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It’s been over four months since I last checked in with you on how I’ve been doing with my thyroid health, adrenal health, sex hormones and even mental health, so this one is going to a bit of a long one.
Sorry! So much has happened!
When I last wrote a general update on here in October, a very frank one too, I spoke about how I’d just been signed off from work for another two weeks, following it happening the first time around in July of last year. I was signed off under work related stress again, my role really not suiting me anymore after many management and role changes. A new manager meant that I had to build up the really understanding relationship I had with my old manager, who’d recently tired, something I was totally up for and felt was necessary when working in a stressful job (event management) and lived with various health conditions including on again off again mental health slips.
However, trying to build this new relationship with a boss who, quite frankly, had no real understanding of what I was going through and failed to support me where my old manager did, meant that I inevitably ended up being signed off work the second time around and, after returning to work again, I stuck it out for another couple of weeks before resigning and commencing my search for a new job elsewhere.
I’d been in this role for four and a half years, and when I started I was a nineteen-year-old fresh faced apprentice, eager to learn and bouncing with energy. My colleagues and line manager (old line manager) had seen me go through all my various diagnoses, supported me hugely and really, they’d been a work family to me. I couldn’t have asked for much more from them.
So leaving was a huge step to take, but my role had been changed in to something I no longer enjoyed and couldn’t sustain. When someone else left, I was made to take on their role on top of my own, working the equivalent of two peoples’ workloads. However, I dropped my working hours from 5 days a week to 2.5 days a week, yet was still expected to keep up with this workload with no support, so I began to crumble, hence being signed off a couple of times. And with a new line manager who just couldn’t grasp these issues, there was no way of resolving it really.
The environment was toxic and it was making my health worse. And so, I left. I was really proactive in finding another role though, with countless interviews the next week, so I started a new role just five or six weeks later and have since been in this new job.
I’ve settled in really well and I’ve been enjoying it hugely. My line manager and colleagues are aware of my health conditions and so far have been very supportive. I forgot that I could actually enjoy work and that it didn’t have to be really stressful!
I mentioned last time that I’d been referred for an autism assessment, after my GP wasn’t sure where a lot of my anxieties are stemming from.
After the initial autism assessment in January, I was referred to a psychiatrist who will hopefully be able to pick at it a bit more.
The woman at the original appointment in January said that I’ve clearly always lived with anxiety disorder, but also grew up in a ‘traumatic environment’ (her words) leading to a huge ‘traumatic event’ aged seventeen, which is what we already knew triggered my thyroid condition. As I am currently living with multiple physical health conditions, the way they can alter how you react and deal with this is also something else to take in to consideration. I think it’s worth exploring whether autism could be another piece of my mental health puzzle, though I’m not sure if I have it to be honest.
After seeing the functional medicine practitioner for the first time in September, I began implementing everything she suggested pretty quickly for my gut issues and oestrogen dominance. The kefir every morning, high protein breakfast, less sugar, things to tackle the yeast overgrowth, certain supplements and much more. I’ve made quite a bit of progress I feel, as my periods are now regular and have been for quite some time, the acne was worse to begin with but is definitely quite a bit better now, my gut and bowels are moving better and I just generally feel more positive about things going forward.
On my second appointment with the FMP a couple of weeks ago, she was really impressed with how much I’d embraced everything she suggested and told me to just carry on until I see her again in March. Aside from a few accidental glutenings, my health has been picking up.
Something that’s definitely been interesting since my sex hormones have regulated a bit better, is how broody I’ve been feeling, which is very unusual! I’m sure I’ll have a family one day, don’t get me wrong, but having one soon wasn’t really of any interest until a few months ago, when I started just feeling very ready to be a mother and my maternal instincts were kicking in. Starting to record my BBT again (using a BBT thermometer), I can see that I am now ovulating every month and it’s clear to see too, whereas for a while it seemed as if I wasn’t ovulating, so I think it’s to do with this. With my hormones kicking back in and the oestrogen dominance resolving, it’s been a bit of a shock to the system!
I haven’t done any new tests since last time, as the functional medicine practitioner thinks it’s best to get my gut health and sleeping patterns sorted first, and then retest vitamin levels, thyroid and adrenals, to see where we are then.
I am right in the thick of organising my wedding abroad at the moment too, so naturally that is a bit of extra stress on top of regular day to day stuff. My fiance actually wrote a blog for me here, which you can read. It’s been really popular.
Looking on to exciting things, I’ve already been getting involved in some extra projects this year and have been approached to write for various other organisations. It’s great that The Invisible Hypothyroidism is growing at the rate it is, because being able to do what I love – write and advocate for better health for others – is a dream, and now that I work part-time and am doing better health-wise, I also have the time to write for other websites and get involved in other projects. Such as writing my first book. Eek!
As you know, I never set The Invisible Hypothyroidism up to ever make any money off of it, as that was never the intention. The intention was to share my experiences and what I learnt along the way to simply help others going through the same thing. But being able to call myself a Thyroid Advocate, Blogger and Freelance Writer on the same topics, is amazing. It’s got me feeling so positive about the year to come, with the way The Invisible Hypothyroidism is growing and expanding.
Here’s to more positivity for 2018.
Do remember that you can keep up to date with my personal health journey via Instagram. My Instagram is updated with realtime updates and you’ll be able to follow along as and when everything happens over there!
Have you experienced any of the same things to overcome? Feel free to share in the comments below.
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Rachel Hill is the highly ranked and multi-award winning thyroid patient advocate, writer, speaker and author behind The Invisible Hypothyroidism. Her thyroid advocacy work includes writing articles, authoring books, producing her Thyroid Family email newsletters and speaking on podcasts, as well as being a founding board member for the American College of Thyroidology. She is well-recognised as a crucial and influential contributor to the thyroid community and has a large social media presence. Her books include “Be Your Own Thyroid Advocate” and “You, Me and Hypothyroidism”.