So far, nine members of my triathlon team (the New Mexico Outlaws) have signed up for Ironman St. George, aka IM-UTE, on May 1, 2010. Ones you may know include myself, Sweet Baboo, DreadPirate, Flamin' Mo, MG and his beloved Michi, Stitch, and Paul the Pilot. Not all these folks have blogs.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Or the time you waited
You may not remember
today, no matter what it takes, we ride home together.
Possibly filed under rambling
This is kind of a long, rambling post, but I'm hoping it might be useful for someone.
So, yeah. That thyroid thing. I see it everywhere - it's human nature that if you get some sort of condition, you see it everywhere.
I didn't even order this test. It was just part of a routine physical. On my way out the door the nurse said, "he needs to talk to you about this," and I glanced at the paper in her hand: Thyroid Stim Hormone 8.02 (H). What's that? I asked. What the hell is a thyroid? I mean, I know we have one. What does it do? Is it like an appendix? Oh, so many questions.
There are reference ranges for everything in medicine. They are a start, but they aren't the whole story. What is normal for me is probably not normal for you, and that is why annual physicals are so important, because they help establish a baseline for what is "normal" for you, and spot sudden changes.
I've had regular physicals all my life, but changed doctors when I moved and rarely had my medical records fowarded. Why should I--I had your average, run-of-the-mill stuff: Asthma, allergies...the usual. I figued annual physcials were cross-sectional research, and didn't think much about the whole, "baseline functioning" thing.
In my reading, I've found that there are some common symptoms of low thyroid function, regardless of cause...and I've been looking back to see if perhaps I should have been paying more attention. That isn't so much useful to me, but maybe it's useful for someone else out there.
Have you been feeling cold? Well, yes, but who thinks this is a symptom? You put on your robe and your slippers and crank up the thermostat. On the other hand, Baboo and my multisport friends can attest that I've ditched a lot of bike rides because it was too cold. How can you guys ride when it's so freakin' cold out there?
Have you had dry skin and/or hair? I live in the desert, where the average humidity index is about 15%. Everyone's skin is dry here. You buy moisturizer. You deal with it.
Are you having weight problems?
THAT is an interesting question. The answer is, yes and no. In fact my weight has stayed even for the past 9 years. It is documented at my doctor's office; on average, it's hovered between 160 and 170. I even blogged about it.
So let's lay this out: In nine years, my weight has stayed steady. I became a runner, and then a triathlete, then a marathoner, and then an Ironman, and my weight stayed steady. While my eating wasn't always what it should be, it didn't change until early 2005 when the weight had really started piling on. I starting tracking my calories and lowering them to an average of 1800-2000 a day. I lost the weight I'd gained the past year. Then, I took up running but never lost another ounce.
In 2008, I trained for my 2nd ironman: In a week, I biked 60-100 miles, ran 15-20 miles, and swam 2 or so miles, minimum. My weight dropped to about 158, a size 10, which puts me in the "normal" range for my height. In other words, for me to be "normal weight," I had to train for an ironman.
Last year, I ran 7 marathons and an Ironman and several other events, and basically, my weight stayed steady. When my activity level dropped a bit, for me, I gained weight, even though, while injured, I was still more active than the average American. Hmm. I was stunned and disappointed at how quickly I was aging, but worked on accepting it. There wasn't anyone to ask about it; all my female relatives is dead, save one older sister.
Have you felt tired or depressed? There is some debate about this particular symptom - that the tired feeling is really a form of depression. Depression is a sneaky little bastard. There have been times that I haven't written about when I felt like I was near tears even when, arguably, I have the best life a woman could have. I told Baboo, "I don't know what's wrong with me, but it has to be chemical. Everything in my life makes me happy."
As for energy, from my doctor's standpoint, I am an active woman, so my energy level must be okay, right? RIGHT?
But lets look at my baseline functioning. I have always been hyperactive. I was diagnosed with AD/HD, combined type. My mother reported that, as a child, I was up at sunrise and up until nearly midnight throughout most of my childhood. From my elementary teachers straight through to my old college boyfriend, they will all tell you that I am hyper as hell. Between 1990 and 2000, on 6 hours of sleep per night, I worked part-time (20-30 hours a week), raised three kids, and finished my education all the way through a master's degree. This past decade, I have worked full time as a high school teacher, raised two teenagers, finished another master's degree, and trained for an ironman. This is my normal baseline functioning. Normal for me.
But, in the last couple of years, though, I've started complaining to Baboo. I need more sleep. I can't face those teenagers without more sleep. Another part of growing old, I thought. You slow down, right? It's what you do. I figured it was just a woman thing.
My doctor said, You do a lot for a woman your age - I'm surprised you don't need more sleep. I accepted it, and set about trying to get more rest. My friends protested this form of thinking, You're too young to be going through menopause.
