The last few months have been challenging for me personally. The first quarter is always my hardest because of a project at work but this quarter has been marked by a number of other difficulties.
In my personal life, I have been battling a issue with my health. The symptoms didn’t just start this year but it was only recently diagnosed as hypothyroidism. This isn’t life threatening but is life altering and it explains a lot of seemingly isolated problems that have been going on for a long time.
Everyone complains about weight gain and exhaustion. These are certainly the headlines when it comes to my complaints but there’s a lot more to it. My muscles and joints hurt, my voice gets raspy and my skin itches for no reason at all. Nighttime is often defined by violent cold chills while morning is defined by grogginess and the sensation I spent my night running a marathon.
I tell you all this, not for your sympathy, but because I wish more people would talk about this stuff. Had I known more about the symptoms I might have been a better advocate for myself. Maybe you or someone you know is struggling and you don’t know why. This problem often comes with a litany of other things I haven’t mentioned here. Sometimes my hands and arms go numb for no reason. It’s ridiculous, the weird stuff that has been going on.
The cause can be genetic but it can also involve nutritional deficiencies like Vitamin D, Iron and Magnesium. We caught mine because my cholesterol was creeping up there and your thyroid controls cholesterol. Who knew?
I’m now on the path to finding the right dosage of a little white pill I take every day. This can be a real chore and it can be ever changing.
The more meaningful journey for me is using food as medicine. In the interest of boosting my magnesium, I now eat banana a day whether I want it or not. I never want the banana but see value in it as those bad muscle aches and pains are starting to subside. I’m reducing gluten at home. While this isn’t a fix for everyone, it does seem to be helping with my brain fog.
I have a list of things to try adding or removing from my diet. As I feel better, I can be more active. It would be nice to take off the extra pounds and to feel healthy and strong again but I have read and heard horror stories about the thyroid and why it’s often a lifelong battle.
I put that big work project to bed yesterday. It’s in the hands of my printer now and some other things at work should improve soon as well. I am hopeful that life will get easier. You can have stress at home or stress at work but it’s crippling to experience stress everywhere you go.
I celebrated in my own way yesterday. At lunch, I treated myself to some really nice books at an Ollie’s. This included one about the artist Monet and will help me prepare for an upcoming adventure. Near the cash register, a display of bare root roses presented one called “New Day.” It is yellow and happy and you can bet it will soon grace the flower bed outside my home office window.
It is a new day.
After work, I strolled the bike path, logging two miles and stopping once to admire a nice patch of wildflowers. There’s one area where you’ll find several varieties. While there are a couple that are large and obvious, they’re mostly small and delicate. You have to look for them, and the more you see, the more you see. It’s a quiet reminder that great gifts often come in small packages and that you sometimes have to slow down and go looking to find the beauty.
It’s there. You just have to try to find it.
This blog is written as an exercise in daily creativity. That means, instead of keeping a queue of future posts ready to go, I usually have just a list of ideas and start fresh every day. The exception is when I’m planning vacation or know that there will be no time for writing one day.
That has worked great until recently as exhaustion has started to win. That’s why I took a break.
I woke up this morning still tired but not as tired as a week ago and certainly far better than a month ago. I trust that I’m headed in the right direction and that I can get back to storytelling here. This is something that I enjoy immensely. The writing is close to my heart but I also enjoy hearing from all of you virtually and in real life.
If you’re interested in an overview of hypothyroidism, the Mayo Clinic provides a basic overview here. Talk to your doctor if some of the symptoms sound familiar. Advocate for yourself.
Happy Saturday, friends. It’s a new day.