Many of you probably know this about me already, but for those who don’t, I have spent the last 10 years interacting on my forums, website, blog and Facebook page for one specific purpose; to share our journeys and hopefully learn from each other. That’s why this post is so special to me. I would like to formally introduce Jeanette Elisha-Elliss who resides in the UK and has been joining in on discussion more frequently on our Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Support Group Facebook page.
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis: Hi! My Name is Maureen. I am a Hashimoto’s Sufferer but I am NOT a Blogger!
I have a confession. I have an addiction. Besides chocolate of course—I can’t stop trying to get the message out to the world that the longer you wait to address your Hashimotos (the autoimmune nature of this condition), the more damage to your thyroid and the more likelihood you will develop other autoimmune diseases. Yes, this is my addiction. It is why I blog. But I found out something important yesterday. When hitting 10,000 “likes” on my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Support Group on Facebook, I wanted to do a give-a-way of something special to some of the members. I had it all set up but then read the rules for give-a-ways—the hoops I would need to jump through, the fine print I would have to think about, and the details I was not prepared for. I learned something yesterday. I am NOT a true blogger. That is not why I’m here. I’m here to get a message out, not to compete with other blogs or become successful financially. You see, a professional blogger does these things: It’s their full-time job/hobby. They put up a new post every day or every other day (or at least are very regular). They often have tech support and other people helping them. Their goal is to earn an income to sustain their passion or livelihood. Me? I never knew I would still be blogging 7 years after starting. I only knew I wanted to get this message out. In contrast, my “blogging” looks like this: This is my full-time passion because I, too, struggle with this condition. And what I learn, I want to share with others who are also struggling. I put up a post when I have been inspired to do so, which varies from week to week, month to month. My son is my tech support when I am in dire need for help (which has been way too often lately!). Other than that, I am on my own! Quite honestly, I don’t seem to be able to be consistent enough due to my focus on healing – at least not now – to be as committed as you have to be to be a “professional blogger”. What I have learned is that I will continue my mission and do the best I can with my passion. I will not be able to match the massive and consistent amount of content most bloggers produce. I will continue to work once per day on the Facebook support group and get to as many posts as possible (to the extent that I can maintain a healthy balance each day). But, I may not always be perfect and I might miss a day here and there. Why? Because I have Hashimoto’s. And although my healing has been dramatic, I still have to work on lingering Hashimoto’s issues. This is what I still deal with: Losing a night’s sleep for a Hashi person is like becoming disabled. At least for me it is. So those days are sometimes days I need to resign, grab some tea, do the very minimum I can get away with, and wait for another chance to sleep. These days I have a hard time getting to my Facebook page. I try hard, but sometimes I must wait a day to get back into the groove after some well needed rest. Yesterday I had that kind of day. Stress overload – I have learned with Hashi’s that stress tends to cause symptoms that become a serious setback if you don’t learn to manage it well enough. For these reasons, I have to sometimes skip a day or take a few days off. This is not a very good habit for a real blogger but my main goals are my main goals…to get time-saving and pain saving information out to as many as possible without causing my own condition to worsen. That is what my blog is for, and the information stays up there even when I am resting. So that makes me happy. Overwhelm – A common symptom with Hashi’s is the feeling that you cannot keep up with life. I think it’s mostly because you have to look inward so much when other healthier people can pretty much focus outwardly on their duties and pursuits. We have to focus on our health. We have to make sure we are getting rest, eating right, and sleeping well to function. I have learned that if these things are not in place, I cannot function properly. These times also require me to step back. I wrote this post because I have felt a sense of obligation to so many members to “be a blogger” and deliver the give-a-ways, dish out the many posts each week and be, well, a “blogger.” No one has said anything to me or complained. I put that on myself. I am a perfectionist. But I know this is something I must accept. I am still healing. I must put my health before blogging in order to keep the healing going and in turn help as many of you as possible by getting important posts up that will keep people in touch with the newest and most helpful natural interventions as possible. My focus is there. And when those posts go up, you will know it was important to me to deliver them to you. You’ll know it wasn’t a post I came up with just because I needed to keep the content coming. I received two beautiful thank you emails this week in the middle of my day of exhaustion from not sleeping much the night before. I had been disappointed in myself as a “blogger” and felt like I was letting the community down for not being as attentive as usual. The emails encouraged me that this is exactly why I’m here and why I keep going. My focus to get the message out is the only pressure I will put on myself. Because I know it is helping […]
