Monday, March 28, 2011

Living With Hashimoto Syndrome (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1...


Since I was freelancing, I was afraid to stop working for a while – besides, I enjoyed writing. So I kept doing my six articles per day, much to the surprise of my doctor, who couldn't believe I was able to write about 100 articles per month in such a condition. Granted, I barely had energy left for anything else, but I wasn't supposed to be able to do that much, and yet, I was doing it. It was a challenge, to keep doing it in such a condition, and I enjoyed challenges.

Gradually, my condition improved. Very gradually. During that time, I started experiencing strong pain in my hands in the morning. During the first half an hour after I got up, I was barely able to do anything with them, they hurt that much. Later during the day, they almost didn't hurt at all. When I asked my doctor about it, she told me it couldn't be because of my thyroid gland, since my TSH level improved a lot (it still wasn't normal, but was quite close to it). She also told me one autoimmune disease might follow another, so it could be the beginning of the rheumatoid arthritis.

Oh joy.

During a visit to my dentist, I told her about Hashimoto syndrome, to find out that she and her daughter had it too (although her daughter was still very young and her thyroid gland was still functioning, but the antibodies which were to start attacking it were there). I mentioned the problem with my hands, and she told me she had similar problems with her hands and knees too, and that No-Dol capsules helped her a lot, she was taking them for three moths (what it does is helps rebuild cartilage, thus removing the reason for pain) and never needed them after that. I tried them out too, and the problem was gone, so I never checked out whether I really had rheumatoid arthritis.

During all that time, I kept writing, which is what I love doing most. I never stopped. Not when I had problems with my cervix too (and painful biopsies, and laser vaporizations, ouch). Not when my boyfriend (we've been together for thirteen years now, we're living together, and he's been very supportive all the time) got ill with bronchitis and it went on and on.

I kept writing, not just the usual amount of articles, but short stories too, and I got a book published. A book with 26 short stories, horror, fantasy, fairy tales retold, under the title “Macji snovi” (it means “Cat Dreams”). Finally, my first book published! And with the cover done by one of the most famous illustrators in Serbia!

My publisher was very supportive too, and waited for me to finish the book. Right now, she's waiting for me to finish another one.

It's not done yet, though, and I don't mean just the book. I'm not sure it can ever really be “done”, that some ideal condition can be achieved. Since my thyroid gland doesn't work, I'll have to keep taking synthetic hormones for the rest of my life, and it's hard to determine just how much exactly I should take, because it varies, and the TSH test results are not the only thing that matters, it also matters how I feel. My doctor tells me that I respond great to the therapy, that my body responds pretty much “by the book”, which is rare, but it's still not perfect. Right now, my TSH level shows I'm fine (it's 3 something, closer to the upper than to the lower limit), but I sweat a bit too much, feel it's too hot while people around me are freezing (actually, quite useful during the cold winter days), and I'm often restless.

Still, restless means I have energy – much more energy than I used to. And it matters a lot. My dentist told me that people with my (and her) condition should rest as much as we could, because we tired easily. However, while I'm lazy, I'm also 34. What am I going to do for the rest of my life, to spend most of my time resting? No way! There's too much I want to do, mostly writing, not to mention that spending entire life resting doesn't sound like an enjoyable idea to me.

So I write, I dream, I create, I love, I am loved, I try and learn something new whenever I can...

I live. With all the troubles and all the joy, with Hashimoto syndrome as a constant companion for the rest of my life, I live.

I write, I dream, I create, I love... Photo by Serena

7 comments:

cathy said...

It seems we of the modern age move much too fast anyway. I look at your dilemma this way - if you must slow down a little - which given the innate characteristics of your condition, it seems you must - why not take the opportunity to smell the roses you may have otherwise overlooked? :)

Kelly Hashway said...

On a positive note, writing can be done while relaxing. Hopefully it will give you comfort while you are taking care of yourself.

angel011 said...

Cathy, Kelly, thanks for dropping by!

The thing is, I always feel like I'm underachieving. It doesn't matter how much I actually do, I always feel like I could have done more. So it's hard to relax while I think of those things, and while I think of what I'm going to do next.

On the other side, even if I don't relax, I enjoy thinking about writing.

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

I agree with Kelly. The writing process can be a soothing and healing experience. It's so important to take a moment to slow down and just breathe. :)

angel011 said...

Writing is definitely a soothing and a healing experience. I doubt I could have done so much in such a condition if it was anything but writing.

catzgarden said...

What a great blog! I like your spunk, your spark, your special voice. I think you are an original and special girl.

Keep writing - and I'll keep reading!

angel011 said...

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it!