Sunday, October 31, 2021

Research and a Decision

I've been doing quite a bit of research on my Hashimoto diagnosis. Mainly self help because I don't have a endocrinologist yet. I just want to feel better or at least not feeling so exhausted all of the time so I can get more done. There's also the issues with my heart and cold intolerance. My heart rate and BP have switched back to normal to borderline high normal putting additional strain on my leaky valves. And temperature wise, anything less than 80℉ and I'm grabbing a throw or my flannel shirt. My hands and feet are freezing cold.  I've also gained fifteen pounds and the fibromyalgia flare up too. Although most of what I've talked about here was the sleeping/exhaustion issues.  ALL of it has to do with my Hashimoto flare up. There is so much more to this disease. What I've mentioned is just the highlights. It's totally maddening!

So, the number one culprit in a flare up with Hashimoto is gluten which mimics thyroid cells to antibodies. Almost every site I went to said so. Interesting enough, the one two-hour video, lists glutens as public enemy #1 for all auto immune illnesses even more than night shades. It had to extremely interesting for me to listen for two hours. So after a month of research into a gluten free diet, I decided to do a 30-day trial to see if it makes a difference. It's going to be difficult because I'm cooking for others too.

Nearest I can figure, I've had this disease for a minimum of one stage or other for two and a half decades! But, only recently that a doctor looked at my medical history with all the diagnoses, all my medications, what I was telling her, and put it all together. Even my allergies are a symptom of Hashimoto. According to the doctors, Hashimoto is triggers by a strong emotional event and an infection/virus that is stubborn to "cure." That's been my whole life.  LOL  

As I back tracked, I found it all fit into this neat little package. The craziest part is it isn't caused by the thyroid gland at all. The thyroid gland is a major player though that causes the majority of symptoms that leads to the diagnosis. My thyroid is responding to being under siege by antibodies. It's a misfiring of the BRAIN that causes my own body to attack itself. My poor brain. It may weigh only 2% of my body weight but it controls so much of who we are. Unfortunately, there is no miracle medicine or treatment for this disease like so many ailments like living post stroke striving for recovery. But...

Nothing is impossible.\

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Botox is In!!

 The Botox injections are in and working. Or at least, beginning to. The pressure on my ankle pulling it to the inward and downward spasms are lessening. Now, I just need to get into physical therapy to get some gains to combat the post stroke spasticity. It will means Tens application, physical stretching, exercises, and yes, even dry needling to make it all happen.

The things we go through trying to recover what we lost. Or, for me, to recover what the spasticity has taken away because I was well on my way towards recovering my arm and hand function when the spasticity gradually took it all away again. Darn post stroke complications or side effects. I could play woulda, coulda, shoulda until the cows come home... if I had some to begin with. But it doesn't change the facts. It is and I have to get it back.

Rebecca over at Home After A Stroke and Dean over at Dean's Musings have posted over and over about how many repetitions it takes to recover. Both have been at this longer than I have. The amount is staggering, but none of us quit. We're all working toward recovering.  So, once again I'll get ready to get up and go. In the hope of strengthening my tricep, extensor muscles and my ankle enough before the Botox begins to wane. The spasticity won't pull me over the abyss into full fledge painful contortions again.

This I can fight. The fight for a PCP and endo will have to wait for days between therapy sessions. I'm picking the battles I can almost win. I waited for the painful cramps during the six months of doctor scheduling. The didn't occur until the week before my Botox injections. That's a positive because normally they would have started the week before my three month Botox injections. I'm not discounting God's Grace in all of this either. I've been thanking and praising Him for weeks now. 

  Nothing is impossible.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sunday Stroke Survival: Still Sleeping, But Getting Some Things Done Too!

Have you heard of store shelves left empty without restocking? I witnessed it today. It was panic buying  before a hurricane. I asked a stock person if there was any dishwashing detergent in the back. Sadly, he shook his head. I was left the grocery not buying quite a few items on my list.

Now, I use coupons to shop with. I don't buy twenty or thirty of the same items. I'll buy maybe four of a given item. That's my personal maximum.  I have made a conscientious decision toward stock piling items in my stores of open one buy two to replace it. This way there is enough for everyone. Sounds logical and responsible, right?

Pre COVID lock/shut down there was abundance, if not a glut, of choices. Since the reopening the choices are limited brands available and number available. Not that I'd buy a case of anything at today's prices. There would have to be a very good prices cut like 2000 prices.

Today, I'm missing our chickens and quail. I bought two 10lb bags of leg quarters for a pretty good price under $7 each...even this spring. I could get it it for $4. That's how much price have gone up. You can't see me but I'm shaking my head in disgust. We even grew our own too. We could buy straight run chicks twice a year and butcher them. Twenty-five quails provided us with meat and eggs in an endless supply chain. But that was before on the acreage. I'm in the city now and those are impossible to do here. Quail possibly, but certainly not chickens, not roosters. Only for raising eggs for your household. That won't feed us meat for the table. At least not very long. Even stretching the daylights out of it, will this household of four maybe three meals.

 I brought my prized chicken leg quarters home. I had planned on vanning it bone-in and thought better of that. I put the chicken in the pressure canner with assorted herbs and seasoning. It only took 25 minutes to cook the chicken. I pulled the chicken out, pill the meat off the bones, and returned the bones back into the canner. These will cook another two hours under pressure for a mineral rich bone broth and I did add some bones from the freezer too.. The chicken meat will be jarred and canned as meat in a

broth base. Each jar holds roughly about a pound of meat. There'll be enough broth in each jar to make a gravy. Perfect for a casserole,  pot pie, BBQ chicken sliders or sandwiches. or chicken salad for our family. I also got six pounds of ground chuck to can up. Between the two, I should have a full canner load double stacked with refried pinto and black beans for a total load of nineteen meal protein options for us. That's another thing I didn't het that was on my list Navy Beans. I wanted to can a case of chili beans for our food stores too. My son-in-law loves my chili. I found an abundance of canning jars at the local Ace Hardware. They have both Ball and Pur (a Chinese offshoot). Last week. they had them 35% off so I snatched up some cases of half gallon and quart jars. In case you're interested, I chose the Ball brand. I usually buy American when I can. I do miss my free Amish store jars. Sigh!

