Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More Than You Really Wanted To Know

It's been a week since we made the 70 mile trek to the new doctor's office.  We had to be there by noon last week Tuesday so we left here by 9:30AM to be on the safe side.  Luckily, the weather that day was gloomy and cold, so I didn't feel badly about not working on the garden. 

Dr. Z seems to be well-versed on thyroid issues.  You'll have to forgive me my initial leeriness since I've seen my share of incompetence.  He reviewed my latest lab test results, confirmed I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis and recommended a substantial raise in Armour dosage, the most substantial raise I think I've ever had.  I can't help but wonder what Mandy at the Well Woman clinic would have thought about jacking my dose even higher.  I'm sure she would be even more glad I went somewhere else.

We finally did move this pile of rocks.
Dr. Z wants me to add more supplements to my regimen, some diet tips and also a new course of hormone replacement therapy. of changes in THAT category, I went from post-menopausal to adolescence and back to menopausal all in ONE month.  Aren't you glad you don't live with me?  Turns out I didn't need such a high dose of estrogen after all, but what will happen on my latest round of hormones is anyone's guess.  I asked if it was even necessary to worry about those hormones since the thyroid hormones are already throwing a hissy fit, but Dr. Z said I'm all out of whack everywhere, and fixing the adrenal issues will also help the thyroid and autoimmune issues, so ok, I'm game.  I guess. 

I did manage to mow the lawn this past weekend. Woo-hoo, the poor lawn mower does all the work.

So, it's been a week since the increase and I remain ever-vigilant of my symptoms.  Going from hypo to hyper-land is not something I want to have happen, either.  Dr. Z figures since I've been a thyroid patient for so long, I will know when or if to decrease my meds should it become necessary.

 For awhile, constant heartburn had been a major issue and I usually can count on having it as a symptom whenever my medication needs a bump.  I swear it felt like a fence post sticking out of my chest which made life miserable.  Finally on Friday,  I high-tailed it to Wal-Mart and bought a gallon jug of aloe vera juice.  Delicious?  Not.  But for some unknown reason it seems to work for me along with apple cider vinegar, too.  Many hypothyroid patients suffer from insufficient stomach acid instead of too much, so the usual course of proton-pump inhibitors only makes symptoms worse. 

One week later, I can definitely tell the difference.  My stamina has increased, I actually feel like doing something besides sitting.  I can make it through exercise class without wishing it was over five minutes in.  I actually tackled some housework voluntarily, which shocked me.  The dust bunnies have become brazen and have defied my attempts at intimidating them by griping.   I've got a long way to go to get the house clean, but the goat trails are increasing in width.  For the last three months basically all I've done is cook, wash dishes and do laundry.  And sit.  A lot.

While I sat, I did do something useful with my time, searching the interwebs for help.   I learned a lot from the forums on thyroid disease I've been frequenting.  I finally stopped lurking and asked questions and received sound advice on what to look for in lab tests and what to ask for from a doctor.  Those people know what it's like to be misdiagnosed and told you're 'normal' when you know without a doubt you're not.

Sitting is what I do best.....this will be the last time this season.  For mowing, that is, not sitting. 
Finding  a competent doctor who knows what to test for and how to read the test results and prescribe the appropriate medication is the most difficult part of dealing with thyroid disease.  Whenever I see a new MD I listen closely for any hint this is yet another waste of time and money.  Sometimes it's the pits knowing as much as I do about thyroid disease since I go into this with my eyes wide open and the second I hear a bunch of malarkey, my heart sinks.  It's time to hit the road.  This one hasn't got a clue either.  But, I have to admit, I didn't hear anything from Dr. Z that made me overly skeptical, so maybe this time........but of course, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.  (It must be close to 15 or 16 shoes by now, soon I'll just go barefoot and save myself the worry.)

We have more rocks to build more stuff, but too late this year.  I did want this area cleaned up.  Tough noogies, ain't gonna happen.

In case you have forgotten (there may be a quiz at the end, oh, no there won't, I'm not that energetic yet) it takes four to six weeks for any medication increase or decrease to take full effect, and since it has only been one week, I remain hypervigilant of becoming hyperthyroid.  If the increase is too much, the only way to mitigate the damage is to stop taking medication for awhile, but just like everything else thyroid, there is nothing fast about relief from either hypo or hyper.  This disease is all about Patience.  I have to be a Patient Patient.

