What IS da Vinci Total Hysterectomy?

Click here to read the full blog article:

What IS da Vinci Total Hysterectomy?

da vinci on silence

Advertisements

I used to be a prisoner!

Hello and greetings from planet no baby house!

IMG_20180623_091954.jpg

Me as a cat. Me-OW baby!

So much has happened since you were last here.  Since Joy, AKA reader extraordinaire, wanted to know about my experience with sleeping on the floor that is where I shall begin.  I started my floor slumber trial back in April and frankly it didn’t last — but not for reasons you’d easily guess.  Most people can’t get comfortable.  I could.  I slept fine.  It was like times of the past … sleepovers as a kid.  I slept just over a week on the floor.

I embarked upon the floor sleeping before I received my weighted blanket.  Sleeping on the floor was cool and refreshing which helped my hot flashes and night sweats — I have since moved on to modern medicine for that problemo.  More on that later — one thing at a time Peeps!

Ah floor sleeping … just like the native American, the homeless, those who have passed out, much of Asia, indoor campers and the like.  It went down like this: I put my old puffy quilt down as my mattress, covered myself with a sheet and my favorite kitty suckle blanket (the one my little cat loves to make biscuits with and get drooly).  I put down 2 pillows: the normal one for my head and a little one for between my knees.

cat suckle blanket

Not my cat and not our blanket … but he sure is a cutie, isn’t he!

The problem entered when I started using the weighted blanket, and more critically when I discovered a very large black spider traipsing the floor. spider meow photo The weighted blanket became a problem because it’s 15 lbs. (not that I’m a super weakling or anything) and moving it from the bed to the floor back to the bed is a problem.  I couldn’t leave the blanket on the floor because of the spider issue and stepping on a weighted blanket is akin to walking on tiny Legos.  Ouch ouch and ouch ouch.  All I can say about spiders is thankfully those buggers don’t have wings!

The floor sleeping adventure began every night with either sleeping on the bed and then moving to the floor, or the reverse.  I would wake up in the middle of the night and switch places — usually during my first night sweat.  This required HEAVY blanket moving.  I gave this up and starting staying in bed with my weighted blanket.  (I adore you my little weighted blanket of love!) NOTHING will get you up faster out of your floor bed than said spider coming to crawl in beside you — unless you have a spider fetish or are unbearably lonely.  Yes, I do know that spiders can crawl unto mattress beds — LET’S NOT GO THERE!

I used to be a prisoner to my hormones … or lack of one in particular: Ms. Estrogen!

IMG_20180624_162501.jpg

Yes, it’s really me. Estrogen get me out of here!

After continued hot flashes and night sweats, I gave up ALL coffee and alcohol (wine to be exact).  I did this incredible stunt for 6 weeks  … kind of like Lent and I’m not even Catholic!  Giving up said liquids helped, but wasn’t perfect.

I met with a menopause doctor. Yes, really a menopause specialist who started me on an estradiol patch 0.01 mG I change weekly, along with nightly vaginal estrogen cream (yummy, yummy!)

 

 


While the vasomotor symptoms of menopause generally improve over time, vaginal symptoms usually worsen and do not improve without treatment. Women may attribute these changes to be a part of normal aging and may not be aware of safe and simple treatments.

Before menopause, estrogen stimulates the exfoliation of vaginal cells. As these cells exfoliate and die, they release large amounts of glycogen. This glycogen is hydrolyzed to glucose and lactobacillus converts the glucose to lactic acid, which helps maintain vaginal pH between 3.5 and 4.5. After menopause, with declining levels of estrogen, this pathway is less active, which may allow postmenopausal pH to increase to the range of 5.0–7.5.

Vaginal atrophy is a chronic condition resulting from a decline in estrogen in the urogenital tissues that affects up to 45% of postmenopausal women.

Source: Reviewing the options for local estrogen treatment of vaginal atrophy The International Journal of Women’s Health: March 2014.

I am now up to 0.05 mG estrogen transdermal patch and also using the vaginal cream 4-5 nights.  And I’m sleeping so soundly.  Sleep with estrogen is way better than Ambien, Benadryl, Sominex, any alcohol, melatonin, chamomile tea, Kava, passion flower, or anything else I’ve tried!

