For better or worse, in sickness and in health.

For better or worse, in sickness and in health.

In sickness and in health. Yes, I uttered those words and I meant them with all my heart. They were easy to say before I developed this autoimmune disease that has claimed me as its own for life.

Living with an autoimmune disease (hashimotos in my case) will change you. It will make you tough as nails. If your not careful it will also make you selfish, thinking only of your own pain.

This post today is dedicated not to you, but to the one's that love you. To the one's that stand by your side and listen to you vent on the hard days. Be it your husband,wife, boyfriend,girlfriend, best friend, mother , father, sister or brother. To the one's that pick you up off the ground and tell you, you wont be sick forever.

How about your friends- the one's that continue to care about you even though you feel too crummy to go out on a friday night ? Or your family? Maybe they have stopped bringing gluten into the home because they don't want to put you at risk. Maybe they have even gone gluten free with you!

Hashimoto's has tried to change my personality. Some days it makes me low, and other times extremely irritable and short tempered. Prior to this disease I was always happy, always positive and generally quite calm. That's the girl I was when my husband said I do. Little did he know what he was getting into. Bet he had no clue he was going to have to help provide heaps of money for supplements, expense big grocery bills to keep the house stocked with the limited food I can eat. Bet he didn't know I would stop buying all of his favorite foods- so they weren't a temptation to me sitting in the cupboards.

You know what I'm most thankful for? The fact that he doesn't judge me. I can tell him that pine nuts made me really sick and he won't bat an eye or think I'm crazy. I know I must sound crazy when I run off the long list of foods that cause autoimmune attacks for me. He believes me, and knows I'm not just making it all up. Thats a gift.

Chronic Illness can destroy a marriage, a friendship. Don't let it. Just because you are sick does not mean people owe you kindness. Take the time to say thank you, take the time to say sorry when you have been over-reactive or short temppered because you weren't feeling the best that day. Take the time to count your blessings.

Your chronic illness can make your relationships stronger, make YOU stronger, teach you to structure your life and make better decisions,teach you to eat healthier, teach you to advocate for yourself. It can be the biggest blessing of your life. You just have to let go of feeling sorry for yourself day in and day out. As long as you keep on the journey to find better health- you will! Keep Peddling.

xo,

Brittany

Brittany Angell

29 comments | Leave your own

  1. Sondra

    I know this feeling. My now husband’s (almost 4 yrs) uncle tried to tell him that living with someone sick is no fun and not worth it. Thankfully he did not listen to him and told him to butt out of my health issues. We have been together 6 yrs and have an almost 4/o little girl, plus my(our) boys.

  2. Georgianna

    Thank you for sharing, so beautifully written. It is a great gift to have understanding loved ones!

  3. Melanie

    Amen, Sister! My husband and I laugh often at the fact that when we uttered….’in sickness and in health’…we had no idea what we were saying…well…we did, but we were so naive..now we are facing it every day and we have no choice but to embrace it with humor…although most times its sooo not funny. Its that pitiful, all you can do is laugh and cry at the same time. Thank God we do it together and I thank God every day that we have actually grown closer together in our marriage because of this. Because at my worst….I don’t know…if I was him, I think I may have thrown in the towel. We are sooooo lucky to have amazing men!!! I know you will be well someday and he will rejoice with you!! Won’t it be amazing…it will be even better than the life we had before we were sick….because we really understand what a blessing it is to be healthy! xoxoxo

  4. Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf

    I love this. I can be all too easy to focus on self when dealing with chronic health issues, but it is indeed so important to thank the understanding people around you. They are so valuable.

  5. Katherine

    This is so very true. I deal with Crohn’s, which was diagnosed at 25. I met my boyfriend when I was in high school, so he has known me healthy and not so much. He has days where I know I make him crazy, but all in all he is really great about it. When we first figured out that I can’t have gluten about 4 months ago, he went on a cleaning (and eating) spree to clear the house of gluten items. We just recently went out to eat for the first time since we found out, and when I asked for a gluten free menu, he asked for one, too. At first I argued with him, insisting that here he could eat whatever he wanted. His response was that I had been eating off of his plate for years and he wasn’t going to order anything I couldn’t “sample”. :) I’m really lucky. I don’t have a lot of close friends, but the ones I do have are great. They make sure that where ever we may go has something that I can eat. They even scouted out a bar that carried gluten free beer. I count my blessings that in spite of all my issues, I have great friends and family.

  6. Debi

    Bravo, Brittany. I can’t even imagine where I would be without all of Chaz’s help and support before I regained my health. He was bringing me food in bed (since I had no energy to be elsewhere) doing the grocery shopping and calling to clarify what I had on the list. He put up with my wild mood swings and screaming at him for no real reason. I could see he wanted to yell back, but he knew it wasn’t me and I had no control over what I was doing sometimes.

