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This is what a thyroid flare can look like.
I woke up this morning knowing I was in a flare. I had slept for over 10 hours but felt more tired than when I went to bed. My body felt as if it was being weighed down in to the bed. My head pounded with a migraine.
As I slowly peel myself out of bed, I run a bath – my first line of defence. Laying in it for half an hour, some of the weight pushing me down was lifted temporarily but I go from feeling freezing cold and having goosebumps to flushing and sweating, worrying that I’ll pass out.
I get out the bath and sit on the bed. It takes me fifteen minutes to get dressed, piece by piece. I have work to do today and I refuse to give in to this flare, so I put on proper clothes instead of PJ’s. I walk down stairs as slowly as possible so as not to fall – the muscles in my legs are failing and feel like jelly. How? I’ve just slept for ten hours.
I make breakfast and a cup of tea somehow. Hoping that eating and drinking will help. I take a sumatriptan (prescribed migraine medication) and hope my migraine will soon subside.
I have work today and have to be on a business call in a few hours’ time. I put on some basic makeup – mascara, blush and lip balm – and run a brush through my hair before pushing it back with a headband. I smile in the mirror as I somehow look well put together and ‘normal’, yet I feel like death.
I sit at my desk and attempt to work but my head pounds, the room spins, I can’t sit up straight and my body flashes with scorching heat. After an hour of stubbornly telling myself I can push on through, I throw in the towel, close the laptop and tears burst out of my eyes. I stand up from the desk chair to walk to the bathroom next door and get some tissue, but my legs buckle. Collapsed on the office floor, I wonder what I did to deserve this?
Went partying last night? Got drunk? Haven’t slept much all week? Skipped taking my thyroid medication?
No, I did two go karting sessions yesterday and somehow, that’s enough to throw my body in to a total meltdown today.
This is the reality of a 25-year-old with the chronic health condition hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s, which is mocked by comedians and not taken seriously by many, paying for a normal activity the day before.
I feel like I’m in someone else’s body. As I write this, my legs throb, the room spins, my head is foggy, I’m flashing from hot to cold and cold to hot and I can barely walk. It’s not the flu or a virus – it’s hypothyroidism It’s Hashimoto’s. A flare up.
Read more: A Hashimoto’s Flare Up or ‘Bad Thyroid Day’.
What do your thyroid flare ups feel like?
Thyroid Superhero: A Kid’s Guide To Understanding Their Grown-up’s Hypothyroidism, which helps children to understand their caregiver’s thyroid medication, flare days, symptoms and much more.