Thursday, October 24, 2013

Thank you for flying Graves' Disease Air

Thank you for flying Graves' Disease Air. We have no emergency exits on this flight, nor do we have masks that fall from the ceiling when cabin pressure is lost. We do have for your inflight pleasure: mood swings, hot flashes, cold flashes, hand tremors, hair loss and heart palpitations. We hope you are comfortable and enjoy the ride. Please remember before you goto sleep, please put your stewards and stewardess' back in their normal upright positions. Thank you again for flying Graves' Disease Air.

"Psalm 46:10: Be Still and Know I Am God".

Strong words just heard by Chris Mileski on 93.7 WDJC, When You Rest, God Works.

That reminds me of "Psalm 46:10: Be Still and Know I Am God".

I know that I got frustrated in the hospital last week when we could not get my Calcium Levels to start showing signs of picking up. I finally said to myself that My God and my Dr's know what they are doing and that my body would start to show signs of improving....not in MY Time, but God's Time. I found out that I needed to stop worrying about it and turn it all over to God and let Him be the Healer of my body.

As I sit here now and think about the next 4 weeks off work, I have to remember that my body needs to heal and that I need to STOP and let God work wonders within me. I have always been on the go and a schedule person. I am going to take this time away from work not to let ANY stress get to me and sit back and reflect on my life. I am starting a journal of my life of this year with the findings of my illness and finding out how sick I really am and did not know it.

The online journal will be made public as soon as I gather all my notes that I have been keeping and I want to be a VOICE to show others that I may not look sick on the outside, but my inside is really sick.

Stay tuned and watch for my journal and see what I have been going thru and what God is doing to me
feeling blessed.

Do Not Judge Me, Unless You Judge Yourself

Matthew 7:1  “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. Matthew 7:1-2"
 So yesterday at work, I got asked by what I thought was a close friend, "I can tell you have gained weight", then a little while later, the same person asked me, "have you weighed lately"

Yes, I know I have gained some weight back.  No, I have not weighed myself.  I would like to see this same person try on my Size 12 jeans and my Size 8 shorts.  As I know they could not get them up and zipped.

I have known since June 14th, 2013 when I found out I have Grave's Disease and overactive Thyroid that the medication would slow down my Metabolism and that I would gain some of my weight back.  I accept that. I am currently under the very watchful eye of my Thyroid Dr. and we are working on getting my blood numbers back to a normal range.  There is a chance that I will require surgery in the near future to have my Thyroid removed and yes, I accept that.  My body and health comes first.

I belong to a group on Facebook about Grave's disease and there was a young lady who passed away at the age of 38 from complications related to Grave's disease.  That is why I am taking care of myself and My Dr. was very happy that I put some weight back on.  She said that I am now at the correct weight for my body type and that my BMI is perfect.

No, I am not happy with my weight, but I want to be healthy.  If that means I gain weight and as long as the Dr. is ok with the extra weight I have gained, then I accept that.  As I know that I am getting my body back to where it should be.

If people only knew what emotions you and your body go thru will batteling an illness/disease and if they only did their research on what is going on inside my body, just maybe, they would have some compassion.

Yes, I could have turned the tables on this person about her lifestyle and her "belly".  I held my words to myself.

I have learned from past experience that you never "really" have "true" friends in a workplace.
I am happy to just be able to get up each morning, get ready for work and work my hours.  I don't work to go and stand around most of the day talking and walking around like I don't have anything to do.  I don't get paid to stand around and chit-chat.  I get paid to "WORK".  Is that so hard to do? 
If I have a personal phone call that needs to be made during work.  That call can wait till I take a break or on my lunch hour.  I don't make calls from my work phone unless it is business or "IF" I have to call my Dr.

I don't abuse my time at work, that is not what they pay me for.

I prefer to leave my personal life "AT HOME" and not bring it into the work place.  I prefer NOT to bring my work day home with me.

If you want to talk about work, my hours are 8-5.  Not during MY break or during MY Lunch Hour.  Those are times that are given to us by our Employer to take a little time away from your desk to re-group.

Yes, I prefer to take my break and lunch ALONE!  I like to read and I cannot get any reading done if somebody is following me out the door.

I prefer to bring my lunch everyday. I don't care to leave the office and go out to lunch.  Why waste the money on eating out every day when there are more important things to do with my money, like "pay bills", buy groceries, buy gas.....and so on.

You complain about your co-workers, your hours, the work given to you.  You "talk" about finding another job outside the company.  Then I suggest that you start looking now for that "dream" job that you think is out there for you.

I prefer to stay with the company I am with, as I have 11 and a half years with this company and yes, I plan to look for a new position within the same company, when the time is right.

