001 // I don’t want Hashimoto’s; my journey from fear of thyroid problems to hope
Health with Hashimoto’s is the free weekly podcast where the exhausted mom can find a path to whole health.
You will find this episode below in whatever fits your learning style best: listen to the podcast, watch the video, or read the transcript.
In today’s episode, I share my story: I was afraid to get a diagnosis. I didn’t want to hear that I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. In fact, thyroid problems confused me. Because I teach holistic health, this made me feel like a failure. I wondered: Why am I so tired? Am I falling apart? What’s going on with my body? Why am I struggling?
After getting my diagnosis, I now help other women discover a path to health with Hashimoto’s.
Listen to Podcast:
Read the Transcript:
What was life like for you before you got your diagnosis with Hashimoto’s? Or maybe you don’t have it yet, and maybe you’re in the same spot that I was before my diagnosis. I felt exhausted, depressed, and defeated. Most of all. I was confused, and I was scared because I did not know what was going on.
I am a nurse, and I have been a nurse for over twenty years. I went back to school after working in the emergency department for about seventeen years–I went back to school for holistic health. I am a holistic health educator. I understand health.
So when all of these things were going on inside of me. I didn’t know what was going on, and I was scared. I’m like “What?! What is this?”
I don’t like to be confused. I don’t like not knowing the plan, not knowing how to progress. Maybe you can relate.
Now, I thought maybe thyroid, but I really did not want my thyroid to be a problem, because every time I studied thyroid, whether it was during my original four years in nursing school, or whether it was when I went back to school for holistic health, or even as I’ve done continuing education, every time I came across thyroid stuff I would do my best, I would take notes, I would try to figure out what was going on, and every time I left confused.
It’s too many letters: TSH, T4, T3… Too many letters. Too many things that did not make any sense in my brain. Things going up when other things are going down. I just did not get it!
So I decided, when I felt horrible, that it could not be my thyroid. Because I can understand anything else. You can just stop me on the street and ask me any question about health, and I can probably give you a whole-person perspective. I can talk about body, mind, spirit, diet, and environment, as related to your question, and how to move forward. That’s what I do.
But when it comes to the thyroid, that’s always confused me, so I was like, “No! it cannot be my thyroid.” And so I’d look at thyroid symptoms, and pick out all the ones that did not describe me. And of course, if you’ve ever looked at the symptoms of Hashimoto’s or hypothyroid, you know that they cover the gamut because every single cell in your body needs a little spark plug. It needs energy and that comes from your thyroid. So every single cell in your body is affected by your thyroid, which means the symptoms of hypothyroid (low thyroid hormones) is going to affect everybody differently.
It can range from heart palpitations (like feeling your heart go crazy) to your reproductive health, to your emotional and mental health. Of course, when people think of thyroid they typically think of losing your hair, weight gain, and feeling cold.
There are so many different symptoms.
So I would look at particular symptoms and think, “Nope, I don’t have these particular ones so clearly it’s not my thyroid,” because I did not want it to be. Having Hashimoto’s, or thyroid problems, scared me, and so I did not seek a diagnosis for a very long time. Somehow I felt like if I didn’t have a name for it, I wouldn’t have the problems.
Once I sought help, and once I got my diagnosis I turned to my husband, and I said, “Here are my labs. Please help me.” It was the best decision. I gave him an educational video to watch along with my lab results. And I said, “Okay, here’s a little explanation of thyroid. Can you please understand what’s going on with my labs and tell me?”
And he did. He got me through that first day. And then I was able to go through all those lectures that had confused me before, and I was able to understand the thyroid with a whole-person perspective.
So now I understand Hashimoto’s, and I understand hypothyroid problems in body, mind, spirit, diet, and environment.
And this is my goal with this podcast: to help you understand so that you don’t feel confused and overwhelmed, and so that most of all, you don’t feel scared.
I want you to have a solid plan for health. I want you to have hope in your future because there is hope. You can have better health.
