Theresa Strikes Again!

July 14, 2019

Ten days ago, the nagging pain began radiating from my neck. I knew what that meant. A Hashimoto’s flare was imminent. I tried to ward it off by getting rest, staying active, and managing stress.

I failed. (Probably because there’s really no element of control here) My heart rate rose throughout the week. The neck pain worsened. It hurt to swallow. That was okay, I thought, since I could still play with my kids and take care of the house. By the time Friday evening hit, however, I was down for the count. I got the girls to sleep but ended up falling sound asleep on my older daughter’s floor for over an hour. The rest of the night just involved me remaining in an immobile, anti-social state on the couch. I thought a healthy night of sleep would assist me in faring better on Saturday.

Boy, was I wrong. Saturday I spent nearly the entire day in bed. I had an unpleasant list of symptoms along with exhaustion that paralleled my experiences with pregnancy and mononucleosis. Every limb felt as though it weighed 500lbs. My heart was racing. It felt like someone was squeezing my throat the entire day. I even had flashbacks to being a teenager as my acne came roaring back to my face.

We planned on taking the girls to the pool. That didn’t happen. I planned doing laundry. It didn’t happen either. Something I’m learning through all of this is that it’s okay. I have a chronic autoimmune disease, and I need to accept it. I need to be kind to myself. I had the opportunity to rest yesterday, and when I felt a little more energized, I took my youngest outside for a wagon ride around the yard and snack while her big sister and dad were out running errands. We were lucky that we could order food instead of cooking and having to do dishes. I needed to stay in bed a little more, but I read the girls books while I rested and gave them all the cuddles as needed. I was lucky that my husband took them for a walk in the evening so I could get even more rest.

I read a lot of blog entries and other writings on Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. One that resonated most was the one on acceptance. The writer talked about forcing herself to acknowledge that she had a chronic disease, about forcing herself to engage in self care, being kind to herself, and about forcing herself to advocate for her well-being to her doctors.

Reminding myself that each flare up is temporary helps. It gives me some perspective when I’m discouraged that I don’t get to do as much with my girls. In therapy it was recommended that I should make a list of activities I can do during a flare up. That has helped.

Yesterday was one day (one of the worst I’ve had since this started). Today was a better one.

Each day is new, for better or worse. Time continues to move forward.

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