Friday, May 11, 2012

25DOB | Day 17

"Hyperthyroidism & Graves Disease"

So for the sake of having no more technical problems the rest of the 25DOB posts will be plain text.

This a good topic, and at first I thought I could just freely talk about it and be ok with. But I've realized the more time I had to think about it. The more uncomfortable and "not yet ready" for this as I thought I could've been or maybe should've been.

Only my family knows this, not even my closest friends know this about me. But I think it's time to share it. I have an incurable disease. I don't know where it came from, some people say it's hereditary and others say it just magically appears. Either way, I don't know and I've got it.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone, it's often referred to as an "overactive thyroid." [Source & More Info]

I also have Graves Disease and a Goiter. I went through just about all of the symptoms listed on the website from the link above. Difficulty concentrating, fatigue, had both weight loss and gain, restlessness, hair loss, hand and leg tremors, weak, high blood pressure, itching episodes, the rapid pounding pulse and heartbeat, sleeping difficulty, even the irregular and lack of menstrual periods [Read: PMS]. I even get worried because I don't want the buggy Simpsons eyes and sometimes when they begin to hurt, thats the first thing that comes to mind. Plus my eyesight has gotten worse, but also that was due to me not wanting to wear my glasses in Junior & Senior High School.

I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and Graves Disease, I would say in October 2007. I got sick at college and had to go see the doctor, plus in May I had a bad trip and twisted both my ankles and scraped up my feet pretty bad to the point I needed them bandaged and had to use crutches or a cane. The doctor said it would be best that I got to the hospital because she thought I had a heart murmur and I didn't. But to hear that I just knew I was dying at some point. So they called my parents that day and my dad had my mom over at one of her many doctors appointments. Not only was me being sickly all the time, sleepy and fatigued, and I kept losing weight to the point my clothes looked way too big on me. My parents came and got me and took me to the doctor I rarely saw in high school. They took blood and said that it seems the cause to my irregular periods was due to my having Polycystic Ovaries, still not sure if I have Polycystic Ovaries or PCOS definitely. The doctors chose to keep that informant tidbit from me. Then I had to have more test and more hospital visits, a new doctor. Then having to have procedures done like a sonogram to see what was really wrong with my irregular periods. As well as I had to undergo radiation treatment for my thyroid. All in all being told I have incurable disease, a huge growth in my neck that I'm very much self-conscious of, my spuratic weight loss and gain to even hearing that there's a possibility that I may never have kids of my own no matter what, all before my 21st birthday was more than depressing. It hurt, and I guess you could say I lost all hope. But who wouldn't. At the time all I could think of, I have to take medication no drinks with friends, no drink for the the 21st birthday. What do I do if I meet a guy I really and truly want to spend forever with and we can't have any children of our own? Then at the same time I was having a lot of stress from school and being sick for weeks on in, losing my was a true battle.

Then in November, I was on my way to class and I tripped and fell. I got beat up pretty bad from my 20,000 TON book bag and the concrete. They jumped me lol. I ended up having a head contusion, I scrapped my head so bad that it was all flesh and blood was running down my face, scrapped up my hands and arms pretty bad to the point they were bloody. In the midst of it all, I was really thankful, because I had a glass bottle of drink in my hand. When I fell or when anybody falls, your reaction is to break the fall as much as you can and stick your hands and arms out and save yourself. Well I did that and I'm thankful the bottle didn't break, because it could've been a lot worse. I had to wear a head band or bangs over my forehead until it healed. Another something to be self-conscious about.

I will admit through it all, I wasn't happy about taking my medication and I refuse to do so in the beginning. But after months of conviencing myself to the point this was somewhat important. I began to take my medicine. Not only did I feel a little bit better, but I wasn't as grumpy or cranky, I got a better sleep and could partially focus. I thought I was doing good. And I was kind of contented with the fact of not having kids of my own and finding someone who would be ok with that, and who would be ok with me—but be ok with a Broken Person.

Unfortunately, when my father died, the medicine stop working, my goiter stayed at it's current size, lost my insurance and my weight yo-yoed for awhile. It's sad that it turned out that way, but then again, I felt it and knew it that the medicine had stopped helping. Even taking it, I still felt uneasy, grumpy, sleepy and fatigue which then developed into insomnia and sleep apnea, my hand tremors came back and I was so stressed while I was living up in Altoona that I took my stress out on my hands. I went into this itching episode and scratched at my hands until they began to bleed and they wouldn't heal. The doctor gave me some antibiotic for it and it did help. I ended losing my health insurance because my dad's work decided to drop me and only keep my mom. So I didn't have much of choice but to forgo my medication, doctor visits and everything else.

But I think I've done pretty good without the medicine. I have moments where I get sleepy or tired and spend my nights up and about while the rest of the world sleeps. My goiter causes a lot of neck problems and pains and makes my salivary glands hurt from time to time. I forget things from time to time and it takes a lot for me to stay focus on task. My hand tremors has not only messed up my favorite past time in drawing, but typing, and holding things call and will be a problem. Same goes for my legs, it's like an uncontrollable nervousness. I do pretty good with knitting and latch-hooking, just can't stay focus lol. It's like having ADD & ADHD at the same time. I work hard to cover it up and try not to show that I struggle or have a hard time doing simple or everyday routine tasks. I don't want to depend upon people in that sort of way. I want to try my best and my hardest first before I succumb to the need of needing someone.

I know eventually, everything will be fine. And if not, I'm ok with's sad and makes me teary eyed. I know I gave it my best and worked hard. I'm proud of that. The one thing I hope for is that maybe one day there will be a cure for this disease and a way to correct it. I also hope that maybe the next life time I won't have to go through something like this again. And I also hope that if there's anyone out there who just found out that they have hyper- or hypothyroidism or even Graves Disease and a goiter, that it sucks at first I won't tell you any different. It takes time to adjust and get used to. Some people will not understand, while others will not care. But don't like it get you down or make you negative. It's ok to be Broken. It's ok to be different, just use that to a good advantage. Like for me, I try to have fun or learn something new everyday. You never know when it's time to kick the bucket. I also know that laughter is the best medicine and sometimes you have to laugh to keep from crying. And let me tell you, it has help so much, I couldn't be more satisfied.

This took a lot for me to accomplish without crying my eyes out like the true crybaby I am. And I'm happy I did so, I'm happy I was able to talk about this and let everyone know for that matter. It's bittersweet in a strange way. Another thing is not too many people know about the condition or disease itself and I was happy to see that it became a bigger concern when Missy Elliott announced she has Hyperthyroidism and Graves Disease. Even Oprah has a thyroid condition as well. Maybe this will bring more people to understand and learn more about the disease and condition itself and maybe someday there can be more help and more medication and even a cure.

So until that time let's keep our fingers cross ok??

Missy Elliott - Teary Eyed
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