This letter has been around for a while, but I thought I would share it as it's the easiest way to explain what I suffer from on a daily basis. Although I have hashimoto's I am not my illness! I have prevailed for 13 years with it and continue to fight the debilitation effects of it on a daily basis. I have fought my doctor for the much needed help I deserve for some time now, I'm ready to throw in the towel and find a new doctor who will hear my needs and struggles!
I don't discuss my health issues for pity, sympathy or attention, I discuss my health issues for understanding and support! I never fully understood what I was suffering from, therefore I always kept it a secret because I felt that I was somehow damaged, but it's just the luck of the draw and I gain strength to push through it everyday. I'm not damaged I'm damn strong! "The only thing tough enough to kick my ass is me!"
I hope this helps another young women diagnosed with this scary debilitating disease gain some understanding of what's going on inside their bodies and minds! To know that they know they are not alone!
Hi. My name is Hashimoto's.
I'm an invisible autoimmune
disease that attacks your thyroid gland causing you to become
hypothyroid. I am now velcroed to you for life.
If you have hypothyroidism, you probably have me. I am the number one
cause of it in the U.S. and many other places around the world. I'm so sneaky--I don't always show up in your blood work. Others around you can't see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me. I can attack you anywhere and anyway I please. I can cause severe pain or, if I'm in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over. Remember when you and energy ran around together and had fun? I took energy from you, and gave you exhaustion. Try to have fun now. I can take good sleep from you and in its place, give you brain fog and lack of concentration. I can make you want to sleep 24/7, and I can also cause insomnia. I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal. I can also give you swollen hands and feet, swollen face and eyelids, swollen everything. I
can make you feel very anxious with panic attacks or very depressed. I
can also cause other mental health problems. You know crazy mood
swings? That's me. Crying for no reason? Angry for no reason? That's
probably me too. I can make your hair fall out, become dry and brittle, cause acne, cause dry skin, the sky is the limit with me. I
can make you gain weight and no matter what you eat or how much you
exercise, I can keep that weight on you. I can also make you lose
weight. I don't discriminate.
Some of my other autoimmune disease friends often join me, giving you even more to deal with. If
you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I
can take that away from you. You didn't ask for me. I chose you for
That virus or viruses you had
that you never really recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it
was the years of abuse and trauma (I thrive on stress). You may have a
family history of me. Whatever the cause, I'm here to stay. I
hear you're going to see a doctor to try and get rid of me. That makes
me laugh. Just try. You will have to go to many, many doctors until you
find one who can help you effectively. You will
be put on the wrong medication for you, pain pills, sleeping pills,
energy pills; told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given
anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants. There are
so many other ways I can make you sick and miserable, the list is
endless - that high cholesterol, gallbladder issue, blood pressure
issue, blood sugar issue, heart issue among others? That's probably me. Can't get pregnant, or have had a miscarriage? That's probably me too. Shortness of breath or "air hunger?" Yep, probably me. Liver enzymes elevated? Yep, probably me. Teeth and gum problems? TMJ? Hives? Yep, probably me. I told you the list was endless.
You may be given a TENs unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away. You'll
be told to think positively, you'll be poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL,
not taken seriously when you try to explain to the endless number of
doctors you've seen, just how debilitating I am and how ill and
exhausted you really feel. In all probability you will get a referral from these 'understanding' (clueless) doctors, to see a psychiatrist. Your
family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you until they just
get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and just how
debilitating I can be. Some of them will say
things like "Oh, you are just having a bad day." or "Well, remember, you
can't do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago.", not hearing that you
said 20 DAYS ago. They'll also say things like, "If you just get up and move, get outside and do things, you'll feel
better." They won't understand that I take away the 'gas' that powers
your body and mind to ENABLE you to do those things. Some will start talking behind your back, they'll call you a
hypochondriac, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity
trying to make them understand, especially if you are in the middle of a
conversation with a "normal" person, and can't remember what you were
going to say next.
You'll be told things like, "Oh, my grandmother had
that, and she's fine on her medication" when you desperately want to
explain that I don't impose myself upon everyone in the exact same way,
and just because that grandmother is fine on the medication SHE'S
taking, doesn't mean it will work for you. They
will not understand that having this disease impacts your body from the
top of your head to the tip of your toes, and that every cell and every
body system and organ requires the proper amount and the right kind of
of thyroid hormone medication for YOU. Not what works for someone else. The
only place you will get the kind of support and understanding in
dealing with me is with other people that have me. They are really the
only ones who can truly understand.
I am Hashimoto's Disease.