Wednesday, April 07, 2010

This Just In: Proof That My Children Are Trying to Kill Me

So I am on the street, walking to the doctor on this unusually hot spring day (90 degree in April? This summer may sizzle). And through the thicket of noise I hear the distinct sounds of Barry Manilow singing, in his oh so theatrical way. I look around, half expecting to see him, it was that loud. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me where it was coming from. You know where this is going….it was ME. Barry was coming from me. It was my iPhone, which magically turned itself on and started blasting Barry. And yes, I can admit that I have a few Barry Manilow songs in my music library. Weekend in New England? Could It be the Magic? Trying to Get the Feeling Again? Even Now? All amazing songs, at least lyrically. But which song did my devil phone choose to broadcast? Bandstand Boogie, a song that came with his greatest hits album that I just need to delete.

The doctor visit was not fun. I picked up a new disease/disorder today. Oh yes I did. I now have some thyroid disorder, yet to be determined, pending more blood work, which is due early next week. Basically it boils down to my TSH levels: They are supposed to between 1 and 4, but definitely under 20. My levels are 1500 on one side and just over 1000 on the other. Yep, about a million times higher than they should be. Overachiever. My doctor tried to reassure me that she has seen higher levels than mine, but admitted that most people with thyroid issues level out in the low 100s. She thinks I have Hashimotos disease; I think I am at death’s door. She listed a few of the symptoms and I can admit that some ring true for me: I do feel fatigue at times; I am very sensitive to cold; and I do have pale skin. But now for my justifications: I have twin toddlers: Of COURSE I am tired all the time. I get cold easily, but I also overheat easily: When it comes to temperatures I am always about the extremes. Just ask Nicole. And pale skin is a result of spending the winter cooped up. But it is hard to argue with those crazy TSH levels. 1500 on one side? Really? Does it have to be THAT high?

My doctor pointed out that all of this heart stuff and thyroid stuff has been ramping up since the girls were born. Meaning, my health took a turn for the worse after I had kids. Coincidence? Or are the girls trying to kill me?! I get a little bitter because I feel like I try to take care of my body: I don't drink (anymore) or smoke (anymore) and I exercise daily and eat well and walk miles and miles a day. I am personally affronted that my body breaks down!

Meanwhile, one of the reasons what I went to my doctor was to pick up some records to bring to my cardiologist on Monday, who is going to attempt to figure out why my heart does crazy extra beats and gives me electrical-like shocks almost daily. I have been dealing with those electric shocks for a very long time. I thought everyone had them. Turns out, no. Most people don't have them quite as often as I. Getting old sucks, but it beats the alternative, as they say. So while I am really kinda freaking out because we all know I live juuuust to the side of the state of paranoia, I am trying to take the attitude of let’s wait and see what this all means. Surely extra heart beats and crazy high TSH levels don’t equal instant death, right? Not easy for me, this whole let’s-be-patient-and-assume-you’re-not-dying attitude.

Let’s lighten the mood with an accidental double entendre. I was in my elevator and I was holding something with my right hand and trying to unhook my keys with my left hand from their hook on my bag handle. I tried or about 10 seconds and was getting frustrated. The man in the elevator made some silly comment, completely benign, and I blurt out “I am usually really good at doing things with one hand.” He laughed and then I laughed and then I thought about what I said and I am pretty sure I blushed because he smiled and laughed again. Nice. I am not sure if he has a dirty mind or if I have a dirty mind or if it was both of us.

Adding to my day of disappointments: I entered in the NYC marathon lottery and my name was not selected. I am bitter! I really wanted to do it, so much so that I already envisioned exactly what it would be like. I saw myself wearing that metallic blanket after I crossed the finish line. I saw that medal around my neck, which I would leave on for three weeks (“Why yes I ran the marathon!!” Just kidding…I wouldn’t do that). We would go out for a big lunch afterwards and celebrate my heroic footwork. I would sleep for three solid days afterward. Yeah, well, not gonna happen this year. My friend Molly was rejected along with me, and she has a back-up plan: She will run in the Rochester marathon. I am thinking maybe I will do that too. I just have to think about logistics, because Rochester is very far from here. And Nicole and the girls most likely wouldn’t go, because that could be a tough trip for three-year-olds. And I really wanted them to be there. But I really wanted to run the marathon with Molly, and go through the whole training process with her. I need to sort this out.

