Monday, May 4, 2009

Blessed, but Depressed?

I live a blessed life. My childhood was amazing and I had a mom and dad who went to great lengths to ensure I had a "normal" childhood despite my diagnosis at age 7. I have an incredible family and amazing friends who I interact with daily. I am blessed to be able to stay home most of the time with my children. On the days that I DO work I get to get paid by doing things I LOVE most in this life, teaching music and planning and playing in worship services. Though we are not rich by any means, God has always provided everything we need and then some. Which is why I've tried to avoid writing this post for sooooo long. It made me feel guilty that I felt so yucky, despite the amazing life that I live. As soon as I considered that I may be struggling with depression, I figured if I couldn't "pray it away" then my faith was weak and I didn't trust God enough. So as terrifying as it is to write this post... here I go....

Several months ago I weighed in at one of my highest weights of 148, though still not bad... my little 5'3'' self was not comfortable and just felt out of shape and icky in this body, so I completed the P90x fitness program with my husband and now weigh in at 118. I'll admit, since I stopped working out, I've mentally been struggling more with lack of energy and fatigue... but because I am tired and fatigued, I have a hard time trying to work out! Vicious cycle!

I've had hypothyroidism since I was about 12. I've always woken up every morning and taken my Synthroid (levothyroxine .1 mg) like a good little girl and not paid much attention to anything else. To be honest, I didn't really even know what hypothyroidism meant until a few weeks ago when I noticed my sugars were very level for several days in a row on my Dexcom, and yet I still felt horrible and fatigued, like how I feel when my sugars are bouncing around. This is when I started "Googling" and seeing an ABUNDANCE of connection between thyroid disease and depression. I also started researching all the different options for thyroid treatment including several different prescriptions, what they are made from, the side effects of the meds, etc.

I've been trying to eat healthier, gave up Diet Coke (okay, I've cut back A LOT!!!) and have been filling my body with good things.... and yet I still feel FATIGUED and even SAD sometimes.

This is when I reached out to some of my friends, both online and real life. And overwhelmingly I was advised to be honest with my doctor and get some help. Because bottom line, this is probably a medical issue concerning some type of hormonal or chemical imbalance and we need to get to the root of what's causing it. I have days where I get so fed up with having to think about medical things that I just end up ignoring it. But I know that only ends up hurting me more in the long run. So off I go to my endo today at 1:30 pm to spill my guts to him and hope for some answers!


Scott K. Johnson said...

Hey Windy,

First off - big hugs and support to you and your family. It takes a lot of courage to think about this stuff, and even more to write about it here.

I think you are on the right track. Being open and honest with your doc will help him/her figure out what might help you get back to feeling good.

Living with diabetes is no easy task, and I think many of us fight with depression because of it. I know I do!

But you can get the help you need to feel better. It may take some time, and work, which is hard to muster up when you feel yucky. But stick with it, because it will get better because of your perseverance.

Let us know if you need anything, even if it's just a (virtual) shoulder to lean on.

Lora said...

Hi Windy. I've just started reading your blog today and to my surprise, you mentioned thyroid issues. I was diagnosed with Grave's Disease about the same time as diabetes. It took about a year to get my levels right after my thyroid was radiated, and during that time I did nothing but sit on my couch with absolutely no energy. I was depressed because I could only sit there watching my life go by and couldn't do anything about it except take a nap. I can still tell when my TSH levels are off--tired and depressed are always my signals. I'm hoping your endo can help you out. It's no fun to be so worn out with nothing to do about it. I'm thinking of you.

Charity said...

Windy, I am so sorry you are going through this and while I have never dealt with diabetes or thyroid issues, I have lots of experience with depression. I know exactly what you meant about feeling guilty admitting that you felt sad when you are surrounded by blessings. I think it makes us not want to take the depression seriously, but the fact that it persists in what you know to be a life full of love and blessing from the Lord should help you see it IS a medical problem that cannot be prayed away. I will certainly be praying for you that you get the help you need for this so you can get back to enjoying your blessed life. You are such a strong and amazing woman, please take care of yourself!!! ILU!!

Gina said...


Weight gain is a symptom of hypothyroidism and sometimes your levels need to be checked because you may need more Levo. You are taken all the right steps I hope you will get back on track very soon!!

I showed my friend your post and she had this to say:
Hi Windy.

Have you been checked for celiac lately? Celiac often presents with depression and fatigue.

Windy said...

I guess I should have clarified.... the weight gain was because I had just given birth to my daughter Zoe.... I've actually had more of an issue with loosing more and more weight lately.... I was aware the typically the hypo makes weight loss an issue... which has been a little confusing for me. Can't wait to get the blood work back.... thanks for the info on celiac... I don't believe I have ever been tested for that.... and I will be sooo freakin pissed if I do because I friggin love white bread! haha!!!

~Suzanne~ said...

Hi Windy,
I totally understand and also find myself faced with the exact feeling of the title of this blog! But I am so blessed in life and have so much to be thankful and happy for, so why am I so down sometimes?!

I think that when you deal with anything 24/7 and you try your hardest (most of the time) and things still just don't work like they should... it wears us down. Sometimes, I just get tired of dealing with it all and ignoring it is so much easier and denial can sometimes feel so freeing...for a little while.

Stay strong and know you are not alone!! I've come to realize that it is ok to get depressed and frustrated and to just get all of those emotions out, and then pick myself up, dust myself off and get on with the fight!