Graves Disease Awareness pt 2

Again it comes down to me writing something about the disease that has taken over my life. It doesn’t matter how good or bad I feel my Graves Disease is in-charge. It seems the longer and more aware I am of the effects of this thyroid disease the more I seem to want to fight it and win.

In the fall of 2015, I began my first round of Methimazole. Methimzole is a medication used to treat hyperthyroidism. I started out taking 10mg which had some adverse affects on me. Then switched to 5mg and then finally 2.5mg before resulting in remission. Here are a few examples of emails I sent to my endocrinologists my first year of treatment. These are examples of some the the side effects of Methimazole as well as symptoms of Graves Disease.

Good Morning Mrs. P,

We arrived back from our trip Sat afternoon. The trip went well.
I wanted to let you know about the side effects I have noticed. I have continued to have a hard time sleeping along with weird dreams. I started itching in different spots 2-3 days ago.
Do the meds work better if I take them at the same time or does it matter? If not, I have had some emotional highs and lows.
I started taking my meds August 29th. Should I go ahead and get my labs done this week or next?

Mrs. P,
I still am not feeling too good. The anxiety is still pretty high. I have also been having headaches and yellow diarrhea. I had the same problem with the diarrhea a couple of weeks ago. It seems to be worse around the time I would normally take my meds. I’m also having trouble getting to sleep. It’s like I get a jolt of energy right before bed. Is it possible some of these are withdrawal symptoms? 

Good Morning Mrs. P,
I have been feeling depressed and anxious a lot lately. The feeling is exactly like before I was diagnosed. Can this still be related to my thyroid?

Thank you
Kim

Mrs. P,
I was curious what my labs from a couple of weeks ago show. Good? I ask because I have been having the hot flashes like before as well as Im extremely emotional. Im hopeful these are linked to something else and my labs were good.
Thank you

 

Here is the last email I received from my first Endocrinologist the first time I went into remission:

Kim,
Your lab results are still normal, the TSH is slightly lower than it was in
Sept. TSH was 1.2, now 0.8. As it gets lower, it becomes hyperthyroidism.
But normal is as low as 0.2.
Remember, about 50% of people who take methimazole do not have complete
remission and the Grave’s disease returns. Hopefully, you will have full
remission. Make sure you have your new PCM do labs every 2-3 months for the
next 6-12 months, to monitor it.

Happy trails, safe travels, etc. It was a pleasure working with you!

Joanne P, NP

 

This was right before our move to Alabama a year or so ago. These months after going into remission were some of the best. My mind was clear. I wasn’t sick all of the time. I was able to get everything that needed to be done, done quick and without much thought. I felt normal. Even if it was for  only 4-5 months. Be make sure to stay tuned for the next part of the story of my battle with Graves Disease.

If you have been feeling out of sorts, had hot flashes before time for menopause, felt your heart racing, not been able to focus, you feel really low lows and really high highs, not had the energy to do the things you love enjoy or even just to take care of yourself; please make an appt with your doctor and ask them to test your thyroid hormones. Be your own advocate and fight for your health.  For more information check out Thyroid Hug

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Q&A with Craftee Kim

It’s been a while since I have done a Q&A so I thought it’s about time. This time my Sister-in-law and one of my best friends, Becca asked the questions. I answered the questions as openly and honest as if I were answering her.

Q1.What are the kids’ favorite snacks?

A: Jem: nuts Pippi: ice cream Bubbles: popcorn Duke: celery with peanut butter and raisins Pooh: popcorn Baby Kermit: celery with peanut butter and raisins

Q2. Have you read any good new books lately?

A:The last book I read was Insurgent lol but George just bought me the box set of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children books. Jem told me she has read the first two books and really liked them so I am excited.

Q3. Are there any destinations you’d like to travel to?

A: I want to go to Rome. I want to finally see the Pope. I want to take in a foreign country with my personal tour guide, my husband. George went early in in military career before we met. I’m excited for him to show me all the sights he remembers visiting and more. Taking lots of pictures and traveling with George seems like a far-off dream.

Q4.What do you recommend for on the road entertainment while traveling with the kids?

A: work/sticker/activity books, DVDs, music, car games, and books or books on CD. Work/sticker/activity books are great. You can find these at Dollar Tree, Michaels, Walmart, Or Ollies if you have one near you. You can buy books with assorted activities or just mazes depending on what your kiddos like.  We have a DVD player in our big van so the kids have fun watching movies they haven’t seen a while or some weird cartoon Dad has picked up. We try to use it mostly at night or when we are trying to urge some of the kiddos to take a nap. We are a family that loves music. I sit here listening to music as I type this. (tehe) The kids also like to play the usual I Spy car games as well as the alphabet food game. We are also a family of readers, so books are always in the van. We will sometimes take turns reading a book aloud or have bought and listened to many Rush Revere books while on a trip.

Q5. What is your next painting project going to be?

A: I recently bought some 5×7 canvases. As soon as I saw them I thought they were perfect for postcards.  I plan on doing some postcard style painting. I already have one beach scene planned out.

