Friday, February 27, 2009

JAVI & Wine

A mighty fine time.

Javier Mendoza @ Chandler Hill Vineyard

Catching another Javier Mendoza performance at Chandler Hill Vineyard
in Defiance, Missouri.

Sent from my iPhone

On the ride in...

K: We should name our next dog Sarcophagus...or Wing-nut.

D: Sarcophagus seems kind of long for a name.

K: True, I think dog names are supposed to be two syllables.

D: What about Chaapa'ia (Choppa-Eye)?

K: That seems long too.

D: It's shorter than Sarcophagus.

K: True.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hair loss...

One of the symptoms that precipitated my recent ultrasound/RAIU test was excessive hair loss. It's normal to lose a few hairs here and there and I can accept that. It's when you are washing your hair and squeezing out the water and your hand comes away with a collection of hair the thickness of 2 or 3 toothpicks that you panic. This was happening on a daily basis back in October/November so I mentioned it to my doctor (GP). That's when he suggested the ultrasound to see what may be happening with my thyroid. My blood tests were in the normal (lab) ranges at the time. (TSH = 1.19)

I've found a site online that discusses things you can do to stop hypothyroid related hair loss.

I can't recall if my hair loss continued while I was off my medication. (Actually, I can't recall much of anything during that time!) I only bring it up because in the last two weeks since starting a different brand of levothyroxine I am once again losing hair! I am going to wait and see if it continues over the next 6 weeks while I am increasing my T3 medication. Maybe that change will have an effect.

I did read in the link I mentioned above, that the author's "doctor believes that a TSH of around 1 - 2 is optimal for most people to feel well and avoid having hypothyroid or hyperthyroid symptoms such as hair loss. (Note that these levels are kept lower for thyroid cancer patients to prevent cancer recurrence.) This was anecdotal information, until recently, when experts determined that values above TSH of 3 are considered hypothyroid." --Mary Shomon

So to everyone out there getting their Thyroid tested....get your TSH number from the doctor (better yet, ask for a copy of your lab results). DO NOT just rely on being told you are in the normal range. Keep track of your TSH over the years so you have a baseline and trend to follow should you ever develop thyroid issues.

Remember: "A TSH greater than 3, an endocrinologist you must see"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Blog poll...

How many people do you personally know who have thyroid issues?

Check out my Poll on the right hand side of the blog and enter your answer today!

Wait and See...

So I had my appointment yesterday with my new Endocrinologist. He went over my reports from my ultrasound, bloodwork, and RAIU as well as took my history. He was very empathetic and understood exactly what I had been through over the last few months as far as being hypothyroid and off my medications. He said he usually only schedules the RAIU during the late spring or summer to lessen symptoms and mitigate the possibility of myxedema. I told him it was really horrible and that I would prefer never doing that again!

He felt my gland and said that it seemed consistent with Hashimoto's "lumpy bumpy" feel. He also said the reports had nothing definitive listed. Meaning the nodules are too small to even biopsy, plus there was no predominant one as would be typical of cancer. He also stated that papillary carcinoma (the cancer my great Uncle had) is not typically hereditary. He suggested increasing my T3 (believe it or not!) a bit, to further suppress the gland and nodules and to help me feel better. He gave me orders for bloodwork in 6 weeks and a return appointment in 6 months.

So, somewhat anticlimatic, but pretty good news on two fronts; one, this is probably no big deal and just a part of my chronic illness, Hashimoto Thyroiditis...and two, I now have an endo that seems willing to work with me so that I feel good even though my bloodwork is in the normal ranges. Meaning he will adjust my meds to my symptoms and not just bloodwork.

I wouldn't be lying to say that I have a sense of relief. He did mention that this was most likely passed from my Mother's side of the family and he seemed surprised when I told him my Mom was not hypothyroid. He suggested she probably was and did not know it. So Mom, get retested! And to all my other relatives on Mom's side, get your thyroid levels checked! You may be able to feel better than you do right now!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Writing well means never having to say, 'I guess you had to be there.'
- Jef Mallett

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Margarita after bowling night

Get Prepared and Fear Not!

