I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis in the summer of 2009. Prior to that time, however, I was miserable. I was lost. I was in pain. I was depressed. I had to give up so many of the things that I enjoyed doing because one minute my joints were swollen and the next I had terrible heart palpitations.
I recognized my symptoms around 17 or 18 years of age. I remember that time so clearly. My heart would race and my brain was foggy. I couldn’t remember anything. I would sit to take an exam only to blank out. I had terrible anxiety. My clothes were falling off of me and I couldn’t eat. Combine that with the typical high school experience and that equaled a hot mess! My initial college years were no better. The pain was constant and there was a point where I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without being out of breath. I recall telling my professors that something was wrong, only to get a negative reaction in some cases.
May 2009 would be the month when my life started to take a change for the worse. I was in a summer program at the University of Minnesota. I would be in the lab and my hands would start to shake terribly. Shortly after vertigo would start. There would be times when I was so dizzy that I could barely stand. I would try to sit down, but the room would continue to spin. Nothing would make it stop. I visited the health center over and over only for the staff to tell me that it was stress. However, deep down inside, I knew that it wasn’t stress. Something was wrong.
The pain continued. My hair started to fall out in clumps. I would pass out on the way to my room. There would be moments when I couldn’t remember how I arrived home. Countless blood tests and doctor visits…nothing….no one knew what was wrong. I pushed to have a complete blood workup done. Finally! I was told that I was hyperthyroid. I didn’t understand it, however, why did I suddenly have all of these symptoms? I was told that I had a “virus”. Shortly after, the hypothyroid symptoms started.
I was finally able to go to an endocrinologist while in Minnesota and that’s when I learned of my diagnosis. I couldn’t tell whether I should be happy or sad, but with the support of my family, I was determined to turn my life around. I had come close to giving up so many times. Through my faith and perseverance, I am here to share my experiences with you all! I am a living testimony to show you that everything is possible. You have to be persistent and strong-willed. I will share my journey in hopes that it can soothe your spirit through stories, laughter, and tips I have found to be useful. It’s been 10 years since I started experiencing symptoms and I’m here to tell you that it’s possible to be whole again.
Small changes over time have been critical for me as I have been undergoing the healing process. I have to really pay attention to how my body reacts to things and it has been no simple task. You have the ability to change your outcome and I want to help you do that. But first, tell me something…why are you a thyroid warrior (#thywarrior)?