Last week I shared some bits I found interesting in writer Meghan O’Rourke’s essay “What’s Wrong With Me” in New Yorker magazine. She has the same disease as me: hashimotos, with a side order of several other (possibly) related vague autoimmune (AI) conditions. And her insights touched me – and you guys – big time.
But I saved the bit that REALLY grabbed me in the guts for this post.
Have you ever thought you knew Everything about Something, but then you read something that really stopped you in your tracks? It stops you so abruptly because it’s so blindingly obvious. How could I have missed this? A total A-ha! Moment.
In her essay, O’Rourke shares her frustrations about how no one really knows what causes AI, nor what will fix it. It’s “shadowy”, she says. For some it can be a matter of taking the drugs, and off they go to live normal lives. I know lots of folk like this. I’m happy for them. But if, like me and O’Rourke, you let the disease tangle for too long before getting help your clusterf*ck of symptoms won’t be unraveled with one pill. And, so, like me and O’Rourke, you can develop a domino-ed set of other AI conditions.
And so the “morass of uncertainties” twists tighter.
Like me, O’Rourke reaches a point where she’s largely able to manage her disease through diet – no gluten, no sugar, meditation, kefir, avoiding nightshades, etc. etc. I’ve tried it all. And it’s all required to maintain something resembling a normal life when you have a tricky AI.
But, and this is the two points of note:
- She hasn’t been cured as such. The “flares” and cycles continue.
- Her focus on trying to find a cure, and on controlling the AI, has seen her AI control her.
Her A-ha moment comes, however, when her endo delivers blunt news after a “lapse”. Despite her best efforts to control things with her lifestyle habits, she seems to go backwards, causing her to lament, again, that no one knows what the hell is going on. Says the endo