At that point, I just started picking out doctors’ names from the provider’s books, desperately trying to find someone who knew what was going on. Then finally, in 1990, I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes hyperthyroidism. This was the cause of many of my symptoms, and I was so grateful to finally get some answers.
Two and a half years later, I won my first Olympic gold. And I thought, “Hey, I’m starting to get my life back on track.” But, unfortunately, this was not the case.
My Graves’ disease was under control, but eye problems Persistence – swelling, pain, redness, grainy vision. I remember asking other people on the track if the obstacles were too blurry for them, because it was always too blurry for me. I describe it as looking through the fascia, and that’s how distorted my vision is.
But I thought: Who am I to complain? I have prepared my life. I am very fortunate to have gone to five Olympics and won medals. So even when my eye symptoms don’t clear up or get better (and sometimes get worse) I thought: This should just be my new normal, and I just have to deal with it.