Missy Elliot and Graves Disease

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I briefly read from The Root headline that rapper/hip hop/r&b producer and label owner Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot has had Graves Disease for a couple of years. Graves disease is when your thyroid levels go through the roof and your heart races and you get the “shakes”. You become irritable and forgetful and you have a tendency to lose weight. If you are not careful your eyes bulge out of their sockets which is a telltale sign that lead to former FLOTUS Barbara Bush to be diagnosed by doctors. Your eyes do recede if you catch the disease in time but when I had it I was left with chronic dry eyes because my eyes do not close completely at bedtime. Surgery could remedy this where stitches would alleviate the open eyes but my eyes did decrease in size. One eye is larger than the other but it is hardly noticeable.

If you felt my thyroid gland when I was in the midst of the disease you could feel how and observe how enlarged it was. Can you say Adam’s Apple? I tried the medication to get my thyroid back in balance along with the anti-anxiety medication but after months it was not working. I was once again bed ridden and prior to my diagnosis I just assumed it was depression until  my assertive friend Betty insisted it was something else.

I read tons of books on thyroid disorders and I decided to go with the radioactive iodine treatment. You drink the iodine which essentially “kills” your thyroid, and you are left taking synthyroid, a synthetic hormone for the rest of your life. Every three months or so you must take a test to determine your thyroid levels. If it is off, your medication must be adjusted. It has been said that you can avoid medication by alternative methods such as working out or taking a thyroid hormone from an animal. I see the best endocrinologist in the state and he takes his time as he is so thorough. I give thanks to the father above because I was a hot mess and did not know what to do with myself. It turns out my sister had thyroid issues around my age and ended up having surgery. It is best to see a specialist to make well-informed decisions. Otherwise you can find yourself in a morgue, or nicknamed “Frog” because of your bulging eyes.  You need exercise and the benefit of sunlight and support. Do not underestimate this small, butterfly shaped gland that acts as a thermostat in your body.

Post Script: I stumbled on an old photo of Barbara Bush in 1940. For the majority of my adult life I have seen her in pearls and the gray do. I am totally shocked that Mrs. Bush looked like a pin up girl back in the day. Carry on and be strong, readers.

Eat Something, Already

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If you were tuned in yesterday, you would recall that I slept all day and had serious cramps. Well the solution was simple: after I ate something solid as opposed to Boost Plus Protein Drinks, I felt much better. My body was trying to tell me that consuming liquid food was not enough and I needed to get my behind up and get some real food! So once I consumed some carbs it was much better for the home team. The next day I ventured outside the house and into the below freezing weather and I have to say doing that refreshed me. Just walking to put the trash bin at the end of the driveway felt wonderful. There was less than an inch of snow on the ground and I thought about shoveling for a mini workout. Later I plan to go to my favorite grocery store, Aldi’s, to pick up some healthy food. I already have brown rice and yams, so I am thinking chicken and fish. The scary part of this vignette was I knew this already. Yesterday, then was a Pity Party Day, so I’m telling myself, “It ain’t that type of party!” Peace.

Note:  Aldi’s is a no-frills, bag your own groceries, no courtesy desk store where the store brands are actually tasty. They are based out of Germany and you can money by shopping here, especially if you are on a fixed income like myself.