The final piece of the puzzle fell in.
I was on a family vacation in Mammoth for less than 7 hours when my son fell and cut his face badly enough to get glued – in lieu of stitches, they sometimes glue cuts shut now. I had a bad feeling about the trip from the time I tried to leave LA, so after the hospital I decided to turn around and drive the 5.5 hours back home to avoid any further lacerations.
Before I left town, my mom, the baby and I went out for breakfast and the most randomly wonderful thing happened. As we pulled up, my mom hesitated.
“There’s something I want to tell you about your dad but I’m not sure if it will upset you.”
Hello carrot, nice to see you.
“I’m okay. You can tell me.”
My father as topic is generally not cool in my book because I usually learn another horrible thing about him or things he did that plummet me into PTSD-land. The story of my father is here.
What she told me blew my mind.
What she told me changed my life forever.
What she told me set me free.
“Your father had a thyroid problem.”
Now this may not seem like a big deal to anyone but me, but my mom also had Hashimoto’s that reversed itself after I was born. Yes, it does happen, although she has struggled with depression on and off for years and she could probably use a little natural thyroid again.
Anyway, this means I have thyroid disease on both sides. And it’s very rare for men to have thyroid disorders – I think it’s 1 in 9. But this isn’t really what blew my mind.
She he went on. “He would sleep all day. He couldn’t get out of bed. When he would finally get out of bed, he’d be so overwhelmed by life that he’d drink.”
Hi, story of my life. He was diagnosed before they met.
“He was always seeing different doctors. You know, he was such a hypochondriac.”
My mom’s said this a zillion times. My father, the hypochondriac. Then she stopped.
“…or maybe he was really sick and that’s why he went to the doctor so much.”
This was an awakening on both of our parts. See, he was taking Synthroid (T4 only) – since the 1950′s it’s been the gold standard for thyroid replacement therapy. It’s the medicine I was on until a little over a month ago. For many people, synthetic thyroid medication doesn’t convert to T3 and therefore we stay sick. We still have symptoms and are told that our thyroid is fine because our doctor’s fail to run more panels than TSH and T4 (and sometimes T3).
His doctors were running at the most 3 panels when he should’ve also had his iodine, Free T4 and T3, Reverse T4 and T3, anti-TPO and TgAb checked. And his iron, cortisol, B12, Folate, Potassium, Calcium, Sodium, Glucose, D3, progesterone, estrogen and testosterone levels checked.
He was drinking to self-medicate how awful he felt just like I was – we were both alcoholics as well – but we were very sick and just trying to cope. From the drinking came the rage and insanity and harm done.
If his thyroid was under control I would’ve had a very different childhood and he would’ve had a very different life.
. . .
My heart burst open with compassion for my father. I’m not angry anymore. The resentment I had for him in my heart was so layered and deep that I feared I’d never be free of it. I held it with me whenever someone talked about their amazing fathers, or childhood or when I saw daughters and fathers together in loving relationships.
I’ve been trying to forgive him for years. Decades, really. I’ve done tons of stepwork on him and spent enough money on therapy to buy at least 10 purebred French Bulldogs.
We had the same ailments, but I get to heal. I get to live the life he never could. I don’t have to live in dis-ease. I know what’s wrong with me and I can get better.
I do not have bipolar disorder. I am not mentally ill. I am free.
I bee free.
. . .
And this was the first post of my new URL – ibeefree.com!