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A woman has her eyes closed and rests her head inside a freezer.

Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Recently, I had a moment that put many of my thyroid eye disease (TED) problems into perspective. I hit my head. And I gashed it.

Accidentally hitting my head

I was getting something out of my freezer on the top compartment of my refrigerator. Some ice fell out, so I bent down to pick it up. As I bent down, I thought to myself, "Be careful; the freezer door is going to swing back around." Well, that mental note did not help me because when I went to stand back up, my head hit the freezer door. I hit it hard, and I yelled.

At first, I thought I just hit my head and continued my business. I assumed I would have a headache later and a bump the next day at best. But then I noticed blood on my hands, and I ran to the mirror. Sure enough, my head was bleeding. There was blood in my hair.

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Of all the years I have dealt with TED, I have never had anything like this happen. I was both relieved and horrified at the thought. Did years of having depth perception issues teach me nothing?

Reflecting on my thyroid eye disease symptoms

Luckily, the gash wasn't wide or deep enough to need stitches. It clotted as these things do. It was late, and I was tired from a long day's work. But as I stood in my bathroom, putting pressure on my head with a washcloth, wondering how I ended up here at 10 p.m., I looked at my eyes.

I started thinking about all the times I bumped into things when I had TED. All the bruises I got because my eyes weren't communicating with my brain, at least that's how it felt anyway. These minor incidents caused this nonchalant initial response because nothing ever big came from it. I guess it took my head to bleed to appreciate all the bruises that didn't open.

When TED symptoms slowly cleared

While in the midst of thyroid eye disease, I couldn't see straight (literally). Everything in my life was slanted in some fashion. Then, my symptoms slowly cleared, and I began taking things for granted again. I didn't have to worry about my depth perception because I didn't run into things, or so I thought. Out of sight, out of mind. I went back to living as though I never had these issues because they no longer impacted me.

This is what TED taught me

TED taught me to be careful and to listen to my intuition more. Sometimes, being overly cautious when everything feels unsteady is necessary to get through daily life, at least for the time being.

Somehow, over the past 2 years of being symptom-free, I lost my awareness to listen. I ignored the thought telling me to be mindful of my surroundings. Some life lessons are worth carrying with you, even if you must learn them a few times to stick.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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