What’s wrong with my thyroid?

~~This is from an old post formerly called “redemption” that is not behaving in the link.  ~~

I read this post today and felt someone needed to hear it.  I am not going to beat a dead horse; however, I am going to say that unfortunately, a few people in my life have not understood where I was coming from or what I was going through the past 4 years.  I was quiet with my other diseases as I thought it was expected.  When my friend suggested I start this blog, well, I did so under an avatar because I wanted to be honest about what was happening.  I personally believe “normal” is just a setting on a dryer too, and too often people hide what is going on inside their heads for fear of repercussion.  That isn’t who I am, and never will be.

So today, a friend shared this:

I am grateful for my supportive friends and family who have gone out of their way to make special meals and take me to special restaurants.
I feel so blessed to be where I am today, compared to the beginning of my journey…when I slept under two blankets in my Los Angeles apartment, when I had constant brainfog and needed to sleep for 11 hours to feel rested, when I was anxious all of the time, when I was losing my hair, when I had carpal tunnel in both hands, when I was addicted to caffeine and sugar… when I felt that I couldn’t do anything.

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, it became a butterfly”

This is a very personal quote from my Hashimoto’s journey. I thought my life was over as a result of this diagnosis, but I now realize that Hashimoto’s has made me a better person, the person I am today.
Mark Hyman, MD once said: “I didn’t choose this type of lifestyle, my body chose for me”, and this really resonates with me.

The person who wrote this is Dr. Izabella Wentz.  I don’t know her at all.  In fact, I just found her site today.  What I like about what she said, is that it’s honest.  The doctor who told me about mine acted like it was no big deal.  Period.  No one, and I mean no one, put anything together for me.  They left me alone to hurt, and sometimes, I would cry in their office as I asked them what more we could do.  I got blank looks and was told perhaps I needed antidepressants.

So after copious amounts of research, I have finally put together a timeline of what actually went “wrong” in my body.  I know what happened.  I also know how to “fix” it.  The crazy thing is, this lady put it together around the same time too and I think she has a better understanding of What’s Really Going on in Hashimoto’s?

As an update, I want you, the reader to know that it took me exactly 3 years to reverse what was going on.  Go gluten-free, sugar-free, elimination diet and get the allergy testing done.  You will thank me later.  Life is a Puzzle.  Don’t let your food be killing you.  <<< click on ALL of those links if you are exploring food sensitivities

Extra resources: Elimination diet

Motivational Monday…maybe

My husband had his high school reunion…well, sort of his.  Apparently, they don’t mind if you were around that year and can make it since it was Heidelberg, Germany.  No, I did not get to go to Germany.  It really would be Motivational then, but they had it close to us in Washington D.C. so off we went after securing my parents, well mostly my mom, to watch the girls and 3 dachshunds.  He was really excited to see some old classmates, but knew that it would be difficult on me for many reasons.

There was not a gluten-free option clearly available, but after looking everything up, we thought one option would be safe.  After ordering it for a pretty penny on the “set” menu, the girl told me it really wasn’t gluten-free.  They had vegetarian, but it was over pasta.  Hmm.  Ok, she said she could deconstruct it for me.  So it arrived not looking as nice as everyone’s but it tasted yummy.  The problem is that no matter what, I was screwed.  There was nice crusty bread, I didn’t touch it.  Wine, I did touch it.  And a of course, no such thing as sugar-free dessert.  But again, I knew all this going in there.  I thought I had some will power, but sadly, I am mistaken.

So later that night we went to a popular pub.  The whole time I tried to act like nothing was wrong.  Even when the server couldn’t answer my questions.  I didn’t want anyone to make a “fuss” or put anyone out or generally go into this big long explanation of how this was going to KILL me this week.  Because, after all, if you don’t need an epi pen, I have found they are less likely to be cautious.  Sigh.  My personal experience is that they are not trained, but once in a while, you do meet someone who can answer your questions.  Again, this is MY experience.

