Hi there everyone! Kim, here.
I know I haven’t been posting as much lately. Youre all probably have been wondering why. I have been going to the doctors trying to get my Graves Disease back in check and finding out if I have sleep apnea or not. I have also been dealing with alot of anxiety with bouts of depression. I want to be honest about this so again when the kiddos look back they can see I was trying harder than they knew. Today I’m going to share the beginning of my story of living with Graves Disease.
In Oct 2013, Baby Kermit was born a healthy baby and I was sent home from the hospital healthy as well. There is still no clear way to know if his birth triggered it or not but I noticed very quickly that I didn’t lose any of the baby weight. I have never been a super athletic person but I have six kiddos and tend to keep pretty busy. I began to wonder if something wasn’t right. I also started to notice that my cycle was off. Late a day or two here or early. It was weird. The kicker was when I started having hot flashes. I’m in my early 30’s and know that I’m not quite there for Menopause. I was also dealing with some anxiety and depression. My husband and a friend forced me to make a doctors appointment. I have what people call whitecoatitis. It’s a real thing. I have had some good and bad doctors and I still hate going. The waiting is the worst.
Anyways, I am so thankful that I did not see my PCM that day, Aug 2015. I saw a very responsive and eager to help, Dr. Roger Ewonkem. He was quick to notice my pulse was way above where it should be and knew almost right away what my symptoms meant. He said We’re gonna run some tests. He prescribed me blood pressure meds and told me that I could of had a heart attack at 31. He didn’t tell me this to scare me. He told me this to make me see how serious things were.
When the labs came back they called to tell me I had Graves Disease. My thyroid had been making too many hormones. My body had been attacking itsself. I am still so very thankful to Dr. Ewonkem for taking my symptoms seriously. He was very kind in explaining what Graves Disease was. He put in a referral for an Endocrinologist as well as for an ultrasound to be done. One of the scary things that can come about from Graves Disease is goiters. Which are growths on your thyroid. What’s your thyroid? It’s the butterfly shaped thing in your throat. It regulates your breathing, your body temperature, and your cycle just to name a few. It’s interesting to think about how hard I tried to make everything seem like it was ok.
I will be making posts here and there about how this journey with Graves is going for me. This is just the beginning. Graves Disease isn’t something that just goes away. If you have been diagnosed and want somebody to talk to feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please take the time to check out this website for more information: Thyroid Hug
Last week we took the kiddos to our local zoo in Montgomery. George found out about a Military Appreciation day which meant free admission and lunch. Money has been a little tight since our move so this was a great opportunity get out of the house and the kids to run around.
Since we have wrapped up school for the next couple months the kids have been sleeping in which makes for an almost impossible task of trying to get to something when it opens. The kids are usually pretty good about it but they are becoming quite the night owls and getting up just isn’t fun. After some coaxing we were able to get out the door and make it to the zoo shortly after its opening.
I kept to my normal of MO of not telling them but Hubby let the cat out of the bag. The kids were pretty excited as they all have their favorite animals. The biggest being Duke who has quickly fallen in love with every lizard he sees. Plus they really do love exploring somewhere new. It does help a little that they have grown to appreciate the word FREE!
The zoo has an amazing playground with a petting zoo. There were plenty of kids coming and going. The boys ran around trying to climb on everything while the girls helped other kids play on different parts of the equipment. George even jumped into helping and praise was given for his efforts. They kids played for a while until they realized it was just too hot. The zoo was great in providing cups as well as a cooler of water for its patrons.
The zoo also has a museum. The Mann Museum reminded me alot of the Anniston Museum of Natural History. The kids were able to see taxidermy animals set in natural habitats. The also had a fun addition of a touch zone with different types of furs. The museum staff is very proud of the fact the Smithsonian has asked for the collection. A pretty big accolade for a museum to be wanted by the Smithsonian. The kids walked around and ohh’d and ahh’d at all the animals until they were ready to go. It was nice to get out of the sun for a little while but they kids were starting to get tired.
After a very hot and tiring day at the zoo I thought it would be a great idea to stop at the splashpad. The kids loved this idea and happily enjoyed a chance to cool off. They ran around until they got tired again and had a snack before we headed home. A day full of fun was exactly what we all needed.
A couple of weeks ago the older 4 and I went to have eye exams. If I am a Novice at anything in life it is getting an eye exam. I started wearing glasses when I was 7 or 8 years old. I was in first or second grade sitting in the back of class having no clue what was written on the board. We had the Lions Club or Shriner’s come to school at least once a year to do free eye exams. I think it was a case of no one believed me and thought I just wanted to get glasses like some of the kids in my class.