Not a bad day's work, but now I'm beyond exhausted. My foot is propped up for now, waiting for the bone broth to finish in my small pressure canner. Just twenty more minutes until I can turn off the heat. I'll let it naturally pressure down while I sleep, and can it up tomorrow. There should be two gallons of rich bone broth in there or 6 pint jars in there and a steaming mug of enriched for me bone broth to start the day with for me. I only slept 14 hours today. That's better...somewhat

Nothing is impossible. 

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sunday Stroke Survival: Answers and Murphy's Law

In case you hadn't noticed, I've been MIA for the past few weeks. In my last post, I told you how I was exhausted and sleeping so much. I was too exhausted to type. I think I've found the issue but am at a loss of how to solve it.

No, I haven't gotten a PCP nor endocrinologist as yet. In desperation, I called my Medicare supplement company for a doctors list that would take my plan. They said they were five and I thought. "Fine, that's a good start." I rarely need my PCP anyhow. He/She would mainly be responsible for a clearing house for my other specialists and refill my allergy meds. I have this thing with my PCP, I usually won't bother you so don't bother me. I'll go in for my post hospital and semi annual checkups, but that's about it unless I need a referral to another specialist like an endocrinologist. I called several thyroid specialist here but they all require a local PCP referral even though I send them faxed records from my previous endo quite easily. GRRR! Murphy's Law hit #1

To compound the issue I received the list of PCPs and endos from my insurance company. Of the five they have listed only one has a contact phone number but a FL address. The other four are blank except the name. So being a computer savvy individual, I do a computer search and even broke out the phone book. you know that huge, paper book with white and yellow pages you get once a year. Nothing. There were no listing for these doctors anywhere! Well, poop! I think maybe they are part of a hospital physician's group that aren't listed singly unless you search their groups. So, I search the groups and still nothing.  So how are you supposed to find them? I thought of going to the AMA site but that's like finding a needle in a hay stack. I tried phoning the one doctor that I at least had a phone number for and was told by an automated voice there was troubled with the phone service to please try again later. ARGH!!! I tell you, I can't win for losing. Murphy's Law hit #2

So left to my own devices, I started researching the symptoms on the web. I'm so exhausted I'm sleeping 16 out of 24 hours a day. I had a cardiac stress test last week and drifted off twice in three hours during it. This is insane! Oh, and the stress test results were fine. So that rules out any cardiac causes for my exhaustion. Last week I stopped the two medicines that were raising my heart rates and blood pressure. They were causing my heart to race constantly even while sedately sitting in my chair for hours/ Even without these meds my blood pressure and rate rates are borderline high for to weeks now. The meds would make them higher. During my stress test my numbers got scary. After they stops the drug and everything should drop down to normal, my B/P but mine went up to 190/110! But, the staff didn't seem concerned. When I had my first stroke my B/P was only 185/98! I'll see my cardiologist Monday. I'll address these issues then. It seems my body has switched back into chronic high B/P and ventricular fib mode again. I'm beating my fist on the desk. Murphy's Law hit #3

In my research, one diagnosis kept coming up no matter which reputable site I went to...Hashimoto disease flare up, or acute hypothyroiditis. Treatment by an endocrinologist is highly recommended. Zing! Slaps my own forehead. Why didn't I think of that??!! Murphy's Law hit #4 

Isn't it grand to be in a Catch-22, or Murphy's Law circular trap? I should be well versed with Murphey's Law being a Murphey. The "e" stands for extra oomph. LOL One day, I'll sit up in heaven and laugh, but that's not today. Today, it just seems to be yet another impossible situation I've gotten myself into. I feel like this


But as y'all know...

Nothing is impossible.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Sunday Stroke Survival: Sleep Perchance to Dream

I've been extremely tired lately. Four hours of uninterrupted sleep has been the best I can manage. It's been strange but it's been my semi normal sleeping pattern for so long, anything else seems abnormal. Since moving to southeast GA again, I had extended periods of exhaustion. Granted my pain levels have creeped up a bit with the delay of getting botox and the stress of trying to replace doctors are added into the mix making the tiredness I'm feeling almost understandable. Almost.

This boggles my mind. Y'all know me. I'm the never ending cheer leader. The go-getter. The full steam ahead gal. And yet, it's all I can do to get out of bed some days. I texted the family that dinner was ready last night. My daughter came in and looked at me saying, "Ready for bed already?" I responded that I never got dressed in the first place. It was true. I'd thought about changing clothes, but instead after taking my second doses of pills at 11 AM, I had just crawled back into bed and slept until 3PM. I sat at my computer dozing after my third doses of medicines until it was time to take my bedtime meds at 11PM. I crawled into bed and slept until 5AM.

Sunday morning trying to stay awake again. I repeated Saturday's pattern of sleeping off and on. It's been a losing battle.  In fact, this has been going on for a month. This was going on for as long as my heart has been acting up. I saw my new cardiologist on Monday and he said it was unlikely that my fatigue was caused by my heart. Of course the fatigue could also be from the Hashimoto Disease, but without a PCP to order blood work or refer me to an endocrinologist, I'm pretty well stuck. Does the chronic fatigue that happened with my first stroke worsen over time? I never heard of it worsening.

Too many questions and issues to deal with, and not enough answers. Bu then again...
Nothing is impossible.