When I first found out I had Hashimoto’s disease I was somewhere between shocked and confused. There’s really no way to describe it, I don’t think there is a word for it. Even after the doctor explained that I could have it, I never thought that I could actually have it. Being diagnosed with hypothyroidism was one thing, it’s a condition, I might not need to be on medication for it. But a disease, an incurable disease… that’s different.
I joke about it now, but it took a minute to come to terms with it. The fact that I really had no symptoms made it even weirder. How could I have a disease? I feel totally fine, but my body is attacking my thyroid? It was a head scratcher. I talked about it with my husband quite a bit, how I really couldn’t believe that I would be living with a disease for the rest of my life. It was definitely strange.
Explaining it to family was another thing. Even though my aunt had it, we knew absolutely nothing about it. Didn’t even know she had it until after I was diagnosed. I think family is always more concerned about you than you are. My parents were uneasy about my needing to be on medication forever, I really wasn’t. I understood why I needed it.
It was fun telling my friends about it though. When you tell your friends that you have a disease, it usually gets you a pretty good response. I remember telling my best friend, (I’ve literally known him since he was born) and he was so concerned! He could not understand why I was so nonchalant about it. He did feel better when I explained it to him and let him know that I am, indeed, okay.
But it’s still weird. Some days more than others.
Disease is such a harsh word, it carries permanence. No one wants to have a disease or be diseased, especially for the rest of their life. I know, I know, it’s not the plague we’re talking about here, but it’s still something I find myself thinking about from time to time. You can also call is a chronic illness. Is that better? I don’t think so.
I’ll stick with autoimmune disease or thyroiditis, if I really want to throw people for a loop.