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Losing one of my nine lives by Lynda Cookson

Losing one of my nine lives

by Lynda Cookson.


I recently wrote a post about psychosomatic causes of disease. My interest stems from life-altering personal experiences.

I mentioned that I had Hashimoto's Disease, an autoimmune condition which resulted in, for me, hypothyroidism.

The psychosomatic cause of thyroid disease is a feeling of "It's my turn now".

My symptoms began when I was about eleven years old and simmered quietly, not invading my life too strongly, until I was thirty-two years old and the mother of two young children. My daughter was six and my son was four years old when my body said "Listen now or you'll be pushing up daisies in a flash!"

This was the point in my life that I learned to read my body because it knew more than the doctors I saw knew. I learned to listen to what it says to me. I learned that it's necessary in life to be assertive about your life-fulfilment needs. Not bossy or demanding, just assertive and positive. I learned to listen to my intuition instead of being in awe of it or afraid of it. I learned that my life was just as important as my husband's and my children's. I didn't have to sacrifice my soul to everyone else.

Most valuable of all, I learned to not be afraid of death.

"Now and Zen in White" by Lynda Cookson

I began to inexplicably put on a very puffy weight without changing my diet in any way whatsoever. Severe headaches became part of my daily routine and I was just so very, very tired all the time. My doctor sent me to a specialist who, after the usual blood pressure and heart rate checks, went through my diet with me. At the time I was eating very healthily and drinking only herbal teas. (I can't say the same of my diet now!) I got the impression he thought I was fibbing and he sent me away with a lecture about just wanting attention and that there was nothing wrong with me. To this day when I think of him I feel angry.

However, to give him his due, thyroid problems are often very difficult to diagnose.

I became a bit depressed, lost confidence in myself, and found myself just plodding from day to day, feeling that I wasn't good enough for anything or anybody. The more I tried to "pull myself together" the more tired and depressed I became.

Eventually, after gynecological problems presented themselves continually for a full three months, completely draining me, I was sent to have a hysterectomy.


"Breaking Through" by Lynda Cookson
Three days before the operation was due to take place I had to accompany my husband on a regular business dinner with one of his senior business partners. I'll call this business partner William.

William was very far from being my favourite person and I mistrusted him completely. Into the bargain he was very chauvanistic and that, to me, is like waving ten red flags in front of my eyes. I hated those weekly dinners. My husband and William would discuss business throughout the entire meal, ignoring me completely and not responding to my attempts to join in a conversation. After a while, because the meals were so delicious at the Men's Club we went to each week, I just concentrated on enjoying the fabulous food, ignored them in turn, and went home feeling angry each time.

On this particular evening I was feeling very unwell indeed and would have preferred to have stayed at home. This was not an option. In this extreme state of imbalance, I experienced probably the best thing which has happened to me. It changed my outlook on life totally.

I can remember exactly where we were driving when it happened. We were going down the hill just before passing Cordwalles School in Pietermaritzburg in Natal (South Africa) on our way into the city. It also happened to be the school my father was sent to as a boarder at the tender age of seven years old, where my children attended after-school sport and ballet, and where an uncle had taught for some years. A place with family connection.

I left. I found myself "out of body" with the colour yellow surrounding me and a sound akin to the music of thousands of crickets. Hot country people will know the sound I mean. There was a peaceful, floaty feeling of moving forwards, and it being very light around me. I remember thinking "Oh thank heavens, I never have to go to dinner with William again. Ever. What a relief."

Then I came back. I was back sitting in the passenger seat of the car. Going to dinner again with William. But I felt peaceful and more whole than I'd felt for a very long time.


"Birds Against the Sun" by Lynda Cookson
I vaguely remember not being able to wake up fully after the hysterectomy operation and the nurses chuckling at my humorous attempts at trying to find my consciousness. They said I was shaking my head and trying to talk to them but only managing gibberish with a grin on my face. All went black again until I focused blurrily on a kindly face peering into mine and asking me when I last plucked my eyebrows! Weird.

This was my human angel. The specialist who straight away gave the correct diagnosis and put me on the road to recovery. He was kind, empathetic and for the first time I felt valued.

Loss of hair is a strong indication of thyroid problems and the loss of eyebrows is the easiest way for a doctor to gauge the loss.


"Finding My Haven" by Lynda Cookson
It had taken eighteen months and an operation I didn't really need, for a diagnosis and in that time rather a lot of damage had been done to my body. It had, in fact, been on it's way to closing down bit by bit.

As an interesting aside, in 2016 whilst medics in an ambulance were assessing me for a pain in my chest (I had pneumonia) they asked me if I had had a heart problem or a heart attack previously. I haven't and cannot lay claim to any heart problems at all. They insisted my heart showed experience of something akin to a heart attack. I have thought about it and have wondered ever since if it was the near-death episode in Pietermaritzburg. That thought makes me smile. Instead of being life threatening, it had given me my life back.

I think that at the stage I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's, the disease had been fairly recently named because when my doctor cousin in Australia looked it up, he advised that there were only five other known cases of Hashimoto's Disease in the world. Now when I google it, it seems every second person has it!

There's so much more I could say about this time but to squish it all into a nutshell, I took stock of my life and, during the next few years while I recuperated, I moved on from the damaging influences and towards the happy life I have now.

From these experiences came my three-cornered value system from where I make all my decisions.

Care, respect and balance.

If you show care, respect follows. If you have care and respect, balance is a natural result.

Find Lynda's Art Site -

Comments (2)

Lynda Cookson - 17/04/2018

Be lovely to know your story too Shirley :-) Find me on Facebook? I'm hiding behind sunglasses, a pink blouse and yellow scarf in my image LOL

Shirley - 16/04/2018

I know exactly where you're coming from!

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