Thursday, April 11, 2013

April Update

After 1-1/2 months of not posting I realized that I prefer enjoying my life to writing about my activities, health, beliefs, etc. Nevertheless I decided I could at least post a monthly update.  Friends who read my blog tell me that they enjoy reading about my day to day activities. However, I get the most 'hits' on posts about my medical experiences. So I'll share my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual news:

PHYSICAL:  I'm still doing very well on 55mcg daily of liothyronine (T3 supplement). Over a year ago I stopped taking my T4 supplement and started T3 only therapy.  After 8 months I reached my effective T3 dose and have stayed at that dose for the past 8 months. 

However, a week ago I accidentally consumed a small amount (1/2 teaspoon) of chocolate sauce which contained vanilla (one of my diagnosed allergens to which I strongly react).  After 7 days of cramps, bloating and reflux I'm finally feeling almost normal digestion again (and my typically flat stomach).  I was so angry at the sales person who gave me that tiny sample. I specifically asked what ingredients were in the chocolate sauce. She told me "only cocoa and agave". AFTER I tasted that, I looked at the label on the container and saw the word 'vanilla'. I asked the salesperson why she didn't tell me it contained vanilla. She tried to wriggle out of the situation by saying she didn't think the company added vanilla, but the cocoa already contained vanilla.  Just the same, the label stated vanilla and she lied by omission by not telling me when I asked.  NOTE TO SELF: Always read the container. Never trust the salesperson. SIGH

EMOTIONAL: This month began on a high note. A longtime friend spent her vacation seeing my city and spending time with me during the first week of April.  We packed so much into the four days we spent together. We shopped for clothes, ate lunch together every day, did the 'house tour' of my home, walked around my local lake and fed crows and coots, prepared and enjoyed a meal at my home, visited the art museum and waterfront aquarium, rode the Space Needle to the top and took lots of photos, saw the Dale Chihuly Glass Art Museum (first time for both of us) and enjoyed dinner at the Whole Foods Deli one night and at PF Chang's before she boarded the train to the airport and flew home home.  While doing all that we talked nonstop and learned so much more about one another. We walked so much each day that at one point I reminded my very tired self that I could return to my usual relaxed pace the following week. However, I felt rather numb during the first few days after she left. I didn't feel anything. Then yesterday I had to go into town to run errands before meeting my husband for dinner and a meeting at our church. When I returned to one of the same shopping malls where I met my friend several times during her visit, I realized why I felt numb. I really felt sad. I had just spent a wonderful week with a great friend, but now I was visiting those same places alone.  Just acknowledging that sadness and realizing how much I missed my friend helped me move on.  That experience reminded me that I used to feel numb, rather than face unpleasant feelings. I became more aware of my feelings several years ago. So that 'numbness' took me by surprise.

MENTAL: I still enjoy altering clothes that don't fit or flatter my body as well as I'd like.  Every garment is a new challenge, although some garments require alterations which are similar to previously altered garments. Of course, every successfully altered garment is like a brand new piece of clothing. I previously donated to charity (or tried to sell in consignment shops) clothes which no longer fit well (or never fit well, but I didn't really know when I bought them).  Now I love to pin, rip and resew anything I can find.  I haven't followed any patterns to make new clothes since last year.

SPIRITUAL: After reading "A Course in Miracles" cover to cover (in 3 months) and attending a study group about the "Course" for almost 8 months, I took a break from that group while my husband and I battled a bad cold. (The group met in the leader's small living room, where we could have easily shared our cold virus with the whole group.) After a few weeks away, I didn't really want to return to the group. We did return one night, but decided to stay away for awhile, at least until after the first week in April, when my friend visited.  However, on Easter on minister announced that she would lead a class on affirmative prayer during April.  We have attended Unity of Seattle for 8 months, but we're still mystified by that church's approach to prayer. So both my husband and I attended the first class last night and decided to take the whole course (another 3-4 weeks).  I realized after the first class that reading "Manifest Your Dreams" by Wayne Dyer familiarized me with the logic of affirmative prayer, without actually calling the approach 'prayer'.  (Maybe he could sell more books by not calling it 'prayer'.)  I know a bit more than I did before the first class, but I'm still struggling with practical application. Of course, that's why I took the class.

I'm uncertain where 'gardening' fits into my categories (physical? emotional?) ... but I wanted to mention that we started our vegie gardens. I transplanted brocolli plants (from a local store). My husband and I planted seeds for lettuce, green onions, kale, carrots, golden beets.  We will wait until we have warmer weather in May to plant zucchini and green bean seeds.  I still need to clean out the strawberry patch and transplant some strawberry 'volunteer' plants which pop up wherever birds (who eat the berries) drop the seeds.  Our raspberry and blueberry bushes are blooming, but we won't see signs of life from our grape arbor until after a few more weeks. My cold weather herbs are doing well. I need to use or freeze the rosemary before summer, because it thrives during cold weather and barely tolerates heat.



Lia said...

I miss you too. I was happy to be home but realized how much I missed you when I looked at the photos on my camera. I felt so joyous that week and really miss the smell of Seattle, your home, and seeing you and hearing your stories in person.

I felt like as we got to know each other I became overprotective of you, I felt bad that I didn't think to check the ingredients on that chocolate spread before you tried it. We both learned something... have faith in others, but double check to make sure you can trust them.

sue said...

Thanks foryour kind words. Actually I'm glad you weren't more 'protective' in checking allergen ingredients on that chocolate sauce. My husband is very 'protective' that way. Every time I pick up a container of a product with a label, he reminds me to read the label, even if the ingredients have been safe for years. He recalls the few times that companies have changed the ingredients to add vanilla or cane sugar or even soy to a food the I previously ate without allergic reactions. I know I should read labels each time I consider a food, but rereading labels of trusted products reminds me of how few choices I have with 7 diagnosed food allergies. However, getting sick for at least a week with cramps, bloating and reflux reminds me to be more responsible for myself. Nobody else can do it for me. Yet I appreciate that you care ...