Omg hiiii. How are you all?
It has been FOREVER and I’ve RIDICS missed talking to you all.
It’s been a long long long long longggg time since I came on here and totally and utterly word dumped on you.
But my darlings, it is TIME.
I can’t lie, I feel I feel absolutely sick with nerves about putting this blog out there into the world.
Would you believe me if I told you that what you are about to read has been nearly TWO YEARS in the making. I KNOW!
WHAT THE F SAMMY????
But I promise I can explain…You see there has been a LOTTT going on behind the scenes. And my god it’s not been all that pretty. In fact some might say it’s been utter chaos and I have sooo much to update you on.
It’s beyond crazy to think that I started writing this blog to you in early 2021 live from Summersholiyay HQ, in my crumpled pjs dosed up to the nines on meds (spoiler alert one- more on that later) hoping to upload it to the world a few weeks later. And now, it is February 2023. FEBRUARY 2023. And not a blog post in sight in all that time. Thats so shocking of me and I truly apologise. I’ve absolutely neglected you all and I think it’s about time I told you all exactly what’s been going dowwwwwn. And still is going down.
I truly wish I could tell you all that i’ve been super quiet on the blog the last few years because behind the scenes I was doing something insanely cool, like writing that book I’ve been talking about for years. Or travelling the world with Teds.
But instead; it’s because I have unfortunately had a horrible health scare and have been rotting away like Mrs Havisham in her cobweb mess of a life; trying to get better from a pretty scary time. As well as trying to wrap my head around exactly what has been going on with me and accepting my new life/health situation.
And unfortunately this life situation is the reason why I haven’t been able to extend my wonderful perfect family as of yet. (Double spoiler.. I’m trying to build the tension and all that)
But I am going to talk to you about that in much more detail a little bit further on…..
…..Oh and then throw in a chaotic two year old who wakes me up every day at 5am, mix that in with trying to navigate being a working mum back in Telly Land- and wellllllllll I guess you can say that everything in my blogging life has gone to absolute s**** oops.
The truth is- I have attempted to upload this blog over the last few years, what feels like maybeeee one milliiiiiion times, tried to update you all in my usual sarcastic style, then deleted the whole thing wanting to throw my laptop out the window in the process.
Nothing was working. I just couldn’t get the words out.
So instead, this has just sat on my desktop for months and months and MONTHS collecting dust.
I guess the truth is, is that these last few years are probably the most scared and confused i’ve felt in a long time and trying to process everything has been quite tricky so the words just haven’t flowed out like usual.
But today I feel like everything is bubbling away inside me and quite frankly I’m ready to burst. So I’ll do my best to update you without boring you to tears, and I genuinely hope my silly ramblings may be able to help someone else one day or raise awareness.
Which is exactly why I started my blog.
I mean lifes not alllllll boujee afternoon teas and glittering turquoise seas is it? (Says the girl who spends the majority of her life stuck on the central line). But here I once was; living my best glamorous life taking you to luxury hotels around the world and now I’m just a hot hot mess about to talk to you about all things medical.
How utterly riveting. Aren’t you so glad you stuck around?!?
And oh god I’m doing it again, trying to stretcchhhh this introduction out, wanting to chat to you about anythinggggg BUT the subject I’m supposed to be.
And there’s no cute way to put this into words. So lets just cut straight to the chase. Here is what’s been going dowwwwn.
In April 2021 I had a huge shock when I was diagnosed with two different Autoimmune disorders, which I will have to unfortunately live with for the rest of my life.
Number One- Hyperthyroidsm.
And Number Two- Graves Disease.
Both of these delightful disorders have had a huge knock-on effect to my body and have badly affected my heart, throat, eyes and muscles.
So there we have it. It’s all been going OFF.
It’s been a totally wild ride full of stunning ups and downs.
You know when you’re 29 and in a state of panic about hitting the next century, but then everyone reassures you, ‘oh hun chill out, your 30’s will be the best time of your lifeeeee’…. well, I didn’t quiteeee get that memo yet. Instead I feel like in the last two years I have aged by 3000 years and spent the majority of my days vibing Mrs Trunchball. I’m beyond tragic.
“But WHAT DA F is Hyperthyroidsm and Graves disease???” I hear you cry.
