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Invisible Disability

July 2, 2013

me at the gym

I really hate admitting it sometimes… but I am disabled. I don’t have a visible disability. I don’t walk with a cane or use a wheelchair. But my disabilities impact my life in major ways nonetheless, including my weight and lifestyle. I have a lot of health issues, but the few that really matter are bipolar disorder, hypothyroidism, chronic bicep tendinitis, and a poorly-healed tendon in my ankle. With all of these issues combined, I’m in constant pain, constantly tired, and often too anxious or depressed to leave my home or do much activity. Add to that the nausea that I get sometimes after I eat or while doing physical activities, and I’ve had to take a medical leave at my gym.

This pains me because I love physical activity. I love lifting weights and I’m considering belly dancing classes (that’s if I can get well enough first to take them). It’s not easy for me to get to the gym, even without the pain and nausea. Anxiety is one thing I haven’t been able to get under control with meds yet. I can barely leave the house by myself. I can’t even run to the store without having to beg my husband to come along. My anxiety is non-specific, meaning I”m not anxious about anything in particular. It’s just a nervousness that overwhelms me at the thought of going out alone.

But that’s not even the worst part. Sometimes I’m just too damned tired to do anything. Hypothyroidism fatigue is a special kind of fatigue. I can honestly say I’ve never felt any other fatigue like it. It’s a bone-deep tiredness, a physical tiredness that surpasses that of a hard day’s work, or a night with no sleep. I’ve been so tired I couldn’t even feed myself (which, hey, spirals down into eating disordered thoughts pretty quickly). I’ve been so tired that I thought I wouldn’t even care if I died. That’s a special kind of tired, folks.

Then there’s the injuries. I can’t do any exercises with my arms. The chronic tendinitis is severe, and after over a year of physical therapy and several steroid shots, it only seems to be getting worse. Next step is an MRI, but that’s beside the point. Because of my ankle, I can’t run or jog, or even walk very long. And if that weren’t enough, I get physically ill when I exercise (that’s the hypothyroidism coming back to bite me).

I don’t know if you know this, but bipolar and hypothyroidism also effect one’s weight. Depression and stress are known to cause weight gain, and guess what bipolar is? That’s right, a lifetime of depression and stress. I’ve mentioned before, but I was very thin before my bipolar symptoms started as a young child. When the bipolar hit, so did a whole lotta weight. Then there’s the hypothyroidism, which I’ve had (mostly untreated) for about ten years. And everyone knows hypothyroidism not only causes weight gain, but makes it virtually impossible to lose weight. Hence why I’ve never even yo-yo dieted. Many people lose and gain and lose and again, but me? I’ve never lost. Maybe that’s helped me accept my weight the way it is — having a constant knowledge that my body will never be smaller, not even temporarily.

So… who cares? So what? Why am I blogging about my stupid invisible disabilities? Because as someone with invisible disabilities, I’m often ashamed to admit it. I shouldn’t be ashamed because of all the Judgey Judgersons who think that health isn’t multidimensional or that everyone’s story is the same. I shouldn’t be ashamed to say that I don’t owe an active lifestyle to anyone. I only owe my own well-being to myself, in whatever way that I can manage it.

I recently got into a kerfuffle over a photo of mine being stolen on Facebook. It was a fitness photo. I was embarrassed that I don’t still go to the gym, and haven’t for months. But why should I be embarrassed about that? Why should anyone? No one needs to cite a disability to be excused from the gym. They can just plain not want to go. No one owes health to anyone.

So I’m not going to feel ashamed. I don’t go to the gym. I sit around most of the day, exhausted from simple tasks, and I’m not ashamed. What I am is sick. Not only sick and tired of this body that I constantly feel has betrayed me, but physically and mentally ill in a way that does not allow me to have the lifestyle that I wish. Every day I have to count my spoons and I’m lucky if I manage to make meals and clean up after myself. I won’t be bullied into doing things that are past my limits just because someone doesn’t want to see another “lazy” fatty. Screw you and your self-righteousness. You don’t get to decide for me where my priorities lie. Being thin will NOT come at the cost of everything else.

