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When I first decided to come up with an avatar for my Hashi's alter ego, I picked Pinocchio. It was because I didn't feel real anymore, I felt wooden, I felt like a puppet on someone elses strings. I was not a real boy by any stretch of the imagination and like my puppet friend I so desperately wanted to be real. I write from one particular male's perspective, so please understand, that most of the web sites where information is available about this disease are pink, or lavender it seems. They talk about relationships in terms of the female perspective and the challenges of trying to keep something going, some with sad endings, some with happy ones. There are understanding and not understanding husbands littered across these sites.

I have a similar story, but I just don't quite know how it will end... Or maybe I can pull a rabbit out of a hat and save my marriage.

I love my wife, I never forgot, but I did forget to show it, live it, forgive as a husband. And with Hashis, years can fly by like minutes your memory is so rattled. At the beginning it was Hashis, but by the end, I am pretty sure it was all me and the suitcase it left behind. (we all know it didn't go away, but you know what I mean).

I write this for the other guys out there. This is the warning.

I write, not because you will notice when you are sick, are slowly getting sicker or at the bottom of your disease but in the hopes that somewhere between you getting medicated, and getting better, and maybe even getting optimal, you will google, come across this post, pause for a moment and ask yourself, "Am I mad for mad sake? Is she really the problem? Is she really this clueless or uncaring or indifferent or mean? Is this still the Hashis? Or is this just left over anger on auto-pilot burning a hole in my gut?" before she tells you she wants a divorce.

I cannot write about the challenges associated with thinking I was sick or going insane and trying to get better. I just didn't think I was "sick" no matter how bad I felt. Women, it seems, are better tuned to this sort of thing and will argue with their doctors. First, I had to think I needed a doctor, and then I would have needed to understand that the checkup was not enough. And the doctors (when I went) said I was OK. I didn't bring up the symptoms, like that's just life, right? Also, as you get sicker, your ability to piece things together also gets fuzzier. I was not cold, I had a cold and the jacket I was wearing sucked. I wasn't tired, I worked really hard. I didn't need anti-depressants, I needed a wife that would work with me and get on the same page.

I didn't find out until I was probably "hospital worthy" and no longer had measurable FT4 in my blood. I was working. I never missed a day. I walked into my doctors office. I could, through will, get through my day and then... I don't really recall what happened after I got home. My face was puffy, I no longer had hair on my legs or arms, I couldn't open my hands easily, stairs were a nightmare, thinking was a nightmare, playing a game was a nightmare, and I was slurring my words on occasion like a drunk. And 1000 other issues. I didn't go to a doctors, until my legs gave out and I wok up feeling like I was 120. And even then, I thought I had ALS.

You might hide it at work, cause we are geared to provide, but when you are home, you let that guard down and the one person in the world who you think should have your back doesn't. In fact, she might think you are being odd, depressed, manic, lazy, fussy, and a sissy (not "or" but "and"). She watches as you fall asleep during commercials at 7pm adn can't be woken up. You preferred the couch to loving and wanting her (one of my earliest symptoms I think) and want to be left alone when it comes up because you are too tired. And you sit there and stew wondering why she doesn't get it. Why she doesn't see that you are putting out 150% and still wants you to help around the house. You wonder why she thinks you need anti-depressants or should be cheerful or just get some exercise? You stop telling her how you feel because it all looks like an excuse (and let's be honest, it does) and gets thrown at you during an argument. And then she complains to friends and family about the type of person you really are.

There is not enough information about Hashis in general, but there is more information about how Hashimotos impacts women physically (the part I unfortunately focused on), psychologically, or psycho-organically. And if it impacts us physically, as men, it does something to us psychologically and colors our view of everything. You have a harder and harder time manning up. You need your well-deserved down time. After all, you are too tired to move. And then add the irritability, mood swings, random anger, frustrations of dealing with people or feeling like you are not taken seriously or participating enough at home when you work till you are dead to the world to provide. It all feeds on itself, the physical, the psychological manifestations, and then the combinations thereof.

Here's the real kicker:

And the anger is real.
The disappointment is real.
The sense of betrayal is real.
You hurt her a thousand different real ways, small and large.
And she feels its real.

It doesn't matter where it started. It doesn't matter that your anger started in a physical and psychologically impaired state.

What does matter is it now alive and well in your head and heart. We are inherently a little aggressive to start, we need to vent our anger.

You don't connect it to the disease and the drama that was, intentional or not, life with YOU. You keep that anger, because it was something different and honest and had nothing to do with Hashis in that way. She didn't see it or understand it or care enough about it and besides, you are sure there were problems before you got sick (and there were, you were already sick before you noticed)

It does matter that to the outside world you did look lazy, irritable, angry, crazy, or fussy. You will remember a few hand selected moments, when you think your wife was being unfair, but you forget that the world didn't know you were sick. That at the beginning of your illness, you became more irritable, short-tempered, darker, less flexible, more angry, your moods less stable, and as you grew weaker you saw it as tired and exhausted and everyone else was off their rocker or wrong o. They lived with it daily, and they have a million to throw back at you. That you got worse over time. To them, You just act like an asshole. And possibly an angry one at that.

That's what they saw, that is what they KNOW.

You see, while getting sick, you are less lovable. And it is a slow progression. As you get sicker, you become even less lovable some more. They don't associate it with illness. By the way, neither do you. That is the foundation you are starting from. Tough.

But then you get better, you feel better, maybe you take a year or so to get to good levels or sort it out. The impact, hopefully, on your moods lessens. Physically, you start to have energy again, be a "guy". The psychiatric symptoms maybe disappear. But you are a guy, and you are still pissed. You are still hurt and angry and stewing.

