Kelly Crandall - Hashimoto's
The night was just like any other night…
I collapsed into bed with such deep bone fatigue I wasn’t sure how I was going to possibly get up and care for my young son the next morning.
Deep down I knew things weren’t right with me.
I had been diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis in 2009 but had kept making excuses as to why I didn’t do anything about it.....
“Didn’t have the time”
“We can’t afford it right now”
“I just need to give myself more time”
But yet there was no denying the 50 lb (23kg) weight gain, the bald spots on my head from losing over 1/3 of my hair, feelings of overwhelm, depression/anxiety, brain fog and of course the life sucking fatigue coupled with nights of insomnia and horrible night sweats!
I had gone from being a highly sought after Critical Care RN mentoring other fellow nurses in pediatric care, to a hormonal mess unable to come up with a dinner plan without crumbling into tears!
This night turned out to be one that held such deep shame for me but it also became my catalyst to heal my body.
Sometime in the middle of the night my 6 year old son came into my room.
He was scared because his nose was bleeding and he didn’t know what to do.
I vaguely remember him standing at my bedside telling me he was bleeding, and all I could get out was “get a washcloth and press it on your nose”.
The fatigue took over and I fell back asleep.
The next morning my son was crying and all he could say was
“Momma, I needed you… and you didn’t help me”
It was at that moment I decided that I was going to do everything in my power, no matter the cost, or how long it took, to heal my body so that I could be the mom I had always wanted to be…a momma he deserved.
So in May 2013, the first thing I did was begin to educate myself on what was at the root cause of diseases in the hopes that if I could learn that missing piece so that I could figure out how to turn it around.
All my western professional training had not taught me any of these things.
I knew what drugs to give when, and how much, but I had seen over and over again how these medications were not reversing any disease! In fact, my patients were often left with such bad side effects from them they had to take meds for the side effects!!
It all seemed like pure insanity to me!
I learned that inflammation was at the root cause of the majority of our diseases.
So the food we ate could heal or hurt us depending on what we fueled our bodies with.
I remember coming home, going through all my cupboards and throwing out all white sugar, white flour, processed foods and vowing to only eat fresh fruit and veggies! That lasted until dinner time when I couldn’t figure out what to eat!
I found a knowledgeable Naturopathic doctor.
One who was willing to partner with me as I shared my goal of getting off my antidepressants, hormone replacement and thyroid meds, if at all possible. I knew I needed them as a bridge until my body was well enough to take over.
And I decided I was okay if I needed them long term, but deep down I intuitively knew that given the right care my body could heal itself.
I began replenishing my depleted body
I used high quality whole food nutrition, including an all-natural nutrient dense shake that I had found that had 9 out of the 10 critical nutrients that my thyroid needed to function.
My ND recommended I go off gluten and dairy to see if we could lower my antibodies. I remember coming home, looking at the list of things I couldn’t eat and just wanting to cry! I had always loved baking and making my own treats, including bread.
What was I going to eat??
It was so overwhelming to try to fix meals with these added restrictions on top of my brain fog! How I wish I had a menu just handed to me –it would have made my life so much easier! But I stumbled along, simplifying my meals and transitioning my family to eating what I ate so I didn’t have to cook multiple meals.
Depression and anxiety seemed to be my constant companions
So I started a simple fitness routine that I could do at home while my son was still asleep. There were many an early morning when I would cry because everything felt so hard!
I wanted to quit, go back to bed, eat my comfort foods and ignore the reality of my disease, but then I’d remember the look on Tanner’s face when I wasn’t there for him and I would push in my DVD and do my work out!
Slowly, I began to notice I was laughing more, feeling less anxious and was no longer needing those naps and could wake up rested after sleeping 7-8 hrs.
I also transitioned my household and personal items to non-toxic choices like coconut oil and essential oils. I did multiple detoxes to rind my body of stored toxins and cleanse my organs so they could function better.
All of these changes sound like they happened very linear , like I easily moved from point A to point B , but please know it didn’t happened that way at all!! In fact it looked much more like a bowl of cooked spaghetti!
I literally failed my way forward!
I turned myself into a human guinea pig, making adjustments along the way by listening to my body and how it felt when I would implement something new.
It took me several years to finally come up with my routines that I follow daily to keep my disease in remission. I had to embrace the fact that this is an autoimmune disorder so it will NOT be going away so I needed to come up with a simple to follow plan that was sustainable for me.
The first medication I was able to eliminate was my antidepressants.
Then about a year later I stopped my hormone replacement.
Now just this year, almost exactly 4 years later I was able to come off my thyroid medication!
My hair has grown back, I’ve lost 50 lbs, and most importantly, I have the energy to keep up with this amazing blond haired, blue eyed boy that calls me “Momma”
If you and I were sitting across from each other right now
And you shared with me how horrible you felt, that the brain fog is stealing your life, making it feel like you are moving underwater and what would I recommend you do, I would say
“First, embrace the fact that your health is YOUR responsibility and you must become the CEO of it because no one cares about how you feel as much as you do!"
Second, "Be willing to invest in yourself! Spend the money to find someone that is knowledgeable about how this disease works, someone you can trust, who looks at nutrition, exercise, supplements etc. and can give you a simple to follow plan."
I believe that if I had had that piece, my recovery journey may have not taken so long. But I am grateful for all that I have learned as a result of needing to figure it out on my own.
Whatever you do please don’t sit back and do nothing!
You deserve to feel better!
Know that it is possible with commitment, consistency and perseverance.
Kelly Crandall, works as a RN and is a Personal Online Health & Fitness Coach at CoachKellyCrandall she is passionate about inspiring and empowering other Hashimoto Mommas to take back their health so they can live their best lives. Her most important job though is being a wife to her husband Rob and their son, Tanner. Kelly loves to be out in nature, read a good book and laugh with her girlfriends. She lives in Portland, Oregon, USA