Q6. Any ideas what to do with broken Crayons?

A: Crayons never seem to last very long around our house. They either get eaten or thrown away. Throw them away? At least that’s what the non-crafty side of me would say. I would say check out these ideas and try some out : https://www.disneybaby.com/blog/16-clever-ways-to-use-broken-crayons/ I want to try out the pumpkin one 😊

Q7.Are there any favorite recipes that you use weekly for dinner?

A: Here are our top 5 favorite meals:

  1. Parmesan pasta soup: http://brookelark.com/blog/2017/3/24/5-ingredient-cozy-pasta-parmesan-soup
  2. Steak and Gravy: https://www.favfamilyrecipes.com/crockpot-steak-gravy/
  3. Teriyaki chicken: https://lilluna.com/crock-pot-teriyaki-chicken/
  4. Potato soup: http://simplymadewithlove.blogspot.com/2013/12/easy-crockpot-potato-soup.html
  5. Taco soup: https://athomewiththebarkers.com/taco-soup/

To find more of our favorite recipes or ones we are itching to try check us out on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/adventureswsix/

Q8.What is something you would change about the world if you could?

A: That everyone knew and loved Jesus. I know it sounds cheesy and overly religious but I want everyone to go to Heaven. I want people to be kind and help one another. I want the original sin of Adam and Eve to never have happened. I want us all to be in paradise.

Q9.What is one thing in your life that you would have done differently if given the chance?

A: I would have spent more time with my Dad. It’s ironic how we never know when we are going to lose someone and then wish we had more time with them. I wish that every day. I wish I would have had the chance to say good-bye and tell him I love him.

Q10.Where would you like your next date night to be?

A: I have really high expectations for date night since we haven’t had one in over a year. I want laser tag, Chili’s, bowling, beach walk, and game night with adults. I realize that’s very unlikely so I’ll settle for bowling. Why bowling? George and I did alot of bowling when we first met. Neither of us is very good but we always had fun.

New Year New Goals for 2018

I am not one to really buy into the whole resolution business but I do know when it’s time to change habits. I can  realize when it’s time to start improving myself. I think after living a year of so much pain, both mental and physical, I am ready for a good year. I am determined that 2018 has to be better.

My first goal is that I will get a diagnosis for my migraines and headaches. I will get answers . I am my biggest advocate and I am not going to let things fall to the wayside. My Graves Disease is in remission which means this is the perfect time to resolve all my other medical issues. I want my life back and I am willing to fight for it.

The next goal is a Bible challenge. My friend, Steve asked me if I would like to do a Bible study. I thought that was a great idea. I have lacked in studying the Bible and growing closer to Jesus is a good thing. So after some research I found the 5x5x5 reading plan and this 1 year plan  .  I thought a good start would be the 5x5x5 reading plan. We agreed to read according to the reading plan, jot down some things we’d like to discuss and chat every Sunday night about what we read that week.

The third goal I have is keeping a food diary. I have tried to use my fitness pal or other websites and techniques to try and help me keep track. It started to make myself feel really guilty for the bad days when I didn’t eat well because I didn’t feel well. Plus with not feeling well means I haven’t been exercising at all. So with keeping a food diary and getting a better hold of my health I am hoping I can get back on track to taking better care of myself.

My last goal is a thankful journal. I decided on this for a couple of reasons. It’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes a day. I already try to write down key details of what happens each day so this would be a good addition. I also wanted to find a way to catch hints of depression or anxiety before they happen. I’m pretty sure I can tell by what I write and how I word things what kind of mood I am in.  Plus I’m hoping it will help me appreciate the small things just a little bit more.

I am very happy to have made these goals for 2018. I am choosing to trust God and keep the faith this year. I think it will make it that much better. Happy New Years and happy goal setting as well as resolving.

 

Halloween Events 2017

The first event we went to was Home Depot’s Halloween town. It was on the side of Home Depot’s parking lot. Baby Kermit got a Spiderman outfit for his birthday and wanted to wear that. Pooh also got an outfit for his birthday, Batman. That’s what he decided to wear. Duke was lumberjack with a homemade axe and a painted-on beard. Bubbles was a pop star with a homemade microphone (a ball painted gold and hot glued to a toilet paper roll). Jem was a butterfly without antenna. I was Batgirl with a blanket for a cape and a mask. Dad wore the same thing he wore last year, (Cowboy/bandit) but at least he dressed up 😊.

They had games in the small sheds on the side, the sheds were decorated with bats, skeletons, ghost, etc. The games were fake pumpkin toss, pop a pumpkin, a nerf dart toss, and witches hat ring toss. They had a few bouncy houses set up in part of the parking lot. There was also haunted house (it was in a shed) it was not very scary even Baby Kermit and Pooh went inside. Inside was kind of like a maze but there was only one way to go. They had regular decorations that you may find at a haunted house like a cloaked being and a jumping spider. Someone gave us candy on our way out of the haunted house. We ate hot dogs, we made a craft.  There was a hay ride that when near the garden supplies. They set up the kind of decorations you can buy at stores. My favorite one was the werewolf that they put behind fake trees. I thought it was pretty well done!

