Two years ago, I couldn't even climb the stairs. I was so out of breath and drained that I had to sit down halfway. I remember looking at my mum and thinking I was dying. A few scary tests later, I was diagnosed with Graves' Disease, causing me to suffer with a severely overactive thyroid.
I lost three stone in weight. I couldn't concentrate meaning my education was suffering. I struggled to sleep at night and my mood swings were unbearable. My hair was falling out at a rapid rate. I had a tremor, an unusually fast heart rate and I was overly sensitive to heat and cold. Any symptom on the list, you can bet that I had it.
When I was diagnosed, I was told to speak to my University personal tutor about my situation. Her response was that her friend has a thyroid problem and 'she's fine so you should be too'. When someone is suffering, this is definitely not the mentality you need. My mum and I are climbing Ben Nevis this summer in order to make more people aware of the detrimental effects thyroid disorders can have on your life. My medication meant that I had to sit in A&E and have my bloods checked every time I got so much as a sniffle, a sore throat or a cough. My life was ruled by medication and doctor's appointments just so I could function on a daily basis.
I was lucky when I was diagnosed as the RVI in Newcastle was starting a medical research trial into young people with thyroid disorders. My trail is now coming to an end and I am managing to maintain normal thyroid levels without medication. I'm one of the lucky people who can say I am on a path to recovery. I owe a lot to the RVI and the British Thyroid Foundation for allowing me to get my life back and finally start feeling like myself again!
It was when I attended a talk by the British Thyroid Foundation where people shared their stories that I realised not everyone has been as lucky as I have. People have had to wait months in order to start medication or even to get seen by a GP. Often people's thyroid disorders wouldn't even get diagnosed straight away meaning they had to suffer in silence and not understand what was happening to their bodies. An undiagnosed thyroid problem is a scary and confusing time that I would not wish upon anyone.
We are climbing Ben Nevis so fewer people have to stay in the dark and not know what is happening to their bodies. We hope spreading awareness of thyroid disorders will enable people to understand them more and we hope that the money raised will enable the British Thyroid Foundation to support more patients and allow more research to be done into thyroid problems. That way more people can have the opportunity I have been so lucky to have had and get better.
Two years ago, I couldn't even climb the stairs. Two years on, and I'm climbing Ben Nevis with my best friend. Every day with a thyroid disorder is like climbing a mountain. There's difficulty in even getting out of bed in the morning. That's why we are climbing Ben Nevis, for all those that are suffering, so that more people can get over the mountain and be on the other side.
Any donation to our cause is really appreciated by us both and the charity, thank you for taking the time to read.
Clare and Krissa xx
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