My Battle with Graves Disease, part 7: setback scare

When i got back from vacation at the end of august i felt relaxed, ready to go to work. Then i opened my inbox and my first thought was: ‘why can’t things run smoothly for a short while’. The first day back and i already lost my relaxed mindset.

Shortly after i started feeling a bit tired, started sleeping worse, had some trouble with my stomach and thought i felt my heart pumping a bit harder. And more troublesome, i lost a bit of weight. So all sorts of alarmbells went of with my history of graves disease.

Some symptoms like a tight chest and trembling hands were not present. Was this a setback? Was this the moment of truth where all my hard work went undone and my thyriod was in overdrive? This in turn also led to a bit of stress which didn’t help at all.

Last week i asked for a bloodtest, and when you get called back the same day or early the next, you know you are in trouble. So i again was a bit anxious and tried not to think about my phone.

No one called! Was i off the hook? I wanted to know the result because if you are in the ‘range’ you are fine theoretically, but you could also be just on the edge. So when i called and heard that everything was fine (0,51 / 16.8) i felt relieved. I already saw myself going to the hospital and talking about ‘nuking’ my thyroid. Not a pleasant foresight.

But why did i have some symptoms? Well, it occured to me, and i already knew it a bit, high stress after a relaxed vacation puts your body and mind in a terrible mode. Everyone knows too much stress is incredibly bad for you, but knowing what to look for and seeing the first signals can be difficult. Especially when some sings are the same as graves disease. And we are good at making excuses that nothing is going on, things will pass. Not taking care of yourself is the worse decision you can make.

So as a result, i decided to build in more moments of relaxation and a bit of meditation, during the workweek. For me a good signal is tightness in my stomach so breathing deep and relaxing my abdominal muscles is the first things i need to focus on. I have an app on my phone with guides meditations which worked well in the past so i’ll start using that again. Just being aware this can happen is the first step, but you have to be always aware which can be tiresome.

For my next vacation i have to figure something out as to not get into a high-stress situation righ away (or any time for that matter). You can’t run away from work (at least not without consequences) so how you manage yourself is all the more important. This in combination with changes i mentioned in my previous blog should put me into a good starting position. But for now…i’ll just try to breathe and relax.

Stay healthy, always keep learning!

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