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You can’t hold onto Jello by squeezing it in your fist.

Things have slowly settled into place since my surgery was rescheduled.  My boss at work retooled the entire schedule so that I could work a full schedule up until the day before surgery.  I know that had to be a pain in the ass, so that felt really generous of her.  Even though I did end up with a couple of extra days off the first week, which makes finances a little tight, at least I’m not out of work for a month.  That’s a huge relief!

I was able to reschedule my tax appointment for a day that does not interfere with work.  That was a concern since my tax guy is way out in the suburbs.  To make tax day easier to take, the three of us (my mom, Anto, and myself) are going to head up to Amicalola Falls afterward and make a day trip out of it with a picnic and a hike.  Lovely.

My mom’s original return flight was April 1st.  Being that my surgery was rescheduled for April 6, we looked into what it would cost to change the return date.  Turns out it would be about $350!!  So, I looked to Ol’ Faithful: Clark Howard’s Atlanta travel deals website to see if there were any deals.  It just so happened that Frontier was running a special to Albuquerque, where my mom lives.  We decided to wait a day or two to book the one way ticket, as we were waiting to hear back from the surgeon’s secretary who told us she might be able to reschedule for March 30.  I went to check if the deal was still on the next day and all the information was replaced with a notice that the Clark Howard show was on vacation in Europe and travel deals would resume the following week.  What luck!  If I hadn’t checked it the day before, I’m not sure I would’ve discovered the fare sale.  So we went ahead and booked with Frontier.  It cost $244, including two checked bags which would’ve run an additional $30 for one on the original flight with United.

As it turns out, I may even just get a night or two in the cabin in the woods, yet!  My mom will only be here for one week following my surgery, rather than two, so if we can get it, we’ll go to the cabin just four days after my surgery.  Knowing that many people with desk jobs return to work after one week, I am hoping that a one hour car ride won’t be too much for me.  I think a couple days to relax in the woods will be just what the doctor ordered.  *fingers crossed*

So, it seems that when you just let go, things eventually work out.  I can’t tell you how stressed I felt the moment the decision was made to delay surgery.  Not knowing how difficult each variable would be to change.  I just had to approach it one thing at a time.  When I wrote the last post, I had chosen to let go and felt a tremendous weight lifted.  Fortunately it stuck.  I’ve remained loose.  It had been like trying to hold onto Jello.  The tighter I clench my fist, the more of it that squeezes out through my fingers and onto the floor.  If I just open up my hand and let it be, it’ll wiggle and dance in its gelatinous glory and remain in one piece.  Then, if it still flops on the floor, it’s because there was an earthquake or I fell asleep, either way, due to events beyond my control.  Not the most graceful analogy, but you catch my drift.

 

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Do Over.

I had an epiphany yesterday.  As positively as I may seem when writing about this experience so far, ending my posts on the positive note, I hadn’t felt that way offline.  The entire past few weeks, I’ve been emotionally and physically tied up in knots.  My shoulders have been up to my ears and I couldn’t loosen up despite stretching and massage.  I was flailing about desperately.  It put a strain on my emotional well-being, my physical well-being, and the well-being of a most important relationship.  I have to say, I was really surprised when taking the perspective of the outside observer.  I normally lean into the dark, messy, scary parts of life.  I am not afraid of my emotions, I understand that they pass through like a storm or a cold, and know not to identify with them or let them envelope me.  I normally would consider myself pretty strong and feel like I always pull through when things come down to the wire.  I was surprised to see how difficult I was making this on myself, how much resistance I had, and quite frankly, with how little grace I was approaching this ordeal.

My Mom and I did a Native American ceremony, like we’ve done for most of the big events in my life, to help me to say goodbye to my thyroid the night before the surgery.  I did some heavy emotional and spiritual work for over two hours.  I realized that I have so many personal issues tied to this decision.  In many ways, I’d felt like a failure by not being able to heal myself and that cutting it out is equivalent to giving up/quitting/failing.  I questioned whether I’d been on the verge of healing and was I giving up right before some great success, like healing wasn’t possible sans gland.  I’ve chosen to give up the illusion of control and the most fundamental form of self sufficiency.  These are difficult things for me to give up.  Letting go of my thyroid goes against some of my very strong convictions.  Many times it’s the belief systems that are harder to let go of than anything else.  This is the work I did Monday night.

