Just Another Day: Hashimoto’s, Complex Trauma…And Doctors

NOTE: Rereading this, I know I sound more angry and bitter than I feel (if that makes sense). Venting helps and knowing your there helps me here! I’m going to have a nice evening watching “Groundhog Day” with my family tonight. I’m really looking forward to it.

My symptoms have improved since my thyroid medication was increased a week ago. I’m fortunate that I’ve been able to find a chiropractor and a family practice MD who understand what is going on with my physical illness and are able to create a regimen which has greatly helped my situation. I don’t think that all doctors are bad. Lest we forget, doctors, like teachers, coworkers, lawyers, cab drivers and everyone else are, after all, people. There are some who are good at what they do and some who are bad. Like you, me and everyone else, most of us are in the middle, trying to do the best we can with what we have to work with. My frustration over the years has been that so many didn’t understand what was actually going on with me physiologically, because they assumed a great many things and didn’t look into what the symptoms and blood work actually indicated. Because my illness has had such a profound effect on me, my need for assistance – and the frustration and anger at being patronized and invalidated – is greater than it all would have been under less serious circumstances…

…I don’t just have a cold.

Today, I’m feeling very weak and a bit light headed. This is an improvement to my situation a week and more ago. It’s immensely better than 5 and 10 years ago.

I wanted to include a list of symptoms, but some of the future possibilities of what might happen is more than I can deal with right now. From my own experience, symptoms have included: intense migraines, nausea, digestive issues (constipation and food allergies), muscle pain, joint pain, muscle twitching, fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, irritability, bloating, weight gain, “foggy thinking”, short term memory issues and others which I can’t recall at the moment…

…Oh, and all the wonders which CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) adds to the mix…

The fatigue was just about always assumed to be depression rather than a valid endocrine and immune system issue. Depression is certainly valid, but I’m fortunate to not have to struggle with that. Growing up as I did, I know what depression is like and I haven’t experienced that in many years. Frustrated? Yes. Discouraged. Yes. Angry. Yep. But I also have hope, determination and a certain audacious optimism which freely flows so long as I’m self-aware and “mindfully meditative” (living consciously in the present). The innumerable medications therapists of the past put me on only made me feel worse and aggravated my illness. Working with the chiropractor and family doctor now has greatly reduced just about all of my symptoms and made the remaining ones more manageable.

I have to say that it’s very frustrating to be told your symptoms are due to something…which you know for a fact isn’t true. I’ve never claimed to know as much as the doctors I’ve been too, but there are basic things in terms of my body, mind and emotion which I do know. I’m fortunate to have found 2 doctors who understand what is going on with me. I didn’t completely believe them at first, but followed their prescriptions and recommendations. All they’ve described seems to have been true and just about everything they’ve suggested and prescribed has worked. I still struggle. I’m still very ill at times. But my illness has greatly improved after working with these doctors.

I don’t expect to be as healthy as I was at 20. I don’t always like what my doctors tell me to do. Yet I’ve come to trust them because of their willingness to follow symptoms to their cause rather than prescribe pills and offer platitudes based on their assumptions.

Each person is different and there is no panacea which cures everyone’s thyroid / adrenal / digestive issues. I’m not healthy, but I am better and there seem to be a few specific things which have helped address my illness and symptoms. Again, there is no magic pill or cure (despite what money making books, websites and programs say). It’s taken me 6 months to a year or more to begin to see the benefits from attending to these areas. Currently, I’ve regressed this year and am likely going to spend October to June with much more severe symptoms. Addressing these areas has taken time for me and there are no quick fixes. This, quite plainly, sucks and has been a great source of frustration, even despair, for me. However, this is what has helped me to improve my general state of health (and a significant reduction of symptoms).

* Stress: CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) invokes stress as a “normal” state of being. I’ve been learning how to reduce this, but it’s been decades in therapy and there’s still a lot I haven’t learned (and a great deal I still need to process). I suspect that this caused the onset of my thyroid / adrenal / digestive issues. I do know that when I allow stress a free hand over an extended period of time (weeks or months), my illness and symptoms get worse.

