DEAR THYROID, I MISS YOU AND I'M SORRY

I feel bad, like it's all my fault, you know, that you had to leave. Back when I was in Jr. High and High School I virtually pushed you over the edge with all that dieting, bingeing and purging. I wished that I could eat all that I wanted and still loose weight. I know now what I didn't know then, that I was growing into a woman and that curves are normal, even if they are accompanied by all those pesky and uncomfortable sexual feelings.

I know you tried to warn me that you were enlarged, begging me to take better care of us, but I didn't know you even existed then and no one who did took you seriously. I know that by the time I was pregnant at 23 you were only doing what you figured I would want, enabling me to eat as much as I wanted and still lose weight. That was the first time in my life when gaining weight was welcome. Honestly, it was liberating. I needed that, a time in my life when the pressure to lose weight was off. By the time I had nursed my first daughter for one month, I weighed less than I had in years, and I felt beautiful. I was able to eat and eat healthy foods and continue to lose weight. You know I would have kept things like that indefinitely, your doing all the work.

So, I can hardly blame you for swelling up, bleeding. I put you through three more pregnancies and plenty of drugs and alcohol, still with nary a thought... until it was too late. I thought a goiter was an old lady disease and I was scared when my midwife told me you were sick. I'd never even been to a doctor for a physical, even in the year I had insurance through my work and there were all those ten day fasts; I simply did not know.

And then, as soon as we met, you had to leave. You gave me quite a scare. You were so big and there were the fears we had cancer. They said I could nuke you, and I thought that was no way to live a life, and decided to have you extracted. There is a small bit of you still here, a withered portion damaged by our raging bits. Sometimes I like to think that it's just enough that you might miraculously grow back, but every year I discover no such thing has occurred and I take that pill every. morning. for. the. rest. of. my. life.

Sometimes I fear that some sort of natural disaster will have me scouring pastures for some innocent animal whose thyroid I must eat to survive, and I am humbled by my acquiescence a consumeristic society that makes a CVS or Walgreens at every corner a comforting sight. I just wanted to tell you that I am sorry for all those years I took you for granted. I know that with our family history we were bound to part eventually, but more love on my part may have postponed our premature parting. I can say simply didn't know, but wonder if that would have been enough anyway. I miss you.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Jewgirl said...

FreidaBee,

Your love letter made me sob like an idiot.

You spent years suffering and simultaneously (sarcastically) loving the unexplained weight loss.

I didn't know thyroids could swell up and bleed. How did you find that out? Was it the goiter?

When you wrote about having to take "the pill" every single day, that resonated HARD for me. I know exactly what you mean.

I love what you wrote about the fear of one day possibly having to roam pastures to suck the thyroids of cattle. I know what you mean!!

Beautiful letter. I'm so sorry you miss your thyroid.

Question, if you don't mind me asking, why do you think your lifestyle led to your thyroid debacle? I'm curious because I'm struggling with that and shrinktail says that it was beyond my control. Have you heard/read otherwise? I would love to know only IF you don't mind sharing.

XO,
Katie

June 24, 2008 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger FranIAm said...

Oh my.

I read this and feel stilled, emptied.

Freida - I do not even know what to say, dear woman.

This I can say - you have lost a thyroid but what a gift you possess. Your words are sublime with the images and feelings they evoke.

Thank you for sharing this with us. I feel like after "knowing" you for a long time, I have just had something very profound revealed to me, to us.

June 25, 2008 at 3:22 AM  
Blogger Casdok said...

Wow, what a touching letter. Yes thank you for sharing.

June 28, 2008 at 2:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Frieda

This is "S" that Katie talks about in her letter.

I read yours and it is beautiful. I too lead the life of a binger and purger for many years. I drank smokes and thought I would be forever healthy until..........

It is a fact medically that people within our character can develop these types of autoimmune disorders. I did extensive research on my history and got totally slapped in the face with the truth I could have caused this ordeal myself.

There is "health" after stress and distruction of ourselves. It is a life change and I am in my journey of doing just that.

I am better now than when I was sticking my finger down my throat and I wake up 20pounds heavier than I want to be and say I will manage to get this off.

Just my two cents. and to tell all of you - you are not alone. Find the power in knowing yourselves now and work to a better you.

I hope KAtie sees one day that this terrible ordeal see goes though will bring here to knowing she is better now than she ever was. She is so sweet yet so angry- I think of her often.

Live - Love - Laugh as often as you can.

"S"

June 30, 2008 at 4:30 AM  
Blogger Übermilf said...

Frieda, is this YOU? I didn't know. I should've read this much earlier!

I have Hashimoto's. My doctor told me NOT to go to Walgreens for my Synthroid because they substitute for generic without permission, and in the case of Synthroid, there IS a difference in potency.

I don't know if you know this already, but I thought I'd mention it.

BTW, I have to have one of the two lumps on my thyroid biopsied in August. There's a 10 percent chance I have cancer, so I'm 10 percent scared.

July 1, 2008 at 7:24 AM  
Blogger Übermilf said...

It wasn't Synthroid.

It's Levoxyl.

