Hot Flashes vs. Hell Flashes

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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 (now).  It took me 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 on my face and the gradual beads of sweat, the burning up at night with the cold shivers to follow.  I felt the heat rise and fall, reassuring myself this was normal adjusting to being hormone less — and hopefully transient.  The bothersome perimenopausal symptoms slowly faded with 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 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 and I was sweating 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!  This symptoms were different that those related to coming off (female) hormones.

I thought these problems 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 the smaller dose daily for four weeks … the chest pain and palpitations stopped with this lowered dose.  Oh, did I forget to mention I was having those too?  Oh, and the hyperacusis (click the link)! However, the hot-cold icy-fire weirdness continued.

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 anyway 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 … and 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 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.

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Carrots again! Woo hoo!

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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!


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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.

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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)

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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!


The BEST cure for constipation

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Yep, you read that correctly … the best cure for constipation is revealed here.  No worries because I’m not selling anything!

For years I’ve had intermittent constipation.  After my hysterectomy I thought my constipation was cured … nope.  It was only a temporary reprieve that didn’t last.

Constipation is the most common digestive complaint in the United States, outnumbering all other chronic digestive conditions. ~ Epidemiology of constipation in the U. S., Sonnenberg A. Koch TR., 1989.

And I’d bet constipation is also a huge problem in Canada, England, Australia and other industrialized countries as well — probably all the countries where we have the luxury first world problem of overeating, while complaining, “Waaah, I’m so full!”

If you are from Haiti (or some other country plagued by starvation) (WARNING — the photos on that link are quite graphic … you’ve been warned!) my apologies as I’m not trying to belittle the gluttony vs. hunger problem.

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By the way, eating bananas cause me constipation!  Along with rice and concrete.

Reasons I’ve decided to share this cure about constipation on the blog about hysterectomy:

  • Nearly every woman who has a hysterectomy has constipation sometime in the recovery process.
  • If you’ve had a surgery with anesthesia constipation is not your friend … but it’s not your enema either!
  • Constipation just plain sucks!

Who knew I would be sharing recipes here! My blog is really useful … someone should read it.

I think the French have been hiding this secret dish from us — us meaning the entire world.  I recently discovered shredded carrot salad from one of my very French friends.  I have two (or deux) French friends … both are from France but one sounds very French and looks very French … while the other one only educates me on wine with his accentless accent.

One evening the super French friend was telling me how he makes shredded carrot salad every week for he and his family of four.  I can’t say shredded carrot salad sounded yummy but I was drawn to the mystery of its purported popularity.  Apparently, this is a French thing.  Who knew?  I’ve never been to France and my accentless French friend has never revealed this French secret … I will have to discuss this with him when he’s back from his Caribbean sailing excursion.  And isn’t the word Caribbean odd?  Like I thought for sure it was spelled with two Rs.

carrots-pirates

It always struck me as odd The Pirates of the Caribbean DVD has a piracy warning.

On to that shredded carrot recipe that will fix your constipation … I’ve been making it for weeks now and my poops is great!  Is that TMI?!  How many times do I have to remind you that you’re on a hysterectomy blog and anything health and bodywise goes?  Don’t worry, I won’t be posting any photos of my great poops … you’ll just have to take my word.

Grated carrot salad is a favorite dish for French kids. They eat it regularly for school lunch, and it’s popular at home as well. Even adults enjoy it as a starter. As a testament to its popularity, you can even find grated carrot salad pre-packaged in supermarkets.

Carrots are one of the few vegetables that French people regularly eat raw. For some reason, they tend to prefer most of their vegetables cooked.

~ From another WordPress blog

My super French friend didn’t tell me about grated carrot salad to fix my constipation woes … it is only by eating it regularly I discovered this.  I’m not sure how we got on the topic of carrots, but the last time I spoke with him he told me how he makes homemade mayonnaise.  I’m not going there because it sounds like way too much work.

More about carrots …

[R]aw carrots contain unique fibers that bind toxins, particularly excess estrogen, in our intestines while not feeding unhealthy bacteria (similar to what a charcoal supplement would do.)

One study showed that daily consumption of a raw carrot at breakfast for 3 weeks reduced serum cholesterol by 11%, increased fecal bile acid and fat excretion by 50%, and modestly increased stool weight by 25%. This suggests a [positive] change in bacterial flora or metabolism. The changes in serum cholesterol, fecal bile acids, and fat persisted 3 weeks after stopping treatment.” – American Journal of Clinical Nutrition … The effect of raw carrot on serum lipids and colon function.

Additionally, Dr. Ray Peat found women reduced their problematic estrogen levels by the daily consumption of 1 medium size carrot. Less estrogen generally means less inflammation and liver stress, and better thyroid health [my emphasis].