So, as we go through the next, you know, one hundred episodes or so, I’m sure you’re going to want to know who I am. Let me give you some background.
I have always wanted to be a nurse. Well, of course, that changed as I was going through high school, you know. Sometimes I wanted to be a doctor, or maybe physical therapist, occasional therapist. But I always went back to nursing, and once I graduated from high school I went straight to college, four-year degree in nursing. After that I went through a couple of different nursing jobs.
I always knew that I wanted to be helping people holistically, even as a freshman in college. I wrote a paper about how your health is like a three-legged stool. At that time I only knew three legs, body, mind, and spirit. Now, as time went on, and when I went back to school for holistic health, I discovered It’s not just a three-legged stool, but it’s five: body, mind, spirit, diet and environment. Everything impacts everything.
So I graduated from college and started working at a medium-size hospital in Minnesota because I knew I wanted to go up to Alaska, and in that environment it was one clinic, one medical doctor for an area the size of Ohio. The nurses did everything we ran the emergency department. We ran the clinic. We even did our own X-rays, and we had to make our own food for our in patients, if we had any. And when I say “the nurses” I mean one or two nurses in the entire building, taking care of everything. It was incredible.
I worked in Alaska for several years where I did get to help people, body, mind, and spirit. One of the reasons I loved that clinic was because it looked at each person holistically.
I know. Maybe you know that when you are feeling defeated when you don’t have any hope that’s going to impact your physical health. So helping people have hope, helping people know that they are loved, is part of medical care. I hope you know that you are loved, and I hope that you have hope for your future.
So after Alaska I traveled around with my husband. I was a travel nurse for a year, and we settled in Montana, where I worked in a level two trauma hospital. I worked in the emergency department and absolutely loved it. Eventually we settled back in Minnesota so that my husband could go back to school for nursing and it was about that time, while pregnant with my third kid, when I found out about functional medicine.
I remember sitting in the emergency department. (I was largely pregnant. They had me in a quieter area of the er because they felt bad for me, so that I could have a little calmer time, you know, as my as my uterus contracted. I was largely pregnant.) I sent my email an email to my husband three o’clock in the morning, I said, “This is what I want to do.”
Functional medicine helps people look at the root of things. Not just the symptoms. It was mind-blowing. I absolutely loved it, and that was my goal ever since then.
After my fourth son was born, I did go back to school, and I went back to school for holistic health. After I graduated, eventually I left the emergency department to open my own holistic health practice from my home, where I coach people over zoom even before the zoom was popular, and I love it. Helping women create simple and sustainable habits that will impact the whole person, so that she can enjoy better health. That is what I have been called to do. I love serving women in that way.
So as you can imagine, when I felt:
- confused as to all the things going on
- like I had nothing left halfway through the day
- like I wasn’t good enough
- like everything was my fault
- like I was falling apart
- too tired to do anything
- like I was letting every single person down.
I was so confused and I was so scared because I help women with these things!
In fact, I had taken my premium coaching program and put it into a format so that every woman can afford it with both her time budget and financial budget. It’s called Abundant Energy for the Weary Mom.
So I looked at this program, and I looked at myself. I’m like, “How can I be feeling this way? I teach women how to have abundant energy, and I don’t have abundant energy. What is going on?”
Eventually I did seek help. I got my labs, and I found out that I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. And like I said, I turned to my husband, and I asked for help.
And now I am here to help you figure out the path forward. Because there is a path forward, and there is hope.
Yes, I know that Hashimoto’s can be confusing. I’m here to help you figure out what’s going on, and how to move forward.
If you have any questions as you listen to these podcast episodes, please send me a message. Go to my website, which is The Whole You (dot CARE) and send me a message, or hop over on Instagram and find me @EstherY.RN and send me a message. Ask me any questions, and we can discuss it on this podcast. I look forward to seeing you in future podcast episodes where we’re going to talk about:
- What do your labs mean?
- What do you do on the day of your diagnosis.
- What are the root causes of Hashimoto’s?
- How can you find health, hope, and healing.