Paula had a long journey with thyroid eye disease. Now she is using her experience to help at TEDct and support others whose lives are affected by the disease.
My name is Paula and I live in North Weald in Epping Essex. I am 45 years old, married with a daughter
Having suffered with Graves’ disease and thyroid eye disease myself I felt I could support fellow sufferers as I really understood what people were going through. It is a lonely disease that is both mentally and physically damaging.
It took a long time before I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease; my eyes were protruding, the right eye being worse; I was blacking out in hot rooms and felt generally unwell. After three years I had 95% of my thyroid removed followed by orbital decompression on both eyes 4 years later, thanks to Moorfields Eye Hospital.
The operation was the best thing I could have done and my appearance is almost back to pre-TED, only it was a long and painful journey. I am lucky and my thyroid levels have been level for around 5 years now. I still suffer slightly with my eyes but no where as much as I did.
So, how did I get involved with TEDct? I used to assist with the helpline and talk to anyone needing support or simply wanting to hear my experience. I can’t offer medical advice but am always pleased to hear from fellow sufferers and hope my positive story can offer light at the end of the tunnel. I also worked on coordinating the previous version of the website and helped with administrative tasks now and then.
I hope you find TEDct useful and supportive and maybe I might see you at one of the patient information meetings one day.