Hashimoto’s & Me

So it’s been a whole year Since I’ve posted anything on here! It’s been crazy busy & honestly, I haven’t really felt led to write anything. Until today.

It’s been a rough Summer. Well, it’s really been a rough year. Last May I switched schools so that I could cross 4th grade teacher off my lifelong wishlist. Only things went south pretty quickly. I was working my TAIL OFF just trying to keep my head above water. I could hear God telling me to slow down, but I didn’t want to listen. I wanted to be a shining star at this new school. By the end of September, I. was. EXHAUSTED! But I kept on pushing!

On September 28th, I was sitting in the bleachers @ a home football game, listening to the pep band play when a huge wind came along and knocked a music stand over. It fell 5 rows down and hit me in the back of the head giving me a concussion. Now for most people, that concussion would’ve only lasted a week or two. Mine lasted 10 weeks! Did I let that stop me? Of course NOT! I had THE worst headache of my life for the next two days, but come Monday morning I was back at work, My head pounding like crazy but hey! I’m a teacher and no one can replace me right?!? WRONG!

An hour in I couldn’t see straight, I could hardly walk, and I was having trouble remembering kids’ names. One of the other teachers called the school nurse to come down and check on me. So right there in front of my students She checked my pupils & my blood pressure and told me to go see a doctor. I did. That’s when they diagnosed the concussion. I took the rest of the week off, but the first day back I worked 13 hours. then 12 hours the next day. It was parent teacher conferences, how could I miss that?

I kept pushing, and pushing, and seeing no improvement. Until finally my brain had had enough and just shut down. I couldn’t do simple 4th grade math calculations in my head anymore. But the day I knew it was really bad, was when l ate lunch in a dark interior room alone & I saw strobe lights flashing around my food. If that wasn’t bad enough, when I got up to go pick up my students from the cafeteria, I couldn’t walk straight and when I got to the cafeteria I had to hold on to the door jamb to keep from falling over. I told the other teachers I was going have to go home, but wasn’t sure how I was going to get there. Because I certainly couldn’t drive that way! I ended up having my husband and son come pick me up, and my son drove my car home for me.

I ended up being away from work for 9 weeks total from the day I got hit in the head and then after I went on medical leave. My doctor and my physical therapist neither one could figure out why it was taking me so long to recover. I was struggling with severe anxiety any time I left the house especially if it was bright outside or loud. I mentioned this to her so she prescribed some antidepressants that ended up giving me severe vomiting, and hallucinations! Yup hallucinations, a regular old medicine that most people can take without any side effects at all caused me to see a river in the middle of my living room! Not to mention maniacal laughing in my head all night! I kept pointing her to my thyroid as the culprit to my struggles but she refused to listen or even check it. Even though I’ve had hypothyroidism for YEARS. After a month of arguing with her I finally decided to seek a second opinion. I managed to start back to work in January and felt a lot better, but not completely recovered. So I called an endocrinologist and had to wait 3 months before I could get in to see her. However, when I did finally get in to see her at the end of May, she listened intently and said that she would do a full panel of tests to see what was going on. When my tests came back everything was normal, except of course, for my thyroid DUH! I had been saying that all along! However that wasn’t the only news that she gave me that day. She also told me that I have Hashimoto’s disease.

Hashimotos disease is an auto immune disease that affects the thyroid. Basically, my body will keep attacking my thyroid until it is completely gone. That 1st day she told me, I was a little too shocked to really react. I felt numb. I wasn’t happy, and I wasn’t sad, I was just numb. But through this summer As I’ve been able to process this news and learn more about the condition, it has been a roller coaster of emotion. Mostly not positive emotions either. Right now I’m just extremely angry at the fact that my body is broken and not currently functioning the way that it was designed to function. I’m frustrated with the fact that I can’t do what I want to do and I can’t keep the promises that I’ve made to those around me simply because I need more rest. It sucks! To put it bluntly, it sucks a LOT! I spent 9 weeks in bed nursing a brain injury only to get better and spend more time in bed trying to recover from a condition that I will never recover from. I believe in a God of Miracles. But right now I really don’t feel like he has one planned For me. I don’t feel worthy, although I have no real reason why I wouldn’t be worthy, I just don’t feel like it.

In addition to being diagnosed with Hashimotos disease this summer, my last grandparent died suddenly. According to him, he was my favorite and most handsome grandpa.

Around that same time it started getting hot outside. In the heat, my Hashimoto’s was causing heart palpitations that were absolutely wearing me OUT. So the endocrinologist prescribed me some beta blockers to help with the symptoms as needed. If I took one in a day it wasn’t too bad. It would kind of stop the palpitations, but not completely. So I called her and asked if I could up at the dose since we had started with a very low one since I am very sensitive to medicines, as is evidenced by having hallucinations earlier in the year! When I doubled the dose to only 20 mg, the next day I had such severe depression that I could hardly get out of bed, I didn’t want to do anything, I couldn’t think straight, and I was upset about things that had been resolved for years. So much for that medicine!

Shortly after that, Sean quit his job (his working conditions were horrible) and was out of work for 2 weeks. So finances have been extraordinarily tight.

So here I am, with a thyroid out of balance causing all kinds of wacky things to happen in my body, and no doctor to help me fix it all. When I went to go talk to the endocrinologist She basically said there wasn’t anything she was willing to do for me. She refused to up my dose of thyroid medicine because she thinks that will make my heart palpitations worse, I do not agree. And she refused to lower my dose of thyroid medicine because then my TSH levels will be too high, to which I do agree! So here I sit, with a body completely out of whack, a simple solution in front of us, but just out of my reach. You know, because I’m not a doctor!

So I say all that to say this, It has always been really hard for me to tell people no. However this summer has been even harder because I’ve been having to tell people no because I’ve been sick. So please know that if I am telling you that I can’t do something, or go somewhere, it is not because I don’t want to do those things with you. Rather it’s because my body isn’t letting me. I would really appreciate as many prayers as you would send up for me for healing! I know God hears, I know God cares, and I know that if it is His will He can fix this in whatever way He chooses to do so. Today in church He reminded me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and that includes this disease that creates in me an imperfection through which His perfection can shine. So I pray that it does! Although I seriously have no idea how in the world that is going to work! But I trust in His plan, and I trust His hand, and Jesus name.

Categories: Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

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