I need to send that menopause doc some flowers! tumblr_inline_nflqf7Wa6Z1qchwzp

As far as the hot flashes and night sweaties, nothing works better than estrogen.  I’ve tried Effexor, Gabapentin (neurontin), black cohosh, Kava, evening primose oil, living on a prayer, and wishful thinking — *NONE of these have been scientifically statistical to work for vasomotor symptoms (VMS).

*Disclaimer: if they work for you, woo hoo!  Count yourself lucky! But you may want to read more here: Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes The North American Menopause Society.

cat wishful thinking

Wishful thinking … feline style!


Vasomotor symptoms (VMS) associated with menopause can cause significant discomfort and decrease the quality of life for women in the peri-menopausal and post-menopausal stages of life. Hormone therapy (HT) is the mainstay of treatment for menopausal symptoms and is currently the only therapy proven effective for VMS. [my emphasis]

VMS are the most commonly experienced effects of the menopausal transition and include both hot flashes and night sweats. Long-term estrogen depletion can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis as well as cause vaginal and vulvar atrophy. … VMS affect an estimated 60% to 80% of post-menopausal women, but may be experienced by up to 90% of women during the peri-menopausal stage.

Source: Transdermal hormone therapy in postmenopausal women Drug Design, Development & Theory: February 2009.

I learned something else by going to the menopause specialist: estrogen replacement therapy may be a good osteoporosis treatment or preventative measure.  I had no idea!  I’m at high risk for osteoporosis.  Are YOU?

Uncontrollable Risk Factors:

  • Being over age 50 (almost there!)
  • Female sex (last I checked … husband hasn’t told me otherwise!)
  • Menopause (yep, I took the dead ovary test .. my FSH is high!)
  • Family history of osteoporosis (Thanks a lot MOM!)
  • Low body weight / being small or thin (I was thin until perimenopause and I started eating buckets of ice cream … OK pints — quality not quantity) 
  • Broken bones or height loss (I chipped a tooth when I was 9, does that count?)
  • Being white or of Asian or Latino heritage (I’m white and my first boyfriend was from Mexico!)

Controllable Risk Factors:

  • Not getting enough calcium and / or Vitamin D
  • Not eating enough fruits & veggies
  • Getting too much protein, sodium and caffeine  (But NOT coffee specifically) 
  • Having an inactive lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Losing weight
  • Taking certain medications like steroids

If you’re approaching menopause, your body will likely alert you to the sudden drop in estrogen with physical signs (such as hot flashes) and psychological changes (including mood swings). The effect on your bones won’t be as obvious, but the loss of estrogen will certainly affect them [my emphasis]. If you have a high risk for osteoporosis and are approaching or have already reached menopause, estrogen replacement therapy may be a good osteoporosis treatment or preventative measure.

Source: Estrogen Replacement Therapy for Osteoporosis Endocrine Web: May 2017.

Osteoporosis Infographic Poster


 

 

 

Short & Sweet & Links

So, what’s up peeps?  

I’m keeping it short.  The only reason I logged in today is because I was looking at my site and noticed ads.  Ugh.  I hope you can’t see them.  This is the first time I’ve seen them and they’re sh*tty awful ads … not like ads I’d want like Colgate toothpaste, or Noxema, or Horizon milk … but just crap.

Anyway, I know these ads help pay to keep WordPress free.  Yada yada yada yo Yoda.

yoda_the_cat_1x

“Soon will I rest, yes, forever sleep. Earned it I have. Twilight is upon me, soon night must fall.” – Yoda

What’s new you ask?  Here goes!

