Tag Archives: hypothyroidism

I just can’t hold my stomach in anymore – or 10 weeks pregnant and Happy Valentine’s Day

Artist Jessica Doyle 2013

I have never felt more hungry in all my life than during the last 10 weeks. I can’t seem to get enough food into me before my stomach is growling and howling again for more.

We eat a relatively well balanced, organic diet that does contain grass fed beef, free range chicken and organically raised pork. We eat many vegetarian meals too. We avoid soy products except for Bragg Soy Seasoning which is GMO free and certified organic. I love food so much that I’ve already put on 5lbs and can not fit into any of my clothes that don’t have stretch in them.

I do not take prenatal vitamins. I do take 500mg folic acid and 650mg calcium with vitamin D daily. My blood and urine tests show I’m healthy except for the deviant hypothyroid in the neck. The doctor raised the dose of Synthroid two days ago that I’m on to 125mcg from 88mcg. I already notice a positive difference in how my brain is functioning. But, unfortunately, the norm persisted and around 2:00 in the afternoon I started feeling dizzy, extremely bloated, bump into things and need to lay down for a couple of hours until it passes. And while this can be pregnancy related I’m realizing that it could be the dang thyroid wreaking havoc too.

homemade indian food, black rice, tomato, pita bread, chick peas, garam masala

I don’t know what is potentially crohn’s, thyroid or pregnancy related anymore. These last couple of weeks feel like the chron’s I had 15 years ago has been reactivated but then again it could be my uterus stretching. I spent so much time in the bathroom two days ago that could be because of the Synhtroid increase, it could also be because of the spicy food I ate or it could be a bug. I go to see a high risk pregnancy gynecologist/obstetrician on the 26th due to being over 35, pregnant and hypothyroid. I’ll be 12 weeks pregnant by then. The adjustment in Synthroid played havoc with my metabolism yesterday.

And today on this lovely Valentine’s Day I’m feeling a bit better albeit still dizzy I don’t feel the need to incessantly lay my head and body down like yesterday or the day before.

They say you should enjoy all of your pregnancy. And while I am I can not be happy about the pain of not being able to breath at night due to not being able to take my preferred antihistamine or smile about the candida that wreaked havoc on my body earlier this trimester.

These side effects could very well be first trimester agony’s that will pass by the end of this month. I really hope they are. I know something has recently passed because I’m able to write and form sentences again.

IMG_0335

And the dreams of water… they are wonderfully incessant. I dream of water nearly every night. Calm dark waters that I float in and urgently awake and run to the bathroom to pee usually like clockwork at 4:00AM. Another dream was a mystical garden filled with large carved stone hands on long arms with each finger sprouting a single fountain of water streaming from it onto a green wonderfully overgrown garden bed. And last night I dreamt of sitting in a circle with people with my belly round and hanging out and drinking water.

So yeah, I’m pregnant. After wanting a baby my whole life, well, since about age 24, and it not happening with my exes, it’s actually happened and it was planned between Chris and I. And we couldn’t be happier.

first-response-pregnancytest

Getting a positive pregnancy test on New Years Eve was incredible.

Coming out to play or how an introvert fails to thrive

jessica doyle self portrait

If you are a creative person you likely have many drafts or unfinished pieces of work in various stages of completion laying around your studio or stored on the computer.

In early November, 2011 I began entering a burnout from working online and from life in general. And by mid-January 2012 my health had completely failed and I was hospitalized for seven days. It’s only now that I’m coming out of it (publicly) so to speak.

What’s sad, is that I knew it was happening all of last year but didn’t know how to stop it or where to go for help or how to financially afford treatment by taking time off of working as I have no health insurance or employment insurance. I wrote the following on November 7th, 2011, the night before my 38th birthday, and never published it here on the blog.

What exactly does it mean when you hit burnout or rather when you succumb to not be able to creatively think or do anything else other than change who you are.