Another event we attend was Trick or Treating at Bass Pro Shop. We all dressed up as pirates (except Bubbles and mom, mom was a gypsy, Bubbles was a mermaid). Months before we went shopping at thrift stores to get stuff for our costumes. Jem made a telescope (which was made out of a kind of Pringles container). We trick or treated at departments in Bass Pro Shop. We got our picture taken, the background was based off of the Great Pumpkin Charlie brown. There was a bean bag toss and they gave us Halloween hats. There was a pumpkin craft we took it home and made it. We had lots of fun there!

On Sunday we had a Fall festival at our church. A few days before the festival we got together with some of our friends to make/put together the games. Jem, me and a friend worked on the fishing game. We found a big box and taped a blue table cloth then we put sea creature stickers on it. The younger four (Duke, Bubbles, Pooh and Baby Kermit) and some friends made fake turkey legs out of brown and white paper bags. They stuffed them with newspaper and added some rocks, used glow necklaces as rings. The other games we had were a pumpkin ring toss, scavenger hunt, bean bag toss, pumpkin bowling and a cookie walk (it is like a cake walk but with cookies). I was lucky to be in charge of the face painting. I painted pumpkins, spider web, flowers and a car. We all had fun!

The day before Halloween, we attended a Trick or Treat/Halloween party at my Dad’s work. My Dad works on Maxwell-Gunter AFB. This was a special party just for the kids. We trick or treated at the decorated offices. Duke and Bubbles kept repeating Trick or treat smell my feet (which stink, Bubbles doesn’t wear socks most of the time) give me something good to eat. We went to some kind of meeting room. There we decorated Styrofoam pumpkins in teams of two (Jem and Baby Kermit, me and Pooh, Duke and Bubbles). Baby Kermit’s pumpkin was a cat, Pooh’s was a mummy, Duke said his looked like dad. Then there was a costume contest. A guy dressed up as a pilot from a video game won first place and a boy dressed up as a blue Power Ranger won second. We ate deviled eggs, pigs in a blanket, some pudding, cookies and a cat litter box cake. My favorite dish was the cat litter box cake.

On Halloween before we gave out candy, we fixed our outdoor decoration which were a scarecrow, a spider web, a lit-up Boo sign and some fake pumpkins. We took turns giving out candy while we watched the Book of Life. We watched the Book of Life because November 2 is the Day of the Dead. There weren’t a whole lot of kids about 10-15. I’m kind of sad we didn’t go trick or treating ☹.

I hope you had a Happy Halloween!

If you read it all you earn 20 Brownie points!

*special thanks to all the people who set up the events*

Pippi

 

Our trip to Florida 2017

So, it was Saturday morning about 6 something, that Dad woke everyone up. We ate breakfast, did the morning routine brush hair, etc. We got in the car, it was a very long car ride and we finally got to Uncle Kenny’s house. He didn’t look at all different from the last time I saw him. I also can’t remember if I hugged him or just said hello. We went inside and saw fruit, crackers, cheese, and candy. YUM.

After we were done eating Mom said “go say hi to Gram “. There was definitely some hugging and hellos. I got bored after Mom and Gram started laughing their creepy laughs. So, I decided to look for the cat. Long story short the cat was in Uncle Kenny’s room, in her cat tower, on the top. It was like “dude” come down I want to pet you. So (because the cat won’t come down).

I went in the main room and saw Uncle Kenny and Aunt Kassie opening presents. Some of the presents were diapers, wipes, and baby clothes. After all the presents were opened there was a guess how many mints in the bottle game. Pippi won and got a delightful smelling candle. I went outside and saw boys about baby Kermit’s age, and they were playing football! We left soon after.

The Next Day… It was Sunday. We went to Assumption Catholic church. On the outside, it looked small but in the inside, it was huge. There was also the Lords supper under the Altar. Then after church we went to “Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens.” We: Me, Pippi, Bubble, and Mom sat on a bench waiting Nana while the boys and Dad went down I path. After a little while of Bubbles taking about a yellow hair donation box, we saw Nana. If I were to keep talking about hugs it would get annoying.

So, we (the boys came back) Strolled down a path. We saw Plants, Poison berries, and some lizards. We were walking down the path and stopped to sit on a bench near the lake, When Mom shouted “Snake”! Everybody but Mom and Nana Ran. “It’s not poisonous “.  So, we came back. We also saw an Alligator, lucky was in the lake. Mom took some pictures and we left.

Later we went to Pizza hut and ate pizza with Nana. She gave us presents and they were; Pooh and Baby Kermit: dinosaurs Duke: a giant stuffed Tow Mater Bubbles: a toy lantern Me: some Hardy boy books, and Pippi: an elephant that make noises. We gave Nana hugs and left soon after.   Num Num in yo face.

The End

JEM

P.s I’m Awesome!