TED Patients Are Warriors and They Empower Me Every Day

I talk a lot about being diagnosed with Graves' disease and thyroid eye disease (TED), and how it really messed with my mental health and self confidence. It did for a while. Especially when I had thyroid eye disease.

I never wanted to leave the house, I was constantly looking at photos of myself hoping no one would notice my eyes, and it would just really affect me. I did not recognize the person I was looking at in the mirror and it was really scary. My eyes looked different, and that was hard to swallow. Now, looking back, I am seeing things in a whole different light.

Thyroid disease survivors are warriors.

Why I believe this

Trust me, I know in the moment sometimes you do not realize you are because you are too consumed with everything, but the truth is that is what you are.

From the point when you get diagnosed, your life may be forever changed. It might sound dramatic but it is not. At all. For the rest of your life you will be dealing with more doctors then you ever thought you would, you may have to be on medication for the rest of your life, and you will need to monitor this disease for the rest of your life regardless if you are in remission or not.

I had a radioactive iodine treatment when the first round of medicine I was on did not work. I technically do not have a thyroid anymore, but for the rest of my life I will be dealing with taking medicine, getting blood work, and monitoring how I feel.

At first I was thinking that this is going to be so annoying and I do not want to do this for the rest of my life. As I sat back and really thought about everything, I realized just how strong this has made me. I read other articles my fellow advocates write and it is truly inspiring how much they have overcome, and how strong they are. Honestly, anyone fighting a sickness or disease, like thyroid eye disease, is a warrior.

It's time to celebrate our strengths as thyroid eye disease warriors!

We should be celebrating just how strong we are. And again, I know how hard it can be to have that mindset. Obviously celebrating a disease is not what I mean. For years I was mad and annoyed, and to tell you the truth, sometimes I still get really annoyed at everything, but I have to remember everything I have overcome.

Everyone who is dealing with or has dealt with a thyroid disease, or any disease or illness, no matter which version it is, is so strong. You learn so much about yourself and how resilient you really are. You come out on the other side with a different mindset to a lot of things. You also learn that it could also be much worse. That is something I have definitely reminded myself, that it can always always be worse. I have doctors that monitor everything, and I have overcome so much.

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