Maybe when my bipolar is stable, maybe when my thyroid disease is under control, maybe when my shoulders are healed (though my ankle never will be). Maybe then. Maybe. But if I do start working out again, it’s my decision, my choice, my body, my priorities. No one gets to decide except for me.

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50 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2013 2:49 pm

    I’m sorry you feel so bad. Take care of yourself! I am a huge admirer of yours…so keep up the writing and the sharing, please!

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 2, 2013 3:29 pm

      thank you, I’ll do my best 🙂

  2. July 2, 2013 3:02 pm

    as somebody with asperger’s, i get that kind of crap all the time, and it’s poisonous. i empathize (even though a lot of assholes think we’re incapable of empathy!) with being just so frazzled and tired you want to do nothing but lie there and die, even though you aren’t necessarily suicidal.

    i consider some parts of my asperger’s to be gifts, but some of it just sucks a whole lot. either way, i think you’re on the right track – fuck the haters. only you know what you can handle.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 2, 2013 3:29 pm

      thank you for the empathy! and you’re totally right- fuck the haters! I have zero fucks to give!

  3. July 2, 2013 3:05 pm

    Thank you so much for speaking up! I just recently allowed myself to buy a scooter. I’ve needed one for a long time, but instead just stayed home or in the car, because I was afraid that people would see me on the scooter and think “lazy fat person.” I have a foot that was trashed by a surgery that did not go well. I have problem knees that have been problems since I was skinny and in my 20’s. My partner finally convinced me that it was OK to just own those disabilities and get the darn scooter.

    It is good to take care of ourselves, and part of that is learning to tune out the ignorant and cruel voices, not only the ones outside but the ones in our heads, too.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 2, 2013 3:28 pm

      I have a good friend who’s contemplating getting a scooter. she’s fat and her disability has to do with her spine… but that’s not what people see when they look at you. People have no idea.. they just judge, judge, judge without empathy or compassion or, dare i say it, intelligence- ie, they’re willfully uninformed and question nothing about their own prejudices and stereotypes. So sorry that you’ve had to go through that kind of anxiety (i think i would have the exact same anxiety for the same reason if it were me) but i really hope you rock the hell out of that scooter (and paint flames on it.. it makes it go faster 😉 ) disability solidarity, yo

    • July 3, 2013 9:36 pm

      Thank you for your article, it really hit home w/ me! After a long time struggling w/ spondylolesthesis and mobility problems due to back/hip/leg pain, I finally put in for a handicapped placard! It is so nice to be able to park closer. Such a relief and such a leg saver. And I have started using the electric carts at times in the stores. It was funny, right after I got my placard, a man w/ a cane (who came in late for the movie) tried to throw me and my husband out of the handicapped seats at the movie theater. My husband spoke up before I could and said, “she’s handicapped too!” So the man went elsewhere. It kinda feels weird to me to think of myself as “handicapped” (not that there is anything wrong with being handicapped), but I have to face the facts that I have these conditions that limit my mobility at times. I have used handicapped bathroom stalls for decades because I don’t fit well in the small ones. But now I feel I have a “right” to use them. A therapist once told me that “what people think of me is none of my business.” So that is what I tell myself when I think I know what people are thinking about me using a handicapped parking spot or bathroom stall, or the electric carts at the store.Just let someone say something to me now, and I will whip out my DMV Handicapped Parking Placard ID Card! LOL.

      • July 3, 2013 9:42 pm

        …and I LOVE the spoons! Thanks for that too!

      • hlkolaya permalink
        July 4, 2013 2:01 pm

        It sounds like you’re really taking control and that’s awesome (and awesome that your hubby is also so supportive!)