Huuuunnnnny I KNOW. That was my exact thought process too. I’m ashamed to admit it to you, but I didn’t truly know where the thyroid even lived.
I meeeeeean what even is a thyroid??? Why are you there??? WHO IS SHE????
Oh, apparently she’s quite bloody important who knew?!?
Soooo, i’m going to try and make sense of it all for you without giving you the migraine of the century.
Because I have learnt that unfortunately this is a seriously common thing for us girlies to go through, especially after pregnancy, and so I feel it is my duty to you all to raise awareness.
You might need to put the kettle on though. And grab a biccie. Or ten.
WHAT IS HYPERTHYROIDSM AND GRAVES DISEASE?
I think we better start with the basic bitch of this blog and to quickly summarise who the Thyroid is and where she comes from. Think MSN ASL days. If ya know ya knowww.
So… here she goes…..
The Thyroid lives in our neck, just by our gland, and is supposed to resemble the shape of a pretty lil butterfly. (My butterfly has been beyond bitchy).
This butterfly’s main function is to produce hormones to help regulate our heart rate, muscles, nervous and digestive system. So their pretty damn important. And when someone has a Thyroid problem it is usually because they either have an ‘under active thyroid’ or an ‘over active thyorid’. I fall into the latter but on a way way higher scale woohoo… but more on that later….. gotta keep the suspense and all that.
Actually, I suppose I should probable re-ee-wind a bit and try and give you the back story of how I knew something was up. The truth is, I absolutely neglected myself and I’m kicking myself for it now because deep down I knew something wasn’t right for a good few months but hindsight is a wonderfully annoying thing isn’t it?
THE SYMPTOMS. (JANUARY- APRIL 2021).
Lets throw it back to early 2020, and after giving birth to my one and only Tedster I still looked pregnant for about six months, and I was absolutely okay with that. To a degree. I had just brought a stunningly scrumptious new life into the world, we was in the middle of the scariest lockdown and I was in no rush at all to get my figure back. I mean even if I wanted too, my body needed to rest. So even though I felt frumpy AF and nothingggg but the kitchen sink fitted me, I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself. The forth trimester is bloody HARD and all these superhero women who have just pushed a baby out deserve to have a few months of slobbering about without any worries.
That being said, when I did start losing weight without actively trying too in autumn 2020, I can’t lie and say I wasn’t bloody buzzing about it. Hiii ya waist, where ya been for 18 months? And are those JEANS that I can now put on. Without a thick cotton fabric thing slicing into my insides. StunnING.
By Christmas 2020, whilst shovelling in the green triangle Quality Streets to drown out the pain of the daily press conferences and a bday without my family, I was still losing weight, could fit into everything from pre preggers, and I felt quite smug. Yay shes back. Even if no-one can see.
But then it got to early 2021 and I started seeing ribs. I didn’t like it. Ive always been the short petite girl with curves and haven’t had a flat tummy since Zante 2007 but I was starting to look skin and bones and didn’t recognise myself. I think the trouble was I knew I wasn’t actively trying to lose weight. In fact I had just gone back to work after maternity leave, which was 99% working from home, sitting on my bum typing and zooming all day long, drowning myself in delicious takeaways and eating like a little piglet with a diet that consisted mostly of chocolate buttons. Cos ya know, what else was there to do during that lockdown?
When I started going for daily walks with friends around March 2021 time, I got a lot of concerned, ‘are you okay, you look really skinny and tired’ remarks and I can’t lie, it did get to me.
“Ummmm hi huns I’M A NEW MUM. I wanted to scream. OF COURSE I’M BLOODY TIRED. MY SKIN HAS BEEN GREY AND SEE THROUGH SINCE MARCH 2020 AND I HAVEN’T PROPERLY SLEPT IN 40768750 YEARS”.
But instead I told my friends I’m totalllllllly fine, just finding the working from home/ looking after a crazy crawling toddler in lockdown balance tricky, whilst in reality I was spending the majority of my time secretly hating my new found skinny reflection and looking at the mirror in dismay.
“Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” they say. Well I say f*** that. I was starting to hit panic mode and wanted my bingo wings and wobbly tummy back. Something wasn’t quite right.
Oh. But it’s because Teddy is on the move, I would tell myself. All is fineeeeee.
And off I would go to chase him down the hall and shove my worries to the back of my head again.
