So I’m not a blogger, I’m not a medical expert and all I can do is write about my experience.
I’m Emma, I run a circus school as well as having a busy family life with a partner, three daughters and two amazing grandchildren. I also suffer with an invisible illness – Hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease. I’m trying to understand and cope with my condition and come to terms with the different ways it affects me mentally as well as physically.
But my reason for writing this is because other than the odd forum where people reply maybe once a week or you get bombarded with messages about supplements that will cure all your problems, I couldn’t actually find much about real-life experiences when it comes to Graves’ disease and hyperthyroidism.
I’ve not found anything to help me understand how it affects my mental health other than the occasional reference in symptom lists saying that the thyroid can affect mental health.
Before being diagnosed, I had become so anxious I couldn’t go out for a meal with my partner because I believed I looked an idiot doing my hair and make-up, and I couldn’t get a lift with a friend because I doubted everyone’s ability to drive. I was depressed and low, and struggled to function. When I was finally diagnosed, I was initially relieved, as I was told that those things were probably partly because of my thyroid. However, I didn’t know how many of those issues were related to my hyperthyroidism or whether they would just go away once medication started.
I found lots of websites that said hyperthyroidism would cause drastic weight loss. But none of those websites told me that I’d become so weak I couldn’t walk up the stairs without my legs shaking, and no one told me how to try and combat the muscle loss and rebuild my strength.
I have found nothing to help me try and prevent the hair loss. Or solutions to the overly sensitive, dry skin that has become allergic to anything and everything, including chrome – which makes teaching and training on a pole really fun!!!
As yet, I’ve found nothing that helps me see a light at the end of the tunnel. And I’ve felt isolated and alone. And in all honesty, I still do. So my hope is that someone somewhere may read this and find that some of what I’ve experienced resonates with them and that they’ll realise that they’re not crazy and hopefully get some answers faster than I have. And I’m hoping that as I continue to write this blog, I might start seeing that light and start getting some answers. And that may help others too. But I guess time will tell on that part.
But most of all I’m writing this to let my friends and family know I don’t mean to be a dick. I don’t mean to shut myself off and refuse to do things. I don’t mean to snap at people and have such a low tolerance. You should all know me well enough to know that isn’t me and please understand that I am trying my hardest to get myself back. I don’t want to be like this anymore.
I’ve been working my way through different areas of my life, trying to make myself as healthy as possible and trying to work out some ways to alleviate some of the symptoms of hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease. And I’m planning to explain later on the changes I’ve made. Both the things I believe to be helping with the Graves’ symptoms and things I think would benefit anyone’s health and fitness.
And if anyone out there does have any of the answers, please get in touch and let me know what worked for you!!