    • Lauren C. permalink
      July 5, 2013 9:13 am

      Thanks for sharing about the scooter. I so need I one & just hate the idea of “too fat to walk” looks & comments! Me knees are so shot from playing softball 6 nights a week in my teens through mid 20s. Thank you for again. Everyone here gives me strength & courage.

  4. July 2, 2013 3:13 pm

    ****Potential Trigger Warning****
    I found a lot of your blog to be relatable, Heather. Also note, that a lot of old school psych meds can cause metabolic issues as well as chemically induced eating disorders from hell. I gained 96 lbs in 2 years from 2007-2009, before my pregastric bypass reversal, starting 6 years post operatively after my gastric bypass because I was on an enormous amount of psychotropics.. 2000mgs of Depakote, 800 mgs of Seroquel, 60 mgs of Zyprexa and 600 mgs of Topamax….Even though I had multiple gi bleeds, I’d either eat and throw up everything I ate, or couldn’t eat and still gained so much weight, even though I was so severely nutritionally deficient. Between the long term nutritional deficiencies from my gastric bypass and all those drugs, the cognitive damage is done. I can’t be on most psychotropics now such as mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics to control my BPD2, as per my last prescribing psychiatrist and long term PCP both agree they did too much damage, the new school meds I’ve tried have not worked, and I cannot have ECT because of concerns on more adverse consequences cognitively.
    I would not suggest, I’m not saying this to you as I think you know better but I have to consider anyone who might be reading this. Managing a bipolar 2 diagnosis without any meds at this stage, is very difficult. Manic depressive episodes are from hell, I’ve never had any euphoria being BPD2, and my hypomania times are fewer and farther between.
    The biggest high I ever got was from exercising. I also have severe chronic pain, neurological and health issues that make it difficult to exercise.. I miss it so much..
    Thank you for writing this…. Peace, Lisa

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 2, 2013 3:24 pm

      my sister had a lot of weight gain from depakote too. I’m on some of the newer drugs- abilify, vybryyd, klonopin, and neurotin. So far it’s the first cocktail to have NO side effects that I can identify. They may have an effect on my weight but if they do I can’t tell. It’s possible they just combine with the thyroid disease to keep my weight up but stable. anyway, i’m so sorry you’ve had to go through all of that.. bipolar is a crapy diagnosis. I used to have euphoric hypo but then I got PTSD and all that ended. now it’s just anxiety and irritability. I’m totally with you on missing the exercise but not being able to do it.. it’s a shitty thing to have to deal with when your body doesn’t cooperate like you want!

      oh, i forgot to add.. i’m totally teaching my sister about fat acceptance so she can give zero fucks about the depakote weight gain 😉

  5. July 2, 2013 3:16 pm

    Yikes I suck at proofing.. I was 600 mgs of Zoloft, I was on 200 mgs of Topamax (I have daily severe headaches and Migraines, Topamax ALSO was a nightmare for me on the 2 trials I was on it)which couldn’t counteract the effect that the Zypexa ,Seroquel and Depakote ……

  6. nof permalink
    July 2, 2013 4:03 pm

    Thank you for sharing your story, and I am sorry you are feeling so poorly.

    There seems to be a bigger myth of control around mental/mood disorders than around physical ailments. I have major depression and PMDD, and from many people there’s this stigma like I’m just faking and I could totally will myself out of it if I wanted to. You cannot will yourself out of a mood disorder.

    hyperboleandahalf’s post on depression, specifically the dead fish analogy, was so spot on to me on how healthy people just fundamentally do not understand mental disorders: http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2013/05/depression-part-two.html

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 2, 2013 4:18 pm

      You are so right. Physical diseases people understand, but mental ones? (even though the brain is technically still physical 😉 ) nuh uh. I especially hate the anti big-pharma people telling me that people on meds are somehow less than- love hyperboleandahalf by the way 🙂