  1. New job f*ck*ng rocks!  Why didn’t I leave that bullying place earlier?  Why?  Why! WHY!!! I have a phenomenal boss and kick @ss team members.  Yep, TEAM members — not simply coworkers.  Happy I am.
  2. Hot flashes from hell-0 operator …
    Please give me number nine
    And if you disconnect me
    I’ll kick you in
    Behind the ‘fridgerator
    There was a piece of glass
    Miss Suzie sat upon it
    And cut her little
    Ask me no more questions
    I’ll tell you no more lies
    The boys were in the bathroom,
    Zipping up their
    Flies are in the meadow
    Buzzing all around and dying on the ground … SORRY … I guess I was having flashes from the past.  Just a little grade school song I used to sing.  Anyway, yep, hot effin’ flashes and night sweats.  I have made up my mind to call my doc and go back on HRT!  And plus this: BELLY FAT & HORMONES & BELLY FAT & HORMONES!
  3. My cat Ted does NOT have asthma … simply allergies that we’re managing with 5 mG crushed Zyrtec every 1-2 days in his food.  No more scary, barfy-barking sounds.
  4. I got a weighted blanket from my blogosphere friend’s recommendation, Birdie from Ditching the (black) Dog BLOG.  That link about the weighted blanket is my OWN chosen advertisement!  If anyone’s gonna put ads on this site, it’s gonna be me.  Of course, I’m not getting a kickback or a free blanket, but whatever.  LOVE this weighted blanket!  It’s helping me sleep a lot better.  Go check out her blog and while you’re at it, go check out her lovely cat Norbert.
  5. Here’s the new thing I’m going to try: sleeping on the floor.  Sounds crazy, I know.  But it’s supposed to be good for your neck and back.  Apparently it takes time to get used to.  I’ll let you know how it goes in my next progress report.
ginger cat bed

Nighty night y’all … going to get my weighted blanket and sleep.

 

A lot of non-hysterectomy stuff

… can happen in one month!

If anything, this blog proves that life does and will go on after a hysterectomy.

Dental stuff … have YOU ever had a tooth besides a wisdom tooth (AKA 3rd molar) pulled? I had to have a molar pulled 3 weeks ago.  Sad, sad is me.  Newsflash!  The tooth fairy no longer visits after you’re an adult.

I’m not happy about losing this tooth … this molar number 18 to be specific.  Here’s a previous post about dental pain. If you like to read about pain click that link. If you want to read MY favorite post of this entire blog click that link.  Honestly, the pain I experienced written about in that previous post makes my husband’s kidney stone look like nothing … either that, or I have a lower tolerance to pain!

joke gummy bear tooth

And what does the “Dentist of the Year” get? … A plaque!


One of my cats has allergy induced coughing.  Did you know that asthma in cats looks like puking?  It’s true.  I did not know. My cat makes this weird barking cough just like the cat in the video (see below).

My kitty is now doing well after being checked out by the vet, and doesn’t have severe asthma thankfully.  He’s responding well to Zyrtec, an over-the-counter antihistamine (normally for humans, off-label use in cats) I crush in his food at least every other day.  I also have an albuterol inhaler with a spacer to give him a rescue treatment for any of those coughing episodes.

asthma cat diagram

Cat having an asthma attack:

Check out FELINE ASTHMA. There’s another excellent example of a cat having an asthma attack in that blog post.

 

According to the Cornell University Feline Health Center, up to 5% of cats suffer from feline asthma. Feline asthma is caused by an allergic reaction to inhaled particles, called allergens. The immune system of a cat susceptible to allergens will trigger an inflammation of the airways, leading to breathing difficulties.

What are the symptoms of feline asthma? An asthmatic cat can have labored, open-mouthed, or rapid breathing, wheezing, coughing, and even vomiting. Cats with breathing issues will often sit in a crouched position, extending their head and neck forward while coughing or wheezing.

Facts About Feline Asthma / FACE Foundation


My husband had a kidney stone two weeks ago.  Whoa, can that man take a lot of pain!  And did you know that typically speaking, a stone under 5 mm usually doesn’t require surgery? His was 3 mm — I guess he’s an underachiever.  Oh, if only he could push out diamonds! His dad told him to drink beer to pass the stone.  He also recommended watermelon.  My husband opted for the beer.  Sure enough, the next day my husband drank two beers and voila, he gave birth to his stone!  Beer as medicine … who knew?

Beer kidney stones


 

Hello! It’s been almost 4 years … woo hoo!

Hello followers!  It’s been almost four years since I had my hysterectomy.  This is still a decision that has been life changing in a very positive way.  As a recap … [yawn] I had my uterus out (still have ovaries & tubes) through the laparoscopically assisted da Vinci robot.

