Can I share the last few days with like minded/understanding people? I need to know I'm not alone or going mad!!

This could be long, be warned!!

I run my own business (interior accessories and gift shop plus website) and was actually diagnosed hypo the day I got the keys for the shop in May this year. I was incredibly scared at first as I wondered if I would cope but then I wanted this dream for so long, I am going to fight this damn illness (easier said than done!!)

Anyway, we (husband, teenage daughter & daughters friend) had planned a trip to London this weekend so closed the shop and looked forward to the trip. However hypo symptoms reared their ugly head and hampered my walking around London, even getting the tube was a pain as you have to climb so many blooming stairs to reach ground level!! I have an iron deficiency and felt like I needed oxygen every time I climbed the steps. I tried not to let everyone know i was struggling at times as I didn't want to be a pain plus I didn't want the damn illness to get the better of me. But it was tough and I hate how this illness zaps the energy out of you.

The kids spent one day in a museum so hubby took me off to the shops to treat me to a few bits as I had been feeling low. Ended up in Jigsaw loving so many of their clothes. Husband was ready with his credit card, what more could a girl want?? Well, I can tell you what a girl DOESN'T want, actually I'll expand that, I can tell you what a middle aged, hypothyroid woman doesn't want and that's a pretty, skinny young thing attempting to help. Ended up in the "small" changing room with a pile of clothes, not one thing looked right, needed bigger sizes in the things I did like, these didn't look right either, started to get all hot and flustered then caught sight of my body in just my underwear and burst out crying. Found out later, Husband in turn buried his head in his hands and welled up too as he knew I was struggling. Abandoned clothes and changing room and stood in the middle of Covent Garden bawling my eyes out.

We went to see Les Miserables (very appropriate) that evening and ended up crying again as lots of deaths and i then worried I would die and leave my lovely kids without a mum.

Finally returned home, shattered. Felt like I could have slept a week and ached all over.

Opened up the shop the next day (today) but actually now wishing I had of stayed in bed.

First piece of post a rejection of a credit application, second piece of post a bill for £200 for some advertising which I thought was only going to be a third of that, clearly someone has their wires crossed (no doubt me), third piece of post, a hand written letter from a valued customer saying she won't buy from me again as I had discussed what she had bought from me and how much she spent with another business owner up the road. I realised I had done this, felt totally unprofessional, ran to the toilets and howled. Returned with a puffy blotchy face, red eyes and didn't have any make up to patch me up :-( I cannot believe I had discussed her purchase, it was only in passing, I wasn't gossiping but anguished over it all day.

The day was slow, takings were poor. I arrived home at 6pm, greeted my husband, then ran upstairs in floods of tears and lay on my bed in a dark room.

I'm ok now, I've got over it but just want fellow sufferers to know they aren't alone but selfishly want fellow sufferers to assure me this is perfectly normal for a hypo! I'm not going mad, am I???!!! xx

36 Replies

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  • Debsydoorknocker if you are mad, then it means that I must be mad too and that can't be right :-) You have just described a typical day in my life. I am also a business owner and I find it hard to drive forward when feeling so crap. Just remember what Shrek says "It's better out than in" and it's better to share how you feel than keep it bottled up. So chin up, you are not alone and am sure tomorrow will be a better day :-)

  • Fingers crossed! At least it's Halloween, if I have another rubbish day and end up with a blotchy face and red eyes, people will think I've made an effort!!

  • Loved your post but had a tear in my eye when you were in jigsaw's changing room. Tomorrow is another day and it will be better. Tell yourself that. I am currently ill in bed with raging temperature, which I was originally blaming on too much T3. That's a relief then. Any virus rather than thyroid going AWOL again. Btw I am in business too and maybe I would write an apology to your very upset customer and offer her a lovely incentive to come and shop again. She will then tell all her friends. ( great advertising for you). xx

