Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Two Months in a Nutshell:


Last we spoke I was starting to take vitamin D supplements, I began a kickstarter campaign and I admitted to the internet I had agrophobia. I had moved back to a state where I had friends for support, but didn’t have the nerve to drive anywhere. It was a pretty stressful time in my life.

     So where am I two months later?

Feeling pretty damn great, actually!

     Vitamin D isn’t a cure all pill I take everyday, but since I have been taking it ive seen a vast improvement in my joint paint, energy levels and even stress. I still have some difficult days with all those mentioned, but those days are few and far in-between. I would seriously recommend having your levels checked by a doctor if your thyroid medication just isn’t cutting it!

     Another reason I feel like im walking on sunshine these days is because my kickstarter was successful and I feel like its giving me some purpose and hope. I hope that doesn’t sound as melodramatic as I just read it, but its true. I wasn’t sure what to do with health that fluctuates and a sense of dread when I leave the house. Art has always been a wonderful therapy for me and I am so happy that I can make my hobby into a small-time business for the time being!

     As for my agoraphobia? Its improving. I try to get myself out of the house everyday, be it time with friends, or just a drive around the neighborhood. I am thankfully to have friends that support me and can work around the things I am working on in my life. 

And that is about where I am these days folks. Sorry I haven’t been around much recently but I thank everyone for the kind words people leave :)


Friday, September 13, 2013

Vitamin D - Did I put myself in a rut?

Getting blood work done always brings around a strange mixture of emotions. On one hand, I want my results to come back with golden stars, A+ and two thumbs up. However, I am getting blood work done to hopefully find what is causing a kink in my health. If everything comes back great, than what the hell is causing my symptoms?

 I am happy to say the recent blood work panel came back with a lot of optimal scores. There were only two main things I needed to fix: I needed to exercise more (very very true) and that I have a high Vitamin D deficiency. Optimal scores are between 30-100, but my doctor recommends a score of 50 for woman. I was a 21. Yikes!

The more I looked into vitamin D, the more my deficiency made sense. Vitamin D is not just a vitmain, its a hormone that supports bone and immune health. It can cause muscle pain, joint pain, and in many cases stress and depression. Eventually this became a vicious cycle. I would feel sick and not go outside to exercise, hence not getting any natural sunlight (a excellent source for vitamin D). And because I wasn't getting outside for that natural cure, I was feeling worse and I would get stressed. Eventually the whole thing becomes a rut. My doctor has thrown some supplements into the loop, and in a few months I will go back to see if this helps. If things seem to be improving, I will highly recommend others get it tested.


P.S. On a side note, my Kickstarter is now half way thru its funding period! You can see more here: Classic Fairy Tales in Print

Friday, August 30, 2013


For a long time, art has been a therapeutic outlet for me. I have, quite literally, hung up the phone after a break up and immediately picked up paper and pen to start drawing. Since my hypothyroid diagnoses, I have focused more and more on artwork because that is where I am truly happy. It only took a failing thyroid to show me that.

So where is this going you may ask?

Starting today I have launched my own Kickstarter project! This small crowd-funding site allows me the opportunity to follow my dreams.

In no way am I asking for handouts. I am just immensely proud of myself for sticking to my guns and wanted to share the news! More information is available below:

Kickstarter: Classic Fairy Tales in Print

Thursday, August 15, 2013


     There is no way to sugar-coat this: I have agoraphobia. No, this is not self-diagnosed. This was noticed in others, and subsequently in a therapist I was recommended to see for my general anxiety disorder when I refused to take medication.

     Before I press on, lets go back to agoraphobia 101. It is a fear of being in places where it is hard to escape, or where help might not be available. It can be in a crowd, or wide open spaces, wherever you feel there is a danger. Agoraphobia sometimes occurs when a person has had a panic attack and begins to fear situations that might lead to another panic attack.

     This is what happened to me. When I went through about 4 months of panic attacks (which included chest pains, dizziness, and a feeling that I couldn’t breath) , I was commuting to and fro in a town where all my close friends were at least an hour away. My social life was at a low point and most excursions were solo. So most panic attacks were thus happening when I was by myself.

     I no longer wanted to be in a car alone. I associated the dreadful feelings of panic attacks with driving and couldn’t shake the idea that if I got behind the wheel it would happen again. To explain my thought process any further and utter fear of driving away from my home would sound totally irrational. Which is exactly what a phobia is (agora*phobia*), an irrational fear typically disproportional to the actual danger posed.

     In theory, I have nothing to be afraid of. Besides my thyroid issues, and some back problems, I have a clean bill of health. Those chest pains I feel don’t mean i’m dying, just that I’m panicking.