* Diet: No “vices,” meaning no smoking, drinking, drugs etc. I’m on a casein free, gluten free, soy free diet. My diet consists of fruit, vegetables, proteins (fish and chicken), nuts, salad and the like. This basically means nothing with wheat, milk or soy in it. Gluten takes 6 months to get out of your system, so even slight cheating is impossible and it takes months to feel the positive effects. I’ve often been mocked for this and all I can say is that when I feel sick, and then go back and check the ingredients of something I ate, there’s always some gluten, casein or soy in it.

Of course this also means no “crap” food: Fast food, soda’s, coffee (I cheat a bit here), lunch meat with nitrates and preservatives, are all out.

* Sunlight: For some reason, my symptoms are reduced and I feel better when the days are longer and the sun is out. June to September I feel relatively better. October to May are generally incapacitating. Vitamin D and B12 seem to help, but the fall and winter remain brutal.

* Exercise: My exercise consists of walking for an hour. I don’t lift weights or power bike or anything extreme. I go out and walk for an hour. I ran track and cross country in high school, but I can’t manage that stuff anymore. I can’t say that I fully believe that this helps, but my doctors have suggested this and I trust them.

I’ll have to go into more detail with these later. I’m getting tired now and need to rest. If you don’t believe me, I suggest an experiment. Stay up for 2 days and nights in a row and then try to go about your day without any issues or challenges. This is how I’ve felt all day, every day, for 20 years now…don’t dismiss what you don’t understand.

Hope I didn’t sound too bitter. Thanks for “listening.” Writing about my situation does help.

Be Well, My Friends
Theseus

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2 thoughts on “Just Another Day: Hashimoto’s, Complex Trauma…And Doctors

  1. My heart goes out to you! I have the same symptoms and am, as of yet, undiagnosed. Blood tests are within “normal” range (although on high and low ends of that range) so they stop looking and want me to check back in 6 months. I always feel like they look at me like I am crazy. I know my body and something is definitely not right. I spent the last year going to different specialists and no one could help. The best I found in online research was Lupus, which presents with a lot of my symptoms but it can take years to show up in blood work. I have given up this year, will just let it progress until I go back once again and hope that NOW something will show. I can’t blame it on my CPTSD because I have always had that and my pains have been just the last 2 years. I will just wake up with a new pain one morning and it never goes away, just goes in waves of varying degrees of pain. But like I said, I can’t do it anymore right now – so tired of doctors and needle pricks and no one really listening to me. I completely understand your bitterness right now. I hope you find relief soon sweetness. Until then, please know that others feel your pain, your frustration and your heartache. HUGS!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. breakingsarah,

    I think we’ve had very similar experiences. No only did all the doctors I went to see not believe anything was wrong, they prescribed medications which ended up making things worse. We (and others like us) really need and advocate who will go to bat for us. As sick as I was, going from one doctor to another and having no one believe me…after time I just gave up. Trying to find a doctor who understands and knows what they’re talking about was a full time job (and if I could function at a full time job, I wouldn’t need the help of a doctor)! For many years, my wife didn’t even believe I was sick. It’s only by chance that I found a chiropractor who knew what was going on and has helped me regain some semblance of relief.

    I’m really sorry to hear of your situation. Doing research on line myself, what you describe is, unfortunately, an all too common issue. There are a lot of us out there who can’t find help and are just told that we either don’t know what we’re talking about, we’re crazy, a hypochondriac or just plain lazy.

    Let’s keep in touch. I can tell you about what I’ve been doing and what’s helped me. Of course, there’s no guarantee what worked for me will work for you or that it would be good for you to do the same. However, it may give you a starting point for your research (if your able to look into it).

    Beyond that, let’s keep in touch so we don’t feel alone. Our experiences, especially when no one helps or believes, can be very isolating and depressing. I can’t offer medical advice, but I can offer support and be some one you can vent to.

    We all need to vent and be listened to.

    I hope things are at least tolerable. Remember I’m here!

    Be Well,
    Theseus

    Like

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