  • Hi sorry to hear you are unwell, had to smile when you said a virus was better than thyroid playing up!! The customer had written "no reply required" on the back of the envelope but yes, I agree, she needs an explanation, an apology and an incentive to come back. It was just a general discussion with a fellow shop keeper, she asked if I had had a busy day, to which I told her I had. She then asked about a particular Xmas tree and had I sold any, to which I responded "yes, today actually and I sold it with all the decorations on it too", she asked how much that sale was and did a local buy it to which I ridiculously turned round and told her!! Can't believe I did, just didn't think. But then the "gossipy" fellow shopkeeper went and told my customer of our conversation. *Note to self, never discuss anything with nosey gossipy shopkeeper again. Lesson learnt, fingers burnt!! Hope you feel better soon xx

  • Hi Debsy, Thanks for your reply. Yes, it is so easy to enter into the. "We are all in it together,"chit chat. We have all been there. Are you in a small town? Even worse, if so. I hope she is generous spirited with your apology. Will probably become your best customer. Hope you do brilliantly well this Christmas. I want to visit this shop! xx

  • Hi Hen, thank you! And yes, it's a small town, in fact it's actually a village, uh oh!! x

  • Poor you, I can really empathise! But it does sound as though your medication is not at the right level. I wouldn't say that on the correct medication you never have any symptoms at all, but most should decline and in theory we should all be able yo live normal lives! So do hang in there and go back to your doc and tell him/her about the ongoing symptoms and ask for medication to be reviewed.

  • Thanks Lisa - I did o ack recently and she has referred me to an endo so hopefully I will be sorted in time x

  • Hi Debs-you have all my sympathies but on the plus side your husband sounds like a diamond :-) I'm not sure if this will help but I have a Ladycare magnet (for the menopause) and find that when I get the signs that I'm going into meltdown I just stick it in my knickers (yes really!) and it really calms me down.

  • just done try to board a flight. How will you explain "it's the magnet in my knickers" when the alarms go off in the airport :)

  • Yes...it could be a tad embarrassing!

  • Ha ha ha ha!!! That made me laugh! I shall google this magnet and see what I come up with!

  • Hi Debsy, Your great to keep going but then you have a wonderful husband.xx

  • Hi Bea, I do have a wonderful husband, I never realised how wonderful he was until I was diagnosed with this so it's made me so grateful of him, one good thing about all this. Hope you have someone special too xx

  • Yes Debsy I do have the most wonderful husband. I hope everyone has someone.xx

  • What meds are you taking? Are you being monitored every 6 weeks and the dosage increased?

    Getting the iron levels up is the main priority.... If you have low ferritin, then it leads to all sorts of problems.., hair Loss, non conversion and so on.......

    You can run a business and you can have a life, but you need to be on top of your results and meds... Do you know what your blood test results were?

    Thyroid and a new business both together..... Whew, you are going to have to remember to be kind to yourself and watch your blood results and the way you feel like a hawk!

  • Thank you Gala, my bloods were not good on the iron or the vit D but the doctor has given me meds to sort this, she has also referred me to an endo so hopefully I will be sorted in due course x

  • Hi Debs,

    So sorry you planned weekend didn't turn out how you would have liked and yes when your body is struggling with, not only thyroid illness, but vitamin deficiencies then something will, and usually does, give.

    Once you get your iron and VitD levels looking a lot better you will also feel loads better, please don't forget that while your levels are low then your thyroid meds are also not working at their best, so its a bit of a double whamee.

    I have learnt through experience (in other words the hard way) that pushing yourself when you are feeling so ill will only drag you even further down. You need to start being kind to yourself and realise that you can no longer (for now anyway) be wonder women and juggle 10 balls in the air all at once like you used to. You will get back to be able to do that but your body is telling you it needs rest. Just having a full time job and running a family is enough for it to cope with at the moment and putting any extra load on will just be to much. You need to retrain the way you think and learn to say "no sorry but I don't think I'm up to that at the moment" instead of soldiering on thinking of others first. No its not nice when you have to cancel things or feel like you are letting people down but the more you push yourself the longer it will take for you to recover, so in the long run to rest and look after yourself better now will benefit your loved ones later.