     Some days are better than others. A friend visited me once and we drove an hour to Nashville to a hockey game. About 20 minutes in, I started to panic and tried my hardest to remind myself that nothing was going to happen and she reassured me beforehand that we could always pull over. Despite that, by the time we arrived my legs were literally numb and I was walking around the parking lot thinking I was going to faint. 

But I did it. And that's what i’ve had to remind myself over and over again. I do those drives when I have to, and as stupid as it may sound, I am immensely proud of myself when I can handle any drive over 30 minutes.

     The largest hurdle is any attempt at a social life mostly because I let very few people know about my agoraphobia. Instead of being upfront and honest to friends why I can’t visit, I make up excuses. Ashamed that I am “weak” and unable to explain in an articulate matter why this is so hard for me.

     Just two years ago I could handle 10 hour drives alone, daily commutes into the mountain, solo its embarrassing to have to admit how much of a shut-in I’ve become. Its not something I want to be and I try, but some days I just don’t see any improvement.  Other days it doesn’t make sense. Today I went on a 2 mile walk alone with no issues, but getting a text inviting me to have lunch just 15 minutes down the road makes my heart race (for all the wrong reasons). 

I wish this was more motivational, and more helpful to others. Unfortunately I’m still figuring it out. I understand what causes my attacks, but not how to overcome them. It can just be terribly lonely sometimes and I wish I had let more people in on whats been going on sooner.

     Things have been getting better thou now that i’ve moved into an area that forces me to get out of the house. Seriously, who wants to be inside when Colorado is your backyard?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Price of being Gluten Free

     For the last two months I have been attempting to live a gluten-free life. Which is incredibly hard because im pretty sure I was put on this earth to eat all the bagels and scones I can possibly shove into my gluttony hole. But I know I need to stop, because when I am able to go 2-3 days without gluten I feel soooooo much better. I.e. A lot of my  joint pain goes away and my head clears up a bit. 

     But if your like me, I am, how you would say.... domestically impaired as a woman. I don’t know how to iron clothes, what cycle is best for laundry, I throw makeup at my face hoping it works, and most importantly: I hate cooking. Cooking to me is a last resort. Once all the ramen is gone and the forever-alone microwaveable meals are depleted, I turn to my pots and pans in mild disdain.

     So most of my gluten free substitutes are store bought and pre-made. If you are looking for tasty recipes, might I suggest: 

Zen Thyroid

     Today I ran out of my usual breakfast and had to leave my cave to get some gluten-free waffles from the store. In the process I decided to jot down prices of some ready-made gluten free goodies. This can give you a general idea of some prices if you too are considering to go gluten free (but hate to cook).

Udi’s Gluten Free Sliced Bread $5.69

Udi’s Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies $4.99

Udi’s Double Chocolate Muffins pack of 4 $6.49

Udi’s Pure and Simple Granola $5.99

Annie’s Mac and Cheese (6oz)  $1.67

Pillbury Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough/ Pizza Crust/ Pie & Pastry Dough  $4.49

Van’s Gluten Free Waffles $3.00 (was on a special)

Nature Path Organic Chia Plus $3. 69


Thursday, July 25, 2013

One Year Mark

     Whoops! The one year anniversary of this blog  slipped past me!  I would just like to say thank you to everyone, 2,925 page views later, who comes to this page. It means more than I can explain when my words reach anyone, and more so if they help someone going through a similar situation.

     Last night I was not in the best of places, and to keep my mind off things I finally tired drawing something abstract to explain the way i've been feeling, and somewhat what this blog is about. There is no final piece, but here are some rough layouts:


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Video Blog #2

With all the packing, the stress that comes with it, and the procrastinating that comes with those two...I forgot to mention that I am also going Gluten Free! I'll talk about that more once things settle down in Colorado.

P.S. I've had an Etsy shop for awhile that I figured I could exploit on my own blog, so the link can be found on the lower right-hand side :)

P.P.S. Speaking of exploiting, I am currently in an Art Matters contest hosted by Blick Art Materials. Top 3 videos get a gift card for supplies and a matching donation to art education. You can vote for mine daily until July 14.

Okay, now im done :)


Monday, April 8, 2013

Recent Article

     This was an article recently brought to my attention. While it does not directly deal with thyroid issues, I still found it interesting and probably relevant to many readers.

     Clicking the link below, not the image, will take you to the article.

"Getting help with unknown medical conditions"

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Drug Interactions

Howdy-ho Readers!

