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!

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.