Spring is here and with that comes a flurry of activities, no more lazy winter days around here! Unfortunately in the last week or so I have noticed that I cannot hardly keep up! I find myself completely exhausted and ready to fall asleep throughout the day. One day this past weekend I fell asleep in the early evening on the couch, apparently sleeping through quite a lot of kid activity. I woke up close to midnight when my husband and kiddos were all getting ready for bed. My husband had woken me up by shaking me and saying, “Wake up, you slug!”
It is not that I haven’t noticed how tired I have been. It is not that I haven’t noticed that I am not doing as much as normal around the house. I certainly don’t like feeling this way. I want to be full of energy and have a spotless house, tackling all kinds of projects, and be a super-mom-wife-person. I tried to explain to my husband that I was sorry I was so tired, that I was not being a “slug” on purpose. I ended up in tears. (I tend to have a very fragile idea of self worth and something as small as my husband thinking I am lazy is apparently enough to send it into a tail spin.)
The problem is that I have hypothyroidism. I felt the exact same way before I started taking medication. Luckily, I have always been on the lookout for all the symptoms because my mom had thyroid cancer as well as an aunt. My brother, niece, another aunt, and two cousins also have thyroid problems. My husband agreed that he had not seen me like this since before I was put on medicine and apologized profusely for calling me a “slug”.
It was too late though. The damage was done. In my head I am now a “slug” and my brain stamps the lovely adjectives “big,fat and “slimy” in front of it. Even though I have read everything I can on hypothyroidism, I think it is one of those diagnosis, like PMS, depression or other chemical and hormonal imbalances that just don’t get taken as seriously as other diagnosis, such as high blood pressure.
I feel pressure that I should just “toughen up” or “ignore” the symptoms, as if they are only imagined and not really there. I know that this pressure is from myself and that I need to learn to own this diagnosis and all that it entails. Including knowing that it is ok to feel exhausted. That it is ok to need more rest sometimes. That there are times that I am just not going to feel like myself and it is ok. That is ok to let the house go and spend my energy where it is important – that is on my kiddos for me. I also need to learn to take full advantage of the times that I feel like myself, and have normal energy, by using that time wisely and not be a “slug”.