Meet The Contributors

Mandy ~ I am a stay at home mom who has been on a medical roller coaster ride going from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what is wrong with me. All of the doctors agreed that there is something medically wrong with me, they just don't know what... Basically, just about every time that I go to the doctor, I wind up with a new diagnosis. It is very frustrating. I hope that some of these links will maybe help you or lead you in the right direction.

Ferd ~ I have had the honor and pleasure of practicing Internal Medicine for over 25 years. I am now enjoying sharing my thoughts and experience in the blogosphere in a number of ways. I am grateful to Mandy for including me on her excellent blog, Texas Medical Freak!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy Holidays!

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Christmas Gift Toy & MySpace Layouts at

Now I need to get the tree up in my house.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Very Scary Report ~ Toxic Schools ~ What Is Really Making Us Sick?

We all started feeling much better on Monday, it took the entire weekend for all of us to get over our colds. Now for the toxic schools...

Earlier this week on the “Today” show, they had a report that caught my eye. It was about toxic air in schools. Here is a link to the USA Today story. After watching this, I went online to see what if anything was toxic in our area (you can find out your levels here). I was shocked to say the least at what I found! Two of the schools not to far from our home were nationally ranked in the 4th and 17th percentile. The school ranked 4th was due to manganese and manganese compounds (96% of overall toxicity), sulfuric acid (1%), chromium and chromium compounds (1%), lead and lead compounds (1%), arsenic and arsenic compounds (0%). The 17th ranked school report is as follows; manganese and manganese compounds (90% of overall toxicity), sulfuric acid (3%), chromium and chromium compounds (1%), isocyanides (1%). The rest of our district’s schools ranked from 4th all the way down to around 61st. Not a pretty picture, and frankly it was a WTF moment. After reading Crimes Against Nature by, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., I always wondered what the pollution rate was in Dallas and its surrounding areas. Houston and small town Midlothian were two of the worst polluted cities or towns mentioned in the book. What I found out about the 9 schools in Midlothian (25 miles southwest of Dallas) was really shocking! Two of the schools ranked 1st, three ranked 3rd and then one each of 6th, 14th, 21st and 32nd. Here are some of the pollutant levels in Midlothian. Sulfuric acid (85%) manganese (19%) chromium (2%). In JRK Jr.’s book mentioned above Midlothian has one of the highest Down Syndrome birth rates in the state due to the huge concrete factory there.

Back to the 96% of overall toxicity of manganese close to us. I am fairly sure you are thinking to yourself, what the heck is manganese? I did too. So, I looked it up and I was shocked to find out what the results of high exposure to manganese was…Parkinson’s disease. As my regular readers know, I have two close relatives who have had Parkinson’s (my grandfather and an uncle). Parkinson’s is a progressive disorder of the central nervous system, caused by the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. There is no cure and it is virtually a death sentence. My grandfather suffered a excruciating battle for close to 25 years (for someone to live this long with Parkinson’s is quite rare). It is also more rare for someone under 40 to be diagnosed, actor Michael J. Fox is one.

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my hematologist (all of my blood work came back good except for my white count (almost always high), my EBV titer test (higher than it has been) and low potassium levels. Before I left, I told him about the USA Today story and what I had found out about the manganese levels close to our house. He almost as shocked about this as I was so, he ordered a manganese level. I am anxious to find out what my level is. As soon as I find out I will keep you all posted. If you look up what is toxic in your area please, let me know.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Flu And Cold Season Is Here…Now Odie Is Working Over Time

For days my allergies have been driving me crazy. My nose has been all stopped up, itchy and watery eyes. Then, Tuesday night my youngest came down with a sore throat. He woke up in the middle of the night with it really hurting so, I gave him a Tylenol. When I got him up to get ready for school he was really feeling bad so, he stayed home from school. Then it was time for my husband to get up and ready for work. Yep, he was sick too. So he stayed home from work and just worked from home. Apparently, about six other people at the office worked from home too. I hope that it is not the flu but, I have a feeling that it is. My daughter called me several days ago and she has the flu. Then, it was my turn. So far, it is just a really sore throat, tummy ache and overall feeling bad. I was planning on getting a pneumonia shot next week when I went to the doctor. But, who knows if I will be able to or not? So, since everyone has been sick poor Odie has been having to take care of all of us. Poor thing is so worried. He doesn’t really know what to do when it is someone other than me being sick. (New readers, Odie is my miniature American Eskimo. He thinks that he is my nurse and loyally takes care of me no matter what)

All was not lost last night though. My husbands all time favorite holiday movie came on. “A Christmas Story” we have watched it every holiday season for the past 15 years. I like it too, just not as much as he and my youngest do. Anyway, I found the clip of my favorite part of the movie. It is after the family goes to get a Christmas tree, after they have a flat, after Ralphie drops the “F” bomb and after his mother puts soap in his mouth. Ralphie has a dream that he is a blind beggar and goes to his parents house. They ask him what has happened to him and his reply is, “it was…soap, poisoning.” The soap poisoning is my favorite part. I never have understood why anyone would put soap in their child’s mouth?


