My name is Meghan and I am 22 years old from Alabama. This is my first ever blog, so bear with me while I try to figure everything out. The main purpose of me doing this blog is to talk about my story and hopefully it will help others or inspire them in some way.
I’m a senior at UA and was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism when I was a freshman in 2009/2010. It took several doctors several months to figure out what was wrong with me, and it has still been a very long and complicated road in order to get myself back to living a happy and healthy lifestyle.
When I was graduating high school, I weighed about 135 lbs and went to college. Most of my freshman year I was doing good, partying a bit, but staying pretty healthy. Then one day, I woke up feeling like I got hit by a bus. I couldn’t get out of bed. I was really sick and I grew up hardly ever getting sick so this was really serious for me. I went home for the weekend and went to our local clinic. They found out that I had strep throat and also tested me for the flu and all kinds of viruses. I started taking massive amounts of steroid medicine and antibiotics and then had to return to school to go back to class.
I was still very sick when I returned and most days I’d make it to class and then go straight back to my dorm and stay in bed, then sleep constantly. The sickness wasn’t going away and I spent the next couple weekends going back home to see more doctors to get more tests and more medicine. Finally, I went to an ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor and he saw that my tonsils were huge and needed to come out. By this time, it was the spring semester of Freshman year and my sorority kept fining me for missing important meetings even though I had doctors excuses. I still didn’t feel like myself and had become depressed. Even though my tonsils were taken out and I was no longer sick, I still felt sick. I still could barely get out of bed most days and missed class a lot. I saw my gyno and she prescribed me with an anti-depressant. She also checked my thyroid and said it was normal and I just needed to exercise more, because of the weight gain.
Everything was going downhill.
I eventually quit my sorority because no one seemed to care about what was going on with me and even tried meeting with the President of the sorority to talk and after the third time of being stood up, finally got to meet with her. I had had enough and quit right there on the spot. I blamed it on money issues, but the truth was, I felt very very alone and didn’t feel like anyone cared about me.
The worst part of all of this was, going into the summer before my second year of college, I had put on a ton of weight. Like I mentioned before, I started out at 135 lbs, and by this time I was a solid 187 lbs. I had gained over 50 pounds in about 6-8 months.
I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. Nothing made sense to me and I couldn’t understand why everything was so bad and kept getting worse. My parents even said that I was acting different and was constantly sad and angry for no reason. My mom tried everything to help me and it was very hard to explain to them how I was feeling and what was going on.
These bad feelings stayed with me for another year at least. I also started having insomnia on top of everything else. Then I had a really bad roommate situation (another story for another day) and looking back, I feel like everything had contributed to that situation. How shitty I was feeling, and how sick I had been, how emotional and self-loathing I had become, it all kept bringing me down further and further and made my life a living hell.
Finally, I moved home, saw a counselor, and started to slowly reevaluate my life and everything that happened over the past 2 years. My mom’s friend told her about a homeopathic doctor from Birmingham that helped her a lot and recommended I go talk to him. Since he didn’t use western medicine in his practice, Insurance wouldn’t cover his $300 dollar visit. But at this point, we were willing to try anything to get me better. Dr. McMinn is an absolute life saver and I owe him everything. Seriously.
He did a complete blood work and I also had to do a pee/spit test (Gross, sorry) to check for metabolic rates and other things. He told me to stop taking my birth control, and my anti-depressant because the doctor who prescribed it, did the wrong medicine for a hormone that wasn’t the one out of balance. He also found out that I definitely had Hypothyroidism and needed to be treated for it. He found a lot of imbalances and everything he was describing to me about them, was EXACTLY how I had been feeling. It seemed like a miracle, that finally someone figured out what was wrong with me and how to fix it. He knew how I felt. It was truly amazing.
That was what started my journey to deal with this disease and to do whatever I could to fix everything and get better, healthier, and stronger.
I ended up having to change doctors because my Insurance wouldn’t cover Dr. McMinn’s practice, and I no longer could afford the expensive visits. My new doctor, in Huntsville, told me that Dr. McMinn was a quack and he didn’t believe in anything he told me. I completely broke down and felt like everything that had been accomplished in the past couple months, was all of a sudden taken away from me. I felt like I had once again come across someone who wasn’t really willing to truly help me. Unfortunately, I had to stick with this doctor for a while and he kept my thyroid “regulated” but every now and then I would still have some bad symptoms and he didn’t know what else to do with me, so he recommended me to an Endocrinologist to take over my care. He is who I am currently seeing. He tests me every few months and I meet with him every few months as well. I still don’t feel completely back to normal, but I do my own research and I’m a lot smarter about listening to what my body is telling me.
I still have a very long road ahead of me, but I know one day I’ll get everything figured out. Living with Hypothyroidism is a daily struggle and many people don’t understand anything about it.
I hope my story helps people going through this to know that you’re not alone.