My Auntie Gail and Hashimoto’s Disease

So, I decided to interview my auntie Gail on her Hashimoto! She’s very strong, happy and a joyful person to be around. I really enjoyed two years ago when my Dad took me to Lloydminster and we went out for ice cream with my Auntie Gail and my Grandma Sharon. It was really nice to see where my Dad and my Auntie Gail went to high school. We would go to Lloydminster for Christmas Eve the last two before COVID, so this past Christmas we didn’t get to go to Lloydminster. I love going back to see family and playing games with the whole family. I hope everything is back to normal this Christmas! I hope you learn something from this interview!

Kelsey: How did you find out you had Hashimoto? 

Gail: I had not been feeling well for a few years. I was always very tired, and it has always been very hard to lose any weight.  I had been to my family doctor, and she had checked my thyroid but she always said it was on the edge of the normal range so we should just watch it. Then in the summer of 2018 I thought I would try seeing a naturopath doctor. She sent me for a few different blood tests than my regular doctor had, and they came back positive for the Hashimoto’s disease antibodies.

Here is what I found out about Hashimoto:

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Also called Hashimoto’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune disease, a disorder in which the immune system turns against the body’s own tissues. In people with Hashimoto’s, the immune system attacks the thyroid. This can lead to hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid does not make enough hormones for the body’s needs. I have a link at the end of the interview for you to find out more information….

Kelsey: What were your symptoms and how are you feeling today?

Gail: I definitely had a few of the symptoms listed for Hashimoto’s. I had fatigue all the time and joint and muscle pain. Even just doing regular everyday stuff like cleaning the house and doing laundry would make me tired. One of the symptoms is a goiter that develops on your neck and I am very thankful I did not have that symptom. I take medication every day to help regulate the thyroid gland and I am feeling much better now. A few months ago, I had a check up and I had been feeling a sluggish so I had my thyroid checked again and it was back to being a little slow so my doctor had to adjust the dosage of my medication.

Kelsey: How did your family act when you found out what’s was happening?

Gail: I think they were very relieved that I finally had a diagnosis and that it was fully treatable with medication.

Kelsey: Did you have to change your diet or eating habits?

Gail: The naturopath also found out that I had a sensitivity to gluten as well as Hashimoto’s so I have totally changed my diet and eating habits. I do not eat anything with gluten and that has been quite tough for me as I loved bread.

Kelsey: What’s changed your lifestyle when you found out what’s was happening?

Gail: Because Hashimoto’s is classified as an autoimmune disease. I do have to make sure I get proper rest and eat well. They told me to limit my stress because too much stress will make the inflammation in my body worse.

Kelsey: What was your childhood like growing up? What were your hobbies when you were a Child?

Gail: I grew up in Lloydminster, which is where I live now. We lived very close to our school so we were able to walk to school every day and come home for lunch. Our school also has an outdoor swimming pool in the summer and an outdoor skating rink in the winter. I loved to skate, in the winter I would skate pretty much every day after school. I took figure skating lessons for a while as well. When I got older and went to high school, I was very lucky Michael drove me to school every day and dropped me off at my part time job until I got a driver’s license.

Kelsey: Where did you go after school?

Gail: I always came home after school. My mom worked and I always looked after my younger brother Patrick. Well and sometimes Michael. Ha ha ha.

Kelsey: What’s your job today?

Gail: I work at a company called Guardian Radiology, they do diagnostic imaging, which is x-rays and ultrasounds. I work in the finance department mostly doing payroll as there are over 100 employees in 12 different locations. I am also responsible for receivables as well.

Kelsey: Where did you meet my uncle Wayne? When did you have kids?

Gail: I met uncle Wayne when I was in Grade 10 we went to the same high school. Hard to believe I have known him since I was 15 years old. We started dating when I was about 19 years old and we got married in 1994 when I was 23 and he was 24. We had our first child, Eric Hans in 1995 and then Ian Andrew in 1999. Our boys have left home now and are living in Edmonton together.

Kelsey: Where have you been in the world? Do you like to travel?

Gail: I love to see new places and I love to travel. I am not a great flier but once I get there, I am good. I have been to many places. I love the beach we have been to Mexico many times, and Bermuda, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Antiqua. We have been to New York a few times and Uncle Wayne loves Las Vegas. I have also went to Greece and Italy with Eric on a school trip which was lots of fun. But my biggest trip was to Egypt for 3 weeks with a friend of mine. It was a long and exhausting trip but so worth it. We saw so many museums, ruins, tombs, pyramids, rode donkeys and camels, and climbed Mount Sanai.

 

Kelsey: What are your hobbies today?

Gail: I love to ride my bike in the summer and I love to read. I read every day. I also like to garden a bit. Wayne built some raised garden beds last year and I planted a few vegetables. I also am a member of the Kinette’s club.

Kelsey: Are you close to your friends from school or have they moved away?

Gail: I have a few friends that still live here from my school days. One is my friend Tammy, we have been friends since Grade 4 and she is my hairdresser as well.

Kelsey: What’s your favourite memory growing of your Mom, and your Dad?

Gail: My favourite memory when we were young, we went on a summer holiday to BC. We had a camper and we drove. We stopped at the Flintstone park and we drove go karts. It was a really fun trip.

Kelsey: How many siblings do you have?

Gail: I have 2 siblings. I have an older brother Michael and a younger brother Patrick so I am a middle child and the only girl. 

For more information check out this link:

https://www.webmd.com/women/hashimotos-thyroiditis-symptoms-causes-treatments

Thank you Auntie Gail for doing the interview and providing the website. I really enjoyed learning about your life. I hope some people learned something from your interview. Maybe they have Hashimoto Disease too!