The highs and the lows of Hashimoto disease and hypothyroidism

It’s been two weeks since I’ve posted last and I am sad to report that things have not been going well.

I believe I’m in a flare right now.  I’ve been miserable for the past two weeks.  All of my early symptoms have returned, along with 10 pounds, which is really frustrating.  Rapid weight gain, body aches, hair falling out (including eyelashes), memory loss, problems with “word finding”, bloating, and extreme fatigue are all on my plate right now.

It’s amazing how the body can turn on you so quickly.  Suffice it to say that I’m just a little depressed and feeling really gross and ugly right now.  I know, it’s not good to be negative, but it’s been a really rough couple of weeks.

Living in a body that is out of control is not fun.  Trying to do things to make it right is a constant chore.  I’m realizing that this could be a lifelong struggle for me.

It got so bad that I even called my doctor to see what I could do.  Should I up my dose?  Just wait it out?  He hasn’t given me any idea of what I should do.  I don’t want to be a crazed maniac and call him every two hours and I certainly can’t jump in my car and drive almost three hours to see him.  

I have to get a grip.

I’ve elected to embrace the stance of patience with myself. I’m being patient with my body.  I’m not drastically changing the way I’m eating to try to lose weight that I’ve gained over two weeks.  I’m just eating the way I always do.  Juicing in the morning, lots of eggs for protein, and my usual chili for lunch.  Pushing the water, being kind and letting myself enjoy treats like any other normal person.

It’s just going to take time.

I have been frustrated because I’ve been so sore and tired that I haven’t exercised at all in the past two weeks.  It’s been a chore to just get out of bed in the morning.  This weekend, I need to sit down, make some decisions about how I want to handle exercise when I don’t feel good.  I am still struggling with figuring out whether or not I am causing flares by stressing my body or if that helps when I am flaring.  What do you do when the things that are supposed to make you better cause your body stress that can result in an autoimmune response?

As you can see, I am definitely still learning.  Practicing kindness with myself over the past 14 days has been a minute by minute struggle.  It’s hard to experience setbacks.  Voices in my head tell me that I’m lazy, fat, ugly, and doomed to be a sloth.  The mind is a dangerous place, my friends, when you feel like this.  It’s also very tiring to be positive all day around people when you just want to crawl into a ball and disappear.  

I almost didn’t post this because I wasn’t sure if I wanted to alarm people.  But this is the reality of living with these conditions.  

I scour the internet and find underground boards where people reach out and try to find others who understand what it means to suffer with an illness that doesn’t make you “look sick”.  But it’s hard to find. People don’t talk about autoimmune disease and thyroid disease enough.  It’s a shameful thing, a funny joke in many cases.  Oh, she’s fat, she must have a thyroid problem.  Maybe if she just eats less…  I don’t know how many times I’ve seen this online when people talk about celebrities.  It minimizes the truth of the experience for the person suffering.  It’s not cool.

So I’m being honest and putting my experience out there.  So people can learn and so if someone happens to stumble across my tiny blog that it’s a place to feel normal.

In the meanwhile, I will ride this low, knowing that the high will be coming back around again.  

Health update: optimized?

Hi everyone!

It’s been a couple of months, mostly because I’ve not had a lot to report on.  I actually had a really rough late winter.  During February and March I felt like I wasn’t getting any better.  In fact, when I saw Dr. Gent in March, I was really beginning to wonder what was going on because I felt so terrible.  We upped my dose again in April, so now I’m taking three pigs in the morning and three after lunch.  

In April, I felt fantastic.  Like a new person!  He thinks my thyroid may be optimized now, but we can’t know for sure. When I saw him a couple of weeks ago, we decided to try to keep my dose stabilized and not increase it.  I’m a little worried, but I’m willing to try it out! There have been some days where I’ve been exhausted and wondered if my dose should have been increased again.  Those have been really frustrating.

I’m not a big meme person, but this one is spot on…

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I know it seems dramatic, but it really is a different kind of tired.  It’s miserable.

I think for me, it’s even worse because of the Hashimotos.  I am still having a hard time learning if symptoms are thyroid or autoimmune.  I think that’s what makes it so frustrating.

But, on a positive note, I’ve decided to try incorporating Pilates into my exercise routine!  I’m doing some very light cardio a couple of days a week (10 minutes at a time, doctor’s orders), but nothing major.  I am attempting to avoid overloading my body and sending myself into a Hashi flare again like last summer.

So far, I’ve been doing about 30 minutes of Pilates every day, with one day off a week to rest.  I have learned the following things in the last 10 days of this experiment:

  1. My body is stronger than I think it is.  I am pretty much convinced now that my neuromuscular issues were thyroid related. 
  2. My body is weaker than I realized.  Not being able to do things for several years resulted in some very weak muscles.  I am literally working from the ground up on this, people.
  3. I have to force myself to exercise daily.  I’m walking a fine line of fear and determination.  I’m afraid to overdo it so I’m really prone to bow out of this if I’m feeling particularly tired.  I have done this a couple of times and then done the next day a double dose, which hasn’t been that bad.  I’ve started using a planner to schedule my yoga and Pilates workouts and that has helped.
  4. It’s going to take time and I need to be patient. I have really learned over the past couple of years, but really in the last six months that I am not like everyone else.  I can’t do a 90 day exercise and diet program and have a major transformation.  It’s going to be slow and steady wins the race for me.  

 

I figure I will start blogging about my routine, if you are all interested.  It will be a little more varied than last summer when I was just doing Bikram yoga.

I’m excited to see what the summer brings.  If I really am optimized, then I should be noticing some major changes in my health and fitness!