All things are done in "Gods" timing, not mine.  The right job will show up, when God sees that it is time. Until then, I will put on my happy face, go to work, put on my music with earbugs in and do what I get paid for. "WORK"

The Day My Life Changed Forever ~06-14-13~

I have always been a believer in keeping your body healthy and in check.  Does not matter how embarrassing or disgusting the procedure is. 

One June 11, 2013 I had scheduled two Dr. Appts. back to back.  The first one was to my OB/GYN.  Now ladies you know how this is done.  Go behind the curtain, take all your cloths off, but leave your socks on.  Now I Love my Ob/GYN, he makes the check-up funny and talks to you thru all the things he does North and South of your body.
After I got dressed and went into his office he asked me if I had any questions.  Yes I did.  I asked him was I going thru menopause, because my hair on my head was falling out and some hair had stopped growing and I was always hot.  He asked if I still had a "aunt" every month and I said Yes.  He noticed the knot on the right side of my neck and said that my Thyroid was swollen.  I told him that I was going to my next Dr. after I left his office.  He said to have her to look at it.  Also then gave me directions to go have my "girls" squeezed like a pancake. :)
So, I go to my next Dr. appt. which was just suppose to be my regular 6 month check-up on my High Blood Pressure.  I got weighed and had lost 80 pounds, I was so happy that I was getting healthy.  Once the Dr. came in the room, I told her what my OB/GYN said about my Thyroid.  She felt of it and said that it was swollen. I also get a chest x-ray once a year, so here we go again.  You can leave your shorts and Tshirt on, but take off your bra.  Walk down the hall with my "girls" just a swinging.  Have to sit in the hall, with my arms crossed over my chest while I wait to get my X-Ray.
After I get back in the room and put my "girls" back in their home, my Dr. walks in and tells me that she wants me to have a Ultrasound on my Thyroid.  No big deal to me (I thought).  Go to schedule the ultrasound and the lady ask me what type of Mass X-ray I was having along with the Thyroid.  I look at her like she is crazy.  Nothing was said by my Dr. about a mass in my stomach. Schedule both appts. for June 20th.  I then walk to the lab for my regular blood work. 4 large tubes of blood taken from me *OUCH*
All is well until Thursday evening when I get home from work.  I saw that my Dr. office had tried to call me 2 times that evening. Stupid me forgot to turn the answering machine on.
So on Friday I go to work and on my first break I call the Dr back to see what she wanted.  She said that I had to leave work right then and go see a Specialist about my Thyroid.  She said that the numbers in my blood work for my Thyroid were of the chart.  Now this was getting me worried because I knew that I was going to have a Ultrasound next week.
Leave work, go to see the specialist and I tell her problems that I have been having for quite some time.  She does some test on me and sits down and tells me that my Thyroid is one step down from being very severe and that I also have Grave's Disease.  Now I am getting scared and she gives me medication for my Thyroid and to double up on my BP medication.  She then tells me to go to the lab to have blood taken.  Here I go again with giving 4 tubes of blood.  While waiting to give the blood, I was sitting in the waiting room holding back the tears because I did not know what Grave's Disease was.
I drive back to work and go to my managers office to tell her what is going on and that I was back from the Dr.  She pulled me behind closed doors and started handing me tissues, because she could tell that I had been crying.  After I told her everything, she sent me home for the day. I Love my Manager.
Backing up a little.  While I was at the Specialist Dr. on Friday, she told me that if the pills I am taking don't get my Thyroid back to normal that I am not a canadate for the Radioactive Dye to kill off my Thyroid, because the Grave's Disease has already started effectiny my eyes.  So this means that IF the pills don't work, I will have to have surgery to have my Thyroid removed.
Just Great!  Here it is that I don't have any family close by that I would impose on them to ask them to take me for surgery.  They have their own lives and jobs and children.  My manager at work said that IF it comes down to me having surgery that she would take me and bring me back home.  I asked her if I could stay with her childrens Nanny :)
I have done research on Grave's Disease and I can get it in remission within a year, I Pray.
Now with taking this medication, I might gain back some of my weight but I will work like crazy to keep all 82 pounds off.
Now, I have to worry about what type of mass is in my tummy. I hope it was just my lunch of fried rice I had that day before the X-ray :)  (LOL).
There is nobody to blame this illness on me.  I don't blame my Heavenly Father, I don't blame my genetic make-up for this.  This is just something that chose my body to invade.
I will fight like crazy to get my Thyroid back under control and I will deal with the effects on my body with the Grave's Disease.  I am a Child of God and I know He is Standing beside me and walking with me every step of the way.
Why do bad things happen to good people?  There is no answer to that, but I know that I am strong on the outside and may be crying on the inside, but I will get my health back in control with the Support of my friends, my medication and with my Heavenly Father.
I will Beat this out of me!!
I will Beat this out of me!!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

What is hyperthyroidism?