I made some progress, enough that I was able to go through with it all before the surgeon called it off.  I woke the next day feeling pretty depressed.  I wrote about it.  I did indeed go for a walk, which made me feel better, but those feelings crept back in later that evening.  I couldn’t sleep, I was feeling desperate, looking to cling to something, some kind of guarantee.  Looking back, I know that it was all in an effort to avoid, to resist, to shield myself from change, from fear, from the ache of loss.  The irony is that all of these attempts just exacerbate those feelings that I was so desperately trying to avoid.  We can not both fully live and avoid these messy bits.  They are part of life.  I was reminded of this the next morning.

I awoke Thursday knowing that I could not continue to approach the situation the way I had been, and I picked up Comfortable With Uncertainty, 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion, by well known American Buddhist nun and author Pema Chodron.  Among others, I read the following passage, which spoke to me and opened me to epiphany:

The Three Poisons

“In the Buddhist teachings, the messy emotional stuff is called klesha, which means poison.  There are three main poisons:  passion, aggression, and ignorance.  We could talk about these in different ways — for example, we could also call them craving, aversion, and couldn’t care less.  Addictions of all kinds come under the category of craving, which is wanting, wanting, wanting — feeling that we have to have some kind of resolution.  Aversion encompasses violence, rage, hatred, and negativity of all kinds, as well as garden-variety irritation.  And ignorance?  Nowadays, it’s usually called denial.

The three poisons are always trapping you in one way or another, imprisoning you and making your world really small.  When you feel craving, you could be sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon, but all you can see is this piece of chocolate cake that you’re craving.  With aversion, you’re sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon, and all you can hear is the angry words you said to someone ten years ago.  With ignorance, you’re sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon with a paper bag over your head.  Each of the three poisons has the power to capture you so completely that you don’t even perceive what’s in front of you.

The pith instruction is, whatever you do, don’t try to make the poisons go away.  When you’re trying to make them go away, you’re losing your wealth along with your neurosis.  The irony is that what we most want to avoid in our lives is crucial to awakening bodhichitta.  These juicy emotional spots are where a warrior gains wisdom and compassion.  Of course, we’ll want to get out of those spots far more often than we’ll want to stay.  That’s why self-compassion and courage are vital.  Without loving-kindness, staying with pain is just warfare.”

That was the one that blew it wide open for me.  I’ll spare you a line by line analysis as to how this resonated with me, but the short story is; the reason I’ve been having such difficulty is because I’ve been using every trick in my book, every old pattern from childhood to try to avoid these poisons as if they’d kill me.  Hilariously enough, as most of the lessons in my life tend to be, it is all due to a decision I made.  Oh, life, you’re such a prankster!  After reading several more passages on the heels of this one, I realized that I can simply decide to let go, let that stuff in, breathe, and enjoy the life I have rather than be consumed by avoiding.  I did, and instantly my body loosened up, my mind freed up, I felt like I got my life back, like I could be me again.  This surgery being delayed gave me a chance to do it over again with some dignity and grace.  I found something bigger to lean on, something that won’t crumble under the weight of me and something that creates space and light within me.  I just need to remind myself if the vices start to tighten again.

 

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False Alarm

I’m going to have to make this quick because I have to keep my arm elevated to avoid pain from the IV hole in it…

I arrived at the hospital for my 9:00 surgery just before 7:30 this morning after a very restless night’s sleep.  I was left in the waiting area until about 10:30 due to the surgery before mine going long.  After getting in my gown, socks, and hairnet, I was given an IV, twice.  The first attempt led to a vein explosion on my bed-sheet, while the second was more successful, and less painful.  After that, I was visited by one of the surgical team who wrote on my surgical site with his purple pen and then the anesthesiologist.  I told both of them about my cold.  Dr. Sullivan, the anesthesiologist said she’d leave it up to Dr. Weber, my surgeon, on whether he felt comfortable enough to proceed with the surgery.  Apparently, the main concern was not actually my lungs during surgery, but the coughing after.  Due to the surgery site being my neck, Dr. Weber took one listen to my cough and instantly said we’re going to have to cancel.

