#17 Hashi & Me: meet Anchi
Hashi & Me is a series of stories for people with Hashimoto’s told by people with Hashimoto’s and other thyroid problems. In each piece, one of us will share our experience with Hashimoto’s, our personal findings and tips. We believe one person’s experience can be useful for others, especially to newly diagnosed people.
This week meet Anchi. She is a community manager and art performer based in Bandung, Indonesia.
How and when did you discover you had Hashimoto’s? Tell us your story.
I was 16 back in 2006 and I’ve always been a physically active girl. Never crossed my mind that someday I could be so sluggish and constantly fatigued. It felt like my world turned upside down. I thought rest will reset my body. But it didn’t.
Then my Mom noticed my neck got swollen and we decided to see doctor. The doctor immediately made an endocrinologist appointment for me. After a set of tests, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Six years of levothyroxine therapy led me to nowhere.
So my Mom, who naturally became my caregiver since then, rechecked all my test results and the endocrinologist’s prescription. She found out that I swayed from hypo to hyperthyroidism. I don’t know what would have happened if I kept being treated the way my endocrinologist treated me.
We decided to consult to a new endocrinologist for a second opinion. I got my Anti-TPO tested, and it was positive. I “officially” had Hashimoto’s in 2012.
What did you learn since? Do you have some tips or findings to share with other Hashimoto’s people?
Don’t ignore the signs your body tries to give, even the slightest things. We’re the only one who can feel it. Not even our doctors.
So when something doesn’t feel right, pause. Be assertive with your doctors and help them to find the best treatment for you.
What does your day with Hashimoto’s look like?
I have to pass days of muscle pain, cramps, leg stiffness, bed bound, forgetting things, and stuttering over and over again. But I’m blessed with caring family and understanding employer. My boss doesn’t mind if I work from home or even if I have to take a lot of sick days. Their kindness fuels me to do my best.
But I’m MUCH better now! Living with Hashimoto’s for more than 12 years and going through my third year without levothyroxine couldn’t be this good. I can even forget that I have Hashimoto’s in my best days.
But I must not overdo it, because when I do, it can quickly become my worst day. Flare-ups are always ready to strike back anytime 🤣.
What was the biggest struggle and biggest victory you experienced?
Beside my job as a community manager at a startup company, I’m a part-time dancer and performer. I really love to dance. And it breaks my heart everytime I have to stop rehearsing or even cancel my performance due to muscle pain, cramps, and chronic fatigue.
I also have to accept that I’m not the same bright dancer I used to be. Now I struggle to remember my routines. So now, to have an excellent performance is not my aim.
Being able to adjust my body and mind to my new pace, knowing when to stop and start again, and still being able to enjoy dancing and life as a whole despite all these symptoms are my biggest victories.
What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed to ease their first steps with Hashimoto’s?
It might sounds easier said than done, but acceptance could ease your mind, at the very least. Be your own support system before asking or offering help. An app like Boost Thyroid is a good way to help you keeping tracks your Hashimoto’s journey.
You can follow Anchi here.
Want to share your Hashimoto’s story? We’d love to hear from you. Fill out this Typeform or email email@example.com.