Several times over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself thinking – and saying – “I’m in a really great mood!” I’ve chalked it up to many things: the (until this morning, stupendous) weather, listening to songs that make me happy, finally having help at work, among other things. The real reason, however, finally dawned on me the other day.
I’m not sick anymore.
Chronic, non-life threatening illness is a weird thing, because it’s possible (easy, even) to forget you’re sick. This is particularly true in the case of something like hypothyroidism, where some of the most common symptoms – exhaustion and depression – can easily be blamed on other things. I’m tired because I’m working too much. Or because I’ve been sleeping badly. Or because I stayed up too late last night. I don’t want to leave the house this weekend because I’m worn out. Or because I’m not in the mood to deal with people. Or because the weather is too… whatever. I don’t feel like doing X (making dinner, going to happy hour, running errands) because I’m Y (not that hungry, not fit company, too settled into my couch). In a nutshell: I’m lazy and unmotivated.
And that, my friends, is the insidious thing about this illness – it is way, way to easy to dismiss as character flaws rather than a medical condition. I think that’s why endocrinologists want to see new patients every six months, because blood tests make concrete what’s easily forgotten: it’s a disease, and one that changes over time. Until my thyroid gland is well and truly dead, I’m going to go through phases like this. It sucks, but not as much as it could, since being modern means both avoiding an unsightly goiter and, well, death (from thyroid disease, anyway).
The funny thing about all of this is that it just occurred to me that I had been awfully depressed. It’s only in noticing how I feel now that I’ve realized how low I had been feeling. I’m never going to make the list of top 10 most cheerful people anyone knows, but now I’m at least back to my normal state of moderately cynical happiness.
Now, I think, would be as good a time as any to mention how much I love levothyroxine. That shit’s magic, I tell you.