The Mighty Logo

Why I'm Thankful to Be Diagnosed With Hypothyroidism

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

If you’ve never had a hard-to-diagnose condition, you probably think this headline is ridiculous.

Most people want to be healthy, all people I would dare to say. But once you know something is wrong with you, that something doesn’t work quite right, all your moments in the doctor’s office will be a long search for answers. And there comes a point in that search when you want real answers. You don’t want to stand there and listen to another “that might be because of fibromyalgia” or “my cousin who has arthritis experiences a similar symptom.” Nope, we want real answers.

So, aside from the two previous conditions I’ve already mentioned, I have a lifelong battle with anxiety and depression. Also, I have a dry mouth, falling hair, bruises, dry skin, incredible fatigue, sleep like one of the seven dwarves, battle with gastrointestinal issues, have major PMS symptoms, gain weight like I’m being paid for it and have an incredibly hard time losing it, and so on. I know, I’m the description of a living art masterpiece. All kidding aside (and let’s clear up that this description is coming from someone who isn’t that bad at loving herself and having self-esteem), I’ve battled with those symptoms in a constant, painful way for the last seven years.

And during this whole time, every doctor I went to, every medical student, every person who has thyroid problems has asked me the magic phrase, “Have you had your thyroid checked?,” and I sat there, smiled and said yes. Because I had it checked many, many, many times with many, many, many blood tests which were a pain to get (because I forgot that my body just swells up for absolutely no reason at all, making it impossible for me to wear rings, or shoes, or have my blood taken because they couldn’t see my veins) and everything was OK. Not good, my thyroid was always in the superior limit, but it was between the limits, so OK.

But in the last couple of months I’ve gained a huge amount of weight and had even more mood swings, so my doctor had my thyroid checked. And finally, it came. The level of the hormone was out of the limits, and I actually have hypothyroidism.

What a relief. And yes, I know the medicine won’t cure me like a magic pill. I know it won’t be better in the blink of an eye. I know this isn’t a reason to stop all my treatments: psychotherapy, medication, exercise, good nutrition, hobbies, spirituality, etc. In fact, it reassures me I have to keep doing them. But how nice it is to feel that you aren’t making it up, that there was in fact something wrong, that you don’t have to get used to a reality that sucks just because it’s your new normal. Today I believed again in medicine and in the possibility of having a more regular, less symptomatic life. The life a 23-year-old wants to have. It’s nice to have hope again.

And for that I say: Thank God I have hypothyroidism!

Getty Image by MistakeAnn

Originally published: February 23, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home