Friday, April 21, 2017

Blockades in the road of Life....

By the looks of it I'm not being as faithful as I thought I would be to writing more on my blog. It's funny how times just seems to slip through my fingers like sand. I haven't been wasting my time but I don't think I've been especially careful in managing it either!!

February and March were months of blah for me in the health department arena. I haven't been feeling myself since November. No energy, fog brain, cold all the time, heart palpitations, feeling that I'm going to pass out, no period for over six months. The symptoms are a mile long but I shortened it for you all!!! I know that I suffer from anxiety so I honestly just shook most of it off. The problem for me was that I felt like I couldn't run without having my heart race so bad and be out of breath withiin seconds of trying to run. I didn't want to be out on a trail by myself and keel over dead with no one to search for me...LOL!! But after almost passing out while sitting on the couch, I knew that I had to find out what was wrong with me.  I had a ton of tests done at the Cardiology office and it appears as if the ol' ticker is doing just fine. However, my blood results show that I'm right in the middle of MENOPAUSE (what an ugly word). I decided to do bioTE  HRT Pellet Therapy. My insurance doesn't cover it but thankfully we have an HSA so I could still afford the treatments. I read everything the doctor sent home with me and talked to quite a few other women who already do it and decided to go for it. I've been on it for about 3 weeks now and I have to say that I do feel sharper, more energy, my moods have also seemed to balance out. I sleep like a baby too, thanks to the progesterone that I take at night. That stuff is wonderful. No more waking up every night at 3 a.m. and no more hot flashes (so far...knock on wood)! The full impact takes about three months so I'm excited to see how I will feel then.

I had more blood work done with my OB/GYN doctor and come to find out I have Reverse T3 Syndrome. I'm working closely with her to figure out why my T4 just sits in storage and is not converted into T3. But what it boils down to is that I have hypothyroidism at this moment. I also found out that I do have a small nodule on my thyroid. I go back in 6 months for another ultrasound so that we can track the size for a while before any decisions are made regarding removal or just letting it alone.  Right now I'm taking a low dose of NDT and I truly feel that it's making a big difference on how I'm feeling. I go back in a few weeks to follow-up with my doctor regarding my blood work that will hopefully help her figure out why my T4 is just going into storage and not being converted. I have hope that eventually I won't have to take thyroid medicine....HOPE!

I'm still experiencing the shortness of breath. No one can explain it. I signed up for a trail half-marathon in August, which I think I'm going to have to defer. I haven't ran a stinking mile since November. But with all of this going on and feeling at times totally depressed and other times hopeful, I've realized that God gave me this body and I must, MUST, do my best to take care of it. I've gotten a bit pushier with the doctor's. I've demanded certain blood tests. I've questioned their comments and practices...something I would have never done in the past because I'm a rule follower. I realized that I am the one paying for my healthcare. They are NOT. They don't get to dictate how I spend the rest of my life on this earth. And that my friends is very empowering!!!

If anyone else has experienced similar symptoms please don't be shy...share with me!! That's why I decided to write this post so that someone may be experiencing the same issues but wasn't sure what to do. I have chosen a more natural solution to my thyroid medicine and HRT and it may not be something you would do, and I'm okay with that. I'm open to everything, so if you want to share I would love it!!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pause- My Word for 2017 and coffee

For a while now I've picked a word to concentrate on for the year. It gives me an anchor and helps me stay on track...well, for the most part. This year I had a really tough time coming up with a word that resonated with me and then I saw a quote on Pinterest about "The Pause" and immediately I knew that was my word. I've been using the "pause" a lot in my life. Most recently with all of this election, inauguration, and other happenings. I'm pausing a lot while I'm on Facebook...I'm not going to voice my opinion there and I'm not going to voice it here, either. I'm pausing and letting it go.

But one place where I'm practicing the pause is in the kitchen and I'm more than happy to talk about it here on my blog. I have been "practicing the pause" while I make my daily cup(s) of coffee. I threw out my old Mr. Coffee. Then I took a really big leap of faith and gave my precious Keurig to my son and his girlfriend. Why? Why, did I do this??? Because I now make my coffee using a Chemix and truth be told, I am deeply in love with this clever pour-over device...did I mention how much I love my Chemix?????