My face dropped.

It was now almost 12:30 and they were about to release me to go reschedule.  As scared as I was for this surgery, as much deep breathing I did in the waiting area and the pre-op area, so much that I made my lips numb, I had pushed through all of those barriers, jumped all of those hurdles, made it to the finish line of the first leg of my medical triathlon, and they send me back to the starting line.  It’s no one’s fault, it’s just the way it happened.  It’s hard though, to go through it once only to be told that it’s not behind you, you have to do it again.  Honestly, that’s not the worst part.  The headache is that so many people have arranged their schedules around me, which is difficult enough, and now I have to ask them all to do it again.

My mom has to change her flight and spend basically a month here in my apartment rather than flying home for a few days and flying back.  Work has to give me more time off and though I’d love a non-surgery related vacation, I need to work, but I can’t ask them to re-work the entire schedule to put me back on it, so it looks like I’ll be picking up shifts for the next two weeks which basically means I might not be working for a month.  That’s a financial strain.  Not to mention I had to reschedule my tax appointment due to my own procrastination and a W-2 that didn’t arrive until the end of February. My super thoughtful boyfriend took three days off to take care of me and booked two nights in a cabin in the woods during what would’ve been my second week of recovery to relax after all this stress.  I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it as far as work goes.  I’d still love to have the chance to relax, and who knows, maybe it’ll be the part of all of this that just works out seamlessly.

It’s so difficult for me to ask people for help and favors without feeling so guilty because ‘thank you’ is never enough, something I learned long ago and have not yet shaken from my emotional stack of blocks.  Like I should be able to take care of everything on my own.  But maybe this is not just a lesson in courage, facing the unknown, and big, big change.  Maybe this is also a lesson on how to ask for and accept help gracefully.

So, thank you, to so many of you who have been supporting me through this process.  All of the messages of support really go a long way and have helped me to feel less alone in all of this.  I’m not through the woods yet, but at least I know the lay of the land so far and putting some faith that things are happening the way they’re meant to and that it is all for the best.  All we can do is have a little faith and let the current carry us because fighting against it is a losing battle.  So, as of right now, I’m re-scheduled for April 6th, unless I get a call that they can do it sooner.

 
 

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Without fear, there can be no courage.

I had my pre-op appointment yesterday morning at 7 am. It was not a big deal, really. Just a bunch of different people asking me the same questions over and over, taking some blood work, giving an EKG, and some poking and prodding. As they were describing how the day of surgery would go, I got that cotton mouth feeling that I’ve only ever gotten a couple of times in my whole life due to sheer panic.

Given that I was in considerable pain the night before, I ended up with maybe an hour, possibly two, of sleep. On top of that, I’ve been under so much stress, riddled with fear and anxiety, that I wasn’t really as able to cope with things as well as I maybe should have been. One of the nurses who came in to ask me a bunch of questions, out of nowhere, offered up this statement.

“The thyroid gets blamed for so many things. I’m overweight, it must be my thyroid.”

…with the obvious sarcasm that no, if you’re overweight, it’s because you’re a lazy slob who eats doughnuts and pizza for breakfast…   So I couldn’t help but say to her (refined for the purpose of this blog):

“The body is so complicated that you never really can be sure, but as a person who’s lived in this body through the ups and downs of six years of unstable thyroid levels, I can tell you that it does indeed affect your weight.  When I came out of remission and went on tapazole again, it was like I got belly fat overnight.  It was the craziest thing.”

To which she said, dismissively, “yes, mhmm…” and went on about her business.  I squelched the urge to shout

“You know what lady…  do YOU have thyroid disease?  Have YOU ever lived through the highs and lows of thyroid levels?  Just because my levels look good to you doesn’t mean that you know what is normal for me.  A good medical professional listens to their patient, doesn’t just dismiss their input as irrelevant because the books you read are the end all and be all of thyroid fact.  There is a lot of controversy over the “normal” range being far too wide here in the U.S. and you don’t know shit about how in tune I am with my body or how much I’ve educated myself about my disease, so you can take your “yeah, mmhhmmm” attitude and shove it back to 1982, when I thought doctors – or in your case nurse’s – knew everything and there was no reason to question or participate in my own medical care.  If weight isn’t affected by thyroid, then why the shit is it on every list of symptoms to look for regarding thyroid disease?  Just Feck Off!”

