A few minutes after I posted my last blog entry I got a phone call from the hospital telling me they had made an appointment for me to see the specialist on Monday. They said they are sending me a letter with the appointment time but they were worried it might arrive too late for me to attend so they decided to call and make sure I knew.
I was surprised because it is a public hospital so I expected to go on a waiting list. I thought it would take a lot longer than a few days to get an appointment but perhaps it is the actual surgery you have to wait months for.
It occurred to me that it might be an idea to write down all my symptoms since I expect the specialist will ask about them. I decided to write down every single thing I suffer from that I saw listed as possible symptoms of thyroid malfunctions when I was researching the issue.
I have a lot of symptoms and many of them have been going on for years now. I had assumed most of them were due to any one of several different things. Menopause, getting older, too many cigarettes, too much diet coke, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and some of them probably are due to those things.
Some of these symptoms have been with me for so long I have gotten used to living with them. I doubt they are all thyroid related but I decided to list them all just because I do have them, they are known symptoms, and they might be important.
After I finished writing the list I realised there is a very good reason why I am not too happy about being alive. I feel like crap most of the time! Until now I thought it was normal and would only get worse the older I got. I was not looking forward to feeling worse and worse as the years went by and an early death seemed to be my only hope of escaping it.
Take a look at my list of symptoms. All of these things can be caused by problems with your thyroid although, of course, most of them can be caused by other things too.
Ringing in the ears
Pain when swallowing
Lump in throat
Shortness of breath
Tingling in fingertips
Numbness in toes
Fatigue/lack of energy
Loss of libido
Depression and Anxiety are also potential symptoms of thyroid disorders but mine responded to treatment so I have not included them in the list. Weight gain and weight loss are another two symptoms but I have been gaining weight ever since I gave birth to my first child and, whilst childbirth is a known trigger for thyroid problems, I somehow doubt my thyroid problem goes back as far as 30 plus years.
These are just some of the things a malfunctioning thyroid gland can do to you. I have not included all the things it can do that I don’t suffer from such as cold intolerance instead of heat intolerance and constipation although I had a serious problem with that for many years until I developed chronic diarrhoea.
When I thought all these symptoms were just normal for a woman of my age etc I was sure my health was pretty good all things considered. Now that I suspect them all of being symptoms of a malfunctioning thyroid I feel quite sick.
It’s a good example of how much power our minds have over us. When I interpreted my symptoms as normal they didn’t make me feel anywhere near as ill as I feel now that I am interpreting them as symptoms of a serious illness!
My sister-in-law, God bless her, has offered to travel interstate to come and give me her support which surprised and touched me. She is such a generous soul.
I deserve nothing from my extended family and I know it. I have been no support to any of them over the years. I am a relative in name only for the most part and I have been that way for so long I’m not comfortable being any other way.
I’ve always been self-absorbed, thoughtless, and inconsiderate to some extent but I used to try not to be. I used to be open and welcoming to people too and I made friends easily but not any more. The only people I don’t keep at arms length now are my children.
The end of my marriage changed me. Something died inside when my marriage failed and I shut right down. I moved to another state and tried to wall myself off from everyone, even my children, during that time.
I wasn’t able to shut my children out, of course, and one or two people have not gone away no matter how lousy a friend I am to them but there is an emotional wall between me and most people now. I built it so strong I couldn’t tear it down now even if I wanted to.
If I do have cancer and my time is almost over I’m glad I did keep my distance as it should mean my death won’t affect many people and those who are affected should not suffer more than is absolutely necessary.
As I wondered how to end this entry it occurred to me that my readers would surely be expecting me to turn to God and speak with Him about what is happening and, of course, I have already done that with mixed results.
Sometimes He seems to be saying it is cancer and I am going to die and other times He seems to be saying it is not cancer and I won’t die any time soon but always I doubt if it was really Him speaking.
Whenever I am heavily invested in what He might have to say it is much harder to hear him clearly and, of course, I am heavily invested in what He might have to say about this!
I went outside, lit a smoke, and tried again.
“Will you speak with me God? Will you give me something to write in this entry? This is our chance to prove to the world you really DO speak to your children but, if I write something that comes from my imagination and not you, then the readers will lose any faith they may have had in anything I have already told them about you so far in this blog. I want to promote faith in you not erode it so you will need to help me believe it really is you or I cannot, should not, write anything.
If I don’t write anything then people will surely find it harder to believe what I have said about you so far is true so this is important. This is not just about me Lord – this is about You and helping others believe in you the way I do.”
In the back of my mind I was thinking maybe that is what this is all about. Maybe God wants me to die believing in Him or show people how to handle something like this without losing faith or refuse treatment so He can provide a miracle cure of my cancer or some other purpose I have not thought of.
I got an answer and I thought it might be from God. It was evasive. It was all about how He would never do anything to one child for the good of others and how even Jesus was not forced to sacrifice himself for us so I came inside to write.
My son came home and sidetracked me and I lost faith that what I heard was really from God. I was confused. Was God preventing me from passing on the message or was Satan?
I tried again and again. I wanted God to give me something concrete. I wanted Him to tell me if I do, or do not, have cancer and if I will, or will not, die from this so I can write down something that can later be proven true so people will know He really does talk to His children.
I got nothing. I was so frustrated. Here is my big chance to prove God really exists and He really cares and He really will talk to us and He is staying silent.
Tonight I was outside having another smoke. I had given up pestering God and was just thinking I wanted to get this entry posted so people will see the symptoms and go get themselves checked if they have them too.
“This is not their journey,” God said, “this is your journey. What do YOU want to know? What questions do YOU have for me? Do you really need me to tell you the future?”
“No,” I confessed, “I want the information for my readers not for myself. I don’t care either way. I am content to wait for the information to come naturally. I just want to provide others with proof you exist.”
“Believers need no proof,” He said, “and there is no proof capable of swaying a non-believer. Those who do not want to believe in me will say you did not get the information from me. They will say you made a lucky guess or you already knew or you cheated in some way. Don’t focus on them, focus on you, surely you have some questions of your own for me?”
“Just one,” I said, “Will I have enough time to finish the resource I am creating to help people stop being abusive?”
“Yes,” He said, “You will be able to do that.”
I realised that’s all I really want God to tell me. I don’t need to know why this is happening to me. I don’t really care why. I am not afraid because God is with me and I know He will take care of me. If it is cancer and I am dying He will be beside me every step of the way and He will ensure I am able to bear whatever must happen. He will welcome me into Heaven and take care of those I leave behind. I have no doubt about that. Jesus bought me a place in Heaven with His blood and I can only lose that place if I surrender it which I will never do!
If it is not cancer I have no doubt God will accompany me as my journey through life continues and help me bear whatever comes next.
Whatever happens I know there will be something to learn from it, something that will make me glad it happened, there always is.