My Journey from Hypo to Happy

Category Archive

The following is a list of all entries from the Uncategorized category.

Almost There?

I figured on a day like today, when I’m still feeling a bit under the weather, I should try to recollect how far I’ve come in the last year. Here is a list of things I either could not do or it would’ve taken all my energy to do a year ago, that I can do easily now:

Wash dishes
Do laundry
Take a walk
Go shopping
Clean the house
Update my website
Take photographs
Visit my family
Work on projects
Fall asleep easily and sleep through the night

I still have some issues I’d like to resolve…such as bad memory, foggy/slow thinking, back pain, acne and low energy/fatigue. But hopefully those won’t stick around forever. I really want to be a mother soon, so I have to stay positive and believe these things won’t hold me back from being a good one…or that they’ll be gone by the time that occurs. We’ll see.


The Plight of Progress

I’m sure most people would agree that progress is a good thing. Any word starting with “pro” is supposed to be a positive, yes? Well for those who are healing from adrenal fatigue and years of undiagnosed hypothyroidism, progress is a double-edged sword. The good days that show us we’re moving in the right direction are immensely wonderful. We get a glimpse of our true selves…the selves we used to be…the selves we’re trying to recapture. We remember what it’s like to live like a normal person and do normal things. We smile and laugh and get things accomplished.

And then the bottom drops out. We’re back to another “bad day” and wonder if that good day was merely a dream. We agonize over what we may have¬†inadvertently¬†done to chase that good feeling away. Did we sleep too little, or too much? Did we eat something we shouldn’t have? Did we overdo it while that good feeling was around? The answers never come and we’re stuck waiting around for another good day to arrive.

This roller coaster both gives us hope and feeds our depression. All in all, it’s truly maddening…but we trudge onward in spite of Progress’s sparse visits. Because we have faith that, in the end, all of this hard work will pay off. Surely someday the universe will reimburse us for these months and years of lost life. All of the ups and downs will be worth it. Someday.

Stay-at-home Sickie

I am extremely lucky in that my husband makes enough at his job to support us both and I’m able to stay at home and heal. I know women who would give their left breast to be in my position. But it’s not all fun and games. As much as I sometimes hated working, I’d give just about anything to be able to work full time again.

I feel guilty. Even though I know working would be detrimental to my healing and I would make a horrible employee right now, I somehow feel I don’t deserve the luxury of staying home. Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve worked constantly for the past 14 years that makes it feel unnatural…or the college education I feel is going to waste…or my inner feminist telling me I don’t live in the 50’s…or the thought of my husband working his tail off while I watch movies…or thinking people are looking down on me…or all of the above. But I can’t simply relax and enjoy it. I beat myself up over it.

I feel useless. I can’t tell you how much it pains me to watch my husband come home from a hard day’s work only to have to cook, clean and take care of me. Maybe it’s that 1950’s mentality creeping in again, but I feel like having a housewife should afford a man some luxuries…such as a clean home and a hot meal. But I can’t even manage to wash the dishes most days. I try to remind myself that I’m not simply a housewife…I’m a stay-at-home sickie…and I shouldn’t expect those things from myself right now. But I’m stubborn and rarely listen to such wisdom.

And I feel like I’m not contributing. Sure, I make a little money from my website and use it for frivolous things like collectibles and computer equipment…but all of our livelihood comes from my husband. If I were a stay-at-home mom who was shaping and molding our young breed (not to mention saving us money on daycare), I’d feel differently…as then I’d be doing something worthwhile. But most of my days are spent in front of the computer, the tv or a book. I have nothing to show for myself. I’m like the 40 year old who still lives in their parent’s basement…a drain on my family and a drain on society. Worthless.

I just keep holding onto the hope that this is only temporary and someday I’ll be able to make up for lost time. But boy does it suck right now.

Taking it back to the beginning

I wish I had started this health blog a year ago, at the beginning of this journey. But I must forgive my year-ago-self, as I’m sure I didn’t have the energy or capacity for such an endeavor at the time. I’m just thankful that I do now and hope that it will last.

I suffer from Hashimoto’s (autoimmune) Hypothyroidism and Adrenal Fatigue. Knowing what I know now, I can see that I’ve been hypothyroid for the past 15 years. But I was only diagnosed last year, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. And my body may never be the same for letting it get this bad before doing something about it. But that’s no reason to give up. I am determined to acquire the best health I possibly can and treasure it for the rest of my days.

At the time that I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, I knew nothing about the disease. I just knew that I was tired all the time, cold all the time, suffered from insomnia, bled every 2 weeks, couldn’t think and concentrate like I used to, and all of a sudden had horrible aches in my legs. So, desperate for relief, I jumped at the 50mg of Levoxyl my endocrinologist prescribed for me. My menstrual cycles normalized (for the most part) and the leg aches went away…but none of my other symptoms were touched. I thought I needed more of it, but a higher dose only led to neck pain and worsening of symptoms.

It was around that time that I started educating myself. I read through Janie Bowthorpe’s “Stop the Thyroid Madness” website and book and realized that MANY people were not getting relief from T4-only medications such as Levoxyl and Synthroid. So I found a new doctor who prescribed Armour and started taking it instead. I immediately felt my head clear and felt an increase in energy, but when that doctor kept me on a too-low dose for too long, all of my horrible symptoms came back.

It was also around this time that I completed a saliva cortisol test and discovered that I had Adrenal Fatigue. Unfortunately, this doctor knew of adrenal fatigue, but did not know how to treat it…so I was on my own to find a solution. Thankfully, with the help of others who have been through this mess, I was able to start self-treating with hydrocortisone cream. All of a sudden I was able to sleep through the night, which I had been unable to do for more than a year. I was making progress!

But still my doctors were keeping me undermedicated. I finally started taking the amounts that I knew I needed and again started making progress…but not as much progress as I should have been. So I had a new doctor run some blood tests and found out that I had high Reverse T3. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t treat it, so I was on my own again. But that didn’t stop me before, so it wasn’t going to stop me this time either. I am now taking Cynomel in an effort to clear out the Reverse T3, then I will see about returning to Armour or Nature-throid.

There are days when the depression that accompanies this disease seeps in and makes me want to give up. Sometimes I think this is as good as it’s going to get and I should just succumb to the inevitable. But I’m not giving up. My bag of tricks isn’t empty yet and I won’t stop fighting until it is.