Bethany’s guest post is the 3rd post in the segment on my blog, called “The Reality Of…” which gives others the ability to share their story and raise awareness of the disabilities, illnesses, impairments and invisible illnesses that they have.
My name is Bethany, I am a multi-niched blogger from West Virginia. I have a fun mix of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Osteoarthritis, Sacroiliitis (rarer form of arthritis in the hips caused by Hip Dysplasia) and Hashimoto’s with IBS, and a severe Gluten intolerance. I have three daughters, two living and an angel. When I am not working, you can find me chasing my kids around, writing, reading, sewing, cooking or bowing down to the coffee maker.
I was diagnosed with OCD at 25 after the death of my middle child. In the past 8 years, since my first pregnancy, I’ve ended up with several medical diagnosis’. Several stem from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a condition that I was born with and the others are related to my autoimmunity with my thyroid.
The common symptoms of Sacroiliitis is Sciatica like pain radiating from the hip through the leg and Osteo acts up primarily (for me) with the weather. The symptoms of the two arthritis forms are by far the worst to deal with.
I have the genes to potentially end up addicted, so I refuse any form of Opiate or any harder painkillers than Ibuprofen. Most of the time, I don’t deal with pain but when it acts up, I have had days I cannot walk very far without crying. I refuse to consider myself to have any form of disability, plus the Ehlers-Danlos causes chronic pain from a young age so I have a very high pain tolerance.
Hashimoto’s is a new diagnosis, though. I went in to my doctor’s office to get the confirmation of my last pregnancy, three years ago, and they found a large lump in my neck. Over the course of the pregnancy, my thyroid levels kept bouncing between normal and high. I had the symptoms of hyperthyroid and a large cyst that was growing (and producing extra TSH) until my baby was around 6 months old (they gave me some time to breastfeed).
As soon as they took half my thyroid out, the bloodwork confirmed I have Hashimoto’s and they put me on Levothyroxine. Every couple months, my levels had to be upped and I was recently switched to name brand Synthroid due to the generic not working.
My symptoms range from a near crippling, deep depression to anxiety attacks, fatigueto the point I can barely get out of bed and my weight fluctuates between overweight and obese. When my levels are bad, I gain but I’ll lose the extra I gained when my medication is working. I’ll deal with mood swings, hot flashes and missed a few days of work due to severity of some of the symptoms.
Learning To Adapt
How have I learned to adapt? Each time I would miss a day of pay, I would force myself to continue next time something happened. I started carrying sugar tablets for my blood sugar and I would try to meditate through depression. Sometimes, I would go to the ER and ask for my thyroid to be tested. They would send the results to my Endo and she would automatically up my prescription between visits if my levels dropped fast enough.
Right now, I’m trying the Whole30 to see if that will help any of the issues, outside of Whole30, I maintain a strict gluten free and very low dairy diet.
Changing As A Person
I hate thinking that being sick has changed me, but I don’t have the energy I used to have. It’s changed my physical appearance. I now gain weight if I eat anything and I have trouble losing, my hair is thinning out and my skin is drier. I’m almost always fatigued but coffee helps me keep going.
My Favourite Superhero
My favorite superhero has always been Storm from the XMen. I would love having the ability to control the weather and in the movies, I always loved watching as she conjured up storms.
Thanks Bethany for sharing your story with my readers and me!