Having a Good Support System
When diagnosed with anything, it really always helps to have people around you that you can lean on. It is scary for some people to go through life changes alone. When hearing a diagnosis, like I did, I felt alone and really scared. I was in my early 20s and had no idea what any of it meant. I remember, to this day, where I was and what I was doing when my doctor called me and told me I had Graves' disease. I was in shock because I truly had never heard of the disease and did not even know you could have thyroid issues! What did a thyroid even do? What does this mean for me? What are the next steps? It was a surreal experience because you never really think it is going to happen to you. You never really think your doctor is going to call you and tell you news like that. It just goes to show you that you never really know.
When worry sets in
Flash forward to when I started noticing symptoms of thyroid eye disease (TED). That was almost more scary for me because it was visibly noticeable. I was worried my eyes were going to get worse and worse and I was going to need surgery to correct them. I just did not know what to expect, and with them already starting to show symptoms I was panicking all the time. I did not know how much worse it was going to get. I didn’t know what to think, how to react, and what to do. I was a ball of confusion.
Thyroid eye disease support system
I am thankful to have amazing parents that have really been my main source of support. While they probably don’t understand the full extent of what I am going through, it is always really nice to have someone I know I can always talk to. I know not everyone has that support. My parents are the people I go to whenever I am upset or stressed about what is going on. I trust them the most and feel the best after I talk to them.
I think it is really important for everyone going through something to have someone to talk to, and that does not mean it has to be a parent. It could be another relative like an aunt, uncle, cousin, sister, brother, or grandparent. It could be a co-worker that you are really close to and trust. It could be a friend. It could be a significant other. Everyone needs someone.
It is hard to go through any type of diagnosis alone. It is also great to have someone to talk things through with. Maybe you are someone who likes to handle things on your own, and that’s fine too. I’ve just found that for me, personally, I don’t know how I could have gotten through everything without having people around me who supported me. I do not know how I could have even gone to doctor's appointments without my parents with me. If you have someone who wants to be there for you and hold your hand through it all, you are very lucky.
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