      Now I originally was going to start this post in a piss-poor mood because I think im done with my current doctor. I was going to rant and rave about his methods, bedside manner, and understanding of thyroid conditions. Instead I decided to write this small passive-aggressive side note and skip on to the real subject :)

      Recently, I had alot of lower stomach issues. The doctor, not sure if it was bacterial or viral, decided to put me on strong antibiotics anyway. Well instead of making me feel better, I feel exceptionally worse. Now, being the genius I am, it took me a couple of days to realize that maybe I was having some drug interactions, instead of a drug reaction.

     Sure enough, CIPROFLOXACIN (the heavy antibiotic) can reduce the effects of levothyroxine. Everything im about to write down is parahrasing from So take my warning with a grain of salt. Ciprofloxacin interrupts gastrointestinal absorption of levothyroxine. It is recommended that there should be  a 6 hour gap between the medications.  Then, of course, ciprofloxacin is suppose to be taken every 12 hours. So unless your up around midnight this is all a sticky wicket.

     Anywho, I know now that was im feeling is the same as before I was on medication for my thyroid. I am super tired, things don't feel right in my chest, and my body is achy.

      Be warned people. Check drug interactions for yourself because doctors don't always know/ think to look into it.


Friday, March 1, 2013

Turning to Homeopathic and Updates

Howdy-ho Everyone!

     Well I've been lowered further to .075MG and the doctor loves my results. I have a horrible memory for numbers, but he has mailed me the new results.

     Personally, some joint pain has returned and good old fatigue is creeping back. Which goes to show numbers are just a basic measurement and everybody is a unique little snowflake. The reason we lowered my medications was due to heart palpitations I was experiencing. For a week all was well and dandy, than on a trip to the east coast they started up again. While in our hotel room I found out Citalopram, the anxiety medication I was on, can cause heart palpitations!

     Well damn! Guess how quickly I decided to ween myself off that fun pill of trouble? So now I'm about two weeks from being off it completely. Next on my hit-list is my Nexium for GERD/Acid Reflux.

     I'm tired of putting all these synthetic chemicals in my body with their own adverse side effects. For the time being, I have no desire to get off my thyroid medication. But everything else - probably gonna go! My next post will be on some homeopathic examples and better lifestyle choices.

     As for updates, my side bar is out of date with all the thyroid blogs and websites out there. If you personally read this blog, and would like a link to your own thyroid related page, please send me a link either in a private message or a comment below and I will get on that :) I prefer if your blog is somewhat upbeat. Life is already full of ups and downs and I would prefer linking resources that can instill a sense of hope and/or encouragement.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Daily Dose

     Hi everyone! So today is a short post since I have of a question and would love opinions.

     What time of day do you take your daily thyroid medication? 

     I personally have been taking it first thing in the morning at 6am or so. I hear others take it at night thou and it helps them get up the following morning. Then there are other cases, which Im really interested in, where people split up their dosage throughout the day.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Heart Palpitations

     Being a hypochondriac and having hypothyroidism just don't mix. Seriously. So many symptoms can be directed back to that pesky thyroid of mine but my mind does a number on me in the process.

     When I was all the way up to 0.100MG of Levothyroxine at the beginning of my diagnoses my heart was going CRAZY. Heart palpitations up the ying-yang, creating the horrible sensation that my heart was giving out every few minutes/hours. I would lie awake and feel like my whole body was one big pulse as my heart hammered away even while I was resting. Needless to say I was terrified, but I blamed it on anxiety.

     Once I settled into Kentucky two things happened: I was lowered to 0.088MG and the good doc put me on 10MG of Citalopram (a childs dose) to help me relax. This system, dare I say, was perfect for about 4 months. No more panic attacks, no crazy heart rhythms.

     Than last Friday I was waiting at the postal office when the feeling of my heart dropping came back. I had the sickening feeling that I was going to pass out in line and driving all the way home I felt an odd tingling in my left arm. The hypochondriac in my head started to scream 'THIS IS THE BIG ONE MADDY! YOUR FINALLY HAVING A HEART ATTACK!' So I did the responsible thing and ignored it and laid around all weekend waiting for my heart to give out. Plus, im pretty cheap and didn't want to go to the ER.

     Did I mention my inner hypochondriac is quite dramatic?

     By Tuesday I was sure I had some kind of blood clot between the heart palpitations, the weird pain in my left arm and the mild pain in my chest. I went in the same day and the good doc checked me out, and did a run through. No signs of heart problems, blood clots, or any other medical problem I let fester in my mind.

     I was reminded that heart palpitations are connected to hypothyroidism and we've agreed to lower my dose to 0.075MG. Also, I learned the weird sensation under my left arm was a 'refereed' pain from the palpitations. In one month I go back in to have some blood work redone and check everything out. I promise to update in a timely fashion when the news gets back. 

     In the meantime, if your experiencing the same problems please don't ignore it like I do and go see a doctor.