Updated: Jul 16, 2020
I read this article today of a young man who died not of COVID but essentially because of COVID. A 46-year-old father of two had his heart fail really because we are still getting ready for a COVID reaction in our hospitals and doctors are too busy for surgery. And it made me panic. Because I’m kind of in his shoes but on a smaller scale.
I have Hashimotos. Essentially it’s an autoimmune disorder where my body is constantly attacking my thyroid and my hormone levels are always messed up. Because of this, it’s really hard for my medication even to help establish consistency in my levels. On top of that over the years, numerous nodules have formed on my thyroid and range in different sizes on each side.
But one has gotten out of control so they have been monitoring and biopsying it for a couple of years already now. The latest biopsy came back with “unfavourable” results but inconclusive and “not sure if its cancer or not”. So because “it really doesn’t look good we recommend surgery” or you could leave it in there too and we could monitor it as an option as well.
I opted to get it out and was put on a waiting list for surgery last March. As in March 2019. Then COVID hit. Then I got a random-out-of-the-blue pre-op appointment in May. But post-protests, despite being on the “urgent” list, I’m still waiting.
I’LL SLEEP WHEN IM DEAD
Our society sucks sometimes in how we are silently encouraged to deal with illness and death. When it comes to chronic illness or mental illness this can even be exacerbated in the workplace by the bullying or ostracising that occurs. We were encouraged to go to work with the sniffles pre-COVID so to tell someone you are “tired”? People want to hear “fine” or see the happy and shiny when asked how you are - not the messy.
Ways to deal with chronic illness and stay authentically you
1. Build your circle
You have to be at the centre, filling your cup, taking care of you. Surround yourself with your people - the ones that won’t accept the “I am fine” nonsense. The ones that know when a couple of days of no-phonecalls are a bad sign.
2. Health Team on board
Mental and physical - and be open and ask questions. Know and be a student of your condition, with trusted resources
3. Mindfulness on the here and now.
Personally choose to grow, personally develop, search for a purpose, and connect with others.
I was so thankful for movement in the healthcare system cause my symptoms have really started to get the better of me lately. As a business owner/teacher/sort of single parenting/COVID coping Mom… I just thought being exhausted all the time could be chalked up as LIFE and didn’t really want to complain much, you know? But when there were days I could sleep 12-14 hours and wake up not rested or when a simple hike felt like it could literally almost make me want to re-do my will - I did feel a sense of hope in getting it out.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying this nodule is life-or-death. I’m not asking to be bumped to the top of the list. If my worst day is a full day in bed - I’m pretty lucky. I get that 100%. I know if it is cancer it is, and I quote “the best cancer to get” because it rarely spreads and is pretty treatable. But can we agree… it still may be Cancer. I still have 2 kids I have to tell and care for through it. In these can-offend-everybody times we sure have to cover our bases, don’t we? We can either laugh or go crazy.
50,000 WORDS PER DAY
That’s what they say the average female speaks. So between now and surgery I’ll cram in every word, enjoy a scarless neck for another day and be grateful that a big purpose in my life will be digging the stories from you. What are some of the chronic illnesses you have and are SurThriving with? I’d love to hear from you!