Passing those not-so-subtle signposts
When I was in my mid-forties, I was finally diagnosed as hypothyroid. I’d had symptoms of hypothyroidism since I’d been twenty-eight. However, no doctor cared enough to put together these various symptoms of mine to do anything about it.
The diagnosis wasn’t that dreadful. It wasn’t as if I’d suddenly been told I had cancer.
However, it did require that I change my attitudes in terms of what I considered healthy.
Before that time, I’d only taken medication when I was sick. I would stop taking whatever was prescribed for me when I got better. This included my migraine medication. I never considered myself a “sick” person, even though I was frequently ill.
Now, I was having to take medication every single day. It took me some time to come to accept that I wasn’t “sick” — I just didn’t produce enough of the right hormones. I had a chemical imbalance, and all I was doing was fixing that. It doesn’t sound like much in hindsight. However, it was a really large shift in my attitude and how I thought about myself.
In addition to the thyroid medication, I was also now taking hormones every day. Again, just an imbalance. Not an illness.
It felt as though I’d just passed one of those aging milestones. I wasn’t as young as I once had been. I needed medication every day. I wasn’t an old fart. Not yet. But requiring medication as I did made me feel older. (If there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, I’m going to go out with as big of a bang as I possibly can and make my death meaningful if possible, because, without my medications, my life isn’t worth living, at this point.)
Along the way, I changed my diet. I also started taking supplements. I did stay healthy and strong. In 2017 when I built my tiny house, I was actually in the best physical shape of my life, despite the migraines and weird hormonal shifts.
One of the things that have changed, another of those signposts, has been my sleep. I used to not need much sleep. As I’ve gotten older, into my fifties, I suddenly started needing eight hours of sleep. I still resent it. I don’t take naps during the day, but I suspect that at some point, I may start. It will be all kinds of wrong, and I’ll resent sleeping so much…