What I need to realize after all of this is that I should not be the one to feel guilty, weird, freakish, or feel the need to EXPLAIN myself.  I should NOT.  I know that it is becoming more common to find suitable food when you have autoimmune issues.  I know for a fact I am not alone…even if I feel that way.  So I am going to tell you how I feel.  I feel like crap today.  Utterly and completely like I was beaten all over, and want to throw up.  It started yesterday in the car, with the warning sign of a headache.  It got worse.  I ache in all the places that fibromyalgia flares.  My stomach has been torn up since Saturday.  And it IS completely my fault.  It is my fault for many reasons, but mostly because I want to be the same as I used to be.  I want to eat food, any food I want.  I want to look the waitress in the eye and not bat an eyelash as I order brashly off the menu and when she asks, you want everything on it?  I want to say yes!  Yes, I want everything!  And a milkshake while you’re at it.  Throw in some extra sugar.

But the thing is, I can’t.  I have a list a mile long of what I am not supposed to eat.  So when I saw the “puddin”, I should have walked away.  It is NOT on the safe list.  I don’t care if it was smack yo momma good bread puddin with Bourbon glaze.  NOT SAFE.  Walk away.  I can basically eat meat, fresh veggies, rice, and drink water.  That’s not bad.  I can still make meals work.

Bottom line, do what YOU need to do for you.  Because if you compromise for fear of “hurting someone’s feelings” you will regret it.  I do.  Now I have had all the natural supplements I can take to counteract my dumbness (see the tab up top called Vitalize You).  I am in pain and going to bed.  So motivate yourself today by NOT feeling sorry when you have to do what’s right for you.  It’s better for you in the long run.

Walk away

 

 

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Unhappy meals…

unhappy mealsAll I want to do is take a nap right now and listen to the pouring rain, but this post won’t stop writing itself in my head.  So, here I go.  I hope it’s happy after this.  I have been researching a bit more about iron and my thyroid condition.  Now, before you leave, wait.  I am tired of it too, so hear me out.  I was busy making my delicious salad with egg for protein and pouring my taste-free gluten-free dressing on when I had a moment of anger.  Let me explain.  Yesterday, I had an egg for breakfast with my coffee.  I will stab anyone who tells me to cut out coffee, so don’t go there with me right now.  I had a salad for lunch with my specially researched smoothie with all the right ingredients to heal my “leaky gut”.  Another part of this disease, but I am not going there either.  For dinner, we had pork chops and rice with pineapple (to help heal the inflammation in my joints).  I had one of my gluten-free cookies.  For snack, gluten-free blue corn chips and salsa.  Many people were asking questions in one of my groups and because I have still been having issues after I eat, I copied what one of the girls said and sent it to my husband in an e-mail.  Here it is:

In addition, if you have an autoimmune condition, you should completely avoid:

Eggs (especially the whites)
Nuts
Seeds (including cocoa, coffee and seed-based spices)
Nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, sweet and hot peppers, cayenne, red pepper, tomatillos, goji berries etc. and spices derived from peppers, including paprika)
Potential Gluten Cross-Reactive Foods
Fructose consumption in excess of 20g per day
Alcohol
NSAIDS (like aspirin or ibuprofen)
Non-nutritive sweeteners (yes, all of them, even stevia)
Emulsifiers, thickeners, and other food additives

PLUS I am supposed to follow this plan called Paleo Autoimmune Protocol.  So, I ask you, what in the hell am I allowed to eat?  Yes, I said HELL.  Not because I feel like throwing it in there, but because as any good southern girl knows, eating like this is HELL on her family.  Try going to family functions.  It goes a little like this:

Grandma:  Pass her the hot rolls, she didn’t get a freshly baked biscuit.   Me: Remember, I can’t eat bread right now grandma.  Grandma:  Well, I know you’ll have some of these snaps I made with bacon grease (ok, so she wouldn’t have said out loud why the snaps are so good, but we all know).  Me:  Umm, remember I told you I was highly allergic to green beans now.  Grandma: Fine!  Now, I know you’ll have some of this congealed salad with NUTS.  Me:  What kind of nuts?  Because ummm, remember I told you that almonds came up as something I am highly allergic too now.  Grandma:  Well, now I know you will have one of your favorite Deviled Eggs.  Here you go (plop).  Me:  I hate to tell you this grandma, but apparently Deviled Eggs are the Devil.  I can’t eat eggs with nightshade spices.  Apparently it’s the spawn of Satan or something.  Grandma:  (She might use my full name here), you mean to tell me afta I have spent all day in the kitchen cooking up this small meal of 17 things, you can’t have a one of them?  Now, I know you are just trying to save room for dessert.  So here is a nice piece of lemon pound cake.  Me:  I’m allergic to lemons…and everything that’s in that cake (I whisper).  Sure Grandma.  That sounds great.

