Monday, February 1, 2016

A Detailed Description of My Crappy Health Situation.

" You've been unfairly judged your whole life"
A couple of years ago I noticed I wasn't losing weight even though I was working my tail off, and eating well. I went in to the doctors, had bloodwork done, and I was diagnosed with insulin resistance, and put on a special diet that only lasted a summer. It was complicated! "You can only eat such and such grains on mondays and tuesdays, on wednesday's and thursday's we eat protein and veg only" yadda yadda, I felt like I was part of a mean girl clique. I didn't want to have to monitor my eating so closely, plus I was annoyed because I became that person who could only eat certain things. I just figured I would eat less and work out and be done with the high stress eating. So that was short lived, but over the course of the last year, mostly this last summer, I noticed my energy levels had gone way way down. I was supposed to be working on marketing and getting my photography business more business, but instead I was sleeping away most of the summer. Then my good friend Anne passed away on July 1 and the rest of the summer was pretty much all grieving in a bittersweet kind of way. There were sweet moments, and the beauty of summer, but the sting of death coupled with the realization that I wouldn't be laughing with Anne the flesh anyway, was a lot to process.

Starting school in the fall of my last year of college, I knew I needed to step it up a notch. BUT I JUST DIDN'T HAVE THE ENERGY. I was so frustrated, I needed to get so much done for my BFA and take the dreaded math class. I ended up not passing my BFA class (it's currently on hold) and the only class I need to graduate is math, but I barely have a game plan at this point.

I love school. I love it so much. I enjoy learning new and interesting things, and having sophisticated discussions about art, and why we do what we do. I love working in the darkroom and helping students with their assignments and I feel honored that they ask for my opinion on their compositions and techniques. I want to teach someday! I love photography and would love to work someday for UVU or any other college. I've even been thinking about a masters, or having my own studio with cute decorations and all the things I need for perfect lighting etc. I could take pictures of cute babies and toddlers for a career! I can do anything! I have dreams people! BIG ONES. I want to be successful, because that's who I am.

However. These last few months have been so, so difficult. I can only describe it as being in a dark mental sea of inertia, where I'm literally just living. I'm going through the daily motions of life, I smile, I eat, I sleep, I wake. But there's not much else. The days blur together, I cancel plans with friends and I don't go to parties that I say I'm going to. I haven't taken a proper picture for myself since christmas, I had a dream that my camera was covered in dust and I was working in some job I hated paying bills with meager earnings.

I have a hard time sleeping often, and Andrew tries to help me sleep by having me close my eyes and think of the ocean, he imagines my ocean for me, full of life and color. But in my mind's eye it's deep, dark and I'm on the bottom of the marianas trench, 7 miles down. I'm sitting legs crossed, hair floating above me, no light, no life, and it's silent. That is my peace, and it's usually not like that.

I knew something was wrong, I couldn't breathe right, I'm so sad, I haven't laughed hard lately. Anytime I went anywhere I'm huffing puffing, and then I'm completely drained of energy. I've been sleeping for 12+ hours a day and I'm still exhausted, and I've been bleeding (period, sorry) for 3 months straight, this last month was so heavy I thought I'd have to go to the emergency room. Something was wrong, seriously wrong so I had some blood work done and I got my results today.

She checked my thyroid which wasn't checked last time. Turns out I'm incredibly low on all levels of everything.

Hypothyroidism, she says. My body isn't making enough hormones and that's why I'm bleeding uncontrollably, and I'm so anemic from the excess bleeding, my red blood cells are so irregularly shaped I'm at a high risk of a friggin stroke!?

In addition to my depression issues, just a few symptoms as of late:


  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Weight gain
  • Puffy face
  • Hoarseness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
  • Slowed heart rate
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory


  • Easy fatigue and loss of energy
  • Unusually rapid heart beat, particularly with exercise
  • Shortness of breath and headache particularly with exercise
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Leg cramping
  • Insomnia

Basically all the things that make a girl feel smart and pretty. 

Though the best part of this crappy situation is that the effects of the hypothyroidism is not my fault. I have had no control over this situation, and it's not actually flaws in my character. Which for a long time I was so convinced I was turning into a lazy stupid person. 

My inner thoughts lately-
 "you're so stupid Laura, just go to the gym, just stop eating, just stop being dumb, you're so slow, are you an idiot? Can't you see you're so lazy you're becoming a fat stupid person" 
Especially in the last few weeks I have felt so lazy and stupid. I can't make connections, and I'm too tired to exercise, so I feel slothful and even more crappy about myself. I know it sounds horrible. Because it is! Hopefully those horrible thoughts will subside but I'm thinking medicine won't take care of that.

The good news is that I'm now on a better set of medications, and I literally have to double up on birth control because even though I've been on a normal dose for 2 weeks, because I'm still bleeding I need more hormones to make my body stop. Heaven help my husband! 

I know I'm a big woman, those of you who see big women, please please please don't make assumptions about their exercise and eating habits. I can't tell you how many times in the last year I've heard from friends and family "just go out for a walk" or " eat less, move more it's science!" though I appreciate the sentiment, I already knew that I needed to do those things, and I only really felt worse about myself.

I really hope that I can at least get my energy back, if I can do that I can do the rest of the work. I want to be healthy so bad! So wish me luck!


  1. Oh La-La... I SO KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!! All except the birth control and bleeding issue, I totally understand... and it is not a matter of eat less, eat more fruit, walk more, go for a run... My thyroid has been OFF since childhood... and now my hair is falling out, at least I think it is as every where is hair... like a really long-haired shaggy dog... and this to shall pass... I have a blood test once a month to check levels... You are NOT alone and I will keep you and Andrew in my prayers... it takes time and I truly hope that your thyroid will react to the meds and you will get to feeling better real soon... Love ya lots!!!

  2. Hey you wonderful woman! I'm so glad the doctors were able to figure something out. Given your symptoms, I'm sort of surprised they didn't do a thyroid test in the first place. I want you to know that Liz and I think you are amazing, and we would have thought that no matter what. We know so many wonderful, hard-working people who are fat, skinny, depressed, bubbly, and everywhere in between, and it doesn't matter why they have the struggles they have. We just love them.

    Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Stay positive when you can. When you can't, remember you're not alone. When you feel alone, remember that you're loved anyway. We love your photography and your cooking, and most of all we love who you are. Don't worry about being judged, because you are a daughter of the Creator of Heaven and Earth. If people can't see you the way He does, that's just one of their weaknesses that they're going to have to work through.

  3. I love you!!! Thank you for sharing. You're so darling. I have insulin resistance as well, but they did not put me on any sort of diet like that!! Goodness. I'm so sorry :( It's rough. But man, you're amazing, my friend! :)

  4. I am tracking you, Niece. I wish you well!



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