  7. July 2, 2013 4:03 pm

    I identify with this post so much. People are always telling me that I would feel better if I just did X, when what they don’t understand is that a major functional part of my body is failing and I’m just fucking TIRED. No matter how much sleep I get. No matter what I eat. No matter what, I AM TIRED. Yay, hypothyroid.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 2, 2013 5:13 pm

      *exactly*. on that note, if you’re still that tired you should look into having your meds adjusted. i’m looking at going from a T4 replacer to a T4/T3 replacer because i’m still not functioning even though my numbers are good. i hate HT for that very reason though.. it’s a tiredness that you can’t even describe to people but they think you’re just lazy because you look fine but can’t even manage simple tasks. it’s so frustrating!

  8. vesta44 permalink
    July 2, 2013 4:13 pm

    I, too, can empathize with being so stressed and tired that laying there wishing you could die is a viable option. I have fibromyalia, depression, hypothyroidism (no thyroid at all, trying to get a new med regulated), arthritis in my knees, and I just found out I now have arthritis in my hips and degenerative disc disease in my lower back. There are days when it’s all I can do to fix a meal for my husband when he comes home from work, let alone clean house, do laundry, or anything else. I too count my “spoons” to see if I’m going to be able to accomplish everything I need to.
    I bought a mobility scooter last year, to use when I’m out and about, but didn’t use it much because we were using a ramp to get it in and out of my minivan – not an easy thing to do, even with two people, and definitely something I couldn’t do on my own. We now have a hydraulic lift in the back of the van – I drive the scooter onto it, strap it down, lower the steering column and seat back, push a button and it’s lifted into the van. I’ve used my scooter more in the last two months than I have in the whole first year I had it. And I have no fucks at all to give to people who see me using the lift and scooter and think I’m just one of those “lazy fat asses” who could walk if I really wanted to. I gave up caring what other people thought of me a long time ago and the older I get, the less I care.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 2, 2013 4:22 pm

      I’m so sorry for all of your health issues (who knew so many of us had thyroid issues??). I’ve also got a genetic knee deformity which will ensure knee replacements in about ten years (i’m 28 right now). and WOOO for not caring what anyone else thinks! as i told someone else, you should paint flames on the scooter.. makes it go faster 😉

      • vesta44 permalink
        July 2, 2013 5:07 pm

        I thought about the flames, but my scooter is red so it wouldn’t be easy to get them to show up. I’m looking for dragon stickers to put on it, dragons that are flaming as they fly. I think that would look rad.

        • hlkolaya permalink
          July 2, 2013 5:13 pm

          totally rad! 😀

        • Lauren C. permalink
          July 5, 2013 9:20 am

          LOVE IT! Maybe take scooter to a shop where they do that kind of painting on cars? Red scooter? How about yellow flames?!?!

    • Kerasi permalink
      July 2, 2013 5:00 pm

      I relate to everything that Vesta and Heather have mentioned. I have similar obstacles in my life due to the same types of (or same exact) issues and find it hard for people to understand the immense amount of turmoil that these symptoms cause. It’s really hard when people want to come over to my house and it’s not immaculate; I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been shamed for my housekeeping, my inability to fulfill the standards of others. It is disheartening, but I usually end up just restricting access to my most personal spaces when it comes to those situations. I mostly care about what I think, and it’s not always good. I’ve got the body acceptance thing down, but there are a whole other range of things that I still need to accept about myself and my abilities that I work on every day.

      • hlkolaya permalink
        July 2, 2013 5:16 pm

        oh god, i feel you on the housekeeping thing. My husband works, but I don’t (thanks disabilities!) and when my son is in school I mostly just sit around doing nothing all day. not because i don’t want to keep the house clean and catch up on the laundry and have dinner perfectly prepared when he gets home, but because I just can’t manage it. ten minutes of cleaning and i’m DONE. Even with my medication I’m still insanely tired ALL OF THE TIME. people don’t understand how constant or unbearable it is.

