Today, I listened to a podcast provided by Underground Wellness where Sean Croxton interviewed Jen Wittman. You may have never heard of her before (I hadn’t) but I was looking for podcasts I could listen to while putting on my make-up. Instead of mindlessly inspecting my face for the increasing imperfections, I change my focus to learning. It’s like overhearing a very interesting conversation between a couple very intelligent people.
Underground Wellness has a lot of great podcasts that cover all kinds of health topics and it’s a channel I listen to with some regularity on my walks with Pearl. I chose Jen Wittman’s podcast because like me, she has Hashimotos Thyroiditis. I’ve been having some complications related to this autoimmune disorder and now think it’s time to take it more seriously. I must admit to becoming lax in taking my medication (Levothryroxine) but I honestly didn’t think it was any big deal. Sure, I always feel like crap but I’m used to that feeling and I’m not sure I felt much better when taking Levo with any regularity anyway.
And then suddenly last week happened. I had a problem swallowing my food. Nothing gets your attention faster than not being able to do what was once a mundane, everyday task, something your body is supposed to do without any reminders. Chicken, in particular, caused me great trouble; it really didn’t want to go down. Because I don’t eat meat all that often, it didn’t raise a huge red flag until I tried to eat chicken again at Urban Plates on Sunday. I had to chug glass after glass of water to get the few bites to head toward my stomach, and by then, I was alarmed and no longer having a nice dinner out with my daughter.
After arriving back home and accessing Dr. Google, I realized swallowing problems are very common among people who are suffering with Hashimotos. For me, I believe it’s been brought on by too much stress. I have too many things going on and I haven’t been taking care of myself. That is about to change since my body has decided to communicate with me in the only way it knows how–by taking away some of my privileges. Yes, swallowing is a privilege. I’m slowly earning this freedom back.
First thing Monday morning, I scheduled a trip to my acupuncturist and this afternoon, I’m scheduled for a doctor’s visit. Believe it or not, I have no primary physician because I’m a big believer of using food as my medicine. But, food’s not exactly working all the way and I’m admitting to maybe needing an expert’s help.
I’ve also been attempting to get an appointment with an endocrinologist but having an incredibly difficult time reaching a particular doctor. She’s embraced technology so much that one cannot speak to a person in her office. I’m hoping that my regular GP will give her a call and get me in sooner. Fingers crossed.
Anyway, that’s not 100% of what this post is about. What I wanted to tell you is how I feel on a daily basis because of Hashimotos (and, let’s be honest, my non-compliance). You know how you feel on the first couple days of a cold? You’re tired, just making it through the day, and only checking off the items from your to do list of things that absolutely must get done, and you’re not giving them your best effort. You can’t wait to put on pajamas or sweatpants and either lie around and do nothing or go to bed as soon as it gets dark? Yeah, that’s me every day. Every day I have a certain well of energy that I grab from and when that energy is gone, it’s gone. Lights out, it’s bedtime.
What that means is that if I no longer have any energy, I will not be able to talk on the phone, make a meal, drive anyone anywhere, do a load of laundry, check Facebook, reply to an email, grocery shop, buy presents, or anything else on anyone’s list of stuff to do. Yes, something as simple as typing out an email seems like an insurmountable exercise. Even sometimes blog posts seem overwhelming. Like right now, I’m ready to go lie down but I want this post out there before I head to the doctor.
I explained all this this morning to my daughter this morning on a way to an appointment because it makes sense why people don’t understand anything about Hashimotos–it’s because we LOOK normal with our disease. We look like able bodied citizens. We look like we can get things done, but we can’t. We look normal but we’re silently exhausted and simply hoping to have enough energy to wash our faces before bed.
Jen Wittman helped me see that I should take the time to explain my disease and how I feel in laymen’s terms. Everyone understands a cold or the flu because almost everyone has had a cold or flu in their lifetime. At this point, I wish I only had a cold because a cold will slowly get better, making it feel loads better with some Tylenol or Iburpofen is easy.
Hashimotos is with me forever and no amount of pain reliever is going to make my symptoms go away. I need to take the time to take care of myself. Starting today.