And when you are introverted, adjusting to extroversion is almost painful at a cellular level. To an introvert, extroversion feels like being tickled everywhere for an extended period of time and forced to exert and use one’s senses in life in an outward fashion that others can see, taste, smell, watch or feel immediately.

An introvert on the other hand basically sponges all that external sensory stimuli, balls it up, swallows it, mentally digests it and assimilates it all into the brain for use in original and unique regurgitation onto paper, instrument or dialogue that extroverts absorb in the form of entertainment.

The above few paragraphs are by no means a finished thought but they do summarize how fast my fragile boundaries were eroding. I was utterly overwhelmed most, if not, all of last year. Only those people closest to me knew the extent of what I was trying to deal with if they even knew at all. I didn’t share too much here on the blog… I don’t think I knew how to. Yes, my failing thyroid is playing a part in all of this and yes I’m keeping up with the blood tests and adjustments in medication again.

And what finally prompted me to sign into this blog and break the silence and actually write today was perhaps the most awful therapy appointment I’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting through yesterday. And it wasn’t that it was awful per-say, it was just unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before… and I’m going to submit myself to it all over again next week. Haha.

A few weeks ago my Mom gave me a camera to use, that she had won at work, as she already had a camera of her own. It’s a Canon Powershot SD 3500 IS, 14.1MP. I’ve begun playing with it. I snapped the pic above in the upstairs bathroom.

Eleven Days After Qutting Smoking and how I tricked my brain to stay smoke free

Artist Jessica Doyle goes crazy while quitting smoking

Somewhere in between determination, heart palpitations, lethargy and giddiness I stopped smoking cigarettes eleven days ago. Oddly enough I feel more level headed than I’ve felt in a long time, albeit a sleepy time.

I slept 16 hours per day during the first three days of the quit and sporadically puffed on a Nicorette Inhaler and on a nicotine-free electronic cigarette. I also thought about bookmarking a national directory of treatment centers on my browser in case I needed further help quitting.

The constant dizziness from quitting didn’t subside until day four and it’s still lingering today. And I can’t beleive the manufacturers of the Nicorette inhaler want you to use 12 cartridges per day! I’ve been using one per day since my quit and puffing on an electronic cigarette five to six times per day. And now, eleven days in, I’m weaning off both the Nicorette and the e-cig.

I’m not really sure what prompted me to stop smoking on November 19th, and can’t really say why I feel good or how come I haven’t gone crazy or regressed back into smoking again. I guess when the time is right you just do it and say frack off to everyone and everything else that gets in your way of completing the task at hand.

There are numerous reasons this quit is sticking…

Continue reading

The 20 Year Reunion Part 2 – and into the night we danced

While everyone in attendance likely has a different opinion of how the St. Malachy’s High School 1991 Graduating Class 20 Year Reunion went and of what they remember, made them laugh, made them uncomfortable or even made them think twice of another person, the following is from my point of view only.

A few days before the reunion an old acquaintance that I see once or twice per year facebooked asking if I’d like to get together with a few others for supper and a drink before hand. I immediately agreed as up until then I had many horrid day dreams of walking into and having to face the reunion alone.

I showered and dawned the special $3.00 second hand dress and 10 year old sandals and waited for Lisa to pick me up. We met up with Cynthia, whom I’ve been great acquaintances with since age four and Brian whom I don’t quite remember from high school, but was impressed that he is as geeky and nerdy as I am. We met at the Ale House, a popular local restaurant and enjoyed some great food and conversation together.

My stomach had been hurting and turning for days and as we left the restaurant and began walking to The White Room, a high end licensed venue a few short blocks away, it really picked up in the knot factor. Continue reading

I’m looking forward to June or why May didn’t bring flowers

Beatrice Bird Face illustration

May can just go back to where it came from with it’s rain, fog, rain, showers and did I say rain? It can also take the piercing pain and intermittent numbness in my left hand away too, and the pain in my right shoulder blade away and the dizzying mind numbing heart palpitating hypothyroidism away too. This is why I haven’t been blogging much. I’ve been dealing with a vast array of symptoms for the last 30 days and just doing my best to just be with them.

