Do You Need A Body Reset?

Imagine getting the following text from one of your friends:

How do you reset your body back to its original factory settings?

Is it kale?

It’s kale isn’t it?

Please don’t say it is kale.

As you read the text, you can almost feel the writer’s desperation.  She wants four things:
1.   She wants to reset her body.
2.   She does not want to eat kale.
3.   She doesn’t want to eat (or do) what she doesn’t like.
4.   She wants a simple fix that involves just one ingredient.

We’ve all been there, haven’t we?  I know I have.  Tell me I’m not alone.  There have been times in my life when I desperately needed something that would reset my body so that I could feel like my body was being sent in for an overhaul. 

At those times, if kale were the answer to “reset my body back to its factory settings,” I’d eat kale for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  Or would I? I might for a few days; then, I’d become bored with eating all that kale and probably be on to next magic bullet. 

In truth, there have been times in my life, when I could have written such a text because my body was so out of balance that my mind and spirit followed the same downward spiral to the point where I probably would have tried any crazy fix just to feel better.

For instance, in February of this year, my husband and I traveled to Sedona, Arizona, to celebrate my birthday.  As we left home, I knew I should probably cancel the trip because of the pain I was experiencing in my gastrointestinal tract that came on with a vengeance seemingly out of nowhere.  This was not a new phenomenon for me, as I suffer from chronic IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).  When the symptoms hit last February, I decided to ignore them as I was determined to make the long planned trip. So off we went from our home in Colorado and headed south to New Mexico.  We planned to spend our first night in Albuquerque, New Mexico which was the halfway point to our destination.  

When in New Mexico, what does one eat?  One eats spicy Mexican food of course.  That was not a good plan for me, but I threw caution to the wind and ate yummy, fatty, and very spicy food.  As I ate, I tried to convince myself that it really would not matter what I ate.   (I was wrong about that!)

The next day was my birthday.  We arrived at our destination and found a nice restaurant for dinner.  My birthday was duly celebrated with some rich entrée, wine, and a decadent dessert. Just what I needed to make my poor tummy all the more upset.  It was my birthday, and the stubborn self was going to celebrate it in style.  

Do you ever do that?  Or better yet, the question should be asked, WHO does that?

The next day, we visited the Grand Canyon for the first time. 


 I was in terrible shape.  Pain from a full-blown IBS attack and exhaustion from the pain were making me miserable, but I kept on going.  

As we visited the rim of the Grand Canyon, we visited a visitor’s center to learn more about this marvel of nature.   The explanation of how that vast canyon was created rang true to me as I felt that I too was on the verge of collapse.

The layered rocks of the Grand Canyon include hard resistant layers and soft crumbly layers.  Softer layers erode faster, undercutting the harder layers above them.  The hard layers become unstable overhangs that eventually collapse.  

Hard resistant layers?  That would be me at that moment.  I was not wanting to admit that:
a.   I was ill.
b.   It probably would be best to rest and not follow the previously determined schedule.  
c.   I should make wise food choices when I know that my system can’t handle some of the food I really like to eat.
d.   I was in denial.
e.   All would not be well if I just carried on as usual.


Soft crumbly layers? 
a.   That would be the body where I now live. 
b.   My sensitive gastrointestinal system is fragile, and no amount of hard exterior is going to change its sensitivities.

While the crumbling layers of rock that formed the Grand Canyon created a natural wonder, after the third day of this trip to the Grand Canyon and Sedona area, I knew that if some changes in my thinking and in my choices were not made, the consequences of the crumbling going on inside would me would not create a beautiful natural wonder to behold.  Instead, I would most likely create a disaster. 

Finally, on that third day, I told my husband that our plans would have to change.  We would have to take a day off from touring so I could get some medical help and so I could rest.  My husband fully supported me in that decision.  In fact, he’d been suggesting a change in plans since we had left home.

Not wanting to admit that something is wrong is a big problem.  For me, it meant that I would have to admit to my husband that I was foolish when I insisted on carrying on with plans when clearly, I was not well.  It also meant that I had been foolish to think I could eat what I wanted when I knew I really couldn’t without paying the price.  Denial is a very stubborn and resistant layer.

Those soft layers inside of my gut were crumbling, the hard layer of my stubborn nature was quite unstable.  Let’s just say I truly was on the verge of collapse.

Kale was not the answer to resetting my body in the scenario that I just recounted, but a sensible diet that include the types of foods I knew my GI tract could handle was.  I began to make wise food choices.  Just because I was on vacation, it did not mean that I could indulge in those foods I knew I could not eat.

I listened to my body.  I rested when I was tired. Together my husband and I restructured our plans so that we had activity that included walking and taking in the sights but did not include hiking that might have been more than my current condition could handle.

There was so much beauty to be enjoyed in Sedona. I often wonder if I would have even enjoyed any of it if I had not taken the time to have a serious talk with myself about practicing self-care whether I was not vacation or not.  Do others of you ever let self-care go out the window when you are on vacation?  

In the end, I learned some valuable lessons about resetting my body.  No, I did not set my back to its factory settings while we were on this vacation because that would mean I would have to come up with a way to wipe away decades of living. Original factory settings are no longer possible. My body has changed.  New rules apply as I learn to live in a body which is different than the one I had in my forties, my fifties, or even in my sixties; however, small changes can do wonders when it comes to resetting a body that is begging for restoration to optimum health.  

·      I began to listen to my body.  
·      I made positive dietary choices.  (Those choices did not include kale!)  
·      I rested when I need to do so.  
·      I made sure I continued to exercise by walking and exploring the beautiful area where we were visiting.   
·      I didn’t waste the experience by giving in to illness, but I let the illness instruct me on how to heal.



On our last day of the trip, I found these words written on a Coconino Forest Service sign in:

Listen
       Can you hear the stream?



Touch
      Feel a soft leaf or a sycamore.



Look closely
      Discover who lives here.


 ********

Answers to the questions such as the one asked by the sender of the text which I wrote about at the beginning of this post seldom have one answer.  Kale, while it is a healthy food, and a food most of us wish to avoid, is not the answer to gaining a healthier lifestyle.   Instead, I think we have to slow down and do these last three things which I found printed on a forest service sign.

We must listen to nature around us and to our bodies.  We need to touch the positive and beautiful things in our lives.  Yes, it is so important when things are out of balance to take time to get in touch with those things which are beautiful and positive in our lives.  That means we must change our focus.  We can't look on what ails us.  We must look to what heals us.  And finally, when we look closely, we can discover who it is that inhabits the body we now have.  

