My Story: Giving My Younger Self Advice

By Saniya Ghanoui —

JZ shares advice about aging she would have wanted to hear when she was younger. She also describes her experience with an overactive thyroid.


OBOS Today: Is there anything like you wish you knew like health wise when you were younger, like if you could talk to your younger self now, like what would you tell her? 

JZ: Keep moving. Keep active. Put the book down and go take a walk. Yeah, I think, didn’t grow up with the emphasis on movement that came later on and trying to stay ahead of it. Now I just came in from a water aerobics class in the building and there were 10 of—10, 12 of us and um well into their 80s, some of the women. 

OBOS Today: Yeah, that’s awesome. Are there any other like types of exercise you like to do other than water aerobics? 

JZ: As, as, little as possible. Walking. I took, you’ve been here, I’ve walked out to the lake every day and watch the other people and that’s yeah, interesting places to move, you know to walk around I think is, is, a big help but keeping, keeping, you active. 

OBOS Today: Yeah absolutely. Well yeah, I those are most of the questions I had this is. 

JZ: Okay. 

OBOS Today: Is there anything else just like related to your health that you feel like you want to talk about, or you have experience with? 

JZ: Um, some of the thyroid issues that came up unexpectedly when I started having double vision and I’m saying what’s that about? And then getting that turned out to be part of the thyroid that was overactive and unintentionally losing weight and that never ever, ever, happened in, nobody in the family accidentally loses weight, so I knew something was up, and followed that and that was part of the overactive thyroid so I learned a lot about that and, and, of course, being here, you could get good treatment for correcting that. 

OBOS Today: When so did the overactive thyroid, like was the double vision, a, like a— 

JZ: It was one of the symptoms of thyroid disease. And, but that was the most obvious, and then when I started following up, it yeah it turned out, it all has to do with the thyroid. 

OBOS Today: So, what, what, is like, why is having an overactive thyroid dangerous, like what can it cause in your body? 

JZ: Um, weight loss, it could have emotional aspects. The hyperactivity part of it can be very uncomfortable and not knowing why and then, you know, and then it turns out, get the bloodwork checked and it says okay, this is what it is, and this is treatable. We can do something with this. So that’s good. 

OBOS Today: Yeah, what kind of, what kind of treatment did you go through?

JZ: Um, medication. No surgeries. With the vision, a lot of vision follow up and glasses that adapt to the double vision issues, and again, fortunately with Johns Hopkins here and the Wilmer clinic that I heard about all of my life for vision, the resources, having the resources available it’s a tremendous benefit.