We went to the doctor and I have a sinus infection. I guess that I need to get my nettie pot and goldenseal out to clear my nose. It is not one of my favorite things to do but, it does clear your sinuses. My son has some kind of viral infection so he is still feeling bad too. =( Hubby is back at work and seems to be feeling better.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cryoablation ~ One Week Out

So far, no regrets on getting the croablation done. Still having a few cramps but, nothing like last week. Hopefully this will help my cycles, and with the anemia too? If not, I just go the hysterectomy route.

If you have ever been to Texas, you know how crazy the weather can be. We have had a few cold fronts come through lately and it is reeking havoc on my allergies and my skin. My nose is getting raw from all of the drainage and chapped from all of the blowing. I found some “Zicam - Allergy Relief - Gel Swabs” and they are helping a bit. With my thyroid problems, I can’t take most of the OTC allergy medications they will mess with your thyroid levels. And so far, I have not found a Rx that works all that great either. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my mother-in-law asked me if I had heard about putting Vicks Vapor Rub on your feet. At the time, I had not heard about it. Basically, people have been using it to stop their coughs. I figured maybe it will work on clearing my nose too? The only thing that I noticed was that my feet were freezing. Then there is my skin, it had been doing really great since the doctor put my on my second prescription vitamin D. Now it is dry, flaky and chapped. I keep buying lotions trying to find one that dose not burn when I use it. No luck in that department so far…

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Her Option ~ Cryoablation Update

Monday morning, I had the Cryoablation done in my doctors office. Sunday night the anesthesiologist had called me to go over my crazy medication allergies and let me know what would be going on. I can’t tell you really how it went because I was completely out. Not out like surgery but more asleep. I remember them putting me under and a little of waking me up, other than that nada. When I woke up I was really thirsty, I mean really really thirsty. While I was waiting for them to let me go home, I didn’t really have much pain at all. By the time we were leaving the cramping had started. It was more like a really bad period cramp or cramps that you get just after child birth. By the time that we made it home, I had to take an Ultram for the pain and then another a hour later. Throughout the day I had to alternate Ultram and Tylenol. The pain was not like surgical pain but, it was very uncomfortable.

Day 2 was much better. I was still cramping, spotting a little bit and used Tylenol and Excedrin. The added benefit was that since my husband had to drive me to and from the doctor on Monday, he just took the entire week off. So, we went out to eat. When it is just the two of us, we try to go to places that our picky youngest won’t eat. We had planned to go to an Indian place but they were closed? So, we wound up eating at Razzoo’s a very yummy Cajun place. It turned out to be a very nice lunch date.

Day 3, I had a checkup with the doctor. After waiting a bit, he was busy delivering babies, the doctor came in. I told him how I was feeling and he did a sonogram. The sono showed that I still had a little bit of fluid but, nothing big. He told me that my next period may be a biggie. I didn’t really like hearing that but, if my next period is last bad one then it is all worth it. I also, have to go back for my next checkup in three months.

Thanksgiving was great, it usually is my mother and father-in-law cooks. It is always good but this year my f-i-l cooked the stuffing/dressing. Anyway, it was really outstanding! I did completely go off of my low or no sugar and low sodium diet… I had been doing really well on it too. Since we got back from my grandmothers funeral, I have been able to keep my blood sugar in check. Even after the wonderful and bad for you food it was down to normal two hours after eating.

After we ate, I picked my HFA (high functioning autistic) son up at the airport. I have written about him several times but, I don’t think that I have ever addressed his kleptomania on my blog? Ferd left a comment on my last post and he too has an autistic child. Anyway, he had ranted about the trials of being a parent of an autistic child here. All autistic children are different and they can have some very strange habits. My sons is never being able to understand “yours” and “mine.” Well…he gets the “mine” part more, you can not touch his stuff. We have tried everything to make him understand but, I think that it is more of a kleptomania thing. Anyway, I commented on Ferd’s blog about it and the only solution that we have come up with is to get a really big gun safe. We have two fire safes but, you can only put so much in them and nothing of any real size.

