A (self)diagnosis

For the past couple of years, I’ve felt like I was having a Hashimoto’s thyroiditis flare. But aside from a small dip in my thyroid hormones which was easily corrected by L-tyrosine and iodine supplementation, there hasn’t been any evidence that that’s what was making me feel like garbage. When I asked my doctor about it, almost a year ago I think, she said that maybe it was a food sensitivity or a new autoimmune disease, and asked me to track my symptoms and things that might be triggering them. That tracking got very overwhelming, very quickly, because I was trying to track food and sleep and and and.

I’ve been feeling even more flarey recently, especially since I started sheltering in place, and the other day had extra terrible pain. I’ve also had laughably frequent urination, like, more frequent than when I was pregnant, and in the past I thought maybe that was a sign of diabetes but I wasn’t diabetic. So I started Googling around and discovered that frequent urination can be a symptom of fibromyalgia. (Hi yeah if you don’t believe fibromyalgia is a thing, kindly see yourself away from my comments/replies, because I don’t want to hear it.)

My doctor is also my sister’s doctor, and told her a while back that she probably had fibromyalgia.

So I started talking to my sister about it and researching more. A while back I installed a sleep app on my phone to track my sleep, and it showed that even when I was “asleep,” my movements and breathing indicated that my brain activity was similar to that of an awake person and that I was only getting about 15 minutes of deep sleep on a given night, even if I slept for 7+ hours. My kid only wakes me up maybe once a night anymore, and sometimes not even that, so this isn’t a parent thing. Guess what that sort of sleep pattern is a symptom of?

Did you guess fibromyalgia?

It’s fibromyalgia.

Now is a terrible time to try and get a new diagnosis of a chronic illness if you don’t need pharmaceuticals for it, so I’m not pursuing one right now, even though I’ve got a bit of a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend “A Diagnosis” vibe:

The main thing that is valuable about focusing on treating fibromyalgia over autoimmune stuff is that the books I trust for autoimmune focus on food first, but I’ve been so exhausted I can’t even deal with food prep most of the time. Which, guess what? Is a problem a lot of people with fibromyalgia have. The autoimmune protocol I have has four steps: 1. Food 2. Stress and rest 3. Digestion 4. Detox. Whereas the fibromyalgia one from the book my sister recommended has four similar steps but in a different order: 1. Rest (Stress included) 2. Repair (Digestion + Food combined) 3. Restore (I think this might be the detox one, not sure yet?) 4. Reduce (taking care of lingering symptoms). This re-ordering of things is a revelation for me. Of course if I am not sleeping I don’t have energy to meal plan and shop and cook. OF COURSE.

I feel silly writing it all out, but whatever.

Anyway, I’m acting like a person who’s trying to do as much for her fibromyalgia as she can on her own. First thing, biofeedback via Hearthmath.

Kimberly Hirsh @kimberlyhirsh