Jem started complaining about not being about to see certain things. She wasn’t complaining too much but I knew she would need glasses. She was the only one we thought would need glasses. We just decide to have the all get an eye exam because it had been 4 yrs since their last exams. (All except Bubbles of course.)
I was able to go in with Jem and Pippi to start the process. The did okay initially but when it came to the part where the Doctor shines lights and puts drops in their eyes they didn’t do so well. Pippi has small eyes to begin with so it made the process a little bit harder. Jem even cried. The girls all whined about getting the drops put in their eyes. I always see dilation as a good thing. The Doctor can see so much more in your eye. Because I have Graves Disease this has become even more important. For the kids it made a huge difference. The Doctor was not only able to determine that Bubbles should wear glasses again to help with reoccurring annoyances from her lazy eye but that Duke has the opposite problem. Duke’s left eye is wanting to turn out. To me it’s odd that Duke and Bubbles end up being so much alike. Anyways, Jem definitely needed glasses for nearsightedness like me. It sounds like Pippi wont be too far from getting glasses in the future.
The 3 kiddos all look super cute in their glasses and have made us truly a house of super nerds.
Monday Night we watched the movie Big Fish. We had finished the book just in time to make plans to visit the town Spectre during our fun week. This was a huge deal for me because I really love the movie Big Fish. Before moving to the Montgomery area it was one of the really fun things that we found that I got the most excited about visiting. The kids speculated about whether the fish was real not. Bubbles and Duke seemed to enjoy the book and movie the most. I think secretly Pippi and Jem liked both too.
Tuesday we made arrangements to visit Spectre. We packed a picnic and spent the morning just enjoying the quiet abandoned Spectre.I have grown to love surprising the kids with where our next adventure will be. When we pulled up to the gate the kids weren’t sure yet. They read the sign that said Big Fish and most of them got really excited. The short drive to the island reminded me so much of the movie it was amazing. Once we found the entrance to the town the kids were more excited. Big Fish was never one of George’s favorite movies but it was fun to hear him talk the kids through where we were in the movie. It was pretty kewl to be where a movie was filmed. The kids all looked up to see if the shoes were hanging on the line near the Spectre sign. Funny thing is some people have made it a point to add shoes. We walked done main street looking in all of the buildings and houses. It was so kewl to say this is where Ewan McGregor was in the Mayor’s house. Under the church live a family of goats. The kids laughed so much hearing the goats cry. Most of the buildings are falling apart. The couple that own the island have been working to repair what they can.
We explored more of the island and found Jenny’s house from the movie. Well not her house as it is gone but the pillars from her house. We also found a really kewl treehouse you can rent for events and such. The walk around the island was nice. There were a few people camping or fishing on the island. I reminded the kids that Jackson Lake Island was the second island we have visited. I want to make it my new favorite place not just because of the movie Big Fish but because of how quiet and beautiful it is out there. Please take the opportunity to visit. Donate to restoring and upkeep. No vandalizing. And enjoy the joy that Edward Bloom must have felt when he found Spectre.
That night we were very proud to watch Pippi, Jem, and Bubbles earn some badges at their American Heritage Girls Badge Ceremony. Pippi earned her Joining badge as well as crossed over to join the next level which is Patriots. Jem earned her Joining badge, Stick shifts, and Let’s talk. Bubbles earned her Joining badge and 7c’s. The three girls have worked very hard the past couple of months to earn just those few patches. They are hoping to earn more this summer to catch up with their new friends.
We recently wrapped up our final days of school. I thought with the break from the move and not taking any breaks since then we could use one. I didn’t plan for a week but George was able to take a week off from work. My initial plan was just to do a few fun educational things at home but since George took a week I wanted to make the most of it. On Monday, we decided to visit the Enlisted Heritage Hall before lunch.
The Enlisted Heritage Hall is located on Gunter AFB. The museum is filled with many great pictures,displays,and videos. George talked to the older four about some key parts of Air Force history while I did my best to keep up with Baby Kermit and Pooh. The kids really seemed to enjoy the growing museum. I was the most amused by the pictures of those who have served as enlisted airman. It was kewl to see Chuck Norris and Jimmy Stewart to name a few. We probably could have hung out longer but the kids had their fill of history. Outside there are several memorials, statutes and a few static displays. It’s an amazing tribute to the Enlisted side of the Air Force. It always makes me so proud to be able to add my name to the list of those who have served our country.
After lunch we visited our library to pick up some movies and books for the week. The kids read books so fast. Bubbles always complains about finishing her 5-6 books in 3 days and having nothing to read. For the first time in forever I had to make Jem get some books to help fight her boredom. The kids played at the playground nearby until little boys had red faces. We went home to cool down in the A/C with delicious Root Beer floats.