On Tuesday morning last week, I took a seat in the waiting room of the doctor’s office. I was ready, as ready as I could be. Desiring a clear diagnosis for the last 10 years has allowed me to feel the spectrum of emotions. These emotions have ranged from hopeful to jaded and everything in between. But I did not wait for the doctor assuming the worst. You see, part of my story is that I’m really used to hearing the words, “You’re fine.” In these years, I have been diagnosed with a few different conditions, but my symptoms only continued to worsen. Yet, as far as the doctor was concerned, I ate a healthy diet and I exercised. I was the model patient with a minor low thyroid issue, and the doctor just couldn’t quite figure out the right dosage.
I wanted a diagnosis, clarity, an action plan as I waited for my name to be called. Over the past year, I have resigned from 3 different jobs because of my health. I’ve spent time scaling back, taking time for solitude, self-care, cooking, leisurely exercise, reading, writing, counseling, doctor’s appointments, healing. You can be sure that I will blog more about this later. But even as I pursued health to the greatest extent I knew how, I still was exhausted, unsure of how to help myself. More than that, I was losing grasp of how to relate to others well. Social situations grew more and more taxing. Some days I was bedridden without a logical reason. Others, I could get up, but making a meal and washing dishes warranted two hours of lying on the couch. There still were alright days sprinkled in, where I could enjoy the company and conversation of a friend.
Yet, as I waited, I wanted answers.
As the doctor led me through lab results, treatment plans, and charts he explained that I have Hashimoto’s disease. Hashimoto’s is an auto-immune disorder where antibodies damage the thyroid gland, inhibiting the process of making thyroid hormone. After the medical explanation, the doctor started to talk time line of my treatment plan.
Twelve to Twenty-four months.
Many months (probably a lifetime) of crazy restrictive eating, yoga, slow rhythms, and supplements, hoping for increased energy and joy. Now, this isn’t new. Most everything is just more of the same, just refined with greater clarity. And also add amino acid injections every 3 weeks.
The two biggest questions I get are:
1. How are you feeling?
2. Can Hashimoto’s be reversed?
To #1, I’m thankful and tired. Every day is still a lot of hard work. But I’m thankful for a great doctor and nutritionist who listen well and help plan treatment that is going to be most helpful for me.
To #2, the answer is “Time will tell.” I may never be 100% again, but it’s still possible for me to regain lost strength, energy, and stamina.
My goal is to be Hashimoto’s healthy. As healthy as I can be in my worn out body, that just wants a break most days. As healthy as I can be, even if I’m still exhausted. As healthy as I can be, even if results take time. Or don’t come.
What do you desire for your health? In what ways are taking care of yourself right now?