“What is this?” you may be asking (Hi Mom!). Well, here’s the thing. A recent Grave’s Disease diagnosis and an older, suffers-no-fools endocrinologist left me combing the Internet for nutrition tips, for articles, for something that explained how it would be OK – I kept redirecting to the same sites with Very Uninspiring Names and conflicting advice on whether you can eat soy. Woof. In my opinion, (and this blog will have a lot of those), there’s not much out there, digitally speaking, that’s funny, wry or interesting for young people dealing with autoimmune illness. There are however, a wealth of chat room evangelists waiting to terrify you.
Grave’s disease, like the bulk of its enigmatic cousins, won’t kill you. But it will increase the risk of coworker heartbreak, when you can no longer pretend to not smoke with them, or order a round of tequila shots for yourself at the company happy hour.
It also means that when you tell a friend your hair might fall out, you’ll receive styling tips like this.
Seeing as I won’t be doing any smoking, drinking, carousing, caffeine-ing or iodized salting for the foreseeable future, I’m going to have some time on my hands – to write, to research, and to collect interesting stories on what this illness is and is not. I wanted to create something that I’d want to read, going through this, and my hope is that I’ll create something you’ll want to read too.
I already know the disease sucks. I didn’t need the Internet to remind me. What I did need was something a little more inspiring, a little lighter – Because if I’m going to be sweating and shaking and not getting to eat seaweed, then I at least need to be able to laugh at myself.
Because it can be kind of funny. At least, there was a moment where I realized, this isn’t the worst, and if I’m thoughtful and careful about it, there’s more than one thing I could actually learn here.
So, that’s what this is.
Thanks to Sophie Kleeman for headline inspiration on this post.