Or 36. That’s how many beats my resting heart rate dropped from my last doctor visit. I’m king of the world.
Seven weeks into medication and I’ve yet to grow the fur and extra pancreas the Internet led me to believe I might. If you have Grave’s Disease, and there’s a good chance you do because you’re reading this (and if you don’t, thanks anyway), there’s an even better chance you’ve Googled yourself into a psycho-somatic breakdown over anticipated side effects. Let’s do this together, just for a moment.
Now, you don’t feel well. You’ve been awake, trembling. You’ve been asleep, sweating. It doesn’t help that it’s 83 degrees in your apartment, or your heart is beating out your eardrums or that it’s Tuesday, but the point is – you just don’t feel well.
You know what else is an issue?
Now, it’s true that Grave’s affects men, but it’s a rare occurrence in an already rare disease. Ladies get it 10x more often than gentlemen. The problem isn’t that Grave’s affects mostly women, the problem is the tendency to reduce the symptoms to problems inherent in being a woman. “Women have more stress.” “Women are emotional.” I did this myself, before I knew I was sick. I figured I felt crazy because I was hormonal. If you describe yourself to someone as feeling stressed, anxious, unable to sleep – they’ll [spoiler alert] tell you to calm down, versus suggest you may be one of 50 million Americans with a confusing autoimmune illness.
Here’s to not growing fur, on week 8 of medication.