Stephanie Williams, Thyroid Thrivers
29 years old
My story starts back just a few short years ago, after the birth of my second child, Harri…..
I felt terribly ill throughout the entire pregnancy. Exhaustion was just part of my daily routine. Not having any energy to do normal things, was strange to me. Carrying such a large baby (born 10lb 14oz!), had to be the reason for me needing and wanting to catch some Zzzzzz’s, every time I turned around. After having him, my weariness and need for sleep continued, even though he slept like a baby. I was getting lots of rest, since he was such a sleeping prince, so, it was very confusing and disheartening. Why was I so tired?
Immediately, my second train of thought was, “Well, this extreme fatigue can only be caused by the pressures of planning a wedding, MY wedding. Right?!” Which, was to be a glorious and fabulous time, making memories for a lifetime, or so I thought. Having a second child, within 5 months of your wedding day, would have a big impact on any sensible woman, as you want to look and feel your best. Wanting that long, lovely dress to fit you like a glove, is a thought all women have. Especially those, like me, that had to lose baby weight. 3 stones for me. Ouch! Moreover, there was no time to think about me or my health. (I didn’t even know what Hashimoto’s was or that I might possibly have it.) Suppressing my ill health was the only way to get anything accomplished. So, that is what I did. I ignored it. Kept quiet. Didn’t mention it. Everyone would say it was the baby and the wedding, anyway. And, I agreed with them, partially.
Even now, when I look back at my wedding photo’s, it makes me feel incredibly sad. I remember how unhappy and disappointed I felt because of the fatigue and about how unhealthy my body was. It was supposed to be one the happiest days of my life. I had no idea I was so ill.
I remember one day, struggling to get myself and my son ready, to pick up my daughter from school. Thinking, “I don’t want to leave the house, I don’t want to go get her.”
After things had died down, I finally realised. On the outside I looked fine,but on the inside, I was a complete mess. Physically and emotionally wrecked, were an understatement! I felt very dispirited, not my usual happy, laid-back self. I was constantly worried, anxious and very paranoid. I felt as though I was hated by everyone. I felt ugly. Unseemly on the inside AND on the outside. Leaving the house, almost never happened. I remember one awful day, struggling to get myself and my son read,y to pickup my daughter from school. Thinking, “I don’t want to leave the house, I don’t want to go get her.” That’s when it hit me. It bashed me over the head like a ton of bricks – something had to be done. Can you imagine what it feels like to NOT want to leave the house, to pick up your own daughter, one, of the ‘lights’, of my life? It was saddening and horrifying, all at the same time.
Making an appointment to see my GP was something I had been holding off on doing for awhile, at this point. I thought, for sure I would be prescribed anti–depressants…and that is definitely not a path I wanted to go down. I wanted to shake myself free of this. If I could just wake myself up, from the tiredness, the brain fog and the confusion, all on my own, I wouldn’t have to take those type of pills. But, as hard as I tried, I still couldn’t. Finally facing the reality that I needed real help, I made my appointment.
Crying and breaking down, right in front of the doctor was a moment I’ll never forget. I poured my heart out to the poor man. I told him every symptom and feeling (and probably many more totally irrelevant things) that I could remember about what I was going through. He sat back and listened. He actually heard me. Which, now I know, is not the norm. He asked me numerous questions about how I felt, or whether or not I had had suicidal thoughts (which was the one thing, I didn’t have). He quickly ordered blood test and within two days, I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
By the end of that week, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, were two words running through my mind, day in and day out. I remember standing in the kitchen, dumbfounded yet elated, as I finally had a name for what had ailed me, for so long. As I stood by that counter, I read the leaflet full of information. Learning things about what was to be my new best friend, my medication. Medication I will probably take for the rest of my life. Medication I won’t miss taking each day. Medication that has actually worked for me. Medication that has brought ME back, to ME!
I am more than grateful!
Sure, I have days or weeks where I feel tired, upset, like giving in. But I won’t. I won’t let one measly illness beat me or bring me down. I’ll suck it up, show IT who is the boss. Along the way, I have learnt so much about my body, nutrition, and my needs through having Hashimoto’s disease, so for that I am thankful. I know how to be more healthy for me and for my wonderful family. Keep going, keep smiling, keep on truckin’, I say! 🙂
I often think: All I can do is be me. Whoever that is. ~Bob Dylan
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