Poppin’ Pills

“Your love is like bad medicine

Bad medicine is what I need, whoa

Shake it up just like bad medicine

There ain’t no doctor that can cure my disease.”

–Bon Jovi

Go take a Vitamin D pill now. Hurry! Don’t ask; just do it. I guarantee you, you’re deficient—in Vitamin D, that is. I can’t speak for those other things.

Oh, and don’t forget your B-Complex, your Iron, your multi vitamin (to help with day-to-day living in our toxic environment), Vitamin E, your liver support, selenium, adaptogens (for your adrenals, of course), magnesium, zinc, probiotics, etc. And keep the melatonin and valerian root handy for all those sleepless nights.

Hopefully, you were able to ditch an anti-depressant after getting your thyroid, diet, and mineral/vitamin supplements well-managed. If not, keep taking that too. And for the love of all, please take your thyroid medication every day on an empty stomach. I almost forgot that one!

What are we up to now a day? 13? Maybe more? That sounds about right.

As many readers know, patients with hypothyroidism and Hashimotos Thyroiditis are often deficient in vitamins and minerals critical to thyroid health (Ten Nutrient Deficiencies Every Thyroid Patient Should Have Checked). And after testing, if you learn you are deficient, it’s probably one of the easiest and fastest things to remedy.

Bless the supplemental pills and the prescription medicine, each and every one. They’ve given me my life back. And I’ve only scratched the surface of what supplements can do to help your body produce TSH and offset fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, dry skin, constipation, and sore muscles. There are so many more (Supplements that Help Hashimotos), and most of these you can get on Amazon. But be ready to pay. I highly recommend a Health Savings Account (HSA) to “supplement” your supplement bills, your blood draw co-pays, and your extra doctor visit co-pays, if you are lucky enough to have health insurance in this unstable political climate.

Like all things, this pill poppin’ becomes a routine and begins to feel more normal over time. One learns how quickly symptoms subside and how important it is to build this natural medicine into your daily rituals. Initially, to help me remember to take all of them, I carefully lined the pill bottles up in neat rows on my kitchen window ledge right in front my sink until 1) I ran out of room, 2) I began to feel embarrassed when guests came over and their eyes scanned them (I’m WAY over that now), 3) It began to feel normal, and 4) I adopted some minimalist strategies and “decluttered” my visual landscape.

This last point has had a profound effect on how I see my interaction with these medicines. I physically see them less often now that they are in a cupboard; therefore, I think of them less often. 

As a natural consequence of this shift, I recently vowed to talk about the disease less and make fewer sarcastic jokes about the sheer number and cost of them (read: insecure, frustrated, bitter). I made this change for several reasons.

Frankly, I’m tired of talking about it. Tired of hearing my victim voice. It’s such a downer, man. Could it be that I was addicted to this voice? Most likely. It’s a hard habit to break.

Rock music cliches aside and knowing myself as I do, intense research and verbal diarrhea are how I process new challenges.  This was a necessary phase for me. However,  it’s been a four-year phase. And like the big hair bands of the 80s, it’s time to put down the Aqua Net and embrace the next trend. I’m starting a new phase–a calmer, quieter practice of acceptance.

I’ve also given up the gab because I see the look in people’s’ eyes when I mention “my hashis.” Yes, even in the eyes of those who love me the most. They’re only human. I’ve realized that I talk about it because it feels so relevant all the time. Every time I sit down to have a meal, and I’m the “special one” at the table with dietary restrictions. Every time exercise or super cool endurance feats are discussed such as training for half-marathons, century cycling, etc. (all the things I’ve had to leave behind). Every time I’ve lost another night’s sleep. Every time I’ve deigned to  nap in the middle of the day and dared to mention it, only to see envy (and judgement?) in an exhausted working mom’s eyes. I get it. No one really needs this information. 

But I also talk about it because I think that no one, without hashis, really “gets it.” It’s my job to play teacher and educate them, right? Um, no. It’s not. Some get it; some don’t. It just doesn’t matter. And the truth is, I know why they give the look. They’re tired of it, they feel powerless to fix it, or they have their own serious and relevant problems that need air time too.

I honestly wish I had been socially mature enough and possessed the soulful wisdom of a warrior to have kept most of this to myself at the onset. But there is no pill for this. There is only time and experience, and lots of research, and some tears. I’m slowly earning my warrior status, and I kneel before those who have endured far more than me. Who suffer from truly insufferable diseases that have no cures. 

The fortune of this disease is there is so much help. There are so many ways to manage it. You have the power to take all the medicine and supplements that help you heal. Change your diet dramatically. And understand that some of the most important life supplements cannot be quantified, bottled or bought.

Here are some examples of the good medicine. No drowsiness or dizziness, no nasty side effects, and completely safe for handling large machinery.

  • A dear friend asks, “How’s your thyroid?” My heart fills with peace at her caring question.
  • My husband hugs me when I get my latest TSH results.
  • My mom sends a beautiful card. It’s the kind you can never throw away because of the sheer physical beauty of it, the weight of it in your hands, and the sentiments that only she can deliver.
  • A friend who also has Hashis or another struggle with autoimmunity sends me a funny meme.
  • A recent t-shirt purchased for me by my friend, “Autoimmunity: Because the only thing tough enough to kick my ass is myself.” Brilliant!
  • A stranger compliments my blog. WOW. Just lovely and unexpected.
  • My hair stylist notices that my hair is thicker and tells me so.
  • Someone else who would have never opened up to me feels safe sharing vulnerability about her body or health. I am honored and humbled.
  • Writing my blog. (You see, I am still talking about it.)
  • Eating whole, nutrient dense foods = taking control.
  • Living in the moment. Really still working hard on this one.
  • A hike in nature with friends.
  • Trying stand up paddle boarding for the first time and loving the thrill of it!
  • Hugging my daughter and secretly knowing I’ll have her back tenfold if this disease presents in her one day.
Image Credit: BBC News (http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-kent-21696642)

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