Category Archives: Health & Wellness

getting it together

Friday night I had a revelation when the dress I bought about a month ago for my husband’s high school reunion didn’t fit the same way as when I purchased it. It hugged in all the wrong places. I was horrified — how did that happen?

Well, clearly it’s because I need to get off my butt. Oh, and my nightly dish of ice cream doesn’t help. I’d seen this quote (“A year from now you’ll wish you started today”) posted several times over on Pinterest, and I took it to heart. Sure, I could research products like colonix or go on a crash diet, but really I need to do something that I can continue on a long-term basis. Starting Monday, I was going to make myself get moving.

I planned on digging out my 30 Day Shred DVD, but of course… I can’t seem to find it. Normally, I’d allow myself to wait while I get another copy, but this time I didn’t. Yesterday I put several workout videos in my Netflix instant queue, determined to start doing them until that DVD actually comes in the mail. And I completed one of them this morning, so yay for me! I found Crunch – Boot Camp Training a perfect start for me. Some of the reviews claim that the workout is not intense enough, and if you are fit and work out regularly, I can definitely see that. But for someone like me, I thought it was enough to get my heart rate up, break a sweat, and not get bored. I also didn’t mind the instructor. Seriously, this probably seems ridiculous to some of you, but it’s a big deal to me. I’ve never been much for working out, so I have to force myself to do it. But I did it. And despite the difficulty, I actually enjoyed it.

It also, however, made me realize how out of shape I am. So, as difficult as it is, I am making myself get it together. My plan is to work out 6 days a week, preferably in the morning. I also plan to ease back into yoga and do that after the kids are in bed (instead of having my hot fudge sundae). I’ll be keeping a log of my progress and I plan to share my results at the end of the month. My weight isn’t horrid (though I do have a few to lose again), but my focus is fitness and toning, not necessarily weight loss.

Wish me luck! I’m going to need the support!

smile :-)

So today I broke down and bought a Sonicare toothbrush. As you get older you expect certain things: tired bones… crow’s feet… the need for deep wrinkle cream. Never did it occur to me that “dental pockets” and tartar would be on that list. It seems as though since I had Laura, every time I go to the dentist there’s something else. I admit: I’m not the best teeth brusher in the world. I brush at least twice a day, but I’m kind of lazy about it. My hygienist has recommended Sonicare on the last two visits, and it happened to be on sale at Target this week, so now it’s charging. I really hope this makes a difference. I never had dental problems when I was younger. But now that I’m getting old, well… I guess it’s just one more thing that’s falling apart, LOL!

great news!

Around 4:20 this afternoon the phone rang, and it was the radiology lab. Uh-oh, I thought. It had been just over 24 hours since the test. I figured it meant one of two things: I either forgot to fill out some paperwork or there was some concern. Thank goodness, I was wrong and neither was the case! The nurse had my test results and it showed “absolutely no malignancy.” I am relieved like you cannot imagine!!! I have to thank everyone who was thinking of me or praying for me.

The test did show the presence of lymphocytes. That indicates Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis — something my PCP suspected when my first thyroid screen came back. I had already made an appointment with an endocrinologist, so the lab is going to mail me these results for me to take when I see her in August.

So now I can go back to concerning myself with mundane things like how to get rid of blackheads. I don’t know about you, but this heat and humidity has my skin all broken out! I’m not complaining, though. I’ll take pimples over the alternative any day 🙂

what an fna biopsy is like

When I found out that I would need to have an FNA (fine needle aspiration) biopsy on my thyroid nodule, the first thing I did was try to find some personal stories. There are plenty of medical sites that document the procedure, but I’d hoped to find out what it was really like for someone. So I thought I’d write up what it was like for me, just in case anyone else is looking for that kind of information.

First off, although I have no fear of needles, the thought of having one poke my throat several times was incredibly nerve-wracking. I had two weeks to get myself used to the idea, but I’ll be honest — even though I knew what to expect, and the nurse had called before my appointment and gone through it all with me, I was still a little shakey in the waiting room. The good news is that the nervous anticipation was the worst part of the procedure.

