Hypothyroidism and How It Affects Me

Hypothyroidism is a disease (for me, completely incurable), in which your thyroid gland is not providing enough thyroid hormone. Its incurable for me because I don’t have the gland at all; I was born without it. Many people have it removed after cancer or it is just not working properly. I have heard stories of people bouncing between hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism and remission.

This gland controls your metabolism (weight), skin, hair, heart rate, and lack of the hormone can cause depression, anxiety, irregular menstrual cycles, anemia, dry skin and hair, and fatigue.

So we wont play dumb, it is an understatement to say that I have had a rough couple of months (literally all of 2019 so far).

I could not afford my levothyroxine ($100) and I felt bad asking my parents for any more financial help than they were already providing. I was too ashamed to ask the government for help, despite being a struggling single mom, because of my job.

However thank God, I finally got insurance and can get my medication. I had gone to the doctor for bloodwork but since I didn’t have any insurance. They tried playing me. Only giving me 100 mcg and only for a month supply so I would have to come back and pay for the appointment and medication every month. I swear the medical and pharmaceutical are a huge scam. Health insurance too. Pay a big premium then also copays. Ridiculous. That’s some other bullshit we wont get into right now.

Anyways last week, after about 4 or 5 months of me stretching 2 months of 100 mcg levothyroxine, I finally got my dose adjusted and I’ve already noticed a big change. I was also diagnosed with anemia (which as stated above goes hand and hand).

I’ve lived with this my whole life. However as a child I always had my parents making sure that I was taking it at the right time. On an empty stomach, every morning and hours before taking any other medication (iron, specifically).

I had blood test done every 3 – 6 months and had to be tested for diabetes yearly almost (maybe every two years). I swear, my left arm veins make me look like a junkie; they are so exposed. Also, during both of my pregnancies, I had to be very closely monitored as high risk. And the raised my dose to 200 mcg and I was severely anemic to the point that I couldnt walk without being dizzy or light headed.

Hypothyroidism affects even the most basic aspects of my life such as diet. I am lactose intolerant (not because of the condition/ disease), so I can’t drink cows milk, but soy absorbs my medication so I have to drink almond milk. Soy based anything, milk, protein powders, tofu, it’s off limits.

It also affects my metabolism and I’ve gained about 15- 20 lbs since January. I tried working out and couldn’t keep at it because I was exhausted for no reason. I hardly eat out because I cant afford to so I was mostly eating home cooked meals and meal prepping and still nothing. Its horrible feeling stuck and not being able to afford being the bare minimum of healthy.

Hypothyroidism has also been linked to depression and anxiety. If you’re not internally healthy then you can bet your mind isn’t either. Not to say that I have no reason to be considering what has happened this year, but I am in a much better place to cope with it than I have been.

If you read my “Just Relax…” blog post, then you know that I was digging craters into my face to help deal with my anxiety. I mean just earlier this month I felt that I might have been a danger to myself. I told my mom if I couldn’t get a grip on my depression then I would consider moving home because I couldn’t handle life. I felt like my whole world was closing in on me and I couldn’t escape. I’m not being over dramatic. Mental illness is a real disease and should be taken very seriously. My mom even tried helping me by giving me St. John’s Wort which can help with depression but I cant even take that without it absorbing my medication.

But on the bright side, it has only been a week and I have noticed a huge change in my energy and mood. Even my willingness to workout which… who the hell likes working out? Me apparently.

So hopefully, here is to better days. May this be the last post that mentions my depression and anxiety. Maybe you will be seeing some DIY and health and fitness post in the near future.

P.S. I never realized how common hypothyroidism is until recently. So if you notice any symptoms, go get checked!

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