Starting a blog is something I’ve been thinking about for at least a year. I just couldn’t seem to figure out what I wanted to write about. Then in January of this year I was diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis. It has felt like the loneliest road since then. Now don’t get me wrong, I have amazing friends and family and a husband that listens to my ramblings. However, unless the person I’m talking to has gone through a similar battle they can not fully comprehend how I feel.
There are of course people who have autoimmune diseases and go about life as if it’s nothing and just take a pill.
I am not one of those people. I’m not bashing those type people but my belief is that age old saying “let food be thy medicine”. I wouldn’t doubt most Americans would think I’m the “crunchy” type. You know…hippie in my ways. You won’t find harsh cleaners, chemical laden bath and beauty products, or over processed foods in my home. I clean with vinegar or Castile soap. Use essential oils for a host of different things and coconut oil is my go-to for just about everything.
My point is I won’t take this diagnosis lightly.
I’ve spent the last few months and more so than normal the last month reading as much as I can from a functional medicine perspective and listening to countless podcasts from experts on the subjects of all things related to thyroid, autoimmunity, paleo and gut health.
So how does all this fall under a blog post about loneliness??? It’s simple. Unless you have someone to talk to about it whom also has a likeminded attitude and approach you will feel incredibly alone. I’ve received my fair share of raised eyebrows, or sometimes rude remarks about the path I’m taking to gain my health back. Arguments on what I eat seem to be an almost daily thing with well intentioned people. Unfortunately these same people just haven’t done the research. So I’m left with a few people to discuss exciting health news with or great new recipes. These people keep me sane!!!
Another struggle I face is people look at me and think I’m healthy. I don’t look “sick”. What people can’t see however is the level of inflammation in my body and the battle between my immune system and it attacking my own body.
You see autoimmunity can be extremely lonely because to the naked eye most people who have it look healthy. If you ask someone with it how they actually feel though you will more than likely get a very different answer.
When I started keeping track of different symptoms I have, it didn’t take long to fill an entire notebook page. I sat back, looked at it and thought “this is NOT normal for a 32 year old woman”. It was heartbreaking to me to visibly see all I’ve been dealing with. Some of these symptoms for years. Others just within the last few months.
One of the more difficult symptoms to deal with is fatigue. Crippling fatigue. I’m not talking you-stayed-up-late-the-night-before-and-are-dragging-the-next-day-tired. What I’m referring to is exhausted to the point of having to sit down after carrying a basket of laundry across the house fatigued. That is not normal. Falling asleep at 8pm each night-exhausted. Again, not normal. I don’t come from the mindset of sitting around all day. I am normally a very active person so to feel this way is depressing and upsetting. Especially if you have people in your life who don’t understand how you feel. I often find myself screaming inside my head “don’t you think I want to go back to how active I was?! Don’t you think I want to get up and go play in the snow too?!” I’m not the confrontational type though so I keep it in and will often let it out when I’m alone with waves of tears. The battle between your mind and your body is real. When your brain says to keep going eventually mind over matter just isn’t enough and you have to lie down.
Most people don’t know that having one autoimmune disease puts you at a 3X higher risk of developing another disease, one that may be more difficult to manage. It’s not that I live in fear of this, but if I can do something today to make my future health better then why wouldn’t I?
This all leaves me with one choice to give it to God and let Him direct my path. Ultimately He’s my healer and source of HOPE in all things. Hence the name of my blog and the true beginning of my journey back to health.