A Letter to Those Who Know Someone With Hypothyroidism

If you live with a thyroid patient, don’t expect too much from them in daily life. Don’t expect them to be able to do everything they used to be able to do before diagnosis, and don’t expect it to be an easy and quick journey for them to get back to good health. You may have to take up most of the housework and take initiative on things that they used to be in charge of. Tell them when they’ve done enough for the day and encourage them to rest. Bring them drinks, run them a bath, or simply ask if they need help getting up the stairs or putting their shoes on. Go with them to doctors appointments and help them get the right treatment for them. Encourage them to find online support groups and networks to meet others also living with the disease. Often experience and advice can be shared among patients that is invaluable to helping make the condition that little bit easier to live with.

If you’re a doctor of a thyroid patient, please listen to them. I don’t by any means hate doctors, but it frustrates me that a lot won’t be open minded. Don’t assume the one-size-fits-all medicine will work for them. Listen to their ideas and suggestions and don’t make them feel small. Take time to explain things to us and give us time to explain everything to you. Read books we suggest and be open-minded. Sometimes we feel intimidated by a medical professional, but when we do our own research we often would like to share our findings with you. Refer us to an endocrinologist or another doctor if you think they’d be more help to us. If we can find doctors who will work with us and listen to us, it would be the perfect solution.

Something as simple as reading this letter means the world to us. It means a lot that you want to understand our situation and help us, or at least be someone we can talk and rant to, and rely on to listen to us when we’re having a hard day.

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