This is the first cohesive thought I’ve been able to blog during the last 30 days. I got into see the doctor last week as my symptoms had returned with a vengeance. My medication was upped this week to combat the flight and fancy I’m feeling most days. It’s confusing as heaven/hell to feel like you physically have to run a marathon when your mind is quiet and sleepy, and must sleep or rest when your mind is full of vivid thoughts and imagery. This is the yin and yang of hypothyroidism.

It’s not pleasant to wake in bed with a start and then feel like you are going to fall over and have a black out. Focus is not easy right now.

studio - illustrator jessica doyle

And the backyard garden is too sogging wet to plant or work. I’ve been spending my time with friends and family this last month. I guess it’s a good thing that I’ve learned the art of phoning or visiting people when I feel bad or am having an attack as I like to call them.

I’ve been reading, learning and drawing up a storm too as I seem to be able to research, implement, read and draw. I’ve been reading about Bitcoin and hope to offer it on a few select products in June. I read Thomas Moore’s, Dark Night of the Soul, The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan, BigCartel Help by BigCartel, PulleyApp Help by PulleyApp and the Bitcoin wiki written by everyone.

I went to a charity clothing swap and got some new-to-me clothes. I’ve donated more art this month to every event and charity possible. I think I’ve been added to a ask for donation list. I went to an art gallery hop and I made a few new real life female friends too which is awesome as it’s been too long. I am going to my 20 year high school reunion next month childless and unmarried. I’ve got two awesome roommates who seem to be able to cope quite well with my health issues. I’m hoping to travel to Fredericton next month and visit with two of my best friends, Vikki and Dana. Vikki has hypothyroidism and has been instrumental in helping me deal with the symptoms I’m experiencing.

Anyway, it’s been a long month, a full month.

The art in this post is a piece that I finished recently, although the photos are only depicting her half finished. I’ll post the finished one once she is scanned in. Her name is Beatrice. Say hi!

Life is good. Don’t give up.

vintage coupon from the 1940's

What would a person succumb to if they lost their ability to create or it was forcefully taken away during times of joy, sadness, anger, anxiety, illness or struggle? Most people have developed coping routines, whether they are conscious of them or not, that they do automatically during emotional periods of their lives.

But we only celebrate the joyful and not the sad or desolate times. I’m not saying that we should celebrate the sad or angry times but perhaps by stepping back we’ll realize that those times will pass and they’ll in turn incubate a new time for you.

Over the last few months I slipped into a darkness. I tend to write more during darker times with much of the words being hidden away behind the scenes as WordPress post drafts. I stop drawing… completely stopped drawing. The last time I picked up a pen to draw or doodle with was six weeks ago which spelled a beginning or rather crunch time when decisions must be made in order to find the clarity and love one so desperately needs.

I shut myself in. I barely spoke to anyone. Yes, I did the daily tasks reading and answering emails to the best of my ability and yes, there were happy hours and moments of what felt like normalcy. And in the end those happy times turned sour for days again quite quickly. And yes, people got angry at me online and offline ’cause I didn’t respond quickly enough or with enough fervor. I am one person, not a multi-national corporation and while I do my best to be prompt, it won’t always happen.

I finished my taxes during the last six weeks. I began the task of applying for an art creation grant that I hope to finish and submit later this week. I rented one room in my home only to find out on Facebook that he moved out, without giving notice, and only after he read my last blog post, while I was away in Fredericton having my computer repaired for five days. No hard feelings on either of our parts part. That’s the beauty of choice. A personal blog for me is simply a form of creative expression… a diary… a way to work through life and share ideas and I have no control over what another person decides to do after reading.

I could barely cry during the last six weeks or laugh for that matter. I danced numb and around to music in the studio during the last six weeks. I paced. I watched movies. I talked a lot to anyone, namely my parents, the postal clerks, the cat and two close friends who would listen in real life and also to people online too. I repeated myself a lot while talking. I lost the feeling and sense of touch in my hands and all over my body and feet during the last six weeks and it only returned last Sunday while in Fredericton. My eyes grew puffy and I had to drop dead on the bed to nap even after 10 hours sleep. I never slept soundly and awoke with a start each morning grinding teeth. I applied for a job and went on an interview and was offered that job last week.