Have I gained weight after my hysterectomy?  Yes, and I attribute that to my seafood see-food diet … you know, I see it I eat it (except for goaty goat cheese and lamb — those things are yucky).  I’m also almost 50 and haven’t exercised lately.  Now, if I was eating properly and hadn’t fallen in love with all the flavors of Talenti Gelato, and been hitting the gym, doing yoga and walking, and STILL gaining weight, then yeah, I probably would blame the hysterectomy along with my aging body.  But until then, I am the master of my own shape … I’m in shape … round’s a shape … and I’m round … so, I’m in shape, right?  OK, I’m sorta round.  I’m exaggerating to make you feel better.  Now go look up that Talenti Gelato — you’ll be hooked too! Mmmmmm!

key-lime-pie-pint-crop-847x1024.png

My latest favorite flavor!  Did you think this was an ad?  It’s not … just my personal promotion for a product I love.  No, no I’m not getting paid to “promote” this brand of gelato … but Talenti, if you’re out there I’ll take payment in your gelato without a problem!


What have I been up to you may ask?  Well, I moved last spring to a larger house — not because my body got bigger.   My husband wanted to work at home (really, he’s a stay-at-home cat daddy, and aren’t I jealous?!) and I needed to be closer to work.  I live in a city where it’s growing too damn fast for it’s britches … kind of like me and my underwear!  THAT’S when you know you’re gaining weight — your underwear is tight and not in that sexy, slinky way!  More gelato anyone?  Granny pannies anyone?

My cats are STILL pawesome — the two of them.  How are your cats?  Do tell.yin_and_yang_cats_by_khaliaart-d9vnti5

I have a new job on the horizon! WOO F*CKIN’ HOO!  Can we say that again?!  Lord almighty Aphrodite! I start in just over a month.  I’ve been at my current one for over a decade and feel like I’ve mastered everything (notice I did not say everyone) — not that I can’t learn new things, or that I know everything, or that things don’t change. new job joy cat I have an incredible opportunity to do more and be more with some pretty amazing new team members!  Nothing like a new job to breathe life into a person.  I’m thinking I finally did something right with my Karma, or someone got tired of playing with that voo doo doll of me (or they simply lost it and my torture is on hiatus).  Your guess is probably better than mine!

In comparison, getting a new job was scarier than recovering from my hysterectomy! My uterus gave lots of unsolicited pain, while my current job is almost bipolar in nature … just enough good stuff that kept me hanging on and weird, bad drama that has me learning unwanted lessons in sociology & psychology. Lately, happiness is like chasing rainbows with butterfingers. One thing I have learned is that I can stay at a job for a REALLY long time. I am LOYAL … or a masochist … or maybe, a loyal masochist — even better. This is a lot like my pre-hysterectomy days where I endured a lot of pain for years before finally deciding it was time to move on … move on to surgery.

Quitting your job and starting a new one is not a single act — this ordeal is a process … from what to say in the interview(s), to knowing when to tell your manager adios (that’s goodbye in Spanish — have to keep it translatable for the non-Spanish speakers out there!), from choosing the right words for the resignation letter because I’m outta here bitches simply isn’t professional even if it *might* be tempting and possibly honest, to not taking it personally when people have varied reactions when you tell them you’re leaving (AKA moving out of purgatory), to buying a new wardrobe and so on and so on.

One of the best articles I’ve read about what to expect from co-workers when they know you are leaving is from Payscale.com (see below, my comments in brackets).

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR CO-WORKERS AFTER YOU ANNOUNCE THAT YOU’RE QUITTING (September 2015):

If you’ve recently announced that you’re leaving a job, even if you were anticipating some upheaval, your co-workers’ reactions to the news might surprise you.

  • The kind friend [all the people I really like]
  • The angry and resentful response [none so far, but there’s always hope!]
  • The abandoned [Two or three, I may have left one out]
  • The total change [One, but she went from nasty to nice — so it’s a good thing!]
  • Looking through you [One and a half so far …]

Full article HERE

I have experienced all of the above reactions except the angry and resentful response; Yikes, wouldn’t that be awkward and uncomfortable!  Mixed metaphorically speaking, I’m sure there are some thinking, Don’t let that horse you rode in on hit you on the way out of your league!  The co-workers with whom I feel comfortable around have all been supportive and congratulatory.  (All of YOU get yummy hugs.)  I haven’t gotten any awesome goodbye gifts yet … but everyone has over 30 days to save up and splurge!  Don’t worry, I don’t kid myself … I can’t imagine any quislings shelling out anything for me.  There may be one person who knits crochets something for me, and I’ll be sure to post a photo of it if she does. I might get a knife … in the back trending on that’s what everyone else who’s left has gotten. Save your tears … I got a raise with the new job! Can we say woo f*ckin’ hoo, again?  It’s a small raise, but should cover money for some gelato and kitty litter — the only things that really matter besides gasoline and wine.

