Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Curse of the Thyroid

Well, the main part of the curse is over. I had a great endocronologist who used a very strong treatment on me which worked and cured my thyroid condition.

However, before I was diagnosed, I recall standing in line at Knott's at the parachute jump ride with Carolyn & my dad. I was looking up at the parachutes, and Carolyn told me to stop, because my neck looked "gross." I'm like, how does a neck look gross when you're 14?

So, we get into the little basket thing for the ride, and it goes up and all of a sudden, I get hysterical. I'm a little ball on the bottom of the basket, screaming bloody murder. It was so bad that when we came down, they let me off and Carolyn & my dad continued for the other 2 rides up & down. I had been on that ride before, as well as roller coasters, etc. without a problem.

Fast forward to the 90's. Lee & I are going to take a trip to Albuquerque to visit his sister Karen & her family for Thanksgiving. I'm petrified of flying, and I can't use my 'normal' method of dealing with valium + Irish coffee, because I have small kids. At the time, I had insurance that allowed for "mental health" and part of the benefits included counseling or hypnotherapy.

Froggy had a doctor friend that also taught self-hypnosis, so I went to see him. In figuring out my phobia of heights, he put together the thyroid condition and the onset of the phobia happened at the same time. Turns out the thyroid pushes against the pituitary gland (at least that's my best recollection), which affects emotions - like fear.

So even though the thyroid part was taken care of, I'm still left with an totally unrational fear of heights. On the plus side, I did learn the self-hypnosis technique that allows me to fly in an airplane and not have panic attacks. On the down side, I have to work at it and focus to get through it. The best thing I took away from the self-hypnosis therapy was that when I feel the fear build up, I should let it pass through me, vs. letting it take me over. The self-hypnosis helps keep the fear at bay - but sometimes it does build up anyway.

So - yeah - curse of the thyroid.

2 comments:

prestoffcenter said...

So do you think it can it be narrowed to something more critical? Rather than calling it an irrational fear of heights, how about a fear of falling, a fear of the sudden stop at the end and getting hurt, or even worse, the fear of dying?

I somehow can manage to put certain fears aside by coming to realize that some things I can do nothing about. I essentially put myself in the trust of the people around me. Hopefully the guy flying the plane knows his stuff, but really, can I do anything about it riding in the back?

But you also have alot more to lose than me.

Crystal said...

pituitary gland in brain. Thyroid gland in neck. But the thyroid is stimulated by releasing hormones from the pituitary. My thyroid doesn't function normally either... neither does moms.