I went into hiding for six weeks. I came out of hiding one night and attended the gallery hop only to become more confused after talking to two awesome but drunk doctors that night and being told it was wrong of my docs out West to withhold treatment for ADHD. I didn’t get a chance to say that I moved back east two weeks after getting that diagnosis. And I talked in the backroom with the wife of a gallery owner who has hypothryoidism away from the incessant noise of the gallery and it was the most memorable peaceful time of the whole night. We understood each other and it was good.

And I realized over the last six weeks that there isn’t too many people in real life who “get” me or maybe I just don’t “get” them. And that’s OK. No hard feelings.

I pondered selling my car and have made the decision to sell it after the brakes are fixed. And I couldn’t be more happy to begin walking and taking the bus when needed again for socializing is good when you work and live alone. And while having a car is convenient I can’t justify the cost or alienation from society that I feel when driving.

Over the last six weeks I’ve lost hope in modern politics, farming and energy and long for peaceful, organic and renewable ways of living. I loathe fast paced life and am slowing things down and surrounding myself in joy, simple and exciting things.

We all deserve joy and pleasure after darkness. We all deserve a decent living wage for a weeks work. We all deserve the freedom to speak our mind without fear of what others will say or do when what you speak of, is not threatening, hateful or harmful to a specific person. We all deserve to live with open minded people if we choose too. We all deserve choice and that is where it’s OK to agree to disagree. We all deserve to make our homes what we want them to be. We all deserve friends and family. We all have a right to all of these things and I’ll be damned if I’m going to lose my ability to feel at peace in my own home or place of work because people think I shouldn’t be so damned open and shut online. If people were really so black and white we’d all be from the 1950’s and starring with Beaver Cleaver.

Really, we are just human beings attempting to live in a world that’s becoming more crowded, more fast-paced, more race to the bottom, more segregated, more polluted, more poor, more wasteful and for what? Only to die in 50 to 100 years? Really if you can’t see beyond your own lifespan into a brighter future and work to create a loving memorable environment for yourself in your community then what do you have, but nothing.

Life is good. Don’t give up!

And thank you all for reading, for the thoughtful emails and comments. They brighten my day, everyday.

The Perfect Baking Powder three colour printed coupon form the early 1900’s was put out by the Canada Spice and Specialty Mills which were located in Saint John, NB, Canada and listed for sale in my vintage shop. I’m also loving the change of pace with working on my hobby! Life is perfect!

I wish this paper held more meaning or why income tax should be abolished

self employed canadian income tax preparation

Last night I began the task of sorting all my papers from 2010 into piles.

There are shipping cost piles, art supply piles, utility bill piles, packaging supply piles, energy pile, gas pile, two insurance piles, an oil pile, cleaning supply pile, mortgage pile, car cost pile, an office supply pile, printing supply pile, sale piles, room rental receipts, local sales piles, an advertising pile, a personal pile and these piles don’t include the copious amounts of online presence, fees, hosting costs, contracts or sales on the web piles.

Needless to say, I’m overwhelmed with the paperwork from operating two businesses and at a point where I feel like writing to the Government of Canada OMG wait… it’s now the damn Harper Government and demanding that poor people shouldn’t have to provide proof of income in fact no one living in Canada should have to provide proof of income. If they want to know how much money someone earned then they can come and do all the paperwork for me as I can barely afford to buy food right now let alone take time away from working to prepare my tax return.

Have you ever seen that New Brunswick social services commercial where the lady has to choose between eating a can of food or paying her rent? I’m in that situation and it has nothing to do with overspending, not budgeting enough for this or that, not working hard enough or making bad decisions with my money. It has everything to do with getting sick at an inopportune time, renting to an idiot last fall and not qualifying for health insurance, one bad art sale where I earned one third of what I earned the year’s previous sale, being single with no children in Canada combined with dramatic increases in the cost of food, home insurance and high rises in the general cost of living over the last two years.