So there was Symptom one: extreme weight loss without trying.
I’m telling you all this in silly deets, just so you can see how easy some symptoms are to over look and pass off as normal. Especially when you’re a mummy burning the candle at both ends and don’t really give yourself the time of day. It is so ridiculously easy to neglect your self without realising.
Symptom two was an absolute worry that I was always physically aware of, but just ignored like an absolute MUG- severe heart palpitations. I guess for those of you who unfortunately have ever had a panic attack before, you know exactly what I mean by this. Where your heart bangs so loud and so fast you worry that other people can actually hear it. Where you’re trying so hard to try and stabilise and focus on your breathing whilst trying to have a ‘normal’ conversation but in fact you can’t even get your words out. And where you’re so out of breath, feel like you’ve done an actual marathon and it takes every ounce of your existence not to faint and collapse on the floor of exhaustion all whilst pretending everything is absolutely fiiiiiiine.
(Dramatic much- oh here she goes again thinking she’s on Eastenders).
I mean it does sound pretty ridics when I read that back, but I swear to you, this is how my heart felt constantly on a daily basis.
And the worst part of all, which I feel severe guilt for now- and soz hun in advance- is that I just blamed it all on my gorge little pudding chops Teddy Bear who was an absolute chunk of a one year old.
Hearts banging out of my chest again– oh its cos Teddy’s sooooo heavy to hold. Oopsie his got ginormous.
Feel like I’m gonna collapse in a heap on the floor– Its cos I’ve just walked up the flat stairs with Teds, just give me a sec, I’ll be fine.
Oh shit, my heart really hurts, I’ve got actual chest pains– ohhh that will be because I just had to quickly drop Teddy off at my mums with all his bags before work and the traffic stressed me out. No biggie, I’m home now phew.
Excuses, after excuses after excuses. But no time to dwell…. I’ve got a zoom in three mins……
And that was the cycle of my life for months on end. Neglect, neglect, neglect. And no-one to blame but myself. It does really upset and scare me to think how much strain I was putting on my heart without knowing.
Symptom three was extremely easy to overlook. Extreme tiredness and weakness.
I meeeeean name me a mum or dad in the country who is not feeling like they have been run over by twenty buses on a daily basis.
Or just me? Kl.
Moving on swiftly to Symptom four.
To tell you all the truth, this part of the blog is where I have froze every single time and then abandoned the laptop in a panic not knowing how to write the below without crumbling.
Anxiety really really sucks. I hate it with a passion.
It is also a really tricky, complex subject to write about.
I guess, because every single person in the whole world, especially in these last few ridiculously testing years, is going through their own shit; I have felt that no-one needs to also hear my moans or problems too, especially because I always want this blog to be uplifting and fun- not depressing and negative.
But at the same time, I know you guys always want the real me- so without going tooooo deep, I want to tell you all why life has been awfully testing these last few years, besides all of the health stuff I’m going through.
I think I am still trying to accept that my family have lost four incredibly close family members within 21 months of each other. Sometimes I think, no, it is impossible, surely it can’t actually be real that they have all gone??
In October 2020, just as the scary winter lockdown was announced, my amazing, hilarious and funny Papa Tony, the legend of our family passed away totally out of the blue. It was such a horrendous shock for us all.
My wonderful courageous Auntie Jan unfortunately lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer a few months later in the spring of 2021. She was the bravest woman in the whole wide world. I feel sick that she has gone.
To lose and grieve in normal times in awful enough, but add on the lockdowns and barely any support, let alone the horrendous small funerals we had to have for them both, and the fact their deaths felt so close together- everything just felt so unfair, heart breaking and terrifying. Teddy was honestly my strength.
I’m sure you have all also recently seen that my other beautiful Papa Stanley, who was literally my bestest friend in this whole entire universe lost his battle with terminal blood cancer last summer. As a family we learnt about his shocking diagnosis on a hot and boiling summers day in 2020 and slowly had to watch the life and soul of the party suffer more and more over the years. My grief didn’t begin when my papa died. It begun the day he got the phone call. I cried every day, for two years. The not knowing when, the fear, the utter horror having to imagine life without someone who was the centre of your world- even though they are still with you. We were just living our life with the agonising fear that at any moment something awful was going to happen. It has truly been hell on earth. He will forever be my hero and I am in awe of him for fighting so strong like the classy incredible brave man he has always been. We held hands until the bitter end but it is truly going to take me a very very long time to recover from saying goodbye to him. Sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe without him, and other times all I want to do is make him proud and throw everything into living my bestest life because it is how he lived his every single day.
