Living with Thyroid Disease
I created ThyroidDiseaseSucks.com as a place where thyroid patients can find all the information they need on thyroid disease in all its forms.
I myself was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s in 2010 after many years of suffering and unexplained symptoms. I saw many doctors and they gave me many different potential diagnoses – from anxiety and allergies and “it’s all in your head” to MS and pituitary tumor, none of which were confirmed. I wondered why couldn’t they just figure out what was wrong with me? Was it some obscure and rare disease that they don’t know about? I felt like my life was completely falling apart. I could barely take care of my little daughter which was only 5 at the time and constantly blamed myself for getting sick.
Why couldn’t my thyroid disease be diagnosed?
After all those doctors visits and no diagnosis my family began to think that there was nothing wrong with me and I was imagining the whole thing. A family member even hinted to me that if I didn’t stop all this they would come and take my child away from me. That really hurt. I just didn’t even want to live anymore. No one believed me – I didn’t expect that at all.
But my symptoms were very real and they made me feel so bad that I got to a point where I could barely get out of bed anymore. Walking to the bus stop which is like 50 ft away from my house was like running a marathon for me. I would be dizzy and shaky after that and would need to go right back to bed. I had a babysitting job before I got sick and then I couldn’t do it anymore so I had to quit. My life as I knew it no longer existed. I felt like a sick 90-year old woman who had to depend on her family to take care of her although I was only in my 20s. Looking back, if I was a doctor and someone presented me with my symptoms, I’m pretty sure it would be quite easy to diagnose me.
The following symptoms of thyroid disease started appearing over time:
- hot and cold flashes
- low body temperature
- enlarged thyroid
- dry skin
- brittle hair
- tingling sensations on my arms
- tingling and numbness on my feet
- blurred vision
- hair loss
I remember asking one of the doctors I saw why I was getting cold all the time and he said, “That happens when the body can’t regulate its temperature.” And he left it at that. Didn’t even think to check my thyroid. When I was finally diagnosed I learned that hypothyroidism is actually very common and affects mostly women so it’s a mystery to me why so many doctors missed it. I would think that would be one of the first things they should test a patient with my symptoms for, but I guess not. There was time when I was angry and disappointed with doctors who seemed to not care. You can read more about my story in the About Us section of this website. After a couple of months I decided to take matters into my own hands, do my own research and improve my health. It’s been a year later and I’m happy to say that my life is back on track and I’m able to do almost everything I love doing again. I didn’t think I could get better in the beginning but with strong will and motivation I’ve managed to get my life back. I still take Levothyroxine but my goal is to come off medication completely. I think it will happen eventually although I was told that I had to take it all my life but I disagree. I know of many people who were able to stop taking hormones and reverse their hypothyroidism. It’s just that in my case it took so long to get diagnosed and I need more time to recover. I estimate that I’ve had Hashimoto’s for at least 10 years (that’s when I felt the very first symptoms).
So in conclusion, it’s not impossible to get your health back, but it takes a complete lifestyle change and time to recover from thyroid disease.
Filed in: hashimoto’s, hypothyroidism, auto-immune thyroiditis, thyroid disease