Life is about change.  Nothing stays the same.  We will never live in the body that we were given when we left the factory. We must accept that and treat our bodies and minds and spirits with respect by giving all three what nourishes the body even if it sometimes includes, but is not limited to, kale.





January Health Scare

New Year’s Resolutions

I don’t make resolutions, because I know I won’t keep them, but I do try to evaluate the habits I have that keep me from living life the way I want to live it.  At the beginning of a new year, I think of getting up earlier, being more productive with my time, writing more, losing weight, exercising.  I doubt I’m any different than anyone else.  I just hope to look at the new year through new eyes so I can gain a new perspective. (In the photo below, I am using 2018 glasses as a headband.)   




I had such hopes for the first of year.  I was for sure going to get back to blogging.  I have truly missed it.  I knew the only way I would get back to blogging by reading, commenting, and writing again would be if I made some changes to my daily schedule.  I would have to stop settling in my chair with a cup of coffee, my iPad, and checking out Facebook, and my new time waster,  Instagram.  Honestly, I have wasted, yes wasted, way too much time with this kind of start to the day.


I read two newspapers before I get going, so by the time I even think of getting up out of that favorite chair to make my breakfast, the morning has been whittled away to nothing.



Yes, I resolved, this year, I was going to get up early and get going with being productive in 2018.

On the January 1, 2018, we didn’t get up early because we had been out celebrating too late.  We aren’t kids anymore, so staying up partying until way after midnight means that we start the new year by sleeping in.

The night before on New Year’s Eve, we spent a wonderful night celebrating with my cousin and her husband at their beautiful home.  They have a group of friends from high school days that they celebrate with, so we were happy they invited us to join them.  I said we were the chaperones since these “kids” are half a decade younger.  We had so much fun.  The party was a great success.  Our host cooked a marvelous meal.  After eating, we watched the fireworks that were set off from the top of Pikes Peak, then we drank a bit of champaign, sang Auld Lang Syne, toasted each other and the new year, took a few more photos, and then headed home.





We had plans for the first day of the year that included taking down Christmas.  Jim and I decided that the tree would stay up another day because we were too tired to take it down on January 1st.  In fact, we didn’t take down any of the Christmas decorations.  We would do that the next day, on January 2.

Early in the morning on the second day of January 2018, my husband woke me out of a deep sleep by calling my name in a voice that startled me.  When I was finally able to respond, he said, “I don’t feel well at all.  I’m sweating.  At times I’m hot, then I’m cold, and I am really dizzy.”  I was immediately out of bed and standing next to him at his side of the bed.  Indeed, he was sweating.  He was in a cold sweat.  In fact, his forehead was very clammy.  I asked what he was experiencing, and was told he’d been like this for at least 45 minutes.  He said he’d gotten up and made his way to the bathroom but barely made his way back because he was so dizzy.  

I ran for the blood pressure cuff and took his blood pressure.  It was extremely low.  I asked what he wanted me to do, or I guess I actually gave him two choices: did he want to go to the hospital by car or by ambulance.  I asked about other symptoms while I quickly threw on clothes and shoes.  He said he wanted me to drive him to the hospital and said he had no other symptoms.  (He actually kept a few important facts from me because I think he knew I would have called an ambulance had I’d known all his symptoms.)  His dizziness made it difficult for us to make to the car, but we made it.  The nearest hospital is only ten minutes away, so I wasn’t too concerned as I made my drive, but honestly, I kept wishing I’d called an ambulance.

Once in the ER, he told the nurses that he had numbness in his left arm and left foot.  He also had chest pain.  That is when all the tests began as they tried to find out what was going on with him.  

The hospital near us is a new one, and the hospital and the staff are wonderful.  We had help immediately.  He had a CT scan, EKG, and blood work done in less than an hour.  All tests came back looking good, but Jim continued to be dizzy, and he continued to have severe numbness on his left side.  

He slept from the time I got him there around 7:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.  After speaking with specialist at the University affiliated hospital across town, it was determined that Jim would be transported to that hospital for further testing and observation.  It was suspected that he had experienced a TIA (transient ischemic attack).  

After nearly twelve hours in the emergency room of the original hospital where I had taken him, he was transported to Main by ambulance.  I was skeptical that anything would happen that night in the way of talking to a neurologist or of having tests.  I could not have been more wrong.  

Jim was admitted to a room in a new wing of the hospital devoted only to stroke victims.  On the very day that this new Comprehensive Stroke Center for southern Colorado was announced in the news, Jim became one of its patients.  We could not have been more impressed.  He was barely in his room when he was visited by the neurologist who already had been speaking with the ER doctor and had seen his tests from the ER.  Soon, a hospitalist was at his bedside also.  That night Jim had three MRIs and was constantly monitored while also being evaluated for stroke symptoms continually.  He was also given many tests for his heart.  

Thankfully, all tests came back not showing a stroke, and his heart also checked out well.  (Jim had a heart attack when his LAD was 95% blocked in 2011.)(click the highlighted area to read about this event) As a result of all of the testing and his symptoms, it was determined that Jim most likely did have a TIA.  The first twenty-four hours after such an event are the most dangerous, so he was monitored until late in the day of January 3, then after making a few changes in his medicine, he was discharged, and we went home with grateful hearts because it all could have been so much worse.  

I did not expect to begin 2018 with a medical scare.  We both have had a big wake-up call when it comes to listening to our bodies.  A word of caution to us all:  If it seems things are really off, if dizziness is nearly knocking one to the floor, if blood pressure is extremely low, if parts of the body are numb, then get to the hospital, preferably via an ambulance.  Time is of the essence if one is experiencing a stroke.  Also, a TIA is not to be dismissed as a small matter.  Within the first 24 hours after such an event one is at risk of a stroke.  Also, one is more highly at risk of having a stoke after experiencing a TIA.  

We have both resolved to focus on making better choices when it comes to our health.  Jim is working hard on his diet and is losing weight.  I am trying to do the same.  We are trying to eat at home more and eat out less.  We are trying to get to bed a bit earlier.  We are exercising.  Jim is always better at that than I am, but we both are trying to do better in 2018 than we did in 2017.  

Here’s to a healthy and happy 2018 for us both!


