Chronic Illness Tales: Allison’s Story

Read how Allison is taking charge of her health and not allowing anything to stop her.

Allison
Age: 45
Conditions: Hypothyroidism and allergies to everything outside (biweekly shots) and dust mites and mold.

Year diagnosed? 15 or so years ago for hypothyroidism and maybe 5 years ago I was tested for allergies.

How were you diagnosed?
Tested by blood tests for hypothyroidism after demanding bloodwork (doctors said I was fine, I work too hard, maybe I was depressed…I knew something else was wrong but couldn’t figure out what). After bloodwork they were almost surprised, like oh, something IS wrong. This was probably the hardest part and the part that took the longest. It’s hard getting passed doctors who look at you and say you’re fine and disregard what you’re trying to tell them.
With allergies, same thing, I had to keep trying to figure out root causes of why I struggled. Life shouldn’t feel so hard. Allergies are one of those things too that doctors can’t see, but the patient feels and knows something isn’t right.

How have the chronic conditions affected your life? I think the mental torment is the worst part. I tried for so long to fix things on my own or worse, thought I wasn’t doing something right. I cried a lot. Conditions like these often go unnoticed or undiagnosed but the symptoms are terrible to live with. I take medicine for hypothyroidism. I have no idea if I could feel better, I don’t know any different. I still want to find a better doctor. Currently where I go the doctor turnover is so high it’s like I have a new primary doctor every year and half to two years. It’s frustrating and honestly, I haven’t put in energy to find a different doctor (I would have to travel more than I already do for doctors and I’ve become complacent. Typing this is convicting me to not be. 😳😶

Your thyroid plays a HUGE role in your overall well-being. I had no idea and still could learn more. Again, just typing this is convicting me to start researching it more and find a doctor who specializes in it. I’ve heard so many say they can get off medications with proper diet. I asked a thyroid specialist and he said, NO! Food doesn’t change anything. I don’t know why I stopped checking. I assumed since he was the specialist on thyroid disorders, he would know. I know I don’t live in area where there are many specialists. I had to drive over 100 miles just to see him (which is probably why I stopped checking. 😔).

How have you grown since diagnosis a d what do you wish people knew about the condition and/or chronic illnesses in general? I will say that learning about what I COULD do enabled me to actually feel like I’m living. I hear so many women give up like it’s a life sentence to be turned an overweight for the rest if their lives. I’m living proof you can be fit and healthy with hypothyroidism. I have to work for it and eat healthy, but it’s possible. 😁💪🏻❤

I hope that Allison’s story resonated with you. Learning more about your condition and researching ways to control the symptoms is the first step in owning your health journey.

You have the power to take charge of your health. Don’t let your illness control you!

We want to hear your story!

If you would like to be included, email me at thegeneticdiabeticblog@gmail.com by July 18th with the following information:

First name
Age (Optional)
Condition
Year diagnosed
How you were diagnosed?
How has your condition affected your life?
How have you grown since your diagnosis?
What do you wish people knew about your condition or chronic illness in general?
Picture of yourself or family (optional)

Your story has the ability to educate, empower and motivate others who might be struggling on their own journey. Telling your story can be freeing and therapeutic, not only for the listener but also for yourself. The more you share your story, you will gain a better understanding of yourself and it will also help build greater self-confidence.

Telling your story has the capacity to change lives, including your own.

Until Next Time,

The Genetic Diabetic

Superwoman, Surrender Your Cape!

Why a lack of self-care can be detrimental for the woman who does it all

Healthline recently surveyed over 1500 Americans with type 2 diabetes about their day-to-day experiences of living with their condition. The results were published in their latest article, called “The State of Type 2 Diabetes.” Participants were asked how they managed their conditions, if they can afford health care and lifestyle changes and how their diagnosis change their perceptions of themselves and their future.

According to the results, many Americans are having difficulty coping with the demands of managing diabetes along with careers and families. In addition, the survey results also concluded that 70% of the women that responded are more likely than men to put the needs of others before themselves despite living with a chronic illness, and face more challenges with balancing self-care with other responsibilities.

Ladies, does this sound familiar?

This is the definition of the Superwoman syndrome. This happens when a woman stretches herself too thin and neglects herself because she’s trying to do it all.

I tend to visualize this concept as if we’re eating at a buffet. Imagine yourself piling food that you like on your plate. Now you already have enough food on your plate. However, you want an extra piece of chicken. You can’t fit anything else on that plate. Instead of getting the extra piece of chicken after you’ve finished your meal, you decided to get chicken anyway and placing it on top of your full plate. As a result, your plate is overflowing, making a mess.

As women and caretakers, we already have a lot on our proverbial plates. We have homes to manage, families to take care of, businesses to run, and/or jobs to do. When we don’t take the time to properly care for ourselves, our plates will overflow, causing stress, exhaustion, burnouts and breakdowns. Stressful situations and environments are major risk factors for many illnesses, including type 2 diabetes. If you’re already diagnosed with diabetes, then the additional stressful demands of playing superwoman will make it extremely difficult to manage our conditions, causing us to experience more health complications.

Ladies, we need to surrender our capes and take better care of ourselves!

If we want to continue to live a healthy life while managing diabetes, then we have to learn to prioritize our health because nobody else will do it for you. Surrendering our capes is not a sign of weakness, but of great strength. When we surrender, we are implying that we can no longer go on like business as usual. We give up the notion that we can do all and be all for everyone. Surrendering gives us a sense of peace and relief. Surrendering our capes is not a form of selfishness but an act of love and respect for ourselves. It doesn’t mean that we stop caring for people and helping others. We’re properly caring for the bodies and minds that we’ve been given so we can be a blessing to others. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel guilty for prioritizing yourself by taking care of your health first.

Superwoman,

Make that doctor’s appointment.

Get your A1C checked.

Have your eyes and feet checked.

Meet with that dietitian.

Go talk to that therapist.

Attend that support group meeting.

Prioritize and set your boundaries.

Ask for help.

Learn to say NO!

Superwoman, free yourself, surrender your cape and put your health first!

Until Next Time,

The Genetic Diabetic