~ From MamaNatural


There are many, many, many variations on this shredded carrot salad.  I keep it simple. The current recipe I like to make is:

Carottes Râpées* or Grated Carrot Salad

  • 8 large carrots (peeled and shredded … use a food processor or you’ll be shredding by hand for a long time!)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (I use light olive oil … I found the extra virgin greenish olive oil was waaaaay too strong tasting)
  • 1 Tablespoon of honey or juice of an orange (OPTIONAL — most of the time I leave this out)
  • 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (you can also use lemon juice, but I like the digestive health bennies of the ACV)
  • 1 bunch of chopped parsley (I usually use dried parsley and this works just fine, and you really can’t overdo the parsley)
  • Salt to taste (be careful not to oversalt … strangely you don’t need much salt)
  • Black pepper to taste

Mix everything together and then put it in your mouth!  Depending on how fast you eat this, you can probably keep the salad up to a week in the fridge.  Also, you can add a spoonful or two of these carrots to soups, mix it in salads or simply eat it straight up!  This carrot salad also goes well with plain yogurt and your digestive system will thank you.

*Do NOT pronounce this as “carrot rapes” … please, please don’t say it like that. People will look at you strangely and certainly won’t want any part of your salad. Say it like this: CLICK HERE.

I love, love, love this recipe … in fact I’m going to go eat some carrot salad now and will be right back!


Should you want to get all Frenchy fancy pants you can make the recipe like this video:


So, the secret is out … let me know if you try it and how your constipation improves.

Here are more tidbits. If you carrot all you will read them:

  • Carrots are a root vegetable that originated in Afghanistan. They were purple, red, white, and yellow, but never orange.
  • Carrots are related to parsley … and also the poisonous water hemlock!

parsley family
n.
A large family of aromatic herbs, the Apiaceae (or Umbelliferae), characterized by compound leaves and small flowers grouped in umbels, and including vegetables such as carrots, celery, dill, and parsley, spices such as anise, coriander, and cumin, and poisonous plants such as the water hemlocks.

  • A baby carrot isn’t exactly a baby. Baby carrots come from a large carrot that has been rolled over blades and thrown around in a metal cage to be rubbed down to a short, round-ended baby carrot.  WHAT A WASTE!
  • The Ancient Greeks called the carrot a philtron, which translates to “love charm.” They believed the carrot made both men and women more amorous.
  • People first grew carrots as medicine, not food, for a variety of ailments.
  • Cats can eat carrots.

Can cats have carrots? The answer: Yes! Though cats are obligate carnivores, and therefore do not require any fruits or vegetables to meet their nutritional needs, carrots are perfectly (and maybe even somewhat beneficial) safe for cats. Carrots are not at all toxic to cats, so there is nothing to be worried about if your cat has been munching on these beloved root vegetables.

  • Mel Blanc, the voice of cartoon character Bugs Bunny, reportedly did not like carrots.

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You didn’t think I’d leave you high and dry without at least one more cat photo, did you?


Soon

Yep nothing.  You just stopped by to read nothing.  You could be doing other things but you decided to take a time out to read nothing about nothing.  Surely you have something better to do.  Surely.

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If you’re here for hysterectomy stuff you’re all out of luck.  The ghost of my uterus is out haunting the blogosphere … somewhere.  However, in the meantime I’ve finally come up with my new blog idea.  You’re not going to be surprised if you’ve been following closely.  My NEW blog is about … surprise … CATS!  Yeah, I’m sure you figured this out before I did.

I know, I know … how many times am I going to say this blog is dead and over with?

I’ve got the idea — CATS!.  I’ve got the blog name — you’ll have to wait for that.  Now I just have to create the blog!  Finally, I’m free from hysterectomy stuff … and so are you!  I will link my new blog as soon as I make it … or at least have some stuff on it.  Soon.  Soon.

SOON!

cat-soon

PS: I was going to write a post thanking the 200th follower.  Well, that day came and went and now I have over 200 followers!  Woo hoo!  Whoever you are, thank you.  Thank you for being that person.  Don’t expect much here, OK?!  I’m going away soon.  You can always dig though old posts.  WHO does that?!? I was going to write some awesome post about YOU and show off your site and all, but whatever.  I’m not now.  Don’t worry, I still appreciate you and you will remain anonymous.  I’ve got cattitude just so you know!  STAY TUNA-ED! 

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“It’s MY cattitude showing!”


 

I wish …

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I WISH …

I seem to be out of material so I think I’ll have another surgery so I can create another blog.

NOT!!! 



Dear new followers

 … and oldies too!

First and foremost thank you all for following this little blog … this odd mixed-up blog mostly about hysterectomy  cats  BS randomness.  (there will be no “second of all” because I like to break grammar rules and punctuation)

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Dear new followers,

Thank you for finding me and following me. gif-thanks-for-following-cat-bunny I’m often confused why some of you would choose to follow in the first place, but whatevs.  My best stuff is behind me just so you know.

