If you've felt lost during a health concern, read this.
How to handle bad blood work, and what I'm doing in my own life.
Have you ever had a health concern? Have you ever received bad blood work results?
Or maybe heard a potential diagnosis thrown at you at a doctor's visit?
How did you feel? Anxious? Distraught? Frustrated? Defeated?
You're not alone.
Two years ago, I was in that boat, and I overcame all of the words of "pelvic tumor," "Crohn's disease," and "IBS," that were thrown at me as I tried to understand why I was having severe stomach pain and fatigue.
Fast forward to today: I have zero of those. ZERO.
It's important to remind yourself of past victories because life is a marathon that will continually test our foundations.
Recently, that foundation was tested for me.
A few weeks ago I had abnormal blood work come back in regards to my thyroid. There are worse things in the world, but for some reason, I really allowed it to throw me in a tailspin.
My doctor told me I needed to see a specialist to rule out an auto-immune disease and to figure out what was going on.
As a backstory, over the last year I have gained 20 pounds during a process of healing from a diagnosis of hypothalamic amenorrhea due to excessive stress. Although I didn’t enjoy that aspect of the process, I knew it was temporary and preventing future health issues mattered more to me. (You can watch a video on it here.)
In the last 6 months, I've been working with a professional and friend to help me potentially lose some of that excessive weight gain while maintaining optimal health. Although a lot has been learned, there really hasn't been much of a budge. And I have had days of fatigue, low energy, and not feeling like myself. I originally attributed it to my body now having a normal cycle, and my hormones trying to find balance.
So when my doctor told me, "Something isn't right," I wasn't very happy.
I have done SO MANY things right in the past year. I have healed SO MANY issues. But to have something be wrong felt like a stab in the back.
So the following series of events ensued. Have you ever done this?
After being told I might have a thyroid condition I went neck deep in research. I read and watched so many things on thyroid disorders (although I've helped many clients with thyroid dysfunction, I learned so much more in this process). However, during this process, I continually thought, "That's me."
I unintentionally placed myself under a banner of dysfunction that I had no idea if it was true or not.
I then tried to schedule an appointment with a specialist. I called more than 5 doctors. They all couldn't see me for a minimum of 2 months. And the cost was outlandish. When you get back weird bloodwork, waiting 2 months sounds like a lifetime.
I then started to be concerned that no one had laid hands on my thyroid gland in a while (a good rule to check, or something your PCP should do regularly, is to place a hand on the thyroid gland at the base of the neck while you swallow - this checks for issues.) The more I thought about that, the more concerned I became.
I then noticed it was odd every time I swallowed. I started to legitimately feel like my thyroid was enlarged. (It isn't by the way.)
My brain believed it, and my body created it.
As embarrassing as this is, and this is not meant to illicit concern, I want you to know YOUR BRAIN and YOUR BELIEFS dictate what your body does and what it perceives.
What did I end up doing?
I felt sorry for myself for a few days, honestly. I moped around reminding myself of all the things I've sacrificed to heal my body, and to now have another hurdle was just not fair.
Tough news, cookie! Life isn't fair!
Once I got over that process, I slapped myself in the face by talking to people who care about me. I realized I didn't want to be on medication anyway, so I sought out a functional medicine doctor who could help me get to the root cause. I also got some perspective.
In addition, I didn't wait for someone to order blood work. I went and did it myself. I wanted answers now, so I did that. (I requested a full thyroid panel through "Let's Get Tested." I'm not sure I'd recommend doing it, it is an at home blood test through a finger stick. I hate finger sticks, but it was a fair price. Next time, I'd probably just go to an "Any Lab Test Now" location and pay the extra price.)
This bloodwork helped me immediately rule out an auto-immune disease and gave me peace of mind. You can't put a price on that.
Over the last week or so, I've had time to think and to contemplate how painful it is to get bloodwork results back that aren't good and to not have answers or a plan.
I recently had a client call me anxious and frustrated due to bad blood work. So I know many people feel this way. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here's what I've learned and what I recommend.
1. Take action:
The best way to overcome anxiety is to take action. If you are like me, you are fearful because of the unknown. And the unknown is a deep, dark abyss where our mind imagines the worst case scenario.
Walk every day. Balance blood sugar. Eat enough nutrient dense foods. Avoid ultra-processed foods. Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Get outside as much as possible.
These are things I'm focusing on over the next 4 weeks while I do more testing. I can control these habits, and so can you. There is not one diagnosis that wouldn't benefit from those listed above.
2. Ask for help:
One of the worst feelings is to be unable to see the specialist you need to see for months.
However, even if you need medicine or a specialist, there are things that you can do today.
Many of my clients I work with are also working with other practitioners, but they have access to my knowledge, experience, and guidance, without the wait. Maybe your doctor doesn't call you back to review the lab results posted? My clients reach out to me. We discuss and make a plan prior in the meantime.
3. Assess your beliefs:
You become what you believe.
What are you allowing a blood work reading to tell you? That you are broken and destined to disease?
Then you will take action in line with that belief. You will not do what's necessary to make yourself feel better or to heal.
In 2021, when I had horrible diagnoses thrown at me, I looked at myself in the mirror every morning and confessed that I was healed. I wrote out daily positive confessions. And I do it to this day.
But negativity and darkness are sly. And they can creep in if you let it. Make your positive voice louder. Believe in the power of actions to bring about healing, and you will take action in line with that.
4. Remind yourself of past success:
You are stronger than you think.
Looking back over the last few weeks, I am so embarrassed. It was like I had completely forgotten the divine healing I have experienced in my own life over the last few years. And the healing that I have seen so many of my clients experience.
When life presents challenges, we throw the history of success out the window and head straight to the deep dark hole of demise.
How weak is that?? Do you think that past struggles in your life were just meant for that? To make you struggle?
They were made to equip you with the power to overcome future hurdles.
I truly believe every hurdle I go through is not meant to make me suffer, but to better enable me to help someone else.
Your nutrition, movement, and mentality are always a useful tool to help you transform your health - especially in the midst of bad blood work. You can take action today.
Are you going through this? Do you need one on one help? Click here to join Wellness in Bloom today.