I’M FINE, THANKS

I'm fine, thanks

I’m fine, thanks

One lie. A little one. Intended to answer the question “How are you?” in the expected way. Well meaning. Until you develop a chronic illness like hypothyroidism. Then those three little words become way too big to handle.

How are you?

❌ I’m exhausted, thanks.

When hypothyroidism hits you, the fatigue is so deep that there are no words to describe it. Thyroid tired. Boy, if only people knew, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

I’m fat, thanks.

Everyone tells me to eat less and exercise more. It’s BS. I never had weight issues before hypothyroidism. The fat starts spilling up over my damn jeans as I zip them up, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

I’m bald, thanks.

The shower drain keeps clogging up with the mounds of hair falling off the top of my head. The skin of my scalp is starting to show through and I’m devastated that I could be going bald, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

I’m awful, thanks.

What happened to me? Where did I go? It’s like I’m watching the life of a completely different person. Like I’m another person watching me, but this unfamiliar, unhealthy person that I don’t recognize, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

I’m ugly, thanks.

I walk by a mirror and take a double take. Is that my face? That can’t be my face. A haggard face with dark, baggy circles under the eyes that seems to have aged 10 years in the span of a few months looks back at me. I’m aging at an accelerated pace now. I feel ugly, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

I’m lonely, thanks.

I’m losing friends. I’m losing family. Chronic illness has a way of changing our closest relationships. I hear the whispers. What happened to her? She used to be so much fun? Now all she does is sleep. People who used to love my company are distancing themselves. They’ve stopped inviting me places and get angry when I cancel on them. I’m losing friends and family, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

I’m scared, thanks.

Hypothyroidism affects every part of the body and rapidly new symptoms arise. New medical diagnoses are given and medications are added. Cholesterol levels and blood sugar are rising and doctors look worried. No one seems to be able to help me, not even my doctors. When I was a little girl, I thought doctors were like super heros swooping in just in the nick of time to save you from whatever ails you, but I was wrong, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

❌ I’m anxious, thanks.

No body part is safe from hypothyroidism and that includes our brains. Anxiety. Depression. Panic. Mood swings. I have no idea how to explain how brutal it is when your brain seems to shift, especially at night. Every single worry you’ve ever had in your life keeps playing over and over on continual  freakin’ rewind all through your sleepless night, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

I’m failing, thanks.

When I was pregnant with my first son I had dreams of being a super mom. I was definitely going to be the perfect mom that balanced work, life, and parenting with perfection, but then reality came crashing down. I developed hypothyroidism and I couldn’t keep up like others mothers. I just couldn’t. I feel like a failure as a mother, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

I’m losing, thanks.

I was always an overachieving employee determined to rise through the ranks of the corporate world. I was confident in my abilities and never doubted that I would rise, rise high in my career. But now I’m screwing up big time at work, missing deadlines, and forgetting important details. I’m not getting the raises and promotions that I would normally receive and I fear being fired, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

I’m lazy, thanks.

She’s become so lazy. That’s what they say and I’m starting to believe it myself. I don’t have the energy to do the normal things everyone does and people make me feel so bad about it. Just get up and move everyone keeps saying. They don’t understand and I feel alone, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

❌ I’m sad, thanks.

I never expected to be sick. I never expected to have a chronic illness. I never expected to change. I never wanted to change. I hate being sick, but do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

❌ I’m breaking, thanks.

Come on snap out of it. Just get out more. Just stop worrying. Just think on the bright side. Just…just…just. Yeah just shove it because I’m losing it and your insensitive and utterly uninformed suggestions make me feel like this is my fault. My fault that I got sick. This is a disease. It happens to hundreds of thousands of people. It’s real. It’s not all in my head. I will find my perfect health again. I will. There is no stopping me, but for now please just believe me. Just love me. Just be there without judgment. But do you really want to hear that?

How are you?

I’m fine, thanks.

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I appreciate every share! Thank you.

About Dana Trentini

Dana Trentini 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. Brandy Anderson says

    Oh my goodness! I am reading this at work….bad idea. It literally brought tears to my eyes. I shared this on Facebook asking people to read it! I know that I am different now. I feel it daily, physically and mentally. I need for people to understand it! Hypothyroidism affects everyone differently. Many women will develop hypothyroidism in post menopause. I developed mine perimenopause, and it is absolutely horrible. I pay for it after eating certain things, I am so, so tired, but I can’t sleep because my brain will not turn off or I wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep. I’m hot, I’m cold. I’m depressed and sometimes cry for no reason. It is real, and it is terrible. Then you have to adjust, what should be a “normal” life, to accommodate all of the wonderful things that your disease changes. I am currently in the process of a major career change because I can’t keep getting up so early. I can’t seem to get to bed early enough to feel like I have had enough sleep, and I can no longer endure the pressure that comes from a position like mine in the corporate world. Prayers for everyone struggling with this disease.