I will post more about the visit later. I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Her Option Cryoablation Monday

Several months ago, I posted that I was told that I needed to have a hysterectomy. After seeing five separate OB/GYN’s and receiving almost as many opinions…I found a very conservative OB/GYN. While he did say that at some point (within the next 10 years) I will need a hysterectomy. But, for now he has suggested Her Option aka Cryoablation therapy.

Basically, they go in and freeze your uterus to stop heavy bleeding. Who knows maybe, I will not be as anemic if it works out? This is an office procedure which makes the cost much less than a hysterectomy and a much faster recovery time (a day or two). Hubby is going with me since there is some kind sedation. I am glad that he is going with me, I will have someone to hold my hand and help reduce the anxiety of getting this done.

Anyway, I will keep you posted on the results and how everything goes.

Friday, November 7, 2008

My last post was an update on my grandmother and her fight with Pancreatic cancer. Originally the doctors had told her that she had two to six months to live. She decided to start the chemo treatment (not to save her life only to give her more time, she had one chemo treatment.

Two weeks ago, I my dad called to tell me that I needed to get to my grandmother. The doctor had told a family member that the cancer had spread much faster than they thought that it would and that she had hours to days left. It had spread to and completely attacked her liver. I emailed my husband and he arranged to take off work and called my sons school to get his work for the rest of the week so that he would not have so much homework to make up after we got back. We packed the car and drove to my grandmother. By the time that we got there they had already moved her to the hospice section of the hospital. When we got to her room, she recognized all of us, I did not think that she would one of the symptoms of liver failure is mental disorientation or confusion. I am glad that she did recognize us, mainly my youngest.

By Saturday, her liver and kidney function had deteriorated greatly. They had her on a saline drip and my dad asked if there was any medical necessity for it. When they told him no, he had the saline stopped. Then late Saturday night. my dad called me to tell me that she was gone.

I am so glad that I got to spend time with her in the end and that she recognized me. But, I was so hoping to be able to spend time with her before she go so bad. It has really been hard for me and the kids, since it has only been two years since we lost my mother. I don't think anyone can ever get use to death but, it really makes it hard when loved ones go so close together.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Update On Grandmother And New Social Security Attorney

My grandmother did decide to go ahead with the chemo and so far she has not had many side effects as of yet. I hope that she doesn’t, the chemo that my husband had was terrible. His chemo was much more aggressive and done to save his life, while hers is being done to just give her a little more time.

I finally found two attorney’s that are willing to appeal my social security case and I have decided which one that I want to take on my case! From what he said there are a lot of flaws in the judges decision along with gaps in medical records that should have been there. So, the waiting game begins again… To be continued.......

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Updates On My Grandmother And My Doctors Report’s

Thursday, my grandmother had an Upper EUS to look at her pancreas. The results were not good. It is stage III Pancreatic Cancer that is inoperable due to the tumor’s attachment to her gall bladder ducts and other organs. This on top of her PNH, other health problems and her age (88 ½). The doctor has discussed some chemotherapy but, this would only prolong her life some, it would not be a cure. Without the chemo the doctor is giving her 2 to 6 months to live. My dad and one of my uncles have told her that it is completely up to her whether to take the chemo or not.

I have dealt with the death of loved ones and friends but, this is really hitting me hard. I lost my mother two years ago after she developed pneumonia during a second battle with breast cancer. This was completely unexpected, she had just finished chemo and the cancer was gone all that was left was to go through radiation. It was a shock and completely hard to deal with. Even two years out, I still have crying bouts, it is getting better but it is still hard. One of my grandfathers had a inoperable brain tumor and chose not to have chemo (only to extend his life). My other grandfather had Parkinson’s so, I knew that we only had so much time with him. It wound up being years longer than most Parkinson’s patients and I am grateful for that. Then a little over 17 years ago a close friend of my committed suicide. His death left me a mess for a long time. I don’t know which is easier to deal with? All that I do know is that I am really hating death these days.

I guess on a lighter note. By the time that I went to my Endocrinologist appointment Friday, my blood pressure was back down to 118/80. But, my A1C that I did about a month ago was way to high and the Endo did not like so many 200+ blood sugar reading on my meter. She bumped up my Metformin from 500mg twice daily to 1000mg twice daily. I told her that the only change in anything (food or medication) was starting on Chantix to quit smoking. She told me that she very, very rarely puts any of her patients on Chantix. It is the only thing that I can think of to cause such a rise in my blood sugar. I cut out sugar about a year and a half ago. I don’t eat sweets, except on rare occasions. Even then I eat very little. When we went to the State Fair this year my husband, my youngest and I split a Belgian waffle and our son had the majority of it. So far…she has not told me that I am diabetic but, I have to call her if my numbers are over 140 for two days in a row. Diabetes is the last thing that I need going on with me. Now all that is left is to wait for the results of my biopsy from two weeks ago.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Really Really Getting Stressed Now

So far today, I have been on the phone with law firm after law firm after law firm and I am starting to feel like this picture. Mostly I am getting nope, sorry I can’t help you… A few have said that if I send them the documents from the judge that they will look over them. At this point I think that I would rather be dealing with the IRS than SS.