Today, we took it easy and rested.  I didn’t want to go to church with all the flu that is out there.  I also felt we just needed to rest up because yesterday I felt like I was fighting off some bug.  Thankfully, today whatever was making me achy and chilled and tired headachy and sick feeling left me.  We went for a nice walk this afternoon.  As we walked, linking my arm through Jim’s, I said, “You know I don’t take this ability to walk together on this crisp January afternoon lightly.  We are so blessed to have each other and to be healthy enough to walk and enjoy life.  That opportunity has been denied so many from our same age group."  We’ve lost friends and acquaintances in the past year to heart attacks, cancer, falls, and other illnesses.  

One thing I know for certain:  we have absolutely no guarantees in life.  Resolutions may be the thing we think we should do at the beginning of the year, but I have decided that for me instead of worrying about how I am spending my time, I’m going to focus on being grateful for the time I have to spend.  I think gratitude is a great informer when it comes to making choices on how to spend time.

Each day is a gift.  Each moment we have to share with each other is a treasure.  If we spend too much time staying up late reading, that is ok.  At least we can still read.  Besides, we love sitting side by side reading late into the night.

If we sit and sip coffee all morning and don’t accomplish anything, that too is ok.  We love our morning routines of chatting, reading the newspaper, and catching up with the world.  

If Jim has to hustle off to work, I try to hustle off to do something productive while he is gone.  I’m grateful he can still work and that he loves his work so much.  

On our way home from our walk today, we changed up the route a bit.  It threw Boston off his game.  He is used to our same routine and route.  As we approached our home, he threw us off a bit too when he suddenly jumped up on a bench in our neighbor’s yard.  He used to love to jump up on walls and benches as a pup.  Today, I guess he felt young at heart and just had to jump up on that once favorite bench of his like he did when he was younger.  Or maybe, he just wanted to have a closer adoring look at his master.  Maybe he too was grateful for walk on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in January and he just want to make sure his master knew it.  These two love each other.  This photo is priceless.


Life truly is best lived in the moment.  Treasure each one you have with your loved ones.  Let them know it by giving them one of those adoring looks when you gaze in each other’s eyes. Or, you might just want to kick up your heels and do what you used to love to do when you were younger.  Moments like these are something to bark about.  


Summer Update

It is just past noon on a Tuesday morning.  I love mornings at home when the agenda page on my iPhone calendar is clear.  Jim is at work, so I don't even get sidetracked by his company.  No appointments take center stage when planning the day; however, the long to-do list in my head does nag at me:

  1. Water the plants
  2. Fertilize the flowers and bushes.
  3. Find out what bugs are eating your flowers and deal with them.
  4. Take a morning walk.
  5. Do some household laundry.
  6. Schedule appointments for next month.
  7. Write those notes to friends that need to be written.
  8. Organize your stacks of stuff in the upstairs office.
  9. Organize that even bigger stack of stuff in the downstairs guest room/quasi office.
  10. Go grocery shopping.
  11. Fix a healthy meal for lunch and dinner.
  12. Check in with your blogging friends and see how they are doing.
  13. Try to get a blog written and published.
  14. Take a shower.
  15. Fold laundry.
So far, I have accomplished getting numbers 1 - 4 finished.  Somehow, I skipped down to number 13 and sat down to write a quick blog while I cool off from my outside work and my walk by sitting in front of the open window in my study.  The breeze feels refreshing.  

The familiar sound of a plane from the nearby United States Air Force Academy  pulling a glider across the sky connects me to the place in which I live.  I think of those young air cadets training to get their wings. I envy the freedom and excitement the young cadets must feel when that glider is pulled into the skies, released from the aircraft that has taken the glider to to the required altitude, and the glider itself  then soars and swoops and then glides back down to earth.



Such an experience is not gained by these cadets without hard work, solid academic performance, and sacrifice.  These cadets have a schedule, and they stick to it.  They won't succeed if they do not use discipline and organization.

The gliding through the air does appeal to me.  At this point in life, I find the schedule that leads to accomplishing much in life doesn't hold much appeal.  

I also know myself well enough to know that I don't function well without schedules.  I fight against them.  Always have.  As I grow older, I probably need a proper schedule more than I ever have, but I hate them all the more.  

I want to glide, and slide, and be free of those time restraints in life that continue to bind me.  Life just seems too short to do laundry, clean house, shop for groceries, and fix meals.  I want to read, write, walk, play in the yard, dig in the dirt, eat lunch with friends, enjoy time with my husband, and visit my children and grandchildren.  

I also want to stop all these medical appointments because of medical issues.  Summer is for fun.  It is not for medical procedures.

Many days I am very well.  Other days I am not.  Last week, I had an earlier than expected colonoscopy.  The results from biopsies are not in.  This week, on Friday, I will have an endoscopic ultra sound of my pancreas at the University of Colorado Hospital.  I had the same procedure three years ago,  at least I know what to expect with the procedure.  I just don't know what to expect on the outcome.  I may require additional risky procedures that same day.  There is talk of a stint for a malformed duct.  Most of my pain and discomfort comes from the pancreatic area, but thankfully I haven't had any bouts of pancreatitis that required hospitalization since 2013.    

As if all of this were not enough, for the last few weeks I have been bothered by floaters that block my vision.  The latest, a very large one that has been assailing my vision for three days in a major way, has made reading and writing nearly impossible.  My stubborn nature went into overdrive so I could write this overdue post.  Defying that seemingly pencil eraser size floater, I sat at my computer and wrote this.  Don't worry, I've been to the eye doctor yesterday and I have not tears or detachments.  I'm just dealing with the aging process in the eye that seems to have gotten worse since cataract surgery in March and April.

So, dear blogging friends, I haven't forgotten you.  I'm just not spending much time using a computer or other technological devices due to my eyes.  I also have been out enjoying life with my dear hubby and my precious family and wonderful friends as much as I can this summer.  I have been working with my writing group every other week.  I meet with church friends for prayer or breakfast.  When Jim isn't working, we have lunch, dinner, or breakfast with couple friends or with my cousin Donna. Other days, when Jim is home,  long walks in the morning invigorate while more leisurely walks in the evening bring peace and joy.  


Some of those things on my to-do list can wait until the weather forces me inside.  In the meantime, the deck or front patio are ready and waiting for friends to drop by and visit.  Books are being enjoyed in the cool of the shade.  I'm winning a few wars with the wildlife by planting and protecting my impossible garden.  I'm also staying strong in spite of health problems that continue to hit.  Keep me in your prayers on Friday.  I hope to be back to summer activities soon.