This outrage was let loose in the car ride home in the form of a rant, which did not sit well with my company….   I just don’t know what to do with that rage, and if I let it fester, I’m bound to have a worse experience where I’m already having trouble focusing away from the fear.  I have read about and experienced a lot of this type of dismissal from medical professionals when seeking help and participating in my own treatment plan, and I refuse to believe that those people can provide better treatment than someone who listens to what I tell them is happening in my body.  I am not the majority who would rather bury their head in the sand and take a magic pill everyday.

Doctors simplify things for their patients, with good reason, but things are so complex and often times patients are not even made aware of treatment options other than the one the doctor prefers.  I happen to prefer to be in the know, even if it is a hundred times scarier.  At least I can make the decision that feels right to me and I will not be a victim of someone else’s priorities (i.e. pharmaceutical industry influence, insurance coverage, etc.).  I am fortunate that I found an endocrinologist who has been patient with me and allowed me to direct the course of my treatment because after some time, she realized I was a responsible patient.  I had to prove that to her, I understand that, but she also didn’t write me off immediately just because I didn’t go to school to be a doctor.

All of this is just a symptom of the real fear, though.  I feel like I’m under pressure to beat the clock.  I usually take it easy on myself when it comes to personal growth.  I realize that you can not force awareness or growth in yourself just as you can not force a flower to blossom.  That being said, I feel that if I don’t overcome this fear before my surgery next Tuesday, that all will go horribly wrong.  I desperately need to find peace before going under the knife, but if the last several days are any indication, that may not happen.  Perhaps the answer is to allow the fear to be there and be okay with it.  After all, courage is not the absence of fear, it is the ability to take action despite one’s fears.  There can be no courage without fear.  While I’m at it, here are some quotes I found demonstrating that feeling fear is part of having courage.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon

Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do.  There can be no courage unless you’re scared.  ~Edward Vernon Rickenbacker

Courage can’t see around corners, but goes around them anyway.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic’s Notebook, 1960

Fear and courage are brothers.  ~Proverb

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.  ~C.S. Lewis

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar.  ~Raymond Lindquist

To live with fear and not be afraid is the final test of maturity.  ~Edward Weeks  (I’m still afraid, mind you.)

Courage is knowing what not to fear.  ~Plato

Optimism is the foundation of courage.  ~Nicholas Murray Butler

Courage is being scared to death… and saddling up anyway.  ~John Wayne

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms.  It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.  ~G.K. Chesterton

Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears.  ~Arthur Koestler

Courage is a kind of salvation.  ~Plato

You can’t test courage cautiously.  ~Anne Dillard

I believe that courage is the sum of strength and wisdom.  You take away wisdom from the equation – courage may turn to rage.  ~Dodinsky

Thanks to http://www.quotegarden.com – from where I stole these quotes.

 

 
 

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Amalgam

This process so far has been surprising me left and right.  I’m very thankful for all the support I’ve been receiving through different avenues over the last few weeks.  Texts, emails, blog comments, phone calls, even hand written letters!  It’s given me a feeling like people are rallying around me, supporting me through this.  The surprising part is how alone I have begun to feel in all of this considering the massive support I’ve been receiving.

Wednesday, the fear started to set in.  I’ve been working on my self talk to get me through it and though I’m not where I want to be, I have faith that when the shart hits the fan, I’ll pull through like I always do.  It’s taking some serious, conscious effort to keep talking to myself and keep steering my focus.  Yesterday I started on Lugol’s solution – basically straight iodine, like the kind you’d use to disinfect topically – three drops, three times a day.  This is the stuff they give after radioactive fallout to protect the thyroid.  It’s also used, in my case, to prepare the thyroid for surgery.  It decreases the vascularity of the thyroid so that there is less bleeding during surgery.  It also blocks the thyroid from making thyroid hormone, so I figured I could expect to feel somewhat hypo, though I’m not sure if I’d feel it in a matter of ten days.