Anyway, on the updates since my last post. Monday, I had to go to the dentist to get two teeth fixed that I have cracked (broken) from grinding my teeth (three more to go). I have a night guard that I wear most of the time but, some times I get a brain fart and forget. That’s fibro brain for you. Later that night my dad called and told me that my grandmother had been taken to the ER because she thought that she was having a major gall bladder attack. Turn out they admitted her thinking that there was some blockage going on with her gall bladder. My grandmother is the original medical freak, she has lived with what turned out to be PNH (Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria). She has had this all of her life but, it was not diagnosed until about 30 years ago.

Yesterday, I went to my Rheumatologist. When they took my vitals my blood pressure was 145/93 which shocked me, my normal blood pressure is 118/70-80 something if not lower. I am not sure if this is from stress or my only other thought could be that I have recently lost about 10 pounds and my Synthroid is to high. I go to the endocrinologist on Friday. Anyway, once the Rheumatologist was in the room he asked me if my social security had gone through yet. I told him no, and his response was that he did not agree and that I could not work. Mainly due to the muscle pain and the major brain fog. He seemed to think that the mystery kidney/not kidney infection had to do with the auto-immune associated with Fibro. He didn’t think that it was a kidney infection but, he did think that there was some kind of infection some where. After being poked and prodded he wound up writing me another script for Lasix.

Then as if all of this was not enough to deal with I got another call from my dad. The hospital had done a scan on my grandmother (not sure if it was a CT or a CAT?) and they found a tumor on her gall bladder side of the pancreas. So, tomorrow they are going to do a biopsy to rule out Pancreatic Cancer. My grandmother is 88 ½ years old, has the PNH and has to take Warfarin. So, I am trying to stay positive that it will not be Pancreatic Cancer but, I don’t think that the chances are good.

Then for those of you who have been reading my blog and know about my crazy neighbor #2, he has been ranting and raving for almost a month now. Me and several of our neighbors have called 911. Most of the calls have been answered with, "he seems fine now". That's a laugh! Then last Wednesday or Thursday, the police came out three separate times and almost took him in the last time which was around 9pm. Then the next day, first thing he started in again. I finally wound up calling 911 around noon or so. Finally........they took him in to get committed for observation. I have since found out that a judge is having him transferred to one of our state mental hospitals. So, my crazy neighbor issue is resolved for at least 6 months.

I swear, when it rains it pours…

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The A Behind Anxiety ~ This Is Quite A Long Post

I have been absent from my blog for a while, I have been sick and I have been sick and tired. Which has really stressed me out and made my anxiety much worse. It all started with what I first thought was just a cold, I didn’t go to the doctor because the first week I was not running any fever I just felt really bad. Then came the second week and I started running a fever, my kidney‘s were really starting to hurt and my blood sugar levels were going crazier than usual. It wasn’t a really high one, my normal is 97.4 to 97.6 and it never gets any higher than that unless I am have some kind of infection. So anyway, it got up to 99.3 which I guess would equal 100.3 for a normal person? Luckily, I was able to get an appointment at our family doctor though it was not with the doctor but her physician’s assistant. The did a urinalysis, which came back with a few white cells, and sent me home with a Rx for Cipro.

I took the Cipro for three days and I was still running around a 100.3 temp, not to mention my ears were ringing like crazy and my eyes were burning. I called the doctors office and told them what was going on and they told me to quit taking the Cipro and called me in a Rx for Microbid. By this time it was almost the weekend, they told me to go to the emergency room if the temp got any worse or if I was feeling worse. It took until that Sunday night before I was back down to almost my normal temp. So, that Monday morning I called and got an appointment with the “doctor”. She redid the urinalysis and this time it was completely normal but, my temp was going back up again. She told me to stay on the new anti-biotic and see the OB/GYN to see if possible my bladder was falling and causing all of this? Luckily, I had suspected the bladder falling and had already made an appointment with yet a new OB/GYN and it was later this same day. She also sent me home with the following; pro-biotic, digestive enzymes and a omega-3. I took one of the omega-3 that night and then one the following morning. Within 30 minutes or so of taking the second omega-3, my ears were itching and I was itching from head to toe. I have taken omega-3’s before with out any problem but, I looked on the bottle and these have pharmaceutical strength “fish oils”. I am highly allergic to iodine, fish and shellfish! So, I called the doctors office and the directed me to take Benadryl. It wound up taking all day and that night to get the allergic reaction to stop.