This is how I make my lovely brew of coffee. Gone is the coffee from a can. It has been replaced with fresh roasted beans that I grind every morning. I love the ritual of making my coffee. It takes time and there is actually a little bit of a method (science) to making a great Chemix of coffee. I watched several YouTube videos and have also been coached by my co-worker who should get most of the credit for swaying me to the Chemix. A good Chemix of coffee now takes me close to ten minutes from start to finish. During that time I pack my lunch, talk to the dogs, and enjoy the rich coffee smells that are released into the air from the grinder and then from the "bloom" of the first pour over the coffee grounds.

The bloom
 After waiting 30 seconds, I then practice the art of pouring smoothly and in a circular fashion until the water is about 1/2" below the rim...then I wait for it to drip down enough to start all over again. As I stand there watching this beautiful liquid catch in my Chemix, I practice "the pause" and am just in that moment of this simple act of making coffee. Maybe it sounds hokey, but I am very grateful to be able to make my coffee in this fashion. I savor it more. I buy coffee beans from my local coffee shop. I drink my coffee in a huge Gilmore Girl style mug (a gift from my kids) that came from a local coffee shop, The Raven. I relish every single drop before it even hits my tongue. I'm madly in love with my Chemix...don't tell my husband. But even more than that....I'm learning to "pause" and stop rushing, stop complaining, stop the anxiety, and I'm learning to pray, I'm learning to listen, I'm learning to be.

My Beloved Chemix

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I'm out of practice!

It seems as if I forgot how to do this thing called blogging!! I see I had a few visitors but alas, I forgot to turn on the comments...I'll eventually get into the swing of things!!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Practicing the Pause

What a fitting title for this blog post, huh? Practicing the Pause? I've been on pause for well over three years when it comes to writing on  my blog. Wow....time moves fast when you're not stressing over book reviews or trying to come up with clever content to keep readers engaged. Somewhere, something has shifted for me...I can't put my finger on it, but the time feels right to just get back to documenting my life. So, here I am, ready to jump into 2017.

A lot of people I know often pick a word that they want to reflect upon for the year..and I'm no different. This time around though I'm going to be sharing my daily walk with my word...Pause. Why did I pick this word? Actually, this word picked me. I ran across this image about pausing and realized that I so needed to do more of that..pausing...before I spoke, before I reacted, before I did most anything. My emotions and my heart rule my head and many times it gets me into some sort of trouble. When I feel passionate about something I just go with it and oftentimes I regret things that come rolling out of my mouth. The biggest problem I face is my has a way of holding me hostage for hours, minutes, seconds,,,,,and sometimes days. All of that time spent worrying about things that I truly have no control over and for what????? I'm a work in process...this blog is a work in process...but I feel ready to write again about life, crap, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We all have our demons and many things have inspired me to start to face mine. I feel like this year is going to be about peeling back my layers a little at a time...for now I'm going to pause (it's getting late and I'm ready for bed)....Hello, 2017.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Life in the Thumb- Health Update

Hello Friends,

I'm sitting here at my kitchen table, listening to some great classical music, the hum of the washing machine, and drinking a lovely cup of coffee. I thought that it would be a great time for me to write down and share my health update with my friends as the weather is cloudy (with no chances of meatballs, unfortunately), and I have nothing pressing to accomplish today! That my friends = "sheer bliss!"

So, I left off my last post with the knowledge that I would be having a stress test just to make sure that the ol' ticker was doing what is was supposed to and keeping my body in an upright position while running. As far as I know my stress test went beautifully. I have never received a phone call from the cardiologist office nor one from my GP. I should be totally and utterly shocked, but I am not. I've left a message to call me about my results but I've received nada, zilch, zero..... no response. I'm going to run with the idea that everything is fine. God knows, I would be worth much more time and money to earn if there was something wrong with me.....right? And if that were the case someone would've called me. It's crazy to expect any type of communication from your doctor if everything checks out....???

This week I will be printing off all of my health information and making an appointment with my chiropractor. To some it may sound crazy, but this is one of the only doctors that I've visited who looks me in the eye, listens to what I have to say, doesn't tell me I'm crazy, isn't trying to write me a prescription, and honestly tries to find the "reason" why behind my symptoms. I'm going to focus on the menopause symptoms...that's what I honestly think is going on with me. I'm going to focus on my thyroid and adrenal glands...I also feel that these are issues. My mom had Hashimoto's Disease and all of her thyroid tests came back exactly like mine do, which is normal. On top of the fact that four of my female cousins on my mom's side have thyroid issues...I'm betting that there may be something up with mine.

