Put Some Gravy On That

Thanksgiving Ruminations of a New Thyroid Patient

thanskgiving, gratitude, thankfulness, thyroid patients

Jody LaFerriere had just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism when she first wrote this wonderful piece about Thanksgiving from the perspective of a new thyroid patient. And even though it's been a number of years since her initial diagnosis, and her then 3-year-old is now a teenager - her thoughts, and her wonderful sense of humor are still as funny as always.

It is the most wonderful time of the year.

I am in heaven, because it's Thanksgiving once again. And all I have to do to earn a huge plate of turkey and trimmings is announce at the dinner table what it is for which I am thankful. If I don't, my mom won't give me silverware and I am asked to go sit at the little card table with the kids running mashed potatoes through a Play-Doh Fun Factory. And of course, I get in even more trouble for that.

I've been jotting down a few notes the past few days in anticipation of my moment. If you don't mind, I'd like to run them by you. That way, I can figure out which one is going to get me fewer carrots and more gravy on the mashed potatoes.

Things For Which I Am Thankful

That bottle of Levoxyl with my name on it. That means they are mine. Someone recognized that I need them. I know I've only been taking them for three weeks and they haven't kicked in yet, but I've over the first hurdle. I actually had a single symptom-free day a week or so ago, and if this medicine gets me anything close to feeling that way on a regular basis I'd be happy.

Man, I even ran an errand instead of taking a nap. I returned my cable boxes to the scary cable office because of the item mentioned in the next item.

My DirecTV Tivo. If you haven't yet converted to the cult of Tivo, this is not the place for me to explain it. But I've got about 20 hours of programming ripped right from our new DirecTV satellite dish stored in that puppy even as I type.

I should also be thankful for the increase from 35 to 100 channels. That's a gimme. When you spend every waking moment avoiding housework, an extra 65 channels does all the work for you!

That my best friend is a physician, so that now I can look at all doctors as mere mortals, and it allows me to question them if I don't think I'm getting the treatment I need. I don't think it makes my doctors happy, but this is my Thanksgiving list. I have a tendency to self-diagnose, I usually just call them to confirm.

The internet. Oh, the internet gives me About.com and other resources to learn things I never ever would have known if I waited for someone to tell me about them. I actually feel I'm a smarter person because of the internet. People sharing their experiences is a great way for me to realize things I thought were in my head may actually be thyroid-related. And it's also a great way to spread chain letters.

My son, even though his birth is probably what started the downward spiral. Having babies and thyroid dysfunction are like marshmallows and sweet potatoes. They just go together. But he's cool, because even though he's almost three, he still naps 2 or 3 hours on weekends, which gives me 2 or 3 precious hours to either do something constructive, or nap.

Which brings me to the next item on my list.

My couch. My couch is one of my best friends. He doesn't judge me. He just makes himself as warm and cozy as possible, and allows me to spend Saturdays in his warm embrace with a People magazine spread across my midsection. Granted, I look forward to the day when I can make it though the day without needing to take a nap, but for now, the couch and I are one.

My family. I'm glad they stop over to visit every once in a while because if they didn't, I would probably never clean up the clutter. Just when I can't remember the color of my countertops my mom tells me she's coming over.

Voila…I sweep everything off the counter and into the next item.

Rubbermaid storage items. My bins don't judge me. They just let me dump in huge piles of "stuff" to deal with "later." Then my husband (giant thanks for him, too!) helps me carry them to an out of the way location. Eventually we'll have to deal with all of them, but I would like to point out that if you can't find a bill, even if it's just because you threw it into a plastic box, you have an excuse to not balance your checkbook for another day.

So that's what I'm thankful for this year. Pills, TV, and storage bins. It sounds like a movie of the week. But it's life with hypothyroidism. Now let's hope my metabolism can ratchet up a notch to match my appetite for turkey dinner.

Mom, can you put some gravy on that?

Note from Mary Shomon: Jody LaFerriere is a terrific humorist and talented writer, in addition to her ongoing gig as a single mom. She originally wrote this article in 2000, the year of her diagnosis. She is also webmaster of a terrific humor site, The Big Dumptruck. 

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