  9. July 2, 2013 4:29 pm

    I’m very grateful to folks like you who talk openly about these issues. I think it’s alot eaiser for folks to say “just get over it” then actually learning about different mental conditions. In my family it wasn’t just brushed off but buried down deep and I’ve had to watch them suffer through it. I also have pcos along with the mental issues, and I’ve finally learned to deal with it better. Thank you for your openness and being willing to share these things, it goes a long way to help others.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 2, 2013 5:34 pm

      thank you so much! I’m so sorry for all of your issues. It’s amazing how many of us have them! physical illness is hard, mental illness is hard.. but together it’s damn near impossible! and so many people don’t realize just how taxing it can be! stay strong!

  10. Dizzyd permalink
    July 2, 2013 6:36 pm

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the same trolls who yell about ‘lazy fat people’ are the same idiots who start screaming when they see a fat person exercising. Honestly! I’m sorry you guys are dealing with these issues, esp. with the stupid comments from brainless people. Take care.

    • July 2, 2013 7:02 pm

      Yeah, doesn’t that just make a shit ton of sense. “Lose weight before you start trying to lose weight!” Seriously, what idiots!
      Not that exercise should be about losing weight. I was just pointing out their lack of logic.

  11. lifeonfats permalink
    July 2, 2013 6:59 pm

    I consider myself so lucky to not suffer from mental disorders, accept for the occasional SAD when there’s too many days of rainy, gray weather, which I’m experiencing at the moment. However, I do have PCOS which is the probably the main reason for my weight, along with genetics. And I have arthritis in the knees which flares up during rainy weather. Exercise does help but I or you or anyone else shouldn’t be expected to constantly do it to become socially acceptable.

    So many people think we should never take a break, we should always be trying to diet and lose weight and we’ll feel better overall but forget there are thin people with mental issues too and we’re not telling them to stop eating and always exercise! People need to mind their own business AND stop stealing our pictures for their thinspiration too!

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 3, 2013 10:18 am

      we should start a club just for disabled fatties! it’s amazing how many issues people have in common.

  12. July 2, 2013 7:00 pm

    Reblogged this on The Cheese Whines and commented:
    I also have hypothyroidism and bipolar disorder. I have tendinitis in my wrists, but it only flares up when I have to twist something like a stuck lid on a jar. I have some rotator cuff problems but they wouldn’t sideline me too much. The fibromyalgia is what sidelines me in the pain department, and I don’t have as bad a case as some people. I have low-grade chronic widespread pain. If there were a color scale for pain with brilliant red being the worst and white being the best, mine would be a light pink. No need for hardcore narcotics. However, it is constant, and that is exhausting.
    I also wish I didn’t have to take blood pressure medication. I think it contributes to my depression.
    If anyone were to get on my case about “pigging out” at this point, I would kill them. I can’t freaking afford to eat more than one meal a day. I am absolutely not pigging out.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 3, 2013 10:28 am

      thanks for the reblog and gosh- i had no idea there were so many people with thyroid disease and bipolar! I’d heard that they can go together but i had no idea how true it was! I wonder why that is… as far as food though, have you checked your local food bank? maybe they can help. one meal a day is absolutely not enough. 😦 on a related note, ever notice how classist fatphobes tend to be? as if every fat person can even afford to eat lots of food, or that poor people can’t figure out how to eat healthfully, or even suggesting that poor people should be required to eat healthfully because obviously everyone has the resources to do that, right? I wish, most of all, that people could figure out just one thing- shit’s complicated. No matter what it is, what the issue or topic.. it’s complicated.

  13. July 2, 2013 8:32 pm

    Well and bravely said!

  14. Kat permalink
    July 2, 2013 11:54 pm

    I have bipolar, as well, and hyperthyroidism from drug abuse. I completely empathize with the inability to do anything, and I mean ANYTHING. Getting out of bed is an accomplishment. As much as I don’t want to say I am “sick”, it is probably true, isn’t it? It feels the same.

