A Lighter View. . .Did I mention I was a hypothyroid?

A Lighter View. . .Did I mention I was a hypothyroid?

By Karen M. Morris

By Karen M. Morris

Freelance writer

I don’t like to complain, but my family thinks I’m a whiner. Whenever I say the phrases: “I suffer from that, too”; “It’s a burden I’ve learned to live with”; or “I’ve had better days”…my husband tells people I’m referring to my poor housekeeping skills.

Face it. If a car can have a cracked block, leaky radiator and rust, then what chance do humans have with all their complicated parts?

A head-to-toe inventory would reveal…I leave more hair in the shower than I take with me. I need floodlights in the hall to find my way to the bathroom, and my skin looks like Christmas in July with all the flaking. My nose drips worse than the rain forest, and my teeth have more porcelain than the kitchen sink.

Bones break. Parts sag. My bowels have only two speeds…overdrive and stall. And when I tell people that I didn’t get much sleep the night before because I had so much action, I’m referring to heartburn, gas and toe cramps.

The list is endless, and I’ve had every “malfunction” known to man. If I were a computer, I’d be scrapped.

Recently, I noticed some subtle lifestyle changes. I started sleeping 22 hours a day, put on 40 pounds, and felt stiffer than a new pair of jeans. The doctor called it hypothyroidism and said with medication and exercise, I’d be my old self again. This was devastating news. I was really hoping for an improvement.

At least my problems are real and not imagined like Iris Bucketscoop’s. After getting acrylic nails, she became completely incapacitated. She couldn’t do housework, laundry or operate an oven. Poor thing was restricted to tanning and shopping for daily activities.

She was wailing to everyone at the club about her untenable situation. So, I decided to interject the word “hypothyroid” into every sentence of the conversation.

“Well,” Iris said, flashing her nails around like a band leader, “My husband is taking me to Steamboat Springs for a little getaway while the house is being disinfected.”

“Really?” I said, seizing the opportunity to steal her thunder. “With my hypothyroidism, I do better in warmer climates.”

Acting completely oblivious to my newly announced condition, she continued, “And I don’t know what we’ll do with our cats.”

I fought my way back into the conversation. “Did I mention that my cats were shedding their fur like clothes on a nudist? I had the vet check them for hypothyroidism. Fortunately, they don’t suffer from it as I do.”

“Did you just offer to watch our cats?”

“No. I can’t…I’m a hypothyroid.”

“That’s too bad,” she cooed. (I’m not sure if she was referring to my medical crisis or the fact I couldn’t watch her cats.) “You know, we had to cancel our gambling boat junket,” she said, smiling at her nails. “With these hands, throwing dice is impossible.”

“I suffer from that, too,” I chimed in. “My fingers are so puffy from hypothyroidism, I can barely get a pretzel to my mouth.”

The pretzel story went right over her head. “That reminds me,” she giggled, pointing at where her brain should be, “I have to get all new clothes for the trip. My nail care specialist warned me that washing my old clothes could be extremely hazardous. One bump of these beauties against the wash tub, and I could be facing an airbrush, fill and possibly a complete rewrap.”

“I almost died in a freak laundry accident,” I sighed. “My hypothyroidism kicked in just as I leaned over the machine to pull out a load of perma-press. I fell asleep and into the tub. If there’d been water in the machine, I’d have drowned. It’s a burden I’ve learned to live with, but my husband’s clean underwear is worth the risk.”

“I know what you mean about risks,” she said, blowing the dust off her nails. “I tried to make supper the other night, and my fingers kept slipping on the oven knobs. I was literally putting my life in the hands of danger.”

“Danger?” I mocked. “Try being a hypothyroid and hosting a children’s birthday party. It’s a tango with terror.”

“Try going to the bathroom using only your elbows,” she snapped back. Iris had a point. We were both very sick women. When a waiter came by with a tray of hors d’oeuvres, I fed her one, and then I ate one…after making sure they were safe for a hypothyroid to eat.

“I wish my husband understood me, like you do,” Iris lamented, resting her nails on my shoulders.

“Same here,” I yawned in a hypothyroid stupor.

When I got home, Wayne asked how everything went.

“I visited with Iris Bucketscoop.”

“The nail lady?”

“It wasn’t bad…although, I’ve had better days.”

“You’re whining again.”

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