The first thing I did was change out of my top and put a gown on. Some places don’t require this, but I appreciated the fact that no one wanted to get Betadine on my shirt 🙂 Then I went into the room and the nurse used the ultrasound to locate the nodule. This would make it easier once the doctor came in the room. She explained the whole procedure to me again and talked to me about her own thyroid issues (she had a total thyroidectomy, so she’d been through this particular procedure before). It was nice to relate to her on that level and it put me further at ease. I signed some paperwork while she got the doctor.

There were actually two doctors in the room during the procedure. One handled the biopsy itself, the other was making the slides. I never even saw the second doctor, heh! Anyway… the doctor who was performing the FNA introduced himself and asked if I had any questions (I didn’t). The pillow was adjusted so that it was positioned under my back and shoulders and my head was touching the bed/chair/whateveryoucallit. They complimented me on my “nice, long neck” which made me laugh, but apparently long necks make it easier on everyone so hey — glad I could do my part! My nodule is on the right side, so the doctor had me turn my head slightly to the left. After this I kept my eyes closed, but I couldn’t have really seen anything anyway.

The doctor then let me know that he was going to inject Lidocaine, a local anesthetic to numb the area. It pinched a little, but it was certainly no worse than a shot of Novacaine. I thought he’d have to wait a few minutes for the anesthetic to kick in, but all of a sudden he said, “OK, the first one’s done. Relax for a moment.” I didn’t even feel it. I was more aware of the next two sticks, but I can’t say they hurt. I could feel a tiny bit of pressure, but it wasn’t bothersome. The whole thing took between 5-10 minutes and then it was over. I got a Band-Aid on my boo-boo and a self-adhesive purple ice pack on my neck. The nurse joked, “Next time, you really should schedule these things better so that you can wear a turtleneck and not show off that crazy purple ice pack.” 😉

I kept the ice pack on for about 20 minutes and then it was no longer cold so I took it off. I never put it back and didn’t have any swelling around the area. Last night it felt slightly sore — like a bruise — but when I woke up this morning everything felt normal. It looks like I have a scratch on my neck, but that’s about it!

The radiology center I went to does a lot of FNAs, so I have to imagine that made a difference. My experience was very positive and if you ever need to have it done, there is nothing to worry about! So now I just have to wait for the results. Let’s hope that brings good news, as well.

ent appointment

I just realized that I never wrote here about my ENT appointment. I guess because I updated the people who seem interested via e-mail and Facebook, I just didn’t really think about it. All in all, the appointment made me feel more at ease. He could not feel the nodule, so he gave me orders for an ultrasound-guided FNA biopsy (which I scheduled for July 6th). He looked at my thyroid through a scope (yeah, that was weird!), and said that it’s obviously inflamed, but I really need to see an endocrinologist to help me sort through my hormone issues. That’s what I’d asked my primary care doctor last week! Sigh… At any rate, the ENT gave us the impression that it’s unlikely the nodule is cancerous, but if it is, that half of the thyroid will be removed and in all likelihood I won’t need to worry about anything else. He said that he thinks it’s more likely hormone-related. Let’s hope the results of the biopsy will give us a definitive answer.

I did find a local endocrinologist, but could not get an appointment until late August because she’s currently out on maternity leave. I did call one other office, but got a bad vibe from the staff. They would not allow me to make an appointment. She said I’d need to have my doctors fax over all of my labs/ultrasounds/biopsy results, and then the doctor would review them, and then they’d call me to make an appointment. Perhaps that’s standard procedure in some specialist’s offices, but I didn’t like it. Who knows how long it would take to have my file reviewed? And what if they don’t deem me “important” enough and don’t call for months? I felt more comfortable scheduling a visit with this other doctor. The way I look at it, if I have little to worry about, then I’ll be fine until the end of August. And if the FNA shows something that requires immediate attention, I’ll find a doctor down in Westchester County (about an hour away, where I saw the ENT) and go from there.

