Sweet Maya

Our sweet Maya has had a lipoma on her tummy for the last six months. After an inconclusive biopsy last month, Maya ripped it open causing an infection. Sadly, it got infected and quite smelly. Originally surgery on the growth was optional, but the infection and damage Maya did to the tumor necessitated it’s swift removal.

Consequently, I had her scheduled for surgery tomorrow. Additionally, I set up an appointment to make sure the infection was treated before her surgery. After seeing the damage Maya was able to do to the growth, the vet moved the surgery up to today. Since we’re in the middle of a pandemic, we were given curbside assistance. Sadly, we were not able to accompany Maya in for her appointments or post-op recovery.

Maya is our first family dog and almost eleven years old. She’s been very healthy outside of a lung cancer scare last year. According to the vet, the mass in the lungs is still there, but is extremely slow growing. Nonetheless, this was a high anxiety day for me and the family. I may or may not have called the vet’s office a couple of times to check on her.

Finally, the vet called at 2:00 pm to let us know her surgery had gone well. Thankfully, they were able to get all of the mass and she tolerated the surgery well. He also indicated that the wound looks great. At this point, she was in the post operative area where she was waking up from the anesthesia. Lastly, he indicated we could pick her up around 4:00 pm.

It would probably come as no surprise that I was at the vet’s office by 3:55 pm. I was anxious to see our sweet Maya again. The vet assistant walked her out and she was wagging her tail. Maya looked tired, but happy to see Goalielocks and I again. She’s spent the rest of the evening chilling with us on the couch. Now we’ll be crossing our fingers that the biopsy results show no cancer. Fortunately, the vet should be calling us Monday with the results. Keep your fingers crossed!

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BMT Family PT Challenge: Week Two

Today was test day for week two of my BMT Family PT challenge. Boy oh boy do I have some work to do on my running. I actually didn’t think I could do worse than last week, but here I was slower. To be fair, I ran more this week than last week. However, some may say my new “running pace” was stationary. Perhaps I need to adjust my strategy to include more walk/run intervals to improve my time.

In all due seriousness, the run may have technically been slower, but it went well. I’m using Couch25K to get back in running shape. Today’s run called for five minute warmup followed by running for eight minutes, walking for five, running for eight and a five minute cool down. Since I wanted to get a good time on 1.5 miles, I ran through part of the walking portion. That may not have been the best plan. Clearly, I don’t run like a gazelle.

As for the pushups and sit-ups, they both still suck. Nonetheless, I did make so good headway on the sit-ups. Today’s effort resulted in 26 sit-ups an improvement over last week’s 21. The pushups were a complete struggle, but I still made the cut with 14. Hopefully, I will hit the sit-up standard in next week’s BMT family PT challenge test. Importantly, there are only 24 days until we’ll see our Airman! I can’t wait!

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Slacking

Gotta be honest, I’ve been slacking on the blog these past few days. It’s just I’ve been exhausted these past couple of days with little to share. Friday was productive for me, but left me exhausted. I completed a BBG AB workout, went to yoga and enjoyed a restorative sauna session. Needless to say, it left me exhausted. And I was in bed with my Virginia Woolf novel by 9:30.

Goalielocks has practice scheduled for most of Saturday, but it was a bit touch and go if we’d take him since he hurt his foot/ankle playing football. In the end, we decided to take him, so his trainer could evaluate the injury. The injury location is weird. He’s actually more comfortable in skates playing hockey than walking.

After his practice, the trainer was able to take a look at it. Fortunately, his Trainer felt it was likely a sprain, but wanted us to rule out a fracture to the navicular bone in his foot. Since the Vikings were playing at 4:35 pm, my scheme was to take him post game right before the urgent care closes.

Unfortunately, the Vikings effort was anemic and Goalielocks was soon despondent. Consequently, we headed to urgent care during the beginning of the third quarter. By some miracle of god, there was no wait at the clinic. We were in and out with the x-rays and hands. Happily, the x-rays were negative for fracture. His diagnosis was sprain. Goalielocks was not happy when he was told to be non-weight bearing for 3 days.