I started on it yesterday and the stomach upset was not too bad, but all of the sudden, while brushing my teeth, I had extreme sensitivity in several teeth.  One in particular.  A few years ago, my dentist noticed a dark spot on an x-ray at the base of one of my bottom front teeth.  She thought it indicated a dead or dying tooth and that I would need a root canal even after tapping and ice confirmed that the tooth was very much alive.  Fortunately, as I sat in the oral surgeon’s chair, he confirmed the viability of the tooth and sent me home saying I didn’t need one.  It must just be an anomaly and to keep an eye on it.  Well….  that’s the one that’s the most sensitive.  Being that one of the more worrying side effects is tooth/gum pain, I’m attributing this one to the Lugol’s.

The other side effects I’ve noticed so far are headaches at the base of my skull; metallic taste in my mouth; and mild stomach irritation.  I’m not prone to headaches, so when I got one shortly after taking my second dose last night at work, I was none too thrilled, though that wasn’t the worst effect.  For some reason I felt hyper symptoms within a short period after my second dose.  My hands were visibly shaky, my heart and respiratory rate went up, anxiety reared its ugly head and all I could do was keep working, breathing, pretend none of this was going on while presenting my happy face to the customers.  Fortunately it passed, the night ended, and now I have a day off.  It was such a surreal moment at one point.  I looked around, realizing that everyone was in their usual work pattern, probably feeling like it’s just another stressful night, nothing seems different.  To look at me, you’d probably think the same of me, unless you know me well.  No one had a clue what was happening behind the smile.  I felt so alone, strong, fragile, sad, powerful, scared, and vulnerable, all at the same time.

This is the part where the people who love me want to do everything they can to help, but they just can’t ease or maybe understand certain burdens. This part I have to do alone and be alone in my body as it endures this process.  As I write this, 40 minutes after taking my first dose, I can feel the back of my skull starting to ache.  I also began the lady pains something fierce yesterday, a uterine migraine, if you will.  So my whole lower abdominal region hurt; my lower back ached; my knees have been particularly painful lately, just squatting down – which I do a lot of in my job; the base of my skull felt tight and sharp and achy; my teeth hurt when I brush them; my fear comes in waves; and on top of that, my ability to care for myself seems to have halted.  I’ve been better.

Last week, I was having these cleaning urges.  I kept feeling like cleaning, organizing, purging useless clutter.  It felt like a really good sign of my internal status.  I cleaned out two closets, reorganized half of my soap room, cleaned out under the bed (half the stuff my cat put there), kept my bedroom, living room, kitchen quite free of daily clutter…  Then, on Wednesday, the fear struck and that all stopped.  My clothing from the last couple of days is strewn about the bedroom, my bed is left unmade, my sink is full of dishes.  It’s not disgusting yet, but if I don’t do something today, I’m going to feel pretty awful.  My pre-op appointment is at 7 a.m. tomorrow and I’d like to wake up to a clean home before that.

So, as part of my conscious effort to stay positive and focused.  As I end this post, I shall proceed immediately to the kitchen, where I will do my dishes, and from there, the clothing in the bedroom shall be put in its proper place and I shall clear my dining table of the debris its collected over the last few days.  You see?  I still have fear, I still feel alone, I still feel frozen and overwhelmed, but only until I say “enough already” and do something about it.  I’m still scared but I have to do only what I can do and then “let go all holds” and trust.

 
 

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You just might find… you get what you need.

So this is my third flare of hyperthyroid since diagnosed with Graves’.  On the previous two occasions, I took methimazole, my levels went down, my dose decreased and eventually I achieved remission or some pseudo-remission anyway.  I’ve never had my levels go back up upon decreasing the dosage after my levels dropped nicely.  Well, I just got my levels back last week and after decreasing to 5mg per day, my levels went back UP!  Jesus Christ.

