“Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight”

It’s hard to believe that four months have passed since I’ve posted anything.  For a while, there was so much going on and things were so up and down that I got a little discouraged.  Then after a while, I got out of the habit of coming back on here and it just faded away.  I can’t help but feel a little guilty about committing to this and then just disappearing from it all, so I hope that anyone who reads this can allow me to get back into the swing of things.

I’m hoping to get back into more purposeful and meaningful blogging.  I’ve been bouncing a few ideas around in my head that I’m hoping to get out there.  This post will serve as a catch up and an open conversation.

So, typically I would begin my posts with questions for readers.  This time around, I’m going to flip it and give some answers about what’s been going on.  Moving forward, I’m hoping to post another entry in a little while about something I’m really getting into this summer.

Answers for Readers:

  • How am I doing without a Thyroid?  As many of you know, I had my thyroid removed this past February.  For the month following that I blogged, I spoke of the changes that were happening post thyroidectomy.  It’s still a work in progress.  Some days are hard, but I’m moving in the right direction and I am trying to be proactive about what can help speed this process around.  My scar looks amazing and I’ve been really diligent about taking care of it.  My levels are going down, but they are still a little all over the place.  The ideal TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) levels are between 1.0 to 3.0…I was .001 before surgery.  Now, after, I’ve gone from 10.73 to 12 to 20 (they think this was an error because I think I’d be on the floor) to 8.17, to 4.9, and now I’m up a little at a 5.44.  I’ve had a little bit of Hypothyroid symptoms like putting on a few pounds, feeling a little lethargic at times, and hair loss (nothing extreme, just minimal when I brush my hair and shower), muscle aches, and occasional mood changes/feeling very “blah”.  As far as speeding the process up, I’m trying to exercise enough (getting there), eat healthy (I’m generally good with meals), and take the right supplements.
  • Yes, I am having another surgery.  I am having vocal cord surgery this month.  It’s something that has been weighing on me a lot these last few months and I’ve only really felt comfortable telling some people because it’s just so much to explain.  It’s also really confusing because it’s such a similar part of my body and the problems sound interconnected, but they aren’t.  So now, I’ll put it all out there.  I’ll try to put this in a nutshell:  Right around the same time that my large thyroid nodule was wreaking havoc over my body, I started noticing that my voice was becoming hoarse frequently and many days, I would leave work with little to no voice at all.  It made sense to my family and I that this giant thing on my thyroid was pressing on my vocal cord area.  The times I saw my regular doctor, she would ask about my voice, but we figured it was due to colds/viruses as well.  Then, thanks to the help of my amazing thyroid surgeon, he noticed the sound of my voice back in the winter and immediately wanted to take a look.  When he looked down my throat with the camera tube, he found what he described to be “a complete mess” aka my vocal cords.  What it looked like to him were cysts, but he couldn’t make it all out and he referred me to an Otolaryngologist to take a closer look.  This was only a few short weeks before my surgery.  The new doctor he referred me to had a similar reaction to looking at my vocal cords and he made sure I knew that I was at risk for permanently damaging my voice if I didn’t do something soon.  So began my voice therapy and strict vocal hygiene to improve the cysts and legions. Months passed and after a horrific visit in the Spring,  he said that I would need surgery.  Only a few months out of recovery from my previous surgery, I was overwhelmed and didn’t want to think about another procedure, so he said to try for a few more months of therapy to see if it made a difference.  My amazing voice therapist really helped me learn how to start using my voice differently and some days I would sound exactly how I used to.  However, on June 21st, I came for the last appointment before making a final decision and it still looked terrible.  So, I am scheduled to have these cysts removed from my vocal cords this upcoming Thursday, July 20th.  The good news: no incision.  He’ll go down there with a microscope type apparatus while I’m out on anesthesia.  The bad news: total silence for a week.  The whole recovery takes 3 months.  It’s a gradual process and I’ll have to be really careful for these next 3 months to not speak in crowded environments, no excessive talking (long conversations on the phone for example), and I’ll have to get an amplification device/microphone for the upcoming school year.
  • Now that I’m back, I do have some ideas to write about.  I want to stay accountable and motivated.  Motivated to help others who have thyroid disease, to help others learn how to take care of their own voice (this is extremely common amongst teachers), to share recipes, and to share motivational quotes and positive experiences.  To help with the stress of all these changes in my health the last few months, it’s been hard to find a way to cope.  Exercise does help and spending time with my family and friends is probably the best way.  However, I’ve really loved cooking this summer.  I’ve always liked cooking and baking, but I didn’t do it often.  My husband is a really great cook and before this summer, he did the majority of the cooking.  It started with Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, but now I’m really into trying other recipes as well.

 

I DO however, have one question for readers:  What other topics do you enjoy reading about when it comes to blogs?  

Stay tuned in a little while for a yummy recipe and some more quotes.  However, I’ll end with one here as well:

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to read!

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