So you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis?
I was also diagnosed after many years of feeling unwell. At first, in Australia, I was tested for Ross River disease, and then the doctor sent me off to a Heart Surgeon who organised an angiogram for my heart, after I failed some of the heart tests.
What followed was many, many blood tests and visits to doctors and eventually a referral to a knowledgeable endocrinologist.
It was a relief when I was diagnosed and soon I was managing the ups and downs of the thyroid medication and getting used to the blood tests every few months to establish my TSH and T3 and T4 levels.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease, an illness where the immune system turns against the body’s own tissues and attacks them. My immune system attacks my thyroid, which leads to hypothyroidsim.
It has taken many years to get the dosage right, and after 15 years I still have good and bad days, and have to adjust the medication to suit.
Recently I contracted Covid 19 after a trip overseas ( the first time in 3 years), and despite being double vaccinated and boosted, I became quite unwell, and over a few months developed shingles for a second time.
I now accept that my immune system cannot cope like it did when I was healthy, and so I try to do what I have always done.
That is to be logical, isolate the things that are different in my life, for instance, if I can avoid stressful situations then that helps.
Some of the symptoms can often mimic other conditions. They may include:
- Muscle aches and stiffness and weakness
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Dry hair and hair loss
- Dry skin
- Elevated cholesterol
- Sensitivity to cold
- Hoarse voice
- Puffy face
- Slow heart rate
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
Some days feel like it is a never-ending battle. I do not eat large meals, and try to control my intake of everything, yet I gain weight, and am hurt especially when someone points out that I have gained weight, no matter how insignificant it is.
Finding out that you have an auto immune disease can not only be scary, but a relief to eventually find out why you feel so tired, and why you are putting on weight when you are actually eating less.
Comments like ” you are looking healthy, well, really quite chubby really”. These comments I hope, are not meant to be unkind, but are often taken as unkindness sadly.
If I ate huge servings of takeaway food, or preservative laden food then maybe then the comments would be justified.
But I rarely eat that sort of food, or sugary foods, starchy foods, or nightshades, and try to only have a small glass of red wine at meal times a few times a week.
Exercise is good, but some days my joints and muscles are so stiff and sore it is hard to get excited about even walking the dog.
The guilt and frustration often accompanies the feeling of being unwell and of not being able to do things that you love, or fully engage in life, which could affect your relationships with friends and family.
I always feel the need to push myself to do things, and often will overdo things and feel much worse off.
Acceptance is a big part of moving forward as well as trying to be compassionate to yourself. This is difficult if you have always been a busy person who likes to get things done, and fixed.
I have accepted that while I am a “fixer” that I, myself, now cannot be fixed. By accepting that, I can try and manage my automimmune disease in the best way that I can.
Counting blessings helps, keeping busy helps, and taking time to sit in the garden with my caring partner at the end of the day watching the birds, butterflies and our crazy dog definitely helps.
If you are suffering from an incurable illness, no matter how big or small, I wish you acceptance, happiness and tolerance. It is important to be tolerant of other’s perceptions of your illness, as remember they cannot see it, so forgive them.
“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
©2023 gentlelifehacks.com | Author| Kathryn