Prior to this January, I had never heard of the word “Hashimotos.” When my doctor uttered the funny word to me, it sounded like something you’d eat in a sushi restaurant or the name of a Japanese warrior…certainly NOT something going on inside of my body.
This is a very raw, and personal experience that I am about to share. BUT…I hope in sharing my story, that someone else may not feel so alone. Someone may identify with my symptoms and decide to seek help. Someone may come out of the fog just like I have.
Middle of last year, I was in the height of planning a pretty large event for a bunch of girls (100+) coming from all parts of the world to Florida where we would all meet and cruise together. Many of us meeting for the first time, but had grown familiar with each other through our correspondence on social media and a shared love of fitness and health. I was the one who booked the rooms, kept up with cancellations, helped in rooming assignments, was the liaison with our travel agent, housed all the giveaways various sponsors sent us for the event, and a slew of other duties. It was a lot of work… A LOT OF WORK, but oh so worth it. Unfortunately, Hurricane Matthew decided to also add his name to our itinerary as many of the girls were enroute to Florida.
It was a mess.
Change of plans, scrambling around with what to do with the 50+ girls who were already here and no place to stay when we got notification that the cruise was actually CANCELLING! First time EVER the cruise line has had to actually scrap the entire cruise! Go figure!! However, we ended up turning lemons into lemonade and found a resort on the west coast of Florida that was able to accommodate us. The weekend was not a total loss. We ended up having a lovely time with so many wonderful women.
And then everyone left.
I am not sure if the stress & responsibility leading up to or during this event was the catalyst for my immune system to begin to rebel against me, but it was definitely the beginning of my awareness that something was “off.”
Everyone was gone and it was time to get back to normal. The gluttony of the weekend behind me…time to get back on track. Days led to weeks and weeks led to months, and instead of getting better…getting stronger, I felt myself slipping further into a sense of depression.
I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it, but I just didn’t feel like ME. I’d wake up like I normally do, fairly energetic, but literally within hours it felt like the life had been drained out of me. I was lost. I thought of myself as “lazy” and that was never a word I would’ve used to describe myself prior. Things that brought me joy, no longer mattered to me. I no longer wanted to see friends. I no longer wanted to post on social media. I came so close to deleting my accounts. I neglected this blog. I did the bare necessities around my home and for my family. Forget cooking a home cooked meal for dinner. I was on a first named basis with the check out guy at Chipotle. My husband, God bless him, was growing sick of burrito bowls and more & more worried about his sad wife.
Not only was my joy missing. Not only was I feeling major fatigue, especially later in the day, but I also had put back ALL THE WEIGHT I had lost in the prior 1.5 years of my fitness journey. At first, I chalked it up to poor eating choices. I WAS making poor choices. I was eating artificial junk and sugars. I was chasing a fake high to feel momentarily good. Of course that only lasted for a few minutes, and then the crash would come. Cycle was on repeat wanting to feel something again. Even if it only was fleeting. Terrible pattern to continue and I knew I couldn’t keep it up.
The tears would come for all the reasons, and for no reason. My kids were worried about me and didn’t understand why I was so sad so often. My husband wanted me to talk with someone since this prolonged depression was unlike me. Perhaps a therapist? A psychiatrist? Did I need an anti-depressant? I felt depressed – that was for sure.
So I did. I talked with a doctor and it was the first step towards my healing
I was taking my son to an alternative medicine doctor for some allergy/food sensitivity testing. When he was done testing my son, I asked my son to wait for me in the lobby. I wanted to speak briefly with the doctor about all I was feeling, but didn’t want to unload in front of my child. I proceeded to share with him everything I have shared with you. Without making me feel crazy, he reassured me that we would get to the heart of what was going on. But first, we needed to run some blood tests to see what we were dealing with. He had a suspicion that I had Hashimotos, but never uttered that word to me that day…he wanted verification from the blood test of what he suspected before sharing his thoughts.
He sent me off with a script for blood work and instructions to eat an anti-inflammatory diet (ie. Whole 30/Paleo) until we met again and could review the results. I had a ray of hope to hold on to. I left that appointment that day determined that I was going to reclaim my health. No matter what was going on inside my body, I was going to no longer make decisions based off weightloss goals, but would make each decision based on the health of my body. I figured weightloss might be a nice bonus effect, but most importantly, I wanted to thrive again I wanted my joy back!
To be continued……