  2. Katherine Wright says

    I’m so tired of trying to explain myself to everyone. Doctors, friends and even family members don’t understand how bad this really is???

    • Kellysha kistan says

      Even I am feeling the same….
      Everyone thinks we are just keep complaining n complaining for no reason but no one knows what we are gng thru
      It’s not our fault that we got diagnosed with this
      But everyone thinks we are just been paranoid
      I mean it’s only us that has it will understand what we go thru right

  3. Colette Lorimer says

    It is so hard when days of tiredness stretch on in unrelenting frequency with a few ‘better’ days inbetween. Most often people have not got a clue how feeling unwell and tired beyond tired engulfs your body ,sport and mind and dare I say it soul. I am not the bubbly person of yesteryear and I fear what the future will bring trying not to dwell on THIS as there is no denying the raft of health conditions that come with being hypothyroid. If only we could only turn back the clock and not feel decades older than our years. Hypothyroidism, it sucks

  4. this is all complexly true! ive had this condition for years, ive never felt well, but try to put a good face on it. It feels as though no one understands, and the worst bit is, when you go to the doctor, they just look, and say try harder!!! I now have heart disease, and put it down to the fact that I was started off with 100 mcgs thyroxine, which I now know was wrong, sigh, why don’t the doctors get trained properly on the thyroid issues?i fail to comprehend!

  5. Janice elliott says

    Today as everday seem to be my worse day. Very seldom do I have good days
    ..My face is puffy, I m a yo yo… I lose weight, I gain weight. ..Not to mention the lack of sleep, lately I have been sleeping like a new born sleep a min wake up… Im just drain but Im going to fight a good fight.

  6. Brenda West says

    Every time I go to the doctor and tell her I’m tired after 2 p.m. and I can’t seem to lose weight even though I work out every other day and eat like a baby bird, she just seems to look at me. She said my thyroid checks out fine. Lately, if I am doing something really physical (like mowing the lawn) and come in the house, I can barely move and I just crash and fall asleep because I am totally exhausted. This has never been so bad. My doctor makes me feel like there’s nothing wrong…

    • You need to find a different doctor. Find one that will treat you, not your labs!!! I have had this for 32 years. When I see doctors for the first time,I give them 2 chances. On the second visit if they do not talk to me instead of the labs in my chart, I look for another endocrinologist. Not easy but I am better satisfied.

  7. When people say that you just want attention and to stand out. But all you want to do is crawl away somewhere and hide/sleep/get out of the limelight someone put you in.
    When people tell you that your food allergies/sensitivities/intolerances are all in your mind or a fad – don’t you know that you have to eat normal food even though it makes you sick, just to please someone else.
    Sometimes I’m so embarrassed to be apart of this race. What we do to each other is terrible – and we are supposed to be the superior race. Animals are so much smarter than humans.

  8. StillTooYoung2feelThisOld says

    I wish that one day there will be physicians that really listen and believe us and know that we understand our body more than they do. It’s not all in our head and our numbers are not “normal”. Hypothyroidism is a disease that affects too many of us. Praying for answers and a cure. 🙏

    • Carla H Schlissel, DDS says

      Unfortunately, most physicians are now joining corporations or hospital groups (same difference, really) because it is getting too expensive to have a private practice and insurance companies reimburse pathetically poorly. They now are production-driven and can no longer spend proper and adequate time to actually listen. It’s like the psychiatrists who listen for 5 minutes, jump to a diagnosis and prescribe a drug. Hopefully, people will wake up, realize what’s going on and demand a change. Hopefully.

  9. When you can’t tolerate flashing lights at work, and they say “hmmmm … really? A medical condition?” And I’m trying to justify my sensitivity to an insensitive jerk. When you can’t swim in the pool because you are freezing and feel like you are being tortured and your friend says it’s all in your head. I. Want. To. SCREAM.