Personally, if I were to read this blog I’d either: 1) start from the beginning, or 2) just keep reading the posts backwards.  If you start from the beginning things make more sense but also deteriorate in a way … if you start from here and go backwards, posts start to improve but are read chronologically backwards … somewhat confusing  — YOUR CHOICE — I’m simply glad you’re here! WELCOME!

SHORTCUT SELECTIONS FOR YOU!

  • If you want to start from the beginning click HERE.
  • For recommended reading about da Vinci hysterectomy click HERE.
  • My most popular post HERE.
  • Finally, MY favorite post … yes, I can like my own stuff!  HERE!

Does it seem a little bossy and controlling that I’m telling you how to read my blog like you’re: 1) actually interested, and/or 2) an idiot?  Well, rest assured, this is simply a way for me to write another post … a little how-to if you will, and no, no, no I don’t think you’re an idiot … not yet anyway but there’s always hope, and I’m not even confident you’re interested in this blog … not yet anyway, but again there’s always hope!

Also, if you’re a guy reading this I’m definitely NOT judging … I’m fascinated any guy would want to read my blog … aside from the cat-loving guys of course!  cat-thank-you-drawing

I hope you enjoy your journey through this blog.  I can’t believe I’ve written both so much yet so infrequently.  If you don’t like reading, the pics are pretty entertaining.

I wish you the best here … and I love comments.  I’m still so small and not over-popular that I respond to most every comment.  I’m also still alive so that helps too!  Share your opinion, ask questions, correct my grammar, share links … whatever floats your boat!  Oh, and sign my GUESTBOOK if you get a chance. 🙂

Hugs from the blogosphere!

Elizabetcetera … 


Dear oldies & faithful followers,

gif-swinging-cat-thank-youfor hanging on, keeping up and commenting!

Yeah, it’s that short for y’all! 🙂

Well wishes again for a GREAT 2017!

Elizabetcetra


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Photo credit: Regina Cat Rescue of Saskatchewan, Canada. Adopt a cat — your life will improve! OMC (oh my cat!), isn’t this kitty so cute!  Look at his (or her) little baby bottom teeth!  He (or she) is so cute I want to eat him (her) up!  If you LOVE cats, you’ll get that … you won’t think I actually want to have kitten stew!  Eww!


PS: And for extra fun … here’s YOUR fortune today:

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“You will take offense from a post on the internet today, even though it was not directed at you!”  


2017:Gratitude & Aspirations

There will be NO New Year’s resolutions here … they often make me feel worse.

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WORK:

I continue to be grateful for my job of over 11 i-work-hard-so-my-cats-can-have-a-better-life-170e1years! While my job has had its ups and downs throughout the years, I hope 2017 will bring an excellent coworker (new hire) to the group.  I also hope to eventually accept a minor but significant change in my job duties and that my ego can get over the addition of a mind-numbing task. 2016 made me feel proud in how I handled a overly-sensitive supervisor.  2016 marks the best year in over a decade I have dealt with this person.  I aspire for 2017 to be even better in my interactions with said supervisor.  While I never expect to become buddies with this person, I do hope for the happiest and emotionally healthiest interactions possible.  Wish me luck!


HEALTH:

I am grateful my health is overall good despite a lingering shoulder bursitis and newly diagnosed hypothyroidism … oh, and the mysterious ankle edema.  I aspire to raise my vitamin D, somehow get rid of the ankle swelling and learn how to motivate myself to exercise.  I am grateful  I don’t have TCOS (thoracic outlet syndrome) like I thought I did, but instead have bursitis of the shoulder with rotator cuff injury.  With the rotator cuff injury there is likelihood my condition will improve, whereas the TCOS sounded like a never ending bag of sh*t I would endure perpetuitously.

I am grateful my 2014 hysterectomy has given me a quality of life back that I didn’t have prior to my surgery.

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RELATIONSHIPS:

Regarding relationships: family, coworkers, spouse and friends … I aspire to be more assertive, assessing situations while calling out things that just don’t seem right or that I don’t agree with.  Usually, I simply want to get along, go along and don’t speak up.  I am grateful for a wonderful drama-free relationship with my in-laws.  This unto itself is a miracle for most! taco-for-followers

I am grateful for the bloggers I follow for they often make my day and lighten my mood when I’m down (especially the cat blogs).  As for readers of my blog, I am also immensely grateful because your comments mean a lot to me as well as any likes (that star button I’m sure you’ll likely press after reading this) — I love when people reach out!  And while my blog isn’t the most active one on the planet, I aspire to continue to make it a source of interest, support and humor … oh, and a place for cat pics too!

Dear 2017,

Hi!  How are you young one?  Welcome into existence. My aspirations for you include trying to figure out the human race … pretty lofty, huh?  Well, maybe just trying to treat my body better and to figure out how to be more mature in some ways while still having fun.  I don’t have any grand expectations but simply to be happy, be grateful for what I have, purr more, say thank you even more, bounce back sooner from disappointments and eat more licorice all while continuing to love my cats.

Take care! (and please take care of everyone and me too!)

❤ Elizabetcetera


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