The cliquish and frenemy team members have ranged from, You’re leaving me with all the people who suck (backhanded compliment, anyone?) to completely ignoring me like I didn’t exist (a cross between abandoned and looking through you — see above and below).  I have over a month with some really kind folks and … the others.  Wish me patience and luck.

So let’s talk about abandonment issues; or you can just read along and I’ll write. Are you still with me? I blog to cut down on any therapy costs I might accrue in life.  Why go to the doctor when you can do it yourself?  Unless you need a hysterectomy … don’t DIY!

… [W]ait until you come in contact with someone who has had their abandonment issues stirred up by the news of your departure. They might not just be cold and aloof [as the anger and resentment folks], they might be downright cruel. The idea is they want to abandon you before you can abandon them.

If they shove you away, they don’t have to face their feelings that you’ve left them high and dry. They might believe, falsely, that you should stay with the company and be just as committed as they are, maybe even more so. Know that this reaction isn’t really about you, it isn’t personal. It’s just how some people cope – it’s their way of protecting themselves from difficult feelings.

A race to abandonment?! What if I have abandonment issues and I’m the one being abandoned by those feeling abandoned?  I guess I have to step up (or away) and be the better person … taking the higher road less traveled, walking the walk like goody-two-shoes.  My take away from working with my current group is like herding cats with an iron fist.  And when you’re a cat person like me, sometimes it’s hard not thinking it’s a doggie dog world!  Can we round up just one more woo f*ckin’ hoo?!?


What else is new?  I don’t know.  Cats anyone?  Meow, meow!  Enjoy the slideshow.  These prints are courtesy of Jay Fleck, an amazing artist and illustrator.  More gorgeous art by Mr. Fleck can be found HERE!    click it   click it   click it!

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

(To see this slide show you need Java Script or to possibly view on your PC  — this doesn’t work on my cell phone. C’est la vie!)


Until then …I’ll continue to dig in at my job doing my best until that last bittersweet day!  I’m done with my touchy feely swan song today.  You can all go play with your cats now.

movingforward


 

3 Years Ago Today

Apparently I started this blog three years ago.  WordPress reminded me it was my anniversary.  I’m glad I’m not in a relationship with someone real to be responsible to remember this date because I really blew it.

Hey!  Let’s recap the three years … briefly.  Really.  I have to get back to my useless internet search of stupid stuff.

  • Glad I had my hysterectomy.  No regrets.
  • Today … kind of got teary-eyed today when I saw a baby that “could” have been mine — in other words, she could have passed for my offspring.  It was short-lived as I have not forgotten how much fun life is without a little being or beings in tow to constantly be responsible for.  However, I do have my cats and husband so there is some responsibility there.  Oh, and my job — please don’t let me go there.  It’s been a bundle of stress lately to the point I’ve had chest pain.  Again, let me NOT go there.
  • I have subscribed to a whole bunch of blogs over these three years.  Reading on WordPress IS my new hobby.  Most of the blogs I read are cat blogs … OK, I really just look at the photos.
  • I’m still having intermittent hot flashes. I blame my diet for this: wine, coffee and some sweets.  I suppose I want the coffee, wine and chocolate MORE than not having hot flashes.  Maybe one day I will get over these minor vices, but until I will suffer through my intermittent flushing, flashes and sweating. Oi vey.  Poor me.
  • I’m moving soon and will have to put off my eventual cat (or other subject, but probably not) blog.  I’m stockpiling photos of my little furbears!
  • My dad turns 80 this year.  I have nothing more to say about that.  He is healthy and happy and that’s all I could really ask for.
  • I have an anxiety feeling that started with spring.  I wonder if it will go away with summer?  The recent stress of my job has not helped this arena one bit.  I am being silent-bullied at work.  I didn’t know ignoring someone was a form of bullying.  Apparently, it is.  Check out being ignored as a bullying tactic (Bully Free at Work)I feel embarrassed to admit that I am being ignored by a couple people at work.  Anyway, I’m trying to deal with this the best I can.  Ugh.
  • Today is the first day I honestly considered getting a tattoo and possibly had some insight as to at least one reason someone might get inked — to put personal words and/or a symbol to remind themselves of something that means quite a bit to them … like a permanent post-it note reminder!  I thought about three tattoos I’d like: 1. the “evil eye” … sometimes I feel some people are jealous of me and I’d like to have a particular tattoo to distract them, 2. some sort of symbol of Karma symbol or a phrase about Karma — something to remind me what comes around goes around, like that of what’s happening to me and to remind myself that my actions, positive and negative, come around back to me as well, and, 3. the word “reciprocity” — I often give to people who do not give back and I need to stop this; I need to pause giving to those beings who reciprocate kindness and actions that I do, to stop giving little gifts to people who are unable to say thank you or give in kind and to simply be friendly but not overextending myself.  But honestly, I’m too chicken to get something permanent placed on my body. I doubt I’ll ever get a tattoo.