    I now know that I can no longer clean a house from top to bottom and go out and mow a huge garden all in one day - it just wipes me out and I feel ill for a day or two after. I have learnt to be kinder to myself and know my limitations (although the more my iron increases the better I am getting), I have an illness and need to slow down a bit - yes it was hard to make myself think like that as I have always thought of myself as a strong, independent, "I'll cope with anything" type of person but, as I said, I learnt the hard way and that to keep pushing and trying to "do it all myself" was just making matters worse.

    You have good family support and need to let them help you more (another thing I struggled with), just tell yourself that slowing down now, for a few months, will benefit you, and them, in the end.

    As for your customer - I certainly wouldn't beat myself up over it, as far as I can see you didn't do it intentionally so I would send her a credit note and a little sorry card with a short note explaining that, although you are not using it as an excuse, the illness you are suffering can leave you doing and saying things that are totally out of character.

    From today start being kinder to yourself.

    Moggie x

  • Hi Mogs, are you sure you aren't my guardian angel in disguise? You talk so wisely and I know I should listen and take on board everything you say. I once had three jobs, early mornings & daytime & a couple of evenings a week, I have two kids and a large home. I've never had any help, I did all the housework (we've got 5 toilets/bathrooms) and all the washing and ironing, cooking, shopping, I was so house proud and also proud of all I could do. Boy is it different now but all I seem to do is beat myself up that I cannot achieve even half of this in a day anymore. My daughters room is an absolute tip (despite me nagging and nagging and making threats etc etc), I'm not joking when I say I get palpitations just peering in the door way! I just close the door on the mess now.

    I am very slowly coming to terms with the fact I have an illness, In fact it's my terrific husband who tries to make me accept it. And you are right, I need to let him help me more because he is trying to in every way he can. I fight him as he is a Chairman and has enough responsibilities to cope with. But as he says, I am his most important one, d'aww!!

    Thanks Moggie, I do hope you have lots of lovely people around you as you are always there for us on here and you deserve it xx

  • Hi Debs - you really wouldn't want me sitting on your shoulder (that's what guardian angel do don't they???) as I'm way to heavy.lol.

    Moggie x

  • Hi

    Sorry to hear how bad you have been feeling but what you have written helped me a lot as its just like describing myself. I am conscious of spoiling holidays (first time in years was July this year and that was a disaster). You are lucky to have such an understanding husband. I think my husband is just so frustrated at the way this illness affects our lives to such a degree. My daughters who are now in their 30's don't even ask anymore. The clothes issue I can also relate to as people cannot seem to understand that when you are being treated to something nice you should be excited and grateful - once again not when I see myself in those unforgiving shop mirrors.

    As for the lady customer I would agree with others and write her an apology - once she had time to cool down and realises your indiscretion was not intentional I think she will accept your apology. Hopefully you are feeling a bit better today but you are certainly not going mad as there are a lot of us feeling and acting in the same manner.

    From today be kind and forgiving to yourself.

  • Hi Cassandra, thank you for replying. My husband is trying to sort some time away in the sun between Xmas and New Year to give me a break and I'm getting anxious about lying on the sunbed looking like a beach whale!! I daren't tell him that!

    It's a shame your daughters do not seem bothered any more, if its any consolation, my 27 yr old son ever asks either. To be fair, he wasn't living at home when I started to go downhill and I don't really let him know how bad I have been but he does know what I have and that it makes me unwell.

    How long have you been suffering with this? It sounds as though this affects your life quite a lot. Are you on the right medication? x

  • Moggie is so right - be kind to yourself and remember you simply can never please everyone, you are human and that you are trying your best.

    I swerve from anger and frustration with this illness to slightly better times of acceptance of the 'new me'. I am now a completely different person from the one I used to be. I used to be able to achieve anything I set my mind to and did not entertain failure or lack of performance. I used to be slim and outgoing. Now I have a fat tummy that has a life of it's own and I avoid all situations with lots of people (I find it hard to concentrate on conversations - bear in mind that I used to teach law at a UK university and deal with huge groups of people). I can only achieve one task a day - but the important thing is that I am learning to accept this as the new norm.

