Showing posts from June, 2014

Good grief...and other things

The Head Gardener had to put up with me bawling my eyes out, saying I was upset, because I found myself hit by pretty intense grief.  I could not believe that it just snuck up on me, and hit me so hard.  And, she said all the right things.  Which is a really difficult thing to be able to do when someone is really upset.

Things that helped me then, and will hopefully keep me grounded next time, I am unexpectedly taken by surprise:

1) It's a sign that I loved someone, and they loved me back
2) It's a sign that good memories were created
3) It's okay to take some time out, sometimes
4) It's to be expected.
5) Grief, is a normal thing.

If the grief went on for too long, and took over too much of my life, I would be off to get professional help.  Doctors, social workers, a psychologist, can all be helpful.  There's nothing wrong with needing help to process those intense, overwhelming emotions, nothing at all.

"All that glitters... not gold." So the saying goes.

Someone appears to have their life together, to be the life of the party, to always be happy.  To beam with happiness and confidence.  You know what the trick is?  Often it's the tough times.  When life has been tough, it does not take much to have a good day.

Get to know Mr & Ms Confidence and you might find a tough competitor, a compassionate advocate, and someone who has been through hell, before you even knew it existed, on earth.

Climb over the wall

There's this thing that happens when you struggle with illness, that I call the wall.  I hit it hard last week, went to the doctor this week, and decided to try and climb over the wall.  He's confident that we can stabilise my energy and get me back to being able to work and do all the things I want to do.  I'm going to find a way to climb over the wall!

It's going to take a little time, a little patience, a little intelligence, a little work.  I guess those are the ingredients to get anywhere.  And, a slightly rejigged plan of attack.

"Oh no, it's her!"

Thinks every doctor that's ever had me walk in with one hundred studies, compiled in my head, the latest medical news, and questions galore.  Still, I am generally co-operative and will follow most medical advice.  The medical advice I have questioned is due to knowledge and second opinions.  Sometimes, the advice is not black and white and further investigation is necessary.

I think some of my chronic fatigue I am currently experiencing may be because I have been forced to change my dose a bit of T3/T4.  I guess, more questions, observations, and step by step, I go.  It's a tricky thing to get right.

Seriously, I by and large have good relationships with medical people I have come in contact with.  I know their job can be taxing and I am not there to make it any harder than it already is.

I will continue to read and learn and come in armed with one or two pertinent questions so that I can ensure that I receive the best treatment for me, and I adopt appropriate lifestyle actions …

Not all as it seems...

Just thinking about work, wanting to be well enough to work, wanting my body to be suitably reliable to work.  When I remembered a conversation I had with a work contact, that had nothing to do with work.  One of the tricks of being a sales representative, that I forgot on occasion, is to build a relationship that is outside the thing that you sell. 

I say trick, but if you are not interested in people, genuinely, then you will find the job incredibly draining and more stressful than it needs to be.  It will make your life harder when you need to step in and sort things out, your ability to gain market data will be hampered and you probably will not move as much product as you otherwise would.  Let's be clear though, it takes more than a happy, efficient, well presented representative to move products.  Companies regularly forget that.

Anyway, I was watching some youtube videos of comedians, when my brain went back to an intense conversation from one of, what feels like, my past li…

Puzzler & Fat v Sugar

I guess if there is one benefit to having a body that has it's own agenda, and complicated medical conditions, it's that I have to be a good puzzle solver.  Constantly looking for new ways and approaches that might work for me.  Today, it was all about rest though.  Tomorrow, I hope will be a better day.

Added in a tiny bit of T3, after checking my temperature and pulse.  Was told by doctor I could do that if they were out, and my hypothyroid symptoms returned.  It is helping.  Being very careful, will be very patient and careful with this.

Throat still insanely sore, and exhausted today.  I got out of bed, got dressed, pottered about, went back to bed, got up, ate, TV, now typing.  Life could be a bit better but I did choose a good day for being inside with the rain splashing about and the weather definitely on the cool side.

I even managed a little knitting.  Squares, not taxing, good to do while watching a documentary on fat v sugar. 

Truly fascinating documentary with British…

Finding myself laughing at napping post

Good writing makes me laugh, when it makes me laugh out loud and it's about CFS, all the better:
Maybe you will enjoy this other blog too!

Book worm

I have a great love of reading books.  If I am desperate for reading material, I have been known to read cereal packets in detail, read all the advertisements in the classifieds, and the dictionary.

I love to learn new things, and used to read the dictionary, as a break from homework, when I was in high-school.  This was when there was only one phone in a house and it was screwed to the wall, and one painfully slow computer in grade 10, which I rarely used because my brother was addicted to an army game and was virtually trying to take over the world.  And, it was painfully, painfully slow!  My homework usually got done.  Sometimes, on the bus on the way to school.