    Rich is the man and you can tell him I said so! Our men truly love us in sickness and in health. :D

  7. Faye@RawLawyer

    Thanks so much for sharing this – it’s something that I needed to read today.My husband and I are going through the same thing… Looking back on how I was glowing on our wedding day – to today where it’s a struggle to move off the couch. And throughout all my health challenges, he’s been nothing but supportive. There’s a lot to be thankful for in that alone.

  8. Shonnie

    I totally agree with you. It is so very wonderful to have those who stand by you through the good and bad days and understand through the terrible days. I am a very blessed woman. I have a great family and we all work together. :D

    Sounds like you are a blessed woman too. Glad to have found you.

  9. Shirley @ gfe

    So, so beautifully done, Brittany! I hope we are all lucky enough to have these supportive, dedicated, loving folks in our lives. I know I am, and I am so grateful, but reminders are very, very important. Plus, the law of attraction and common sense says that the more we show gratitude, the more we will be given. Let there be gratitude and healing for all!

    xoxo,
    Shirley

  10. Stephanie

    As I sit here crying after reading this I realize how much my husband has tried to understand for the last three months of me beginning this journey of healing my body. He has tried but he forgets sometimes too (and so do I). I have had thyroid problems for the last ten years and only realized they were Hashimotos related a month ago. I have been short tempered with my kids and husband more times than I care to admit. These diet restrictions and leaky gut issues have me feeling so alone and isolated. It’s been a bad week and I have only felt sorry for myself for these few minutes. I’ve spent the better part of the last 24 hours angry at my husband and not taking responsibility for my part. Thanks for reminding me of all the support I do have but so often overlook. You are an angel!

  11. Tessa

    So true, so true, so true. I, too, am married to a wonderful man for 20 years. I am been sick way more years than I have been well (although this is changing and I am finally healing). He has stuck with me through the thick and thin, and I praise the Lord everyday for his commitment to me, our marriage, and our children. Good men like that certainly dont come along everyday. We are fortunate and blessed to have loving, committed husbands who know the true meaning of the vows they took.

  12. Brandi D

    This is such an important post. Thank you for reminding us that relationships are two-way streets. (And you timed it perfectly, as today is my anniversary. ;) )

  13. Leonie

    wow. I have just stumbled across your blog through pinterest and you had me at ‘gluten and dairy free’. And then I read on and discover you have an autoimmune thyroid disease.
    I have Graves Disease (but had my thyroid removed so whole new set of problems on top of that autoimmune disease) and I have Coeliacs (Celiacs)as well.
    I am egg and dairy intolerant and I suspect it doesn’t end there.
    I have a husband who has stuck by me for 15 years through all of my highs and lows. It is only now Im starting to discover, through the wonderful blogging world that feeling like I do is part of having autoimmune diseases and Im stopping apologising to everyone for not being what they want me to be.
    I can’t wait to sit down and read the rest of your posts.

  14. Beth Ann

    Thank you so much for this. I’ve struggled for over 15 years with autoimmune problems, most recently diagnosed with gluten and dairy intolerance. We’ve had our moments, but my husband has stuck by me through it all. While he doesn’t always “get me” because he seldom is sick except for migraines, he has encouraged me to find alternative docs, even though insurance won’t pay. He says he doesn’t mind being gluten free. He calms me when I am having one of those meltdown days (which I hadn’t connected to the biological process, so thank you! I wondered why a postmenopausal woman would feel like she has PMS.)

    Aa a spiritual director, I’ve heard the stories of women who do not have support from their family and it breaks my heart. I reposted this to my wall because I couldn’t say it better.

    Feeling abundantly blessed,
    Beth Ann

  15. Suzanne

    Thank you Brittany for this post that hits so close to home and heart. I am so thankful for my husband, who is also gluten free,for all his understanding and support. Sometimes I feel so bad for him. There are times that I don’t or should say can’t even get off the couch to make dinner or go out and do something fun. He understands each and every time. I find I get down on myself for not being able work 40 hours a week any longer. He understands that too. So thankful! Much love to everyone else who has Hashimoto’s and to the people who stand by them no matter what.

  16. Amy

    Thank you so much for the reminder. I felt like you were talking about my life exactly.

  17. Elizabeth

    You are so patient with all of us here, & do such good work, that it is hard to realize (for me) that you have this challenge. Kudos and blessings for this column, & for all of them!

