If you read our last blog post, I’ve shared a little about how I have had Graves’ disease at the age of 8. Graves’ disease led me to a lifetime with Hypo-thyroid disease.My pediatrician diagnosed my behavior changes, eating habits, and hair and weight loss as all part of early puberty. A year later the misdiagnosis would lead to a lifetime of health alterations. I wanted to share my story of growing up with this disease, and how I made an effort to improve my life.
Arriving at the hospital is a blur, waking up in a white room and the sound of beeping machines humming were the first few things my mind could make sense. One simple blood test that evening confirmed the diagnosis as hyperthyroidism, which had led to Graves’ disease. It wasn’t shortly after that a goiter developed the size of a red apple in my throat. According to my endocrinologist at the time my brain was exhausted or lack of better words “fried.” I will never forget the word “death” mentioned in front of me as I stared down at my Princess Jasmine high top sneakers while my doctor and parents discussed treatment.
They chose radiation to shrink my thyroid and months of bed rest followed. The norm became being in and out of the hospital, constant blood tests, along with medication adjustments. There was a point when I couldn’t even recognize myself anymore. 147 pounds at the age of 9, my bulging eyes would take years to recover back to normal. According to my parents and physicians, the worst was over medically. Emotionally and physically it was just the beginning.
With my thyroid dormant Synthroid was prescribed to provide my body hormones, it couldn’t produce on its own. There’s really no side effects other than if my TSH levels are off I feel my symptoms more; cold intolerance, fatigue, brain fuzziness, low immune system, and irregular digestion (that’s a fun one). There was always a struggle with weight loss and gained throughout puberty up until high school. In college, I made the decision to educate myself on my condition. Now I exercise along with testing out different diet plans. Communication with my doctor is key to prepare myself mentally, physically, and emotionally for possible chances of infertility along with other health issues that might come. Of course, there are good days and bad days like any other autoimmune disease, but now at 27 years old, I am stronger than ever.
I am proud to say that I have mastered Hypothyroidism
Every new day there is a personal intention not to let what my health was to define how I will live my life now and in the future. I continue to try to push myself to new levels, in 2014 my sister and I ran 13.2 miles, and you can always find me jumping from a yoga/spin class to lifting heavy in the gym.
I hope to help and to inspire those to live their lives to the fullest with their autoimmune disease. It took me awhile but it’s not the end, and it surely isn’t an excuse not to be the best you can be. We are warrior’s fighting against an internal battle between our own bodies and our minds. It is our hearts that will give us the strength to persevere!
Comment or share your story!