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It was about this time last year that I should have noticed the signs that something was wrong. Too busy with the kids and my business and everything that life brought at me, I just kept ignoring them.
By early summer, even other people were starting to notice changes in my behavior. Normally not a big sleeper, I was going to bed early every night and sleeping in every morning that the kids didn’t have to be anywhere. Even with all of the sleeping, I would still sometimes find myself closing my eyes and nodding off at my computer.
I was gaining weight quickly. Even while training for a half marathon, I managed to put on 10 pounds. After the race when I cut back on my running, I put on another 10 pounds in less than 2 months.
I started on a downward spiral. The weight was making me so self-conscious that I wouldn’t put on a bathing suit when friends or family came over for pool parties. After awhile, I quit putting one on altogether. I stopped wearing shorts and only wore capris.
Worse than how I was feeling physically was how I was feeling mentally. Some days I could sit and cry at the drop of a hat for no reason at all. Other days I had such dark thoughts that I can’t even admit them to you. But at the same time I kept saying to myself, “This isn’t you!! You’re “sunshine” Tricia, for Pete’s sake. You are a happy person. The glass is always half full. Your life is wonderful. Snap out of it!!”
I knew it wasn’t me and I started getting really worried about what it all meant. I stopped talking to my friends for almost the entire summer. I happened to mention some of the things that were going on to my mom and she said I should get my thyroid checked. It didn’t make any sense to me, but I called the doctor (who I always refer to–not in his presence–as “Hot Doctor”). Hot Doctor got me in within a few days and started asking me my symptoms. After about 60 seconds he said, “sounds like a thyroid problem.” He ran some tests and within 48 hours I was on medication.
I was upset at first that I was going to have to be on a pill for the rest of my life. But Hot Doctor told me that I would be feeling so much better after a month or so of being on it that I would never want to go off. He was right.
Fast forward to now and I can hardly believe that I spent so many months fighting with myself. It would have been easy to just say that I was suffering from Depression and throw some Prozac at me. Thank goodness Hot Doctor knows what he is doing and ran the right tests. It’s taken awhile, but now that I am back to a good exercise routine and diet and taking the Synthroid regularly, I feel like a million bucks (maybe a billion).
Two morals to my story. The first is to trust what your body is telling you and pay attention to the signs. The second is that thyroid issues are really prevalent in women and are the cause of many symptoms that you might not even be aware of. Don’t jump to conclusions that you are depressed or that something is wrong with you. Get checked out and with the right routine, you can get back to being the PollyAnna you were always meant to be (at least I did!).
(Free image from Graur Codrin)