A Health Update

Aside from telling family and a few close friends, I’ve been sitting on the following information for a few days now, processing how I feel about it.

My doctor says I have a resistance to thyroid hormone. This condition is a separate issue from the Grave’s disease, for which I had the radioactive iodine treatment in September of 2015. It’s very unusual, according to my doctor.

My TSH levels are through the roof. Not as high as at Christmastime last year, but they are way high still and they are higher than they were two months ago. At Christmastime, my TSH levels were at 94. In early March, it was 32. Last week they were at 47. My T3 and T4 levels are fine, though. My doctor says he would expect the TSH levels to respond the opposite way from the way my TSH levels have responded, once I was treated with the radioactive iodine and started levothyroxine, as I have.

I read a little bit online about what this all means, since I can never stop myself from researching. This condition would explain a lot of things about my health history, actually.

If I wasn’t afraid, I’d feel pretty darn good about having the answer to the cause of a lot of symptoms I’ve had since I was a teenager.

You know, I am doing what I can to take care of myself and make the best of it regardless of what my blood work shows. I am taking my medications and trying to eat better and making sure to sleep enough. I am trying to keep going through the tired and even get a little yoga in as I feel up to it and have the time to do so. I am doing what I can to remember that I am more than the sum of any of my illnesses. I am doing what I can to be optimistic about life… there is a lot to be optimistic about right now, in my life.

But I won’t lie: I am afraid.

I am not afraid of what may or may not happen to my body. I’m a pretty darn tough cookie when it comes to the physical. I can withstand a lot of tired and achy before it starts to interfere with daily activities.

But the psychiatric implications of this thyroid hormone resistance condition scare me. It’s not that I ever thought the bipolar disorder would go away, or that I would magically not be depressed or anxious one day. It’s not that I ever thought the risk of psychosis would completely disappear. But having this as a reason for more psychiatric crap makes me feel way worse, not better. My doctor doesn’t know where my TSH levels will go from here. Which I take to mean that they could easily keep rising, which I am guessing would only affect my psychiatric conditions for the worse. And that prospect is nearly unbearable.

The way I perceive it, there are lots of broken friendships in my life which have been broken because of my behavior in times of psychiatric difficulty, particularly my irritability, and, just goodness. I don’t even know what I want to say about that. It breaks my heart and it scares me silly that my occasionally difficult behavior, which could be due to some deep physiological defect, could cause more broken relationships in my life in the future.

At any rate, I will continue to work closely with my mental health professionals and my endocrinologist to monitor all. Just needed to vent about it here for just a bit.

Thanks for reading.

Two of My Current Truths

Home
The light in our current dining room

We are moving.

I have been afraid of blogging for a long, long time.

Those are two of my current truths.

I guess I should explain.

On moving:

I have been leery of writing about it for fear that it wouldn’t actually happen, but it looks fairly likely now that we will be moving. In less than three weeks, we very well may be living in a different house, in my home town, far closer to the boys’ school and Jared’s work. This is a great thing and I am happy about the idea of it.

I have so many mixed emotions related to the house from which we will be moving away. I brought two of my three babies home to this house. We have made this house home for the better part of eight and a half years. We have struggled in this house. We have laughed in this house. We have hosted birthday parties and game nights in this house. Eight and a half years of living is a lot of living and much of it centered around this particular house that we will likely say goodbye to in the very near future.

If all works out as planned, though, each of the boys will have their own rooms very soon. The house we hope to move to has a gorgeous front and back yard for entertaining and for boys to play outside. There are magnolia trees. And as I said before, the benefits of being in town close to school, work and church…it’s a dream I hadn’t dared dream about, really. Family has been unspeakably generous in helping this become a reality because it surely couldn’t happen without them. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.

That’s all I care to say about moving at the moment.

And, on the fear of blogging:

It’s pretty simple, really. I have been afraid of blogging about anything other than superficial projects or photos. Feelings, opinions, anything even remotely controversial or health-related (aside from the thyroid topic) has been off-limits for me, self-imposed. Evidently I have hurt people through my writing and I know I have been hurt by the ripple effect of their hurt, so it has just been easier to avoid blogging about anything other than the superficial.

It’s time to find a happy medium, though, because I have been positively miserable through my self-censorship. That’s not to say that I am giving up journaling…quite the opposite. My journal is my best self-care outlet ever and blogging cannot replace the safety of my journal. But I have to stop being afraid of expressing myself here. It’s manifested as a fear of expressing myself anywhere, even in person, within certain circles, and the results have been pretty catastrophic to my self-esteem and sense of self-worth.

Life is too short to live like that, not sharing myself as I would choose to do. And so, you will start seeing more of me, the real me, here.

These Three

BrothersOccasionally I try to go for a formal posed photo of my three boys. Most of the time, it ends up looking much like this. I’m learning to embrace these moments, since this is way closer to what our daily reality looks like.

I love these three boys with all my heart. They are each such special individuals and it is such a great honor to get to be their mom.

In Which Caroline Rambles

I mentioned changes in our household in an earlier post. I’m still not ready to name the change, for fear the change won’t happen.

Mantle

Whenever change happens though, my self-care becomes all the more important. I’ve just spent an hour journaling.

I am reclaiming my power, bit by bit.

My journal

I can’t even begin to describe the power of journaling. I started my first journal in fourth grade. Journaling by hand, as opposed to blogging, has really saved my life on more than one occasion. I rarely look back at my journals anymore, but I have most of them anyway. Just the act of writing down my thoughts and feelings and not having to sugar-coat my words helps calm my brain in a way that nothing else seems to do.

I journal in a stream-of-consciousness sort of fashion. I never start writing with an agenda; I just start writing about whatever is on my mind in the moment. I never end up where I think I am going, either, in my writing journey. Today, for example, I started journaling about the upcoming changes to our household, and I ended up identifying one of the reasons I feel powerless over much of my life, which is a false thought.

Epiphanies like that happen all the time when I take the time to journal. I feel more centered and better equipped to handle life when I write things down.

I highly recommend getting a journal if you don’t have one, and using that journal often. I am saying that to myself, mainly, because I know I need to journal more than I do in this phase of my life.

 

I Too, Oliver

Oliver is growing so much every day now. And he loves to laugh.

He says “I too, Mommy,” when I say, “I love you, Oliver.”

He loves his brothers. His brothers are his best friends. I hope it remains so his whole life long.

This precious boy turned our family life upside down when he arrived and I will be forever grateful for that fact.

Oliver and Me