    -Floating about and feeling ya from another space.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 3, 2013 10:31 am

      it’s hard to admit when you’re sick and using the word “disabled” is so much worse. there’s such a stigma against disability (especially the kind you can’t see and *especially* as it pertains for fat people). so yeah.. admitting you’re sick is the first step. but hey, at least you’re in good company.

  15. Marilyn permalink
    July 3, 2013 1:35 pm

    As a currently thin person with invisible disabilities, I think it’s hard for fat people with them. I mean people seem to accept that I have emotional issues and chronic pain if I’m asked about what my disability is. I’ve never had anyone be rude about it or tell me that I shouldn’t be collecting disability.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 3, 2013 4:18 pm

      you’re absolutely right and I probably should have talked a little more about the differences between people with thin privilege who have a disability and people who are fat with a disability. It’s true that if someone saw you in a wheelchair they’d wonder what was wrong, but not blame you. whereas if they saw me with a cane or in a wheelchair they’d assume whatever was wrong I did it to myself. those are, of course, visible disabilities, but i th ink it carries over to invisible disabilities fairly well too . if i’m exhausted, i’m a lazy fatass. if my sister in law is exhausted (she also has hypothyroidism) then it’s “poor thing” and “what can we do to help?”. Not that my family thinks I’m lazy, but people at large certainly do I’m sure.

  16. BBDee permalink
    July 3, 2013 1:36 pm

    “No one owes health to anyone.” Amen Sister!!! I read a very interesting book called “The Obesity Myth” where the author goes further into this idea. He points out how “healthier than thou” has become the new “holier than thou”, that the way people in the 17th century blamed all problems on not living a “righteous” or “Godly” lifestyle, has been replaced with the same mentality directed towards living a “healthy” lifestyle. You see this self-righteous attitude about health all over the place, like in any commercial for drugs, pharmacies, etc. For example, one commercial for a pharmacy chain starts with the narrative “Health is a CHOICE…” and some drug for a chronic condition (I forget which one, there are so many being advertised) uses the phrase “remission was ACHIEVED”…

    Just another excuse to justify lack of compassion for anybody else. People used to judge you by assuming you brought it on yourself by pissing God off, now they judge you by assuming you brought it on yourself because you ate something that tasted good and missed a couple days at the gym. Same damn thing!!!

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 3, 2013 4:23 pm

      thanks for this reply. I’ve been meaning to read Capos’s book, but, wouldn’t you know, my library literally has zero fat acceptance books. I’m going to request it though and request a new book every time I’m done with the last until they have a fully stocked shelf! anyway, you’re so right about the culture of healthism that we have going on. like health is some kind of moral obligation and if you’re sick then you’re goin’ to hell!

  17. July 3, 2013 3:37 pm

    Thankyou for this post. I am a fatty with a chronic illness (hypermobility syndrome or EDS hypermobility type) which causes fibromyalgia-like symptoms though it is actually a genetic collagen disorder.

    I’ve never been the sporty type but have always been active, but now it is a battle just to survive each day. I wake up thinking “Oh god not again” and by bedtime feel like I have run a marathon. It is so true that those who have not experienced fatigue do not understand it. I don’t work and my 4 children are all at school but it is still a hard, hard struggle.

    I sometimes feel embarrassed if I am hobbling or limping due to a joint playing up, thinking I look like a “stereotypical unfit couch potato fatty”- how terrible of me! I have to remind myself that whatever the reasons for my physical condition, I deserve respect and love. I don’t need to prove that it is Not My Fault.

    My physio told me to “focus on cardio and weightloss”. If I’d wanted a demeaning lecture from a PE teacher I’d have gone back to school!

