Laughing My Way Through My Struggles With Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

Sandi Doerr, Thyroid Thrivers
Thyroid Nation

45 years old
San Diego, California
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

It’s been a vicious cycle of do I or don’t I have a thyroid issue. It could almost, ALMOST make
you laugh.

I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis a few months ago. It shouldn’t have taken as long
as it did to diagnosed because I have had some serious red flags over the past 15 years. I have
been off and on medication five times, five, over twenty years. Can that even be? They put me on
medication because I needed it.  Then, after a few blood tests over the course of a year or so, they
would me call in a panic and take me off of it because I was over-medicated. Does that mean they
really care?! It’s been a vicious cycle of do I or don’t I have a thyroid issue. It could almost, ALMOST,
make you laugh.   😀

Additionally, I have also been diagnosed twice, yes, I said twice, with rheumatoid arthritis and
undiagnosed twice. So currently I guess I don’t have it, but that could change next week. Are we
laughing yet?

As if that wasn’t awful enough, I had stomach issues a few years ago, as well. I was poked and
prodded and given just about every gastrointestinal test they had. At times, it felt like I was
‘kind of’, a guinea pig. At that point, I was somewhat diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, but it
a halfhearted diagnosis, at best. It was as if the doctor wanted to ‘give me’ something for all
my troubles and the humiliating tests that I had to go through. So, as a ‘booby prize’, he just threw
out the Crohn’s diagnosis as a consolation Yippee! Between you and me, a shiny trophy would
have been just fine.

Do we see the recurring Comedic theme, yet?

Late last year when my lady parts started faltering, I went in to see my OBGYN thinking I was
going through menopause. EARLY menopause, I might add, because I am not that old. After a
few questions, the nurse practitioner said “hmmm…it doesn’t sound like menopause, let’s run a few
tests.” And BOOM! There it was! Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis! My antibody numbers are high but
my regular thyroid numbers fluctuate dramatically, it seems. One day they can be okay and the
next day, they are low. I know, crazy, right?! The story of my life.

Still, to this day, I am unsure what causes the drastic fluctuation or even if medication can control it.
My Hashimoto’s is hereditary. My mom was undiagnosed her entire life.  Knowing what I
know now, I remember the symptoms she endured and realize she could have had help. Hashimoto’s
Thyroiditis, like any thyroid disease, isn’t so easy to figure out. It takes years of symptoms building

up and even longer until your blood is at a level where someone will do something to help. That’s why
we are all connecting, to try and change the ‘gold’ standard of testing. I’ve been put on a low dose of
Synthroid and while it hasn’t alleviated my problems, some of my eyebrows have grown back–
I’m really happy about that.  😆

Currently, this is where I am at. I call it like I see it. A newbie in the thick of it. I’ve been reading and
researching and trying to figure the best way to deal with MY Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, recently. I
emphasized the MY, because I’m beginning to understand the complexity of the disease and have
realized that no two cases are the same. What works for some, may not work for someone else, and
that’s okay. It’s up to us to listen to our bodies and make the necessary changes to further our healing.
Even if that means being our own advocate. (Which sounds really, really difficult and boring, if you ask
me.) Ha!

Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands.  So, after reading about the ‘dreaded’
gluten, I did try to be gluten free for a few weeks. I do have an obvious sensitivity to some foods
with gluten, but being completely gluten-free, didn’t seem to make a dramatic difference in how I felt.
In some 
ways, it was worth it, but in other ways, it was just a huge annoyance for me and everyone

around me. I know I need to stop eating it, so I’m going to try again because I can read and see the
benefits for others. But, if I’m being honest, I just don’t have any willpower. I LOVE me some GLUTEN! Who doesn’t? Our lives have been ingrained with it. (Remember the days of Wonder Bread? I sure do.)
Or, more aptly, I guess I should say, I love things with gluten in it. I think it would have been

easier for me to be gluten free, if doing so made me feel substantially better, but it didn’t. It just didn’t.
The improvement was moderate, at best. I’ve heard that cutting gluten out will make me feel better
in the long run and will help keep the disease from gaining ground, so it’s worth another shot, I suppose.
It surely won’t be easy.

Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands.

I think one of the best ways to feel better about yourself and what you are going through, with
your disease, is to talk about it.  It helps me, that’s one reason I discuss it on my blog. I’m definitely
not saying to complain about every symptom because that would be a complete nuisance. 🙂 However,
sharing your experiences with people that understand what thyroid disease is like, can help. They will
surely relate to what you are going through and will be sympathetic and understanding. Personally,

I’ve always addressed most everything in my life with humor and I absolutely do the same thing with
my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. I’m not making light of the disease, don’t get me wrong, but I am trying to
bring more light to it, in my own way. I’m surprised, almost daily, with the amount of people who
suffer from thyroid issues. It is crazy and the numbers are staggering. Talking about it, and even
laughing about it, for me, is an amazing way to learn about what works and what doesn’t.
Networking with doctors in your area, might unvail some necessary insight and maybe a little
humor to the subject. Laughing is good medicine.

I know I will find a way to fix some of the things about myself that Hashimoto’s has broken. I’ll just
have to deal with the rest–and I can find comedy in anything. I do have a great support system, a
brand new doctor who listens and truly cares about my progress and desire to feel better (and laughs
at my jokes). As they say, it may not happen overnight, but it will happen.

I’ll be ready and waiting with a smile, and a joke or two, handy!

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