Sooo, now you know why I can’t give up my beverages.  They are coming to revoke my “Southerner License” any day now.

Chocolate Therapy

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Broken…

I’m not going to lie…there are days I feel like I am broken.  If you are new to my blog, I have a few umm “invisible diseases”.  The hard thing is, they are not invisible to me, only to others.  I have genetic conditions known as Hereditary Hemochromatosis, Porphyria Cutanea Tarda, and lastly, an autoimmune disease.  I have had years to adjust to the first two.  The last one really through me through a loop.  I know my genetic HH/PCT is linked to other issues, but I was not ever, EVER expecting food allergies to start popping up.  I’m not going into all the craziness right now, but let’s just say I am allergic to many things.  Life is interesting.  You have to learn how to deal with it, and I found the perfect quote.

broken

Killing me softly…

Don’t say anything.  Not a word.  Just watch this first:

Now, I have put one more piece of the puzzle in place.  My husband and I grew up on all kinds of food.  Every kind of junk food there was in the 80’s, plus home-grown veggies for me as well.  Do you know what I discovered yesterday?  After my tiny breakdown, for real, I discovered that I am allergic to things I eat everyday.  I am allergic to SUGAR and my license to be Southern is going to be revoked.  Who in their right mind is allergic to sugah in the south???  That might as well be like saying I am allergic to air.  After I had my meltdown, I got to work.  Okay, so soy, sugar, cinnamon and oh yeah tomatoes.  I started by looking up soy.  I can live without that.  Fine.  Whatever.  But something was still nagging me.  The stomach bloat, pain, and pressure.  There is a wheat connection here somewhere because I had started to feel better gluten-free, just not quite myself yet.

After opening 5 tabs and cross-referencing, I sent all the links to my mom because her first words were “I have never heard of anyone being allergic to that.”  I found some really great writers and I am so thankful for them.  Because at first, I thought I was going to lose my mind.  I found this link and it explained pain in my joints, which was interesting, because as you know, I have that from a few years ago, but I was playing pick one of my illnesses as it is a symptom of one of them anyway.  I then moved on to this article explaining IBS and sugar intolerance.  Hmm.  Close.  But this momma really nailed it on the head over here.  She links fructose malabsorption to depression.  Bing, bing, bing.  She wins.  I was depressed, er, but that could be because of the whole eliminate sugar thing.

Anyway, I wanted to share all of this because I am not quite done yet, but everyone was asking me what I found out.  This is quite a bit of news to take in.  Especially the TED talk.  Whew.  You are what you eat?

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.”  ~ Jean Brillat-Savarin

The great puzzle…

Food AllergiesI took my time with the title.  I posted a while back about undergoing allergy tests, but more specifically, I am waiting until Tuesday for the food tests.  I don’t know what will show up and if I’ll get any answers that are clearer to me than before.  For people with rare conditions, life seems to be a complicated series of puzzle pieces.  We have the edges in place.  We are told to go to the doctors to get hints for the pieces that aren’t fitting.  I know I am not alone in saying it is frustrating when they can’t help you figure it out.  For the last 15 years, I have taken what knowledge the experts have given me and tried to apply it to my puzzle.  I feel like I would like to see it completed in my lifetime.  What about you?  Are we scared to finally have the answer or relieved?

April is a month of mixed emotions for me.  There was the birth of my first-born daughter, and that was a miracle.  I was so lucky I didn’t even realize it back then.  But my grandmother passed away during April from cancer and had the pieces of her puzzle been together quicker, we could have avoided that.  My beloved dog also passed away.  Grief is a powerful thing.  There are lots of births this month to counteract the other terrible events that have happened all over the world, but even so, I feel bleah.

So I sit here writing with a high fever, and snuggly clothes on.  I have the chills and I am about to read a book about werewolves…don’t ask.  I’m a geek.  I have pondered over all of my medical charts and drawn connections where I can, but maybe it’s time for me to let someone else finish my puzzle while I rest.

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”  ~Lewis Carroll

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