Did you know?  A belief in the evil eye is widespread on every continent.

The Evil Eye (ayin ha-ra) is often defined as the ability to bring about evil results by a malicious gaze. In most cultures the belief is prevalent that some human beings have the power of sending destructive rays, so to speak, in order to cause harm to those of whom they are envious or otherwise dislike.

Evil Eye in Judaism

Hamsa evil eye tattoo

NOT a photo of me … or one of my cats either!  I so own some Hamsa earrings & necklace and an evil eye bracelet — my very first item purchased from Etsy. 

I’m not really superstitious.  Really.  I don’t believe in ghosts or angels or spells or speaking in tongues or seances or heaven or hell or reincarnation or astral projection … part of me feels silly even thinking about things like Karma and the evil eye.

Did you know? The relationship of karma to causality is a central motif in all schools of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist thought.

The theory of karma as causality holds that (1) executed actions of an individual affects the individual and the life he or she lives, and (2) the intentions of an individual affects the individual and the life he or she lives. Disinterested actions, or unintentional actions do not have the same positive or negative karmic effect, as interested and intentional actions.

Wikipedia on Karma

Karma quote Wayne Dyer

Hmmm … I better behave better!

Did you know? To really take inventory of the quality of your friendships with the goal of eliminating any non-reciprocal or toxic friends, it means we value ourselves enough to believe we deserve better, we deserve to be treated the way we treat others.  The importance of reciprocal relationships.

It’s important to take an inventory of our relationships and determine if there is an overall reciprocity. Healthy relationships deserve it. Those that don’t have it, might need to be re-evaluated.

TheOpenedBox.com

reciprocity quote

I got a lot of account closing to do!

My take away from from the bullying article referenced above is be friendly, firm, but not familiar, and in the meantime, look to serve, be helpful, and trusted with all you come into contact with – this will help to secure your connection with … [all relationships].

Wow.  I didn’t mean to write so much.  Have a great day!  And of course, see below for the cat photo you’ve been waiting for!

cat-and-bunny-04

Happy Easter!  You can tell this was an old photo because this photo was taken before the days of safety helmets.


Hot Flashes vs. Hell Flashes

hormone-hell

Here’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Really I am.

Once upon a time I had hot flashes intermittently throughout my late 30s to late 40s.  It took THREE attempts to get off the combination hormone Estrogen/Progesterone, but I did!  After the third and final attempt, I was hot flash free after just over six weeks.  This final time I stopped hormones my mindset was different.  I embraced the burning ember feeling in my face, the formation of beads of sweat with the burning up sensation at night with cold shivers to follow.  I felt the heat rise and fall, reassuring myself this was a normal process when adjusting to being not so hormone-augmented any longer, hoping this feeling was transient.  The bothersome perimenopausal symptoms slowly faded, with the hot flashes and facial flushing being the last to go.

After this reprieve I decided to have my thyroid tested.  My TSH level (thyroid stimulating hormone) was barely elevated above the normal range of high — I was (still am?) sub-clinically hypothyroid.  I had some hypothyroid symptoms so my general partitioner put me on a low dose of Levothyroxine — 25 mcG to be exact.

For better or for worse, hypothyroidism is largely not under our control, [my emphasis] says Dr. Daniel Einhorn, M.D., an endocrinologist at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla., who notes the disease is primarily genetic. Family history may be the greatest indicator of troubles ahead, but since so many people are undiagnosed, you could have a family history of thyroid disease and have no clue about it.

