Friday, May 17, 2013

The grass seems a little greener

Dblog Week Day 5 - Freaky Friday

Just like in the movie, today we’re doing a swap. If you could switch chronic diseases, which one would you choose to deal with instead of diabetes? And while we’re considering other chronic conditions, do you think your participation in the DOC has affected how you treat friends and acquaintances with other medical conditions?

There are so many chronic illnesses out there, it seems every month has it's own illness awareness. Some are familiar; epilepsy, asthma, MS, Crohns, and arthritis.  Some are not.  I have a friend with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.  Never heard of it?  Neither had I, until she was diagnosed.  If you want to find out more about it, you can click here (coincidentally, May is EDS awareness month).

My point is, you don't know the crap that comes with a disease, unless you've lived with it.  To me, asthma looks relatively easy to deal with.  Having trouble breathing?  Use your aspirator and you're good to go.  I say all this very tongue-in-cheek.  I know people who have kids with asthma, and it's never that simple.  It just looks that way to the uninitiated.

So I have a hard time swapping out my daughter's disease for something I haven't a clue about.  But I do know of a chronic illness that is rather benign, Hyper/Hypothyroidism.  Because I've had both.

I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease as a teenager, and had my thyroid destroyed twice with radio-active iodine.  My thyroid barely functions and now I take a pill everyday.  Seems simple, right?

Except, as with most illnesses, it's not.  My thyroid goes crazy when I'm pregnant.  To the point that my doc is concerned about miscarriage.

My levels also fluctuate a lot.  I have to get tested often to make sure I'm on the right dosage.

And my body doesn't covert T4 to T3 very well, making me feel hypothyroid, but lab draws show my TSH as in-range (most docs won't check your T3). Most Endos will not prescribe anything for low T3, and if you can't find a doc who is well-educated on this topic, you end up feeling crappy, even though you are on the "right dose"

Why am I telling you all this?  Because even though I would pick hyper/hypothyroidism for my daughter over diabetes, I think it's important to understand that even the most simple of diseases are not.

And having learned this, I now try my hardest not to make assumptions about other people's illnesses.  And I'm careful about the questions I ask.  But I do try to ask questions because I know I'm always touched when people try to learn about diabetes.

But one pill a day is definitely better than what she deals with now.


  1. I wondered about thyroid stuff and how it would compare to D. Like you said in your comment on my post, it is hard to think of another disease when you are unfamiliar with it. Thanks for the insight into hypo/hyperthyroidism. :-)

  2. Great point, about not knowing the crap of a disease till you live with it. We've got the thyroid + asthma in the family, and our son got asthma and peanut allergy along with T1 (still waiting for the celiac shoe to drop). I think I'd take just one condition over the multiples! Managing the interactions (like steroids for asthma + impact on blood sugar) just kicks it all up a notch!

  3. i have both alongside asthma, b12 deficiency and other stuff and i'd say although the diabetes affects me the most day to day its the the thyroid/b12 deficiency that affects me the most overall. i've never had the same level energy since being diagnosed with it

  4. Thanks for sharing this. I have a thyroid condition, too, but have never dealt with many of the things you mentioned. Made me feel like it was an easy thing to live with, but I can see I clearly underestimated the power of thyroid.


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