And just when I thought my heart couldn’t break anymore or take more pain- five months later and only a few weeks ago, Papa Stanleys wife, my best friend, my sweet, wonderful and incredible Nanny Gloria who was the kindest lady you will ever meet passed away over Christmas. Another complete and utter shock for my already broken family and if I am being honest something I still haven’t got my head around at. all. How can both of my munchkins be gone? This is surely a dream that I am going to wake up from?
Our family truly have a huge hole in it which will never be repaired.
Every time I thought I was getting there with dealing with my grief and getting back out into the real world my family have had to deal with another terrible shock which has just set me back and back, and hopefully explains to you why my head and heart has just not been ready to write.
I am now going to rewind a little bit back to just before I got diagnosed in April 2021. For those of you who know me well, you will know that I’m usually a very very positive person, the one to bring everyone up, but looking back at the way I was feeling then; everything was feeling very dark and terrifying and I just didn’t feel myself for months. I really hated that. (Back at that time it was soon after I had lost Papa Tony, and my Auntie was seriously ill). And to sum up that year as a whole package; having a lockdown baby in a pandemic, the hideous aftermath of the forth trimester and feeling like utter s*** with no help, trying to work out how to have a career as a Telly Producer whilst wanting to be the most hands on mum everrr (spoiler alert three its ummm BLOODY HARD- but I’ll save that for a separate blog) a sudden career change for hubby, trying to move house and failing and just the daily stresses that lockdown brought, it was a lotttt for little old me to deal with and I was big time struggling).
So when I got diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism and found out that extreme anxiety was actually a very bad side effect of the disease, I breathed out a huuuuge side of relief.
Weirdly; being told I actually had something ‘physically wrong with me’, that was taking full control over my body physically and mentally was finally making me feel a lot calmer and in control because I knew I was now finally going to get help and hopefully feel better.
Ugh, I hope this makes some sort of sense. It’s really hard to get my words out and articulate it in the right way. Thank goodness this was the first time i’ve experienced this yucky feeling on such a extreme level, but I know that a lot of people have to deal with crippling anxiety full time and it can be so consuming, lonely and awful. If any of you are ever feeling anxious and need a safe space to talk to someone, please message me, I will always always be here for you.
Okay. Anyone else feel like they need a lie down? Soz know that was A LOT.
Let me quickly tell you about my last main symptom.
Symptom five: Uncontrollable Tremors.
The symptom that my mum saw, took one glance at, and sent me straight to hospital.
I had no control over my hands. It was most noticable when I was feeding Teddy. The spoon was shaking all over the place and everything was wobbly. The weirdest thing of all was that I was totally unaware of it, I couldn’t feel that this was happening. My sis noticed it the week before and questioned why I was shaking so much and I just laughed it off. Then when my mum saw it the week later and I went ‘Ohhhh that’s funny, Law said that was happening last week too’, my poor mum went white.
Cue the day that changed my life.
Yikes it all gets a bit dramatic from here. But in all honesty I am just so grateful to Susie Summers for instantly knowing something was wrong. I literally would have carried on the way I was for weeks because I just thought I was a tired and drained new mum.
THE APPOINTMENT. (APRIL 2021).
So here goes. I guess the story really begins here.
(Wait so that was just the introduction? Bloody ell Summers we will be here till 2024 at this rate.…)
The next part of this riveting tale begins with a seven hour queue on the phone to the doctors with a song I will now only hear in my nightmares, finalllllly getting through to reception, to then hearing the killer line that- PLOT TWIST- there were no appointments for at least a month with my GP.
Bet you all didn’t see that coming! I then admitted defeat and booked myself in for an early hospital appointment with a private doctor the very next morning purely just to stop Sue Summers nagging me. Cos when she nags. SHE NAGS!!!
