What Important Life Lesson Thyroid Disease Taught You I have learned that: My health is something to be treasured and never to be taken for granted. That you can't always trust that your doctor's have read your chart and have your best interests at heart. They are very busy but that is not an excuse. It is negligent on their part. The previous understanding has taught me to be my own advocate. To learn as much as I possibly can through books by Mary Shoman and Dr. Mark Hyman and reading other people's stories. I have learned to be courageous. I decided to not allow myself to be intimidated. Knowledge is power and I confidently ask questions and seek answers.
How Has This Lesson Changed Your Life? While I do not like "my health" being the topic of my LIFE... I have grown so much in my knowledge and understanding of my own health and nutrition. I have learned: To pray and ask God for His help with my health and the decisions I will make every day. To research and read everything there is about Graves/Hyperthyroidism. To keep a binder of all my Lab Reports. To understand what the Lab Tests are for and what they mean. To learn about treatment options and make knowledgeable decisions. To have confidence and pursue this disease with a fury. To ask questions and pursue answers and to ask for second and sometimes third opinions. To not accept responses from doctor's like: "Well, I don't know what it is..." "If I knew, then I would know how to treat you." I have learned about gluten allergies and the relation it has to my disease. I discovered I was gluten sensitive 5 months ago and I have researched this allergy learning everything I can and how it affects my disease. I have learned to eat Gluten Free and discover how although it's not a cure for me... it has helped a lot. I have become 98%% Dairy Free. Not because I don't love milk, cheese and yogurts and ice cream but because I have learned to stop at nothing in my pursuit for wellness and if this will help me, it's worth the sacrifice. I have learned to be so in tuned to my body that I have discovered that I don't tolerate alcohol very well. I can have a small glass of wine once in a while but excess of "anything" has a negative effect on me and this disease. I have stopped eating added sugars. None in my cereal, coffee or tea. I don't eat cookies, cakes or candies. Again, while it's no cure but it has helped and therefore worth it to me. I have discovered Almond Milk.... who would have ever known LoL :o) I have learned how to not overwhelm my family with my health issues. I have to consciously choose to talk about other things besides my health and my last lab report or latest article I have read. I have learned that taking charge of my health and what I eat and the supplements I take has helped my husband and children too. They are eating whole foods and taking supplements and getting tested too. Through research I have learned about the benefits of supplements and eating whole unprocessed and organic foods. I have learned that health care isn't something you just wait to happen... it's something you pursue and receive.
Advice The more you learn the better you will understand this disease. I strongly believe that knowledge is power and that you cannot always trust that your doctor is as knowledgeable as you may one day be. Ask as many questions as you need to ask to get the answers you need. While always being respectful, DO NOT let your doctor make you feel intimidated or that you are taking too much time. This is your health and your doctor is being paid very well to help you. Lastly, whatever you do... fight the urge to be discouraged. There is hope and there is help and there are answers out there. We can do this!