I was reading the Simple Dollar site. One of my daily blogs that I visit for interesting opinions and book reviews, etc. on personal finance. On it Trent has a link to another personal finance site called I Will Teach You To Be Rich. It's called 20 Questions that Financially Unprepared People Fear

I have to say that I read them and while I could answer quite a few of them untrepidatiously, there were many that got me thinking. Which, I suppose, is the point. So take a look at the 20 questions and see which ones make you uncomfortable...those are the ones that will help you the most as you take steps to get your finances in order.

You ARE TAKING STEPS TO Get your finances in order, AREN'T YOU?!?!?

Patience Part II - Day 23

It's day 23 of being back on my thyroid hormones for hypothyroidism. I have had inconsistencies from day to day as far as how well I feel, but in general my energy is coming back. I was able to walk the dogs a total of 4 miles this past weekend when we had wonderful weather. They were so happy to be outside!

Symptom-wise I did have lots of foot pain and muscle cramping while walking and I did feel more winded than in the past.

On Monday night I did a mile on the treadmill. Since then my right foot has been cramping intermittently and today I'm having a back spasm.

The other issue is that I finished the T4 levothyroxine that I had filled locally and began taking the T4 from the mail order pharmacy...lo and behold the levothyroxine manufacturers are different which is concerning because while the formulas are supposed to be the same, it has been reported that sometimes different manaufacturers use different binders that can affect the uptake of the hormone.

Last night I played with the dogs a bit in the living room, wrestling around and tossing the toys. I got winded and really fatigued in the arms and legs. I don't know if this is because I changed the T4 (Levothyroxine) meds 4 days ago or if I have been pushing it because I am feeling better.

Bowling league is tonight and that will either help my back or send it over the edge. Again, I don't plan to push myself but breaking 90 would make me happy!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Ignoring me as usual...

Here are the dogs out on a walk and ignoring usual.

Groundhog - DH's photo

Here is DH's photo of the groundhog...much clearer than my iPhone pic.

So here's the deal, we were driving home from dinner Friday night and as I drove through town I saw something move between a couple of parked cars across from the White Rose Cafe. I quickly pulled over and my headlights picked up this little guy. I ended up parking the car and stepping out to take a few iPhone pics...he came so close to me!

Then he wandered up a bit and I followed him on foot. He got scared and ran across the street and was right in front of the White Rose when a guy came out! The groundhog scurried under a parked truck that the guy got into and started driving away nearly hitting the groundhog.

I then headed back across the street and herded him back over to the other side, and back in the headlights so DH could get a photo. Thank goodness there were no cops driving through at that point! (Hey crazy lady, what are you doing in the street?!)

The groundhog was smaller than some I've seen in our back yard so I guess he was young. He seemed a bit confused (even before I started stalking him) but was just adorable. I wanted to snuggle him, but then I had this vision of going to the E.R., getting rabies shots, and then having to quarantine or worse, chop off this little guys head for rabies testing and I decided it would be best to just admire him from afar!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Sunday, February 01, 2009

New Specs...

I ordered new glasses today from Lenscrafters. Unfortunately my astigmatism is so bad now that the lenses are special much for "glasses in about an hour". Since my issues with my thyroid medication being halted and restarted for the RAIU test, I've had to resort to wearing glasses and give up the contacts.

The thyroid hormone apparently has some sort of interaction with the tissues of the eye and eyelid. During my hormone hiatus, my eyelids swelled quite a bit, especially on my left eye. Additionally, both my eyes watered constantly and became photosensitive. It was impossible to wear contacts during this time.

I do hope to get back to wearing contacts again but rather than fight it, I'm embracing the change and getting some cool glasses.

I ordered two pair, one for "work" and one for "fun":

Flowers from Mom

My Mom sent me a cheer up bouquet of flowers!