#5 Hashi & Me: meet Mickey
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 Mickey from AutoimmuneWellness.
How and when did you discover you had thyroid issues? Tell us your story.
I discovered I had Hashimoto’s thyroiditis after a year of experiencing strange symptoms, like hair loss, insomnia, anxiety, skin rashes, extreme fatigue, and joint pain. Despite my symptoms, I went from doctor to doctor without getting much of an answer because my lab tests were “normal” and they believed I couldn’t have thyroid issues because I was a normal weight.
About six months into my investigation, I discovered a list of thyroid symptoms and information about Hashimoto’s thyroiditis in a google search, and deep down, I knew that it was describing what I was dealing with.
At my next doctor’s appointment, I requested to be tested for antibodies, which came back positive and I received an official diagnosis. Unfortunately this doctor told me that even though I had an autoimmune disease, my thyroid levels were still normal, and I didn’t need treatment. It was another year until I found a doctor who was able to offer me treatment that was a part of getting well. In the meantime, I discovered the Autoimmune Protocol and had huge success with the elimination diet, so by the time I went on medication it gave me just the boost I needed to get back to 100%.
What did you learn since? Do you have some tips or findings to share with other Hashimoto’s people?
Since my diagnosis, I’ve learned that healing is much more than one element — like diet or correct medication.
In order to truly heal I needed to address how I sleep, how I manage my stress, my exercise routine, how connected I am to other people and nature. Healing is something that is taken as many steps over time, and not achieved in one fell swoop.
I am still learning how to incorporate these aspects, especially the lifestyle ones, into my life.
How does your day with Hashimoto’s look like and what was your biggest struggle?
I don’t have a lot of symptoms of Hashimoto’s anymore, so generally I have productive and energised days. I prioritise sleep by going to bed early so I wake up early (5:30 or 6), spend some time stretching and having an herbal tea (I don’t drink caffeine) and then getting some work in before breakfast. I work until early afternoon with a lunch break, and then end my workday around 3 or 4 to go outside and work with the animals or in the garden.
The biggest struggle I experienced was finding a doctor who would listen to my symptoms and offer me treatment.
Although I felt empowered by what I learned about diet and lifestyle, not having a doctor who would prescribe the right medication was a hinderance to my healing journey for a long time. The biggest victory I experienced was being able to reverse some neurological symptoms I was told I would likely always have — numbness and tingling in my face and hands. It took nearly two years for them to subside, but I knew I had reached a state of deep healing when they finally left me.
What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed to ease their first steps with Hashimoto’s?
My advice for those newly diagnosed is to spend some time educating yourself about your condition. Learn about the thyroid, how it works, what kinds of treatments are available, and all of the DIY approaches (like diet and lifestyle) you can use to positively affect your healing journey.
Realize healing takes time, and that small steps combined cover a lot of ground. Be gentle on yourself!