While searching on the internet, trying to find answers, how many times have you seen these types of results? “Watch out for ‘biological dentistry’, it’s quackery!” “Stay away from Functional Medicine doctors! They are not ‘real’ doctors!” “Alternative medicine doctors are all quacks!” “NEVER, NEVER, diagnose or treat yourself” (it’s not really YOUR body anyway, right?) “Diet cannot reverse any condition, it can only be a helpful aid to conventional medicine.” I used to believe most of the lies above. I used to be so scared to step out and research for myself due to the intimidation of conventional medicine or these Internet “warnings.” Before I found a way to get better, and as you will hear in my story during my podcast interview at GNOWFLINS recently, conventional medicine will not listen to you if you still have symptoms, yet your TSH is “in range.” To them, there is only ONE RIGHT way to deal with Hashimoto’s. But guess what? It is not the right way! It is only treating one symptom of the root problem. For the root, well, they could care less if your thyroid is being destroyed and not to mention, modern science is suggesting that this destruction can be minimized or even prevented! And do they tell us that we need the proper amount of thyroid hormone (not just TSH) for almost every function of the body which is why we have so many symptoms? No, let’s just keep doing what we’re doing, even though you are feeling worse. Does this make sense? Not to the ones suffering! Let’s take a look at each of these untruths and how getting past these misconceptions helped me. Please also allow me to insert a disclaimer at the end of each section lest you think I am not also putting a “blanket statement” out there that the above statements have absolutely no truth to them. Watch out for “biological dentists”, it’s quackery! Let’s see. In my early 20’s I was given about 6 additional mercury amalgam fillings by my, then trusted, dentists. About 20 years, an autoimmune disease, high blood pressure, and severely high mercury levels later, I had them removed and many of my symptoms immediately were helped. Coincidence? I think not. Scientifically proven? Well, some say yes but I will leave that to your research. All I know is that they were removed and I felt better! My follow-up mercury test is incredible. My symptoms are what matters to me. If you are the kind who wants to wait for conventional medicine to catch up with the science, you might have about a 17 year wait time until you get the treatment you need! I wasn’t willing to wait that long. Disclaimer: Although I believe there are some absolutely life saving biological dentists out there, I also caution you to do your research before hiring anyone to work on your teeth and that also goes for the dentists that your insurance plan covers. Here’s a link to some possible leads for biological dentists in your area, however, as with all links I provide on this blog, I highly recommend you get references and check out the track record of anyone you hire. Stay away from Functional Medicine doctors! They are not “real” doctors! As seen here in this interview with Dr. Kharizzian by Mary Shomon, he says: Dr. Kharrazian: The doctor of chiropractic (DC) degree is equal in hours to the doctor of medicine (MD) degree, with almost identical programs the first two years. The programs diverge, however, in the second half. During this time, the DC program focuses on diet, nutrition, and spinal manipulation, while the MD program emphasizes the study of pharmacology. (For full interview, compliments of About.com, see it here.) If you don’t think this is enough education, that is your choice. If conventional medical school has less than one week of nutritional education, do you think we should trust them for that area of our lives? Not me. I think I would like to go to someone who has more thoroughly studied the effects of diet on the body. If I want medication (and sometimes this is necessary), I will go to conventional doctors since this is their specialty. But I want to have the choice, don’t you? I think both should be covered by insurance! Disclaimer: I have heard my share of stories about either outrageously priced Functional Medicine doctors, or that their patients did not feel they were helped by their protocol. I truly believe, just like in conventional medicine, that you need to “shop” around for a doctor who fits your needs and respects you as an active partner in your own treatment. Anyone who doesn’t listen to your needs, conventional, functional, or otherwise, is not a good fit for a partner in your care (in my humble opinion). Alternative medicine doctors are all quacks! The very first glimmer of hope I had was from an Alternative Medicine doctor! After 10 years of suffering in the conventional model that would not listen to my symptoms and the relationship to my autoimmune condition that THEY diagnosed, I was forced to find help outside of the system. My story in-depth is in podcast form here. No one can tell me I was wrong to look elsewhere. I went through enough in conventional medicine to tell me I was not going to be heard. This needs to stop. I hope our voices will be heard. Disclaimer: Not all the Alternative Medicine doctors I have tried have been the best fit for me. Some worked too similarly to conventional medicine which attempted to demean me as a partner in my own treatment protocol. Some depended too much on a certain protocol that they either pushed or partnered with, causing them to care more about the treatment they promoted, over my particular needs. If you are wise, you will strive to pick this out at a consultation before you hire them as your physician. As I said above, you […]
As I sit here feeling incredibly blessed to be alive and moving in the right direction, for a change, I must reflect a bit this year on the challenges and blessings it brought. You may have had similar victories and defeats, challenges and good fortunes. This flourless chocolate cake (that totally tastes like a chocolate cheesecake!) is evidence that I can live again as I exit 2013 and look forward to even more healing in 2014. It is a tribute to those foods I left behind and don’t wish to bring back into my world. This cake is different. It is delicious AND allowable on the GAPS Diet (chocolate is allowed after enough healing and as one tolerates). I will link the recipe to my Pinterest board.
For those interested in hearing me talk about my healing journey, I was a guest on the “Know Your Food” podcast with Wardee Harmon this week! Wardee and I have known each other for a few years while I was seeking wellness through natural remedies and nutrient dense food which I learned to make through her fabulous online classes. She was there when I went through my mercury poisoning at the beginning of my GAPS Diet journey and has continued to be a huge support through the many months of my healing through gluten-free, amalgam removal, GAPS Diet Intro and the Full GAPS Diet, to now the fine tuning of my diet for further healing. Her support has been invaluable as well as other members in her classes who offered support through her private class forums.
I’m in a unique position. But not in a position many of you have not been in or will be in. Today I was contemplating life choices. I lost my mother to pneumonia earlier this year. She was 80 years old. She had a host of health problems from atrial fibrillation, diabetes, high blood pressure, crippling arthritis, chronic acid reflux, and the list goes on. I spent many years helping her through these debilitating conditions. What occurred to me today was that I was in that middle place – 30 years to 80 and 30 years from 20. In the past, I agonized over how quickly time is going by and how now I am in the place where I am not very far off from the final years of my life. But then I thought this morning that I am in a very important stage of my life too. How to finish?