Roughly a third of my life has been spent fighting thyroid issues. Misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis by the medical profession were some of the first punches thrown against me. Then round two was what was a smooth surgery. The bell for round 3 of the fight rang. I’m still fighting medication side effects. For the folks playing at home, that’s years of brain fog, insomnia, exhaustion, weight gain, and a full spectrum of other blah symptoms.
Frustration and the thyroid industrial establishment
It was a classic case of misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis. During the run-up to my Thyroid surgery, Doctors diagnosed me with everything from depression to seasonal affective disorder to suffering from the economy. I began to call those Doctors “the thyroid industrial establishment” because they were the most prominent deniers of thyroid issues but still cashed their checks anyway. Finally, the goiter growing in my neck began to block off my airway. Brain fog and anxiety brought on by my out-of-control thyroid clouded my judgment so much in those days I hit rock bottom with a loud hollow thud.
During this time, I squandered on Doctors, my thyroid developed a goiter that grew to the size of an orange. It stopped working. My thyroid was dead in every meaning of the word. My health slipped through my fingers during this time despite the fact I was seeking medical help.
Battling through the brain fog and depression, I got a moment of clarity to fire all my doctors. I should have known you just can’t walk away from a goiter, but I was in too much of a fog to know any better.
The loss of myself was so gradual that I didn’t notice or understand it until after my Total Thyroidectomy. I remember waking up from the surgery and even seeing the world in more color.
Acceptance of the thyroid industrial establishment
Now more than ten years since the surgery, I feel a strange sense of freedom. I’ve seen the face of frustration too many times. I’ve come to accept the time I’ve lost to the aftermath of my Total Thyroidectomy.
I did excellent work in the brain fog, depression, and anxiety that dogged me for years. Unfortunately, there were personal and professional missteps aplenty. All of them in the past I keep reminding myself to this day.
Now my attention finding a happy medium in my relationship with thyroid medications. I get along with Tirosint only marginally better than I did with her evil stepsister Levoxyl when we aren’t. When our relationship is in sync, we are lovely together. Finding the right balance is still challenging since I’ve gained a good bit of weight since my Total Thyroidectomy.
Over the years, I’ve developed a good working relationship with Endocrinologist #4. So that’s a good thing.
I’ve come to chock up the whole chapter of my life as something that has happened. Instead of feeling sorry for myself over the personal and professional missteps when I was sick, I’ve grown to see them as cathartic. “America loves a comeback story,” or so a friend reminded me.
My father once told me that you must hit rock bottom before you live. I learned so much when my thyroid died. I used to worry about such small things before I got sick. The death of my thyroid gave birth to a kinder more patient person than I ever was before.
I’m a technical marketer and former technical writer. My areas of interest include the cloud, DevOps, and cybersecurity. Follow me on Twitter: @willkelly.