Welcome back! Or, if you’re reading me for the first time, Welcome!
For the first time publicly, in a recent post, I made mention of my chronic thyroid condition: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.
At that time, I hadn’t imagined how all consuming and life-changing that condition would quickly, and soon, become.
In the few, short, months since my last pregnancy post, my husband and I have made the extremely difficult decision for me to undergo the operation to have my thyroid removed, completely.
And you may, or may not, be aware of the vital nature of the thyroid to the human anatomy, but it is an important instrument in our overall health and wellness and mine… is gone. Well, to be honest, it’s technically been all but gone for awhile now.
After being diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease 8 years ago following my first born, every pregnancy and period of recovery -and stress- has put more of a strain on my body and on my thyroid’s ability to function. It was assumed that the changes during pregnancy, including the sudden influx and then depletion of hormones, were responsible for bringing attention to the issue that had, at that time, been ongoing for an unknown number of years as it was.
Blind to the symptoms due to lack of awareness, and always too busy taking care of everyone else to notice, my thyroid had created a goiter mass the size of a golf ball by the time the doctors caught on. Most recently, that goiter had grown to be closer to a soft ball in size and carried an over 25% risk of being or becoming cancerous by the time it was removed.
Not that I hadn’t noticed how sensitive I was to cold, but also having a long history of anemia, I self-diagnosed and pushed along.
And not that I wasn’t always physically exhausted or always suffering back pain or experiencing joint inflammation in my 20’s… I just always blamed it on an active lifestyle and found ways to cope and compensate. (enter – caffeine addiction and extreme diets)
And, obviously, when I noticed my increasingly rapid hair loss, I had to chuck it up to stress, poor hair care, and lack of nutrition due to diets, and so I pushed through.
Always too busy. Busy making everyone else happy. Busy sacrificing myself in pursuit of love and appreciation, something I’m sure many of you, especially if you’re familiar with prematurely failing health, can identify with.
So, now. . . Now I’m one week post-op, minus one thyroid.
But, if you’re telling yourself that all of my health problems have miraculously cleared up, and I’m feeling better than I ever have in my life… think again.
Not much has changed, not for the better, not yet. Quite to the contrary actually.
I’ll spare many of the gory details, but will mention that while surgery went well, medically (I’m not dead), the process of removing my thyroid and the immediate stress it put on my body has been anything but easy.
I’m aware, now, that it will take some adjustment to recover from the sudden changes in my body, and it may be weeks or months before we (doctors and me) find the correct dosage for my new daily pill regiment of thyroid hormone replacement. But, for the time being, all of my previous ailments are still intact. With a few, undesirable, issues even more inflamed due to the stress of surgery.
I’m handling these issues as I always have, ignoring the ones that I can (ie: wrapping a scarf around the giant goiter, or now scar on my neck), managing the ones I can’t ignore (ie: wearing comfortable clothes or limiting my activity due to body pain)…
That being said,
One of the most prominent issues, which I can no longer ignore, will be managed soon, in the only way that it can be. . .
Since returning home from surgery, I’ve been experiencing an increase with my, already mentioned, rapid hair loss. So, as another part of my new journey, I will be getting a rather drastic haircut very soon.
A new look for the new person I’m about to become.
For those of you who would care to see my drastic new haircut, I’ll try and put together a quick video on my YouTube.
That link can be found at YouTube.com/kalanilei
Thanks for taking the time to read, and to those of you who choose to, thank you for taking this journey with me. Aloha!