Hypothyroidism. An Open Letter to My Family

Hypothyroidism. An Open Letter To My Family.

When a Hypothyroid Mom reader contacted me with this letter that she wrote to her family (and she asked me to share but keep it anonymous), I thought wow she hit the nail on the head. She expressed the frustration we feel living with an invisible illness so perfectly. We may look “normal” on the outside but struggle in ways no one understands, not even our loved ones.

Written by…Anonymous

I think it is time that we come to some understanding, some realization of the reality of my life, and how that affects your lives. You see, I fear that if something were to happen to me, and you had to call an ambulance and they asked you if I had any medical conditions, what would you say?

“Yeah, she has some kind of thing, don’t remember what it’s called.”

Why? Why wouldn’t you remember? Because you didn’t take the time to learn about it, to embrace and to learn how it would affect you as much as it does me.

You see, I am a hypothyroid mom

What is hypothyroidism? In layman’s terms, my thyroid no longer functions (nor has it functioned for many years).

What is the big deal you ask?

Many, many people suffer from hypothyroidism. It’s quite common in fact, but it’s a game changer.

So what does your thyroid do?

Well, it does so many incredible things in your body, that is, when it works. It stores and produces hormones that affect the function of virtually every organ in our bodies and regulates our metabolic rate (how the body absorbs nutrients from the foods and vitamins that we ingest). In a nutshell, when the thyroid shuts down completely, the body shuts down. But you didn’t know this because you didn’t take the time to listen, to do the research that I asked you to do.

Thyroid disease is largely hereditary. There is no warning. It just manifests one day until you cannot function any longer. You drag yourself to the doctor and find out that you will be poked, prodded, and pilled for the rest of your life. Along with hypothyroidism, come many other ailments – arthritis, high cholesterol, depression, fibromyalgia, and a plethora of other good stuff. In my case, arthritis appears to be slowly setting in.

So, what are the signs, the symptoms? Extreme weight gain (or extreme weight loss for others, and that’s awful too), hair loss, mood swings, chills, exhaustion, constant napping, insomnia, pain, aches, foggy brain, dry, flaky skin (you know, when you say “Mommy has furry skin”), and general malaise.

Treatment? Constant monitoring of blood levels, a cocktail of pills from thyroid hormone replacement medication to statin drugs to pain medications.

Is there a cure? Nope.

Does it suck? You bet it does.

There are however two ways to attack this disease. You can be a hypothyroidism warrior as I like to champion myself, or you can stay in bed for days on end without lifting your head from the pillow (and trust me, there are many a day that I would love nothing more than to do just that).

Me, well, instead I choose to be a warrior.

I get up at 6:30am, spend an hour waking up this foggy and tired brain, wake you up, get you ready for and off to school, go to work myself and do my best to keep these eyes open until the end of the work day and the drive home looms ahead. I get home, and plunk. Down go my things, and down I go.

You see, by this point, I am both mentally and physically exhausted – not in any way that you could possibly understand. This is a constant lifelong sentence of exhaustion. So I close my eyes for a few minutes to give myself a little boost before I wake up to do household chores, pay bills, do homework checks, help with studying, laundry, refereeing squabbles, and anything else that may come up in between. Then, well, then I run off to my second job – a much more physical job. Perhaps physically easy to everyone else, but by the time I get there, there truly isn’t much left in the tank. After a short stint, I return home to finish up what is left of the household duties (and yes, they have to be done) before the tank reaches completely empty and the engine shuts down.

So, call me lazy, whiny, negative, miserable, but you know what? I AM a warrior!

I have not given up or given in. Yes, some days are more difficult than others, but I fight and do my best not to let anyone see this, albeit, this is becoming more and more difficult to hide. Please do not take offense if I need some quiet time, some help and most importantly, some love.

I walk in the door every day and the first thing I do before plunking everything down, is ask each of you how your day was. When was the last time anyone asked me how my day was?

I’m not whining, I’m winning,

I’m not lazy, I’m tired.

I’m not grumpy, I’m in pain.