  18. Beth @ Tasty Yummies

    Thank you for sharing and for the beautiful reminder. I try to thank my husband as often as I can for understanding my needs and challenges with eating and for always being so accommodating, I realize how lucky and blessed I am and I try to never take that for granted. I will give him an extra big ‘thank you’ today. Thanks.

  19. Morri

    This really pulled my heartstrings, because it has been quite a year of hypothyroidism, disordered eating, and relearning to love myself. I have a great support system, and I know there is help when I ask for it. At the same time, when push comes to shove, the tough as nails means I am my own person, and my life is my own.

    Thank you for this post. It gave me another thing to be grateful this morning.

  20. joy

    beautiful!

  21. Sarah F

    Thank you for the wonderful reminder. It really is very easy to forget about others when the pain gets too strong. Our loved ones deserve to hear “thank you” every day for what they go through (along with us)!

  22. SunnyB @ andloveittoo

    I was ill when I met my husband, but still had no idea why. Just two weeks into dating him, I went in to the hospital for an emergency surgery, a surgery which ended up triggering dermatitis herpetiformis, the rash that eventually led to my celiac diagnosis and thereby my journey towards health. He has been with me since the beginning. He has dealt with the changes, frustrations and fallback. I am so blessed to have him, to have a supportive family and children who put up with my (not always successful) experiments. Thank you for this sweet post and the reminder how blessed we are to have someone to love us “for better or worse, in sickness and health.” xoxo

  23. Susan

    I found this this post on our 9 year wedding anniversary and it has made me cry. It is so true. My husband has stuck by me all these years and still told me I was beautiful when I knew I did not appear so. It is lonely when you are unwell, and we can become selfish as we deal with our own physical and emotional pain. Illness gives us strength that we never knew we had – and still we need to muscle up more strength for the future. thank you for you post, best wishes for your healing journey.

  24. Sheila Hunt

    What a beautiful post. Thank you! Some days I feel like I have no friends because of this disease but my husband is always by my side. Just like you – mine never complains about the cost of the supplements or the 2 hour trips to the acupuncturist. His love is unending.
    Thank you f or helping me see that.

  25. Virginia

    Wow, I felt like I was reading my own life story. My husband has been so amazing for all the same reasons. He has put up with so much and listened to me rant and rave and cry. Here’s to awesome spouses!

  26. Jen

    Wow. Just found your blog and know I will be *camping* out here for awhile, and will return regularly. I am a person who has celiac and am wondering if it is essential for me to get the gluten out of my house. I fix mostly gluten free meals, but have sandwich bread, crackers and cookies on hand for the rest of my family.
    Currently I am working through one of the worst flare-ups I’ve ever had. Family and friends’ houses have gluten rich environments and I do not eat there, for the most part, unless it’s something I carried in from home.
    What say you? I would like to add my gratitude to the others who have expressed it so well. You are really making a difference for a population that has had very little voice and virtually no solutions offered, save to go home, feel horrible and die quietly.
    Waiting to hear your reply,
    Jen

  27. Rox

    My sil sent this to me . our ds was diagnosed with Hashimotos in March2012. he had been sick for so long and as parents it was so horrid an experience. we kept beleiving we could somehow fix our child and he just kept getting worse. he lost so much wieght and that grey spaced out look that people with it get I felt my child was slowly being lost . he was ! his hair fell out big time it was bad. it was my Mum a retired RN who caught it . the dr. did not beleive he thought it was iron deficancy ! how could that be when we’d been trying everything from vit d to iron supps etc. it is strange because our fam is ridden with autoimmune but it just never dawned on me .and kids should be healthy , right ? he also developed iritis which was also a painful horrid expereince. I began treating him for pink eye ! poor child after 3 days of trying everything and anything for eye infect we got an optomitrist . I swear he was the youngest patient in the office.
    what shocked me the most was the shunning. no one visited. we were literally left in isolation for over a yr. it was hell people just seemed to leave us to waste away. at least we had each other during this time but it showed who true friends were.
    the strange thing is my cousin in OK her dd was diagnosed also last yr. ! another child with Hashimotos within the same fam .
    our diet always has been well but I truly feel our ds like my auto immune is a result of environmental reasons . I have autoimmune arthritus , asthma etc. two of our children have vitiligo as well as my father.another has IBS and we all have allergies .
    I’m so happy to read you are well and glad you posted this because I don’t think people unless they themselves have dealt with such long term illness get it. how lonely & how isolating it can be .
    TY so much .

  28. Jenny Griebenow

    I think it’s great that you have taken something horrible, Hashimoto’s, and all the other issues you’ve faced, and made it into something beautiful that helps other people. thank you! I’m looking forward to trying your waffle and pancake recipes.

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