• The Patient's Corner

The Body My Thyroid Built*

Updated: May 20


This is the body my thyroid built.

This is me, unable to sleep, in the body my thyroid built.

This is me tired—during the day

Because I was unable to sleep—during the night,

In the body my thyroid built.

This is me—taking long naps

And still waking up tired—during the day

Because I was unable to sleep—during the night

In the body my thyroid built

This is me teaching school—with no breaks

That caused me to take long naps

And still wake up tired—during the day

Because I was unable to sleep—during the night.

In the body my thyroid built.

This is my voice that was always hoarse

Because I was teaching—with no breaks

That caused me to take long naps

And still wake up tired—during the day

Because I was unable to sleep—during the night

In the body my thyroid built.

This is me confused, when doc said I didn’t have strep

Because it hurt to swallow, sing, or speak

And my voice was always hoarse

Because I was teaching—with no breaks

That caused me to take long naps

And still wake up tired—during the day

Because I was unable to sleep—during the night

In the body my thyroid built.

This is the food that I didn’t eat,

Because it hurt to swallow, sing, or speak

And my voice was always hoarse

Because I was teaching—with no breaks

That caused me to take long naps

And wake up tired—during the day

Because I was unable to sleep—during the night

In the body my thyroid built.

This is me gawking at my bathroom scale

Because I was gaining weight at an alarming rate

Which was confusing because there was food I didn’t eat

Because it hurt to swallow, sing, or speak

And my voice was always hoarse

Because I was teaching—with no breaks

That caused me to take long naps

And wake up tired during the day

Because I didn’t sleep—during the night

In the body my thyroid…was destroying

By the time my mother forced me to go to the doctor, because she noticed a mass protruding from my neck, my symptoms had gotten so bad I could barely make it through the day. Turns out, I had a mass on my thyroid so large, it had begun growing into my vocal cords, and had shut down half of my thyroid.

In hindsight, I realize I should’ve told my doctor all of the symptoms I was experiencing instead of just one by one over a series of visits. Thyroid problems have a tendency to build off of each other. I kept dismissing the individual symptoms for something else; when in actuality it was all due to the same problem.

But this quirky story has a happy ending.

This is the surgery by my ENT

That removed part of the thyroid that was bothering me

That relieved my throat and caused me not to be hoarse

That allowed me to eat proper meals in full course

And gave me back my energy during the day

So I could teach my students in the best way

And sleep through the night to get my proper rest

Because my thyroid was functioning at its absolute best…

And then I got pregnant…but that’s another poem altogether.

*Inspired by Mother Goose’s “The House That Jack Built”.

About the author:

Danita LaShelle W. Jones is a playwright and the founder and director of a community based performing arts company. She is also a devoted wife and mom of four children.

#thyroiddisease #ThePatientsCorner #teachingdoctor #medtopics #hyperthyroidism #hypothyroidism

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