Christina Burke, Thyroid Thrivers
26 years of age
Saskatoon, SK Canada
Diagnosed in 1999
Christina shares her journey with Hypothyroidism since her diagnosis at the young age of 11.
Like many, I have lived with the ups and downs of hypothyroidism for more than half of the first 25 years of my life. As an 11 year old making multiple trips to the doctor in clinics, hospitals, and pediatrics, I had no understanding of what was happening to me.
My mother tucked me in to bed one night and noticed all of my eyelashes had fallen out. I was immediately taken to the doctor and had blood taken from my arm. The doctor said, “It must be Hypothyroidism.” My mom explained that it had run in the family, that in fact, my Grandma also has Hypothyroidism.
What did this mean to me? I felt like a normal little girl, running around and playing, just like everyone else. After a few things were explained to me, all I remember knowing, was that my energy would sometimes feel low and that I had to take a small pink pill every day at the same time to make sure it was regulated. It also meant many ‘yucky’ tests. My first ever ultra sound was on my thyroid, revealing a goiter that was extremely painful, and made it hurt to swallow food.
All through my high school years, I struggled with depression. There were times when I wouldn’t take my medication, for weeks at a time. I did not have a healthy diet. I’m not sure if I even really knew what the word, ‘nutrition’, meant. I did actively participate as much as I could in extra curricular activities at school, to help keep me going. I played basketball, volleyball, and badminton, volunteered on school council, participated in the outdoor adventure club where we could go canoeing, winter camping, snowboarding and hiking. You would never have known my struggles, from looking at me on the outside. My insides and emotions, were a different story, unfortunately. My friends would even have described me as the fun, loud, always on-the-go friend.
There were days that I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. I’d snuggle under my covers and pray for tomorrow to come. On those awful days, I didn’t even want to live life. Everything seemed like a chore and I felt like nobody understood how it felt. I remember feeling miserable some days.
Almost immediately after high school, I moved to the “big city”, with one of my best friends, to pursue an education at the University. The party-to-learning ratio, was regrettably about 80:20. In the classes that I did manage to get to, I would fall asleep. I had no energy. Most of this time is a blur. My money was spent on booze and unhealthy food. After two years of University, I struggled to keep myself together. I stopped taking classes and turned my part-time job at the neighborhood Subway, into my full-time job. Not taking medication regularly, not eating nutritiously or exercising, and still binge drinking, I gained over 70 lbs. and became more and more depressed.
Hypothyroidism has effected every, single part of my life. From my confidence, my education, work, friendships, relationships and even my sex life. Which was nonexistent and abnormal for someone at my age. I never felt like I was worthy of a full, healthy, happy and energetic life.
In 2010, I reconnected with one of my mentors. I’m so thankful to her, as she helped me put my life back together and on the right track. I went back to school and obtained my Honors Diploma in Graphic Design and New Media Production. It was very gratifying. Not to mention, I lost over 20 lbs and entered into a new, healthy relationship. Things were really looking up, as I also found a nice job.
After that relationship ended, I went back into a deep, dark, slump. I desperately needed help. I reached out again for support. Luckily, I was lead to a new fulfilling path. I was finally healthier and happier than I had been, in as long as I could remember. My new goal was to learn about and healing my hypothyroidism. Thus, a new career followed.
As amazing as it sounds, as of December 2013, I have not had to take any medication for my thyroid. I have maintained a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy, lifting weights, working out, and I am now running marathons! Now, I feel that my passion and drive is geared toward passing on the information I have learned. Using this new found knowledge, I help other people live their best lives possible. (each person is different and you should follow the medical advice of your health care provider)
Back to You Bootcamp, is a 30-day online support group, where I provide the tools, motivation and advice to help you commit to a healthier lifestyle so you can begin to feel like you again. I will show you how I overcame my hypothyroidism. We all want to live life to the fullest. It is possible. I went from a depressed, overeating, sugar addicted couch potato, to who I am am now; lifting weights and running marathons!! It takes a small investment, hard work and dedication. With the support for like minded people, we can all achieve our goals together. Check out TheMightyThyroid.com and follow her on Twitter.
I can’t stress how important it is to have an amazing support group of people who understand what you are going through. It’s a crucial part of YOUR success, just as it was to mine.
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