Summer Update

It is just past noon on a Tuesday morning.  I love mornings at home when the agenda page on my iPhone calendar is clear.  Jim is at work, so I don't even get sidetracked by his company.  No appointments take center stage when planning the day; however, the long to-do list in my head does nag at me:

  1. Water the plants
  2. Fertilize the flowers and bushes.
  3. Find out what bugs are eating your flowers and deal with them.
  4. Take a morning walk.
  5. Do some household laundry.
  6. Schedule appointments for next month.
  7. Write those notes to friends that need to be written.
  8. Organize your stacks of stuff in the upstairs office.
  9. Organize that even bigger stack of stuff in the downstairs guest room/quasi office.
  10. Go grocery shopping.
  11. Fix a healthy meal for lunch and dinner.
  12. Check in with your blogging friends and see how they are doing.
  13. Try to get a blog written and published.
  14. Take a shower.
  15. Fold laundry.
So far, I have accomplished getting numbers 1 - 4 finished.  Somehow, I skipped down to number 13 and sat down to write a quick blog while I cool off from my outside work and my walk by sitting in front of the open window in my study.  The breeze feels refreshing.  

The familiar sound of a plane from the nearby United States Air Force Academy  pulling a glider across the sky connects me to the place in which I live.  I think of those young air cadets training to get their wings. I envy the freedom and excitement the young cadets must feel when that glider is pulled into the skies, released from the aircraft that has taken the glider to to the required altitude, and the glider itself  then soars and swoops and then glides back down to earth.



Such an experience is not gained by these cadets without hard work, solid academic performance, and sacrifice.  These cadets have a schedule, and they stick to it.  They won't succeed if they do not use discipline and organization.

The gliding through the air does appeal to me.  At this point in life, I find the schedule that leads to accomplishing much in life doesn't hold much appeal.  

I also know myself well enough to know that I don't function well without schedules.  I fight against them.  Always have.  As I grow older, I probably need a proper schedule more than I ever have, but I hate them all the more.  

I want to glide, and slide, and be free of those time restraints in life that continue to bind me.  Life just seems too short to do laundry, clean house, shop for groceries, and fix meals.  I want to read, write, walk, play in the yard, dig in the dirt, eat lunch with friends, enjoy time with my husband, and visit my children and grandchildren.  

I also want to stop all these medical appointments because of medical issues.  Summer is for fun.  It is not for medical procedures.

Many days I am very well.  Other days I am not.  Last week, I had an earlier than expected colonoscopy.  The results from biopsies are not in.  This week, on Friday, I will have an endoscopic ultra sound of my pancreas at the University of Colorado Hospital.  I had the same procedure three years ago,  at least I know what to expect with the procedure.  I just don't know what to expect on the outcome.  I may require additional risky procedures that same day.  There is talk of a stint for a malformed duct.  Most of my pain and discomfort comes from the pancreatic area, but thankfully I haven't had any bouts of pancreatitis that required hospitalization since 2013.    

As if all of this were not enough, for the last few weeks I have been bothered by floaters that block my vision.  The latest, a very large one that has been assailing my vision for three days in a major way, has made reading and writing nearly impossible.  My stubborn nature went into overdrive so I could write this overdue post.  Defying that seemingly pencil eraser size floater, I sat at my computer and wrote this.  Don't worry, I've been to the eye doctor yesterday and I have not tears or detachments.  I'm just dealing with the aging process in the eye that seems to have gotten worse since cataract surgery in March and April.

So, dear blogging friends, I haven't forgotten you.  I'm just not spending much time using a computer or other technological devices due to my eyes.  I also have been out enjoying life with my dear hubby and my precious family and wonderful friends as much as I can this summer.  I have been working with my writing group every other week.  I meet with church friends for prayer or breakfast.  When Jim isn't working, we have lunch, dinner, or breakfast with couple friends or with my cousin Donna. Other days, when Jim is home,  long walks in the morning invigorate while more leisurely walks in the evening bring peace and joy.  


Some of those things on my to-do list can wait until the weather forces me inside.  In the meantime, the deck or front patio are ready and waiting for friends to drop by and visit.  Books are being enjoyed in the cool of the shade.  I'm winning a few wars with the wildlife by planting and protecting my impossible garden.  I'm also staying strong in spite of health problems that continue to hit.  Keep me in your prayers on Friday.  I hope to be back to summer activities soon.


Heart Procedure Update

University of Colorado Hospital
Good news is always good news.  I am so grateful to have good news to report.  
Morning came early the day of surgery.  I'm just not an early morning person, but I had an appointment to make, so around 5:00 a.m. I rolled out of bed at the Springhill Suites across the street from the hospital and got myself ready for my big day.  

The air felt crisp and cool as I gazed a the beautiful front range of the Rocky Mountains as we walked to the car.  Reflective thoughts soothed me as I gazed at towering outlines of mountains against a sky just beginning to lighten in the dawn of day.  The verses I meditated on before bed entered my heart:  I will lift my eyes until the hills, from whence cometh my help.  My help cometh from The Lord, which made heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-2)  That Psalm, my Psalm, always calms my heart and reminds me I am in God's hands.  The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.  

Once we entered the hospital, there were moments of anxiety when I wanted to say,  "I've changed my mind.  I'm not doing this."  Did you ever feel that way before a medical procedure?  Thankfully, I was surrounded by a wonderful team of doctors and anesthesiologists.  This kept my fears at bay even when I entered the surgical room.  Talk about an intimidating place!  It was huge and full of all kinds of equipment and machines and people.  I barely could see the skinny little bed where I would lie as the procedure was performed.

Once I'd entered the surgical room, and just prior to the surgery, several ice cold, large disc shaped patches were attached to my back and front.  I had been warned that I was going into a very cold room where very cold patches would be placed on me.  I asked if we could take pictures and just use this experience as my ice bucket challenge.  These discs or magnets are actually defibrillators and magnets that allow for 3-D pictures of my heart.

This catheterization, was not, as the saying goes,  my first rodeo.  I'd had a heart catheterization a year ago.  This most recent one was much more intense to me, but I was told the other procedure was actually more tricky because of the side of the heart that is catherized for an artery study.  The procedure that I had on Friday was an electrical study.

The surgery itself ended up lasting four hours.  I think my dear husband was beside himself with worry.  I was out cold for it all since I was given propofol. Or, if I were awake, I have absolutely no memory of anything, thank heavens.  The doctor had to perform a heart ablation.   This ablation should have destroyed those places in my heart that were causing arrhythmias.  During the study, I did go into atrial fibrillation (aFib) with my heart beating 200 beats a minute.  The doctors were unable to slow down the rapid beat with medication while I was in surgery, so they had to shock my heart back into rhythm using those discs that been attached to my body prior to surgery.  I'd say it is handy to have a defibrillator attached to your body!