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 3, 2013 4:29 pm

      hey! I have hypermobility syndrome but I didn’t know it created fibromyalgia-like symptoms. my husband and son have it too. maybe i just have a mild case of it? they did all the hypermobility tests- looked to see if my elbows and knees bent backwards, if i could touch my wrist to my thumb, etc. It causes me pain mostly in my knees because my knees go backwards and a lot of times i just accidentally step wrong and pop my knee back in the wrong way. Can I ask- did you always have the chronic pain or did that come as you got older? I’d like to know what to watch out for!

      I know what you mean about limping. my old ankle injury causes me to limp after walking any good amount like if I go to a festival or have been out grocery shopping all day, etc. i’m so afraid of people looking at me with *that* look, you know? you’re so right though.. it wouldn’t matter even if I was the most stereotypical fatty imaginable… i still deserve respect and so do you! (so say we all!)

      • Katherine permalink
        July 4, 2013 1:52 am

        Hi :), yes the pain increased as I got older, mostly through having 4 pregnancies. The worst is my shoulders, the muscles are all tensed up trying to keep the joint in the right place, so there is a lot of tightness and soreness there and sometimes my arm movement is restricted. I also developed some food intolerances, which is appears may be related due to gut integrity being affected, my pain is less now I am strictly gluten free. I have pretty much every symptom except I don’t get dislocations. You might find this interesting if you haven’t seen it already http://www.cfids.org/pdf/joint-hypermobility-guide.pdf.

        • hlkolaya permalink
          July 4, 2013 2:03 pm

          thanks! I have chronic tendinitis in my shoulders from a fall.. a stupid fall! the orthopedist did say it had to do with my joints not staying put and maybe that’s why they just WON’T get better even though it’s been seven years plus a year of physical therapy and several steroid shots. thanks for the link!

  18. Elizabeth permalink
    July 3, 2013 5:08 pm

    I was hypothyroid (sorry to bring it up again) and undiagnosed/untreated for 30-plus years. Janie at the Stop the Thyroid Madness website is doing great work, and I highly recommend her site; I also recommend Dr Broda Barnes’s book Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness. One chapter details the mental problems that can come with hypothyroidism, right up to hallucinations and psychosis. I was really fortunate that depression was never my problem, as it is an extremely common symptom. For those experiencing absolutely unbelievable fatigue, you might want to research adrenal exhaustion, especially if you have fibromyalgia. My hypothyroidism is being treated, but stress has drained my adrenals and left me more fatigued than ever. I’ve given up on medical treatment (except to keep renewing my NDT prescription), and am hoping that lots of rest — which seems to make a huge difference — and glandular supplementation will help revitalize my adrenals. They are so far gone at this point that a wise practitioner would probably realize I’ve got Addisons.

    • hlkolaya permalink
      July 4, 2013 2:05 pm

      thanks for all of the wonderful info! and good luck in your treatment. luckily they tested my adrenals and they seem to be fine. i’m hoping i just need a T4/T3 replacer instead of just the T4 that I have now and maybe that’ll fix me up. I also like Thyroid sexy on facebook

  19. Lauren C. permalink
    July 5, 2013 9:05 am

    HI! I’m also part of the invisibly disabled! I LOOK fine. If you didn’t know me before I was hurt, you wouldn’t know anything was wrong!! I applaud your admission, it can be a tough subject to tackle. I also have that same thyroid issue, I completely understand!! I have an idea or two that might help. You can see my email address, drop me a line. 🙂

  20. Lauren C. permalink
    July 5, 2013 9:30 am

    For those of you who are disabled, Medicare (in some/a lot of cases) will pay for an attendant to come help you. I have one, & it has made my life SOOOOO much easier! She does housework, helps with med reminders, good company, too. For those who don’t care to go out much, meals on wheels, at least one hot meal a day. Hope this helps someone. 🙂

  21. July 8, 2013 6:13 am

    I saw that photograph before, and cringed at the troll postings which followed. Thanks for this brave and informative posting. Your “posing” blog is yet another potent contribution to size acceptance.

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