For those of you that are bored to tears about my complaints, it’s ok. Come back another day and I promise something delightful. I really do, it’s right around the corner!
For those of you who want an update here it is:
So remember how I was having a lot of sinus problems? I went to an ENT in search of relief and after a nasal spray wasn’t doing much, he treated me for a sinus infection with steroids and antibiotics. The unfortunate result was feeling only minimally better.
That high white blood cell count on a recent blood test? Well, I thought back to A&P when we were learning about blood and allergies have to be fairly intense to affect your white blood cell count (a part of the immune system). Since there were clearly some allergies raging in my body I started thinking that it might be a good idea to take the next step and go to an allergist.
They ran a whole series of allergy tests on me. Have you ever taken an allergy scratch test? I’d almost rather take a real test. They make little tiny pricks in your back and then introduce the allergen extract to the broken skin and then you get to wait 15 minutes and they look at which scratches react and how much.
It barely hurt, but I’m pretty sure each tiny scratch made me flinch.
I knew pretty quickly, by all the itching on my back that I definitely had more than a few allergies. At least I was warned that it was going to feel like a bunch of mosquito bites. My back was so itchy! And I had to lay there for 15 minutes all itchy and wearing a paper gown. I tried really hard to think of anything besides my very itchy back that I was not allowed to scratch. And it wasn’t just one spot, it was many spots all over! Not exactly my idea of a fun morning.
Boy, sometimes being right sucks. The nurse came back in with a great big “Welcome to Boise, Idaho! It would be easier to tell you what you’re NOT allergic to!”
Honestly, I’m glad that she made light of the situation. It was kind of funny. And not at all surprising since allergies run in the family.
I’m officially allergic to:
- 6/6 types of grasses (like what is in lawns)
- 17/20 types of trees (especially cottonwood and aspen)
- 16/17 types of weeds (especially ragweed and sagebrush)
- 5/11 types of molds (most airborne)
- cat hair, cat saliva (this I already knew having learned the hard way)
- dog (uh-oh… Ok this I suspected since Jax sometimes gives me hives)
- cockroach (what the heck? I’m not making this up.)
- dust mites
So in other words, I am allergic to animals and the outdoors.
But there’s good news!
They didn’t need to run a food allergy test. (They could have tested for my suspected mango allergy but it required a blood test so they didn’t think it was necessary since mangoes are pretty easy to avoid.)
I can get allergy shots which will help my immune system to calm the heck down. Shots don’t bother me and the dogs certainly aren’t going anywhere so bring it on.
I was prescribed a new kind of nasal spray that, despite the fact it tastes like burnt rubber if it drains down the back of my throat, has helped my congestion and breathing immensely.
Some of the other things the allergist said would help were:
- don’t let the dogs on the bed. period. (They don’t sleep with me, but I used to let them up sometimes.)
- don’t open the windows (everything outside hates you!)
- run an air filter (a
godsendmomsend. Thanks mom!)
- vacuum frequently, or better, get rid of the carpet (already in the plans)
So… there’s that.
How about a double whammy?
The fun continues!
So you may have read my “why meeee?” (<— that’s really what I should have named it) slightly whiny introduction to my hypothyroidism diagnosis. It really hit me harder than I expected, especially since I had a hunch that’s what it was before I ever even get tested. But I guess anyone who has a change in their health may grieve over the loss of their “perfect health”.
And grieve I did. I still might be a little. I’ll own it. I think everyone is allowed a pity party for a little bit, but then, it’s time to chin up, get on with life and focus on the things you CAN control. Having a good attitude can make all the difference.
Unfortunately, it’s never quite that simple, is it?
Seven weeks later and this is how I felt:
- sooo tired (still!)
- easily irritated
- swollen hands
- digestion, ahem, issues
- lack of appetite
- lack of energy
- barely a walk with the dogs (maybe twice a week) and NO gym
- no weight loss
So I called my doctor. I complained that I was NOT feeling better and possibly feeling worse. I recounted all of the symptoms I was having. I was beginning to feel crazy! Was I making this all up in my head?!? They told me I could come in early for a blood test. Winner winner chicken dinner! My thyroid was still not cooperating. So we’ve made a medication change and now I get to hope for the best.
I used to think I had a lot of patience. I mean, I teach 3-4 year olds every Sunday. And by teach, I mean attempt to manage controlled chaos and give stickers. Ever heard of herding cats? Naw, we have some good learning *moments too.
*key word: moments.
I’ve come to the realization that while I may have nearly endless patience with everyone else, I have little patience for myself. For some reason I thought that I’ll take a little pill and tada! Everything will magically fix itself.
So when that wasn’t the case it was a little disappointing.
I realized I just have to give things a little more time, have a more positive attitude and focus on my health. Try to do the little things everyday like taking care of my diet and getting some exercise in too.
Sweet Erin sent me a link to this article 13 ways to treat hypothyroidism naturally. I thought this article was both interesting and informative. Although making dietary changes like cutting out sugar and possibly gluten are nearly impossible, I’m working day by day to improve a little more.
I’ve also been reading what your doctor may not tell you about hypothyroidism: a simple plan for extraordinary results. It’s a little bit of a dry read but very informative. Knowledge is power!
I am still walking and trying to walk more each week. I actually had the best walk today that I’ve had in months. I leashed up the dogs and we walked 3 miles. And after I didn’t even feel unusually tired or even take a nap! *applause!*
I think one of the weirdest things about this whole thing is that to anyone who doesn’t really know me, I seem fine. I can still function, I just don’t want to and it takes more effort.
Plus, it feels a little weird discussing this with people because I don’t want to be thought of as an invalid and it sounds kind of lame trying to explain it in one minute or less. And with my allergies, it would seem like I was always getting little colds all the time and I’d feel better in a day or two. So even though I seemed fine, most days I feel crappy but I still have try to function to get the crucial things done.
If you actually read all of this, you deserve a gold medal. Or you enjoy reading about people’s suffering. Or you get a kick out of reading about my weird health issues. I don’t judge. But if you did read it, or even if you just skimmed, or scrolled down hoping to see at least one picture. (see below. you’re welcome. just kidding, it’s not really a picture.) Thank you. Thanks for listening.