When I walked into the GP at hospital she took one look at me and within two seconds told me she could see a lump in my neck, which is medically known as a ‘goitor’. I naturally crumbled and broke down, and through spluttering sobs tried to tell her the rest of my symptoms. She calmly and very matter of factly (is that even a word?!?) told me that she believed I had a Thyroid issue and needed to get my pulse taken that instant.
It was during this routine pulse check when the atmosphere changed and I could sense something was wrong. Whilst still speaking in a calm manner, she told me my resting heart rate whilst sitting still was 180 beats a minute, the equivalent of someone who has just completed a marathon, and I urgently needed an ECG. But I could sense her rising panic and alarm bells started to ring.
Even though I knew an ECG wouldn’t hurt I was absolutely petrified.
For those of you who have been with me for a while will know that being in any kind of hospital environment is my idea of HELL. I mean LOL I literally tried to discharge myself Houdini style and break out of hospital hours after birth to try and stop the nurses from giving me a blood transfusion whilst I was mid fainting.
“I’m fineeeeeeee”, I cried, whilst laying on the floor seeing stars -two pints of blood loss down. “Absolutely lovely jubbly and I’m gonna take myself home now huns, C YA!”.
And this is the girl who had to have four. I repeat FOUR members of staff pinning me down and singing songs to me in my first trimester whilst having some blood tests. Not quite sure who was more traumatised, me or the nurses?! Will always love them for the cute lil childs packed lunch box of Ribena and Quavers they gave me as a well done pressie for being brave. Ive come a long way.
So yeah, me and hospitals, we’re not that close.
Add in the Covid restrictions of being alone, well, that just nearly sent me over the edge.
Not that it took much.
I digress. Again. Where was we? Oh of course. Back to the hospital where I was now getting my ECG taken aswell as some urgent blood tests. I have never clutched the hands of a stranger so tightly before, and through gritted teeth and a lot of snotty sobs it was done.
I was told not to worry, and the hospital would call me with my results after the bank holiday weekend.
THE DREADED PHONE CALL- 24 HOURS LATER.
And now is the part where I wish I could tell you that I had a lovely May Bank Holiday weekend in the sunshine. But instead it was the opposite and unfortunately I think it was up there with one of the worst I have experienced. Cos when it rains, it bloody pours.
It was the very next day, Sunday 2nd May 2021, and I was preparing a cute pink cocktail for one of my lovely friends zoom baby showers. Approximately 14 minutes before I was due to log on -my phone was flashing with ‘unknown number’ and instantly I knew.
For the first time in my life I was experiencing what it felt like to have a phone call that turns your whole world upside down. Nothing was actually going in or making sense, I was just hearing random terrifying words and not listening to the full sentences.
“Abnormally high readings. Hyperthyrodism. Graves Disease. Body going into Toxic Shock. Hospital. Radiotherapy. Surgery”.
What the actual f was happening?
To be honest that phone-call is now a very distant fuzzy memory. I genuinely think I was having one of those surreal out of body experiences where my body was on autopilot, answering and nodding over the phone like a robot, but my mind was completely elsewhere. Part of me thinks I probably stopped breathing at a point. Looking back now I know I was in total shock and really didn’t deal with the situation well or take anything in, but thank god my hubby took full control and launched into ‘save the day’ superhero mode whilst I just sat staring at the wall. I was utterly useless.
To quickly summarise and make some sort of sense over what we were told (lucky that someone was listening, thanks Wazza) was that my blood tests came back abnormally high, (some of the highest they have ever seen in 17 years- fabulous) to the point where the lab had to urgently ring me on a Sunday as they couldn’t possibly delay waiting to give me my results back any longer. It was utterly terrifying.
My thyroid levels were so high, and putting so much strain on my heart, that if I would have left it much longer my body would have gone into something called ‘A Toxic Storm’ and I would have ended up hospitalised.
It still doesn’t feel real when I type this, and I’ve found it really hard to not let my mind wander and seriously panic thinking ‘what if I just left it that bit longer….’, because thank GOD I didn’t. And thank god I received medical help when I did, because thinking about the consequences of not going that Saturday are just too scary to process.
Now that the hospital knew there was something wrong I needed to take urgent action. In fact whilst I was still on the phone call to the hospital my husband was told to leave there and then to get some urgent medication called Beta Blockers to try and calm my heart down. It was like we was on a ticking time bomb.
The scariest part of the whole phone call was when I asked the dreaded question of… what happens now?
