Diagnosed in 2006
I was diagnosed with Graves’ Disease at the age of 29 in 2006. The first symptom I noticed was an enlarged thyroid gland, I had a lot of energy and slight weight loss that I attributed to the 50 cycling miles and 15 running miles I was doing per week, but thinking back, I hadn’t changed my activity level or diet when I started losing weight, so it was actually a symptom.
Horrified and panicked by this protrusion in my neck, I went to a General Practitioner who then referred me to an Endocrinologist who diagnosed me in a matter of minutes and immediately recommended RAI (radioactive iodine) to ablate my thyroid which would render me completely dependent synthetic thyroid medication. The word ‘radioactive’ made me uncomfortable as I imagine it would make anyone, so I decided to look further into it before submitting to this treatment. So, I took my anti-thyroid medication prescription and took the first terrifying steps down this new, unknown path. What follows in this previously anonymous blog are the physical and emotional results of my ongoing self-education and evolving perspective towards this disease that has forever changed me. I move forward with a lump in my throat, both literally and figuratively.