    I write from home which is not easy with no brain but I also publish regional 'life style' magazines for expats. Every time we get the next edition sorted I am absolutely amazed at myself - sometimes I realise then that the exhausted but organised me is still more productive than many well people. We are waiting today for the November edition to be delivered from UK printers - a large wagon stuffed with pallets of boxes of my work will get here and I will then oversee the distribution process. Then I will need a large mug of tea and a long sit down.

    There have been many times over the last couple of years that I could have let this business go - far too demanding and all those deadlines etc - however it does give me structure and of course being able to work from home when you have this illness is a godsend.

    One of the things that you learn in a business like this is that people complain! We have about 50,000 copies printed each year and you can bet your bottom dollar there is always somebody out there that wants to tell me how we could be doing this better - that something should be like this, or we should be covering that etc etc. Sometimes when you get those emails (particularly at the end of the day) you feel like you have had the stuffing knocked out of you, take it personally etc etc. However, what I have to tell myself and what you need to realise is that success is all about how you deal with the knocks - anyone could do your or my job if it were all easy.

    Your husband sounds great, mine is also - although I think even with the best will in the world they will never truly understand what goes on inside of us. He is having to learn to live with someone quite different from the person he married. We live in SW France and I am in splendid isolation - on a hilltop with nothing around me only woods and meadows and we used to have a steady flow of visitors and people to eat - now nothing, I don't want any of that pressure and only family come to stay. I don't go out at night as I am just too tired. I meet close friends but only for lunch and I never arrange to be available to anyone before 11am. My husband is somewhat younger than me and this change of pace is a bit of a shock to him, but he is very busy with work all the time so away from the house at least all day.

    Things I am doing to embrace the new (rather pathetic version of the old) me.

    Forgive myself for not wanting to do things.

    Say no to things that I know will cause me pressure/anxiety/tiredness - like a Halloween party tonight.

    Given up on housework - cooking and washing and the garden is enough - I now have to pay to get this done, but it is worth every penny and I am saving so much money with not going out in the evening!

    Trying clothes on is a no-no the depression that follows from the failure is too great. I have started to change the way I dress - I found a great Swedish on-line supplier which is a bit of a change from my usual - but with my tummy jeans are getting just too uncomfortable and so I decided to go for looser, comfier but importantly more colourful things and then I could sit comfortably and try not to just blend into a sea of bland and 'aging womaness'. This is the link to where I started to feel I could develop some hope gudrunsjoden.com

    I am planning on getting a small dog - never had one before but I can see now that the 'new me' has space for a companion that is non-judgmental and that may help me keep taking short walks. So I am researching this for spring when if I still feel the same way I am hoping to find a great little friend.

    Call me selfish - but I need the sunshine - I have issues with Vit D and here we have enough sunshine most of the year to keep things boosted, apart from December and January and sometimes most of Feb. So I am going to move myself down to the South of Spain - I can still work from there. It has been a huge leap to let myself do this, just for myself, as I know it does not make life easy for my husband. He will come for a few weeks but will then have to work so for the first time he will be coping for himself. I am shutting out any notions of 'bad-wife' guilt and I am just doing this for me. The new me that will not be partying and staying out late - my new life requires sunshine during the day, lots of sleep and working around what my own body allows.

    All of us have to adapt and the fact that you are managing to consider being in business shows you have great strength but don't expect it to be all plain sailing. Remember you are a great number of steps ahead of your critics and don't expect to be perfect - just the best you can be.

    Is there a local Thyroid support group in the area - if so why not get in touch - an offer to hold a coffee morning in your shop for their members - kill two birds with one stone - find support and spread the word.

    I hope today is a great day and that you pat yourself on your back for getting this far - acknowledge the changes that this illness brings and make it as easy as you can for yourself - remember you are a star!

    I am going to make a cup of tea and in a truly pathetic way work on a list of possible dog names (Martha is my current favourite) I have not even found her yet and she is cheering me up.

    ps what is your website

    xx

  • dogs, yes!!! In fact any pets. I have many many pets and frankly, had I not, I'd have stopped living decades ago. They don't care if I slop about in a smelly stained dressing gown all day and cry. Their eyes simply see a being they adore. Warts and all (thankfully warts is not something I have the misfortune to suffer from). Keeping pets means that however shitty (am I allowed to say that?) your day is, you have to get up and think about another being's needs. A walk in the fresh air, an hour rearranging a cage or tank and not really having to think about yourself, is better than any pill. I'm struggling at the moment because of uninterested doctors and no firm diagnosis. I have become interested in entomology (pretty beetles and cockroaches) and amphibians (pretty frogs and toads) and when I feel like life it really too much to bear, I stop whatever else I should be doing, and rearrange the faunariums, look for pretty plants which will embellish them and turn them into a display, or I brush the dogs, or cuddle a cat. Go to a rescue centre, and choose a dog which you feels will need you. I end up getting the oldest, most unlikely to appeal, ugly dog I can find, figuring that it's life is much more hopeless than mine feels at the time that only *I* can make it better. That makes me feel a worthwhile, powerful human and I glow in the knowledge that I helped a suffering being and brought it from the shadow of death, into the sunshine, and all by magic, that alone has made even gloomy days seem sunny.

    Incidentally, I am a bit of an animal 'expert' now. Including being a dog behaviourist so if you would like any help at all, I will be more than happy to give it. Seriously, don't go and buy a pretty and sweet puppy whose life would be great anyway, go and get a dog from rescue, whose life was bad and perhaps painful and frightening, and then bask in the knowledge that you made a difference. In Spain for example, many of the hunting type hounds (Galgos?)lead dreadful lifes and end up shot, hanged, abused, abandoned when they are no longer useful. Yet they truly make just the most grateful, faithful, adoring dogs you will even be lucky enough to live with. And they really really don't need loads of exersize. Much less in fact than most small dogs. And on the days you can't face the world, it'll lay beside you on the bed all day , gaze at you and tell you that you are the greatest human in the world and it considers it is it's duty to make your life as wonderful as you made *it's* life!

  • Having a dog is the best thing in the world! I agree with fenwoman though - have a look at rescue centres rather than looking for a puppy. From experience, having a puppy is a bit like having a new baby in the house (only nicer) and it's incredibly hard work - if you're still struggling with your energy levels/medication you won't appreciate the extra demands. However, an older dog won't be as boisterous or energetic and you won't be racing around like a headless chicken trying to keep up with it.

    I have a Jack Russell called Jasper and he's just amazing :-)

    (Sorry - I realise I've been no help at all with anything thyroid related but once the "dog" word is mentioned I get all soppy).

  • Really enjoyed reading this reply, thank you France! You have listed things I have experienced without realising it was thyroid related. We moved out into the country three years ago and gradually I have isolated myself. I am fairly new to this area too and don't have many friends, therefore isolating myself was easy. I have to attend functions etc with my husband and I spend the evenings either worried I'm saying the wrong thing or feeling completely removed from the whole situation.

    I think I may just start a coffee morning the shop or thyroid sufferers, what a terrific idea! Why didn't I think of this??

    You are so not selfish for living abroad because of your need for sun! My shop lease has an optional break in yrs time, if I'm not feeling well still, I'm quitting, selling our house in the country and swapping it for a house in the sun too!!

    We have two dogs, Bella because she is beautiful and Halle because she has dark brown eyes like Halle Berry however we call her Halle Bean or Beanie because all she ever does is lay on her back with her "bean" on show!!!!

    Love the name Martha by the way!!