Photo courtesy of
In the meantime, I am going to continue on the path that I've decided that is right for me. I'm drinking a green smoothie every morning, I'm eating less animal protein on a daily basis and incorporating more plant based foods into my diet. I'm trying hard every day to eat a rainbow of colors, no processed box foods, no GMO anything in my house or in my body, no sugar, no pop. Basically, I'm learning to eat as if I had to plant and harvest the food that I bring into my home.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The woes of getting older....

photo credits

In a few days I will be celebrating another year of life.....46 of them exactly!! At one point I was pretty rattled by that number as it is closer to 50 than I wanted to be. But something happened. Somewhere along the way I started to become comfortable in my own skin. I believe it occurred when I decided that being a couch potato just didn't work for me. I'm now more conscious about what I put in my body and making time for my health appointments. For the longest time I've been a MOM..and mom's don't worry about themselves. Moms only go to the doctor when they've been sick for 18 days and finally surrender to the war going on within their bodies. I was that MOM. I no longer subscribe to that definition of a mom. I'm me, a woman, daughter, wife, mom, friend, and someone who deserves to take care of herself. I had a stress test. I've noticed that when I'm running that my heart rate gets a tad too high. I mentioned it to my chiropractor and he didn't want to worry me, but he was concerned that it might be stress on the heart instead of being an aerobic workout. After that appointment I took his concern seriously and made sure to bring my runs back down to a slower speed when my HR got too high. My dad had a heart attack when he was 44 and his dad when he was 45...heart disease is in my genes. Honestly, I was a little scared. And then I read an article about a runner who was 45 and died during a 5K. That sealed the deal for me. I made an appointment with my physician and they got the ball rolling with the blood work and stress test.

I have to wait for about a week for my results from the stress test, but I'm feeling pretty good about the outcome. I was able to log in to my health account today and looked over my blood work. And of course, I had to call my mother to give her the numbers so that she could confirm and reassure herself and my dad that I was (knock on wood) going to be okay. My cholesterol numbers are pretty good--
Triglycerides 68, HDL 64, LDL 114 (I'm working to bring that below 100). I feel that my heart is in pretty good shape. In fact, I think I'm in good shape.

However, even though I have (some) faith in doctors, I still think something is off. Not once did any of the doctors ask me if I could possibly be going through menopause. I firmly believe that I am either in peri-menopause or the beginning stages of menopause. I think that my estrogen levels are out-of-whack...because I've been experiencing anxiety, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, fatigue, hair loss, heat flashes...and of course, my doctor says my thyroid is just fine. I think I will have to be my own doctor for right now and try to find a better doctor.  A doctor who looks me in the eyes and is listening to me. I'm sure there is one out there!

Monday, February 9, 2015

My love affair with running starts

Hello Friends!

As many of you may know, the past year I have dived into the pool of fitness! I went from being pretty much sedentary to running four 5K's,  one 4 mile Dune Dash, one 10K, riding my bicycle for several 100 miles, lifting weights, walking, cross-country skiing, and just enjoying having to catch my breath and wipe the sweat from face. I can't believe how many years of my life I spent sitting on my butt, watching television, reading, and being on the internet. When you do nothing every single day it's very hard to start doing "something." But I was determined. I was tired of being tired. I didn't like the reflection that stared back at me. The unhappy face. The face that carried extra weight and sadness. So I decided that I was going to change. I started by downloading the C25K app. I took some time and looked at each week to see what I was going to have to accomplish on the treadmill (March in Michigan last year was VERY cold, plus we had a TON of running outside was not something I even considered!). The first few weeks looked doable and I thought to myself, "you've got this!" Ha! Little did I know that years of sitting around did a lot of damage to my health. Nothing was easy, but I instantly felt better after each workout. Not only did I feel better, but I also started to feel empowered. As the weeks went by the length of time I was able to run increased. My self confidence started to amp up and I knew that I could actually run a 5K!! My best girlfriends encouraged me to sign up for The Color Run and even went so far as to run it with me!  When they did that I knew I had surrounded myself with a group of women who knew how to love and support each other. I knew I had found my "tribe." With them by my side, I crossed my first official finish line and fell in love with running. There was no turning back for me, I was hooked!