That’s right folks the scooter is back- at least, temporarily. He isn’t quite the seasoned scooter driver that I was, but he’s learning. Additionally, he insists that he will not use the scooter or crutches at school. Tomorrow morning should be fun!

After a busy day yesterday, we’ve been slacking at home enjoying the pictures of my family’s vacation on the south seas. We did get most the laundry done and I did go to yoga, so the day wasn’t a complete wash. Tonight we had chilli and I was really regretting my decision to go gluten free. I’m not sure it’s possible, but I may have been lusting for a baguette. Thankfully, neither of us had the energy to drive and buy one. In the end, the bison chili was perfectly satisfying without the baguette. Someone who hasn’t been slacking is Jake. Today he starts WOT5 for Jake. Three more weeks til graduation!

Previous training weeks:

Week 0
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

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Handling Thyroid Disease

Handling thyroid disease is the title I settled on after ruminating on coping and dealing. Both coping and dealing felt too passive to me, so I opted for handling. What does handling thyroid disease even mean? It means learning to thrive in spite of the misfiring or non-existence of that bitch is a gland.

When I was first diagnosed with Graves, I did what most people do and consulted Dr. Google. The medical part didn’t bother me too much. No, what bothered me is how those coping with the disease were failing to thrive or continue a productive existence. I was resolute that I would not follow that path.

Of course, in the beginning it was easy to think that way. It became hard as my heart rate soared and the RAI (radioactive iodine) was slow to work. Nevertheless, the fun and my weight were doubled when my thyroid failed. It literally happened over night. For the next several months and even still, I would migrate between hyper and hypo from day to day. It was beyond frustrating.

Thankfully, I have a wonderful Endo and have high confidence in her. Slowly, she has returned me to my normal life. I’ve run three 5ks since diagnosis, restarted my yoga practice and started the BBG workout. Nevertheless, it has taken a lot of work to get back to this place. I’ve read a lot about auto immune disease, worked with my endo and her in house R.D. and changed my workouts. I even feel back to my old gregarious self.

Now that my thyroid levels have stabilized, it will take 1-3 years for the symptoms of Graves to abate. My antibodies still show positive for both Graves disease and Hashimotos. My next task is get rid of those. In the meantime, I continue to research ways to reduce inflammation and improve my health. Each Thursday, I’ll be sharing my autoimmune experience with you. Next week, I’ll be sharing a list of the top 10 items that have helped me through my personal journey.

P.S. the title photo is from my first post diagnosis/treatment 5k.

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Adjusting

It’s day one without Jake and we’re all adjusting. Some of us, aka me and the hubby, are having a harder time adjusting to our new normal. I still expect Jake to come in and give me a good night kiss every night. This morning I had to stop myself from ordering his bagel from Dunkin’.

So how are we coping? Well, if you consider steam mops, dog accessories, yoga and brownies as coping, then I’d say I’m coping pretty well. Except I’m not at least not yet. By the time he finishes BMT, I’ll have accepted our lives as they now exist. Hopefully, it won’t take daily brownies to get there since I’m gluten intolerant.

For the puppies’ sake, they’ll be quite happy when I’ve complete the adjustment process. This will mean I’m no longer putting them in multiple cute holiday collars in a day or shopping for their Christmas outfits.

As I prepared to go to sleep last night, Jake called to let us know he had made it safely to San Antonio. For this phone call, he was allotted a generous forty seconds! Nevertheless, it was forty of the best seconds of my life. The kid sounded great! Hopefully, he’s able to carry that attitude through the rest of BMT.

This week, he’ll be getting a haircut, his uniform and a bunch of paperwork completed. We’re anxiously awaiting his call home with his address. As soon as I have it, I will share it. Mail is what gets airmen through BMT!! Finally, thanks again for all the love and support as we continue adjusting to this major change in our lives.

