April 2013

You may recall this time-frame was very relevant to the Bundaberg area – post one of the biggest floods on record. Fortunately, our family home was high and dry, although we were isolated for 5 days with no power and cut off with local creek flooding. The four of us, along with our neighbours, managed well although I could feel the adrenaline had caused a flooding of its own in my body and the effects were felt.

As the clean up began for our community, we headed out when we could, volunteering to help those who didn’t escape as easily as we did. And this included a natural disaster emergency inspired family reunion – my father lives in one of the more heavily impacted areas over North and his little timber place had a cleansing of its own up to the window sills. Once he was located a few days later safe with some friends, my brothers and their families organised to return to Bundy to help get Dad back on his feet – as much as we could anyway while the insurance company did their best to keep their expenditure to a minimum. He was forced out of his home for at least the next six months.

The cumulative stress of this event along with the ripples it caused in my brother’s expectations and opinions, meant that my thyroid decided it was going on vacation. On reflection I believe it’s due to the circumstances of my upbringing, with a dysfunctional family of origin and all that goes along with this foundation of existence, my default baseline was a continual state of adrenalised cortisol high – the multiple choice of flight, fight, freeze, or please. It’s how I rolled (more on that another time).

So when my thyroid was flagged after heading off to a GP for symptoms of weight gain hard to shift, fatigue and insomnia, it was time to step up or suffer. To take ownership or give my power away to someone who doesn’t have to live in this body, happy to hand out scripts which will send me on the treadmill of side effects and more of the same.

No thanks.

This was where my personal care physician (Me) had a chance to practice what I preached. I had stepped out of a 21 year nursing career to serve those who were wanting to be well, offering other healing tools other than a prescription for the latest pharmaceutical.

So I left the GP office without a script in hand but with the intention to act responsibly – explore the ways of healing that I knew and return for a repeat blood test in 3 months time.

And so I wrote my own prescription – I continued with my personal yoga and meditation practice, as well as my daily walks with our faithful furry family member. I added regular massages to help reduce stress levels (adrenal fatigue caused by OD on the ‘death’ (stress) hormone, Cortisol, can be a trigger for thyroid issues) and I researched therapeutic essential oils, adding the relevant ones into my self care routine, along with nutmeg and other ayurvedic herbs as support acts.

From a metaphysical aspect – the throat (where the thyroid sits) is about communication, speaking our truth. People with problems in the throat region often struggle to keep the peace or win approval of others. Tick tick tick. I ticked all these boxes.

So, I needed to also attend to the interpersonal aspects – to clear the voice path, to express myself (sometimes aloud, other times just writing it out for nobody’s eyes) and to manage those people in my life who were no longer helping to lift me up to a better version. I’m still a work in progress.

But, what has happened 3 years on?

My thyroid returned from its holiday, pulling its weight, maintaining a normal range of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). I weaned off the essential oil support about 18 months ago, although these nature’s gifts are always in my healing toolkit. The other lifestyle practices continue, and I’m more highly attuned to when my adrenals start to feel overwhelmed and make the necessary changes in my routine and commitments.

And this self care routine has held me in good stead with more stressful and challenging life events. Attunement and awareness are key. Make yourself a priority – for everyone’s benefit.