    • The lights are awful sometimes it gets so bad I cant even drive after dark bc I cant see anything. Or when I’m scared to eat bc I know the after pain I will endure for hours on end. And the crazy looks from Drs bc they think I’m crazy! The struggle with the disease is horrible I just want to feel normal again😭

  10. I am all of the above constantly. However my levels are fine on a very high dosage of thyroxine 200mg every day. And to top it of not only a underactive thyroid but lets throw Hashimotos into the mix too. I wonder every day how i cope. How i manage. I seem too. I live my life the best i can. I am not letting this define me. I am not letting this win. I Struggle with my weight .. eating is okay we all have our days. Right now as i am typing this i am laying in bed contemplating to get up and exercise my body is saying no but my brain is saying you did that yesterday and the day before whats different today you wether or not your body says no your fat ass says get on the damn treadmill. It is a constant battle of should i get up and do the washing or should i just sit here and rest. It is horrible. We never asked for this. But what we do with it and all the knowledge out there we can function. Its a matter of finding the right dr for you and one that will listen. I see my gp i have tried endocrinologists however i found them useless i found my gp had a better understanding and treated me better with medication than they did.

  11. Make sure you get them to check your iron levels as well as this can be affected when you are run down and not eating properly. My hypo was found after clumps of hair fell out. 15 years on, medication sorted (but still checked every 6 months) and all fine. Don’t take over your prescription as this can also trigger depression. Keep going and you’ll make it out to the other side and back to ‘normal.’ Xxx

  12. Melissa ganaway says

    I take thyroid meds and my levels are now normal but I have days where I feel so tired. My get up and go got up and left. I continue to push myself everyday regardless of how I feel. I’m glad that I am not alone.

  13. Barb Johnson says

    I had to have my thyroid completely removed after the radiation treatments from brain cancer caused it to basically malfunction. I was losing weight at a rapid pace. They found fehicular cancer in the thyroid so I went thru all the treatments and now cancer free.
    My problem is that I don’t have a thyroid and I take medication every day for it. But I’m lazy, always yawning, can’t keep up, and basically barely keep the housework done and dinners made.
    I go to an Endocrinologist once a year for a med check. Should I mention all this to her? I am a 64 year old. What should I do?

  14. I’m so glad that I found your blog. I’m 58 and had a total hysterectomy when I was 50. I’ve also been on Zoloft for depression for many years. I recently discovered by accident, that my pituitary gland isn’t producing the hormones it should be. My Prolactin level is 108!! The Endocrinologist wasn’t concerned about the Prolactin but she saw my blood work and immediately put me on Synthroid. Since I was already exhausted all of the time (and contributed this to depression) I was thrilled to hear that I was hypothyroid and not depressed. Confused? So am I, lol. Anyways the Synthroid didn’t do a thing and she took me off it after 2 weeks. She then prescribed hydrocortisol and I felt great! My tires weren’t flat anymore, I finally had energy. I went for an ACTH ? test and the results came back that I was borderline. The Endocrinologist took me off the drug because she said the long term effects weren’t worth the borderline result. That was weeks ago. An entire year has gone by and I’m back to square 1. Exhausted all day long. I try to hide it and lie to others. This article has helped me so thank you. Sorry for blathering on but maybe others can relate.

  15. Such an enlightening post and the question format could be used to similar effect with so many chronic illnesses! I have shared your link on my PainPalsBlog regular feature “Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You!” Claire
    https://painpalsblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/19/monday-magic-inspiring-blogs-for-you-37/

  16. All of these describe me. Each & every one of them.

  17. So I’m the guy that lives w/ a hypothyroid mom. Specifically , my wife of 25 years . Your article helped , as my wife has had every one of those symptoms . EVERY ONE !!! To state the obvious, this stuff is beyond brutal on a marriage . Social life — gone. Intimate life – beyond gone ( 4 years w/ no sexual intimacy , but who’s counting?!?). Ability to do much w/ kids — not much . What’s kept me in the marriage ??? Faith, my career, my kids, my friends, my extended family, hitting about 10 million tennis balls ( a Harley is next), and the still small hope that she will get better . The good news is that she has improved some ….. so I am hoping that it continues. The article at least tells me that my wife is not a freak —- that others deal w/ this too. Regardless , I bet this is a major cause of divorce …….you have to dig deep to stay in it .

    • Hi. I think is important for the “other half” to have support as well. Im the one with hypo and my Wasband was too self-absorbed to be supportive and go to my appointments with me.
      Please hang in there. Encourage your wife to try a different doctor who will not only listen but actually HEAR her when she describes her symptoms. Go with her if she doesn’t mind. She didn’t ask for this and neither did you. Many doctors listen but don’t hear. What she’s suffering is real. I’m really glad you’ve got enough tennis balls and you’re sticking by your wife.

