw the new doctor and told him how I had been feeling. My new Doctor seemed to listen to what I had to say. He asked me if anyone in my family suffered from any thyroid disorders, I told him that no one did and that I had NEVER EVEN HEARD OF Hyperthyroidism before. He told me that he knew what was wrong with me but wanted to be sure, so I once again I went for a blood test – “another one” I thought. When my test came back I was diagnosed with an Underactive thyroid: from that moment my life changed…
So many questions went through my head: what was this? How did I end up with it? Why me? But, after over a year, I finally had an answer to all the endless aches and pains, an answer to the constant hair loss, the tiredness and the constant depression, an answer to why I was not me anymore.
Unfortunately, I have only listed some of the problems caused by a thyroid condition. Some of the symptoms can make life a bit of a mission: joint pain, dizziness, concentration lapses, weight gain and anxiety, not to mention depression. So now every morning I must remember to take tablets, although, after a while this has just become habit. I have regular trips to the GP, where I take more blood tests. Sometimes I wonder when my mind and body is going to get a deserved rest.
The trouble with a thyroid illness is that it’s mostly unseen, and so it is hard for others to understand. Family and friends can sometimes seem so mean saying things like, “pull yourself together,’ ‘just go out and get some air’ or ‘stop being so miserable.’ It feels like they don’t care. It’s hard to explain to them exactly how it makes me feel – that this isn’t someone else’s story for me, this is all real. I know that a lot of people suffer from illnesses and it is hard for others around them to understand. I find myself always saying ‘Yeah I’m fine’ when asked how I am, never wanting to say that really I feel like I’ve been hit by a car! For me, my family still doesn’t know what Hypothyroidism is.
I have days now where I wake up wishing I didn’t, and others where I am a ball of energy. Some mornings I wake up with patchy eyebrows or puffy eyes. I’ve learnt to accept these conditions and that I have to live with this for the rest of my life. It is really depressing knowing I’ve got to rely on medication for the rest of my life to feel normal, but I do not let this condition define me – it is not who I am. I try and live my days to the fullest, to enjoy the little things in life which I once took for granted, and have as much fun as I can.
When I tell people that I have an Underactive thyroid they never know what it is and usually show no interest either. I know there are so many people out there who never talk about their condition simply because it is an unseen one. I know from my experiences that conditions like this are not easy to live with. I’ve spent days hiding myself in my room, feeling sorry for myself, feeling worthless and that everyone would be better off without me: just wanting to be alone. I am lucky; I have the best support system around me – they pull me back. They might not understand what I go through but they never give up on me. I have a lot of distractions to keep me going and my work colleagues are so understanding and supportive.
I know that there are a lot of people who don’t get the support and they suffer in silence. If you have a family member or a friend who suffers from Hyperthyroidism, please be kind and considerate, listen to them and try and be there for them. Trust me when I say this condition is really difficult to live with, no one would want to – I for one, sure don’t.