As anyone who knows me for any length of time can tell you, I am not shy about sharing my story.
I blog about my health because I am a strong believer in being an informed consumer of health care and I want people to know that finding your voice can impact your quality of life.
When I was 16 and took myself off my thyroid medication because I felt so horrible and worn out that brushing my hair was a cardio workout but I didn't have a voice. I didn't have a choice in what doctors I saw, I didn't have options and I wasn't in charge of my own health care decisions.
That all changed when I was 22. Fresh out of college and on my own for the first time, I landed my first job and got health insurance that I was in charge of. I found a good general practitioner and began researching what I needed to do to finally get my thyroid in order.
My first appointment and lab draws happened and I got a frantic call from the doctor. A second set of labs were drawn and only confirmed what the first set of labs saw - my TSH was 35. Not three point five but THIRTY FIVE. That's 7 times the highest level of the widest acceptable lab range. When I realized just how bad that was I really dug in to the research and found options.
My GP worked with me for about a year, my labs got close to normal and I started to have problems with my hair falling out again and I was exhausted, I asked about cytomel or armour thyroid. He didn't want to do it. I asked for a referral to an endocrinologist.
She was not keen on letting my try cytomel or Armour but relented when faced with my history and a lot of pleading. Added cytomel and BAM 60 pounds fell off my body.
Since then I've been a huge proponent of pushing your doctors and doing research on any health issue I don't know about. I want to understand my body and what it does and how it works. I'm the expert on me, not some jerk in a white jacket.
If I had known then what I know now, I know I wouldn't have spent my high school and college years morbidly obese. I know I would have asked questions and would have made the doctors listen to me about my symptoms.
I also would have said SCREW YOU to the doctor I accused me of being a closet eater and lying to him about everything and looking for an easy way out of being fat.
So that's why I blog about my health. I don't want anyone to have to deal with what I did as a kid or as an adult, either.
Find your voice. Ask questions. Research. Find a community. Be your own advocate. Keep your chin up, AND NEVER GIVE UP.