The doctor matter of factly broke my situation down into three very clear answers. A, B or C.
The best case scenario for my diagnosis was A– I would need to go on a shit load of medication and hope my body would slowly work its magic.
B- was utterly terrifying and made me feel sick to my stomach- I would need a form of radiotherapy. Too unbearable to even fathom or comprehend.
Or C. Worst case scenario. Surgery.
I was being sent to see a Specialist on the Wednesday to see just how severe my diagnosis was, and until then would need to rest my heart and basically await my fate.
I was an absolute mess.
I think one of the hardest parts about those four horrible days was seeing just how broken and scared my family was. Usually I would be the one to always see the positives in ANY situation but for those four days I was a true shell of myself and was completely broken. I couldn’t speak to any of my friends, didn’t want to look at my phone, couldn’t physically get dressed let alone leave the house and I don’t think my family knew how to cope seeing me like that. It took every ounce of my strength to put on a brave face for Teddy Bear and still ensure he sensed nothing was wrong. But it was actually Teddy that made everything feel so much worse because of the intense love I have for him and the pressure of wanting to be there and healthy for him forever.
One minute it was Friday afternoon and I was chilling with my mum and sister, not really a care in the world and 48 hours later I was fearing that I was going to be diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer.
God. It’s taken me two years to even write be able to write that word out and it still makes me feel utterly sick to my stomach.
But lets hurry up to the Wednesday because I am literally on the edge of my seat typing this, and if I stop I fear it will take me another three years to finish this bitch of a blog.
THE APPOINTMENT/ RESULTS.
Now they say not all hero wears capes. And whilst my hero wasn’t wearing tight spandexs. I can confirm he was wearing a lab coat and some gloves and basically became my new favourite person in the world.
Okay. Plot twist. I have a bitttt of a confession.
I don’t remember ANY THING about this appointment. I’m literally blank. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. (I think I’ve genuinely repressed the memory???) so feel like a lil bit of a fraud trying to sit here and tell you what went dowwwn when I absolutely can’t recall a thing. Ooops. Soz.
I mean for gods sake all that buildup and then she goes and bloody FORGETS the main plot.
CAN I HAVE A REFUND?????
So to keep this short and sweet for you – what I do know …..(mainly cos hubby Wazza was there actually listening and paying attention- OH and this is only because he physically barged his way past reception who tried to ban him from coming in with me. Literally loling as I type this because this is scarily becoming a common theme with him and hospitals. When they tried to send him home when I was mid fainting during my double blood transfusion after Teds he told them that he wasn’t leaving my side and to call the police and arrest him if they want to try dare send him out again. He got to stay. Hehehehe. I digress… back to it…)……
……And back to my wonderful Thyroid Specialist….who thankfully told me that he wanted to start my recovery by trying route A and I think I actually nearly fainted in pure relief.
Now there was every chance that my body was going to absolutely reject the medication, meaning we would need to go down the radiotherapy or surgery route. But he felt confident that I was going to defy the odds and go into what they call ‘remission’. And it was that push of positivity that gave me the fighting spirit I needed to absolutely smash the shit of my recovery and go into Superhero Summers mode who was going to GET BETTER FOR TEDDY BEAR!!!
But I genuinely want to take a minute to say just how unbelievably grateful I was that I didn’t have to go down the radiotherapy or surgery route. I know I had my guardian angels looking after me that day and I will never be able to put into words how lucky I am because I couldn’t even fathom the two other options. I am simply not brave enough. I am also truly sorry to anyone that has had to go through or is going through this right now- I am in awe of your bravery and strength more than you can ever ever imagine.
THE AFTERMATH- CAN I HAVE ANY MORE CHILDREN?
From that afternoon my new life begun.
I was to take medication ten times a day, and be tested every six weeks for the forseeable.
Since May 2021 my life has felt like a hamster wheel of continuously being monitored by the hospital.
Constantly being dosed up to the nines on the meds.
My face getting puffier and puffier.
Attending blood test after blood test.
Appointment after appointment.
Prescription after Prescription.
Prodded and pricked endlessly.
WITH THE CONSTANT BUILD UP AND FEAR OF WAITING FOR TEST RESULTS.
BUT CAN WE ALL JUST STOP AND TAKE A MINUTE TO APPRECIATE THIS.