Personally, I'd rather be outside going for a walk, swinging in the hammock, or playing a game of basket-rugby (reflection on basketball approach and house rules, and competitive people playing) than stuck inside after a day of inside.  I usually did spend the time, to get the good grades though.  There is no substitute f…

Connect with me via facebook

Have set up a facebook profile for this blog, here:

Lost: one sense of humour

Ways to deal with being fed up:
write, either in a journal and tear it up (those therapy writing sessions), an article for a newspaper, or you could write a blog and write about being fed up (see my previous post).  Write to be honest, write to be happy, but write ultimately for other people (sometimes it's a hard balancing act)deal with one thing at a timewrite lists and cross things off as you achieve themeat chocolatedrink a hot coffee/ comforting beverage of your choosingfind something to make you cry/ make you laugh/ make you feel like you need to feelhave a bathread someone else's blog/writing/bookdo something that will help you feel a little better, that's not too much e.g. make the bed before you get in itcreate something if you are feeling well enoughDo an, I am grateful for (...3 things today) listalways keep bright children's pictures in your house, they cheer me up most of the timeaccept that some times you will feel overwhelmed and fed up, but it will pass,…

Just a little cure, and look who's fed up

That's not asking too much, is it?  Just a permanent cure for debilitating and painful flare-ups of CFS, where the pain is too much to sleep?

It screws up my sleep cycles too.  Makes my life seemingly impossible and makes me wonder why I have spent thousands trying to get better.  I am better than I was but I can not find permanent hope for a permanent cure.  I guess I will have to settle for better, overall.  I am grateful for that.

I am just sick of struggling year in, year out and people giving me simple platitudes.  If it was simple, I'd be well by now.  If it was just eating right, and exercising I would never have got sick, other people would.  I am jealous of women my age that could treat their body to any amount of bad food, eat a family sized block of chocolate on an almost daily basis and not end up with chronic fatigue.  Maybe I got it from eating TOO MANY apples.  Yeah, that's it.

If it was just in my head, then my psychoanalysis would have fixed that.  If it was …

Chocolate investigation

So, I am back to asking questions about chocolate, or more specifically, cocoa butter.  The way I understand it, cocoa butter is high in the polyphenols, in the chocolate that was tested for chronic fatigue treatment (study was a very small sample size). 

Cocoa butter may be the important ingredient as it is said to modulate (balance) the immune system, and help the body produce, or regulate T cell formation.  Interesting.  As per usual, more reading needed.

Please note: for some people this would not be an option as they are hypersensitive to cocoa, cocoa butter and chocolate generally (poor things).

Interesting articles on possible health benefits of chocolate for those who can tolerate it well:

Disclaimer: writer's opinion only.  For medical advice and treatment contact a qualified medical professional.

Tucked up in bed!

Have tucked The Head Gardener into bed, complete with herbal tea, after a trying day.
I even got rated 10/10 for my cup of tea....this is such a rare occasion that IT Guru suggested taking a photo :D
Washed out from extreme pain and trying to get my head around the possibility that thymus glandulars may help with CFS flair ups, even prevent.  The last few days have been very trying, ended up collapsing in tears yesterday.
Met a bundle of energy, in her 80s, today, while out for a gentle stroll, clearly benefiting from her regular walking program!  Obviously pays to get out and about and challenge ourselves.  Had more energy than me or THG put together today!  Something to aspire to!

Chronic Fatigue

Chronic fatigue syndrome is the medical term to explain the flare up I have experienced today.  I wish it were just fatigue, tiredness, exhaustion even.  No, it's pain that has had me in tears, bedridden, wanting to scream for morphine but refusing to.  I'm doing my best to hit it hard, but it comes at me pretty bad.  Today, I just wanted this to not be happening to me.
I know there are others who have it harder, worse, dying, than me.  Still, the pain at it's worst makes it hard to stay in my head, let alone find the energy to think about others.  It's like someone got a baseball bat to my glands, then in boredom adds a bit of temperature and some bone sanding for variety.  Not fun.  Do not underestimate how much strength it takes for someone who looks good, tells you they are sick, just to get out of bed.  Or go to bed.  Some nights it's just easier to sit with the pain, than try to settle and sleep.

Temporarily out of order

He, yes, that's how I feel, "out of order" temporarily.  Getting better overall, but I still have out of order days like today when I feel all over the place.  It's just a part of the journey. 
Will hopefully be a bit better tomorrow.

The Eating Season

Ah, yes, my favourite time of year, winter.  Also, known as The Eating Season!!! The temptation, is to eat all season, and then try and lose it in summer.  I, however, will not do that because,
who wants to do all that exercise/discipline in summer?
I like to fit into my clothes
I like walking when it's cool (most of the time)
but mainly
both my body, and doctor/s will have fits!

That, and with the combined joy of coeliac disease and thyroid disease my risk of type 1, type 2 and LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood) a.k.a type 1.5, goes through the roof. 

