Hashimoto’s Checklist

Did several web searches on the topic of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and noted several effects attached to it. Just wanted to go through it one-by-one to help me understand my condition.

Weight Gain

Walking daily for at least 20 minutes had the reverse effect on me. Instead of maintaining my weight of 185lbs, it made me gain 15lbs. It scared me to tip the scale at 200lbs. I am fully aware than for a height of 5’2, 200lbs opens me up to a host of other issues such as knee and back injuries. I was surprised that this happened at the time when walking was a consistent part of my day.

Fatigue

It’s tough for me to say if the level of tiredness I feel day-to-day can be attributed to my condition. Since college, I’ve always felt “low batt” by 10PM.

Brittle Hair

More than brittle hair, I noticed hair loss. This was scary because I like being a girl about my hair and coloring it, wearing it long or short.

Difficulty Concentrating

Have not encountered this challenge as yet. I can still stay concentrated during meetings, while crafting emails/presentations. If at all I get distracted, I reckon it is more because of mobile phone notifications!

Feeling Colder than Normal

Not so prominent for me. Whenever I do feel cold, I check with others in the same space if they feel cold as well, and they usually do. So, I conclude that I still perceive cold the same way others can.

Dry Itchy Skin

Does dry, flaky scalp count? Dandruff has always been a part of my life. I relish days when my scalp is tame and under control. Perhaps it’s my oil-prone skin type is more to blame for dandruff than Hashimoto’s. But I can’t be sure.

Goiter

Doctors did ultrasounds and manual examination on my throat area for this and no goiter. Yey.

Depression

The least visible of the effects. Haven’t sought professional help to confirm if I have depression. Yes, there are times when I do feel sadness and feel like I do not want to interact with people per usual, but I have yet to get the proper diagnosis for this.

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Further tests show…

When I started this blog, I had intended to write about my experience of living with PCOS to reach out to other ladies out there also living with its far-reaching effects.

Further visits to several doctors, blood tests and ultrasounds have revealed that I also have Hashimoto’s Thyroditis, an auto-immune disorder where my own immune system attacks my thyroid causing hypothyroidism (no production of the all-important thyroid hormones).

I said “all-important” because thyroid hormones control metabolism or how the body is able to process calories from food.  This presents a whole hosts of effects including difficulty in losing weight. Conversely, it makes it easy for me to gain weight.

Confirmed with a new doctor I am seeing that I have developed several other conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high uric acid, fatty liver and diabetes.

Such a long list of conditions that require an equally longer list of medicines.

I have been prescribed a total of 6 medicines to improve my cholesterol, uric acid and blood sugar levels; keep my liver healthy.

I have 60 days to observe a healthier diet and ample exercise (15 mins. of walking per day) to see if there’s any improvement in the numbers & more importantly, if there are any medicines I could stop taking.

 

 

 

Forever 21

My sister and I were trying out an eyebrow tint gel yesterday. My mom gave me the pair of office pants I requested her to repair. We spent the whole afternoon waiting for the electricity to come back so we could watch TV.

Then I suddenly blurted out that I feel like we’re still in our 20’s even if I would be turning 32 in 3 months.

This whole ageing thing has not fully dawned on me. Adulting as they call it nowadays, entails taking full responsibility for yourself. While I live alone and take care of myself, I still feel like a kid. A young person still yearning to discover more of the world. My body has some aches and pains that weren’t there before, but I cannot grasp the concept that I have been on this earth for 32 years.

Pokemon Go

Found a new weekend bonding activity with my sis–hunting Pokemons in known spawn spots in the city! So far, we’ve tried the following areas: Eastwood, Quezon Memorial Circle, Eton Centris, Mall of Asia Seaside, Ocean Park, Luneta, Quirino Grandstand, Nayong Pilipino (entrance only).

The beauty of this game, especially for kids of the 90s, is you get to live out the adventures of a Pokemon Trainer. What was once a well-loved cartoon can now be an actual weekend activity thanks to the internet, smartphones and apps.

There are currently 140 monsters available to catch and I’ve already caught or evolved 100 kinds. The last 40 are elusive ones and will take a lot of effort to hunt.

I’ve heard stories of people my age who hunt in the morning and after work. Some stay in spawn spots from 10PM – 2AM the following day just to wait for rare Pokemons. While I don’t think we’ll ever go through those lengths (or, will we?), I look forward to the many weekend hunts to come.

 

Relaxing

I can no longer count the times someone has said to me that talking to me has helped calm them down. I consider this as a great compliment and am only glad to be of service to my dear friends and sometimes even exes.

I am absolutely unaware of where this relaxing effect is from or how it comes about, I am just sincerely, happy to have helped in a such a simple way.

Many a times, I have thought that this must probably be my role in life. The ability to pacify people has come in handy in my work life as I have always found myself in customer-facing type of work.

And almost in the same breath, I feel that deep longing—my heart’s prayer—to meet someone who can do the same for me. Someone to make me feel at home. If the universe would be so kind as to give me more than one person, that would be grand! But, I’ll be forever grateful for even just one to whom I can reveal my innermost thoughts and feelings without the fear of being rejected or judged. Most of all, I ask that that person not to be dismissive about some of my rather dark emotions.

“Everybody has a dark side,” so the song goes…

But I guess for most, we keep that side of ourselves tucked away in secret places lest we turn people off.

 

Scripts…

I’ve been thinking about scripting in the psychological sense lately. I remember having read that the script your parents told you—verbally or through their interaction with you—would be the script you tell yourself your whole life.

Supposedly, it’s that pervasive inner voice that echoes throughout your being. It could be uplifting or damaging, depending on what your parents or authority figure in your life said or made you feel. Awareness of the script can empower you to either nurture that script into fruition if it’s great, say “you’re awesome.” The same awareness could push you to fight the script if it’s particularly debilitating to your growth as an adult; for example: “you’re dumb and will never amount to anything.”

In my little head, I have the following scripts swimming around:

“You’ll be pretty when you lose weight.”

“You are not pretty so you should at least dress well.”

“You are not pretty so you should be smart.”

“Your eyes/face looks dumb.” or “You look dumb.”

“You will have diabetes.”

“You are not the prettiest niece, maybe you’re third prettiest.”

Typing the scripts above was difficult. They came from people I love and respect and yet the words are truly hurtful. They’ve been etched on my mind (and heart) and as much as I try to resist it, I remember them constantly as I go about my daily life.

When I am meeting someone for the first time, facing a client, doing a presentation—whenever I need the most confidence—these scripts pop in and remind me of my inadequacies looks-wise. That’s why failure in school or work hit me doubly hard. If I fail to perform in the ‘brains’ department then what do I have left? Nothing, just my fugly, scarred face.

Having PCOS and it’s many symptoms does not help either. I feel less and less a woman, and I dread being looked at by anyone. I use my humor to shield myself from other people’s eyes…I figured if they’re laughing they won’t notice my imperfections, if I make them laugh they’d at least like me for my personality.

Everyday, I do battle with these scripts.  Looking at the mirror each day, I face my demons.

 

Beach myself

Usually when I say I want to “beach myself” it is in the context of my friends and I making a joke out of grammar and planning a trip.

But a couple of years back, probably 3, I sincerely was filled with the desire to beach myself as marine animals would.

Often, wounded or ill marine mammals like whales and dolphins who find themselves too weak to keep themselves afloat just hand it over to the waves to wash them ashore to their eventual demise.

I imagine (and definitely hope) it to be a soft and calming experience, like the sea that they’ve called home all their lives is finally cradling them to their grave.

I would love to have that choice–to have that wonderful gift to elect an appointed time and date of my end.