Friday, September 27, 2013

Okay, Then . . .

Okay, what I do know:

The meds I am are working, quite well actually. I feel better than I have in months.
I still don't know what's wrong with me.

So, I wait in the office at the ENT, waiting forever to see the dr, with a cranky baby who is missing her nap. Grrrrr. An hour and a half after being checked in, weighed, measured and hidden in an exam room, the dr comes in, looks at me, and says, "you are not a candidate for surgery, you need an endocrinologist." Well, great? I wish I had been told that at the beginning, instead of waiting forever to be told I was at the wrong spot. So, back home I go, to wait for a different dr to call me for an appt. I call my regular dr and she orders lab work, which I go do.  I start feeling really tired and worn out again. Not fair. My medicine must not be working, I must be getting worse. I cancel all of my activities for the week, and just veg out, waiting for bloodwork to be done. I call a week later to tell my dr how awful I am feeling again. She days she isn't terribly surprised, because my thyroid numbers have dropped! And, it is her belief that what we are seeing is my thyroid trying to self-regulate, hallelujah! So, we back off of the thyroid med, and within two days I feel like a new person, energetic and ready to do stuff! Yay! But the threat of an endocrinologist hangs over my head. Another few days go by, without any call from his office. So, I call my dr again. She and I talk for another, and I ask the question I've been wanting to ask, "do I still need to bother with an endocrinologist?" And I am relieved to hear her answer, "no." Yay, again! According to my fabulous dr, the drop in thyroid levels, my clean thyroid, everything else, is indicative of thyroiditis, whether it be infectios, viral or postpartum, I do not seem to have Graves' disease. This is so awesome! I do a little happy dance. I go back in a month for another blood draw, and if things continue leveling out, I should be able to get off the meds, and go back to my life. I am so happy, so excited. I was so afraid before. So afraid of the unknown, of being in limbo, etc. Those who know me, know how much I hate the unknown, and I despise living in limbo, absolutely despise it. And I am grateful for a small release. We still don't know what caused this thyroiditis, but my guess, in my wholly untrained opinion, is it is postpartum thyroiditis, I mean, I did just have a baby in the last year.

So, there you go. I can get back on track, and re-lose those 7 lbs I gained during the first month of new meds. I have been released from my exercise ban. I am ready to get back out there. :) and even better, my favorite season is in swing: SPRING!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

An Appointment, An Explanation, A Diagnosis, Testing, & A Resolution

Where to begin? What I have to say, could fill up several pages. I feel I must say something, but I shy away from saying something that might be wrong, or possibly negate another person's pain, which is not my intent. I talked to a sister of mine a while back. I love talking to her! And as we were discussing current events which are hurting us, I said, something to the effect of, "ugh, I can't believe I am pouring out my minuscule problems to you, yours are so much more painful. I should just be grateful for what I have, and try to let go of what I could lose." And her response was so lovely, so compassionate, so TRUE. She said, "I don't think we need to compare our hurts. Life hurts sometimes, we feel pain, and it doesn't matters whose pain we believe is worse. What matters is that we feel pain, and we ought to support each other in our pain." So, there you go, I am going to try to live by that.

So, all summer, and a few months before that, I have been feeling really tired, just unnaturally fatigued and exhausted and worn out. I blew it off, thinking that I just wasn't recovering as quickly from the birth of my latest princess. I thought, well, I have five kids, they are busy creatures, we are all busy, it's just going to take a little longer to recover. But as the fatigue and exhaustion continued, and I felt myself feeling worse, and worse, I started to consider other causes. The finally straw was when I noticed my heart would be racing, for almost no reason whatsoever. I have been eating right, and trying to stay active, me getting healthier, why wasn't I feeling better???? I finally dragged myself to call my fabulous Dr., and schedule an appt. I show up to that appt, and get all the preliminary stuff done, weight, height, pulse, etc. my Dr. works with a university and provides on the job training to medical students. So the student comes in and does her assessment things,  again with the pulse, reflexes, etc. she asks me if I have ever been told I had a heart murmur, well, no. She steps out, then a bit later, she and my Dr. come in. My Dr. listens, and agrees, I have developed a heart murmur, and she also agrees with the student that my thyroid is enlarged. Great, what does that mean? She sends me off for bloodworm and stuff, which I do. Then, we start the waiting game.

