Sunday, February 6, 2011
Like a normal person
Yesterday I spent the day pretty much like a normal person. When you're unwell for an extended period of time, it's not uncommon to begin to compare yourself to what is 'normal'. Spending the day like a normal person is an exciting experience because it feels so good and it also signifies hope, that one day in the not too distant future you might just feel 'normal' all of the time.
In my mind a 'normal' person can get up in the morning at a reasonable hour feeling fairly refreshed from their sleep (not like they have just woken after a massive night out after just 3 hours sleep). A 'normal' person can get ready to leave the house without tiring, they can eat a standard kind of breakfast without feeling ill or thinking twice. When a 'normal' person leaves the house they feel ok, not like they want to curl up and sleep or as if their eyelids are threatening to close on them all of the time. They also feel relaxed, they don't worry about getting home soon or how sick they feel, they don't think twice about being on their way to a shopping centre because it's just so regular.
Yesterday I felt normal because I did all of the above with relative ease, once I was at the shopping centre I felt a little bit tired but not so tired that I wished to be at home, I was happy to be out. After an hour or so shopping I still felt ok and was still not wishing I could go home to rest, it was an enjoyable experience.
Upon returning home after many hours out and about with the boyfriend I did indeed feel tired, but not so tired that I also felt sick or that I needed to lie down and not get up for the rest of the night. It was a bearable tiredness that was not going to prevent me from feeling ok and continuing being 'normal'. The boyfriend decided he wanted to make dessert for the first time since we have begun our sugar free lifestyles. We decided to try a baked cheesecake, which involved a trip to the supermarket for ingredients. I walked to the supermarket without dragging my feet, as we walked up a slight incline I felt the muscles in my legs kick in and do what they're meant to. Just a week ago this same slight incline would have slowed me down and had me asking the boyfriend to walk more slowly, my muscles would not have 'kicked in' like a 'normal' persons, they would have gone weak and slowed me down.
We made dinner and dessert and enjoyed a nice evening in, because the cheesecake took so long to cook we ended up staying up late to be able to eat it. I was able to stay awake and felt just fine. I had successfully spent the whole day feeling reasonably well- awake and capable. I had been able to contribute to helping with housework, shopping, considering the planning of a mid year holiday and baking. Yesterday I hadn't had to make a choice between using my energy for housework or going shopping or baking, I had been able to do all three and it was a real thrill.
The other 'normal' thing that I did this week was work. I spent one day at work, helping at my parents' business. Do you know how long it has been since I have been in an office for work purposes? About ten months. I have not been involved in any official work or earned my own income (apart from a once off tutoring gig) in that long. It was a huge day for me to be up and ready for a 9am start and to deal with having to sit in the once place all day. I did feel quite tired by the end of the day and was glad that the job was not at all intellectually demanding, but I made it through.
All of this 'normalcy' has been made possible by my thyroid coming into balance, it was just two weeks ago that I was begging my specialist to let me stop taking the medication that was slowing my thyroid down (too much). She agreed that it would be safe to do so, I was going nuts dealing with the symptoms of an underactive thyroid; the worst of which was an extreme fatigue that had slowed me down to a near stop. With that fatigue came alot of disappointment and frustration that I was not yet better or feeling 'normal'. This 'hypothyroid' state was induced by the medication, just to make sure I would not return to the 'hyper' state (aka hell).
My hyperthyroidism was caused by the consumption of excessive amounts of iodine in a so called 'healthy soy drink' that was actually very dangerous. This is very relevant to my recovery, the theory is that once all of the iodine is flushed from my system and my thyroid has found balance it will remain that way.
Just 3 days ago, for the first time since my diagnosis in August 2010 my thyroid test results came back 'normal'. The results of my test go a long way to explaining why yesterday I had a normal day and why last week I went to work and felt kind of normal. The test results also signify hope for the future, that 'normal' days will increase from her on in and from there I will start to have energetic days where I feel completely healthy and then..one day...I will live an energised, healthy and balanced life. As you can see, 'normal' is very important to me.
I doubt I will ever again take for granted how wonderful it feels to be 'ok' and to have my body be able to follow through on doing the things I want and need to, in harmony.