Back to Square One

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I have been thyroid sick for quite a while. I don’t know what’s wrong. It’s been affecting my work. I’ve been constantly calling in or being sent home when census is low. At home, I just lie down and do nothing but sleep. My period has been longer than normal and the worse part, depression.

I know it’s just a clinical depression, something that is thyroid-related. But it’s just sucking all of my energy. I’ve lost the interest in doing the things I love, developed a severe anxiety every time I go to work, and the feeling of hopelessness. Nobody seems to understand, even my closest co-workers. It’s just my thyroid. Once the levels are back to normal, I’ll be okay.

But the thing is, I went to the Doctor, told him I feel worse than ever, had my blood test done and it came back normal, like I’m just making up all of my symptoms. The Doctor, nonetheless, increased my Synthroid from 112 mcg to 125 mcg.

The Nurse called me to tell me about my lab result.

Nurse: “Your thyroid levels are normal. You should continue taking your thyroid medication and please see an OB-GYN regarding your prolonged menstrual period because that is not thyroid-related.”

Me: “But my period already stopped when I started taking the higher dose of Synthroid. So it’s not a case for OB.”

Nurse: “No, your thyroid levels are normal. It’s not thyroid-related. You should go see your OB.”

Didn’t she just hear what I said? My period stopped after taking the higher dose Synthroid. Why would I see an OB-GYN when my period has already been taken care of? Didn’t she know that hypothyroidism can cause irregular or prolonged menstrual period? Does she even know anything about the endocrine system? Sometimes I wonder if hypothyroid patients know more than Doctors and Nurses. I’m a Nurse and my knowledge about hypothyroidism was just limited until I had the disease.

I started checking out my FB and IG, start uploading pictures on IG about how I feel; I stopped doing yoga and meditation; I stopped waking up at 4:30am; I started eating a lot and gaining more weight. I’m a mess.

It’s hard to motivate yourself when your hormones are not cooperating. I even asked to be transferred to a less stressful work environment. But even if I’m already in a less stressful environment, I still go home totally exhausted and ready to sleep.

I needed to write down my thoughts and see how I’m thinking. Maybe it will motivate me to fight my illness and win this battle.

 

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Thyroid Tired

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I am sick. I have very unstable hormones. The clinic forgot to refill my medication before my vacation. So I’ve been taking the higher dose pill that was left. When I came back from vacation, I was in the middle of transferring pharmacies and there was a problem with the refill. There was none. These all transpired over the weekend when the Clinic was closed. I’ve been out of Synthroid for a few days. Let me tell you something, it ain’t good at all.

I work in the ER and it’s always busy. But in the middle of charting, I’m falling asleep. Yes I know it’s a dangerous place to work when you’re hypothyroid and you have brain fog. That’s why I move so slow and I had to check the orders with the patient’s name, like, 10x. In ER, you have to move and think fast. In my case, I’d rather be slow than make a mistake.

So on my day off, if exhaustion could kill, I would be dead. I don’t even have the energy of a slow turtle. I’m practically useless. I sleep all day, I wake up and sleep some more. I don’t even have any energy to eat. I called the Clinic after Memorial day to remind them about the refill. I even texted my Charge Nurse to put me in triage or dispo because I ran out of Synthroid. But I wasn’t able to go to work the next day. I wasn’t even able to call in sick. I wasn’t even planning on missing work. My body just didn’t function. So I called the hospital and told them I couldn’t work because I was sick, thyroid sick.

As soon as I got my refill, I went to work the next day even if I know that the medicine hasn’t kicked in yet. Luckily, I have very supportive co-workers. My Charge Nurse even called and asked where I want to work that day. I chose fast track because I don’t have to deal with critical patients. But I’ve been struggling.

The next working day, I had to work in triage with 20+ patients waiting, then got switched to work on the green side at 1pm to care for a patient who got bit by a rattlesnake, with the swelling on her arm rapidly spreading. I still have other patients with pending orders and a Nurse Practitioner who was on my neck asking if I’ve already done the orders when I haven’t even seen the patient. Then another patient came in while I was in the middle of taking care of the snake bite who had a clean room in ICU. I wanted to cry because I know I couldn’t work like I used to.

When I told my co-worker that I’m more exhausted now than I used to, before I got my thyroid removed, she dismissed it as normal. She said she also feels the same and said it will pass. They don’t understand how it is to be thyroid tired! I am not being lazy. I am not making up excuses. I just can’t work in ER anymore.

It’s so frustrating when people don’t understand hypothyroidism. I didn’t, until I had one. When I forget a co-worker’s name, they say that’s normal. When I feel sleepy, it’s normal. When I’m tired, it’s normal! Everyone is sleepy, tired and forget names. And it’s NORMAL!