Because the procedure was done by a catheter being fed up to my heart via an entrance in the groin, I had to lie flat on my back another four hours after surgery.  I was constantly monitored so I wouldn't cross my legs or try to bend them, or attempt to get up.  I had exceptional care during the entire time I was in the hospital.  There are only three patients for every nurse on the cardiac recovery unit.    I felt very safe and cared for.

I spent the night after surgery in the hospital.  This is always done after an ablation.  Reportedly, I had no palpitations at all, and my heart rate was good the entire time.  I did have some bouts with low blood pressure during the morning hours on the day after surgery.  My readings were as low as 88/48.  I have problems with low blood pressure at times, so this was not a new thing.  Once I was up and moving around, my blood pressure improved.

The doctor put me on a diabetic diet while I was in the hospital.  Smart move on his part, and actually, the food I had while I was there was exceptional.  For lunch just before I left to go home, I had crab cakes, delicious crab cakes, arranged on a bed of romaine lettuce, and served with fresh asparagus spears grilled to perfection, and fresh steamed spinach.  I was even allowed one half of a slice of carrot cake.  It was all very good tasting and quite satisfying.


I'm so very grateful to have this procedure behind me.  For years, my doctor has discussed the possibility of doing such a procedure, but she never felt the time had come when I needed it.  I was referred to Dr. X. by way of my wonderful G.I. doctor at National Jewish.  (She referred me to a NJH cardiologist.  He went through my records.  During a consultation with the NJH cardiologist, he said I needed to go the University of Colorado Hospital to their electrophysiology doctors and even made sure I saw Dr. X.)  There were actually two doctors of cardiac electrophysiology who attended me during my surgery, and neither one expected to find what they did once they were able to do the electrical study of my heart.  The problems just were not showing up on the holter monitors that I have worn so often.  

I look forward to again being able to walk at longer distances, hike up some hills, and just live life without episodes of tachycardia (rapid heart beat) stopping me in my tracks.  I hope to no longer be bothered by constant palpitations.  I hope to have fewer dizzy spells.  I think my quality of life just got better, much better.  I am so grateful.

Thank you to all of you that sent me good wishes.  Soon, I will be back to being able to exercise and walk.  The next battle is with the weight I've put on.  Along with that battle, I'll be battling pre-diabetes.  Onward and upward…

**I am not a medical doctor, and I have limited understanding of all that took place during my surgery.  It has been explained to me.  One doctor even drew a picture for me.  My knowledge and understanding of the procedure remains quite limited.  I've only conveyed to you what I understand.  I'm sure there were wonderful technical things done of which I have no knowledge.  Thankfully, I can leave all that knowledge to my doctors while I remain the one who benefited from their education, skill, and expertise.  

Breath...

Thoughts about:
breath
breTH
noun
the air taken into or expelled from the lungs

The Book of Genesis tells us:
- then the LORD God formed the man of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, ant the man became a living creature. ~ Genesis 2:7

Idioms or cliches about breath:
out of breath
time to catch one's breath
under one's breath
breath of fresh air
catch one's breath
Don't hold your breath!
gasp for breath
I don't have time to catch my breath.
waste one's breath
with bated breath
take your breath away

How many times have we all used these idioms?

I was taught how to breathe during childbirth.

I was taught how to breathe when I learned to do Pilates.

I had the great blessing to watch each of my five children take the first breath of life.

I held my father's hand during his last days and would literally tell him,
"breathe in"
"breathe out"
in an attempt to help ease his breathing as he struggled through the effects of congestive heart failure.

When I have an asthma attack,
I use my flow meter as an aid to understand how my breathing is doing.
At high altitudes, as I gasp for breath, I use my finger oximeter to check my O2 saturation levels.

My therapist cautioned me about 
holding my breath.
She said that she thinks that when I get worried and anxious and stressed,
I am doing great harm to my body when I don't breathe deeply and practice stress releasing breathing.
She said that she thinks I go around "holding my breath" too often.
She means I am not relaxed and taking life as it comes.
I am uptight.
I'm not breathing deeply.
I am stressed.
She is right.

My GI doctor told me that when the body is not breathing easily in deep sleep at night,
it is out of balance.
When adrenaline is pumped up, one's body goes into 
fight or flight response.
When one sleeps deeply and well, one's body is able to 
rest and digest.
These two bodily responses to life need to be in balance.

Breath gives life.

I've been thinking about breathing a lot lately.

Interestingly, this past week, I had my breath collected.
I know, that sounds crazy,
but really I did.
I spent three hours at National Jewish Heath
where a nurse had me blow into a balloon type object so my breath could be 
collected and analyzed.
Why?
This test is called the hydrogen breath test. (click to read about the test.)
It is used to diagnose several gastrointestinal conditions.
I should have the results on Friday.

And then, today, for the first time since the first of 2013,
I let out a huge sigh of relief.


It has been a rough year for my family.
There have been a few bumps in the road.

Two of my children have been searching for jobs.
Both have always worked since they were sixteen years old.
Both have been highly successful.
This year there were reversals in employment for both.
Job searches are trying, difficult, discouraging, and disheartening.


I have prayed daily for the Lord's provision for these two and for their families.
The Lord has provided every single day with what was needed for their needs.
Then, two weeks ago, one was offered a job opportunity where the salary was the same as the last wonderful job.  Opportunities for growth and advancement are also there.

Today,  the other one also got a wonderful job offer with the same salary and benefits as the last great job.  Opportunities for growth and advancement are also there.

I am breathing again!
I am doing the happy dance.
I am so relieved.
I am so thankful.
Praise the Lord!
Many prayers have been answered.











The Healing Is Coming Along Nicely

Today, marked a milestone for my husband as he continues to heal.  He walked to the top of the hill near our house and back home again.  A forty-five minute walk in the neighborhood was quite an accomplishment for him as his back surgery was just twelve days ago.  As we began the walk, he said his legs felt weak, but he had no pain.  By the time we finished the walk, he said he felt stronger than he had when we first started out.  This evening, we walked around our block twice.  I continue to marvel at how well he is doing.  We had a full day of having the car serviced and dinner out.  He said today he felt the best he has in a very long time.  This is excellent news!