Hyperthyroidism means your thyroid makes too much thyroid hormone. Your thyroid is a gland in the front of your neck camera. It controls your metabolism, which is how your body turns food into energy. It also affects your heart, muscles, bones, and cholesterol.
Having too much thyroid hormone can make a lot of things in your body speed up. You may lose weight quickly, have a fast heartbeat, sweat a lot, or feel nervous and moody. Or you may have no symptoms at all. While your doctor is doing a test for another reason, he or she may discover that you have hyperthyroidism.
Hyperthyroidism is easily treated. With treatment, you can lead a healthy life. Without treatment, hyperthyroidism can lead to serious heart problems, bone problems, and a dangerous condition called thyroid storm.

I am Graves Bella Smith

For those who have no clue:

Hi. My name is Graves, and I'm an invisible autoimmune chronic disease that attacks your thyroid gland.

I am now velcroed to you for life.

Others around you can't see me or hear me, but YOUR body feels me.

I can attack you anywhere and anyhow I please.

I can cause severe pain or, if I'm in a good mood, I can just cause you to ache all over.

Remember when you and energy ran around together and had fun?

I took energy from you, and gave you exhaustion. Try to have fun now!

I can take good sleep from you and in its place, give you brain fog and lack of concentration.

I can make you want to sleep 24/7, and I can also cause insomnia.

I can make you tremble internally or make you feel cold or hot when everyone else feels normal.

I can also give you swollen hands and feet, swollen face and eyelids, swollen everything!

Oh, yeah, I can make you feel very anxious or very depressed, too. I can also cause other mental health problems.

I can make your hair fall out, become dry and brittle, cause acne, cause dry skin, the sky is the limit with me!

I can make you gain weight and no matter what you eat or how much you exercise, I can keep that weight on you. I can also make you loose weight. I don't discriminate.

Some of my other autoimmune disease friends often join me, giving you even more to deal with.

If you have something planned, or are looking forward to a great day, I can take that away from you. You didn't ask for me. I chose you for various reasons:

That virus or viruses you had that you never really recovered from, or that car accident, or maybe it was the years of abuse and trauma (I thrive on stress.) Maybe you have a family history of me. Whatever the cause, I'm here to stay.

I hear you're going to see a doctor to try and get rid of me. That makes me laugh! Just try. You will have to go to many, many doctors until you find one who can help you effectively.

You will be put on the wrong thyroid meds for you, pain pills, sleeping pills, energy pills, told you are suffering from anxiety or depression, given anti-anxiety pills and antidepressants.

There are so many other ways I can make you sick and miserable, the list is endless -that high cholesterol, gall bladder issue, blood pressure issue, blood sugar issue, heart issue among others? That's probably me.

Can't get pregnant, or have had a miscarriage?

That's probably me too.

Teeth and gum problems? TMJ? I told you the list was endless.

You may be given a TENs unit, get massaged, told if you just sleep and exercise properly I will go away.

You'll be told to think positively, you'll be poked, prodded, and MOST OF ALL, not taken seriously when you try to explain to the doctor how debilitating I am and how sick you really feel. In all probability you will get a referral from the 'understanding' (clueless) doctor, to see a psychiatrist.

Your family, friends and co-workers will all listen to you until they just get tired of hearing about how I make you feel, and just how debilitating I can be.

Some of them will say things like "Oh, you are just having a bad day" or "Well, remember, you can't do the things you use to do 20 YEARS ago", not hearing that you said 20 DAYS ago.

Some will start talking behind your back, they'll call you a hypochondriac, while you slowly feel that you are losing your dignity trying to make them understand, especially when you are in the middle of a conversation with a "normal" person, and can't remember what you were going to say next. You'll be told things like, "Oh, my grandmother had that, and she's fine on her thyroid pill" when you desperately want to explain that I don't impose myself upon everyone in the exact same way, and just because that grandmother is fine on the medication SHE'S taking, doesn't mean it will work for you.

I've been trying to keep this next part quiet, but since you're reading this you already know.

The only place you will get the kind of support and understanding in dealing with me, is with other people that have me. They are really the only ones who can truly understand.

I am Graves Disease.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

I Need To Hear From You

Mom, I really need to feel you around me right now.  I need to know that you are watching out for me.  Please send me a sign that you are near.  I am getting depressed with the Holiday Season upon me again.  I feel so alone and I don't know what to do.  I Love You and Miss You