It is hard to pinpoint when it all began
But I remember a particular day in church
When, after Mass, I was approached politely by a young man
Then surprising myself I yelled at him and fled with my clutch

My irritability was severe in manifestations
Many times I felt like jumping out of my skin
The profuse sweating and heart palpitations
Added to the weight loss that made me so thin

And these symptoms only scratched the surface
I withdrew from people because I hated myself
Always hiding my face
As I became a shadow of my former lively self

I first noticed the signs in March of 2005. Heck!
My GP kept treating Malaria and Typhoid
It was not until mum noticed the bulge on my neck
That she requested a referral to see a consultant for thyroid

Finally I got a diagnosis in August that same year
After blood tests, Graves’ disease was confirmed
An autoimmune condition whose name reeked of fear
My internet research, however, helped me stand firm

I therefore understood why I was tired all the time
Why I lacked energy for the simplest of tasks
With shortness of breath and sleeplessness at night time
Alas! I had answers for the questions I asked

Then came the right medications
Beta blockers and Carbimazole
These helped to relieve the symptoms
Once again I began to feel whole

Life became a succession of routine drugs and blood tests
Dosage constantly adjusted based on results
Oh! When will these needles let my veins rest?
So that I can be free from hospital consults

Doctors said in about a year I will be free
They advised either of two options - radioiodine or surgery
But one year soon became two years, and two became three
Because I chose to await a miracle to end this suffering

How I went to the university with this is still a miracle
Burying my face within my books to hide my stigma
So many hurdles I had to tackle
Graduating with a First class and years later, a Ph.D., remains an enigma

All this time I battled depression
The loneliness, sadness, low self-esteem, and anxiety were staggering
My brain eventually exploded from all the tension
But the support from my family and counsellors was unwavering
Thirteen years down the line I opted for radioiodine therapy
The definitive treatment that would put an end to my hyperthyroidism
Alone in the hospital room I swallowed the pill
That would ablate my thyroid gland and later bring me hypothyroidism

Now it is almost a year since I had the therapy
In October of 2018 - the year I turned 30
My body is finally beginning to feel truly happy
Long after the diagnosis in my late teens

I currently have a new lease on life
And feel like a brand new person lately
Though my body is yet to fully stabilize
To Levothyroxine which I now take daily

Yes I am still healing
And my health is a daily work in progress
To anyone reading
Know that there is light after the distress

Super grateful to God as I feel my confidence coming back
I sometimes wish I could undo my past irrationality
And perhaps apologize to the young man from the church way back
But it was no fault of mine; it was the irritability!

For more information on hyperthyroidism please see our information leaflet