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My doctor called yesterday evening to give me the results of blood tests.‘You have an underactive thyroid gland. It’s severly underactive. Can you make the follow-up appointment I’ve made for you tomorrow morning?’

I went to my appointment this morning to learn that about 1 in 50 women and 1 in 1000 men develop this at some point in their lives.

When I finally went to my doctor on Wednesday I did not really think that this condition could apply to me. Yes I was always tired, but I’d put that down to long and difficult work conditions over several years, two moves, relationship break-up, long commutes, long drives, ageing parents with difficulties, a bout of walking pneumonia around Christmas and entering the downward spiral of tiredness, then wrong foods, then being less active, then putting on weight, then feelings of depression...oh and the inevitable menopause symptoms.

So when I told the doctor on Wednesday (a doctor I’d recently asked to change to because two other near-retirement male doctors seemed to lack any interest), he acknowledged the above (wanting confirmation I was dealing with the work situation, which I am...I’m trying to change direction), and immediately signed the forms requesting a number of tests including underactive thyroid. He also requested the gluten intolerance test, because I was convinced it was all down to me and my eating habits(which have evolved from the tiredness and lack of energy).  

The truth is I’ve had various symptoms over a few years. I refused to see that I had a medical issue. But of late I have felt so unlike myself that I couldn’t bear to be touched, to be looked at or even to look at myself. I had booked usual massage therapies, but because of this I cancelled. I was in danger, I think, of truly isolating myself, probably to the eventual detriment of being able to earn a living. All because I don’t really see myself as having a problem that needs attention.  

I felt both relieved ( I could do something that would really help) and a bit of anger because there’s a pattern of... it’s always down to me. When I was ill as a child, I was ‘looking for notice‘. When I was older, ‘What problems do you have? You’ve got O‘Levels.’ And even later ‘How can you have problems, you have a good job, no troublesome husband/partner and no children.’  

So me, along with several female friends in similar positions find it hard to accept that we do have issues and aren’t just being selfish because we demand some attention for something that bothers us.  

I could go on, but I won’t. I found an answer to problems mentioned above. It’s up to me to continue looking after myself.

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