the status of my thyroid, education, travel plans, racing . . . and a guitar pick

Here is another one of those iamtheworstbloggereveritsbeenforeverandileftyouallwithacliffhangerohmygod posts. Now that we have that over with . . .

Appointment update. I saw the doctor on Monday. My iron is way lower than it should be, so I am supplementing with essentially as much as my body can tolerate [which is essentially the nice way of saying: take as much as you can because this is not good, a nutritional re-vamp is not enough alone, lady. Fine then. At least chocolate milk has iron in it?]

As for the thyroid, my TSH [thyroid stimulating hormone] is borderline high. So when we go re-test the iron in August, we will re-test the thyroid. Essentially, and it is kind of confusing, high TSH = lower thyroid hormone production; low TSH = high thyroid hormone production. So there you go.] The short story is that while I do not fully have hypothyroidism yet, however, it could go either way: best case, it corrects itself [this is what the internet tells me might happen, so I am not overly optimistic], otherwise, my thyroid hormone production will keep dropping, therefore my TSH will keep going up, and I will have hypothyroidism. So it is the game of wait-and-see, which kind of sucks more than just getting the diagnosis over with.

School update. So alongside this, I am also failing anatomy. I’ve been doing twice-weekly tutoring sessions with my friend/now-coworker Danielle and making flash cards and filling out charts, and all that supposed goodness. There is just so much stuff to remember, and this class is hard. I have five days left, so fingers crossed I make it through this and don’t have to repeat come Fall. I filled out eight pages of muscle charts today, and there is more to come, plus a tutoring session tomorrow. I am so close, but so far from being close enough. I’ve had so many of these close calls with dumb classes this year, like Principles of Coaching, but this is by far the closest aside from Intro Kinesiology where I failed pretty hard early on and then pulled myself up to a B. So there is hope to pass, but I’m just riding it out and not holding my breath on anything. i’m working hard, but it’s just nerve-wracking to have 50% of my grade riding on a 27-hour span of time. Three. More. Days.

Also thanks to studying, I’ve eaten like a third of a pan of rice krispy cake today [my mom put chocolate chips in it. Who can resist chocolate chips?]. And likewise have gotten no exercise.

QUEBEC. The Asthma Society of Canada booked my flight to Quebec City for August. I am so amped. Except I need to probably learn some French beforehand. it’s going to be a whirlwind trip, as I will be in-and-out of Quebec City in 33 hours and back home in just over 40. Or something. [I’m bad at math at the best of times and it’s currently 12:10 AM.]

Race training. And, another exciting bit! As soon as this exam is over, I’m kicking up the training for the Canadian Diabetes Association 10K walk in September! Wanna support me in the race and support Canadians living with diabetes? Hit up my fundraising page! Live in my area and want to race with us? Shoot me an e-mail.  I’ve got hopes to get “team” shirts made, and hopes to rock a blue tutu on race day!  With props to Jay, we’re going to be called Good Things Run on Insulin, and it’s going to kick ass.

Speaking of kicking ass . . . This is me on Friday. Rocking my You Can Do This Project t-shirt, kids’ scarves [one of which happened to be blue for Blue Friday ;)] and my sweet new ID necklace from Lauren’s Hope! :] [To follow up on a previous entry, I am not continuing my MedicAlert membership after August. They offered to decrease my membership fee from $5 to $4 a month, but why should I when that doesn’t help anybody but me? i’ll be rocking my cool Lauren’s Hope ID, hunting down an epic interchangable bracelet, and sporting some Road IDs [I can get multiple Road IDs for the same price as a MedicAlert sportband. Boooom!]  Anyway, oh my goodness, look how kick ass this necklace is!

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the butterfly flew away: hypothyroidism [and anemia]

Friday: The light on the answering machine flashes. One week and one day since blood work. It’s kind of surreal knowing that the substance flowing through my body keeping me alive could also be cluing us in to something.

270877_10151770095785375_384334416_n.jpg[Blood work on May 31 after my physical; I have teeny veins apparently which required the use of the butterfly needle]

The hesitant call back to the doctor’s office to find the line busy. The second call after the agonized waiting. Getting put on hold.  The continued waiting. The click back on the line.

“She [the doctor] wants to talk to you about your blood work.” Kathy the phone lady [who may actually be Cathy, who knows] tells me.

I’ve learned from some of the best. I am not waiting a minute longer. “Is it the thyroid or the iron?” Cutting to the chase.

Both.”

I close my eyes as I sigh and mumble something to Kathy that I can’t remember.

The iron I was sure was eventually coming. Five years into becoming a vegetarian who doesn’t pay a huge amount of attention to nutrition like I know I should, it’s whatever. I’ll go in and get the lecture next week. I’ll work on it in the meantime.

The thyroid flag is probably hypothyroidism, of which I have some symptoms after consulting Dr. Google on hypothyroidism. Lazy butterfly-looking gland, what did I ever do to you?

So what happens? I get the results. I make the follow-up appointment for next Monday as it is not urgent. And then the classic tiredness that is hallmark of both anemia and hypothyroidism hits. I sleep eleven hours on Saturday night, nearly four and a half of them with my iPod on playing Brian Strean. I realize all the “random bruises” probably weren’t so random. I realize there is probably more than meets the eye. Isn’t everything?

It’s not a big deal. It’s just a pill a day. I think we caught it early, but I have no idea. Of course, at times over the last three days I’ve just wondered “what’s next?”. And for the millionth time “why?”. It’s that “one more thing”.

Even though I know I can do this, it’s that all-shaking addition . . . “for the rest of your life”. It’s that part that sucks the most.

edit: it’s been a few years since i wrote this, but all other thyroid checks have come back as normal–I’m not sure why the blip in my lab work, but as of my last T3/T4/etc. check in February-ish 2014, things looked fine.

day of visibility: this is asthma.

June 6th is the “Day of Visibility” for people living with invisible diseases.

Most of the time, I look like a completely healthy twenty-one year old.

And I work hard to stay that way :].

I ride my bike [complete with the classic awkward nose zit. Twenty-one, that still happens].

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Get entirely too excited about doing the track at school with my friend Sam . . .

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Travel . . . and jump a lot and wear ridiculous outfits.

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Rock out on the beach . . .

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Go for “photo shoot walks” with friends.

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And generally do awesome shit.

But there’s the other part. The part where I manage an invisible chronic disease every day. The part where the only visible signs of this disease might be the medical ID bracelet that would have been on my left wrist in each of the above pictures or the blue inhaler in my pocket.

The part where I take multiple medications a day to stay healthy. The part where I inhale and snort steroids [corticosteroids] to decrease the inflammation in my lungs and sinuses. The part where I take three maintenance inhalers a day to try to keep things this way.

The part where I am working to stay healthy by taking my medicine and staying active and keeping myself in a sense of balance.

The part where I look healthy, but I’m exhausted but I am sick and fighting it out.

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The part where I do the best I can, increase my meds as I’m supposed to, and still that’s not good enough.

The part where I’m ready to just say “fuck asthma”.

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And the part where I cycle back to the first section.

The part where I live my life in a sense of coexistence with this disease that you can’t see on the outside.

The part where I do awesome shit.

The part where I know I can do this, even when it’s hard.

The part where I live my life.

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