Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Can Explain

Well, I promised an explanation so here is what I hope will not be a feeble attempt at it. But I really must advise you to get comfy because this could take a while. I'll wait while you get a drink and use the loo. Maybe you should grab a blanket and an energy bar? Maybe an emergency flare? Ready? Okay, good.

So, I don't know if you know this, but 2 years ago I started a blog, The Knut Hut. It started out as one thing and then morphed into another (basically a venue for me to amuse myself). There was a time when a day didn't go by that I didn't feel the itch to patter my fingers across my keyboard, the compusion to check if any comments had been left, the burning desire to see if my favorite fellow bloggers had posted anything new. I loved that little blog; it amused me, made me think, made me laugh, made me cry, provided me an outlet for expressing my thoughts, feelings, and random silliness without a word of reproach or dissent. It also provided me with a glimpse into the lives of others I will never meet who are living their own lives the best way they know how, getting through each day with their own measure of humor and grit. I felt smart, creative, funny, welcome and productive. I felt I belonged to something.

Well, I didn't know what it was, but about a year ago, something starting stealing my mojo. It happened kind of gradually, and looking back now I can see it really started even before I began my blog, but slowly I began to lose interest in all the things I used to love. And my blog was no exception.

In my despair, I childishly blamed my beloved blog. It had to be the blog's fault! It had failed me! What I needed was a new blog! One that would let me sparkle and thrill always! So I started a new one, a kinder, gentler one. One in which I pretended to NOT be a dork (you see I had assumed that my first blog has just gotten way too dorky for anyone's good and was causing all my problems). Dorkiness was not to be allowed in this cleaner, tidier, more grown-up blog.

Well, you can imagine how that went. I am too much of a dork and too little grown-up for that to have been a raging success. And I began to see that it wasn't the innocent blogs, it was me. And I suddenly realized that blogging, that activitiy which had become dearest to my heart, had become like everything else in my life at the time, a chore and a burden.

I lost contact with people I had begun to consider friends, just dropped them flat. I let the first blog languish for over six months and kept the second barely afloat with the most insipid, banal, vapid posts imaginable. It was rather dispiriting.

So, what, you may ask, has brought me back to the land of the living bloggers? Glad you asked my friend, glad you asked. Turns out, I have a glandular problem! All of it can be blamed on my oversized, underactive thyroid! Do you believe it?

A year ago, my doctor found my thyroid was enlarged and had a nodule in it. I think I even blogged about it (yep, I did, here and here). For a variety of reasons, I waited an entire year before seeing a specialist about it (don't scold me, it wasn't entirely my fault). A few months ago, I had a repeat ultrasound (after my doctor took care of scolding me) which determined my thyroid was even bigger and the nodule had grown to become a mass joined by several other smaller nodules. I was ordered to have a biopsy immediately. Say it with me, Yikes!

I had suspected for a while that I might be hypothyroid (you know, I really need to determine once and for all which is more proper: being hypothyroid or having hypothyroid. Or maybe it's having a hypothyroid? I'll get right on that). Once the prospect of cancer loomed, even so very distantly, on my horizon, I began to do research. Turns out I have nearly every symptom of hypothyroid. And, after reading a few testimonials from other patients, I suddenly realized my symptoms had been steadily getting worse over the past two years, the past year especially. I have spent the last two years plodding through my life like a mack truck has been strapped to my back, like I've been half asleep. It was all I could do to keep my children fed, safe and reasonably clean this past year. It took every ounce of strength and energy I had and I suffered greatly every minute. I don't think anyone can truly understand unless they've been through something like it.

I finally got to an endocrinologist for that biopsy. And the tumor is benign, thank God. While talking to the specialist I became more aware than ever of how many symptoms I have had for years. So even though all my blood work came back normal, doc put me on a daily dose of thyroid hormone to shrink everything back to normal size and see if I feel better.

And do I ever! I feel like Rip Van Winkle, like I have finally woken up after being asleep half my life. I can sleep at night, and when I wake, I feel rested. I wake up smiling and happy, not dreading the drudgery before me. I accomplish my housework, my chores, my responsibilities with the children with peace, almost serenity. I am noticing things I never did before. Have the birds always sung like that throughout the day? Has the air always smelled so fresh? Has a cup of tea always tasted like this? I'm alive again and I cannot believe I suffered so long the way I did.

I may still have a long road ahead of me. According to my blood work, my thyroid is functioning normally. My thyroid levels have always appeared normal, which is why I never seriously considered I might have thyroid issues. But, in my research I have found that many patients with hypothyroid have perfectly normal-looking lab work. Something needs to be done about the way this is tested, don't you think? I have to go back to the doctor in three months to see if everything that needs to have shrunk has shrunk. And if it has, I'm afraid he's going to tell me I don't need to take the medication anymore and I'm going to throw myself into traffic. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, shall we?

Now, what does this have to do with my blog? My interest in the things I used to love has come back. I'm puttering around the house again, cleaning things I don't have to clean, researching recipes I've never made before, planning way ahead of time for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas (how I hated those Holidays last year--yes, even Halloween was a drag). My mind has cleared, my wit has returned, my reason has been restored. And on top of the medication, I'm on a low-carb hypothyroid diet that seems to have singlehandedly solved my hypoglycemia.

So, I'm back. And I'm feeling gooooooood! I decided a fresh start was in order, rather than simply restarting my first blog back up again. Besides, there were some things about the second one I really liked and decided to incorporate into this new one. So here it is. I've heard good things about WordPress and am looking forward to getting back into my groove.

I've got my mojo back, baby, yeah!

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