Thursday, October 20, 2011
Did you realize that women were institutionalized not so long a go in history, for expressing or exhibiting symptoms of thyroid disease, perimenopause, PMS and menopause? And can you blame them...only kidding!!!
Truly, how shameful to think that doctors viewed most of what went on with a woman's reproductive and endocrine system as a never ending source of mystery and had an almost total disregard to learn more since females were considered to be so inferior. Terms were used to define a woman's unease as the vapors, nervous dispositions, hysteria, and in some cases, insanity. These esteemed physicians of the Victorian era often left women with little to no relief of any sort and families often placed these poor "creatures" who deserved more, in mental institutions. A sad reflection of how far we have come, yet how much further we have to go toward understanding the delicate balance of hormones provided by the thyroid, adrenals and the myriad of other glands that make up our endocrine system.
So if you feel on some days like my pumpkin friend above, rest easy, you are not alone.
Thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease that can greatly effect us all in so many ways. Do not be afraid to push your doctors toward going beyond the standard TSH tests, especially if your tests comes back normal as mine always did for years. If I had known then what I have learned in these last few weeks since my diagnosis, I would not have been so complacent to think it was all related to my "change of life." We have much to blame in our current health care system for the total lack of time doctors give to each patient. So a quick and often times, inaccurate diagnosis is often made in order to make our symptoms fit the coding on the doctors inusrance billing sheet. Yet another sad but true fact. Health care has come a long way from our Victorian sisters barbaric care, but we still have long way to go toward opening the door to care that combines traditional treatment options along with integrative practices, that allow time for true one on one care.
You have to play an active role in your health care, another fact that is hard for people to manage or control due to time constraints of their own. As a result, there is new, burgeoning career field for personal health care advocates. These are people hired by you to get the very best care possible. They manage your insurance, doctors and medications and make sure you get what you need to be the best you can be. But of course, this comes at a price and there is a very limited number of people working in this field as it requires a certain amount of medical training along with extensive insurance billing experience.
So, do what you can and learn what you must, but trust your instincts and go beyond the obvious. You and I have a right to feel as good as we can in this life!
Posted by midlifemaven at 8:33 AM