Friday, November 11, 2005

Leaf abstract

Leaf abstract, photo by Mary Stebbins. This is leaves on grass with intentional camera movement. Really. I was going to call it star trails on a green sky, but decided to go isntead with the truth. Posted by Picasa

Hypothyroidism Symptoms

Symptoms of Hypothyroidism
Weight gain or increased difficulty losing weight
Coarse, dry hair
Dry, rough pale skin
Hair loss
Cold intolerance
(can't tolerate the cold like those around you)
Muscle cramps and frequent muscle aches
Memory loss
Abnormal menstrual cycles
Decreased libido

Each individual patient will have any number of these symptoms which will vary with the severity of the thyroid hormone deficiency and the length of time the body has been deprived of the proper amount of hormone. Some patients will have one of these symptoms as their main complaint, while another will not have that problem at all and will be suffering from a different symptom. Most will have a combination of a number of these symptoms. Occasionally, some patients with hypothyroidism have no symptoms at all, or they are just so subtle that they go unnoticed.

For more info

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sara at Danzer's

Sara at Danzer's, photo by Mary Stebbins

Waiting for the slow slow service and the bad bad food. (except the apple fritters were very tasy.) Posted by Picasa

Eating Out

After the best two-night's sleep of the past several months, last night was not so good.  I went to bed around midnight and feel asleep relatively well, but woke up at 3:48 and could not go back to sleep.  So I had less than 3 hours and 48 minutes of sleep and I'm "tired but wired."  I had all my usual "heeby-jeeby" symptoms, restlessness, twitching, itchy, crawly skin etc.  And that wide awake never going to sleep again feeling, even though I was tired and wanted to sleep.


The two nights I slept well, I ate at home, and ate healthy food in reasonable portions.  Last night, Sara and I ate out at Danzer's, after visiting my mother together at Loretto nearby.  I had a salad composed of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and rye-bread croutons with Italian dressing, chicken schnitzel (fried in "butter"!), German potato salad, and mixed vegetables, lemon water, and apple fritters.  Then, when I got home, I was having a little heartburn and ate some Tums.  They were assorted berry Tums and have artificial flavor and color.  I never thought of that as a source of a potential hazard.


This was an unhealthy meal in a variety of ways:


Ø       Fried food and butter are bad for my cholesterol

Ø       I'm allergic to dairy, it worsens my asthma and fibro (and may keep me awake?)

Ø       Potatoes, tomatoes (and all nightshades) are bad for my arthritis and neck problem (and may exacerbate my insomnia??)

Ø       It was too big, and fattening.  I don't need big fattening meals.  I don't need to be fat, fat exacerbates my arthritis, fibro, sleep disturbances etc)

Ø       It gave me heartburn and the Tums had artificial color and flavor and sweetener, any of which could be causing my sleep disturbance and affecting my ADHD


Besides which, it didn't taste good.  I didn't like it, except the apple fritters.  Never will I order that again.  The chicken was so dried out it was like shoe leather and the German potato salad tasted like it came out of a can.


After two nice nights where I was starting to feel better, it was very disappointing to have a bad night.


One other thing:  I started the thyroid supplements (pills, Synthroid) yesterday, and I don't know how that factors into the equation.


And now I also have a bit of a tummy ache.  It's fairly mild and has already improved a little.


It's very cold out, and windy.  I slept with an extra fleece on last night.  It's supposed to snow today.


I hope I can sleep tonight.  Tomorrow I have to drive to Hamilton.  I WANT to drive to Hamilton to see my sweetie.  I was so hoping I would be rested and feel well so we could have lots of fun today.  I am more cheerful and happy and less grumpy and crank when I am rested and not in pain.  I want to be happy with my sweetie and have fun.  I don't want to fall asleep on the road.  I hope all the eating out there doesn't make me feel worse.

I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New Moon

New Moon, by Mary Stebbins. It's pretty faint. Can you see it? The new moon is a time for new beginnings. A time of hope. Posted by Picasa

IBS meds and sleep

Yesterday at the P&C on the shelf next to the Tums I discovered a "new product" (labeled that by the store) for IBS and decided to try it, which I did, when I got home.

Normally, I never get sleepy any more.  If I go to bed early, I lay there for hours bored out of my mind.  What I usually do is stay up doing stuff until I am falling down exhausted, then fall into bed and hopefully pass out.  But last night, for the first time in months if not years, I was nodding out, literally falling asleep in my chair and had to go to bed and then actually slept.