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired and no one who understands. My routine was ruined. I couldn’t wake up early to do yoga and meditation. I’ve been gaining weight. I have mood swings. I’m a mess. I haven’t even studied for TOEFL. And I’m so frustrated that my Doctor couldn’t even figure out my Synthroid dose.

It’s a hard battle I’m dealing with. I just hope people would understand.

 

 

 

Post-Vacation

My May birthday vacation made me open my FB and IG again to upload some photos. I didn’t upload much like before. I’ve just uploaded, maybe, 4-5 pictures per day, mainly from IG shared to FB. After the vacation, I deleted the apps. I haven’t opened them since. And it’s been almost a month!

Do I think of checking on them and see what’s going on? Sure! I’ve tried once,  but I got too overwhelmed! So many things has been going on I couldn’t keep up. So I shut it down and deleted it.

The only thing is that, I don’t know what’s going on with my friends, relatives and co-workers. I go to work, find out a co-worker is missing, only to learn that he already resigned. Everybody knew except me. Then one of my co-worker’s Mom died and I’ve come to know about it 4 days later when someone was passing a card to sign. I mean, when it comes to actual gossips at work, I was always the last one to know. And now that I’m not active in FB and IG anymore, it feels like I don’t know anything about anyone anymore, which is great! I keep up by actual conversation. I don’t keep up with gossips, mind you. I just like having actual conversations rather than small talks.

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I have this photo on my phone to remind me to enjoy the moment as it unfolds right before your eyes. You can keep a memory frozen in a photo or video, but the best memories are always kept in our minds. I even got my husband to quit FB too. Now before we go to bed, we have amazing conversations that we ended up sleeping late. The feeling of connection is so strong, I feel like we’re getting to know each other a little bit more everyday even if we’ve already known each other for 20 years.

It feels so liberating to be able to escape from the shackles of social media. When I was in Yosemite, staring at the wonderful creation of God, I felt one with nature. I felt at peace. It’s a wonderful feeling. And I’d like to preserve that feeling. Being free from social media made me come back to the present moment.

I am presently trying to practice minimalism, and my husband agrees with it. Less stuff, less clutter, more room, more space. I am trying to get rid of some of our stuff that we hardly use. You know what, it feels amazing. I feel lighter, like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulder. We don’t just buy stuff that we wanted. We think first if we really need it. And we ended up not buying anything.

Enjoy the moment!

 

 

Don’t Call Me on the Phone

 

 

I don’t like talking to people on the phone. I just dread it when I see my phone ringing. I can text. I can type really fast. But I just can’t talk on the phone.

I can answer phone calls when the person calling is somebody close to me like my family or my closest friends. Sometimes, I even hesitate answering phone calls from friends. Texting to me is more convenient. You can answer anytime you want and you can choose to ignore them anytime you want.

I don’t know why I don’t like talking to people on the phone. It gives me an anxiety whenever I hear the phone ringing. I don’t answer numbers that aren’t listed on my phone book. Even if they are, it takes me a while to decide if I should even answer it or not.

I would rather talk to the person in person rather than on the phone. Video calling is not even acceptable to me. Maybe I’m shy, or maybe I’m just too introverted. But I just can’t.

An App that Helped Me Wake Up Early

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I am happy to tell you that I have finally found a way to wake up early in the morning without feeling lazy, sleepy or tired. I’ve read some articles on the internet on how to keep a routine of waking up early, and watched videos on YouTube as well. Almost all of them have the same strategy on how to wake up early. One thing that really worked on me though is just an app. Yes, an app!

I’ve downloaded the app, unplugged my night light, started tinkering our actual digital alarm clock (which I haven’t used since I bought it), tried to set the alarm at 4:30 am, not sure if it will work; I also tried to wind down 1 hour before my bedtime (10:00am). I did bedtime yoga, using my yoga app called Daily Yoga, meditated, closed our bedroom door to keep the noise out (my husband likes watching basketball before he sleeps), and turned off the light so the room was in total darkness. Then I set off the app that helped me wake up.

I’m sure you’re dying to know what that app is. It’s called Sleep Cycle.

It’s a really wonderful app. It’s not just an alarm clock, it also analyzes your sleep cycle. It will show you a graph of the times you are in deep sleep and the times when you’re sleeping lightly. It will also show you when you snored and I did! You can listen to it but then you have to pay for the subscription. The app is free, but if you want more option, then you have to pay. The good thing about it? It wakes you up in between your preferred alarm time when you’re in your lightest phase of sleep, so it feels like you’re just waking up naturally. It feels amazing! A regular alarm clock will go off and can wake you up whether or not you are in deep sleep. That is why you tend to hit that snooze button a couple of times before you decided to finally get up and still feel sleepy, lazy and tired.

So that very first morning when Sleep Cycle app woke me up, I didn’t hit the snooze button. I didn’t feel like going back to sleep. It woke me up around 4:15 am. I got up and was able to do some yoga and meditation before going to work.