My levels on 3/4/2010 were as follows:

Thyroxine or T4 – 9.4 mcg/dL (normal range 4.6-12.9)

Triiodothyronine or T3 – 116 ng/dL (normal range 59-174)

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone .05 mclU/mL (normal range .34-5.60)

This lab was when I felt I was coming out of remission, under a LOT of stress, ended a relationship that changed the direction I thought my life was going, and looking back at pictures, I realize I had started to have goiter around mid-February.  Possibly sooner, but I don’t remember and it wasn’t bad enough that I was self conscious, just noticed it from a certain angle in a photo from late February.

I was put on 10 mg per day of methimazole.

Between this time and August, I had a terrible time trying to get medicated properly.  I waited too long between appointments and started increasing my meds because I felt hyper-er and hyper-er, so my prescription ran out faster.  When I was desperate to get a refill, I had a nightmare encounter with a nurse who would not allow me to have a refill without an appointment which got delayed first because I forgot about the bank holiday for which the lab was closed so I had to reschedule in order to do my labwork before my appointment.  Then that appointment was rescheduled for an entire MONTH later because my doctor had a death in the family and had to return to her home country.  I hope it does not sound like I’m complaining about that.  I certainly understand.  The problem was with the nurse and the fill-in doctor and fighting to get my prescription refilled.  I was taking sometimes 10, sometimes 15, sometimes 20 mg of methimazole per day.  I realize now that this was irresponsible, but I was in panic mode and just wanted the symptoms to fucking stop.  I was hating this disease and feeling like a victim.

So, because of a liver enzyme test, which was high, I had two labs within a few days of each other.  My labs on 6/25/10:

Thyroxine or T4 – n/a mcg/dL (normal range 4.6-12.9)

Free T4 1.7ng/dL (normal range .5-1.6)

Triiodothyronine or T3 – 155 ng/dL (normal range 59-174)

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone  <.01 mclU/mL (normal range .34-5.60)

Then my labs on 6/28/10 were:

Thyroxine or T4 – 7.8 mcg/dL (normal range 4.6-12.9)

Triiodothyronine or T3 – 184 ng/dL (normal range 59-174)

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone .01 mclU/mL (normal range .34-5.60)

I’m not exactly sure how they changed this much in a matter of three days, but I was instructed to take 10mg in the morning and 5 at night for a week, then just 10 mg per day.  So I did 5mg twice per day and my levels came back as the following.

Labs for August 10, 2010:

Thyroxine or T4 – 6.1 mcg/dL (normal range 4.6-12.9)

Triiodothyronine or T3 – 127 ng/dL (normal range 59-174)

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone .03 mclU/mL (normal range .34-5.60)

So my levels had come down nicely and my dose was lowered to 5 mg per day.  I was thinking remission might be in store for me soon.  I have not had any relief from my stupid goiter and I’m goddamn tired of wearing my hair down.  I should say as an interparagraphical footnote that I swear when I’m extremely frustrated or very serious and passionate about what I’m saying.  I don’t do it on purpose, it just happens.  The rest of my speech is pretty PG-13.  So, I’m sorry, but I’m bound to use offensive language and if you suffer from Graves’ Disease, I probably don’t need to provide this disclaimer.  I wish I could remember the status of my goiter last time, but all I have are pictures from when I was pretty severe and only just starting on meds.

So after the standard 6 weeks of 5mg per day, I felt my symptoms coming back.  Arrhythmia, fine muscle tremors, anxiety, FUCKING GOITER (which just never left)…  I’d been having bi-weekly acupuncture up until my meds were reduced but things had been really slow at work and I had to postpone treatment and my levels went back up.  Go figure.  Perhaps that was part of the reason.

So my levels from 9/24/10 came back like this:

Thyroxine or T4 – 11.6 mcg/dL (normal range 4.6-12.9)

Triiodothyronine or T3 – 267 ng/dL (normal range 59-174)

Thyroid Stimulating Hormone .05 mclU/mL (normal range .34-5.60)

MOTHER FATHER!!!   I could feel this happening in my body unfortunately, so these results are not a surprise, though I was hoping for one.  So my meds which were cut in half at my last visit have now been tripled.  I’ve been instructed to take 5mg of Methimazole 3 times per day.  It’s surprisingly difficult to space them an even 8 hours apart with my erratic schedule.  The note on the lab work from my Endocrinologist read:  “Your level has gone up some.  More stress?”  Yeah, no shit.  I’m inundated by stress.