Was it the meds?  I don't know.  But it's a strong coincidence.

I worry though, about the meds, as I know nothing about them, what the do, how they operate, what the side effects might be.  They are supposed to cure both diarrhea and constipation, oddly enough.  I'd like to do some research in my spare time cough cough.

I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats

Monday, November 07, 2005

Autumn at Loretto

Autumn at Loretto, by Mary Stebbins. This is my Mom. Posted by Picasa


Cracked, photo by Mary Stebbins Posted by Picasa

The Nightmare of Dementia

"I've been trying to remember the name of my street," my mother says to me, when I arrive at Loretto, the nursing home where she now lives. “And I finally did!”

"Oh," I ask, “and what is it?" I inquire.

"Ellsworth Ave," she says, and I nod. Yep.

I've given up arguing or explaining.

There is no point in telling her that she hasn't lived on Ellsworth Ave for more than sixty years. She won't remember for even 30 seconds.

She wants me to take her there, now that she has finally remembered, again, for the hundredth time. She remembers very few minutes. I try telling her she lives here, at the nursing home. I try telling her I'm busy and have other plans. I try telling her she’ll miss dinner. Nothing works. She insists that I take her to Ellsworth Ave.

Instead, I take her for a walk. Every little while, she tells me she doesn’t know where she left her car. Or that Pa is home waiting for her and she needs to go home and make dinner for him. If I mention he's dead, she's horrified, for 30 seconds, and then forgets.

As I push her wheelchair past trees with lovely autumn color, she carries on a running monologue repeating certain themes. "I don't know where I am, I've lost the car, I need to get home, I need to check on Grandma. I have to see to Aunt Anna." I’ve never even met her Aunt Anna. I've never even heard of her until now, it was that long ago.

I try to assure her that everything is OK, but of course, it's not OK. Everyone she's looking for is dead. And she is unwell. Her confusion makes things worse. She's living a nightmare.

Her life is a living nightmare. Upsetting for her and terrifying to me. I could be following right behind into that well of darkness.

(Some oriental dream work teaches the student to lucid dream for the purpose of acquiring the necessary skill to wake up and become conscious during the hallucinations that accompany dying so that one can move serenely into the land of the dead. But how can one become conscious in the dream-reality of dying if one is not lucid to begin with?)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

the global warming stomach ache

OK, OK, I know I am always coming up with these hare-brained theories, but here's my latest one:  My allergies are cumulative, not anaphylactic.  Thank goodness.  I guess.  All the various sensitivities combine for a total toxic load.  My worst allergy is ragweed which generally begins in August and lasts through the first killing frost, usually in late Spetember or early October.  But it's November and we have yet to have a killing frost so the total toxic load continues to increase, thus making me more sensitive to other environmental toxins.

This is an answer to the question, IF it's the feathers giving me the stomach ache (and we don't know yet if it is), then why NOW, why is it so much worse than before?

Perhaps--just perhaps--it's a global warming stomach ache.

I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

If it isn't one thing

I was all wired and buzzed from my drive and the coffee and chocolate I had to stay awake, and I didn't lie down until after two--then I couldn't sleep--it was so incredibly cold in the chouse and the water bed was like a heat sink.  I finally got up and moved into Erin's room and eventually got warm, but I never really did more than doze a little and am up again. 

I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats

Medicinal Chocolate

I didn't sleep all night last night, too sick. Then had to drive all day. So I started the journey with a half of a large chocolate bar and topped it off with an extra large coffee. Made it home safe. Wired, but safe.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

It's 2 Am, do you know where your stomach is?

Yesterday, I thought I was getting better, but I had a worse night last night.  I was basically awake all night with a terrible stomach ache.  I was up and down, and when I was down, I was thrashing.  My stomach hurt no matter which was I lay.  I will be setting out today to drive 416 miles to NY from Michigan and virtually no sleep last night and very little in the preceding week.  In addition to my stomach ache, my insomnia was really bad, and all the attendant issues that go with that.  Itchy crawly skin, restless legs, etc.  Not once during the entire night did I have that delicious sleepy feeling.  I did doze a little off and on.  But not much.

I am certain of nothing but the Heart's affections and the truth of the Imagination- John Keats


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