And now switching topics completely, in what may be a life-chainging move, we are thinking about cutting our cable. Completely. Meaning no more television at all. Not even basic channels. I am not insane: We will still have a DVD player and will let the girls watch DVDs. But no more TV. Nicole never watches anything and I only watch shows on my computer (The Office; Dexter and Survivor). And between the city and Massachusetts, we are paying a little more than $200 a month, just so the girl can watch DVR’d episodes of Wonder Pets. Crazy. That is about $2,500 a year. And if I saw $2,500 on the ground, I would pick it up.

I am a little nervous to cut us off completely, but I am thinking spring and summer might be the perfect time to do it, since we will be outside so much more. And I must admit the control freak in me loves that I can shield my girls from shows I don’t want them to see and I can control what they DO see.

Pictured above: This is what happens when I am singing in to the marathon web site to see if I won the marathon lottery: Avery has a sensory experience with almond butter while Maddie cheers her on. Of course, my first reaction was “Nooooooo Avery” and then a second later I thought, why not? I bet if feels fun to get all sticky. I took a deep breath, let go and got my camera. I didn’t get mad, I just told her that the fun with almond butter was over and now we had to have some fun with the sink. And she was ok with all that. And the way Maddie cheered Avery on (“Go Ave-y! Go Ave-y” while she bounced up and down on her toes) made me sad that I wouldn’t hear that from the sidelines during the NYC marathon. She is such a good little cheerleader, and I respond well to good cheers.


Molly said...

You're going to get mad, but this post cracked me here are some sprinkles of positive fairy dust love coming your way....

I want to run the marathon with you too, and I am really bummed we didn't get into NYC. But honestly, girls ups to their elbows in almond butter antics, and you telling a dude you can do things one handed are making me laugh, thus cheering me up.


K J and the kids said...

I have to the wet on her shirt drool ? :) that is great. I'm glad you chose to laugh instead of sweat it.

My heart does the same thing. They told me it was common and unless I passed out, all was good. I'm hoping they give you the same expensive diagnosis.

As for the body thing....girl...let it go. I mean, look at your can work out and eat healthy...and almost die. OR. you can eat cake and lay around and almost die.
Fat and happy baby. Fat and happy.

Sorry you didn't make the marathon. Maybe next time.

psapph0 said...

Guess the whole "nut allergy" thing isn't an issue any more, huh? :-)

We'll see you later and I'll regal you with tales of my latest brush with the medical community and blood tests... which may or may not get more interesting after the Dr. visit I have right before we come done!

Hope said...

I think there is a Burlington VT marathon.....

Briar said...

Yes, I have to agree with K J that fat and happy is looking better and better to me lately.

We are twins on the cutting cable thing. I am planning for a summer cutoff - the end of "Lost" feels like the right time for me. I am getting lots of alternatives in place so it won't cut back anything much - we have Roku, we are getting Apple TV, and DVD's, of course. Just hoping for some sort of TV/Hulu setup and I would be truly ready. But yes.

Christen said...

Long time lurker, but I had to butt in today to tell you that I have Hashimoto's! I don't have kids (yet - we're working on this now), but my mom had Hashimoto's, so I'll just have to believe that she tried to kill me. My TSH levels were about the same as yours when I was diagnosed several years ago. I'm a wealth of resources on this topic, so if you'd like to chat it up with a fellow gimpy thyroid chick, let me know. What I can tell you right now is that eventually you'll have to take a very small pill everyday, and from thenceforth, you'll feel a lot better.

giggleblue said...

i have to say that the cable will not be missed! we didn't have cable in our old apartment. in fact, the only reason we have it now is because it came with rent.

summer is a good time to let it go - by fall it will be forgotten. it seems like a huge step, but we adapted very quickly, and i loved having one less bill!