Wednesday, September 19, 2012

50 million Americans, and I, have an Auto-immune Disease

That surprised me - 50 million Americans! Granted, we can have different auto-immune diseases, but I've learned that once you have one, you're susceptible to others. Great.... The good news is that most of them are quite manageable, even if their onsets are not.

I have Hashimoto's disease - My friends and/or family members have Graves, Diabetes, Chronic Fatigue (CFIDS), Vitiligo, Celiac, Crohn's, Fibromyalgia, IBS, Sarcoidosis, or Multiple Sclerosis.  Those are just the ones I know of, and I have a feeling many of you know someone with one of these afflictions as well. And, yet, we're basically healthy people.

Thyroid disease is prevalent in 20 million of us - with 13 million of those undiagnosed. Does that surprise you? Perhaps there really is a reason you/we don't feel well all the time... My friend, Terri, was at the doctor's office, when he dared to say to her, "You look a little down, a little depressed". She looked straight him, and said, "Well, yeah. That's because I'm sick and at the doctor's". Can we collectively add a "DUH"? My point is that if you don't feel well, don't let anyone tell you "You're fine" or that they can't find anything wrong. Dig deep, my friends.

Doctors have, as I've said before, an almost impossible job - dare I say they live their lives in a guessing game? It would be fun except for the fact that people's quality of life is at stake. Physicians carry a burden I cannot imagine, and I don't envy them. I do, however, love the ones who want to keep learning and who want their patients to have "optimal" health.

On a side note, I'm trying to gain weight back (go ahead, comment below. I can take it and still love y'all). Try explaining weight gain goals at the gym and have trainers and staff just look at you blankly.

The older I get, the more I realize that most people want to be sensitive and helpful. Join me in being one of those kinds of people to those around us. Someone needs a smile, a phone call, or an email. Encourage one another.


  1. I completley agree. Also, doctors who ask "How are we (as if he feels like I do) today?" drive me crazy! That being said, I do not envy doctors either.

  2. I totally agree. Doctors play the guessing game at our expense. :( I'm sure it is a toll on them as well but sometimes, I'd just like to ask for a refund. Or atleast not pay until he got it right!!! :(