my battle for better health

My Battle For Better Health: Kindness and Diagnosis

2/04/2016 Laura Watkins 4 Comments


As I briefly mentioned (haha) in my last battle update post, the last few months have been a huge struggle for us. It got to the point where I literally couldn't get up and fix a bowl of cereal without having to lie down and/or nap, and my sleeping schedule got even more messed up. I had never been that fatigued—not after childbirth or even after multiple surgeries. I felt like i was drugged, and I was having occasional chest pain (which freaked me out).



We had to reschedule our open house tour of our beloved Provo City Center Temple (aka Provo's castle) because I couldn't get there, let alone through the tour.


When we finally did make it, I realized I wouldn't be able to walk up the stairs and through the building—if there was any chance of me completing the tour, I'd have to take the elevator.

I know it's really dramatic of me, but if you've ever been inside an LDS temple, you know that it feels like you're literally in part of Heaven. I started crying. It's silly, but it all hit me, being so sick and not knowing what was going on, then having to let my husband and kids go on without me while I took the elevator. My stupid health has kept me from doing so many things, but it dawned on me that it could end my life early. It felt like my illness was killing me, and I had to leave my family behind. As we got closer to the stairs/elevator, I tried not to think about how well they would or wouldn't get by without me. Had I taught them enough?


Even though I hadn't told my husband, Erik, how upset I was (or what I was upset about), he took my hand and whispered, "We'll take the elevator with you." I protested a bit, realizing how ridiculous I was being, but he insisted. I don't think I have never felt so loved or so grateful that our family can be together forever, even after death. (Read more about Eternal Families here.)

Although I was completely out for the rest of the day and a good part of the next, I not only made it through the tour, I was able to go up one flight of stairs and down another!

The next day, my doctor discovered they'd been giving me too much thyroid medicine. I have Hashimoto's, which we knew, but it usually swings from hypo to mildly hyper, and it had never been that hyper.

Thyroid medicine is tricky. The normal thyroid hormone pill takes several weeks to a month to affect your body, and they'd told me years ago that my body doesn't process it correctly, so I have to have a second medicine that is the already processed form of the hormone (which can show effects the same day you take it). I was getting too much of both medicines.

In the last two weeks or so of the change in medicine, I've already seen significant improvement. I'm still not doing great, but I'm able to make it through most of the day without sleeping much, only one nap! However, I'm still having a terrible time getting to sleep at night, bad anxiety, low energy, depression, and so so many other problems that come from hyperthyroidism.

As I try to get back to work and life, one of the most frustrating things has been mental fogginess/fatigue. My first two full-ish days back to work (I work from home), I made some really obvious mistakes. And, since I am a publicist/social media manager, when I make a mistake, thousands of people can see it.



I know I showed you this picture already, but take another look. For me, this has new meaning. Two separate times, when I made these glaring and silly mistakes, instead of laughing at me, a friend or sister took me aside and asked me about it privately. I'd had no idea I'd messed up like that. While the second was a simple but really bad typo, the first was something that made perfect sense to me when I'd typed it, but after a nap, I saw that it was complete nonsense.

I'm obviously not the only one who has struggled through all this. The kids' school called today to check on us. One of the teachers, principal, and office staff had noticed how often our kids had been late or absent from school. While I know they have to cover their own bases (their funding is based on attendance), they not only asked if we were alright, but they also asked if there was anything they could do to help.

Thank you to all of you who don't judge, who love and help and express concern. We wouldn't have made it this far without you!

My goals

I want to have energy to spend time and actually do activities with my family.
I want to be able to be physically active. I’m not saying I plan on running marathons, but being able to exercise and do basic housecleaning on a daily basis would be nice.
I want my mind to feel less foggy all the time so I can do my job well and enjoy being in the profession I love.
I want to be healthy and be at a healthy weight.
I want my life back! I will look for the best in my life and realize what I truly have, always striving to make it better.
If you're in the Provo area and want to come to the open house, check to see if the free tickets are available here until March 5th. (More are added periodically, so don't give up!) 

You can learn more about the LDS church here. And, as always, if you have any questions, feel free to ask me!
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