{Series – Sickling Moms} – Melanie

There are just so many people battling so many things. This series is designed to introduce you to moms that have their own serious health issues to deal with, all while being involved, present, lovely moms. Meet Melanie Blignaut, who has her own blog.

IMG_20151101_093301Please describe your medical condition
I have hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid). I was diagnosed when my firstborn was six months old. Hello, side effect of pregnancy that no one tells you about! At the time of my diagnosis, I learned my mom and an aunt had also developed hypothyroidism during their pregnancies.

How does it affect your everyday life as a mom?
I am always tired. It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get the night before, I’m pretty much a zombie all the time. I feel guilty that I don’t have more energy to be the wife and mom I want to be.

How have you described / explained it to your kid(s)?
I haven’t really. They know I take my medication along with my vitamins, but I think because it’s not so physically visible and I don’t look or act “sick”, they haven’t felt the need to ask me questions about it. They just know that being tired is one of Mommy’s qualities. 🙂

What are some of the stigmas attached to your illness? How accurate are these?
I think people misunderstand the exhaustion. I’ve been told to exercise to increase my energy – when there are mornings I barely have the energy to get dressed, never mind exercise! I’ve also been told to make sure I get enough sleep – but lack of sleep isn’t the issue.

What things have people said to you about your illness?
The doctor who diagnosed me told me, “It’s not so bad. If you’re going to get a chronic illness, this is the one you want.” No, actually, I don’t want this!

What are you good at that your illness can’t affect?
I can bake the most delicious cookies. And I homeschool my girls.

What helps you to cope?
It helps to take a break in the afternoon to recharge. Now that its summer, I relax under a tree while the girls burn off excess energy in the garden. (I wish I could bottle their energy and use it for myself.) I’ve also started researching some healthier eating options as well – for example, I’ve heard that going gluten-free can help. So that’s something I’d like to implement.

What do you wish others knew about your illness?
It might not be a terminal illness, but it still sucks to have it.

What do you wish they knew about YOU?
That I can totally be the happy, fun friend – but after an hour or so I will need to take a nap. 🙂

Follow Melanie’s blog or check out her Facebook page for her parenting insights, ideas, and initiatives.

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