BLOOD TESTS. EVERY SIX WEEKS. SINCE MAY 2021.
I’ve lost count of the amount of needles I have seen. But this hun can now officially walk into hospital ALONE.
Have a couple of needles stuck in her arm and stroll out after like a BAD BOSS BITCH. Don’t even recognise myself TBH.
It’s a good thing I like rides, cos my gadddddd these last two years have been an absolute rollercoaster of up and downs.
And, whilst Route A and being on medication was my absolute best case scenario, it has unfortunately come with some yucky set backs.
STRICTLY NO BABIES.
I am going to talk about this in a lot more detail further on soon, but to quickly summarise- The first and main one setback for me is that I have strictly NOT been allowed to try for a baby whilst taking the pills. Unfortunately the pills are so strong that if I was to try for a baby whilst they are in my body it could cause major problems for the baby. It is unfathomable and too awful to even contemplate that, and whilst of course it is truly my biggest dream to want to extend my family and give my darling Teddy a baby brother or sister that option has just sadly been taken away from me these last few years. (Which for control freak me who has a ten year plan, been a lot to get my head around).
Naturally as Teddy hit two I started to get more and more busy bodies trying to suss out when I was going to try for baby number two. And as Teddy nearly approaches three the subject truly isn’t getting any easier to talk about out loud. I have learnt the art of smiling sweetly and saying ‘hopefully soooooooon’ whilst swiftly changing the subject to what do you want for lunch huns?
50 SHADES OF GREY.
A less dramatic life problem, but one that has MAJORLY affected my confidence has been my hair and all of the side effects my illness/medication brought to my once luscious locks. The 2019 Sammy Summers was a bit of a bush head who resembled Tracey Beaker/ Janice from Friends on the regs. But unfortunately a huge side effect of having Thyroid Disease is your hair falling out. The summer of 2021 was an absolute nightmare. Think Post Partum Hair loss times a hundred. Hair washes would result in huge clumps of my hair falling out, and then an hours sobbing session from me whilst I blowdried the straggly pieces of what was left. I felt so sad. I know in the grand scheme of things this sounds totally vain and ridiculous because of course, all that truly mattered was that I needed to get better, but every single ounce of my confidence was knocked and as the weeks went on more and more and more hair would fall out.
And to add to the fun- another major tell that you have Thyroid Disease is going 50 shades of grey. STUNNING. At least Loreal have seen their profits go up since 2021 no thanks to yours truly.
Other life changes since being on the meds have seen me having to completely cut out caffeine, alcohol, peanut butter and it pains me to write this DIET COKE. Because of the ingredients triggering my Thyroid to flare up. Genuinely more upset about the DC than the Alcohol. Also if I could get a pound for every time i’ve had to say i’m not preggers just on meds’ the last few years when on a night out i’d be a millionaire hunnnnyyy.
WINTER 2021- NO MORE MEDICATION.
So you know that rollercoaster I was just talking about just a little bit ago? Well Silly Billy me had a sense of false hope last winter (2021) when after eight months of being on the strong meds my body was showing signs of recovery. I was starting to feel strong again, my heart was no longer beating 1000 miles an hour. My hair was GROWING back.
BOOM SHE’S BACK.
My Specialist wanted to wean me off my medication to see if my body could cope without them.
And it was all going amazing…….. Until it wasn’t.
It was now Spring/Summer 2022 and I was starting to feel utterly exhausted again. I was told by the Doctor that in the next few months I would need more tests to determine whether my body was going into remission or if I had relapsed.
The truth was, was that we had a holiday booked to Dubai in June and I desperately DESPERATELY wanted to try for a baby there, having spent six months weaning my body off the meds. But I knew I had to wait for my test results shortly after.
I was going to spend those ten days trying to eat as healthy as possible and relax my body as much as I could to get the results I felt I had been waiting a lifetime for.
But it wasn’t to be- as last July my test results sadly showed that my body was not coping without the medication.
TRYING FOR A BABY WITH THYROID DISEASE.
We had an important meeting with my Thyroid Specialist last summer to discuss all things babies. He knew how desperate I was to try for a baby as soon as it was possible too and wanted to lay down all of the facts for me.
