Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My Thyroid Story

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

  • My Thyroid Story

    Ah...the little innocent gland that controls the whole body.  If it is in good working condition, you feel good.  If it is working over time, your heart pounds like you ran a mile just by going up the steps, your hair starts falling out, you feel hyper, you can't sleep and get up in the middle of the night to tell others about it on a blog :) and a myriad of other symptoms.  If it is being lazy, you have similar symptoms as overactive, including brain fog, inability to think straight, or to think at all, just want to sleep, a menses that last 2 weeks, weight gain and a myriad of other symptoms.   See why I think it controls the body?   This gland is located in your neck right here....
    See this website for more info. on ithttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thyroid.  My purpose for this post is not to medically teach you about the thyroid, but to share my personal story of what life is like when it does not function well.  I would be delighted if, through sharing this, it helps just one person who may have similar symptoms find the correct diagnosis and get the help that is available.
    Knowing what I know now, I would say that my thyroid story began when I was a teen, even though I was not diagnosed until I was around 23 years old.  The signs were mild, but they were beginning.  I would feel panicky and fearful about things.  After we got married, which means I got older :), the signs increased.  My fears and panic attacks increased and my first severe episode was when I woke up in the middle of the night and begged Dave to call the ambulance, for I was dying!  He called my parents instead (smart man!) and they came over and helped to calm me down.  These episodes increased and did not limit themselves to the middle of the night.  We soon moved into Strausstown and I remember thinking that I could not drive down main street, for the houses would fall in on me.  Yep!  You guessed it!  Poor Dave thought he married a crazy woman!  I read a really good book that helped describe what happens in your body when you have a panic attack and provides ways to deal with them - "Hope and Help for Your Nerves" by Claire Weekes.  Because of the book, I was able to live my life and not be totally controlled by my attacks.   I had Ben, we moved out of town, and my condition worsened.  Ben spent 98 days in the neonatal unit at Reading and I remember driving down (I would drive myself every other day and the other day I would go with Dave in the evening).  Anyway, I would get down there, stare at my teeny tiny little man and wonder how on earth I got there and how on earth I was going to get home.  I thought I would need to call someone to come for me, for I was physically and mentally exhausted!  I know that this kind of situation would make anyone exhausted and stressed and I believe that it was the straw that brought the camel's back.  I could not do my housework, and all I wanted to do was sleep.  Finally, I went to the Dr. (don't ask me why I waited so long - I think I was chalking it up to the stress), for I needed to tell him that I was anemic and needed help (yep, I was one of those dreaded patients that thought I could diagnose myself).  He took one look at me and told me I had a thyroid problem.  He was correct and I started to feel better within 2 weeks of starting meds..  That was 22 years ago and the beginning of this wild roller coaster ride of finding the correct dose of meds.  After every baby was born, my symptoms would return, my dosage would increase and since Oliver (who is 8) was born, it increased  more than once until it had reached the high dose of 225 mcg.  I had times of great frustration (still do) about this condition wondering what caused my thyroid to dysfunction in the first place.  Was it my diet, was it stress, was it inherited?  And then why can't we get it regulated and be able to stay on the same dose forever?  Are there alternatives to meds?  (don't go there) and does stress cause dysfunction or dysfunction cause stress?  I have become so familiar with the symptoms that I know when I need to have blood work done.  My first symptom will be mental - the brain fog, the inability to make decisions, can't think and process things, can't remember names and simple things that I know that I know. I will experience morbid thoughts and slight panicky feelings (which have disappeared after being on synthroid).  Physical symptoms will be that my heart will feel like it is pounding out of my chest or not pounding enough, pain in my shoulders and chest, change in my menses, and moods, and can't sleep.  Or I will be so tired that I am afraid that I won't wake up if I do go to sleep.  Do you know that some believe that a large percentage of women that were in the mental institutes years ago simply had an undiagnosed thyroid disorder?  Thankfully, Dr.'s have become more knowledgeable about this disease and now we are able to be mental but stay in our own homes!  No, honestly, I have often wondered what is normal and if I will ever experience it. Oh, by the way, what is "normal"?  I need to know so that I can recognize it when I arrive there.  Enough joking!  It's not funny!  :) Well, anyway, here recently, within the last year, something has been changing.  I became symptomatic, had blood work and it came back low, which means I need to lower my dose to 200mcg.  Took that dose for awhile - another test - again too low, lower dose to 175.  Took that dose for awhile, can't remember how long (thats part of the disease)- another test - too low - lower dose to 150.  By this time, I am amazed.  I cannot tell you, without seeing my medical records, the last time I was on 150!  Well, I was on 150 for about 6 weeks and I knew the Dr. blew it this time for taking me too low.  Boy, do I hate the brain fog!!  So, does my family - "mom, I told you that already,"  "mom, what is to eat?  I don't know I can't think about that" "oh, I totally forgot.." "mom, can we do this or that?  after long delay.... I don't know..."  Whew!  Time for more blood work.  Yesterday, I got the results.....too low, lower dose to 125!  I'm blown away!  I have not been on that dose for years and years!!  What is happening?  Is God choosing to heal me?  I did not lose weight, we have been eating healthy for years, our lifestyle hasn't changed.  The only thing is that I started seeing a different chiropractor and have been under his care for some time.  I don't believe in the hocus pocus stuff that some chiropractors do (my chiropractor don't either), but I do believe that pinched nerves have a huge effect on the area where the nerves are feeding into.  Now, I have more questions, but I am very happy in the direction things are going.  I don't know the reason why the direction changed, but I am very thankful to the Great Physician.  Sad to say, I will remain sceptical for the next few months to see what happens.  "Oh, ye of little faith..."  That's me, I guess!
    Until next time.............

Saturday, February 5, 2011

8th Birthday of Oliver

Saturday, 05 February 2011

  • 8th Birthday for Oliver

    The long awaited birthday had finally arrived for Oliver yesterday.  He has been counting down the days for months.  He had been marking off each day on the calendar as they went by with a big X.  He was so concerned that everyone would forget about his big day and no one would buy him presents.  Well, we remembered and his grandparents on both sides, his married sis and his very favorite little person - Oakley, Carrie and 2 of his cousins, Drew and Cady came for supper.  He wanted lasagna, so I made a HUGE pan - enough to feed us all for supper and with gobs of leftovers, which the children wanted for breakfast AND lunch today. I made a cabbage salad to go with it.  I will share the recipe at the end of this post.  It is great!

    For his cake, we had chocolate cupcakes (with one HUGE one) with cream cheese icing. And of course, chocolate ice-cream.

    For his presents, he received money and a new bike.  This bike was on sale at WalMart (yes, I do shop WalMart, even though to some people it is a no-no) for $59.95 and when we got to the checkout it checked out at $49.95!  Wow!  What a nice surprise!  The bike, and it's owner, are now waiting for all this ice to melt before they venture outside together.  Anyone want to guess when that will be?  I try to comfort myself by saying that Spring will be here really soon.  And you know what?  It will be!  It always arrives after winter.
    Well, Happy Birthday, Oliver!  We love you bunches and are grateful that you belong to us!
    California Salad
    2 T sesame seeds, 1/2 C sliced slivered almonds, 1/2 medium had of cabbage, onion, 1 package chicken (Ramen noodles   Dressing:  3 T white vinegar, 1/2 tsp pepper, 2 T sugar, 1/2 C oil, flavoring packet from Ramen.  This is especially good after it sits for a day.  Enjoy!
    Until next time..............