A Big Change

This is day 1 for me. A big change is coming... whether I like it or not.

For those that don't know, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease in the Spring. This came after years of strange symptoms and no real answers. I racked up lots of miles and test trying to find out what was wrong with me, but it wasn't until I went in for a biopsy on my thyroid that we really began to get answers.

Hashimoto's symptoms are so far ranging that they are easily mistaken for a host of other issues. I can't really pinpoint when it began. I know that as far back as 10 years ago I was experiencing tons of exhaustion that would leave me out of it all for a day or so. This was coupled with bouts of melancholy, but both of these symptoms were thought to be related to my mother's passing.

A few years ago I began to see a change in my cycles. I know, I know, too much information, but I will tell you that they were so heavy that I went to my Gynecologist and had tests run. They came back as nothing strange and they brushed it off as "hormonal changes". 

So this brought me up to about a year and a half ago. I'd had the same doctor for years. A wonderful man who knew me entirely too well. When he passed away unexpectedly I had to find another doctor and start the whole discovery process again. Now, I not only had to work at building a trust relationship with a new doctor, but I was worried that I would have to justify my worry about my symptoms with yet another physician. I lucked out. This one listened. Not only did she not think that I was over emphasizing what was wrong, but she suggested that I see a doctor specializing in thyroid issues. This Spring I underwent a needle biopsy for polyps on my Thyroid. At the same time they did a test for the antibodies that accompany Hashimoto's. It came back positive.

In simplified terms, Hashimoto's is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation and eventually destroys the thyroid. In my case, I would go long spans without any problems, but when the Hashimoto's would kick in it would bring me to a screeching halt. I've often compared it to a car with the accelerator that is stuck. You can go at manic speed, accomplishing tons of stuff, but as soon as the Hashimoto's takes it's foot off the pedal you are left dragging, slow, no energy, raw.

So, I was once again left with a learning curve. I had never even heard of it before, let alone understood what it meant. Autoimmune Disease? Especially since it isn't one that can be reversed. But I am slowly coming to realize that my lifestyle will depend on me. The pain and the inflammation can be handled to a degree without diet. And as for the Thyroid, because of the polyps I probably would have eventually had to have them out anyway. For now, that's on the back burner as we watch the progress.

Today is day 1 where I work at removing a lot of the gluten from my diet. There are any number of products out there that are designed for people who have allergies to gluten. Most of them are extremely expensive. I'm going to be looking at ways around it. Today's shopping trip was an eye-opener as I worked at reading labels on my favorite items, and realizing that the choice was mine. Quality of life and all.

Thanksgiving is coming. That's going to be a tough one and there are some things that I'm just not willing to compromise, but I will try to eat it sparingly and look for better alternatives. It can only help my family if we all eat a little healthier.

Thank you for letting me spout off. I hope that somewhere down the road I can help someone else who is trying to find their way. For now, you're going to probably hear some grumblings on the site as the holidays progress. If you have any great recipes or tips for going Gluten free on a tight budget, I'd love to hear them.

For now, bright blessings to you all from CranberryHorn!

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