So on those good days, I love to celebrate – a day with no nap in the car, a day with minimal pain, a day where I actually accomplished everything I set out to do, a day when I shared love with my family. The bad days, I promise myself that tomorrow will be better. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, but do you even notice?

It’s time to notice that your wife, your mother, IS a hypothyroid warrior and will not give up, ever.

However I need the support and love of a hypothyroid husband and children more than ever. This disease is also your disease, like it or not.

Tomorrow when I walk in that door and before I plunk, look at me, look into my eyes, my soul, and you will know exactly what I am feeling. Do this every day, and you won’t even have to ask me how my day was, you will see how my day was.

Your loving Hypothyroid Wife & Mommy

XOXOXO

Bio: Happily married for nearly 18 years, with two amazing little men now 12 and 14. I am an incredibly busy Mom, career woman, and a Hypothyroid Warrior! Just over 3 years ago, at the age of 41, I found myself napping constantly, lagging and dragging and I knew that something just wasn’t right, and I certainly was right about that. I was officially diagnosed with Hypothyroidism in July 2013. Today, while I certainly feel better than I did 3 years ago, I fight every day. Every day I fight to find my old self again and I will not stop until I do, because somewhere in this body is the real me.

READ NEXT: WHEN HYPOTHYROIDISM IS PAINFUL

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About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini M.A., Ed.M., founded Hypothyroid Mom October 2012 in memory of the unborn baby she lost to hypothyroidism. This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for consulting your physician regarding medical advice pertaining to your health. Hypothyroid Mom includes affiliate links including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.

Comments

  1. Pat Padgett says

    Does anyone with hypothyroidism NOT sweat? I don’t sweat. When I get too hot, my skin feels cold to the touch, I flush and pass out if I’m not able to get cooled down. Anyone experience this?

    • OMG… I know how you feel…I have a very stressful life…job mostly.when I got diagnosed it was by fluke….I was sent to an endocrinologist…due to erratical TSH readings
      I was trying to figure out why I was dealing with constant heartburn…..after 3 years tested positive for pylori …..got treated and after that….still had digestive problems.
      Was told by gastroenterologist that all is good.he wanted to prescribe an antidepressant…wtf
      He said ia Had become over obsessed with my digestive system.sends me back to go enjoy all the pasta and pizza.
      What an egg head.sometimes I wish they get this…so they can understand…in the meantime the endocrinologist
      sends me for thyroid ultrasound and t4 t3a andTPO..anyway just to be told…by this endocrinologist…that yes…so I have hypothyroidism and Hashimoto.But my levels are nowhere near where she can prescribe meds…. she says…come back in 2 years
      Lucky for me my Family doctor…new for me…followed up with me in 6 months .
      But it’s been downhill from then.
      All the symptoms got worse….finally got referred to a nutritionist….what a blessing….it’s not easy…but I am going in the right direction

    • This is me!

  2. I am in tears reading this and all of the comments. I have worked so hard for so long to “fix” why I feel like I do. Take this supplement. Try these oils. Cbd. Kratom. Prescriptions. If I’ve read it, I’ve tried it. I’m just so tired. Now! After reading this I know there is no fix. We just have to get to a point where we can survive. This makes me beyond sad.

    • Patricia Wolff says

      Same here!

      • Sandra Carrington says

        Amen! I feel your pain! Same symptoms! Same tiredness and a nap.every time I sit down! Hard to make those who around you thAt realize you have a,problem! I want to be a,warrior! I am trying hard! Prayers please! I want to.wake up and feel good! Go somewhere and take care of all the things, my sweetheart does for me! Been on synthroid for 45 + years. Still kicking and not giving up!