And therein lies the crux of the matter. I earn barely enough to survive. And right now, I’ve gone through all my pennies. I need to laugh. Haha! It’s not all doom and gloom.

People who are employed and receive a T4 from an employer and who complain about taxes have it easy at income tax time. I’m not saying paying taxes are easy… all I’m saying is that you do not have the tremendous amount of paper work that someone who is self employed has. Please don’t ever complain about having to prepare your simple income tax forms. I know the difference as I used to work for somebody else too.

Self employed people in Canada have it the roughest. Self employed poor people have it even rougher. I have the same amount of income tax paperwork to do as someone who runs a large company.

And I’m not angry at anyone. I made these life and career choices. Really, I’m trying to find the positive in this. I’m trying to find the courage to overcome this. I even thought about getting a job, any job, and seriously looked for one in January and February but it’s not enough money to even make a difference so I worked very hard and got one room rented to a nice man and have another room rented for next month to someone who lived here last year. and each of those men will be here through to the Fall of the year. Those two room rentals pay me what I’d earn working at a part-time job. And room rental is a part-time job. I can’t count how many people say I’m lucky having the rental income… where is the luck in this? I work at it and clean those rooms and give up my privacy in exchange for money.

On the other hand, I get to have wonderful people to share my home with which is socialization that I so desperately need. It keeps me happy and keeps me going and in a weekly cleaning routine. I’m generally happier with people living in my home. And that in turn allows me to think more clearly and do the (tax) things that under Canadian law I must do.

I also know the bad times don’t last forever and that there is always a silver lining or upside to the downside. I have never asked for nor applied for a government handout, I’ve never applied to help pay for my health-care costs or housing. Maybe I’m too proud or maybe I’m just stubborn. I miss having the safety net of Employment Insurance and even though they’ve opened up to allow self employed people into the EI program… it won’t work for me as the income I earn from room rental will cancel out any benefit that I’d receive when underemployed, sick or pregnant. My life is a catch 22.

I do beleive things are changing though as my health improves ever so slowly. I hadn’t realized how bad I actually was until five or six weeks into taking Synthoid did my body and mind go “This is what I’m supposed to feel like and how did I even manage before?”.

I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow to get the latest round of blood test results. Sadly, I’m feeling as low as I did in early January, meaning I’ve likely plateaued on the Synthroid and need the dose increased.

Anyhow, this is what I’ve been up against over the last five months. And everyday I’m grateful for family and friends both on and offline who provide the positive energy I need to keep going and finally rise above and overcome this mess. Thank you, all, for that.

And keep in mind that income tax was only created as a temporary measure to pay for the wars and now that war continues against the disappearing middle classes and poorer classes in Canada.

And it makes me laugh because even Missy the cat is shaking her head in disgust sitting on the paperwork. 😉

The Medicine of Duck Duck Goose

So thank you everyone for the kind words and for sharing your hypothyroidism stories here on the blog, on Google Buzz and in email with me. The hardest part in all of this is accepting it and thus moving forward with changes I must make to my daily routines and eating habits.

I have many questions and concerns that seem to be unanswered at the moment or are answered in a way that brings up more questions or the answers just haven’t sunk in, yet.

Can I take a pro-biotic with Synthroid in the morning as it’s to be taken on an empty stomach and first thing in the morning too? I take two 10,000,000 billion active cells capsules that contain both acidopholus and bifidus. This has kept Chron’s disease in remission for 14 years and I do not want to stop taking it as it works.

And what about Calcium? I was taking 500mg of calcium carbonate/citrate w/ vitamin D daily and used to take it first thing in the morning too at the recommendation of my family doctor in Vancouver, due to a family history of early onset osteoporosis. When do I take this supplement if I can’t take it with Synthroid? Is it safe to take it at all while on Synthroid? Do I take it before I go to bed instead? Is that safe? Continue reading