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    Posted June 11, 2014 by
    jackallackie
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Living with a chronic illness

    The lonlieness of chronic lllness

     
    I was probably one of the lucky ones. I had been dealing with PCOS for years; which causes insulin resistance, unnatural male pattern hair growth, obesity, acne, mood swings. I thought I was just experiencing severe symptoms from that. Extreme exhaustion, brain fog, extreme mood swings, muscle and joint pain, ibs; I had it all. What disturbed me the most is how unlike myself I was. I'm generally a high energy cheerful person, one of those annoying ones with energy at all time of the day. That person was gone; all that was left was a miserable, highly depressed, very angry thing. I would have outbursts of violent rage, then be so over come with grief that all I could to was lay there crying. I couldn't understand the extremes I was experiencing, why I had all of these terrible thoughts, like some dark fungus poisoning my brain. Every aspect of my life was suffering. My relationships with friends and my partner were falling apart which made matters so much worse. So I went back on birth control to help with the PCOS and had a physical; this was around 6 months ago. When my blood work from the physical came back I received a phone call from a nurse and the conversation went like this:
    "We've sent the prescription for your thyroid medication to the pharmacy, you can pick it up tomorrow."
    "I'm sorry my what?"
    "Thyroid medication. For your thyroid disease."
    "My what?!"
    "You're thyroid came back abnormal, you can pick up your medication tomorrow."
    That was the end of the call. No explanation, nothing. But I had something, I had a name, a disease for what I was going through. I thought it would be no time before I was back to me and I could start repairing my life. They put me on a synthetic thyroid hormone, it would work for a couple days but all of the same symptoms would come back. They upped my dosage, same thing. They upped it again. I would have a couple good days a month. It's hard to have an invisible disease, you say you have thyroid disease no one knows what that is. No one can put a face to it, someone that looks sick. I wish I did, mostly I just look paler with dark circles, but inside it felt like my body was slowly shutting down. Which it was. You don't garner sympathy from people when you can't get out of bed because you're so weak and in pain, because you look fine. You get suggestions like "just get up you'll feel better" "get more sleep". Things that you of course thought of months ago. You never really get the empathy and support you need to help fight off the depression and hopelessness. Chronic disease is a very lonely disease to battle. In the mean time I started doing my research, learning about my illness and the treatments. I learned about the natural thyroid which gives you all of the thyroid hormones where as the synthetic only gave you one, and all of the tests the doctor should be preforming. My doctor wouldn't prescribe the natural thyroid and only based the dosage off of the TSH panel, which is unreliable, and not how I felt, which was awful. A month ago I switched doctors based off of a recommendation, she was wonderful. She knew so much about my condition and how it interacted with the PCOS. She said the natural thyroid was a good start, ran all of the tests she was supposed to and more. She even suggested I went to the local apothecary for a saliva test and supplemental therapy. I've been on the natural thyroid for a month, not all of the symptoms are gone, I still have extreme fatigue, ibs and muscle/joint soreness, I can have foggy brain and forgetfulness. Mostly this affects my job, which has been hard to work with falling asleep at your desk. However the mental illness has receded, which I am ecstatic about. I feel more like my happy go lucky self again. I still have a lot of work to do to balance me out, but I'm hopeful now. I saw my friends for the first time in months, it wore me out for a few days but it was good to see them. The people around me are starting to at least recognize that I'm sick. Also, my wonderful partner stuck with me through the total hell I put him through. Now that's love. It's getting easier, like I said I'm one of the lucky ones.

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