A couple days later, I get a phone call that it looks like I have Graves' disease. Well, that doesn't sound good. I mean, who puts "graves" in a disease unless it is bad? So, I get off of the phone and have a panic. I research all of the symptoms. One of which is "unexplained weight loss." You mean all that work I did was all for nothing? It was all from this disease? I could have been living large, and I still would have lost the weight. Grrrr! I lost a total of 81 lbs in about 8 months. It has been great, I felt like I was really looking good, and that I had "changed my stars" and changed my path and direction, only to find out that the path was already changing, and while I helped a little, the disease was doing most of the work. I feel like the biggest fraud in the history of weightless. I was ashamed, and still am, to a degree, I felt like I had cheated somehow, that somehow, all my work and effort didn't count, because I had had a secret accomplice on the inside. How could I continue to write this blog? How can I continue to show my face around here when I didn't earn this position, and etc. and I still struggle with those feelings. I worry that anybody who I have touched with this story, will see this as some grand charade, and look down on me for it, and believe I didn't play the game right, and a small part of me believes that they are right, I did cheat. And there is a lot of ashamed associated with these feelings.

But I am not a cheater. I have to remind myself of this every day. My Dr. ordered meds for me, three, to be exact, and I take them dutifully. I don't want Graves' disease to control my life, I don't want to lose the life I have to it either. So I try, and I fight the nausea and the headaches and the dizziness, etc. and I try to get through the day, and just survive. After the first week, I feel better, and better. The I get sick again, so off to the Dr. for an infection, then some other blood-work that needs to be done and I schedule a thyroid ultrasound too. Blood-work is expected to take a week to come back, so we wait on that, this waiting is so fun!!! Not.

Thyroid ultrasound is exactly that, an ultrasound of your thyroid. Mine looks good, slightly enlarged, but no nodules or anything like that. So, off I go to wait some more. About a week or so goes by, and I get the phone call on my blood-work, there is no graves-specific antibody they can find, so I wait some more. Today I see an ENT, who tells me I need to see an endocrinologist, after, of course, I sat in an exam room of his for an hour and a half. :P So, we wait some more.

. . . To be continued

What I do know:
the two meds I am on are really helping, I feel

Friday, September 13, 2013

September 11, 2013

I tried to post on the 11th, but for some reason, was unable to (i.e. my computer hates me. Or, SOMEBODY doesn't want me to post this, LOL). So please accept this
thought a day late. I know it has nothing to do with weight loss or body image or
acceptance or self-esteem. But it does have to do with change.

(copyright Mateus_27:24&25)

Where were you when the world stopped turning, in that September day?
I was on the band field, then we came inside, put our stuff up, the bell had already
rung, so we were late, as usual. As we entered the main part of the school, I was struck
by the eerie silence. Usually, you heard some sort of noise, secretaries on the phone,
teachers teaching, students talking, etc. the silence was so thick, you could feel it
pressing in on you. My 2nd period class was history. As I neared my class wing, I could
hear the TVs were on, and as I walked into class, I saw the towers on fire, smoke
billowing out, and everything. I quietly took my seat, then watched, in horror, as the
second plane hit. And then, they fell. It was tragic and heartbreaking. After the towers were hit, then the Pentagon, then Flight 93, we worried whether our own areas would be hit next, living near a nuclear plant was a scary place to be at this time.

In the days that followed the grief was heavy in our country. We ached and grieved
for the families affected, for the men, women and children whose lives were taken
from them. We grieved for the family and friends they left behind. We hurt.

Mr. Rogers says to look at every tragedy and look for the heroes, find the good when we are scared or frightened.

                                                  (copyright bbaltimore)
Our country banded together at that time. Instead of being white or black, instead of
being Christian or not, rich or poor, etc, we became New Yorkers, we became Americans, and more than that, we became "just people." We cared about each other, we helped each other, we loved each other. We struck down the dividers and the blinders, and just lived as one people for awhile. We watched the crews of police officers, fire fighters, and paramedics, combing the rubble, risking their lives before the towers fell to help others get out, searching long after their shifts were over, etc. seeing the search and rescue dogs get depressed from finding no living, and then random people on the street volunteering to hide, so that the dogs could find someone to help.

                                               (copyright Beverly & Pack)

                                                     (copyright ssistak)   

                                                  (copyright brianac37)

We watched America stand shoulder to shoulder, in a circle of devotion, strong as brothers, bound in love. These are the things we ought to remember, yes, remember the fallen, remember the lost, but never forget, that we are people first, we are ALL of us, people first, everything else is second. And people deserve respect, people deserve love.

                                                    (copyright frerieke)