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Yes, Having Blips in Your Health Is Normal When You Have a Chronic Illness

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Follow this journey on The Invisible Hypothyroidism.

On the whole, I live a very full life. I travel often, work two jobs (one of which is for myself, doing my thyroid advocacy work), am surrounded by many friends and have a very active social life. But I also have chronic health conditions.

This means that at times, my health can give me tougher-than-usual days and really test my patience. And it’s OK to have less-than-perfect health days. In fact, it’s completely human. No regular, non-chronically-ill person is healthy 100 percent of the time. They still catch illnesses.

But what worries me is that people confuse the way in which I honestly share all my ups and downs with the thyroid community, with being unwell and not living a full life. And this can be frustrating because I want people to see me and my patient advocacy The Invisible Hypothyroidism, by extension, as a reliable and knowledgeable source of information on living with hypothyroidism and its related conditions.

By meshing the knowledge I have learned through my own thyroid journey back to good health, with my own, personal experiences, I try to create something authentic and genuine, a place that people know they are understood and made to realize that they are not alone in what they experience.

Other thyroid patient advocates may not share their personal experiences like I do — the ups and downs with always trying to keep your endocrine health on track and managing the balance between all the functions, hormones and issues that can arise — but I do. And I like to think that’s what makes me unique.

By no means read one of my blogs or articles and take from it that I am extremely unwell with hypothyroidism, or even the opposite (assuming I am 100 percent healthy forevermore). Making such assumptions isn’t realistic and no thyroid patient, advocate or not, is going to be 100 percent healthy for the rest of their lives.

But what I hope sets me apart is that I don’t pussyfoot around this or try to hide the fact that, like you all, I have good and bad days, too. And as a patient advocate I’m not only responsible for equipping thyroid patients with the tools and knowledge to get back to good thyroid health, but I’m also responsible for giving an honest and authentic experience of living with this lifelong condition. And that includes admitting when there’s a blip in my health.

Since day one of  my blogging journey, I have meshed together being a knowledgable advocate and someone still going through the journey. Because it is ongoing. It’s always ongoing!

Instagram in particular is a place where people don’t tend to like any negativity. Filled with profiles on self-improvement, weight loss, spiritual journeys and the like, I am aware that when I post about any kind of struggle or symptom linked to living with my chronic illness and mainly hypothyroidism, people insist on trying to give me all the answers because they assume I am still extremely unwell from one post depicting a blip.

But it’s a symptom of being so transparent, real, open and honest about my struggles. I just don’t want people to confuse me being honest to reassure others of their struggles, with not being knowledgeable or advocating for my own health. After all, that is what my mission is. Having blips, highs and lows and struggles with hypothyroidism is totally OK and we need to be aware that it is in fact also very normal.

Originally published: August 5, 2018
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