In 2008, I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, a hereditary condition that involves an overactive thyroid gland that releases too many hormones. My mother had it a couple of years ago, and some relatives were also once affected.
It was almost inevitable that I would also be afflicted.
My symptoms included extreme restlessness and low stamina, sensitivity to temperature, mood swings and heart palpitations. It doesn’t sound that bad on paper, but my condition is fatal; in fact, it’s called Graves Disease.
It affects practically every aspect of my life: my grades have plummeted due to constant naps that never seemed to rejuvenate me, and I almost never talk to my family because I have no reason. Also, I can’t do anything too strenuous with my body because I would tire too easily, and it becomes difficult to breathe.
I have even changed physically. In addition to the weight losses and gains, my face looks different. I recently noticed, for example, that my innate eye shape has slowly given way to my ‘hyperthyroidism eyes.’ Also, my hands never stop trembling.
I’ve been to four or five doctors, but after six years, I’m still sick. I might even be in worse shape than I was when first diagnosed.
The problem isn’t my thyroid gland; it’s me.
Ever since my first consultation with a specialist, I’ve been consistently non-compliant about taking my medication. I can’t say that it’s a difficult pill to take. I just choose not to.
I remember throwing away the pills I’ve missed, just so it would look like I was actually taking my medication. Against better judgment, I also lied to my doctors.
I know that my condition is affecting my family, both financially and emotionally, but I still didn’t realize just how much I was draining us of everything until one day a few years back. I just broke down and seriously contemplated killing myself.
For years, I’ve wondered what was wrong with me. Nothing could convince me to take my meds, not my doctors’ warnings, nor my parents’ pleas.
It didn’t even “break” me when I saw my mother cry for the first time. We had just gone to my latest endocrinologist for an appointment, and my doctor had drilled me for not complying to the medication. When we got home, my mom called me over and started crying. She pleaded with me not to be so selfish. My dad was sick at the time, and he couldn’t even afford to get a check up because of how expensive my medical fees were.
Of course, I felt like the worst person in the world, so I started taking my meds. That lasted for a few weeks.
To be absolutely honest, it’s gotten to the point where I scheme to get away with what I’m doing. I haven’t seen a doctor in months, because I keep putting off my appointments. At least my parents don’t have to pay for anything, right?
You probably think I’m horrible and ungrateful, but trust me—nobody feels worse than I do. I have reasons for my behavior, but they’re not excuses.
Six years later, I still haven’t developed the discipline to take my meds. To be completely honest, I only take them when I feel the symptoms starting to flare up. They’ve become more for treatment than preventative measures.
I’m slowly killing myself, and I can’t even care.