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Life Lessons from a Journey with Autoimmune Disease

After giving birth to my second son in 2016, I had all of the typical postpartum experiences: difficulty losing weight, hair loss, mood swings, dry skin, etc. When nearly a year had passed and all of those symptoms remained, I finally forced myself to go to the doctor who diagnosed me with hypothyroidism. I wrote a little bit about that in a previous post here on Dayton Moms Blog.

It has been several months since that initial appointment, and I’ve learned a lot about navigating life with an autoimmune disease. I thought I’d share some of these lessons because let’s face it, moms are fierce and passionate about taking care of our families, but we tend to seriously neglect our own health in the process.

Visit Your Doctor
If something feels “off,” no matter how seemingly small, listen to that inner voice and make an appointment with your doctor. This is the first important step in getting the answers and tools you need to get back to feeling like yourself again.
 

Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Often times in the past, I would accept information from my doctor at face value. When asked if I had any questions I would always say, “No, you covered everything. Thanks!” only to return home with my head clouded full of things I should have asked. Even if that happens to you too, there is absolutely nothing wrong with calling up your doctor or sending her an email with questions regarding your health. 

Share Your Story 
This is such an important step! I typically find it to be pretty difficult to open up to others, especially when it comes to personal matters such as my health. When I started sharing my struggles with hypothyroidism and a plethora of other issues I deal with, the floodgates opened up and so many other women reached out to me with priceless advice and wisdom which has helped me more than they will ever know! This was truly life-changing for me. If it is hard for you to open up to others on this level too, I would encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone and give it a shot – even if you simply reach out through an email. It might just change your life! 

Be Your Own Advocate 
It is so important to speak up for yourself! I will be the first to admit that, prior to this experience, I was the absolute worst person in the world at advocating for myself. Through all of this, I have learned that if you don’t speak up for yourself when it comes to your health, no one else will. If you are seeking treatment for something and it just doesn’t seem to be working after you’ve given it a generous try, speak up! Each and every one of us is unique and what works for one patient might not work for another. If your doctor won’t listen to you or makes you feel shameful for questioning your treatment, then it’s time to find a new doctor! 

Love Yourself 
This is yet another step that has been difficult for me over the years. When you’re in the midst of life, especially through various seasons of motherhood, it’s sometimes very difficult to love yourself. We are all just entirely too hard on ourselves. It’s so important to learn to love yourself, though. When you begin to see your own worth and value as the incredible woman that you were created to be, you can begin to treat yourself more kindly and love yourself more thoroughly which in turn makes you into the incredible mom that you were always meant to be.

My journey is far from over. I will live with my autoimmune disease for the rest of my life, and that is something I have come to terms with. Every single one of us has something in life that we must learn to navigate effectively so that we can spend the rest of our time enjoying life. Your health is important. YOU are important. Take some time to take care of yourself, momma. You’ll be so glad that you did!!

** If you’d like to follow more of my day-to-day journey with hypothyroidism, follow me on instagram @hypomomma **

 

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2 Responses to Life Lessons from a Journey with Autoimmune Disease

  1. malloryskidmore
    malloryskidmore March 4, 2018 at 5:40 pm #

    You are so right here! You are the person who knows your body best, and it’s taken me a lot of years to learn how to best advocate for myself without feeling like an inconvenience. I’m so glad you are getting answers!

    • Leslie
      Leslie March 21, 2018 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks so much, Mallory!

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