Lifestyle may help in reducing my risk.  Of course, there is always the chance that I will get type 1/1.5 as there is no real evidence that lifestyle changes would prevent diagnosis (that I am able to find).  Type 1 is an autoimmune condition due to genetics.  It is effectively managed with the assistance of lifestyle, and insulin.  Be very suspect of anyone claiming online that lifestyle alone is enough to treat this. …

Achievement and other fairytales

When health has a habit of being difficult to manage, at times impossible to control, what you personally rate as an achievement and success become redefined.

Some days, when really unwell with chronic fatigue and thyroid irregularity, getting out of bed and making dinner are a successful day.  If I compare myself to my healthy peers, and I do sometimes, it only ends in me feeling like a total failure.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Getting out of bed when faced with obstacles shows courage, determination, and the kind of tenacity that is what success is really all about.  Making a meal for yourself and others should be celebrated, getting out of bed and doing chores should be congratulated, facing the world when you feel vulnerable is courageous.

Disclaimer: author opinion only, does not constitute professional advice.

On the way to Zippy Plains, by way of Happy Town!

I do not know what to write today.  My life is such a rollercoaster in many ways, that when I feel like I am cruising somewhat, on a level easier plane, there is a part of my brain wondering what will happen next. 

I am learning not to worry too much.  I fail pretty regularly.  I get overwhelmed.  I sometimes just want to hide under my doona.  Not today...

today, I just want to be well, and to be fair,
I am getting there. 

Ways I am "getting there",
a.k.a destinations on my trip to wellness
Concentropia: I can concentrate for long enough to read the newspaper most days, and reading a book is beginning to be a regular pleasure once again.Happy Town: Depression still comes and freaks me out, but it's for less time, less frequent.  Zippy Plains: beginning to be able to exercise, getting easier than it wasAchefree Court: the pain is becoming a less frequent visitor in my life.  For all of this, I am grateful!

And another thing...

While I am trying to get your head to explode with information, and procrastinate about cleaning my bathroom, let me just add a word of caution to all that information I threw at you in my last post. If you choose to consume soy, and I would still limit it, be aware that you need to ensure that you are consuming enough iodine.  In places like Tasmania, which has low iodine levels in the soil, it is recommended that people use iodised salt on their food. Now, some facebook and then I better get off The Head Gardener's computer and at least give my bathroom a bit of a spruce.  Might even get the vacuum cleaner out,..hmmm, tomorrow, I think. Disclaimer: this is only the opinion of the writer and does not constitute medical advice or treatment.  Contact a medical professional for medical treatment and advice.

Wellness convert!

So, I'm beginning to feel a bit better, if a little fragile.
My body appears now to be converting well from my thyroid medication, thyroxine T4, to active thyroid hormones at the moment.  There are five thyroid hormones in total, to my knowledge, most of the literature focuses on T4 and T3.
I suspect that one of the reasons for this conversion improvement is the supplementation of selenium.  This article expresses it very well, ,and now this makes sense to me.
It appears that one of the reasons that people struggle with thyroxine as a thyroid disease treatment, may not be the medication in, and of, itself.  It may be that doctors in the future might be able to be manage the disease symptoms better if there is additional supplements added to the treatment program.  These supplements would help the body to take the T4 and actively convert and use it, so that the patient benefits and has maximis…

Got out, and about

Beginning to feel a bit better.  Trying to resist the genetic family tendency to stay huddled inside and only go outside for firewood and the odd herb.  Online shopping is not helping to bring out my sociable side.  Mind you, feeling sick, rather than genetic, stay-at-home tendencies, is the most likely cause of my mild hermit existence of late.  I'm probably more inclined than anyone to get a severe bout of house fever, and need a small change of scenery to stay sane.  I like to be out and about!  Particularly at this time of the year, when though the air is crisp, the scenery is ablaze with autumnal splendour! Managed to get out, and about in the winter sunshine.  It may have been sunny, but I've got to tell you, there was a definite chill in the air!  I guess the tourists I saw walking among the winter floral bursts of colour would be surprised by our hot summer.
Went for a wander around the botanical gardens in Hobart, and cooked a very healthy brown fried rice for dinner, …

Medicine is easy :D

Sometimes, I get a bit peeved by the "thyroid disease is easy to treat" articles I make the mistake of stumbling across in the blogosphere and internet-land more broadly.  Take it from a thyroid patient who has worked her butt off, and continues to, it ain't always!!!  For some of us, it's pure hell on earth.  Now, I think I'm getting there.  However, now, I appear to have gone from under-medicated and treated, to suddenly hyperthyroid/over-medicated.  Let me tell you, boys and girls, it's not a pleasant experience.  This is what I get for losing weight and being a paragon of disciplined virtue, for the most part :P
Rest assured, I will check the diagnosis this week with my doctor.  However, my symptoms include:
one very unhappy tummy (VERY unhappy)high blood pressure (Disclaimer: rest assured, if it was way too high, or high for too long, I would seek immediate urgent medical attention)rapid pulseappetite that can't decide whether it's coming or going,…