  3. Melissa Carlton says

    I have lost my thyroid to radiation and two parathyroids to surgery. I am on 400mcg of Synthroid per day and some days are more challenging than others. I have gained 85 pounds since my diagnosis and am trying to slowly chisel that off with high protein, low carb, generally healthy eating habits. Cold weather means that my joints and bones ache terribly and my blood pressure and cholesterol are almost always high while my body temperature is almost 2 degrees below normal, making me my hubby’s favorite cooling feature at night.
    I have 3 boys who are almost grown, a full time job, and full time college. Life is chaotic sometimes and I seem to catch bronchitis during the cold months every year. Some days, there is nothing I would love more than a nap, but then I have to sacrifice something that won’t get done or rely on the others in my family to do it for me. At 43, I am a warrior. My grandmother, mother, and maternal aunts all had this same disease but were never diagnosed and they all died before the age of 65, or 50 in my mother’s case. I am a warrior. I have medicine and knowledge on my side. I will take my pills. I will endure the constant barrage of testing and dosage adjustments. I will work harder to feel better. And I will live longer than the ones who came before me because we finally have a name to put to the disease – Medullary Thyroid Cancer caused by Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome type 2. I am a warrior and I will continue to fight so that others who suffer can have more knowledge than I do today and someday we will find a way to beat the monster.

    • OMG… I know how you feel…I have a very stressful life…job mostly.when I got diagnosed it was by fluke….I was sent to an endocrinologist…due to erratical TSH readings
      I was trying to figure out why I was dealing with constant heartburn…..after 3 years tested positive for pylori …..got treated and after that….still had digestive problems.
      Was told by gastroenterologist that all is good.he wanted to prescribe an antidepressant…wtf
      He said ia Had become over obsessed with my digestive system.sends me back to go enjoy all the pasta and pizza.
      What an egg head.sometimes I wish they get this…so they can understand…in the meantime the endocrinologist
      sends me for thyroid ultrasound and t4 t3a andTPO..anyway just to be told…by this endocrinologist…that yes…so I have hypothyroidism and Hashimoto.But my levels are nowhere near where she can prescribe meds…. she says…come back in 2 years
      Lucky for me my Family doctor…new for me…followed up with me in 6 months .
      But it’s been downhill from then.
      All the symptoms got worse….finally got referred to a nutritionist….what a blessing….it’s not easy…but I am going in the right direction

  4. Please know the best way to fight is your diet!!! My functional medicine doctor has helped me so much to change my management of this disease and overall health trajectory. Each day, you can take a step toward a more healthy you. Do not give up! Traditional treatment only offers pills. Fight with functional medicine!

    • I agree. I have much better days than not good days now. I am on LDN but along with my diet…. I maybe only need to nap 1 day, maybe 2, a week now. Unless I am catching something and my immune system just can’t keep up. Pain is always there, with the fibro there are days were I dont want to move let alone wear clothes. But like I said earlier, eating clean, has helped tremendously, and with th he guidance of my functional doctor as well.

    • What type of diet do you mean???

    • Teresa Burket says

      What state do you live in?

  5. Iwas diagnosis with hyperthyroidism i was 139 lbs in nust a few months i weighed 107 i got really hot sweated eyes got big thot i was having a nervousbreakdown i was going thru a divorce at the time o almost went into a thyroid storm nerves was shot had surgery now i am hypo but i feel Better than ever because my dr
    Regulated my medice

  6. I am going through all that too. But now I also have a rapid heartbeat . I was diagnosed. with hypothyroidism 23 years ago.
    Since Oct I have lost 9 pounds. I asked my Dr, to do a sonogram of. my thyroid, I am going to insist on it.
    The anxiety and depression is overwhelming. But I am also bipolar. Nevertheless I have been getting by, good days and bad but mostly feeling blah.

    • I have Hashimoto’s disease which if you dont already know is the leading cause of hypothyroidism. So far we have my levels under control. However at times my thyroid basically starts overworking itself and I end up being hyper instead of hypo. It causes severe anxiety, weight loss, rapid heart and my body to be very shaky. Just thought I would share my experience and I hope you get everything worked out with your doctor.

      • I experience the very same symptoms with Hashimoto’s. I see a Naturopathic doctor, she has helped me tremendously! I also have gastroparesis which makes eating choices very difficult. I experience depression because it’s so frustrating once being so vibrant and full of life to exhausted and sick feeling after a minimal task. It helps to hear others experience similar symptoms.

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