Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tagging Along

In a couple of days, I will be headed to this lovely place, Lake Barkley State Resort Park in Kentucky. My friend, Teresa, has traveled with me all over the place in the past for my events and meetings. Now it is my turn to tag along with her to a Fiber Fest. I don't do yarn, but this looks like a lovely place to just relax for the weekend. All my expenses are paid. My kind of trip!

I have not been any further than the Jackson area since May of 2013 and have not been anywhere during the Fall in years. I am knocking on wood, as I prepare to leave Thursday afternoon, that nothing will come up to make me have to cancel this much needed getaway. The past months have been difficult. My husband's lung cancer diagnosis and surgery, my own hip replacement, nursing home experience, and new health issues have worn me down physically and emotionally. I hope to recharge my batteries for the rest of what should prove to be an exciting October. 

Thanks, friend Teresa, for letting me tag along. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

My New Best Friend

I have a new best friend. It's name is Synthroid. 

For 20 years, my thyroid function was just over the line, and doctors would all assure me that there was no problem. I had many of the symptoms (weight gain, fatigue, puffy face, joint pain), but they could all be attributed to my other illnesses or medications. But, the possibility of thyroid problems was always in the back of my mind.


Like many other fat people, I have had people say things to me that were thoughtless and rude. I needed to exercise more! Stop eating out! Give up ________! Oh, and I have SUCH a pretty face! I have even had "friends" refuse dessert for me in a restaurant. I am fat, I MUST overeat, right? 

Not necessarily. Granted, I have been on doses of steroids that had me eating everything not nailed down. And, I confess to some degree of comfort eating in times of stress. But, I have never regularly eaten the quantities of food that some people believe. In fact, I am usually eating the smallest meal of just about anyone when I eat out or am at a gathering. 

As of today, I have lost 42 pounds. The last 12 have been in the two weeks I have been on Synthroid. I finally got to the right doctor and received the right diagnosis. Finally. I saw a photo of myself taken last week, and I almost cried. My face was "mine" again. Oval instead of round. My neck no longer looks so terribly thick. And, in a grouping of other people, while I still look heavy, I did not look so terribly out of proportion. 

I am beginning to feel like "me" again.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fear

I used to be a fearful person. I was far too afraid of what others thought of me. I was afraid of trying new things. I was afraid to express my feelings. It was not a good place to be. 

Therapy and my faith helped me learn to deal with my fears. Some fear is normal and healthy. But, as I talk to people, read things on social media, and occasionally listen to the news, it seems that fear is taking over. 


Maybe I am just a "Cockeyed Optimist" as portrayed by Nellie Forbush in South Pacific. I have made a decision to do my best to take life one day at a time and to live it as fearlessly as possible. 

Don't get me wrong. I have money saved for a rainy day. I have emergency supplies that would get me through about a month. I am not going to deliberately put myself in harm's way. But, at my age and stage, I simply am not going to spend what time I have left in constant worry. And, if the worst should occur, I don't particularly want to be here if my family and friends are gone.

Since I was a small child, danger has loomed. I can remember tests of the Emergency Broadcast System that would scare me to death. I remember being scared of "The Russians" and the thought of war with them. My grandmother spent countless hours canning rice and beans back in the 1970's for the hard times that were certainly coming. 

I don't know what the future holds. I know that I might feel quite differently if I had children. I have been through tough economic times. We did without, but we made it through. I have been through unpleasant times, like the aftermath of Katrina, and made it through. I have seen good and bad government and made it through. Things have a way of balancing themselves over time. 

With all my heart, I believe the words to this precious hymn. 


Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.



T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.



Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.



The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Another Day, Another Diagnosis

As expected, my new endocrinologist diagnosed me with adrenal insufficiency. My body simply is not making steroid and probably is not going to in the near future. So, I increase my Prednisone slightly and everything should be OK. Right?

Uh, no. In addition to the adrenal insufficiency, I have also been diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease. This is not uncommon, especially for women my age, but treatment might be able to make a huge difference in how I feel. 

My doctor wants both of these on my Medic-Alert bracelet. The problem is, there is no more room on my (large) medic-alert bracelet. I don't think that it would be a good idea to take asthma, congenital myopathy, severe food allergies, or the fact that there is an epi-pen in my purse OFF of my current one. I guess I am going to have to get another medic-alert to wear along with this one. At least some more stylish ones are available these days. Sheesh!

If all goes well, I might be feeling better in a few months. That would be lovely.

Now to get on the medic-alert website and order my new bracelet. 

Monday, September 01, 2014

Amber Alert

Last night my iPhone went off with a shatteringly loud "emergency" sound. I have to admit, it scared me to death for a moment. 

It turned out to be an Amber Alert for a teenage girl who had been shot and abducted from the Jackson area. I know that there are legal guidelines for the timing of such things, but it seems like this case might have necessitated more expedient handling.

I belong to several groups on Facebook. On one of them was begun about the Amber Alert and the format going from text messages to this loud alarm. I posted that I was going to shut the alarm off for the night as there was little I could do for this child at the moment, except pray for her safe return. 

Whoa! I was not prepared to be blasted for a) shutting off the alarm until morning and b) *gasp* PRAYING for someone. 

I did not even respond to this. I follow several news sites closely and get Amber Alerts without the necessity of having my phone go off and startle me constantly. I don't live in Jackson. I was not planning on going out last night. I am disabled and there is little I could physically do in a situation except call 911. I am also a Christian and a great believer in the power of prayer. 

I will praying throughout the day for this child. If I am out and see anyone fitting her description, I would call the police at once. I will follow her story via the news outlets. 

I don't need to have a constant alarm going off to do all this. 

I am posting the link to the Amber Alert here.

http://www.msnewsnow.com/story/26416889/amber-alert-issued-for-teen-believed-to-be-shot-and-abducted?utm_content=bufferc4429&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer