It is time. After a long walk through my brain and after deep contemplation, I’ve finally decided that it is time. Time to speak out on one issue I’ve been dealing with for many years. An issue that has effected my life in debilitating ways and cost me my livelyhood. An issue that has brought me to my physical, emotional, mental and spiritual knees, over and over again. This is not a one time story, but an ongoing journey and like so many battles I’ve fought, I have found that through sharing my experiences I not only help myself, but I offer inspiration and hope to others. This is only the beginning and I pray that, through my stories, and there are many, that I am able to lift up the weary and provide strength to those who are in need, and so I begin…..
I have multiple, invisible, autoimmune diseases. It all started, or so I thought, with Hashimotos Thyroid Disease. I was diagnosed at the age of 25, presenting with symptoms of a heart attack. This was unbelievable because at the time I was in the fitness industry teaching at least 12 classes a week, training clients and the Program Director for a fitness club in Phoenix Arizona. Even my doctor was perplexed. He said my heart rhythms were that of a top athlete, therefore didn’t understand how or why I’d be presenting with such crazy symptoms. He was concerned and that’s where my journey of becoming a pincushion began.
When my results came back he had the other doctors of the practice present because of how easily I could have been misdiagnosed. I was his teaching tool. He had fully expected me to come back with hyperthyroidism or a pituitary disorder, but in fact, my thyroid was so low that he was confused that I was even able to walk around. He said I should’ve been in a coma.
Needless to say, this was rather disheartening news for me, a young mother of 2 who went from being unbelievably active to barely making it through a warm-up in class. I am 5’7″ and at the time weighed 100 lbs. This wasn’t because I tried to weigh so little, it was because of the disease. My body had decided to attack itself, specifically, my thyroid and the thyroid effects every organ and bodily function you can imagine. Some of my symptoms included; severe chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, joint pain, muscle fatigue, weight loss, hair loss, sleeplessness, fatigue, depression, loss of interest in sex, fever, coldsweats, decrease in body temperature…the list goes on and on!
I struggled for some time, trying to get leveled out, after my diagnosis. It finally did happen, however, even then I remember having, what I now call “flares”. I could be going along fine and one day “hit the wall”. It’s taken years for me to be kind to myself when I feel like that. I remember being so hard on myself because I just didn’t have the energy. It really did a number on my self esteem. Unfortunately, when you don’t have anyone around you who truly understands, it’s easy to feel alone and isolated.
Over the years, this has continued to be a problem. When you look healthy but don’t feel healthy, people, unfortunately, are quick to judge or assume something else is going on. Even when you do try to explain, the majority of people, just don’t get it and are downright rude and ignorant. Sometimes it’s easier to be by yourself. I’ve always called it, ‘hiding in my cave’. It’s not even really hiding, sometimes a person gets tired of trying to explain or of feeling like a downer. It’s certainly not an easy road by any means.
I won’t lie….there have been many times along the way where I’ve really wanted to give up, but the truth is, my desire to live the adventure of my life way over weighs the giving up. It’s just not in my nature to do that anyway, and now I want to do something with my diseases that will help my kids and grandchildren, as well as, other sufferers or families of people who suffer.
I will end here for today but will go into my other diagnosis of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue next time. The first few blogs will be dedicated to the foundations of my journey and as we go further along I’ll share with you all the intensive research I’ve been doing, and some possible breakthroughs I’ve been making. This is one fight I won’t give up! I’m determined to win!
Feel free to leave comments or questions and I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.
Dream, Live, Do💚The Crazy Celt