    Website is belle-la-vie.co.uk

    xx

  • This sound so normal...... and understandable. I can imagine being just the same, haven't you got a lovely husband though, credit card out and welling up for you...... you will feel better.... I run my own business and the other day wrote a press release with one letter missed out of a word that altered the whole meaning of something. I sweated over that and in panic called all journalists and press officers who laughed and thank god hadn't printed it.... The woman that wrote to you could be charmed. Why don't you call on her - if you know her address, say heartfelt sorry, explain you haven't been well and really didn't mean it, give her some flowers and 20 per cent off or some of your time for free, should work a treat. xxx

  • I feel for you. It's much worse for a person if they have to try to function on a 'normal' level and be in contact with people who will judge you without know they whys and wherefores' of your actions.Perhaps you can reply to your valued customer and not only apologies but explain what happened, why it happened and tell her that you weren't gossiping. Ask her to come for a chat and coffee (close the shop for half an hour while you deal with it). Cry if you feel you need to and 'let her in' so to speak. If she is a nice person, she will understand and perhaps even end up being a champion for you as she is party to a snippet of the things you are struggling with. Worth a try? As for the bill, contact them, argue and haggle. Don't just pay.Some time it really does feel as though the world has a personal vendetta against us. I feel the same on a daily basis sometimes. But working thorough each issue as though it was one hurdle at a time to step over, means that weeks later I can look back and see just how much I was able to put right even though it didn't seem like it at the time. Frankly, I jut want to hug you.

  • Bless you Fenwoman, thank you. I haven't yet decided how to deal with this lady, perhaps I am sweeping it under the carpet for now but I will deal with it, I have to. You are quite right though, tackle one thing at a time, this I will try and make sure I do xx

  • I was in a similar position, diagnosed just after opening my gift shop. It made the whole thing far harder, as it took years to get to the right medication and I'm not there yet.

    If I have busy days opening deliveries and am non stop I am then hopeless for a day or two after. Quite days in the shop are completely depressing and you wonder if its worth it.

    With all the things you have to remember, orders, deliveries, invoices, accounts etc. and the brain not working at full speed makes things even harder. I often pay suppliers twice as I have forgotten I've already done it.

    I also got scammed by an advertising company who contacted me by phone and I paid them multiple times for an ad over a year as I couldn't remember what I'd agreed to in the first place. I thought it was a single payment but due to the illness couldn't remember. I finally googled them and found it was a scam. I hope your advert you mentioned was genuine.

    Good luck and remember there are lots of us out there. x

  • Omg Tracey! You could be me!! I was diagnosed the day I got the keys for my shop. I've been scammed too and it made me want to completely give up. I felt so stupid. I too obviously have deliveries and spend the day opening boxes, pricing products, finding a home for them, constantly rearranging the shop to fit everything in blah bah blah, then have quiet days and think "why am I doing this??!"

    Lots of luck to you too, I do hope you get sorted soon, sounds like you have gone on long enough xx

  • It's hard to believe the customer took offence to this-wow! Has she nothing else in her life to worry about?

    Dear me, some people lead very sheltered lives, don't they? I find that thyroiditis has helped me to not react strongly to things which previously would have caused great angst. All part of the brain fog I think.

    Best of luck with everything and get that pooch soon!

  • I'm glad you've replied in this way as part of me thinks this too! I tried to think how I would feel if someone knew what I bought from a shop and how much I spent and quite honestly, I couldn't care less! As you say, is this the brain fog?? x

  • Galathea's response is very apt. Some GP's don't quite understand their hypo patients' needs and believe if the TSH is 'within range' then they are on adequate meds and all other symptoms are due to 'something else'. That's not the case and they also do not (don't know) always take into account clinical symptoms.

    All the other reponses are good too.

  • Hi Debsy,

    You are not alone. I have spent the day in tears knowing I have to start a big job in a couple of weeks and I know pretending to be fit and well with my colleagues is as exhausting as this flaming illness.

    I've stopped going to functions and socialising because I am now so distraught about my weight.

    Makes you want to scream. After three...AAAAAAARRRRRGHGHGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

    Xxx

  • Isn't it awful? I dread seeing someone I haven't seen for a few years as I know they think "blimey, she's put on some weight". I then proceed to tell them all about my under active thyroid so they don't think I'm just ageing badly! How sad is that? Wish I had the confidence to love the new curvier me don't you? Currently watching TOWIE and the "skinny" girls are annoying me, ha ha!

    Good luck with the new job, take one day at a time and you may just have to explain to your new colleagues about you illness to recent them from judging you when you're having a bad day xx

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