I get to the new OB/GYN and one of his first questions was, “why are you on all of these medications?” At this point he had not seen all of my crazy diagnosis’. He checked my bladder and didn’t seem to think that it was falling (much less anything else) but, could not explain the fever, kidney’s or the blood sugar issue. I asked him about all of the other OB/GYN’s telling me that I needed a hysterectomy for various falling issues and he said that while I did not need a hysterectomy now that I would in the next ten years or so… He did want to do an endometrial biopsy (EMB) to rule out endometrial cancer. This due to my history with cancer, my mother having breast cancer twice and a family history of endometriosis. We scheduled the EMB for the following week.

In between all of this going on, I get a letter from the social security judge and my attorney. The judge turned me down for social security benefits’ and then my attorney refused to file the appeal for me. All of this caused me to have one of my worst anxiety attacks in the past two years. This was only second to when my mother passed away, that one was a big one, not the biggest but I will save that for another post. I couldn’t breath, I thought that I was going to pass out, I was nauseous and a major hot flash. Anyway, I don’t think that the judge addressed all of my issues much less all of my “social security approved” issues. Had I never had an anxiety attack, I think that this would have brought one on! I mean come on, how many people that are not chronically sick go to the doctor 10 out of 12 months of the year? I think that it is a safe bet to say, ZERO! I am trying to find a new attorney now to file the appeal for me, I will keep you posted on this.

I told my husband about the biopsy and the social security mess. He assured me that everything would work out with the social security and told me that he would go with me to the biopsy. I told him that I was a big girl and could go by myself but he insisted that he was going with me. The biopsy wasn’t as bad as I thought that it would be but, I am glad that he went with me. More than likely the biopsy will turn out normal but, the idea of having yet another cancer terrifies me. Endometrial cancer unlike follicular thyroid cancer, you don’t just cut it out and take one radioactive iodine pill and be done with it. This time I could have to deal with chemo and radiation. Even though, I have one of the best oncologist in Dallas (he also saved my husbands life when he almost died from stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma), I really would rather not have to go though chemo and radiation. I really could not ask for a better husband. He is my best friend and very supportive. I am sure that he gets tired of all of my freakiness at times but, he is always there to take care of me. I really do appreciate that, I don‘t think that I could deal with all of this without his support. Next week I get the results of the biopsy so, I am really not looking forward to the results. More and more added stress.

Now back to the main topic of this post, Anxiety… While I don’t think that anxiety is the cause of all of my problems, I do think that the stress of constantly being sick, the doctors not really being able to pinpoint the cause of my autoimmune issues, etc. All of this just adds to my anxiety issues. Not to mention, I can tend to be a bit of a control freak. Not the typical control freak but, if I feel that I have no control of a situation I wind up having an anxiety attack. After looking at the WebMD page on anxiety, the main symptom that jumped out at me was “fear of dying” this never entered my mind before loosing my mother. Not that I think that I am going to die, it is more the fear of leaving my children behind. I was 39 when I lost my mother, that was hard enough. I would never want to put my children though that and I guess that is my biggest fear.

I am still hopeful that the biopsy will turn out negative and I will be able to get the social security decision reversed. I will let you know about the biopsy next week. I have several doctors appointments so, I am sure that I will be posting several (that is as long as I am not completely wiped out). But, the social security will be whenever……

Monday, September 8, 2008

Writers Block/Brain Fog ~ I've Been Tagged

Susie over at Soul-To-Soul aka my sister Stevie Ray Vaughan junkie recently tagged me. Now I am supposed to list either six boring or quirky things about me. Then pick some other bloggers to continue the circle. I usually don't like being tagged but, since it is Susie, I will play along. Hopefully this will help with my brain fog/writers block?