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He’s Off

He’s off!! After a morning at MEPS (military entrants processing station) my boy is on his way to San Antonio. It is seems so surreal. I still expect him to come home from Mel’s and watch The Office with me. Yep, the river denial is where I’m currently at.

Let me tell you about our experience at MEPS. Think a combination of the DMV and ER waiting rooms. Now imagine driving over and hour to get there and having to wait in a small, hot crowded lobby with no A/C and I bathrooms. Fortunately, they opened the doors to us just after 8:30.

Once into MEPs we went to the holding room with the rest of the shippers’ families. It was an interesting to observe the future servicemen and women work their way through the process. The holding room where we were at was also used to house the shippers and soldiers waiting to test.

There were three vending machines, a big flatscreen tv with two bins of snacks underneath and a sign for applicants only. It is no wonder we can’t have nice things here since nobody could either read the sign or just didn’t care. Perhaps our favorite part was the screaming baby whose parents didn’t realize you can get up and move with the baby or even take the baby outside. No, they just let her wail. Thankfully, we were called back for the oath ceremony before we completely lost our marbles.

One of the best parts of being at MEPS was seeing my confident and ready to go. His confidence was my reassurance. The ceremony room was small, but I was still able to get some good photos and videos of the event.

While he was taking the oath, I did my best not to cry since I was standing in front of him. Needless to say it was near impossible. The moment they took the oath was beautiful and exciting. Watching it live I was caught up in the emotions of him leaving. In contrast, I think future viewings will bring tears of pride and joy. At this point, I can’t rewatch it. It’s too raw even though I’m rowing my boat on the river denial. Watching it again will only make it more real.

After the ceremony, we were given five minutes to spend with our airmen. I never imagined five minutes could pass so quickly. We took some great photos in the ceremony room and chatted. Jake was excited to start the air hockey tournament he had organized in the shippers lounge. My boy was ready to go!

As the five minutes came to an end, I didn’t want to let him out of my embrace. Ultimately, I had to let him go since the military frowns on tardiness. With that we walked to the door and we went out the door and he went into a doorway to the right. This was a holding room where they would stay until being moved to the shippers lounge.  I still can’t believe he’s off.

We left MEPS proud military parents with temporarily broken hearts. We are beyond proud of our boy and the future he is building for himself. I haven’t ventured upstairs to his now vacant room, but I’m sure by the time I do Goalielocks will have already moved in. As we speak, he should be nearing his final approach into San Antonio. Now the real fun can begin! Lastly, we are so thankful for all the texts, calls and social media love. Your support means everything! We love you Jake!  Aim High!

countdown clock: he’s off!

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One Day More

One day more until Jake ships out to basic. I can’t believe the day has finally arrived. Today itself has been quite unreal as he said goodbye to the house, our beloved puppies, his brothers and his beloved Mel.

We dropped him off at the recruiter’s office where we waited an hour and half for the shuttle to take off. From there he went to MEPS to complete paperwork and get ready to ship out. Tomorrow he’ll have another physical before taking the oath of enlistment.

I did pretty good for most of the day. Until I took my dog for walk this afternoon. I have a gratitude/relaxation playlist that I like to listen to when I walk. When Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole I lost my ish. There I was walking my dog, enjoying the scent of th Hong Kong orchids and ugly crying. I don’t know why it hit me at that exact moment, but it lasted for a good mile and a half.

I was a complete mess. I finally started to get my shit together and then John Lennon’s Imagine triggered me again. As I walked and cried, I thought about how all the moments of his life prepared us all for this moment. From his first day of preschool to his last day of high school everything was getting us ready for him to fly the coop. Here were are on that day and he is ready to soar and I’m struggling to let go.

Tonight the boys, Mel and I headed to Miami to join Jake for dinner. He was finished at MEPS around 6, so we got there around 6:30 after missing the exit the first time around. Dinner at the hotel was quick and convenient. My salad was great, but everyone else’s burgers looked like hockey pucks. We did indulge in some dessert since it seemed like the perfect occasion to eat our feelings.

