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Thyroid Nodules, Hashimoto’s, And Not Giving Up Without A Fight!

Shannon Lingle, Thyroid Thrivers
Thyroid Nation

38 years of age
South Carolina, USA
Hypothyroid, Hashimoto’s
Diagnosed in 2013

I knew I had a nodule for some time before it hemorrhaged in Feb 2013…. I could feel it when swallowing.  It was scary and I would choke and get hiccups ALL the TIME!!!  BUT I ignored it and just thought it would go away…. btw, WRONG thing to do!! 

So, I went through the most stressful month of my life in Jan 2013 – just so much going on with our neighborhood, life with a middle-schooler and my marriage was at it’s worst point ever!!  I woke up after a crazy week of stress on a Sunday morning in February, to a HUGE lump (size of a baseball) on the side of my neck.  HELLO, what a wake up call! I had cold symptoms and honestly (was hoping) it was just a swollen lymph node, with a cold as a bonus.  I went to a walk-in clinic and the doctor treated me for a sinus infection but, she said that I needed to see my doctor right away because she just had a friend who had to have her thyroid removed.  UGH!

Finally, I got an appointment with my doctor, who freaked out, and I was rushed for an immediate ultrasound. After that, I was referred to an Endocrinologist/Oncologist.  It took forever to get an appointment with her, but once I was there, she had me on the operating table within the week. 

shannon-L-girlsAfter surgery, she told my husband that she was 98% sure it was cancer.  SCARY for sure!  I spent the week after surgery crying and adjusting to CANCER.  I was planning my fight then, though, because I was not ready to leave my kids and I was not done with my life.  I had lost so much weight and was feeling amazing prior to this and I wasn’t letting all of that go without a huge fight.

One week later, at my follow-up visit, I was told that I did NOT have cancer!!  YAY! What a relief. The doctor kept saying she couldn’t believe it and even called to double check with pathology.  Well, I walked out of there, head held high, kicking up my heels and feeling GREAT! 

Fast forward a month a half…….I seemed to be getting tired easily, BRAIN FOG, I had no energy to socialize with anyone, my workouts were increasing in difficulty, instead of getting easier, my skin was so dry and itchy, I was easily irritated with everyone, my ears constantly itched or had ringing, I had congestion, and my eyes burned. 

I went to see the doctor for some routine blood work, when she told me I was definitely suffering from Hypothyroidism.  WHAT? I went through hell and back, on a roller coaster and now I am hypothyroid?! The next several months grew worse with my awful symptoms and more.  With every increase of Synthroid, it helped for about 2 weeks and then I was right back feeling horrible again. Usually worse than before.  It got to the point that my Summer was spent getting out of bed (feeling like I was more tired than when I went to bed), just to make it to the couch.  I cried A LOT!  I kept telling myself that this wasn’t normal and to just relax but, I was so depressed.  I remember having to run an errand one day, just to the Post Office and it took so much for me to do it.  I cried so hard the whole way to the Post Office. I will never forget thinking that, ‘I was done and I didn’t want to live like this’.  I actually thought, at that time, that my family would be better off with out me.  I even entertained the thought of leaving this Earth.  Something that day inside of me, SNAPPED and I decided that it was time to take matters into my own hands.  And that was when all my research started. I realized that I needed more help than just what the doctors were giving me. I had to figure out a way to help myself!

I was desperate!

41vdX2QgsTLAfter that monumental day, and after some serious internet research, I decided to try Shakeology. I had heard so much about it and I was at the point that I needed and wanted to try anything. I wasn’t going to leave my kids and my family. I knew I could turn this around. I just needed an extra shove. What the heck, I thought, it can’t get any worse. So,  after a week of drinking my shakes filled with vitamins and minerals, I remember telling my husband “Hmmm, I may feel kind of good today.”

A month after starting the shakes, I had to think about when my last bad day was. WOW! It was a definite turning point in the right direction. The adaptogen herbs in Shakeology are obviously the key, for those who suffer with endocrine disorders, along with the greens, wheat grass, and other herbs and maximum nutrients.

Soon, I began exercising again; something I had loved before. I chose T25 for its 25 minute workouts, because it fit in my daily schedule and with my health level. Within 10 weeks I had lost 18 lbs.  It was fantastic.

I have grown in strength and have been able to push myself more….always being mindful of how I feel and where I’m at, that day. Exercise is so crucial!! At least for me. It helps with mental awareness and overall well-being and happiness.

Then,  in January 2014, I had an ultrasound, to check on my remaining thyroid. What do ya know…I had a nodule that was getting big.  OH NO!  I had worked so hard to get my energy back and to feel like a functioning person again.  I vowed I was not repeating the events of the previous year.  Again, I got online and did some intense research. I decided to plunge into an iodine program and some other supplements that I had learned a lot about.  I got strict with avoiding the goitrogen foods. It worked for me. By the time my appointment came around (a month and half later), with my endocrinologist/oncologist, again she laughed and said everything looked fine. In fact, the nodules on the remaining side were smaller than when I had originally come to her! Nutrition is KEY!

I am not sure what my original diagnosis was, except that they thought it was thyroid cancer and were so convinced that it was, even after surgery.  Unfortunately, after having half of my thyroid removed, the critical diagnosis of cancer, was hyperthyroidism. So, did I go through that for nothing? To this day, I’m not even sure.

I have seen a Nutritionist that has theories that #1, I have been Hypothyroid for a long time, maybe even since my early 20s and #2, there may be more of Hashimoto’s, that hasn’t been discovered yet.
 Thyroid disease is seriously CRAZY. It is so hard for anyone that doesn’t have it to understand, but my family tries. 🙂 I believe the support does helps and it helps that they can help remember things that might be my triggers.  I can’t believe how far I have come in a year and a half. I am living proof that there is hope. You WILL and can get through this, just keep researching and trying new things.  Self advocating and learning is one of the most important, albeit disappointing things, I have discerned. Don’t go down without a fight, Thyroid Nation. We are in this together and WE understand each other. Something will be your answer to getting your LIFE BACK!

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