  1. Like Susie, I thought that school was a social event, who knew that it wasn't =) I did pass most of the classes that I really liked with A's and B's but, the rest...were by the skin of my teeth. I also passed this on to my daughter (genetically) her kindergarten teacher called me the first week of school and told me that "your daughter talks entirely too much!" Needless (and proud) to say, my daughter graduated in the top 25% of her 5A rated class. It took her until her Jr. year of high school to get above a "N" on her conduct grade.
  2. My wonderful husband looks like Johnny Depp’s older blue eyed brother.
  3. I am an Aquarian who attracts Cancer’s but, I prefer June Cancer’s over the July variety.
  4. If my husband and I had been born in the late 40’s to early 50’s and not the 60’s we would have been complete flower power hippies.
  5. I have an eclectic collection of music (Blues, Rock, Reggie. R&B, Metal and yes even some Country) but, at heart I am a metal head.
  6. I am not a big on sports but…I do love a good Hockey game and you can even through in a fight or even a game with a bunch of fouls so that they get thrown into the penalty box. Don’t get me wrong though, I am in no way “a Hockey mom with lipstick.” I just like to go to the games.
Now for my blogger picks, Angelika, What Does This Song Mean To Me?, My Autism Insights, The Best Parts, Just Breezie and Stop Apathy Now.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What Kind Of Billionaire Would You Be?

Today, I found this on Angelika's Other Blog
she is an Investor. Turns out that I am a philanthropist. I never thought of it that way but, I have always wanted to set up a non-profit to help parents of autistic and other disabled children get all of the help that they truly deserve. Then, I would give money to various researchers to come up with a cure (ie. Brest Cancer, Autism, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Fibromyalgia and others.

What would you do with your money?

What are you and what would you do???

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Update To My Last Thyroid Post

Back on the 15th, I did a post on Under Diagnosed Thyroid Disorders ~ Learning Disabilities ~ Fibromyalgia. Since then I have been back to the endocrinologist (I have to go ever three months to check on the cancer). First we went over my labs, which were the best that they have been in years! My white count usually runs between 12 and 14 but, this time it was 9.7. Vitamin D and Calcium are finally normal too. My T4 was a little high but, for the first time since my youngest was born I am starting to loose weight! Yea!!! So, she is leaving me on the Synthroid dose that I am on unless I loose 5 more pounds. Best of all my TSH was 0.005, normally this would not be good but for a thyroid cancer patient it is really good. Your TSH level comes from what your pituitary gland thinks that your thyroid is doing.
Next we talked about my youngest with prior low thyroid levels. The endo said that due to the strong family history of thyroid problems, my thyroid cancer and my great-grandmother’s thyroid cancer that we do need to monitor him very closely and treat if he is low. She also said that with all of the family history, he has a greater risk of developing Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s or Hashi is an auto-immune disease that makes your thyroid attack itself. Ahhh, not what a mother (with auto-immune issues herself) wanted to hear. So, the next week I took him to our family physician and she ran all of the thyroid tests including the antibody test for Hashi. Luckily, his levels were up since the last time we checked and he was negative for the Hashi. We will just have to keep an eye on him from now on.
While we were there, I got a prescription for Chantix. I have tried everything to quit smoking. Now, on my 4th day on Chantix I am still smoking but cut back to 15 per day and the urge to smoke is not as great. One thing that I have learned about Chantix is you really need to eat before you take it. The first day, I just had a snack and it really made my stomach upset. It also makes me a little sleepy, hopefully that will go away soon. I have also heard from other users that it will make you have strange dreams. I have had some but, nothing to bizarre.
Let me know if you have tried Chantix and how it worked for you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Mothers View On Autism And Michael Savage

Last night, I had trouble sleeping so I came down to watch some TV. While flipping through 500+ channels of nothing, I came across the Larry King show. Midway through the show, the topic was on Michael Savage on Autism Fraud. I had never heard of Michael Savage, he is a conservative talk radio host. On his July edition of his show he claimed that autism is “a fraud, a racket.” Well, being a mother of an autistic child, this did not help my sleep issue one bit! Here is a clip from the show.

Clearly, he does not have a child or close family member with autism. Here is one of his quotes that I found on among other sources. Autism is “a fraud, a racket. …I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out. That’s what autism is. What do you mean that they scream and they’re silent? They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’” This reminds me of a time when I was pregnant with my youngest and I was the grocery store with my daughter and my autistic son. I had been working all day (I was still working full-time then) and the kids had been at the sitters. I avoided taking my son to the grocery store whenever possible, he did not like going and almost always had a meltdown of some sort. My husband was working on a project; otherwise he would have been watching him. Looking back, I think that it was either the lights or the humming of the refrigerator cases that set him off? Anyway, back to the grocery store. Almost as soon as we got in the store, he started throwing a fit. Since we had to get some groceries, we tried to ignore it and just get done what needed to be done. When we were just about finished shopping we were stopped by a man (a redneck in every since of the word), he looked at me and said “It looks like someone needs their britches busted!” I was completely taken off guard. Completely irritated with the entire situation and not to mention pregnant and hormonal, I did something that I shouldn’t have but…I did. I looked at him, pointed my finger directly in his redneck face and said “You…need to mind your own damn business!!!” His first reaction was just a dumb shocked look on his face, like lady I know you just didn’t tell me off. Then, he looks at my daughter and says “no wonder he acts like that.” I had never done that before and I haven’t done it since. But it seems to me that this redneck and Michael Savage are cut from the same cloth… Below is a clip of his show.

