My name is Natalie, I am the founder of The Unchargeables. In this article I will tell you my story.
Growing up I experienced stinging pains in my arms and legs. The doctors called it growing pains. Everybody ignored it, it will eventually go away…
When I was 14 years old I sat in class. I got shooting pains in my arms so bad that I fell off my chair. Test were done, nothing was found.
I have had thyroid issues ever since I was 16 years old. I had a lot of symptoms like shortness of breath, feeling rushed/nervous, was always hot and more vague symptoms. My doctors thought I had anxiety attacks and send me to breathing classes.
I took breathing classes for two years but the symptoms stayed…
When I was 19 a doctor finally took an extensive blood test and saw my thyroid was overactive. He told me to make an appointment at the hospital. There was a 4 month waiting list.
The day of my first appointment came. I was sitting in the waiting room when the specialist called me. He shook my hand and said: ” I hope you were referred here as an emergency, I can see in your face you are very ill”. I told him, no I was on the waiting list for 4 months and have been experiencing symptoms for years. He immediately took me to the cardiac ward (passing very old people that were waiting their turn) and hooked me up to a machine. SHOCK!
Long story short, my heart could still handle it and I was diagnosed with Graves disease. I got a lot of medication for 1,5 years and after that was cured. Or so I thought…
The doctor told me that I could get the opposite of Graves disease one day and I would have to take a pill everyday for the rest of my life. But I was still young and that was not going to happen for a long time.
He was wrong…
I was 27 when I became pregnant with my baby girl. During my pregnancy I felt extremely fatigued, very moody, could not hold food down, was extremely nauseous until week 27 and started having sharp pains in my belly from week 33. I was ordered to stay in bed until the baby was born.
The birth ended up in me having an emergency c-section, the baby was stuck and my contractions stopped. We were slowly dying… These are the times that I am thankful for modern medicine because they saved me and my daughter that day. Even though they still did not diagnose me with anything yet.
Healing from the operation took very long, my health kept getting worse. 5 months after my girl was born I had post partum depression. My depression got worse and worse.
It took me months to find the right help. I went to the depression clinic for 2 years 2 hours a week. And through counselling I realised, maybe it is my thyroid again. It turns out I was right.
Thyroid specialist number 2 prescribed synthetic T4 thyroid hormones and I started feeling a little better. But I didn’t fully recover. I still hurt, do not feel hunger, have sleepless nights or nights/days where I sleep 20 hours, I am cold all the time, am ill all the time. This is not how life is supposed to be right?
What is up with me?
Aside from my thyroid issues I suffer from Fibromyalgia. The Fibromyalgia used to make my joints and muscles hurt and inflame to a point that it gives me a fever. Now that I know my limits better and am sugar free the inflammations are much less extreme. It also makes me super sensitive to sounds. The smallest sound can aggravate me and start a flare. I have regular migraine’s that make me bed bound for days. Then there are the days that I simply feel like my battery is completely empty and I can not get up. What is wrong with me?
Doctors keep telling me that my blood work looks fine. I am 99% sure that I have Hashimoto’s disease, but did not get it diagnosed yet. (Update: After writing this article Hashimoto’s has been officially diagnosed)
A while ago I moved countries, that does not make it any easier to get a diagnosis since I have to get into the system first. The better climate does help me tremendously with my symptoms. I feel more energetic (meaning I need less naps) I sleep better and have less pain. I can be a better mother for my daughter.
Every day I try to work on my health. I eat sugar free and gluten free, do not drink coffee or alcohol and try to not overdo it. And most of all try to stay positive!
Founder of The Unchargeables. Mother of a little girl, living with two cats and a dog on a sunny island. Very passionate about raising awareness for invisible illness because of her personal struggles with getting her diagnosis. She is living with Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto's disease, Raynaud's phenomenon, Cold Urticaria and Celiac disease.