Perhaps you have that discussion, perhaps, they understand that you were sick, but you took a pill and got better. And you did. But part of it took time. And still, that anger is there. That hurt.

They don't remember the guy you used to be. They think what they saw is what you are, that it is a type of "drunk" personality, that really shows who you are after having a few (I am a happy drunk btw, or when I could drink... ahhh... Hashis took the pleasure from it from me). This disease doesn't have the same cache or understanding of a well-treated mental illness. Don't expect to get a full pass because of it.

In my case, when I heard that word, it burned it out of me. I realized that I was better, that something was wrong, and tried (am trying) to make amends. I don't know where it went, but my guess is I realized it was a false foundation to start with. Today, I am mostly that guy she used to know, but it might be too late. I hope to be a happy Hashi stereotype rather than the unhappy one, but I don't know.

But I spent a lot of time the last couple of months looking at my behavior, my moods, trying to piece together the puzzle that Hashis has so lovingly left me. Googling for answers, googling for hope, googling for a miracle. I have spent more time looking at me than I have in a long time.

But I don't want you to get to that point. Whatever the issue is in your marriage, whatever you THINK it is,you need to ask, was it Hashis, is it left over anger based on a Hashis view, and should I kick it to the curb and forgive what I think my hurts are and start from there? Erase their slate, zero out the score, because they will not erase yours. And as far as they are concerned, you have been anything but their guy for a long time.

I didn't know. But now you do.

No excuses. Start now. Fix it.
 

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It's hard being a spouse of someone with thyroid disease - no doubt about that.

Many marriages have taken a hit because of it. Mine included. I'm thankful he stayed- he was ready to leave just about the time I received my diagnosis.

Now 12 years after a TT - things are back to normal - it took several years and I don't share many of my "feelings" about my illness because he really does not want to hear about it. Not because he doesn't care - moreso because it's been going on so long.

Find someone with the illness you can chat with. I have a friend I picked up off a thyroid board and we have become great freind's. She's on the West Coast - I'm on the East - we chat weekly and text more frequently. She "gets it" all of "it" and it's saved me thousands on therapy because I get to talk it out with someone who understands.

People who don't have thyroid disease don't fully understand and nobody who doesn't have it wants to hear someone who does go on and on about it. A lesson I learned early in my disease process.

Hang in there! Keep posting and sharing your feelings - we care because we've been there with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. This forum has always been very supportive of all the people that come here. I think it is the right mix of help and tough love on occasion than what I have seen I guess in some other health forums. (my favorite place).

One of the things I noticed during my reading of similar issues was the lack of "aftermath," they either divorced or if they saved it, didn't really go into what happened, what was the post treatment drama, post diagnosis process, and aftereffects of having been in a Hashis relationship. They often discuss the before, but the after... seems to be light on the detail.

I wanted to fill that void for someone else, when they googled hashimotos dad, or hashimotos father or hashimotos husband...

It's odd, I never turned that anger on anyone else, not my kids, not friends, but then again, I didn't need or depend on anyone else the way I did on my wife.

The cause of the anger and upset for all is hashis, but the aftermath and the carrying of it and its impact, is very real.
 
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Hey..............."Whatever happened to those words you said to each other"

~IN SICKNESS OR HEALTH~ no matter what????

When you say a vow or oath it's supposed to be forever...……………..

I myself have never been married......never believed in two people practically owning each other.

I'm a guy and have had the same gal friend for years...

We don't live together but are closer than most married folks......

She's the one who forced to see a doctor in the first place and never gave up on me even through those crazy getting used to this disease times.....

"I doubt your Hashi's had anything to do with your break up".....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Everyone is different, and the vows are nice and motivating, but they aren't a blank check. Nor should they be treated as such. We all react differently to our stresses and how we are impacted, others have their own baggage which colors what they see in us, how they react to us. What they can tolerate. Or will tolerate, and for how long.

I don't doubt it started with Hashis, looking over it, I can see where my deterioration slopes nicely with everything else. But I didn't get to the doctor, my thyroid was destroyed before I noticed, so there is a time element there. Over years. And years. Had to be. You don't get to zero FT4 overnight. This was a while. She was there for a whole lotta crap.

but the "after" was me. Whatever that after was. And my marriage is not over yet. What I was hoping to address was the pain and drama associated with Hashis and the aftermath. We all know what it's like in the middle, or at our worse, but what baggage do we hold onto that we didn't associate with that? What did we carry out of it that was false, but still controls how we see the world and the people around us? So, i could barely walk and I was probably nuts at the bottom, and all our bad interactions then and getting to there I thought were her fault? but now that I can walk, no longer nuts, but all the interactions are still all her fault? Nah... and nope. But it is what I thought. THat knot of anger that I now had the energy for blinded me to that point.

Just a warning to others to look at themselves more closely.
 
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I thought I'd bump this thread intentionally as I am also male with long term Hashimoto's disease.

The first point I'd like to make is that regardless of treatment with replacement thyroid medication, the antibodies will continue to destroy the thyroid and other organs. It is an autoimmune disease and thyroid replacement therapy made zero difference in my antibody levels. Mine hover over 900, to this day.

I've ended up on prednisone as an immune suppressant and cortisol booster. If there is anything has helped me over the long term, it's the prednisone. The idea that diet and exercise, and/or supplements and mindfulness/sunshine or other foo-foo crap will cure a wildly out of control autoimmune disease, is grossly in error. For example, graveyards are full of MS patients whose immune system could never be tamed. Hashimoto's is a death sentence, postponed by thyroid replacement therapy.

Furthermore, the idea that one can get back to normal is also incorrect. Damage is being done, and as we age, that damage progresses. One could take immune suppressing drugs and "feel better" right up until a lethal "minor" infection takes hold.
 
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