This one is from a later show.

In one of the clips he says that this is some kind of racket for funding for social services (such as Medicaid) and extra services in school. As long as our son was living with us, he never got any extra services our private medical insurance and our money paid for everything. As far as school goes…that debate is still up in the air since Texas school are one of the worst as far as Special Education goes. Then he goes on about how now autism is not just autism any more that it is now called “autism spectrum disorders.” Well, here is the definition of ASD’s from the National Institute of Mental Health.

Now, do I think that there are children over diagnosed with autism and other disorders? Yes, I do but I also believe that there are just as many if not more under diagnosed with autism. It wasn’t until my son was 7-years-old before he was diagnosed with autism. It is not that he wasn’t autistic before that; he just wasn’t the typical non-verbal autistic that is the “Kanner autistic.” He has always been autistic. “Normal” babies do not need to be tightly wrapped in a blanket (like they do in the hospital), put in a swing (without the swing being turned on) and then a vacuum cleaner be turned on for him to go to sleep. That is not something that a non-autistic parent would ever have to do. Most babies would rather be cuddled and rocked to sleep. My view is that people like the redneck in the grocery store, Michael Savage and others like them just, need to shut up about things that they know nothing about!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Under Diagnosed Thyroid Disorders ~ Learning Disabilities ~ Fibromyalgia

I have been working on this post since last week. I am beginning to think that maybe all of these things due tie together (Thyroid, LD’s and Fibro). As my regular readers know I was diagnosed with Follicular Thyroid Cancer three years ago. The first time that I remember having my thyroid levels (TSH levels) were tested was shortly after my last child was born and I was complaining about fatigue and hot flashes. Each time that I was tested, the test came back that my TSH levels were in “low-normal” range and I was never treated. At least not until a nodule showed up on a CT scan, then a biopsy was ordered and showed that I needed surgery to determine if it was indeed cancer and what type. Although, I have never been diagnosed with Dyslexia, I do think that I have it. I am sure this does not help with the brain fog from the Fibro or getting this post finished.

Last Monday, I was on and found this post simply titled “Thyroid” by Dr. Paul V. You can click here to read the post and the entire conversation. In one of my questions I asked, “Also, at what age should an abnormal thyroid be treated in a child with a strong family history of thyroid problems?" The reason that I asked was about two years ago, the doctor tested my youngest for thyroid issues and some other things. Everything came back fine except for his thyroid which came back “low-normal”. This didn’t surprise me because of my thyroid issues, several of my relatives have thyroid problems and just about everyone on my husband’s side of the family has thyroid problems. I guess the poor thing just didn’t have a chance, having a normal thyroid. This was Dr. Paul V’s answer to my question about treating children with abnormal thyroid, “As far as children go, with that history you should get periodic lab tests. If the children become symptomatic, or the lab values are a little off, you can do some nutritional things that will help quite a bit. Important because thyroid is linked to IQ and development.” I had no idea that the two were linked. Luckily, even though my son is dyslexic his IQ is quite high. So, I got to looking and I was surprised to find that there is a link to LD’s and Dyslexia with thyroid problems (You can find all of the links at the end of this post).

I really don’t understand why doctor’s today are so reluctant to treat a so-called “low-normal” thyroid? Years ago, everyone was on thyroid medication? It took me years to find a doctor that was willing to treat me, she waited though until after we found out for sure that my nodule was indeed cancerous. Now, without a thyroid, I have to be treated. I did a search on “complications in not treating hypothyroidism” and one of the articles that I found was on The complications listed were Goiter (a.k.a. nodule), Heart problems, Mental health issues (depression), Myxedema, Infertility, and finally Birth defects. I had two out of the six, the goiter and infertility. As far as the infertility goes my PCOS did not help matters. I know, I have three children but…there are 8 years between the first two and 5 years between #2 and #3.

I also found a new community called Rareshare for patients, families and health care professionals dealing the rare disorders. Here I found a group for Fibromyalgia and there I found a woman who blogs about Fibro. Her blog is called FibroFix. While searching her blog I found an article on thyroid and the link to Fibro, here. Then I also found on Chiropractic & Nutrition Wellness Center, this is a really good article on the subject.

Are all of these linked? I think that yes, it is a part of it. This is just a little FYI, I will leave it up to you to come up with your own conclusion.

