Woman stands anxiously in front of a set of eyes.

The Moment I Found Out: My Graves' Disease Diagnosis

Last updated: April 2022

During my early 20’s I was working part-time at a radio station. I had graduated college and immediately started working as soon as I moved back home. I was working all kinds of crazy hours, not getting normal sleep, but dedicated to the job and doing as much as I could. All of a sudden I was tired, (more tired than normal). I did not think much of it because I knew I worked a lot and being tired is part of it. I worked during the day, at night, and I did overnights as well. I basically was working whenever I could because I wanted to make money and I also really wanted to learn all about the world of radio. I am also the type of person who was always busy, always running around doing something. I didn’t really know how to slow down and to relax. I thought if I did,  I would miss out on things. I thought if I did not work as much as I could that I would not get where I needed to in my job. I also just didn't like the idea of not having something to do, and just sitting around my house was not something I wanted to do.  That is my personality.

The signs

My mom, who is a nurse, noticed that my thyroid gland looked swollen. I had lost a ton of weight, and my eyes were bulging. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and realizing how skinny I really had gotten. I was eating a lot but I was burning it off so quickly. I immediately made an appointment to go see my doctor. When I saw my doctor, I could tell that she thought something was definitely off. She did blood work and an exam and then I left, knowing that I would not hear anything for a few days.

My Graves' disease diagnosis

Waiting to hear back was the worst. I’ll never forget where I was when I got the call back from my doctor.  I was in the radio station car driving to an event we were having. The doctor said “you have Graves’ Disease” and I remember I immediately started crying. I had never heard of this before and the name sounded incredibly scary.

They explained that I had an overactive thyroid and I would need to start treatment. I remember them telling me it is manageable, but all I could think of was the words “Graves” and “disease.” Imagine thinking that you are healthy and nothing is wrong with you, only for doctors to tell you that you have this disease that you had never heard of?

It took me a while, and a ton of conversations with my mom and doctor to truly understand what was going on with me. I had no idea what a thyroid even was, or what it did. I also did not know how much it affected. I did not know what a journey it would become and that I would later also get diagnosed with a mild form of Thyroid Eye Disease.

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