I am exhausted after working 4 days this past week. I know some of you are saying “I do that all the time” or “I work 5 days a week.” Please don’t judge me too harshly. I haven’t worked a job since the middle of January 2009 when I went on medical leave. Since that time, I became sicker before I started getting better.
Hypothyroidism doesn’t just make you tired or cause you to gain weight. These are the symptoms that most people know but the thyroid produces hormones that are necessary, YES NECESSARY, for proper functioning of every cell in the body. In hypothyroidism, the thyroid isn’t producing these hormones; therefore, the cells in the body are not receiving the hormones they need to function properly. That’s why there are so many different symptoms and why many people are misdiagnosed. In my case, I believe this is what happened. My symptoms included: emotional changes misdiagnosed as depression for 19 years; joint pain, especially the knees; fatigue (at my worst, I was sleeping 18-60 hours each day); I went from having hot flashes and being warm all the time, to getting cold. It started with being cold when I was tired, to being cold much of the time. I was having a lot of difficulty remembering things.
It wasn’t until I told the doctor about sleeping for 14 hours in bed and then falling asleep in the chair for more hours, that I was finally properly diagnosed. Wow! Once he said hypothyroid I started putting 2+2+2+2 together (some nurse huh?!). I immediately started reading about hypothyroidism on the web. A cousin of my husband told me about Mary Shomon and the work she is doing as a patient advocate, so I bought her book, Living Well with Hypothyroidism. It is an excellent book full of wonderful information. I learned about the disease process – how the thyroid works and what it does to the body when it doesn’t work properly. I learned how important it is to take my medication at the same time and when the optimal time for me to take mine. I learned I’m not going to get better in a short period of time. It took years for me to get as sick as I was and that just because I now have a diagnosis and medication, I’m not all better. Sometimes I push myself too hard, and then it takes days for me to recuperate. It’s now a part of my life and something I have to plan for, even though I hate it! I’m thankful, that the longer I’m on my medicine, the less time it will take to recover – I look forward to that!
Now back to the beginning where I mention being exhausted. I work 4 days this week: 7am to 3 pm on Monday and Tuesday, then 3 pm to 11 pm on Thursday and Friday for more orientation. On Sunday the 17th, I start my 3 pm to 7 pm shifts and will do the same on that Monday. So I’m working 6 days out of the next 8. I’m sure to be extremely fatigued during that time. I’m asking for your prayers to help me through. I know I can do it with God’s help, as He says in Philippians 4:13“ I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” What a blessing that we can call on Him for help and KNOW that He will help. It’s not a case of if he remembers but it is a guarantee! Haw many guarantees do we get these days!
Til next time!