Yesterday I had a little bit of an emotional breakdown.
After months of telling anyone that would listen, including my doctor, that I thought there was something wrong with my thyroid and after months of being blown off and made to feel like I was “just being lazy” and maybe a little crazy, I have been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
Let me give you a few examples of how my cries of “something is wrong!” were ignored.
“I feel tired all of the time.”
“You are getting older. And you ARE overweight. Those things can make you feel tired.”
“Oh, the weight! I can’t lose anymore weight. In fact, I keep gaining weight!”
“Well, how many calories are you eating a day? Are you working out for at least an hour a day? Mmm , hmmm.”
“But you don’t understand! I’m too tired to work out. I have no stamina. I try to work out, but I can’t. I feel horrible!”
“Excuses, excuses. Get thee on a treadmill. You’ll feel better.
“I feel like I’m dying sometimes at night. My heart starts racing and I feel like I can’t breathe.”
“You DO have a history of anxiety attacks. You’re probably having them in your sleep. Let me give you some anti anxiety meds!”
“My hair is falling out in clumps. It’s dry and OMG! It’s curly?!”
“I lose WAY MORE hair than that. Also, it’s totally normal for women to lose hair in cycles and I don’t see any bald patches so… you know… you’re fine.
“There’s a lump in my throat. I can feel it when I swollow.”
“It’s probably just reflux. Here’s a pamphlet to read. Quit eating greasy foods.”
“My periods are irregular and when I do have them, they’re extremely heavy. I soak through a pad an hour and bleed for DAYS.”
“Again, you’re getting older, that’s normal. It happens. Get over it.”
“I have trouble concentrating. I’m forgetful and in a mental fog.”
“You need to go to bed earlier!”
“I have no joy in my life. I don’t even get excited about riding the Tony Baloney Pony anymore. I think my Horny died!”
“Oh noes! You’re probably getting depressed again! Go see a psychiatrist or pray! Start going to church!
One can understand how I started to feel like I was crazy, right?
No matter how many of the symptoms that I had of “hypothyroidism”, I was still told that I was fine.
Yesterday, I got this email from my doctor.
This absolutely means you have a low thyroid, and the second test just means that its your body that is making antibodies against your thyroid,
So congratulations, its time to start you on thyroid medication
What? Congratulations… you’re not crazy after all? Congratulations… you were right and I was wrong? Congratulations… you get to take meds for the rest of your life?
I wanted to write back and tell him to shove his congratulations up his ass, but I refrained and asked instead to please tell me what my official diagnoses was, even though I already KNEW it was hashimoto’s based on all of the hours of research I’ve done since he patted me on the back and told me he was “SURE all of my tests would come back normal” and he’d go ahead and “put me on a weight loss pill though, but hey, you know what else works? Weight Watchers.. You should try it!”
(Seriously. He said that. Because, you know, having lost 70 pounds myself, I had no idea that weight watchers combined with diet and exercise helps you lose weight!)
He told me that yes, I had Hashimoto’s disease and that I’d need to start on meds right away and be re-tested in 30 days.
When I read that, I lost it. All of the frustration that I’ve felt, all of the anger for being ignored and not taken seriously was unleashed as I read my doctor’s email.
I cried so hard and when my husband walked through the door a few minutes later, I collapsed in his arms and wept.
(Oh! The Dramatics!)
“I told you. I told everyone and no one took me seriously. Everyone thought I was crazy or just looking for excuses for the weight gain. I told you I felt like shit, I told you that something was wrong and I was right.”
It was a very Soap Opera like moment, but after many months (years, even) of not feeling good, months of not being taken seriously, I couldn’t hold it in any longer. A Good Cry was in order.
In fairness to my doctor, he had ordered tests before when I had told him my symptoms, but when the tests came back “in the normal range” he refused to believe anything was wrong and the fact of the matter is that YOU CAN NOT GO BY THE TEST RESULTS ALONE. Symptoms are important and those were ignored and brushed aside as “other things.”
So here is what I say to other women out there who may be experiencing the same symptoms and NOT being taken seriously.
Demand that your thyroid be tested and if the results come back normal, ask to be retested in 30 days. And ask for specific tests ( listed here.). NO ONE KNOWS YOUR BODY BETTER THAN YOU. If you feel like something isn’t right, if you have the symptoms, demand that you be taken seriously. Educate yourself. Don’t be intimidated by any doctor because, GUESS WHAT? They’re wrong sometimes.
I realize this post is choppy and I apologize, but dudes, I am not lying when I say that I can’t think straight and have problems focusing, so I ask that you show a little mercy to the Thyroid Impaired.