Living with Hyperthyroid

Having an autoimmune disease can be challenging.

Aside from the side effects of the disease, finding a great doctor makes all of the difference in the world on how you feel and how your disease is handled.

I’m now on my 3rd endocrinologist since the Spring of 2016.

Fortunately, I’ve been able to find a new doctor easily each time.

At my initial appointment he ran a full blood work panel and we took some images of my thyroid (which looks like Swiss cheese), results take about a week to get back.

But here’s where I want to stop and take a step back and share something I wrote back in May of 2019, 4 months’ post baby number two.

“Wow! You just had a baby 4, 6, 9, …months ago!? You look great!

This is when I typically say “thank you, I’ve been working really hard”.

Which isn’t a complete lie, I have worked hard to get back to my pre-baby weight and of course the compliments make one feel great!

But the true thought(s) running through my head and what I want to say is, “Thanks, but it comes with a price, not just for my health but my family. See I have hyperthyroidism…”

Symptoms of Hyperthyroid

This can be dangerous, as I found out six months after having my first child, with a rapidly dangerous heart rate I was taken to the ER and diagnosed with the disease.

The side effects aren’t pretty. It takes time to regulate. Sure it’s great for losing that post baby weight but it comes with the price of a hyperactive heart rate.

For me it causes fatigue and lack of sleep can make it worse, staying out late isn’t my thing because of that and I miss out on things.

There are so many triggers. I feel foggy at times and scattered, so lists are my friend and I try to focus hard on special/important moments. Restless leg syndrome is real!

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Calm Restless Leg Syndrome

With your back laying on the floor near a wall, prop your legs up on the wall straight, aligned over your hips, with your glutes against the wall.

Lay like this for 5 – 10 minutes.

I do this almost every night before bed. Not only is it great for relieving some of the pressure from the blood in your legs causing the restlessness, but it’s a great way to calm yourself before bed too!

Stress and anxiety are amplified and I anger quickly; doing “normal” things are amplified for me at times.

Because I lost weight so fast it was hard for me to keep up a milk supply for my baby.

When the meds aren’t regulated correctly I can actually gain weight…and then dread people thinking “wow what happened?!”.

All About Support

I can’t imagine doing this without a support system who know what is going on.

Not that the side effects are acceptable or that I am asking for a pity party, but because without that support, it would be even harder. Unfortunately what people see are the side effects – because the true disease you don’t see.

Some days I become the victim of the disease and other days I own (control) it, and some days I realize and accept it’s who I am.

Using phrases such as “this is stressing me out” and “I need to walk away” or “I can’t handle this right now” are cues that my anxiety and anger is overcoming me.

I over plan to manage the stress.

I exercise because it does make me feel better and helps keep me healthy but can also be difficult with the low energy because of the irregular thyroid.

I tell these things not for sympathy but for awareness for people who don’t have an autoimmune disease and a voice for those who do.

Whenever I see/hear the quote saying something to the effect of “don’t judge a book by its cover” or “you don’t know what people are going through,” I really feel how relevant that is some days.

When my thyroid is regulated some of these side effects aren’t even apparent, then all of the sudden I will have a flare up.

Hint of Happy

So you are probably asking where the Hint of Happy can be found in this.

Well I’ve come to find that overcoming the disease each day and knowing that I can choose to be happy in the simple things or I can let it choose to control me.

When I find the happy things, life is so much more enjoyable.

When things really seem out of control and I can’t figure out what it is that is making me feel a certain way that is when I depend on my support system and I speak up.

There’s been mornings I wake up and know right away something feels off or on my drive home from the office when I call my husband and say, “I don’t know what’s going on but I have a ton of anxiety, I need your help, and this is what I need…”

Knowing it’s okay, knowing what to do to be the boss of your emotions, even if it means a little more time for yourself that day, canceling or changing plans, or just doing whatever you need to do for you, is okay! You are okay.

Who’s your support system?

What do you do to help you with your anxiety, rough days, etc? I’d love to learn more from you that may work for me or to answer any of your questions! Comment below.

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