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A woman is in a field of flowers seeing double and feeling her closed eyes.

Holding Onto My TED Feelings

I recently had a dream I had double vision. It was the strangest dream ever. Everything I was looking at in this dream was doubled. I woke up, trying to catch my breath.

I never dreamed of seeing double before. Not when I had double vision from thyroid eye disease (TED), or after the symptoms went away. And honestly, I was sort of shocked to return to my single vision reality.

Was this a sign?

This dream made me question for a second if this could be a sign of something to come. Have I ever believed in this thinking that dreams could predict the future before this slight moment of panic? No. Did I actually believe this anxious thought I was having could be a reality in my future? Not really. But it did make me think about the ways my body and brain have held onto my TED feelings and emotions even though I no longer experience the symptoms.

Allergies bring up memories

This spring, I had a lot of seasonal allergies that caused my eyes to be very red and extremely itchy. Which in part caused an anxiety reaction I was not fully prepared for. It is the kind of anxiety that caused my whole back to tense up. I rubbed my shoulders, rolled my neck, and tried to relieve some of the tension from what I could not control. The automatic response my body made when being unable to control my eyes reminded me of TED. It is hard to believe I lived this way for years.

I was constantly stressed, and extremely uncomfortable physically in my own skin. I was unable to shake this feeling. One very highly uncomfortable eye irritation from allergies and weather, and I was back to feeling something I thought I had gotten rid of almost 2 years ago.

I thought I would never feel this pain in my body again. I know this was not TED. I told myself to breathe. My body continued to tense tighter with every reminder of what used to be. It might as well be the same for my body.

More prepared: Why I might be holding onto my TED feelings

I do not spend my days worrying about my TED coming back. However, my body and my brain went through a life-altering shift and a traumatic thing with having this disease. It is only natural that being reminded of the disease brought up these responses because I now know what living with this disease is like.

I was not prepared for my life to be turned upside down the way that it was. I sense that how I responded was my body and brain reverting to what protected me for so long while I was in the midst of it. It is an automatic action that I am unknowingly always ready to revert back to even when everything is fine.

Just in case it happens again, now I know how to survive it. I did it once. I do not think I will have to do it again. I have no expectations or thinking that this disease will be active again. But I know what to do now.

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