Even now, as tired as I "feel," I am working full time, beginning a new season of training, and working on another master's degree. I need 7 or 8 hours of sleep these days, which is NOT normal for me, and I don't feel like working out most of the time. Not normal for me.
Do you have low heartrate?
My resting heart rate is about 57, but I'm a marathoner. There's no way to know if I have a clinically low heart rate or not.
Have you had decreased libido?
I've complained to my doc about it every single year. First I thought it was some medication I used to take. Then I thought it was menopause. It's gotten low for me, but again, what's low for me is low for me, probably not low for most women.
Now, this isn't some dramatic, life threatening condition - it has serious consequences, if left untreated, but I'm curious, so curious about what medication means. It's a quick and easy fix: I take medication, once the proper medication is targeted, and I take it on time, as directed. Maybe levels have to be adjusted from time to time. Blood tests everyone once in a while, which I can do on my lunch hour at the hospital next to where I work.
So, what happens next?
Well, I have an appointment with an endocrinologist on the 31st. ANd I have so many questions. Did I do this to myself? If my current functioning is "normal" for most women my age, what will happen when I take meds? Will I go back to the way I used to be? I said to Baboo the other night, "I don't care about anything else except that maybe I'll have more energy and I can be faster. I can lose my own weight, I just need the energy to do it."
How sick is it that all I care about is getting faster? Oh, I'm a multisport addict. I am, I am, I am.
So, yeah. That thyroid thing. If you feel like you're having menopause symptoms, (other than just the usual hot flashes) and it's very different from what is "normal" for you, and it bothers you but your doctor insists that you're within "normal" reference range, push for the test anyway. It's a simple blood test. The worst that can happen is you wear a purple band-aid for 20 minutes. That's all I'm saying.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
1. Window strikes. We have a big picture window in the back of the new house. It faces the foothills. It also reflects the sky, if you happen to be flying toward the house, as one unfortunate bird apparently was:
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Boys and girls, it's good to get an annual physical.
Possibly filed under thyroid stuff
Monday, March 16, 2009
If it's Monday, I must be ranting about something. It's not that I'm a negative person; I'm actually pretty positive. It's just that there are some things that get under my skin and I can only vent about them here, where it's safe.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I'm living in Albuquerque full time now and there are things about living in the city that are different from what I expected. Why is this a big deal? Because I have always lived in the suburbs. Always. I think I wrote about this once: mini-baboo was doing an acestry project, and asked me where "our people" were from. I told him, the suburbs. As long as there have been suburbs, there have been Our People.
4. Scary city parts. Parts that, when I drive through them, I lock my doors and sit reeeeeeeal low. Parts where people walk across the street (and NOT at the crosswalk) staring me down, DARING me to hit them. They don't hurry. They saunter. So unlike the suburbs, where everyone is safe and nobody ever walks. It's interesting knowing that it exists. (Not interesting enough to hang out there, mind you.) We're talking about places where it's not all that unusual to maybe see a car on fire, and nobody's really paying attention, other than, "hey, kids, better stay away from that car, it's on fire."
Possibly filed under my shiny new life
Monday, March 09, 2009
"...the grief that has enveloped me, and it's amazing. I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks, and I need someone somewhere that could tell me this is normal..."
Thursday, March 05, 2009
1. Physical therapy. I've been doing this twice a week for a couple weeks now. It involves of "tissue work," electrostimulation therapy (I think that's what it's called, and I'm too lazy to look up the correct terminology) and showing me stretches, which I am to do twice or three times a day. I am prescribed exercises to work on my hamstrings, abductors, and lower abdominals (every other day). oh, and the foam roller, twice a day (vomit).
2. Diet. I had a revelation, ala Alcoholics Anonymous in which I realized I have two choices: eat what I want and be a heavy runner, or limit what I eat and be a lighter runner. I chose the latter because I suspect that the extra weight is hard on my feet and joints. As I much like my feet and joints, I have decided I have to make the choice and get serious about what I eat.
3. New house. We are living at the new house full time and now that we've had people come and go and fix various things wrong with it, I am now seeing my evenings starting to free up so that I can start doing short runs after work. Next week we go back to daylight savings time, which means more light at the end of the day--yippee!
I HEART the new house. It is cozy, which means far less space to lose things in. Also, no stairs. YAY. It behooves me to let you know how much Baboo has spoiled me in furnishing this house. Seriously. He has.
4. After the laptop that I bought from CircuitCrappy died for the last and final time, Baboo bought me a new one, because he is awesome, and because he spoils me rotten, far more than I deserve.
5. Spring Has Sprung. >Hack, wheeze, cough, snifffff<
...The National Weather Service in Albuquerque has issued a WindAdvisory... which is in effect from 9 am this morning to 6 PM MSTthis evening. A tight surface pressure gradient is expected to develop across the region today. This will result in strong west to southwestwinds of 30 to 35 mph with gusts approaching 55 mph...
Inspired by DP. Only she knows why.
(But they'd never tell you - they fear your wrath!)