Ubermilf regrets the error.

July 2, 2008 at 6:09 AM  
Blogger Freida Bee said...

Katielove- I don't think my thyroid bled in a certain sense, but to grossly put it, that was the primary constuent of it: blood. There were hard nodules as well, but I am just visualizing it in a laywoman's terms, I'm sure.

I am pretty sure that I would have had thyroid problems in the end, eventually. It allays some guilt over how I treated my body to believe that, but the guilt is still there. It is the guilt of getting what you asks for and then saying, "Crap, this is what I asked for."

Fran- Thank you so much for reading and commenting. You are so supportive.

Casdok- Thank you so much for reading it. (I love your blog btw. I just discovered it.)

S- Thank you. After years in a couple twelve step programs, I think I am down to the layers where my eating disorder lies, and am starting to write about it. Your solidarity is more helpful than I would have expected. Thank you.

ubermilf- 'TIS I! I am so glad you've come over here. I am sorry you are going through this. It has been a relief to finally not be hyperthyroid after a long time. The effect is so pervasive and the throid id such a SLOW being, which will be in your favor in your scare. Apparently the thyroid is not too quick toward malignancies and when they are there they are extremely slow to progress and the prognosis is usually very good. My great grandmother got diagnosed with thyroid cancer in her 60's and live until she was 98 and died of brain cancer. She was mwing her yard and all til the end.

Please touch in and let us know how it's going and WRITE A DEAR THYROID LETTER! we'd love to read it!

Thank you for the heads up on levoxyl. That is what I am taking, its generic, but I get it from the same university pharmacy, the same brand, the same dose every time. Hopefully it is consistent.

Are you on the polypropylthiourisil (a thyroid supressant)? (I had to spell that wrongly. There's no way not to.) I took it for quite a while even nursing only later to find out it can be very hard on the liver and that it is better for short-term use, but I am no expert whatsoever.

I think I need to write a letter soon on having the biopsy via fine needle aspiration. Ugggh.

July 2, 2008 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger Jewgirl said...

FranIAm: I had a very similar reaction to FreidaBee's letter.

S: I'm so happy you commented and of course as honestly as you did.

You are right, I do have a lot of anger that I need to resolve. The anger is born out of extreme sadness about how things unfolded in my thyroid debacle. There was a lot of medical negligence and the price was very high. I'm trying to release the anger by writing about it and talking about it. I'm also, as you suggested, being my own patient advocate.

My test results came back last week and I'm unbalanced again. My parathyroid is off. I don't feel better and as you said, that's the true test. "Do you feel better? How do you feel?" I haven't felt great, or good or like myself in so many years that I've forgotten what it feels like.

At present, I'm trying alternative methods that I've been researching like acupuncture.

It's hard to let go of the anger still being in the middle of it. I need the swelling in my eyelids to go down because it impairs my vision quite a bit.

I know I want to heal and feel better. I know I want to be in control of how I move forward. I know I need to let the anger go. Perhaps that's the beginning of change.

Ubermilf: I am so sorry about the lumps. I will be chanting and praying for good results for you.

I'm taking synthroid. I want to look into other thyroid medications. I've read about Armor thanks to "S". I am doing a lot of reading and research at present.

FreidaBee: What a harrowing ordeal you went through. I am so sorry that you struggle with guilt. I know how difficult it is to release it.

I hope you do write a letter about the biopsy via needle aspiration. What was that like?

July 2, 2008 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Jewgirl said...

Sorry, I had one more thing to add, delayed reaction...

Thank you for indulging me :)

"S": I do think that anger is part of the healing process. Much like there are stages of mourning, I think there are stages of healing. I do think to resolve the anger as expiditiously as possible is important, to be sure. I also believe that it is an unavoidable part of the process.

Okay, that's all I wanted to say. Grazarella.

Katie-

July 2, 2008 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Mauigirl said...

Hi FreidaBee,
So sorry you have had so much trouble with your thyroid over the years. I have had my own thyroid issues - had a bout of "thyroiditis" - an inflammation which may have been caused by a virus, as it went away so it wasn't Hashimoto's. That was about 13 years ago. I still remember how hard my thyroid felt and the weird feelings I got (too hot, double vision, heart pounding). Luckily aspirin and time (about 2 weeks) took care of it.

Then about 3 years ago when they were scanning me to see if my tongue cancer had spread (it hadn't, knock wood) they saw nodules on my thyroid. So I had to go off and have fine needle aspiration (negative for cancer). I had another FNA about a year and a half ago, still no cancer, so I'm feeling pretty good about it. I am not hypothyroid but know I am at risk for it because of the previous thyroiditis.

The FNA isn't that bad - uncomfortable but not agonizing. They don't give you an anesthetic as the needle itself is so fine it hurts less than the anesthetic would, or so they say!

July 3, 2008 at 9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FYI:Check medhelp.org; The user with nick "898" is really good on thyroid scans and ultrasounds!

August 1, 2008 at 10:01 AM  
Anonymous Gorden said...

So, I do not actually believe it is likely to work.
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January 25, 2012 at 7:35 AM  

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