 I'd rather head off any hyper symptoms at the pass if I can.  Though if I would go hyper, maybe more work would get done?  (Actually, that's a misconception, shame on me for saying that, becoming hyper is another world of misery all it's own.  I've been there, done that.  Take it from me, it's No Fun. No fun at all.)

On our way home from the doctor's office this last time, we stopped at an antique store to look at other people's junk, er...treasures, and then took a long walk through a sculpture park.  Of course I forgot to bring the camera along, but I won't forget next time.  It was a four mile loop through a wooded area and there were sculptures from artists all over the country.  We really enjoyed ambling along hand in hand looking at the art.

Carl has plans to make some sculptures of his own and we do have the area to put them in out in the Back Eight along the trail through the white pines.

Do grapevine balls count as 'sculpture'?  I'm debating if I want to reuse these in Ernie this winter.  They held up for a year, which is amazing.

Little Pudding dog is wondering about this sculpture....
We could always scheme to build another pyramid. 
Poor, sad Castle Aaargh.  Another roofless year coming up.

But we all know what sculpture needs to be built first.
 Maybe next year?


Pamela Gordon said...

Karen, I'm glad to hear that you are starting to feel a bit better. May that increase as the weeks pass! I love the grapevine balls. They would be beautiful with white mini lights all through them. I also like the triangle stones with the holes in them standing up. They make a great sculpture along with your wonderful pyramid. What kind of trees are pretty orange leafed ones behind castle argh? Have a great day!

FlowerLady Lorraine said...

I love those grapevine balls and those stone slabs with the circles in them.

I'm glad you are feeling more energetic and hope you continue to do so dear Karen.

Have a lovely day today whatever you do.


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

P.S. Your windmill, your pyramid, the rose arbor, Castle Aaaargh, your iron pieces out by the driveway, all are sculptural works of art, as is the whole of Quarry Gardens.

HolleyGarden said...

I hope your new medication is the perfect amount, and that you feel fabulous when the six weeks or so is up. I am glad you're feeling more energetic already. Watch out, dust bunnies!

Alison said...

So glad you're feeling better. I have high hopes for this new doctor. The grapevine balls definitely count as sculpture, as does the pyramid and the castle. I love the stone slabs standing on end, with holes in them. What were they?

Beth said...

Karen, I'm so glad you are feeling better. Quarry Garden is still looking beautiful! It's amazing to still have such lovely green grass. The pyramid looks great as does Castle Aaargh. You and Carl are so talented and imaginative!

Tufa Girl said...

So happy to hear you may have found the doctor to help you through this. Not that you need any more advise but just curious, have you thought of going to MAYO Clinic, you are very close - really, considering the amount of knowledge they have there. Shawn has been there, used to have to have a doctor's referral but not so these days. I'd offer a nearby relative for you to stay with but they are still a couple hours from Rochester.
So good to know you have had some successes with the new doc. It is so comforting to know when you can tell the doctor is listening.

Junebug said...

New Dr. sounds promising!! I'm so glad you are feeling better. As a gardener you will always have unfinished projects before you start a new one. We just work that way!!!

Our photos said...

Beautiful are your photos!
Greetings, RW & SK

Karen said...

Pamela, the trees behind Castle Aaargh are 'Golden Raindrops' crabapples. They have tiny gold apples on each limb, too. My only complaint with the trees is that they are growing much bigger than I anticipated. They are also known as 'Schmidtcutleaf'. I'm glad you liked the stone sculptures. They were a goofy afternoon project.

Karen said...

FlowerLady, thank you. :-)

Holley, thank you, too, and the dust bunnies better get ready to hop out of the hut.

Alison, yes, let's hope Dr. Z works out, he seems to have his act together. The stone slabs were a silly project we did just before the booyah party, one of those
'shooting crows' moments we seem to have far too often. I will write a post about them very soon.

Karen said...

Hi Beth, yes the grass is still green but I expect it won't be that way much longer. Thank you for your kind words!

TufaGirl, thank you for the link. If things don't work out with this MD, I may head to Mayo. I'm so sorry I didn't get back to you about your visit...I hope you had a good time on your trip. Again, I apologize for being such a lunkhead. I'm just not firing on all cylinders lately. I see there is a Mayo clinic in Wisconsin, too. Not sure if they could help, but it wouldn't hurt to call. Thank you!

Junebug, you are very correct about unfinished projects, I'm glad to hear we aren't the only ones who do such silly things, lol.

Our Photos, RW and SK, glad you liked the pictures. Thanks for visiting!