Congenital hypothyroidism (CHT) is a condition resulting from an absent or under-developed thyroid gland (dysgenesis) or one that has developed but cannot make thyroid hormone because of a ‘production line’ problem (dyshormonogenesis). Babies with CHT cannot produce enough thyroid hormone for the body’s needs. The term ‘congenital’ means that the condition is present at birth.
When I was born, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness which would affect me for the rest of my life. I was told at 15 days old that I would be short and fat my entire life and always have issues. Growing up, I let this affect my life and what I did with body. I never took care of myself like I should have and listened to what the doctors had to say. I let a diagnosis rule my life.
I was born without a gland that everyone has to have. Crazy, I know. This disease affects everything in your body. Endocrine system, hormones, growth, everything is changed when your thyroid is compromised or absent. I have to take a certain type of medicine that mimics my thyroid and the duties it has.
Having this disease and being on medicine is a daily challenge. Having to remember to take my medicine is the worst part. You would think that since it's what keeps me alive, I would remember to take it; but when you have a crazy schedule it's the last thing on your mind. I can tell when I'm not on my medicine and I have missed a couple days when I start feeling dreary and irritable. It makes getting through the days harder and harder.
My disease makes everything harder because I'm always tired, even with medicine. The constant doctors appointments, labs, and keeping with my health takes a lot out of me, but it doesn't define who I am. My disease makes me, me. I still get to live a normal life, just adjust it to my needs. The biggest part of my disease, is knowing that it is chronic and if I don't take my medicine I could die eventually. I have to be very careful and remember to take care of myself everyday.
My chronic illness makes me special, I wouldn't change anything about it or wish that I didn't have my disease. I'm thankful that God had a plan for my life and if it involves having a chronic illness, then I am at peace. My team of doctors and parents have always been there to make it easier and remind me that I do have a disease, but I can stay healthy and live a normal life if I take my medicine. I'm thankful I am not in this alone.
My chronic illness doesn't define me, but it is a part of me.