It is so good to have my man back at my side for our daily walks.  Even better, he is no longer suffering and in pain when he walks.  For the most part, our roles have reversed somewhat.  I now walk the dog, and he carries the poop bag.  (Someone has to do it.)   I told Boston there would be a new sheriff in town just before "The Boss" had his surgery.  "The Boss," my name to Boston for his master, is much more lenient when it comes to discipline where the "The Boy" or Boston is concerned.  I think Jim feels a bit guilty that the dog can't run free after all the bunnies that populate the neighborhood, so he will allow Boston to charge after a bunny until he comes to the end of his leash.  A few times, I've been afraid the dog would topple Jim over as he charges off.

I, on the other hand, like a well disciplined dog as a walking companion.  So, the task of getting this dog to heel in a highly distractible environment has been one I have been working on these few weeks.  I am training Boston, rather late in his life, to stay by my side while walking without thinking he is free to run as if he were at the dog park.  I am using a gentle leader collar and treats to accomplish my training goals.  The treats always work.  He is coming along nicely in his training, but he hates the gentle leader.  I have always enjoyed walking my dogs, but Boston has always been a challenge for me, so while Jim's back is healing, Boston and I are learning to walk together.

The first few days after surgery are never great, and Jim had a rough couple of days after surgery.  In the long run though, we are amazed at how quickly he has recovered from back surgery.  That being said, I hope he never ever has to have another surgery such as this again.  It is just too hard on the body.  It is also hard on the caretaker.  We have made it through thus far and are looking forward to many more days of good health ahead of us.

On this past Saturday, Jim was taken to lunch by his dinner crew.  Three former colleagues of his drove up from Pueblo to take him to lunch.  These guys, all retired teachers from the school where Jim was principal, have met for dinner once a month for the past four or five years.  It was great for Jim to have them come to his new stomping grounds to take him out.  Thankfully, I thought to grab my phone and take a photo of these four fine educators gathered on our back deck. They  sometimes laugh and call themselves ROMEOS or Retired Old Men Eating Out.  One thing is for sure, when they get together, the conversation is rich with laughter and discussion of all types of subjects.  They were good medicine for Jim.


All in all, the summer has not been a bad one.  We are both healing and becoming more healthy.  We enjoy our new home and the beautiful setting in which we live.  We love the climate where we live.  In the mornings and evenings, we feel the cool mountain breezes as we walk or sit on the deck and listen to rustling aspen leaves on the trees that give us beautiful shade and privacy.  The last week has been especially cool and lovely as we have had just enough rain in our part of town to really green up the lawn and cool off the evenings.  Our a/c bills are much lower than they were in Pueblo, and so are our water bills.  We are happy for that.  We look forward to August and are not ready to see this summer come to an end.

I am doing much, much better health wise.  I am now taking pancreatic enzymes with every meal.  I no longer have pain.  The enzymes seem to be working.  I am so thankful for that.  Thankfully, I have good insurance.  I say that with true gratitude.  I can't imagine what my bills would be like these past few months of constant medical tests and doctor visits without good insurance.  The medicine I am on would have cost over $1400 without insurance.  I am only talking about my medical bills.  Jim's medical bills are not doubt astronomical also.  Again, thank heavens for our good supplemental insurance plans.  I know this is a hot topic these days and don't wish to create a political discussion with these statements.  I am just grateful that we are able to secure good medical plans for ourselves during our retirement years.  I realize that many in our age group are not able to do so.

One last word:  Thank you blogging friends, and all my other friends also, for all of your well wishes as Jim and I have faced health challenges this past few months.  Your words of support and concern have meant more than you know.  Forgive me for not reading your blogs as faithfully as I would like.  Hopefully, life will slow down soon, and we will all be back to normal.

It's Been Crazy Busy Around Here

Black Forest Fire Evacuations Hit Close to Home


In my last post, on June 12, I wrote about the Black Forest Fire here in the Colorado Springs area.  We could see the smoke from the fire about ten miles from our home.  We were never in danger, but many that we know were impacted by this devastating fire.  14, 280 acres were burned, 509 homes were destroyed, and 28 were damaged.  The fire also caused the death of two people who were unable to escape from their home.  For days, there was an ominous, heavy feeling in the air that surrounded us.  The air felt heavy and dark.  Not a lot of smoke seemed to drift into the part of the city where we live.  It seemed to be pushed to the north of us with the winds that came with the dry, hot air.

On the evening of June 12, my husband's daughter and her family evacuated their home and headed to our home with their cars loaded with those items they felt most important to take with them when their address fell under the category of "voluntary evacuation" status.  Just prior to their evacuation, our next door neighbors' son and his family evacuated to our neighbors' home.  Our neighbors' son lived deeper into the forest than our daughter.  By morning, we learned that his home had been destroyed.  

On Wednesday evening, June 12, I think we all felt that the evacuations in the fire area was a precautionary measure.  There was a sense of the conflicting emotions of denial and doom that seem to hang about us in the air.  It is hard not feel some anxiety and helplessness when surrounded by those who have been evacuated from home.  As we sat in the living room talking, I suddenly laughed when I glanced at my step-daughter's shirt.  "Interesting choice for fire evacuation wear," I said as I looked at her shirt.  

Laughing, she said, "And guess what song was playing as we drove off?  It was a song I used while I was training to run called Light 'em Up."  We did get a laugh out of that, and it helped to laugh.

When the official fire updates came on the news, we all gathered together in our small guest room to watch the updates on the small television in that room.

Grandson Caleb points to the map for Grandpa Jim to show where the fire is located.

We all piled on the bed so we could be close to each other while we listened to the news.  We have a large room with a large t.v. in the basement, but we chose the small bedroom where we could all be together to listen to the news.  During this time, I was struck with how grateful I was that we had moved to a location closer to our children so we could be there for them.

On Thursday morning, Thia and her family went back to their home hoping that "voluntary evacuation" orders would be lifted.  That afternoon, we all were shocked to hear that their home was now on "mandatory evacuation" orders.  They were soon back at our home.  Finally, on Friday afternoon, they were allowed to go home.  Thankfully, their home was not impacted by the fire in any way.

Unfortunately, this was not the case for neighbors' son.  Their home that sat on five acres was totally destroyed.  The Denver Post published a photo and a wonderful article about our neighbors' son on Saturday.  (Click on the last part of the previous sentence to see the photo and read the article.)  As you can imagine, the fire suddenly became very personal to us as we watched this wonderful family display great grace and courage in the face of devastating loss.  

The Colorado Springs Fire Department produced a fascinating video documenting how they approach protecting a home that is threatened by fire.  Click on: How firefighters are protecting homes in the Black Forest Fires  to gain a new respect for the professional nature of these heroes.  

