Stacey Robbins’ Thyroid Journey
In celebration of those living with a thyroid condition, author and speaker Stacey Robbins recently took some time to talk about her thyroid journey with Examiner.
Q: Please share your thyroid journey from diagnosis, to treatment to acceptance of the condition you now have.
A: At a particularly hard time in my life when my marriage was in a very fragile state and my dad was dying, I was hit in a car accident. It was a small thing – a fender bender – but perhaps in light of the fact that I was going through those other hard times and overworking (being a professional musician/vocalist) for about 80 hours a week, it was the perfect storm of events.
I found myself gaining weight despite having no appetite and working with a personal trainer. The more I worked out and the less I ate, the more I gained.
I went from specialist to specialist who either had no answers or gave me scary answers.
Until one day, I collapsed to the floor in abdominal pain and was taken to a small walk-in clinic. The female doctor was so kind with me and said, “I don’t think it’s your appendix but I’m going to send you to the hospital anyway to be sure. I have an idea what it might be so, I’ll take some blood before you go.”
She called me a few days later, “Stacey, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that you have hypo-thyroidism. Your TSH is at 21. I have no idea how you’ve been functioning at all. The good news is that I’ll put you on medication and in three months you’ll be back to normal.”
Things got worse for a long time before they got better. It was a few years after that I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis.
Over the last 16 years, it’s been an evolving journey of revelation: Of the importance of rest, whole foods and healing practices – of listening to where I need to shift in my sleep patterns and how much social interaction is good for me. It’s been a process of learning to listen to what ‘wisdom’ is for me in this season.
Q: What have you learned along this journey since first being diagnosed?
A: On a physical level it’s so much more than a problem and a pill to fix it. I allowed the physical issues to point me toward a deeper introspection — a personal responsibility I’ve taken to look at my life – to shine a flashlight down the corridors of how the mind, emotions, relationships, beliefs, stressors, sleep patterns and look at how they all affect the physical part of my existence. Those areas also reflect the beliefs I’ve had about how my value and worth and I learned have been tied to my performance in life – my belief that what I did and how I looked was tied to my worth of who I am as a human being.
I’ve had to look at labels like “Hashimotos” and hypo-thyroidism and determine if I was going to let myself be a victim to the limitations they implied and if I was going to let these things define me.
Q: What do you hope people will learn from your story?
A: I want people to feel encouraged and inspired that there’s so much more to this diagnosis. It’s not the final word on who you are. And while it is an answer, it’s also an opportunity to ask questions – to go on an inner journey and to ask some questions that ultimately lead to this: Is life, the way I’m living it, working for me and am I loving myself in such a way that promotes healing in my mind, body, spirit and relationships.
Q: Tell me about your work and what you hope people will take away from it?
A: My work as an author, speaker and coach is about inspiring women to live from a place of love, honesty, acceptance and a sense of humor with themselves and life so that they can enjoy life to its fullest.
My book Bloom Beautiful (www.bloombeautiful.com) is full of quotes and designs that inspire, encourage and heal. The Bloom Beautiful events are the same: Filled with a lot of laughter and insight and a time to get in touch with what matters most in a woman’s heart: Being at peace, loving and accepting herself and allowing herself to enjoy the people and life around her while she lives the dream that she’s here to fulfill.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to say that I didn’t ask?
A: My shortcut on the whole Hashimotos Thyroiditis thing is this:
· Food is your most powerful drug you can ‘take’
· Hydration is key
· Gentle exercise is where it’s at
· Self-care is a huge part of healing
· Rest is not an option: It’s a requirement
· Let go of perfectionism
· Low-media and low-electricity can help
· Stay grounded
· Laughter is truly medicine
· Great relationships
· Seek wisdom
· Bless yourself
If you would like to connect with Stacey Robbins visit www.staceyrobbins.com or www.bloombeautiful.com or email here firstname.lastname@example.org