Chunky Tomato Vegetable Soup

For those of you who are wondering how I am doing, I’m doing ok.  After taking it easy by walking with the dogs and some light yoga, I find myself ready to go back to the gym for some easy workouts.  My goal is consistency right now, not intensity.

I’ve been trying to focus on my overall health to help my body from having to work any harder than it needs to.  It’s been somewhat of an up and down experience, but I’m trying to stay positive and focus on my well being.

I have been focusing my attention on the things I love: cooking, baking, trying new recipes, finding amusing things on Pinterest to make me laugh, watching funny movies that I’ve watched a dozen times and laugh even harder anticipating the best parts.

I’ve also been focusing on school, despite that Chemistry has to be one of the dullest subjects, I’m forcing myself to be interested enough to do well.

Oh, OH!  And I got to hold my dearest friend’s 4 day old baby.  So small and squishy.  I wish I’d gotten a picture, but it was just one of those moments that you remember in your heart, not on your computer.

Friends, life is full of ups and downs and you just have to play the hand you’re dealt.

Despite the fact that it’s still in the 80’s here, it’s officially fall.  You know how at the beginning of fall you’re just waiting to pull out those sweaters and wearing them while it’s a little too warm to really be necessary?  But you can justify them since the air conditioning is still freezing inside.

Despite cooking real meals again, it’s not always easy to get vegetables in some days.  And all I’ve been wanting lately is soup, which can be a great way to sneak in some veggies.  I make a big pot on Saturday and it will last me about a week.

In my mind, I call this spaghetti soup, since I used Italian seasoned tomatoes, it smells a lot like spaghetti sauce.

Chunky Tomato Vegetable soup

(adapted from Butterflyfood)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups carrot chips or baby carrots, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 tsp thyme

sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

2 (14 oz.) cans of diced Italian tomatoes

2-3 cans chicken broth

1 c. whole wheat pasta

2 roasted pepper and asiago chicken sausages (optional)

In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme and cook until soft.  Add the tomatoes and chicken broth and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add the pasta and continue cooking for another 8-10 minutes.  Add the sausage about 2 minutes before the pasta is done.

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Feeling Broken

Second day of school.

Running 5 minutes late to chem lab…

I’m carrying my phone in one hand and attempting to run up the stairs.

Trip up the stairs, put out my hands to catch myself…

…And land on my iPhone.

Cursed glass screens!

Thank heaven for the Apple store.  Always there to take my money whenever I break or drown my iPhone.  At this point I’ve lost count of how many iPhones I’ve killed over the years.  One… two… three??  Rest in peace, little guys.

******

But that’s not the kind of broken I’m talking about today.

I haven’t mentioned the fact that lately I’ve been experiencing some health troubles.

As of the last year or so, I’ve unexpectedly and rapidly put on weight.  And for those who are thinking it: I’m NOT pregnant.

(As small rant: when you get to be a certain age.. and married, people want to guess you are pregnant all day long.  Trust me, when I am I will tell you. Or I won’t. But it’s no one’s business unless I want it to be.  Rant over.)

Despite minimal changes in my diet and exercise.

Totally embarrassing.  I thought maybe I’ve just gotten lazy.   Maybe I’m not eating as well as I should be.  I prided myself on being health conscious and a regular in the gym.  I felt like a hypocrite on my own blog.  I felt insecure and stuck.

I just figured I was getting older and my metabolism was slowing down.  But then the fatigue came.  It’s been terrible.   I w0uld sleep 10 hours at night then easily take a nap that afternoon and go to bed at my normal time.

When I did get into the gym, I could push through my workout without a lot of extra effort, but felt exhausted the rest of the day.  I was chugging energy drinks just to stay alert.

Monday I actually went home in the middle of my leg workout.  A leg workout I’ve done at least four times before in the last few months.  I didn’t feel dizzy, or sick.  I just felt so foggy in my brain and I was worried about being able to safely drive myself home.

About a week ago, Jer and I ran into some friends at the store and one of them jokingly asked if I’d been drugged because I was so out of it.  It was only 10:30pm.

I just felt like a zombie all the time!

I’d wake up in the middle of the night soaking from sweat.  But at the same time, I was getting cold a lot easier during the day.

My fingernails broke and split constantly.  Sometimes I couldn’t put sentences together or find the right words.  I felt like someone had poured syrup into my brain.

And recently, my hands started to swell at random times.  Right now, I can only wear my wedding rings sparingly because they have scraped up my finger from bring too tight.

I was feeling like complete crap.

I just couldn’t understand or make any sense of it.  Finally I decided to stop denying something was wrong and made an appointment to get checked out.

I had some blood drawn and today I got my results.

Hypothyroidism.

A part of me loved reading my blood lab tests, and believe me there was all kinds of neat stuff they tested for.  Mostly, this came as a shock.  And a complete disappointment.  Though at least I have answers.  Even though I’d kind of had a gut feeling it had to do with thyroid but I didn’t want it to be true.  All of the sudden, my health was less than 100%.  And I felt broken.  It’s scary thinking that things are happening in my body that I can’t control.

For those of you who might be wondering, I was prescribed some thyroid medication so we’ll see how it works out.  These things seem to always need adjustment which is exactly zero fun.  Most people with hypothyroidism need medication for the rest of their lives.  That makes me sad.  If I’m 26 now that means it’s likely I’ll be taking thyroid medication for at least the next 50 years.  There’s hopes of medical advancement though, right?

Unfortunately hypothyroidism can also increase your risk for cardiovascular disease.  More scary news.  It was recommended to me to take fish oil regularly, which I had actually recently started doing.

My white blood cell count was also high (a potential warning sign of cancer) but in my case they are a sign of allergies.  Allergies = heightened immune system = production of more white blood cells.  I have allergies all the time.  Speaking of allergies, they cause inflammation and it often shows up as dark circles under the eyes where the skin is very thin.  Lovingly referred to by my nurse practitioner as “shiners.”  Hooray for me.

Oh and guess what?  I am also headed to the ear, nose and throat doctor this week.  Fun times over here, let me tell ya!

I haven’t really ever mentioned my health on the blog because it was never really an issue.  I wanted to open up about it because I believe it’s important to be honest about the things I am experiencing is pretty common.  Maybe it will encourage someone else to get their thyroid tested.  But mostly because on a blog, it is so easy to only show the good things, the nice things, the pretty things.  Once in a while, it’s good to remind you that I am only human.  Despite my best efforts to show you that I break things on a regular basis.  I am definitely not perfect.

There is some good news:  I don’t have cancer.  My liver and kidneys are good.  My cholesterol and blood pressure are excellent.  I’m not pre-diabetic.  And my thyroid isn’t being attacked by my immune system.  All VERY good things.  All things I am grateful came back negative.  I’m not going to die, always a good thing.  I know there are a lot more serious lifelong illnesses that people experience and I guess in a way it has helped me to understand the denial and the shock of an unexpected diagnoses.

It does make me kind of sad, kind of disappointed and a little scared for what is ahead.  I’ve never had to deal with anything worse than a sinus infection or having my wisdom teeth taken out.  I wonder if there is anything I could have done differently, wonder if I should have been tested sooner, wonder if there’s anything I could have done better.

So sorry for being so absent in blogland, sorry for seeming so apathetic or uninterested in person.  It’s been a little difficult to function normally.

I’m going to try to be as positive as I can.  I took my health for granted for so many years that I really want to focus more on actively doing what I can for it.

(source)

Please share:

Do you have hypothyroidism and what has been your experience?  

How do you feel about bloggers opening up about their health problems?