Father's Day

On Father's Day, the family gathered again at our home to celebrate one of the greatest fathers ever: my husband.  Truly, he is a wonderful father to his own three daughters and to my five children.  Throughout his career as an educator, he was a father figure to thousands of others over the years.  

This year, all three of Jim's daughters and all ten of his grandchildren came to our home to celebrate the day with us.  We also were happy to include our new next door neighbors the Boone family in our celebration.  Since Steve and his wife were out looking for a home to rent or buy, only Gary and Janie and their two granddaughters were able to join us.  
Our Neighbors
Gary and Janie
It was so great to have a houseful of people.  I always love that.  

Load up your plates

Living in a patio home means that we no longer have a large private backyard when we entertain the family.  That didn't stop us from setting up a table in our new back yard.  It might be small, but that makes it all the more cosy!
Grandpa Jim with his beautiful grandchildren

Grandpa Jim with family and friends.

Daddy and Daughter
Trista, Thia, Trinette, and Jim
Father's Day was not sunny always throughout the  day.  The sky kept threatening rain.  In the afternoon, we all rejoiced because it finally rained.  We needed that rain for the drought and for those fighting the fire.  When it rained, we all moved inside.  We are happy with how well our new home accommodates a large group.
The grandchildren sit & talk & check their phones

Grandpa opens his gifts

Son-in-law Nathan fixes our noisy fan

By the end of the day, Grandpa Jim and I were both exhausted but happy as we watched the last of our visitors drive away.  As he often says as family and grandchildren depart, Jim again said, "I love to see the headlights, but the taillights are even better."  We smile knowing that nothing is better than being surrounded by family.  We miss them when they are gone.  The house seems suddenly so quiet and empty, but at our age, we also know that we need our space, our solitude, and quiet.  It is good when this quiet is broken with a smattering of times of gathering together. It was truly wonderful to have Thia's family with us during the evacuation.  It was the icing on the the cake to follow that time with a Father's Day celebration.

Health Update

Today, Thursday, June 20, Jim and traveled to Denver to consult with a GI specialist  at the University of Colorado Hospital.  I had been referred to this doctor at this facility because of a suspected sphincter of Oddi dysfunction due to chronic pain and elevated lipase levels.  After a very thorough analysis of my medical records, and after speaking with me at length about my episodes of pain, the specialist determined that he would rather not put me through an ERCP to check for this particular dysfunction at this time because the risks at my age of developing serious complications such as severe pancreatitis, diabetes, organ failure, and/or death were too high.  AMEN to that!  I am very much in agreement to his recommendations.  My lipase levels need to be higher before we go down that road.  Less risky explorations need to be done before we go to the more extreme testing.

So, tomorrow, I will be having a EUS and a EUS-FNA instead. There are some risks, 1% for pancreatitis, and 5% for a flare-up of abdominal pain, but I can take those risks.  The procedure is done by endoscopy, this will be my tenth endoscopy, but this time, the endoscopy will be a bit more detailed and intricate.  I am not looking forward to going through this, but at least I know what to expect and have certainly been through many endoscopies before.  

I hopefully be bringing you all a good report filled with good answers next week.  Send your prayers my way. I am sending my thanks to all of you in advance for your support during this time.  

A Room with a View

This has been my view since Saturday night. The view is great even if the location to obtain this view is not. I'm on the ninth floor of Penrose Hospital. I'm hoping I'm released before I finish writing this blog post. I spent my Mothers's Day here. I spent yesterday here. I've spent half of today here. I'm watching a storm roll over the mountain. After watching folks on the street below my window walk, jog, or bike in the sunshine while I was cooped up inside, I have little hope of feeling "sunshine on my shoulders" if or when I'm released today because rain in in the forecast.


I'm breaking a rule of advice my father always gave me by writing this blog post. "No one wants to hear about your maladies and surgeries," he'd say, but here I go writing of such things even after his advice.  For weeks, I've not blogged much, nor have I done much of anything, because I've been unwell. I've had more medical tests than I've been able to keep track off.

For years, I've had chronic problems with my esophagus and digestive track. After my ninth scope of my esophagus in January, I decided to get a second opinion from the GI doctors at National Jewish Health in Denver. I've been fortunate enough to be a patient at this prestigious hospital  for respiratory problems for the past seventeen years. My wonderful doctor at NJH, an outstanding doctor who has been treating me, caring for me, and listening to me at least once a year since 1996 referred me to their GI docs. Since my initial consult with the new doctor, I've had enough tests to make my head spin: CT scans, ultra sounds, MRI, colonoscopy, and there are more to come.  Unfortunately, I have more than one type of GI problems.

In the meantime, I've continued to have terrible upper right abdominal pain. On this past Saturday evening,  after two days of persistent pain, I had my husband take me to the ER. This was my fourth visit to the ER since Easter. This time, the lipase levels were up high enough to get the doctors' attention in the ER. Thankfully, the surgeon I had consulted just last week for the possible removal of my gall bladder was on duty at the ER. After reviewing my symptoms and my blood work, he determined I should be admitted to the hospital for monitoring, observation, and for further testing.

I was told I would have a HIDA scan  on Sunday.  So, I spent Mother's Day in the hospital waiting for this test.  This meant I had only fluids coming into my body via an IV.  So much for the nice brunch that my husband had made reservations for at the Fine Arts Center.  I was very disappointed, frustrated, and upset that I found myself in the hospital on this special day, but on the other hand, deep down inside, I knew I couldn't eat anything anyway.  Food has just not been agreeing with me.  It hasn't for weeks.  Finally, at about 4:00 in the afternoon on Mother's Day, the doctor, a hospitalist, met with me and told me the test would not happen until the next day. He said I could order anything I wanted from the hospital menu because they wanted to see if I got sick.  (That seems a bit sinister, doesn't it?)  I chose wisely and ate salmon and other low fat options.  Once I finished eating, I was told I would have nothing else to eat until after the test scheduled the next day  for "first thing in the morning."

In reality, I finally had the HIDA at about 1:00 in the afternoon.  The test showed that there wasn't enough criteria to prove the gall bladder was not functioning.  Even before the test, my GI doctor in Denver had told me that based on my symptoms and the MRI, she suspected I had a condition called Sphincter of Oddi.  After having the HIDA, even though the tests showed no remarkable signs of a non-functioning gall bladder, I became quite symptomatic.  My symptoms became worse after I ate my hospital sanctioned low fat dinner, the first meal I'd had on Monday.  By bedtime, I was given morphine for pain.