So that’s where I am! I’ll spare you from my boring thyroid issues for a couple weeks. I’ve scheduled everything I can, so there’s little to do but wait and show up at my appointments. Thanks for your continued thoughts and prayers. I do believe they work!!!

so, the results…

Well, my doctor called me today with the results of yesterday’s ultrasound and the blood work they ran on Monday. I’m still trying to process everything, but the bottom like is that I need to go to a specialist to get my thyroid issues sorted out. My doctor is concerned because the u/s showed that I have a single nodule that measures 2 cm. Single nodules, according to the doctor and what I’ve read, are more likely to be cancerous, so I will need to have it biopsied.

My husband’s aunt worked at Phelps Hospital in Tarrytown for over 30 years, so I looked to her for an ENT recommendation. Why an ENT over an Endocrinologist? I asked the same thing, and an ENT ultimately performs the biopsy. I have an appointment on Monday Wednesday*. Unfortunately Drew has to be out of town for work, but my MIL is going to watch the boys and Drew’s aunt is coming to the appointment with me. The doctor will go over all my labwork and discuss things with me before I make an appointment for the biopsy.

Needless to say, I am a little nervous, and yes scared. I’ve had several good cries today. Although thyroid cancer is uncommon, anytime the “c-word” comes up I think it’s natural to worry. So, if you are so inclined I would really appreciate any prayers you might offer up for me. It’s probably a condition that is easily managed, but there’s always that chance. Nevertheless, I am staying positive and I’ll wait until I meet with the specialist to get more information.

* Update: I had to reschedule my appointment because I forgot Jake had a field trip and would have to miss school. Who thought a 7 year old boy would be so upset, crying, over missing a visit to the FDR Historic Site? Anyway, he was so torn up I couldn’t stand it. Now he just has to miss a playdate, but apparently that is a better trade-off in his eyes.

bleh :-(

I hate to say it, but that’s how I feel today. Bleh. I have a horrible case of poison ivy that has resulted in an infection on my left foot. I went to the doctor’s this morning and yes, I got prescriptions for a steroid (to make the poison ivy go away) and an antibiotic (to make the infection go away), but I also had to deal with the results of my blood work last week.

See, I decided this was the year I’d start going to the doctor regularly. I’ve been blessed with good health and have only gone maybe three or four times in the last 10 years. I figured it would be a good idea to have baseline numbers for my sugar, cholesterol, etc. The good news is that those things are all fine and dandy. The bad news is that my thyroid is out of whack. It is “sluggish” as my doctor put it. So, I had more blood drawn to test for more specific levels. She felt around my neck and noticed that my thyroid felt enlarged so tomorrow I’m having an ultrasound to check it out. I might have a goiter. A goiter! I’m sorry but that makes me think of a circus sideshow. I’m 34. Isn’t that a little young for a goiter? Don’t you have to be really old for that? Sigh…

The good thing it that I guess if I start taking medication the levels should balance out. The bad news is that I have to start taking medication. Such a bummer. I’m hopeful that the tech can give me some indication of how ye olde thyroid looks when she scans it tomorrow, but I have a follow-up visit in two weeks, at which point I am sure I will necessitate one of those Sun.-Sat. pill boxes. I guess it will make it easier to remember to take my vitamins.

After I picked up my poison ivy/plague medicine I decided to pick up another “prescription” — some rocky road ice cream. I think some chocolate therapy coupled with a dumb comedy will help.

wisdom teeth, days 2 and 3

All in all, I have to say that this has been a relatively pain-free experience. Friday night I took a Vicodin before bed, concerned that I’d wake up in pain in the middle of the night. I didn’t. Around 2:30 I got up to nurse Laura and took 400 mg. of ibuprofen and that held me until about 8:30 a.m. I got by just on a couple ibuprofen pills and didn’t feel it necessary to take anything stronger (though I did take another Vicodin at bedtime). I felt great all day and at times I had to remind myself that I couldn’t eat the foods I normally would. My jaw is more sore than the areas where my teeth were pulled, actually. I now remember this from back when I had braces. Anytime I had to have anything major done my jaw hurt so bad. This is bearable, though.

