Thursday, May 8, 2014

Catching Up

I have been a little inconsistent lately with my blog; I apologize to my readers. I don’t mean to overdramatize anything by writing this post and I’m not seeking sympathy; this blog isn’t really about me so much as it’s about my mom, but I felt like I could share with my readers why I’ve been absent.

Last summer I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Hashimotos. I hadn’t been feeling like myself since before my last son was born (he just turned 3) and some things came up during a routine physical last June which ultimately led to the discovery of this disease. Hashimotos is when the immune system launches an attack on the thyroid, eventually causing full destruction. Let me just tell you, when the thyroid is in trouble, it wreaks havoc on your entire well being…physical and mental!! At the time of diagnosis, the doctor told me that they don’t know the cause, there is no cure, it’s a progressive disease and all I needed to do was take a pill for the rest of my life. I suppose I put a little too much trust in what the doctor said and it was left at that-me, taking a pill.

The problem is, the pills haven’t worked. Truly, a pill is simply a band-aid for the disease. It doesn’t fix anything. It’s been a rollercoaster and over the past few months my symptoms have reached a peak. I won’t get into it all the details, but let’s just say I have been feeling pretty lousy; I have no energy or motivation to do anything (which is NOT like me at all!!), I have terrible “brain fog” (which has caused me so much worry about developing dementia), anxiety, and the list goes on. When my last blood results came back as “normal” (while I was feeling worse than ever) I realized that I need to take control of my own health and not leave it solely in the hands of a doctor. Over the past few weeks, I have been reading everything I can find and get my hands on about Hashimotos and autoimmune diseases. I’ve found that diet plays a huge role in overcoming debilitating symptoms and even putting autoimmune diseases into remission. It’s an intense process so it seems like most of my spare time (when I’m not tending to my family) has been spent reading and educating myself, preparing menus and meals, etc. Needless to say, my blog has been put on the back burner while I figure things out.

I still have a very long way to go, but I will say that I am slowly starting to see changes. So I feel very hopeful and optimistic that by continuing to make the necessary changes, I can heal my body, gain my life back and kick Hashimotos butt!!!

Now for what you all really want to read about…mom. Here’s an overview of the last few weeks.

The blow dryer is becoming a huge problem. When mom is finished getting ready for the day (doing her hair and make up), she is often sweaty. Her solution is to stick the blow dryer under her shirt to dry herself off. Last Monday, I heard the blow dryer go off and I knew she had already done her hair, so I knew exactly what she was up to. I raced back to her bedroom to find the blow dryer under the back of her shirt. And this is what her shirt looked like:

blow dryer

Thankfully she didn’t burn herself. Clearly, it’s time to take the blow dryer away. That is a fight that I know dad is not looking forward to.

Another “event” that took place was removing the lock from her bedroom door. She is NOT happy about it, to say the least. Aside from constantly locking my dad out of their room, in the event of an emergency we would not be able to get in there quickly while fumbling with keys. She’s very paranoid about people coming in and seeing her naked, he he. I keep assuring her that we will not disturb her while she is getting ready in the morning, unless of course there is an emergency.

My dad had a birthday a couple of weeks ago. We had him over for dinner and despite my urgings for mom to come, she wouldn’t budge. I don’t think she remembered it was his birthday until I called her and told her we were having dinner to celebrate (which took a few repetitions before she caught on). She did leave him a card when she remembered the date and noted that it was only 21 days until her birthday (in actuality, it was only 13 days until her birthday).

Which brings me to another issue: numbers. Mom is losing her ability to make sense of numbers. The countdown to her birthday is one example. Another example is a conversation she had with my dad the other day. She asked if Jeremy (my nephew) was turning 52 this year.

“No dear, you are 52. How could Jeremy be 52?” Dad asked.

“No…he’s going to be 22. Yeah, he’s in his 20’s”.

“Dear, he’s 10. He was baptized two years ago when he turned 8, remember? That means he’s 10 now.”

“No he was baptized when he was 18, he’s in his 20’s now,” mom insisted.

This came as somewhat of a surprise to me, as mom has been pretty aware of all of our ages. Just one more reminder of how this disease is taking her away from us.

This weekend is her birthday; it falls on the same day as Mother’s Day. I don’t think she understands Mother’s Day in the least. Last year she did…but since that time she seems to have forgotten every holiday except Christmas. She does know that it’s her birthday. With her decline over the past year, we suspect it could very well be her last birthday that she is aware of. I don’t know if she will peel herself away from her computer to spend time with us, but our plan is to have dinner with her and try as hard as we can to bring her out and spend time with us for what could be her last birthday celebration.


  1. I am busting to tell you how I got rid of my Hashimoto's, sleep problems, skin problems, and my husband reversed a lifelong "reflux" problem, also "uncurable". Read a book called "It Starts With Food", look at a website called You have to completely eliminate grains and sugars of almost every variety. If is totally worth it to get rid of lots of annoying "issues", as well as several potentially devastating future illnesses. I firmly believe your Mom's illness is completely traceable to diet, and not hereditary at all. Thanks for listening, and I hope you don't take offense to my bossiness. You are all in my thoughts all the time.

  2. Heidi I would love to talk to you some more! I'll message you!
    As for my mom...the more I read, the more I wonder if foods and toxins could be a contributing factor. I do know that it is a protein that gets loose and deposits on the brain. But they don't know how it gets there. Makes you wonder...

  3. Heidi I would love to talk to you some more! I'll message you!
    As for my mom...the more I read, the more I wonder if foods and toxins could be a contributing factor. I do know that it is a protein that gets loose and deposits on the brain. But they don't know how it gets there. Makes you wonder...

  4. Personally about 4 years ago I went from being Vegetarian to Vegan. Zero Animal products. There are so many alternatives. You really don't have to "sacrifice" anything. I've been Meat and egg free since January 1977. Dairy free since (approx) November 2011. I feel great. I still miss my father and dealing with Mom with Alzheimer's is hard, but physically I feel better.

  5. Although I'm a nurse, I don't know very much about thyroid problems. It seems to me that the doctors give a blood test for T3, and if its within the right range, they are happy. But there's another test, like for example T4 or T4 uptake or something like that. That will show there is either too much thyroid or not enough. I'm not sure of the names of the tests, but I remember a fellow nurse that had problems with a patient's thyroid because they didn't test enough.

    The only thing I've really heard that helps with dementia is coconut oil. Instead of olive oil, I use coconut oil when I stir fry or cook eggs, etc. My dogs absolutely crave a half a teaspoon of it when I get out the frying pan. They seem to know what I'm going to give them. Coconut oil is supposed to prevent the tangles that cause dementia problems. Being a long term care/hospice nurse, I have several blogs that I read, I check them all most days, so glad you're back to typing.

    1. Thanks for reading Lee Ann. I am learning a lot about nutrition and the foods we put in our bodies...that's another blog for another blog! I now only use coconut oil and olive oil for cooking. They really are the best oils to use and have many benefits!