Monday, September 10, 2012

On Hiatus (Mostly)

I keep hoping life will slow down so I can take some time for blogging, but it isn't. Keeping up with my kids has become quite the task, as I have two different schools for my five 1st - 8th students, plus kindergarten for Eliza, and preschool for Harmony.  Add in a couple of months of poor health and I'm barely keeping my head above water on some days.

Sarah and Allison on the first day of school

I've had a disease known as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis for almost a decade now.  Mostly, this condition has just been a minor annoyance in the background of my life.  I took for granted that I was managing my health fairly well, especially as I got back into running and worked hard to lose the baby weight.

At the same time, I've been having trouble sleeping since about December.  I asked my OB-GYN about it and tried several remedies, but nothing seemed to help me sleep more soundly.  I chalked the poor sleep up to pregnancy (and then later, to post-partum adjustments) and just tried to endure those last few months.   I never even thought that my thyroid disease might be causing some of my sleep and exhaustion problems -- after all, chronic exhaustion is something every mom deals with. 

Additionally, I had studied and knew what to watch for if I was hypothyroid (too little thyroid hormone), which is the usual manifestation of my disease -- symptoms like tiredness, lethargy, weight gain, and depression.  I didn't realize I should also have been watching for symptoms of hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone).  It turns out that the amount of thyroid replacement hormone is proportional to your  body weight.  Since I've lost 50 to 60 pounds in the last 18 months, or about 1/4th of my body, I should also have dropped down my daily medication in a similar fashion.  Since I didn't realize that and wasn't getting the in-depth blood tests that would have shown the problem, the stress and hormone levels built up over time, leading to a crash in early July and a slow recovery since then.

It's been a rough couple of months as we've tried to manage the symptoms of my disease -- insomnia, migraines, and all that goes with not getting sufficient sleep -- while waiting for my body to adjust to new thyroid levels.  I wish I could say that we have it all under control now, but since the thyroid affects so much of the other systems in the body -- the adrenals, the ovaries, maintaining metabolism, etc. -- and since it takes six weeks for the thyroid hormone to build up in the body, we're still playing a waiting game, taking several short-term medications to help manage symptoms while hoping that my body will adapt and adjust to the lower dose of thyroid replacement hormones.

At this point, I just have to wait it out and try to figure out a better balance in all aspects of life.  My husband has been wonderful, as have been my wonderful neighbors.  We're grateful to have good doctors who are working with us to manage this and sweet friends who are helping reduce my stress loads. 

With all that is going on, blogging is just not on the top of my list right now.  =)  However, I do want to keep this blog going in a limited way and would welcome your help with it.  I'm going to be asking a few friends to do some guest posts about large family life and I welcome any submissions from my readers about how you manage your household or any other topics that may be of interest to those who have their hands and hearts full of lots of kids.
You can email me any submissions at handsfullmom at gmail if you are interested in doing a guest post.  Please include a short paragraph introducing yourself and at least one photo to go along with your post. 


swedemom said...

So glad for your update. I've been worried about you and praying for you.

Take all the time you need to recover. From personal experience, I would advise you not rush and set back your recovery.

DinaJ said...

So sorry to hear this! I've been wondering if you were just on an extended trip this summer. At least you have more information than the first time it happened and you know that you will eventually get back to "normal" after some time. But, this time of year is hard in many respects and to have health issues on top of it is extremely difficult. Everything will be waiting for you when you're better! XXOO

Valerie said...

Sorry you haven't been feeling well! Hope you get feeling better really soon. :)

Diane said...

I still love reading your blog.

With the next set of holidays and family in town, I will be up in Provo more again. We will have to get together some time around all of that.

Maryanne said...

I'm so sorry you've had this to deal with on top of your already pressing load! I hope and pray that your body will find a happy equilibrium soon and am glad to hear others have in been able to step in to help.

Amber said...

That stinks!! Take care of yourself we'll wait!!

Evaly said...

I'm sorry you are not feeling well, I hope you have a quick recovery. I am having a difficult adjustment since the birth of my 5th in April and I don't know how you handle it all! I feel like I can't even keep up with the basics, especially because my baby still isn't sleeping consistently. If you (or any of your guest posters) have any tips for managing it all, I would love it.

Stephanie Cozzens said...

I will enjoy the guest blog posts -but if you do find time to share more details of the medical stuff I'd be very interested. I also have hypothyroidism, and found out about a month ago that my dosage was too high, making me hyper- instead. I'm also waiting for everything to settle back down.

But I only have five kids. My profound sympathies that you're managing it with 9!

Kacy Faulconer said...

Hormones are such a complicated science project! Take care. We're here.


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