Diagnosis Story: Part 1 Early Symptoms

Welcome

Hey, welcome back to the Thyroidcafe. I see some new people, pull up a seat. At the Thyroidcafe, we build thyroid awareness, knowledge and community. So I will start by sharing my story. I will post my diagnosis story over the next two blogs and would love to hear yours. You can do so by commenting below or search “Thyroidcafe” on most social media platforms. Let’s share our stories to build community at the Thyroidcafe.

A baby without a backstory

My story starts without one. Adopted in 1987, my medical history was for government eyes only. Without a family history, my early symptoms seemed unlinked. My family traveled a lot and one summer we went to California. As I sat in my aunts’ 90s minivan, I read the outside temperature, 100 degrees. I asked for a sweater. Because of my defunct temperature guage, my family affectionately called me “the hothouse plant.” At one point, there was an unusual bump on the front of my neck. But generally, I was a happy, healthy child.

The Middle Years

In my teenage years, my symptoms became more obvious, but remained undiagnosed. Dry skin formed on my face and I struggled with my mental health, but many teenagers have these problems. One distinct symptom was the pain in my knees. I would rub them and take pain relievers to cope. Eventually I saw a physiotherapist. When she initially bandaged my knees, they felt better. With the promise of braces, I thought the problem was solved. However, when taking the bandages off, I was left with red welts and swelling from the adhesive. I decided not to go back. Eventually, my pain subsided, so I no longer pursued the matter.  Later I found out she had a reputation for her malpractice and they offered compensation. Music also marked my middle years, with joy. Choir was a bi-weekly event. Because of this, I noticed a change in my voice. I moved from soprano (high pitched) to alto, (low pitched). These changes were seen as normal or part of my quirky personality. I knew I was different; I just didn’t know I was sick.

As a Young Adult

After graduating high-school, things settled down for a time. I traveled, hiked and made a fated plan, move to Mexico. Then a boy interrupted, as they do. He and I moved to a new town. Upon pursuing a job, I couldn’t even muster the energy to write a resume. Fatigue crippled me into unemployment. When I got a job, I could not keep it because of my impaired short-term memory. I would stand, adding up change at the till. Losing track, I would start over, repeatedly. My short term memory was fading.  When I would come home to our apartment, the brown couch was my comfort and cage. My stomach ached due to constipation. So much so, I pulled my body to Emergency one morning. There the doctor X-rayed me and asked to follow up. Upon doing so, she questioned my digestion but investigated no further. This was the second of many times I fell through the healthcare cracks. In fairness, depression and social conditioning crippled my ability to accurately describe my symptoms. (See this link about being your own healthcare advocate https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/hypothyroidism/talk-to-doctor-about-medication/) Months passed, and as my plans to move to Mexico came closer, my health improved. Moving back to my dad’s house, I broke up with the boy and looked forward to Mexico. My ambitions were taking shape, but you know what they say about the best laid plans.

Conclusion

While the symptoms of my youth seemed random, I now see them as building. Like a ramp, they grew as I did. Soon, the zeal of my youth would disappear; no, rather changed into a fight for my health and my safety.  In the next blog I will share how “it”, the climax of my symptoms, happened, the dangerous journey home, and a deceptive diagnosis.

Your Guide to the Thyroidcafe

Welcome

Hi, and welcome to the Thyroidcafe. I saved you a seat by the fire. I’m Meghan, I have been fighting Hashimoto’s disease for over a decade. In that time, I have learned a lot about fighting the thyroid battle. Yet, I know enough to know there is more to learn.  So I am excited to create this blog. This is where I can pass along my experience; we can create community and reach together towards a cure.

Who I am

I am Meghan. I fight every day to be the best thyroid warrior I can. My husband and I have four kids, three boys and a girl, however the king of our home is Cat, our aptly named cat. Our family lives in the Great White North, Canada. Where the maple syrup runs wild and so does the CBD oil! I became a Christian years ago and hold a most precious faith. But before that, I was diagnosed with a thyroid disease called Hashimoto’s disease. (a story for an upcoming post) and though I am far from perfect, I push on towards growing in my knowledge of this disease.

Why am I doing this?

Because I am passionate. About fighting thyroid problems, about learning more and about creating community. I do this because God has given me the gift of writing so I can help embolden and comfort those who are going through what I have. I am also excited to get to know more fellow warriors. One place where I have already found community is this Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/161220551400130/?ref=bookmarks.  As we share knowledge and raise awareness of this disease, we can reach towards a cure.

So, what’s this blog about?

Firstly, Thyroidcafe is a warm space for us to be together. Because of that, I created various social media spaces, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Thyroidcafe-2312996449018883/, Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thethyroidcafe/?hl=en and Twitter https://twitter.com/thyroidcafe . Here I will offer more detailed information about each blog post and (duh!) pics of food. While solidarity is important, we also need more knowledge. So on this blog I will share some solutions I have found, websites, products and the advice of medical experts.

Conclusion

I am a fellow thyroid fighter.  A passionate woman hoping to help grow community, knowledge, and ideally a cure for thyroid diseases. So grab a coffee and join me at the Thyroidcafe.