To keep this as simple as possible- imagine a chart from one to ten. On this chart, people with a healthy Thyroid will fall in-between the numbers 0.4-2.5.
And I had been way off this for a little while.
He informed me that if I tried for a baby (off medication) and my numbers were not in this category I had a high risk of miscarrying in the first trimester because my thyroid would not be functioning properly.
I felt absolutely sick. There was no way on earth I would risk that.
I knew there and then that I would one thousand percent follow the doctors advice and do whatever it took to try and get my numbers in this range. However long that may be.
So in early July 2022, back on the meds I went. Hello old friend, I wasn’t expecting to see you quite so soon. It felt like months of prep were then to be thrown out the window. And mentally, it also was quite a lot to deal with.
THIS WAS NOT PART OF MY PLAN!!!
And now, six more chaotic months have flown past, and I am writing this to you in early 2023 with some hopefully more positive news.
The medication is doing its thang and my levels are nearing the range they need to be. And we are back to that coming off the meds stage.
Now before you all get excited for me (love you all) can I just remind you that last time I thought I was getting there, I came crashing back down to earth a few months later when my body did a sudden U Turn.
And what happens next? Well that is the total unknown. Again.
But what I do unfortunately know is that, these two diseases are something that I am going to have to live with for lifey. They will never leave my body, and will just have to be strictly managed. Forever. So with that; needles, appointments, hospitals and medicine are just part of the VIP package to maintain it and keep me as well as I can be.
But rather than going through this alone, I thought it was about time I brought my blogging family along for the chaotic journey.
It has been really hard and lonely keeping this all to myself, and now I feel ready to raise awareness, share the ins and outs of living with this disease with you all- and maybe even chat to others who have gone through something similar.
From now on, you are going to get allllllll of the details. The good, the bad and the ugly. Maybe even some exclusive behind the scenes footage if you are lucky.
And with that in mind I am going to call time on this blog and slowly start to wrap things up.
Please let me finish this almighty blog by saying that although it has taken me a long long time to readjust to my new life situation; through time I now completely accept that, this is the new me.
I appreciate every single second when I don’t need to be on medication and I know that the greatest gift in life is my health.
And what I have learnt from this horrible journey- is that unfortunately health is never a given.
I know SO many people have had to deal with health issues that are a hundred times worse than what I have gone through and I absolutely do not need or want anyone to feel sorry for me. Infant I count my lucky stars with where I am today because back in May 2021 I was utterly terrified and heartbroken and I wish I could have told that scared and broken Sammy Summers to hang on tight because things would slowly improve.
And, of course having a second baby is something I crave more than you can even possibly imagine. But at the same time I am lucky enough to have everything I could possibly dream of in my life- my Teddy Bear- the love of my actual life. To yearn for more actually feels greedy, so instead of focusing on what I potentially might not have cos of this shitty disease I want 2023 to be the year where I only think of what I DO have. And what I do have- is a sensational, beautiful, cheeky, handsome, near three year old who thinks he is 23 and makes me belly laugh every second of the day. I have hit the jackpot.
So much has happened over the last few years and I just want to stop feeling so sad. So this year (as long as everyone in my family and friends pg) stay healthy; I am making a vow to myself that whatever is thrown my way I can and I WILL deal with it with my head held high. I have no idea if I will ever be lucky enough to fall pregnant again. I have no idea if my body will ever be able to hold a baby again. But what I do know; is that it is all out of my control, so I will continue to wish and dream and never give up hope.
So I am going to leave this here, and if you are still with me- then I want to thank you all from the bottom of my hopefully beating a normal rate heart. Because it truly truly means so much that you care enough to read through all of my ramblings. And for hopefully being with me on this long and confusing journey.
And for any other Thyroid heroes out there, I see you, I hear you, I am you.
If you enjoyed this, please read some of my other baby blogs below.
This made me so emotional, I can’t believe what you have been going through. The strength you have had to go through all of this whilst being the best mum to Teddy and working as well is actually unbelievable. It’s so amazing to feel the hope shining through towards the end of this and I just know you will get the happy ending you want and deserve. Sending you SO MUCH love xxxx
Just finished reading this my lovely. Wow, what a awful journey you’ve been on. It looks like things are improving and I really hope that they continue to do so. Sending all three of you huge love and I hope 2023 is the best year, full of joy and love. Jenniexx