Click here to listen to a reading of this blog:
Originally published on 14th February 2019 Last updated on 14th February 2020
Whilst it’s true that we should really show our love and appreciation to loved ones every day of the year, Valentine’s Day can be a good opportunity to remind us to do so.
Whilst many people with thyroid disease are generally quite well, there are others, as with most conditions, who have a harder time with this condition. My own personal experience of having Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism demonstrates the ups and downs that we can indeed experience. And with this comes difficult times.
That’s why I wanted to write a post that demonstrates how thankful I (and many other thyroid patients) are for the friends, family, partners and online support groups who have supported us in our experience with a thyroid condition.
1. Thank You for Listening to Us When We Vent About Hard Days
Living with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s can be difficult and chances are, if you’re a loved one of someone with these conditions, you already know this. If you live with us, you see it better than anyone.
Allowing us to vent to you on tough days of being a thyroid patient is invaluable. Sometimes doctors appointments don’t go to plan, we experience flare-up days where our condition becomes harder to manage and our mental health can also take a knock.
And we owe a special mention as well to the online support groups and forums, often full of other thyroid patients, who provide the safe environment to get things off our chest and validation for our frustrations.
Thank you for listening to us vent, moan and get things off our chest. It’s healthy to get it out, after all!
2. Thank You for Encouraging Us to Rest
My husband had to pick up a lot of my roles around the house and in our relationship, when I became unwell with thyroid disease; doing more of the housework and taking more initiative with errands and general adult responsibilities. It was difficult for me to see our roles change somewhat, but I appreciate that he has always been able to recognise when I need to rest. If he sees me doing too much, he’ll make me sit down with a cup of tea and make sure I look after myself.
Friends have done this too. Recognising and accepting when it would be a better idea to stay in and watch Netflix with a duvet, instead of going for a night out, they’ve also helped me with this one. Helping me clean up after having people around my house for an event also goes a long way in helping me ensure I don’t run out of ‘spoons‘ (energy).
As I’ve mentioned many times before, learning how to effectively manage your energy levels with any longterm health condition is an important tool.
3. Thank You for Thinking About Us
The texts checking in on how we’re doing, receiving surprise mail, running us a bath, making us a cup of tea or tagging us in funny things online that you know we’ll appreciate and make our day, are also recognised.
I’ve received care packages from friends before, to put a smile on my face in dark times. And I also appreciate people sending me links to books they think I’ll find useful in my journey to strengthen my physical and mental health. It’s really thoughtful.
4. Thank You for Supporting Us in This Journey
There are so many ways to support someone going through a diagnosis and seeking appropriate management of a thyroid condition.
The friends and family who come along with us to doctors appointments and back us up when we feel anxious and brain fogged – please know that it is appreciated.
The people who listen to what we share with you regarding books we’re reading, websites and blogs, all in a bid to improve our health. And those who support us in our endeavours to improve our health through interventions such as dietary changes, medication changes and more.
Knowing we have people who support the idea of us improving our health is like having our very own cheerleaders, which can do a lot for keeping us motivated when the times get tough and we feel hopeless.
5. Thank You for Sharing in My Accomplishments
And when things go right and we find something that works – a doctor who listens, a book that resonates – thank you for celebrating these successes with me. The friends, family members, other halves and fellow thyroid patients in the online communities. Thank you.
Thyroid patients, what other ‘thanks’ would you add to this list?
You, Me and Hypothyroidism: When Someone You Love Has Hypothyroidism, a book for those who know someone with hypothyroidism. Learn all about your friend or family member’s thyroid condition and what you can do to strengthen your relationship.
Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and award-winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, blogger, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. She has two books: ‘Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate‘ and ‘You, Me and Hypothyroidism‘. Her thyroid advocacy work includes authoring books, writing articles, blogging and speaking on podcasts. Rachel has worked with The National Academy of Hypothyroidism, BBC, The Mighty, Yahoo, MSN, ThyroidChange and more. She is well-recognised as a useful contributor to the thyroid community and has received eight 2020 WEGO Health Award Nominations.