I am a Wisconsin girl. I wear a lot of sweaters and jeans, boots and socks, and I do not own a swim suit. 90% of the time, I can be fully covered up and no one has to be exposed to my grossness (thought if you listen to Sean, “no one is looking anyway.”)
Before I begin showing you my most embarrassing photos, I feel compelled to also show a normal photo of me this week. Here I am. Proof that I am not usually a monster, just regular:
Yesterday I took Lizzie and her friend Sydney for pedicures, where a small man told me, in broken Chinese, that I was too fat for my feet. Had he caught me on another day, I might have crumbled into a quiet mess, but I just started laughing and replied, “That is why I am here! Fix my feet.” He went back to scrubbing my feet and happily muttering, “too many cracks, too many.” These are the kinds of thoughts that are kept on the inside in high end salons, but for $25, you get the blunt truth.
I have struggled with my health since Luke was born when I was diagnosed with Graves Disease seven months after his premature birth. Some young idiot did prescribe Synthroid when I was in labor, which is likely what brought the Graves on. I will not bore you with the sad and pathetic list of the thyroid hell symptoms that have plagued me these last seventeen years, but I am interested in sharing my latest development in hopes that maybe it will help someone else.
By the way, there is no need to inbox me with solutions for thyroid. I do not have one. Radiated that sucker out years ago and know am paying the devil by living without the cornerstone of my endocrine system. I have a good doctor. I am on Armour (lots). My basal body temperature is above 97. I have done everything humanly possible to stay in proportion with my feet (trainers, gym memberships, crazy fasts, diets, The Plan, The Juice Fast, Atkins, Low Fat, Low Carb, No Wheat, No Sugar, No ANYTHING THAT DOES NOT TASTE LIKE GRASS . . . I have taken Bee Pollen and Green Coffee Extract. I have seen four thousand doctors and nutritionists and acupuncturists and healers. There is nothing, NOTHING, causing hidden trauma, nothing that I have not honored or shed tears for. I have taken raspberry ketones, dandelion, tea, mangosteen juice . . . Just trust me, I have tried it all. I have read the websites. I have meditated the hell out of it. However, you probably have too, so that is why I am willing to show you this (go ahead, click on it, make it screen size, and then audibly gasp):
Gross, I know. Being too fat for my feet is really nothing in comparison. This started in 2010, during my pregnancy with Quinn. It is not Lupus (unless it is, and all the rheumatologists in the land are wrong). I showed up in the emergency room one night in my second trimester and the whole ER freaked out and brought in all of their friends to see my Elephant Man self. No one knew what my eyes were doing. Allergists did not know. Dermatologists did not know (though one did politely tell me that I was too old to have a baby anyway and that my eyes were the least of my troubles . . . I digress, but he really did shout, “There are mothers out there on crack and sometimes even those babies are fine and you worry about at little steroid cream? I bet you also are the kind of woman who buys expensive shampoo!”).
Since then, I have had crazy outbursts of rashes. They were so extreme this year that I had to leave work twice just to seek relief. The specialist at Childrens hospital saw me for five seconds, told me my thyroid caused the hives, and to just take Zyrtec for the rest of my life. Then she charged me $2000.
The hives started morphing into bruises and then one day two weeks ago, I came home to find that my entire thighs were purple. I sat on the toilet, staring at my swollen and bruised and blue legs and whispered to no one, “You are turning violet, Violet.”
It was scary enough that I called my doctor who, on a hunch, thought that maybe all the trouble I have had over that past three years has not been thyroid related after all, but is an extreme intestinal yeast infection. He prescribed diflucan and a probiotic and all of the hives started to disappear within five days. There are still some patches and spots that remain and I am certain I need another round of the poison, but honest to pete, I think that this guy is on to something.
One of the things that Quinn has taught me is that the body is capable of transforming itself in pretty amazing ways. If you don’t believe me, look again (33 months in the making):
Something about my reaction to that man’s comment has been lingering with me ever since he made it. I was not insulted. I was not defensive or full of excuses or resigned to being frumpy. I did not have the urge to call my mother and cry or complain. I sat in that pedicure chair, next to two sweet, funny girls, I glanced down at their young and healthy bodies . . .
… and I felt beautiful.