  18. Glad I found this article! I feel lazy, anxious, tired almost all the time. My mood swings are crazy. I am getting heavier and struggling to lose one gram inspite of all the diet and exercise I do. That’s really frustrating to say the least☹️ My GP wrote tests for me after I insisted and my iron levels are normal, it was just TSH and T4 levels – my t4 is in normal range and TSH is 7.0.(normal range 0- 4.0) My doctor doesn’t want to prescribe medications and says it’s just a border level increase also since my t4 is normal. But I need help. Is there any way to lose weight and feel better with hypothyroidism at all?? ☹️
    Sorry for my long vent and thank you so much for the post .

    • your doc who does not want to prescribe thyroid meds for you is an IDIOT! a TSH of 7.0 is not a borderline problem. Look on line for bioidentical hormone docs who will approach your entire system, not just thyroid. Try RLC Labs, they make natural thyroid and keep a doc list. Try ACM, Functional Medicine docs. It can be very difficult, most are naturopaths who many of us cannot afford. Keep looking until you find what you need. Women’s International Pharmacy should have a list of docs who prescribe their bioidentical hormones. Some genetic issues predispose taking some female/male hormones. Still, iron labs and all hormones need to be tested, including saliva tests for adrenal hormones. Good luck! ps.. most endocrinologists do not know best treatments.

      • there is a lot of fear in the mainstream medical community regarding treating thyroid BECAUSE there is a hidden understanding that mental health issues are frequently caused by poor thyroid health.

  19. I am….all of the above. My thyroid levels are “normal” but I still have symptoms. It is reassuring to know that I”m not alone. Thank you!

  20. Thank you for this. I have shared it on facebook as it seeems to look like my life. Happy to know that I am not alone in this battle.

  21. Thank you for this. I have shared it on facebook as it seeems to look like my life. Happy to know that I am not alone in this battle.

  22. Wow. I’ve suffered since first my pregnancy 9 years ago (2 kids later). This is it… everything you wrote. Except that I lose weight instead of gain it (downside, I’m always weak). Anaemia to go along with that, and I get breathless just going up a flight of stairs. I’m tired of explaining why I can’t do things or go out more. I’m tired of canceling, I’m tired of never knowing whether I’ll manage the next vacation. I’m tired of seeing doctor after doctor. The toughest part is when you hear your angry kid say, “why don’t you just go to bed – it seems like it’s the only thing you do.” I’m 37, hypo, Hashimotos, and fighting for a quality life.

    • I understand COMPLETELY 🙁 at 37 I truly feel like I’m about 60…..I was diagnosed with hashimotos 14 years ago 3 mths after having my second child. The last 14 years have been hell and even with me knowing that my now teenage kids understand, I feel like a failure as a mom and wife 🙁 I get so sick of”feeling like mud” as we say in my house….. just seems like there’s no end or change in sight… just know that one day your child will understand that you have no control over what’s going on and how you feel… you just try your best and know that you are a good parent….with a bad disease 🙁

  23. Kamayani Sharma says

    Thanks for such a real article. This is exactly what happens with me all the time. At least someone understands and trusts.

  24. I don’t suffer from hypothyroidism but am 14months post stroke with no obvious disabilities but this sums me up totally.

  25. Tanya Marquez says

    Wow, you got inside my head and were able to so eloquently write everything I’m feeling… 11+ years with post Rai for Graves Disease. I just want a doctor who will help and stop telling me “your levels are fine, see a dietician”…

  26. Sherry Greene says

    The autoimmune paleo helped me immensely. Thinner again! The diet isn’t easy, but so worth it to feel better, and as a bonus, look better! Best wishes to you.

    • Hi I was also diagnosed with Hypothyroidism after having my baby , and i’m gaining weight more n more every day! i can’t loose the weight! can you please tell me more information about the diet you tried?!

  27. Barbara Voshell says

    Thank you for your post. Many of the things that you stated I feel. I am now a Diabetic not just pre and my thyroid medicine was just increased. The doctors just keep telling to lose weight and I can’t. It seems that nothing I do works. I really wish that I could feel better.

  28. Kara Schmidl says

    I cried. I shared it on Facebook, and then I cried. I’ve struggle to explain to others what I feel. This just said so much I couldn’t say. Thank you!

  29. Ive been hypothyroid since 3 weeks old due to being born without a thyroid gland. I have dealt with with weight problems, mood swings and all the symptoms that go with it.

    • I’m sorry 🤗 you are not alone, I’m hypothyroid myself and can imagine how hard it can be for you. We must enjoy the rare moments when we feel a bit better to the max and breathe. Take care of yourself as much as you can. Hang in there ❤️

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