#NHBPM – Five Changes

Five things that changed my life as a patient, as a Health Activist.

  • The double diagnosis of hypothyroidism and type 2 diabetes shortly before my twenty-ninth birthday. I had gone from someone who worked 12-14 hour days at trade shows and high-level meetings as an administrative assistant at a medical manufacturer to someone who slept 12-14 hours a day. Being treated for hypothyroidism changed so much, from being able to lose weight to not being cold all the time to being able to menstruate again. Unfortunately, all this was too late for avoiding a full-blown type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Soon I would discover it was not the end of the world, as I found the world of blogging.
  • Beginning to blog about those diagnoses, and then opening up about battles with anxiety and depression. Finding early diabetes bloggers like Kerri and Ellen Ullman, inspired me to start talking type 2 diabetes as someone under thirty. While Kerri wrote about her own type 1 diabetes, and Ellen about her son’s type 1, I felt like I needed to let my voice out about being a younger adult with type 2 diabetes. Soon, I felt comfortable enough to speak out about the mental health issues I faced from a much younger age.
  • Finding ChronicBabe. Before long, I felt a sense of not wanting to feel sorry for myself, as much as the mental health issues allowed. When I found ChronicBabe (through Kerri!), I began finding myself confident talking about being a patient with chronic illness who still tried to live an awesome life. This year, I have been honored and thrilled to be lead moderator on the forums. It is one thing I look forward to doing every day, in a time where so much in my life is a challenge.
  • Finding the Spectacular Mental Health Professional. I pay out of pocket to see this psychiatrist every few weeks, but it is totally worth it for her insights into physiology, into psychology, and into pharmacology. In that order.
  • Enduring an acute health crisis, filled with major emergency surgery and hospitalization. Before I fell ill with the incredible abscess that took two surgeries to resolve, I knew plenty about being a chronic patient. These acute experiences taught me what it is like to be hospitalized and how much more we need to be our own advocates in such a situation when we have chronic illness, even if we feel that much worse.

This post was written as part of  NHBPM – 30 health posts in 30 days.

Posted on November 5, 2011, in #NHBPM. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.

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