My health goals

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One of the things I’m focusing on right now is feeling better. Today, that means reading Izabella Wentz’s Hashimoto’s Protocol: A 90-Day Plan for Reversing Thyroid Symptoms and Getting Your Life Back. We’re coming up on the 10th anniversary of my Hashimoto’s diagnosis (driven by my own research, in partnership with a doctor I had to push to recognize it) and guess what? I still feel crappy. Not nearly as bad as 10 years ago, but still bad. And part of chronic illness is that there will be flare ups. But I know I’m capable of feeling better because I did, in the 9 months before I got pregnant. But the things that helped me then aren’t enough to help me now, it seems. So, Wentz’s book.

Wentz suggests keeping a health journal using “a method you are likely to stick to.” For me, that’s blogging. I’ll probably keep some private notes, but maybe this can even be helpful to somebody else to follow along. So to the extent I feel okay doing it, I’ll be keeping my journal here, in the Health category.

Wentz suggests beginning by identifying health goals. Here are mine:

I want to have more energy. I am tired, all the time. My kid will tell you. I’ve been the kid with the tired mom and I’d love to spare my kid that. So this is my highest priority. Right now, if I go on an outing with my kid, I have to take the rest of the day and potentially the next day to recover. So my energy goal is to be able to go on a family outing and stay in the swing of things the next day.

I want to feel better about my looks. Mostly I think I’m pretty cute, but sometimes I feel dull and puffy. I’d like to look in the mirror and be not dull and not puffy. I’m not going to worry about weight or even girth because those are tricky targets and easy to disappoint me. But I’d like to look in the mirror and see someone with normal bags under her eyes, not extreme ones, with pink and cheery skin rather than wan white skin, with more hair than I have now and with an appropriate amount of white hair for her age. (There is a clear distinction between the amount of white hair I have when I’m well and when I’m ill. I don’t want to eliminate it, just to have what seems like a reasonable amount of it. And then maybe dye it green.)

I want to have endurance when swimming. One pool length wears me out right now and I can’t at present exercise myself into improving that due to the relationship between thyroid hormone levels and respiratory function. But I want to be able to swim in a mermaid tail for long distances. My ultimate goal is 300 yards but I’ll set an intermediate one for now. By next July, I’d like to be able to do 2 full laps with only 12 breath rests.

Those seem big enough for now.

Kimberly Hirsh, PhD @kimberlyhirsh