Full article

After four weeks of Levothyroxine I felt like I had more energy.  Then just about six weeks into this medication regime I started to have WEIRD hot flashes — more like HELL flashes — periods where it felt like ice was dripping down my neck covering my back and upper arms while simultaneously feeling an inner burn. Nighttime became its own hell.  I couldn’t sleep through the night because I was sweated profusely. I was hot and freezing at the same time.  How was this possible?  I thought maybe these symptoms were from drinking coffee in the daytime and wine at night.  Ha ha ha!  Cute  me and my hypotheses!  These symptoms were different than those related to coming off the hormones.

I thought these problems instead could be from the Levothyroxine. 

If your thyroid is out of control, all of your efforts to curb perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes, insomnia, weight gain, hair loss, and achieve hormone happiness will be for naught [my emphasis]. What’s more, your symptoms might not be perimenopausal or menopausal at all. So talk to your perimenopause and menopause specialist about your symptoms and when you’re experiencing them. It’s a great first step in determining if your so-called menopausal symptoms are really symptoms of an underactive thyroid.

Ellen Dolgen


cartoon-thyroid

From The Awkward Yeti comic — Check it out!


I broke the scored thyroid tablet in half and tried taking a lower dose daily for four weeks … the chest pain and palpitations stopped with this decreased dose.  Oh, did I forget to mention I was having those too — the chest symptoms?  Oh, and the hyperacusis  … read below:

Individuals with hyperacusis have difficulty tolerating sounds which do not seem loud to others, such as the noise from running faucet water, riding in a car, walking on leaves, dishwasher, fan on the refrigerator, shuffling papers [husband’s voice, his breathing or even his heart beating … possibly the sound of any new hair growth on his beard as well]. Although all sounds may be perceived as too loud, high frequency sounds may be particularly troublesome [good thing I am not married to a canary!].

By this time I’d had enough experimenting on my body and said “F-you Levothyroxine!” and stopped it.

I am sub-clinically hypothyroid and many people aren’t even medicated at the TSH level I had!  (I don’t recommend anyone stop their medication without consulting a real life professional … just so you know!)

Subclinical hypothyroidism, also referred to as mild thyroid failure, is diagnosed when peripheral thyroid hormone levels are within the normal range, but thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) is mildly elevated. It is common, occurring in 3-8% of the population, and carries a risk of progression to overt hypothyroidism of 2-5% per year. There is no absolute consensus on which patients to treat, although there are some clear recommendations.

It took another four weeks until the weird hellish symptoms went away. In the meantime I kept drinking coffee in the daytime and wine at night — you know, a healthy balance!  I’m no longer having hot flashes or night sweats.  Hallelujah!  I feel fine and am off any routine medication.  So happy.  Hormones are just plain weird and their effects REALLY linger.

I have concluded that hot flashes from Levothyroxine’s thyroid-hormone effects are much, much, much worse than any hormonal perimenopausal symptoms — a very interesting comparison and an experience I don’t wish to re-experience.  On an interesting note, the Levothyroxine lowered my cholesterol though!

How Does the Thyroid Cause Cholesterol Problems?

Your body needs thyroid hormones to make cholesterol and to get rid of the cholesterol it doesn’t need. When thyroid hormone levels are low (hypothyroidism), your body doesn’t break down and remove LDL cholesterol as efficiently as usual. LDL cholesterol can then build up in your blood.

Thyroid hormone levels don’t have to be very high to increase cholesterol. Even people with mildly low thyroid levels, called subclinical hypothyroidism, [that’s me!] can have higher than normal LDL cholesterol. A study in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM) found that high TSH levels alone can directly raise cholesterol levels, even if thyroid hormone levels aren’t high.

Full article

Why The Connection?

When thyroid hormone levels drop, the liver no longer functions properly and produces excess cholesterol, fatty acids and triglycerides. The liver, which metabolizes cholesterol, also has a key role in thyroid hormone metabolism. In addition, thyroid hormone serum level is very important for normal liver function. The liver in turn metabolizes the thyroid hormones and regulates their effects in the body. What’s more, thyroid dysfunctions are frequently associated with abnormal liver tests.