As predicted when I started the post, I was released to go home after the sun went away and the rain began to come down.  Before I was released, I was advised to talk to my GI doctor at National Jewish Health about having the test and procedure for Sphincter of Oddi done.  As I already knew, this procedure is only done at the University of Colorado hospital in Denver.  I called Dr. M at NJH and told her nurse what was going on. Within an hour, Dr. M was on the phone calling me.  She said, "I'm sending a text to Dr. S at the University Hospital to see you ASAP."  I told her a text sounded pretty impressive.  She laughed and said they were close colleagues and she was sure he would see me as soon as it could be arranged.  In the meantime, she said I was to meticulously follow a fat free diet and go immediately to the hospital for my lipase levels to be checked if my pain got worse.  She said she doesn't want me to get pancreatitis.  Believe me, neither do I.  The pain I've had is bad enough.

So, the testing continues.  I still have no answers, but I believe we are on the right track.  I am grateful that I was fortunate enough to have the wonderful doctors at National Jewish Health looking after my health.  I have never known a place that is more responsive to medical needs or more thorough  in checking for the cause for a problem.  They don't just treat the symptoms.

I am also very fortunate to have great medical care here in Colorado Springs.  The surgeon who was consulted on the gall bladder didn't just jump in and take it out.  He made sure all things were checked out.  My  GI doctors in Colorado Springs were on the case while I was in the hospital.  The PA that has cared for me for years popped in twice to check on me, consult with me, and do her part in getting to the bottom of this, while also bolstering my spirit.  She has always taken so much time with me, listened to me, and treated me with extraordinary care.  Just seeing her smiling face when she appeared at the door of the hospital room and walked to my bedside lifted my spirits.  I felt a friend had come to visit; she was not just someone from the medical profession.

In the meantime, I wait until I can get more answers when I go to the University of Colorado Hospital.  I will not be eating any hamburgers!  I will be meticulous about not eating fat.  I hope I can dodge the bullet when it comes to having anymore attacks before we get to the bottom of this.

One thing is for sure, I had a memorable Mother's Day.  Amazingly, I didn't feel sorry for myself.  I didn't let myself go there.  I felt loved and cared for by my wonderful husband.  I talked with each of my children.  I was visited by a step-daughter.  A pastor from my church came twice to visit and pray with me.  I was cared for by some wonderful nurses who gave up a Mother's Day with their families in order to care for those in the hospital.  And, I had a wonderful view of Pikes Peak in a room all to myself until late last night.

 I am going have my husband take me for that special brunch just as soon as I can eat again.  He's not getting off that easy.  I'll wear the beautiful amber necklace that he gave me for Mother's Day when I finally get to go to brunch.  Isn't it beautiful?
My Mother's Day gift from my hubby -
a beautiful amber necklace.

Unfortunately, This Is Not A Costume.

Today is Halloween.  I've never been one who really enjoyed Halloween.  It was fun when the kids were little to see their excitement over getting dressed up and going trick or treating, but even then, it was not my favorite holiday.

This year, I actually had to think about putting together a costume for Halloween.   My main squeeze and I were invited to a costume party that was held last weekend.  We dreaded getting dressed up because it just isn't our thing.  I guess we are just duds in that department.  We could think of absolutely nothing to wear, so, reluctantly, we went to the Halloween Store.  This seasonal store has been a fixture near our mall for several years.  We had never even thought of going there before, but when we were desperate for inspiration, we decided to go see what the place had to offer.

The place is a Halloween fantasy shop for sure.  We could not believe all the costumes, wigs, shoes, accessories, jewelry, and assorted props that were on the shelves.  These costumes are not cheap either.  The average price was at least $40!

Little did we know how much fun we would have looking at all the various Halloween outfits.  I guess we are still kids at heart as we found ourselves joking about the types of outfits and combinations we could come up with.

In the end, I was too cheap to buy anything but a couple of wigs and a pair of glasses.  I didn't have time to sew anything because, as usual, I had waited until the last minute to come up with an idea.  I bought a Marilyn Monroe wig for me and an old bald guy wig and pair of glasses for my hubby.  I was just sure I could come home and fit into my red sexy dress that would make me look like Marilyn.  "It was big on me the last time I wore it," I said to hubby.  (I wore it last in about 1988!)

Unfortunately, my bubble was burst when I got home.  I checked the size first: a size 8.  Thinking it would fit because it really did used to be too big, and still in denial, I tried it on.  It could not be zipped up because there seemed to be at least a four inch gap that the zipper could not accommodate!  I guess I've gained a few pounds since I wore it last.  In the end, I wore my grandmother's old mink stole and wig.  Jim looks a bit like Einstein.


Today, I am not in costume.  I wish I were when I look in the mirror!  I look how I feel: frumpy, old, and tired.

In the past four months, I have lost nearly all of my left eyebrow.  My right eyebrow still has a few hairs left.  My eyebrows suddenly disappeared in June.  As I told my daughter, "I've lost my eyebrows, and I really always kind of liked the ones I had."  Once, very thick, I constantly had to wax or pluck them to keep them in shape.  Now, they are gone.  (Are they gone for good?)

My hairline has receded so much that I think I look like my father more and more everyday.  I can't even get my newly cut bangs to cover up the loss.

I'm tired.   I barely can drag myself around.

Oh and then, there are the heart palpitations and racing heart that I am again dealing with.  These are accompanied with anxiety and near panic attacks.

Does this not scream that I must again be suffering from hypothyroidism?  A year ago, I was finally diagnosed with Hashimoto Disease after being on synthroid for hypothyroidism for years.  A new regime of taking my medication worked for about nine months.  I knew it was no longer working, but sometimes, it takes the doctor a bit longer to decide to change my medication because the blood work says I am the "normal range."  I happen to know where I need to keep the levels to feel right, but that doesn't seem to count for much.

The doctor's office called this morning after I dragged myself into her office last Thursday and said that she had to find out what was wrong with me.  She ordered all kinds of blood work.   Sure enough, I am "out of range" on my TSH.   I need to change my dosage of synthroid.  I also need to go back on iron.  No surprise here!  Hopefully, I will start feeling better.

In the meantime, in order to not scare the little trick or treaters at the door tonight, I will put on my make-up, starting with penciled in eyebrows, and hope they don't think I'm dressed as a frumpy, worn-out, old woman.

Happy Halloween!  Are any of you dressing up this year?  Do you have plans for any parties?