I am sitting in the waiting room of the surgery center where my wife is currently having her thyroid removed. In July of this year, she was diagnosed with Graves Disease – which is an autoimmune disorder that creates hyperthyroidism, and in turn gave her symptoms such as heart palpitations, tremors, and increased anxiety. The first line of defense was to try and regulate the thyroid with a medication called Methimazole. From August to late September the meds seemed to be doing their job, and she was even able to decrease the dose because her levels were looking better. On the last weekend of September, she came down with a very sore throat, a gnarly canker sore, fever/chills, and that following Tuesday we decided that she most likely had the flu. Before I got out of work, she texted me that she was headed to urgent care because a friend who found out she was sick texted her to say it may be a side effect of her medication. From the Urgent Care we were sent to ED and then admitted for 3 days: acute neutropenia with a fever. Jen’s white blood cells and neutrophils were so low, her body had no ability at all to fight off any infections she may come into contact with. It was very scary leading up to that diagnosis – but the medical teams all worked together efficiently to treat her. No more methimazole, and a shot in the belly to stimulate her bone marrow to get back to normal! All her numbers recouped very quickly. This side effect is extremely rare, but I always knew my girl was something special 😉 Her healthcare team decided that because antithyroid medication is no good for her, the thyroid should just come out, and then she will just take a hormone replacement afterward! So here we are. The nurse from the OR just called out and said she’s doing great in surgery so far!
So what does this have to do with my sobriety blog?
During this process I couldn’t help but wonder, “how would I have dealt with this, had I been still drinking?” My previous habits didn’t involve drinking every single day in excess – but it DID involve me leaning on it during times of stress, discomfort, and pain. It helped relieve feelings of uncertainty when I just wanted things to disappear. In this case with Jen, I feel like if I had allowed myself to run away with a beer or wine, I assume I would not have been as present, attentive, or able to handle any news that came our way. She was so brave and strong during all of it, and I learned a lot from her patience as a patient. I needed to share this as part of my growth. I am so incredibly grateful for the strength and change in ability to handle a challenge nowadays.
Our bodies are amazing storytellers – resilient and strong. We will tackle recovery head on and put all of this in our past. I look forward to sharing more of our journey in combination with my passion of living a sober, healthy, and happy life.
—– Please know that if you find alcohol is getting in the way of being able to cope with “life on life’s terms” – reach out! To me, to a loved one, or even a professional. Don’t allow it to control you any longer than it already has. There is a way out, and a way up to the ability to love life, even when it isn’t fair or kind. ❤ —–