Friday, August 8, 2014

I love to eat!

I love Food....that's it...all food, anywhere, any time...Problem is...I have three autoimmune diseases that call for a stricter diet and I am a creature of habit and yes...some might say I'm stubborn too..mostly my hubby, but I really do love to cook and bake and doing that for the people I love just makes it all that much better! My Mamma was the best cook and baker that I know of...she taught me everything I know and even though I can cook like her, there are still things I can't do like she did. She could throw garbage into a pot and it would be fabulous! I can't do that, but I think I got the gist. The only problem about her cooking was that she fried a lot of stuff and I do not...I would love to eat all of her fried concoctions, but stomach has other ideas. Since becoming sick with three different autoimmune diseases, I have had to change everything about the way I eat, what I drink, and what vitamins and supplements that I take on a daily basis. This has been the hardest thing for me to deal with and I am still learning how to eat and what to eat so that maybe by the time I figure it all out, I'll be a human again and have some energy to actually do something with my life.

First of all...let me just say that I am NOT a doctor, nor am I an expert. I am just sharing my experience and what works for me.

The first thing I did was eliminate whatever foods, chemicals, ingredients, etc. that were causing me to have adverse affects on my body and the first thing I did was to stop eating anything that was preprocessed, in a can, and had GMO's in it. Corn is a big no no for me....I love corn, but it makes me feel like I've swallowed glass shards. So, in looking for things that had corn or corn products in it, I found that pretty much everything has some kind of corn syrup or corn by product in it!! What?? What the heck am I supposed to eat?? Well that started a whole new way of eating for me and now I cook everything from scratch, whole foods that are GMO free and organic. It's pricey to eat this way, but still cheaper than medicine. There are things that I have to avoid because of Hashimoto's, but I still try to eat as healthy as possible while still avoiding the "bad" stuff, as in bad for me. I've also added a regimen of Vit. D-3, B-12, ashwangdha, fish oil, magnesium, selenium, and coconut oil and in addition to that, of course, my thyroid meds and that seems to be working so far.  I've only been on my thyroid meds for about 8 weeks, but so far, I feel so much better and have even lost 12 lbs in the process. 
Other things that I've learned not to eat are dairy products, (I love cheese and still have issues with cutting it out) Sugar is a huge problem for me because, well...I love sweets! I can eat tomatoes, just not a lot and not very often and wine...dear lord, I love my wine..I really, really, love my wine, so I limit myself with a couple of glasses once or twice a month. With that being said...I generally try to bake or grill or saute, not fry my food, I limit my red meat intake, only because it doesn't digest properly with me,I like to have plenty of fruits and veggies, ones that won't affect my Hashimoto's, but really...sometimes, I just have to eat that peach or those strawberries and yes, I pay for it, but who can go without peaches and strawberries?? I limit the amount of breads, of any kind, because they too make my tummy very unhappy, and I try to drink tons of water everyday and in the mornings, I add lemon to my water for liver detox, Lord knows with all the meds I take, I need to detox that liver and so far, I've been doing ok with my little plan of action, but I know that there is so much more that I need to learn about this disease and I am always looking for new and better ways of treating my body the way I'm supposed to.
I think if I am diligent in my diet and the care of my immune system, then I should be able to have a pretty normal life and as soon as I get my strength back, I goal is to go ahead and walk that marathon by the time I am 50...that is my goal...I hope that by sharing my journey and life with you, that I can help someone to understand themselves and what may or may not work for you! Have a great day and I hope to be more consistent with my posts, I do have down days still, but I am working on getting my health back to where it was 3 years ago!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Starting my life over after Graves Disease

Hey there, I have been lost for a bit and not blogging or writing or even anything other than just trying to get myself healthy again and I have to say, the last two years have been hell on me and my family. I was diagnosed two years ago with an autoimmune disease called Graves Disease that attacks your thyroid and causes you body to go crazy, or at least that's how it felt. I was doing great at the time, exercising and eating healthy, looking and feeling good and then all of a sudden...not really...I started having all these crazy things happening to me, such as, extreme digestive problems, shaking all over, rapid heart rate, getting sick with pneumonia and upper respiratory infections,  in fact, I had pneumonia 8 times in one year and still couldn't figure out what the deal was. This went on for about six months and things just got worse and I was losing weight on a weekly basis, sweating profusely, could no longer read my hand was just miserable and all the doctors I saw said it was stress or me going into menopause and to just get well with antibiotics and relax. Hmmm..interesting...relax when my heart rate was sky high, my blood pressure was sky high, I lost 67 lbs in about 8 weeks and couldn't stop shaking all the time. Well...that was crazy to say to me...I knew something was wrong, but never thought it could be my thyroid.

It was May 2012 by then and we were on our way to my daughter's house in South Carolina for my grand daughters graduation and I was still sick, but was determined to have a good time anyway. I continued to have all the crazy symptoms and decided that once we got back to Oregon, I would go see a dr and demand an answer as to why I was so sick. Shortly after getting back to Oregon, I became severely ill and couldn't stop coughing or even lay down to sleep without feeling like I couldn't breathe and told my hubby to take me to the ER. Saw a dr at the ER and they said I had bronchitis and gave me antibiotics...again...the very next day, I went back to the ER because I honestly could not breathe and they admitted me for more tests and after a few days, they sent me home and told me to follow up with a local dr that week. Well..the very next day, when I woke up, I couldn't even stand up and walk because I was so weak and my breathing was worse. I called 911 and was taken by ambulance back to the ER where I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and the mad rush was on to figure out what the problem was. Luckily for me, I went when I did because the dr said that if I had waited any longer, I would be dead right now. It took them another 4 days to figure out that it was my thyroid and the cause was Graves disease...what?? What the heck is that and am I dying? That is what I was thinking and hoping they were wrong and I could just take antibiotics and get well and go home!

No...that is not what I could do and little did I know how crazy my life was really about to become..they released me a week later and gave me all the meds that I would need and told me to see an Endocrinologists. Oh goody, a specialists...she'll fix me right up and then I can get back to my awesome life and just forget about all this mess. Wrong!! The meds were horrible, I couldn't sleep or I slept too much, I was still too weak to even think about doing anything without help, my hair fell out, my BP was crazy at best, my heart rate was still too high....weren't all these meds supposed to help with that? Finally went back to Endo and she said that If I had Radio active Iodine treatment, then my symptoms would get better and my life would be better...okay...I'll do it! Four months after the hospital visit I had the RAI and felt pretty good...for awhile....after that my symptoms started coming back and I thought that my life would just end...I didn't know anyone who had this mess and I certainly didn't know enough about it to make an informed decision about my illness, so I just trudged along, suffering silently, and I waited for things to even out and get better. I  lost my insurance in the months after I had RAI, so I didn't really see a dr unless I felt like I was going to die...I know...crazy huh? I'll never do that's just not worth it.

It is now two years later and I have gone hypo thyroid and am on medication for that. The meds do help and I am feeling better, but there has to be more that can be done and I plan on figuring that out because I want my life back and I have grand babies that need to be spoiled. This blog is not just about thyroid issues, but about my crazy life of traveling the country, feeding my body the good stuff, and just everyday things that we women, moms, grandmas, and people in general want to do and say in our lives. I write mainly for myself and if someone reads this and laughs or finds information helpful, then great...until next time...Be good and be happy! Life is short!