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The Diary of a Menopausal Mama by Tina Mil

Our thyroid community is full of beautiful people, like Tina Mil.  Tina writes the blog The Diary of a Menopausal Mama, where she shares her experiences with early menopause, her recent Hashimoto’s diagnosis and tales of her life.  Maybe some pictures of her kids and adorable new granddaughter too.   You can follow her on Twitter @Tina_Ladd_Mil.  Tina has generously shared the story of her health journey here.  She is an incredibly strong woman who has been though a great deal.  I am grateful for Tina’s openness and honesty.

A special thanks to my dear friend Kelly Shadix, the author of Your Journey Is Right On Time.  It was Kelly’s idea to ask Tina to share her story.

Take it away, Tina…

Tina

Hello everyone! My name is Tina Mil. I am a stay at home mom of 4 beautiful children, new grandmom and wife to an amazing man! I was recently diagnosed with Hashimotos after a very long road of medial problems, depression and surgeries. I am so very happy to share my story with you all.

My journey began 11 years ago. After my youngest son was born I was diagnosed with PCOS. Shortly after, I was diagnosed with endometreosis. My life from then on was filled with pain and misery. I had periods that lasted 17-19 days, with bleeding so bad I was unable to leave my house or get off the sofa because of the pain that came with it. My doctor prescribed almost every birth control pill on the market and none worked.

Then came the surgeries. My first was a cyst on my ovary that was described as “the size of a newborn baby’s head”. Needless to say the ovary had to go. Because of my age, my doctor wanted to prolong removing the remaining ovary for as long as we could. Understandable, but given the pain and bleeding I was dealing with, well, I was begging for a hysterectomy.

Over the next few years I received 2 separate rounds of Lupron, which put me in a chemically induced menopause. This of course helped while I took the drug, but a month later all my symptoms resumed. I also received 2 endometreial ablasions. One by one my reproductive organs were removed, leaving my ovary for last which finally came out in June of 2010.

My menopause symptoms didn’t start right away and I finally felt like me again! I even finally got a job outside the home. 8 months after my surgery I felt that familiar pain and instantly knew that I had another cyst. It turns out that a cyst was missed during surgery and grew to a very large size. It had to come out. This surgery proved to be very difficult because of all the scar tissue I had, and I lost a lot of blood.

I lost my new job because of the amount of time I had to take off and shortly after this last surgery I knew something was wrong. I was having major menopause symptoms but the fatigue I was feeling was like nothing I have ever gone through. I had major depression, mood swings, all my joints hurt, my hair was falling out and in the winter it was like I could never get warm. I had my gallbladder removed many years ago and now I had all of these weird stomach issues. Through it all I just dealt with it. I was miserable.

Then I went to my annual gynecologist appointment. I did the usual weight check and sat waiting for the usual unpleasant exam. The nurse took my blood pressure 3 times before sending my doctor in who took it 2 more times. She looked at me and said I have 2 options, go to the ER or go see my cardiologist. My pressure was at stroke level. I had minor blood pressure issues in the past but haven’t been to get a check up in some time. I opted for the cardiologist who took me right in. I was put on meds which didn’t work, my pressure just wouldn’t go down.

On a routine pressure check visit I saw a nurse practitioner. She sat me down and asked my whole medical history. She looked at me and asked if anyone has ever checked my thyroid, of course I said no. She ordered some blood tests and sent me to a pulmonologist (who then diagnosed me with sleep apnea) and said I’m not an endocrinologist but i’m betting your thyroid is out of whack. 2 weeks later I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease.

Apparently, a trauma to the body, a virus, etc. can trigger thyroid disorders that may have otherwise gone undetected. I am currently on levothyroxine and will be getting my levels checked again soon. After reading so many of your posts and hearing so many of your stories I am now armed with important information, information that can help me on my road to feeling better. If my levels aren’t what they are supposed to be, and I have a feeling they aren’t because I don’ feel any better, I am requesting Armour. If I don’t get it I will be looking for another doctor.

Its hard to distinguish what is menopause and what is my Hashi’s. Its a daily struggle and most days my energy is at a zero. The way I look at it, I now know what the problem is, I know i’m not crazy. While I know that it may take some time, I know that one day I will feel normal. I will get there with the help of my amazing family and my saint of a husband. Through my blog I have met some really wonderful women who are going down the same road. We are traveling together and it makes the journey bearable. We lean on each other, cry with each other and enjoy the good days together.

If I could give one piece of advice it would be to listen to your body. You know it more than anyone, and if something doesn’t feel right chances are it isn’t right. Be your own best advocate and learn its OK to ask for help!

Thank you for letting me share my story and I wish each of you the best of luck on your own journey!

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  1. Miss Diagnoses

    Oh wow, thank you so much for sharing your amazing story! I also have Hashimoto’s and endometriosis, and I have had four laparoscopies. Ugh. As I read your post, I was so impressed with your courage and determination. I know it can be so hard to have conditions with overlapping symptoms—in my case it is the Hashimoto’s and the Lyme that overlap. The endo gets mixed in there too. Sometimes you don’t know what is causing what. I am very glad your husband and family are supportive … so important for us to be surrounded by people who get it. I will be sure to check out your blog!

  2. lorraine cleaver

    Tina thanks so much for sharing your painful story, a story we thyroid patients are becoming all too familiar with. How many more women are out there, having their reality denied and body parts removed to no help? Too many. I am so glad you have a wonderful husband to support you through all this. My husband was an amazing support to me too and I don’t think I’d still be here without him, or the online community. They did far more than any doctor to guide me. Best wishes and I know you will get well now that you have the backing of these amazing Thyroid communities.

  3. Elaine

    Tina,
    You are a brave woman to have powered through your challenges and then to have the courageous to share your story. Your story makes a difference; showing others not just how to face their illness but how to face it down. My heart is with you.

    Zenthyroid is an important forum!
    Elaine

  4. Tina Mil

    Thank you all for your kind words. There were many times I just didn’t think I could deal with any more. With every diagnosis I felt like my quality of life was just not good. My husband is my rock, he’s been through the good and bad and I know with out a shadow of a doubt that I would not be here without him. I just feel for the women who are going through this alone. We have to let them know that there is hope, there is help!

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