I just can’t tell you how much this app was able to help me. Today is my day off and I still managed to wake up early and it feels so good! I was able to do a lot of things and it also kept my mood in checked. I have plenty of time to do my check list.

It’s unbelievable how an app can help you. I’ve also downloaded an app to help with my weight loss. It’s called Lose It! Everyday when I wake up, I check my pre-breakfast weight and record it on the app. Then it allows me to log all the foods that I eat and calculates my calories. Based on your height and weight, it will calculate your ideal caloric intake. It tells me whether I’m over my daily calorie requirement and I can make my own adjustments. Like, I can either, eat lightly at night when I ate a lot during the day, or I can exercise more to compensate for the extra calories I’ve eaten.

I am so proud of myself! Good job, me! 🙂

Aja, fighting!

(BTW, our digital alarm clock didn’t work. It must’ve been set up at 4:30pm instead of 4:30am. Who knows?)

 

When It’s Hard to Get Up in the Morning

I wasn’t able to get up at 5 am today, even if I set up my alarm clock at 5 am. Last night, I was able to go to bed at past 11 pm. I woke up as soon as J woke up to go to work. While he was taking a shower, I went to the kitchen to pack his lunch. I asked him if he wants some breakfast and he said he’ll just drink coffee in the office.

When he left, I started some yoga exercise and meditated. Then I made some breakfast and ate while reading a book. I’m on-call today so I took a shower after breakfast.

This is currently my biggest problem, waking up early in the morning. I don’t know why, but my body just refuses to get up as soon as my alarm clock goes off. Hitting that snooze button is just so easy. I found something on Pinterest last night that made me want to commit to waking up early every day.

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I guess I just needed a whole lot of self-discipline to wake up early in the morning. I need to work on that.

Aja, fighting!

Lazy for a Day

After working for 3 straight days, I spent my first day off being lazy. I don’t always wake up late on my days off even if I wanted to. J had to go to work and I need wake up early to prepare him breakfast and pack lunch. Once he’s off to work, I clean up, starting from our bedroom to the living room and then the kitchen. I try to clean the bathroom before I take a bath. Normally, every first days off, I vacuum, dust the furniture, water my plants, and if I my mood permits, I do the laundry. But that’s usually J’s work.

Thirty minutes after taking my Synthroid, I brew some coffee and made myself some breakfast. Normally, with FB and IG, it would take me up until almost noon before I decided to move and do something else. Now that I’m off of both, I just enjoy listening to music and reading a book.

In the beginning of January, I started to wake up at 4:30 am to do some yoga, exercise and meditation right before going to work. I was able to keep that up until March, when I started feeling more stressed at work that I’d rather sleep it off, snooze my alarm a couple of times before I decided to get up and take a shower. My morning would drag real slow and I would be really exhausted at the end of the day. I’m starving myself at work because I don’t have enough time to sit down and eat. And when I get home, I stress eat. I was only able to get back to my routine on my days off. But now, I am too lazy to do it. So on my first days off, after spending all of my time on FB and IG (that was before), I lay down on the couch being lazy the whole day until I had to get up to prepare some dinner before J arrives from work.

This morning, though, since I’m on FB and IG sabbatical, I read a book during breakfast. After cleaning up and vacuuming, instead of studying for TOEFL, I lay down the sofa, turned on the TV, watched some educational show on YouTube until I fell asleep. J would then call me after lunch, which would wake me up from my sleep. After his call, I would continue sleeping until I had to get up to prepare him dinner. This time though, I just asked him to buy some roasted chicken in the grocery store because I was too lazy to cook.

I’m not happy at work. I mean, I love my co-workers but I’m not happy working in a busy ER. I don’t even think I belong in ER, even if I’ve been an ER Nurse for 8 years. That’s why on my days off, I try to recharge by being lazy. Meditation and yoga are supposed to help me manage my stress. I love doing yoga and meditation. The only problem is, since my thyroid removal, I sleep a lot. There’s no problem with me falling asleep at night. The problem comes when I had to wake up. It’s really hard for me to wake up early especially when I’m working. No wonder I’ve gained so much weight. Before my thyroid surgery, I was already overweight at 116 lbs. Now, my heaviest is at 122 lbs. And I’m just 5 feet tall.

So here are my goals:

  1. Go back to my ideal weight of 110 lbs.
  2. Wake up at 5 am everyday, work or days off
  3. Regular sleeping routine: 10 pm sleeping time
  4. Yoga and meditation first thing in the morning
  5. Start running again
  6. Quit Nursing (pass the NPTE so I can finally work as a PT, but I have to pass the TOEFL first)
  7. Start driving (I will try to post about my driving dilemma some other time)

I have to set my alarm clock tonight at 5am.

Aja, fighting!