I hate my job and am getting too old for my line of work but can’t seem to get anyone to pay me a living wage to do anything else I deem the slightest bit satisfying.  I never even made it through a second interview for a job I felt completely qualified for, which paid $10 per hour.  Since I have a high health insurance premium, a car payment, and no roommates, this pay rate would’ve been unacceptable.

I’m meeting several members of my boyfriend’s family this week on a tropical vacation with this big ass growth in my neck and I don’t want to be consumed by fear and insecurity which would inevitably leave a bad impression on them.  I want to be myself, but I’ve got out of whack hormones and a physical deformity, I don’t know how to get over it so I can just be the person my boyfriend sees.

I’m about to turn another year older and I’m still doing the same unsatisfying job that I was doing at 21.  It’s a younger person’s work and I hate it.  I hate the environment, I hate the lifestyle, I hate the hours…    I feel like I’ll never find healing while I’m trapped in this work.  So I had a small almost epiphany the other night.

I’ve been working to change to more positive thinking, so each night I write down good things that happened each day as a way to dwell on the positive rather than the alternative.  I was reading back at some of the things I’d written and I came upon this exercise where I wrote all of the things I DO want rather than what I don’t want; what I don’t want has driven most of my life’s decisions, big and small up until now.

When I wrote this, I was still in a relationship with the person I broke up with last December and clearly knew was not the right person for me.  Here’s what I wrote:

When I think about my future, I imagine a satisfying, safe, healthy relationship with a man who I love and who is also in love with me.  He validates me, doesn’t judge me based on my humanity, but loves me because of it. …  Each day brings us joy that we get to share our lives with each other; thankful that we can go follow our own paths and then return to the warmth and safety the other provides.  I want to believe that it’s possible for me to create and have this in my life.”

I had completely forgotten about this until I re-read it.  The amazing part for me is that I have the relationship I was talking about maybe a year ago when I was in a different one.  It may seem silly, but after reading this and realizing that it has manifested, I wrote some more things down about my career situation and hope to look back a year from now and say   “Holy Shit!  It happened.  I never thought it would and it has.  I’m doing work that not only pays me a decent wage, but it’s satisfying and fits my lifestyle.”  I actually think it’s possible because I never thought I’d have this kind of relationship that I have now and it just sort of happened.

Around the same time that I wrote the above, I wrote some other things that I’d like to send out into cyberspace so that I may come back and look at them both to remind myself of my commitment to the choices I make to bring these feelings to my life as well as to look back on and say “Holy Shit!  This is my life now.”

“What I’d like for my life is to feel accomplished; to feel proud of what I’ve done and proud of what I’m doing.

What I’d like for my life is to fall in love with someone who is capable of sharing their love with me.

What I’d like for my life is to trust that I’ll be okay.

What I’d like for my life is to feel comfortable financially.

What I’d like for my life is to feel passion and joy for life and be conscious.

What I’d like for my life is to feel inspired and creative daily, hourly.

What I’d like for my life is to earn a comfortable living doing something I love.

What I’d like for my life is to feel safe being deeply, intimate and vulnerable with another person; to feel safe in a relationship.

What I want for my life is to feel positive and hopeful for the future while fully living each moment.

So dear reader, or just me…   Here’s what I’d like for my life today.  I want to achieve balance in my body without surgically removing any more parts from it.  I want radiant health that comes from both food for mouth and food for thought.  I want to be an inspiration to others with “incurable” diseases and help them find the path that’s right for them that may not have already been laid out by another.  I want to defy the odds and become whole and healthy.  I want to write a book.  Yes, that’s right.  I want to write a book and this is the only subject that I can go on endlessly about, so perhaps this will be the subject.  I want to keep my body intact and live free from medications.  I want to channel my stress more effectively so it doesn’t get clogged in my endocrine system.  I want to love life.

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2010 in Graves' Disease

 

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