March 1, 2013


I wrote this last week: 

What do you think when you read the word "invalid"?  You have two options:


As I've mentioned before, I have Hashimoto's Disease, among many other health problems.  Sometimes I feel okay, sometimes I don't.  More often than not lately, I don't.  I feel like an invalid and I suppose I sort of am.  Being an invalid makes me feel invalid.  Heteronyms are a cruel trick of the English language!  It's no coincidence to me.

I can't help it.  I know that.  But everyday I feel guilty.  I feel like I'm not doing enough whether it be housework, spending time with family or working on my own projects.

I spend a lot of time sleeping.

I spend more time worrying what other people think.

I don't want people to dismiss me as an invalid yet I don't want people to underestimate the physical pain and fatigue I fight every day.

Obviously, depression is a big factor in the mix.

I didn't have a problem with depression until after I had my son.  I had post-partum depression and and extra dose of it due to my thyroid screwing up.  Depression is a symptom of hypothyroidism.  I started taking medication for it about 3 years ago.  It's helped tremendously.  Talking to friends with similar problems has helped as well.  But it doesn't go away.  Not completely.

Lately I've been struggling with it again.  My fatigue is worse than it's been in years.  I realize the thyroid demon is attacking again.  That means lots of mood swings and depression.  Once I likened depression to drowning.  It's like you're drowning for months at a time but you don't know it.  Every once and a while, you'll get a gasp of air and you realize that you've been underwater all that time.

You can't talk depression away.  "Positive thinking" or exercise doesn't get rid of it though they don't hurt.  It's an imbalance of chemicals.  People with depression cannot help it.

That doesn't make me feel better about myself.

I still punish myself.  Why can't I be better?  Do more?  At times I absolutely hate myself for not being able to do what other people do.

Updated today: 

After some lab work and a visit with my endocrinologist Monday, I found out I'm severely anemic.  A normal hemoglobin level is about 14 and mine was a 9.  No wonder I've been so exhausted!  I've had to do extra testing to determine the cause.  Part of me is scared because it could be something more serious (I don't even want to mention the "c" word).  But then again, all these symptoms are typical of hypothyroidism.

I think my biggest problem is not my health.  I can't change that.  I can eat right and keep up with my endless pills.  I do try hard to be a responsible patient and be (homonym alert!) patient with my body and the whole medical system.  Overall, I think my negativity and self esteem are my biggest problems.  I have to stop comparing myself to others, even ones that have the same condition I do.  Just because we have the same condition doesn't mean we have the same circumstances.  I know it's true but most of the time I don't feel that it's true.  A big part of me just feels that I'm a big loser.  I guess it's a daily struggle.  I have to make the choice every day to be positive even if I feel like crap.


Genevieve said...

You sound very self-aware. I think that's something in your favor. I've had RA since I was 17, so I identify with that daily struggle with fatigue and as a positive thinker, I can tell you the mind is powerful, but sometimes, even that strength isn't enough. Be kind to yourself. Hang in there.

Suck-a-Lemon said...

Well, crap, no wonder we've connected. We've got so much in common! I've got Sjogren's Syndrome, hyperthyroidism, IBS, SAD, fibromyalgia, GERD, pseudo-tumor cerebri, some funky thing wrong with my kidneys that makes me glad I'm not married and a bunch of other stuff. I'm a walking disaster. I was absolutely fine until I hit 35. Then suddenly my health took an incredible nose-dive. Well, actually, now that I think about it, I was symptomatic before then, it just got unbearable around then. Which, oddly enough, is just the same time my mother moved in with me. Stress is a major trigger with Sjogren's and fibromyalgia. It doesn't help with "spastic colon" either which is what IBS was called when I was first diagnosed in the early 80's. It totally sucks because I don't LOOK sick, I don't have anything in a cast, I'm not in a wheelchair. So why the heck do I feel so bad? I must be faking it. It's all in my head. I've heard that so many times I want to scream. People that have never had a chronic condition, have never dealt with chronic pain, have no freaking clue what it is like. You are not lazy. You are doing the best you can. If you can only make it out of bed to land on the sofa and nap all day, be glad you made it out of bed! That's an accomplishment. Tomorrow will be better. Maybe you won't nap quite so much. :)