Life- Thankful Thanksgiving

This year as Thanksgiving came along, I found that my heart contained an extra serving of thankfulness.  What a treat!  Especially considering this past year has been full.... of challenges and blessings.

The most personal challenge was my health.

Yes, my health.......
Now, I am 34 and a vegetarian that puts thought and effort into how I live and to be faced with a health challenge was..... well, a surprise.

So, what is this health challenge that I speak of?  Hold on, it is a big word that is hard to say:

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis

I bet most of you have never heard of it.... I hadn't....
When I was first diagnosed I was scared, but as I moved forward I was relieved to have a diagnosis, proof that my symptoms were not made up.... that I wasn't mentally losing it.  AND there was treatment and hope that my body would regain balance.  Little did I know that balance would require me to change in so many ways.

First off, let me tell you about Hashimoto's.... or how about I let Wikipedia tell you:

Hashimoto's thyroiditis or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease in which the thyroid gland is gradually destroyed by a variety of cell- and antibody-mediated immune processes. It was the first disease to be recognized as an autoimmune disease.[1] It was first described by the Japanese specialist Hashimoto Hakaru in Germany in 1912.

Simple enough, right?  Somehow, my antibodies became confused and started attacking my thyroid..... I call this MUTINY!!!!!!  This mutiny creates hypothyroidism, which means by body was no longer producing the proper amount of thyroid hormones.  Hypothyroidism is pretty simple to treat with a low cost medication, however, the Hashimoto's part makes life uncomfortable in a number of ways.

Before my diagnosis, my body no longer had felt like mine.  Never in my life had I felt pain like I was having.  Pain would throb and pulsate throughout my whole body.... up one side, down the other..... especially my legs at night.  Also, my energy was gone....... GONE...... GONE!!!!  My emotions were like a crazy roller coaster (poor Mr. Handsome and anyone else who was a part of my daily life) and it didn't feel like there was a seat holster to hold onto.   All this was difficult, but the scariest part was my mind had become foggy and I could no longer think straight.  I have always been pretty sharp and didn't know how to cope with not remembering the simple details of life.

I am incredibly THANKFUL for my mother-in-law who is a physician and recognized that there was something wrong.  After running bloodwork tests it was discovered that my antibodies were crazy high and that my T3 and T4 were unbalanced as well. 

Thank God for modern integrative medicine.

I consulted with a holistic doctor as well.  (Dr. Joseph Collins  Which means, through supplementation, my hormones could become balanced again and the antibodies would cease the mutiny.

Guess what...... it is working.  YES! YES! YES!  I am feeling better!  The pain is much less, my energy is coming back, and my emotions are no longer running my life.  YES! YES! YES!  Sunshine-y Melissa has come back!  I like her :)

However, my life has changed a lot through this healing process.  I switched jobs to a simpler one that I work less hours.  I also took every trace of gluten out of my life and no longer eat things that cause inflammation in my body (more on this one later).  Also, I rest more now than I ever have.  When I do not feel well, I stop and take care of myself.  What a novel idea, to nurture and care for oneself......... what a beautiful thing to do.

I can truly say this Thanksgiving that I am grateful for so much.

Thank you Dr. Sharon Collins for recognizing there was something wrong.
Thank you Dr. Joe Collins for having integrative solutions.
Thank you Mr. Handsome for being a stable rock in my life.
Thank you to my friends and family for your love, support, and prayers.
Thank you to my dog Sadie for all the snuggles.
And thank you God for healing my body.

I went from very sick (in May) to feeling pretty normal (in November).  That, I must say is pretty quick.... thank God!  I know the journey is not over, but I am so happy to be feeling better and have hope for my future.

Life is an interesting journey.  We can fight our story, or we can allow our story to exist and celebrate this life that has been given to us.  I choose to celebrate!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope that you can look at your life and those in it and have eyes to see all that is beautiful.



  1. It's definitely been a journey! I am glad I get to be the guy who dances the journey with you. I'm so grateful that you are feeling better and that God has surrounded you with wise and knowledgeable people. The best is yet to come! :)

  2. Great post, Melissa. Informative and real! Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Wow! What a year for you. Thank you for opening up and sharing. Thanking God with you, that you are finding healing! :)

  4. Thank you for sharing your journey! I love the good work that has begun in your heart and mind as week as your body!! You are a blessing!

  5. Wow! I'm so thankful you're feeling better!


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