Last night Laura slept for a much longer stretch, so when I woke at 4:30 to nurse, I actually felt uncomfortable. Again, I’ve just been managing the pain with a normal dose of ibuprofen. I can’t take the Vicodin during the day because it makes me loopy and really, I don’t need it. I really don’t have that much else to say. I never had any swelling and I’ve been dutifully rinsing with salt water after eating.  I’m bored with soft foods, but I’m trying to make the best of it. I don’t think I’d have a problem chewing something like ground beef or pasta, but I am terrified of something getting stuck in one of the holes so I’ll have to just keep this up for a few more days. Blargh. I think I’ve done a pretty good job eating a variety of soft foods and making them as interesting as possible. I think I’ll save that for another blog post, though.

One Local Summer 2009


Many of you might remember my Tuesday CSA (community supported agriculture) photos and posts from last summer. I loved participating in a program that allowed me to feed my family high-quality, organic produce that was grown at Sisters Hill Farm, less than 8 miles from my home. So we are participating again this year, and I am really looking forward to our first farm share, the Tuesday after Memorial Day. We also are lucky to live  within short drives of some great Hudson Valley Wineries, as well as very close to small farms and farm stands that sell their own eggs and chickens, cheeses, jams, breads, and jerkies.

There are many benefits to eating local foods, so I was really excited to read about the One Local Summer Challenge. From Farm to Philly:

We’re pleased to announce that for the second year, Farm to Philly will host the One Local Summer challenge (June 1, 2009 through August 30, 2009)! The registration period is open now – the last day to register will be May 30, 2009. The rules are simple: cook up one meal each week during the challenge using locally grown ingredients (exceptions: oil, salt and pepper, and spices). Post about your meal on the blog, or email it to your regional coordinator – we’ll detail your meal here every Tuesday!

I will count myself as an unofficial participant this summer because of the birth of Baby Girl on June 3rd. I hate to be incomplete when I sign up for these kinds of things and I know I’ll miss the first week or two. But once I’m up and around after my C-section, I plan to take part in this. After all, it takes very little in the way of employee screening to get to know your local farmers. Just talk to them about the stuff they’re growing! And you know that they are dedicated to providing you with nutritious food. I just thought I’d pass this info on in case anyone else is interested (I’m looking at you, Dara!)

Love the Spring! Hate the Bugs & Allergies

It is about time the nice weather rolled in, and it should be gorgeous out today and tomorrow. (Thank goodness for that because it’s opening day for Jake’s baseball league.) Of course, that also means that my allergies should start acting up any day now. Being pregnant there isn’t much I can do, though if I am really miserable I can take a Benedryl, though luckily so far I have not needed it. I have found that dehumidifiers can help too.

Bugs are another issue — actually a huge one for me. Along with the lovely weather comes all kinds of nasty little things… especially ticks. Our home is bordered by woods, and lots of deer live in those woods, so ticks can be a real problem. Some of you might remember that last summer I had Lyme Disease. Lyme Disease is a tick-borne illness and let me tell you that it was the worst I’d ever felt in my life. The pain was even worse than labor. Luckily I had the tell-tale bulls-eye rash and caught it early. Within a few days of my prescription medication I was feeling much better, but it can be very serious if not diagnosed and treated. So just consider this my little public service announcement. When going outside, use bug spray to help ward off these pests, and please be sure to check not only your children, but also yourself and your spouse/partner for ticks at the end of the day. The buggers can be hard to find, so don’t just give a cursory glance — be thorough. It’s worth the effort.