This is a true story about how I thought I was going to die in 2010. And how food and family helped a life changing decision.
I began experiencing serious health issues during the mid 2000‘s in which I was losing an unusual amount of weight. Struggling to control the weight lose and weight gain up to five or more pounds in a matter of days.
My endocrinologist described my symptoms as Graves Disease. Now grave as it may sound, it wasn’t that bad, yet. The medication I was provided helped to an extent balance my thyroid levels. What triggered the Graves Disease is unknown but it made my thyroid work over time giving me rapid heart beat including many sleepless nights with little energy to make it through the day.
I fought with my body for years trying to balance my thyroid as my body randomly flipped an internal switch forcing me to review the change and go back to the beginning, again.
As the summer approached in 2010, I was a mess. With an appointment scheduled in early September to see my endocrinologist, I made the best of my summer fighting to get it past me. I did not have the best outlook on life as my weight, anxiety, and temper were a train wreck in motion and not helping. This created a challenging environment in my relationship towards family and friends as I made regrettable foolish one sided arguments with them purely from anger and frustration.
During a trip to Canada that summer, my thyroid did a job on me. I felt like the biggest fool arguing over leaving the bus for site seeing and photos with amazing monuments. Even leaving the hotel I found something to complain over. It was awful and deeply embarassing looking back. My attitude reflected the abomination of my personal being.
On the ride home, I knew I messed up big time over the trip.
As the day arrived for my appointment, I was terrified of its impact.
I never had an ultrasound until this point in my life, but I will never forget how life changing its results. Sitting arched on the exam table with gel pressed around my neck was awkward and slimy. Worse was learning my results that I may have cancerous nodules growing around my thyroid. My endocrinologist told me it was imperative I have surgery to remove the entire thyroid gland. I was devastated by the news. How could this happen to me? Will I die from the cancer?
Walking out the office, I couldn’t help but tear up as I informed my parents waiting outside. They were as much loss for words.
I tried to understand how a surgeon could remove the piece of my body that controls my heart and expect me to live the rest of my life on a pill. I stared feeling lost into the floor mat below beneath my feet thinking about my future as we drove away. My parents did their best consoling me with encouragement, but nothing compelled me.
Time had passed until I looked up seeing we had pulled into the lot of a restaurant. My mother ushered me out and walked beside me inside with my dad following. We were seated near a glass window overlooking the car lot and nearby road. I struggled to find conversation apart from my frustration over the looming surgery.
Fresh warm bread was served to our table as I sipped on a Mohito trying to relax. While you may think its the alcohol, I can tell you there was something truly calming eating bread with my family at a dinner table looking at the day’s big event. Dinner was served some time later having ordered the Surf and Turf with my parents insistence.
Cutting into each juicy bite of steak and buttered lobster was some kind of therapy.
What started as doom and gloom slowly became a better outlook for tomorrow and the day after. There is some kind of magic in food that comforts the soul. It opens topics of discussion with interesting results. Thankfully, in my situation, it helped me find peaceful resolve.
Leaving the restaurant as the sun began to settle, I was confident that I could overcome my situation and continue forward as I have before. This was a great feeling as I looked forward to having the surgery and taking back the control of my health.
Two months later, I did just that. It was a transitional period moving to a new home around the peak of the holiday season. As I am write this entry in 2016, my surgery was a success. Further assessment from my endocrinologist found I did not have a cancerous nodule as I was previously informed. It was comforting but also disheartening having gone through this emotional process to learn the real truth. I am just thankful to be alive and in better health.
In the end, did my family dinner motivate me into having surgery to remove my thyroid gland?
Or was it the comfort of sitting down to share a meal with my parents and letting everything happen as it did? My parents could have taken me anywhere, even home to have that meal. It was during those moments of talk and eating where I found peace within myself to open discussion of something that I was comfortable to address. My parents did not push me into having the surgery. I found the answer within myself to move forward and make the decision I saw best for me. Thank you friends for your time.
And remember, never stop trying new things.