Posted by Andrea Nakayama
I can guarantee you that it’s different for you than it is for me.
Last year, right around this time, I told the story of how I had gotten a good taste of why babies scream inconsolably. (At least the babies who have ear infections.)
While on vacation with my son in Hawaii, I contracted an ear infection that made the sides of my head hot, swollen and pierced with excruciating pain; pain that reverberated from deep within my inner ear canal to my dangling lobe and kept me up through the night, wanting to wail at the top of my lungs like a crying baby. My ears were crying tears of their own. By the time the Kauai roosters crowed with the early morning sun, my jaw was clenched tight. I’d barely slept a wink.
There’s no need to feel sorry for me. I was in Hawaii with my boy Gilbert after all. We make the trek to the island yearly to reconvene with the sand, sun, sometimes storms, and in reverence for one of my husband’s favorite places on earth.
And the good news is that through years of learning to manage my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis I’ve also become accustomed to navigating and mitigating myriad symptoms, even when new to me. I can now add ear infection to the growing list (though itching ears is something I’m quite familiar with).
Hashimoto’s is not merely a thyroid disorder. Instead it’s a summons to engage in a delicate dance, one that ultimately comes down to how we claim knowledge, awareness and care to manage our symptoms, sometimes varied and perplexing.
Hashimoto’s is a condition I’ve personally been wrestling with for years. In fact I was wrestling with it before I even knew I had it ~ held hostage in the confusion of the symptoms that seemed to plague me without rhyme or reason.
And I’m not alone.
Many people with Hashimoto’s are either diagnosed as hypothyroid or suspect they have a thyroid imbalance and yet their doctor tells them otherwise. It’s a crime, really. A loophole in our medical system in both the realms of diagnostics and treatment.
It took me years of probing, digging through books, literature and lectures, trialing different diets, nutrient protocols and medical theories, testing one “tried-and-true” method after another, seeing a number of doctors and naturopaths, to even determine the diagnosis that would explain what was happening to and with my body.
It was like my body was a defiant child, acting of its own accord, disregarding all my efforts and intentions.
My next step was and is a continual journey to learn to regulate some level of healthy balance, one that can be made unstable with poor (for me) food choices, air travel or too much stress, (or apparently crowded water teaming with teenagers after a big canoe race after the tiniest exposure to a food sensitivity).
Hashimoto’s is not merely a thyroid disorder. Instead it’s a condition where the immune system is out of control, attacking itself instead of a foreigner. Hashimoto’s is just the expression of the condition, not the root cause. The roots of Hashimoto’s can be linked back to your digestive function, your adrenal reserves, your genetic propensity and more.
The truth is that you can learn to manage your symptoms just as I have, waltzing with the seeming lack of logic as it arises, with a greater wealth of knowledge, awareness and care held right in your back pocket. While the answers to your woes may not come from your doctor or your thyroid hormone, you can still liberate yourself from the confines of standard prescription and regain influence on your Hashimoto’s health care.
Hashimoto’s is not merely a thyroid disorder. It’s your health. Your care.
Though the ear infection made me cry like a baby, it did not consume my travels or my memories. I returned from that trip savoring the enchantment of our mother-son bond and the allure of the tropical islands. And this year I went back for more (thankfully skirting the ear infection and the hurricanes!).
Learn to manage your Hashimoto’s (or health woes) so they do not consume you.
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