Another explanation for the thyroid-cholesterol connection is that hypothyroidism slows the body’s ability to process cholesterol. This processing lag occurs thanks to reduction in the number and activity of receptors for the bad LDL cholesterol. These receptors normally help metabolize LDL cholesterol. When the number of receptors decreases, LDL builds up in the bloodstream, increasing both LDL and total cholesterol levels.

Hypothyroidism also significantly changes the metabolism of steroids and other hormones that are made from cholesterol. For example, the hormone progesterone is made from pregnenolone, which in turn is derived from cholesterol. Likewise, vitamin D is produced through the action of ultraviolet irradiation on cholesterol in the skin. Hypothyroidism reduces the conversion of cholesterol into progesterone and vitamin D, contributing to total cholesterol load.

Full article

Let’s just say that stuff quoted above EXPLAINS A LOT!

had vitamin D deficiency.  I am now in the normal range (at least my Vitamin D is) after taking 10,000 units of vitamin D3 daily for three months.  I am eating oatmeal intermittently to help improve my cholesterol.  I simply can’t tolerate the thyroid medication.  I feel OK … but my ankles still have a slightly swollen butterfly appearance on the outer aspects.

Hormones are simply weird and mysterious.  Cats are also mysterious and often weird as well.

cat-catering


Carrots again! Woo hoo!

carrots-rainbow

Since that last post was so successful, it’s obvious you’d like a second helping of CARROTS!

Carrot salad … the making!

The photo mosaic above is my artistic creation of the carrot salad process.  I start off with a five pound bag of carrots!  This is the largest bag my grocery store sells and it will make three large batches of awesome carrot salad.

The photo (#5 down from the top) looks like some sort of cheesy casserole that isn’t … it’s actually the shredded carrots in a plastic container that will later be added to the compost bin outside.  If you have the chance to compost you should — so easy and it’s giving the earth back to the earth.  Wow, how tree-huggery am I now?!

If you truly get in touch with a piece of carrot, you get in touch with the soil, the rain, the sunshine. You get in touch with Mother Earth and eating in such a way, you feel in touch with true life, your roots, and that is meditation. If we chew every morsel of our food in that way we become grateful and when you are grateful, you are happy.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

The food processor pictured is one by Hamilton Beach.  This is an AMAZING beast!  When I purchased this food processor online it was $35 (£28, €33, C$47, A$46, Mex$683,₪129, Ƀ0.03, etc.) four years ago; now it costs $45 — still a great deal in my opinion.  I’m not advertising for Hamilton Beach, but rather letting you know which work horse food processor I use.  So, so easy to use.  It comes with only one blade disc.

Don’t tell anyone, but I also use the same food processor to make the raw cat food!   Oh, so now you’re not going to eat my carrot salad after this little disclosure … hmmph, I’ll have you know the cat food is human grade AND I hand wash, then dishwasher wash (is that proper grammar?) the food processor parts. No one in our household has ever had a vomity-poopy diarrhea illness … cat hairballs do not count … and most importantly, not only are our two cats still living but thriving!


carrot-snowman2-humor-better-pic

Are you asleep yet?!  Holy cow, if you’re still reading this carrot-salad-making mind-numbing post you’re a trooper! Please keep reading … it gets more detailed … and more random.

Photo #9 from the top in the mosaic shows the ingredients from left to right which include dried parsley, ground black pepper, apple cider vinegar, SHREDDED CARROTS, salt, and light olive oil.  The finished carrot salad is the last photo.

If someone didn’t tell me I would think this was a weird cheese overload thing.  Mmmm … cheese … almost as good as bacon! And carrots are almost as good as … um, still thinking … never mind.

carrots-wine-choco-someecards

Cats are quite comforting though … less crunchy than carrots, but still very comforting … and comfortable depending how you sleep on them.


Cats are as good as not because we all know cats are naughty! (see example below)

cat-shaming-cheese

Cat shaming at its best … although I’m sure cats don’t carrot all!   This kitty is forced to say, “I got on the counter and helped myself to a block of cheese.”  Sounds like one independent normal cat to me!  And where’s the evidence of the cheese stealing?!  This cat was framed! Just look at that innocent face.


I have nothing more to say about carrots today.  I’m done. I have a lot more to say about cats and nothing about hysterectomy.  Go make that carrot salad and let me know how it turns out … Bon appétit!