Thyroid, you worked so well for 46 years of my life, but I have to kiss you good bye.
After my eldest daughter, Cristina, was born one day her pediatrician warned me. “Your neck doesn’t look well, I think you have to visit an endocrinologist.” I had just moved to Miami and I had no idea what was wrong. O.K, I never had the thinnest neck, but I didn’t see anything wrong. So I visited a specialist. The specialist told me that everything was fine and that my thyroid was working just as it should.
As I kept going to the pediatrician with my daughter he kept telling me that my neck didn’t look right. I didn’t feel like anything was wrong, besides being exhausted from having a baby. Years passed and I had the second baby. Suddenly my neck grew bigger and bigger. My gynecologist told me that I should go and see an endocrinologist. The new specialist saw me and decided that I needed to remove my thyroid right away because I had three huge nodules.
So I went for a third opinion. The doctor I visited in New York, after many tests and exams, explained that my thyroid was working perfectly and that the nodules —fortunately— weren’t carcinogenic. He suggested that I should wait until the day I had problems breathing or swallowing.
That day came. So I decided it was time to remove it. I really didn’t get to talk to people in my similar situation. The only thing I knew was that I would have to take medicine the rest of my life and that I had to find the exact doses by trial and error.
After the surgery
The surgery went well. The recovery also went well. However, after two months in which many things happened in my life, I collapsed. I bought an apartment, moved, downsized, was in a stressful job situation, gave up the huge sunny window overlooking the sea that I loved, and my husband and children went away for weeks. Yes, all that while I stayed in our new home working. My body and mind, especially my mind, collapsed. I didn’t know that the lack of thyroid can bring mental disorders. I didn’t know that getting the correct doses of thyroxine, the hormone the thyroid gland secretes into the bloodstream, might take months or years. It didn’t matter. My nodules were already so big that I had no choice.
But, of course, I should had been better informed. My bad.
The weeks of struggling with the medication made me realize that the journey had just started the day that I had surgery. Even though I can now breathe like a baby, I know that dealing with the fact of depending on a medicine so my body can function well is something that I have to take on a day-by-day basis.
So far, I have been back to yoga, I even started doing aerial yoga, and also downloaded meditation apps such as Headspace and Breathe . My thyroid might be gone, but a new Ana is born. I’m planning on being a better person than the one that let her thyroid go, so she could breath. (I take a big breath) Ahhhhhhhh!