Learning Disabilities Association of America

Dyslexia Research Institute

Thyroid Foundation of Canada

University of Maryland Medical Center

Chiropractic & Nutrition Wellness Center

Monday, July 7, 2008

Arte Y Pico Award

Recently, Sue from Creaky Easel nominated me for the Arte Y Pico award. If you have not been to the Creaky Easel, you really need to go. Sue has some wonder art work!
Upon winning this award you are tasked with the following rules...

  1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserve this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language
  2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
  3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
  4. Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of "Arte y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
Here is my list in no particular order.
  • Soul-To-Soul ~ Another one of my favorite Entrecard artist. Sue does wonderful pencil sketches of a variety of subjects but, my all time favorite subject that she does is Stevie Ray Vaughan. Update ~ At the time that I originally posted this, I could not find my favorite SRV sketch but Sue was kind enough to send me the link. Here it is Going To Austin.
  • Crazy Medical Cases ~ Regular readers know Ferd (my other Medical writer) but, I am not sure that you may know his other persona? On his blog “Crazy Medical Cases”, Ferd has a unique knack for merging whit, humor and sometimes very strange pictures in to his stories. One of his latest is about Parkinson’s. “Selective Hearing” is a must read for anyone feeling bad about a chronic illness or disease.
  • My Autism Insights ~ I just recently found this blog. Andrea is a mother of an autistic child. She has great autism links and reviews.
  • Telling It Like It Is ~ Lin has a unique parenting blog with lots of great parenting tips.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Freaky Friday ~ Dealing With Crazy Neighbors

I have not done a “Freaky Friday” post in quite a while. Recently, I was invited to be a featured blogger on when they ran across my Freaky Friday ~ Will Wonders Never Cease.

The following topic is on Schizophrenia, it and other mental health disorders, are serious illnesses and should be treated. This post is not meant to make fun of anyone except for the two people mentioned in this post. You will find helpful links and articles at the end of this post.

Now, to dealing with crazy neighbors, I don’t know how we wound up with two…and I really don’t have any answers to this problem (wish that I did). My daughter has always called our neighborhood the “Twilight Zone” because of all the strange people in our neighborhood. We have had our house for about 12 years, almost from day 1 we had problems with the woman across the street. She has Schizophrenia, her main issue has been that she does not like people parking on her side of the street. I could understand this if her house faced ours but, you see she has a corner lot and our house faces hers. She has major issues with people parking on the street on the side of her house (or in front). In the past she has gone as far as calling the police on our friends and family for parking there (or, throwing eggs and putting the water sprinkler over the fence so that they cannot get into their cars). I am not talking the “non-emergency number” but 911. The police have come out I don’t know how many times and every time she tries her hardest to convince them that her property line extends 6 feet into the street. We and the entire neighborhood have dealt with her for years. Overall, she is pretty harmless other than the fact that she loves to call 911 for just about anything. Good news though finally about four years ago she started leaving us alone along with pretty much everyone else. Well, except for the second crazy neighbor.

The second crazy neighbor lives directly next to us, he too is schizophrenic. Although, he pretty much leaves us alone, we still have to put up with his antics. His main issues are with basically anyone of color (any color). When he first moved in, he had a run in with neighbor #1, over the parking issue. One day I happened to look out the window and to my surprise, I saw neighbor #1 walking across the street headed my direction. At first I thought that she was headed to our house, then I saw that she was headed to neighbor #2’s house. With her cell phone in hand (and I am sure with 911 pre-dialed on her phone) she started up his steps. The next thing that I knew, I heard neighbor #2 yelling (at the top of his lungs) at neighbor #1. I thought “oh, geeze!” what is he thinking??? So, I call 911. When the police come out they first stop at neighbor #1’s house and talk to her (by now they know the drill) then they come over to neighbor #2’s house…and what does he do? He starts yelling at the police, loud enough that I can hear him in my house over the TV. All of this was about a year and a half to, two years ago. Then out of nowhere, about six months ago he starts in on anyone and everyone of color? Yelling that he is going to kill them all, that they are all going to hell, etc. Sometimes, he even looks like he is yelling at no one? With all of this yelling and threatening, the police have not once taken him in?
Now, being a mother of a child with autism and mental health issues I know about “being a threat to yourself or others”. There has to be something that can be done about neighbor #2?
Here are some links and articles to understanding Schizophrenia:

And finally on a lighter note, a music video of the song that I think of every time things get crazy in my neighborhood. Metallica’s “Sanitarium” Welcome Home, somewhere that I think that #2 may need to spend some time. Metallica, please don’t sue me, I found this on YouTube. Not to mention I am a big fan =)