Jake, the hubby and I were the original trio. It was us three for almost five years before Colin came along. As Jake grew up, so did we. Tonight as we drive back from seeing him in Miami, I am in awe of the many he has become. Love you Jake!

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Time is Ticking

Time is ticking away. We’re less than four days away from Jake leaving for Basic training. We’re so excited for Jake and all that he will achieve in the Air Force. After all this is the natural order of things. You raise kids, hope they turn out ok and send them out into the world. Only it hurts. It’s hurts to let go and acknowledge that this phase of his life and ours will soon be over.

Inside a myriad of emotions swirl about at a million miles an hour (thank you Graves) that it’s hard to make sense of it all sometimes. At its core is the immense pride and joy in seeing our eldest son leave the nest with a great plan for success. In that core is also sadness and regret that it’s time for us to let go and let him fly.

Needless to say, if you see me and Luke in a rink this weekend (because that’s where we’ll be,) we’ll definitely be in need of all the love, hugs, encouragement, prayers and coffee one can find because time keeps ticking away.

 

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Thanksgiving Is Almost Here

Can you believe Thanksgiving is almost here? It seems like just yesterday we were ringing in 2019. Yet here we are ready to end the year with the fabulous holiday season. I’m especially blessed to spend it with my entire immediate family. This holiday will be poignant for us all as it marks the last holiday for which Jake will be a civilian. Who knows where he’ll be stationed this time next year. We will certainly enjoy the moment.

I started my day by sleeping through my alarm, which left me feel like I was behind all day. Graves’ disease sucks it often leaves me tried and jacks with my sleep for no good reason. Not to mention it makes me cranky, which my family can certainly attest to today.

Fortunately, my day started looking up the moment I got my coffee. We left Dunkin’ to get our groceries for baking, so we could get an early start. At which point, we got a text inviting us to the beach. How could we say no to that? Spoiler alert: we procrastinated on the baking and headed to the beach.

This, of course, did nothing for my constant feeling of being behind all day. However, the beach was again marvelous with beautiful skies and calm seas. You simply can’t ask for a better way to spend the day before Thanksgiving. It was a bit hot, so we didn’t stay too long.
Fortunately, Goalielocks’ BFF was there and he was having a blast. Unfortunately, that made the extraction from the beach quite difficult. We ended our beach day by me starting to back out of my spot before noticing the boys neglected to close the tailgate. Consequently, I needed to make a Dunkin pit stop on the way home to try and collect my sanity.

Before heading home, we headed to Publix in search of the perfect pickles for pickle. If there’s anywhere you so don’t want to be on Thanksgiving Eve in Florida, it’s Publix. I avoided this dumpster fire by dropping my mom off at the door and parking. To be honest, I was more concerned with getting home so I could eat before heading to yoga.

Wednesday’s are my tight muscle mobility class at Open Heart Yoga studio. My teach is amazing. The class has been incredibly effective in opening up my body post Graves’ disease. In today’s class, I’m pretty sure I fell asleep 3-4 times while massaging my back with therapy balls. These balls are miracle works for tight muscles and soft tissue. You must try them.

I left my mat completely serene and ready to tackle my evening. Tonight’s beautiful sunset added to my serenity.  During class my mom has text me to let me know the Publix pickles were sub par and couldn’t be used to pickle roll ups. I got home and we headed to Earth Fare to see if they had any quality pickles, but that trip was unsuccessful. Thus, we headed back to Target where we found the perfect pickles. Plus if you haven’t gone to Target twice in a day, are you even living?

We made our way home to start are baking. I started working on my cheesecake while my mom began to prepare the pickle roll ups. My mom made quick work of the pickle roll ups while I plodded my way through baking the cheesecake. Fortunately, my mom helped me start the vegan pumpkin coconut soup that I made for my brother and I. I’m not currently vegan, but I know my body won’t tolerate too much of the traditional Thanksgiving food.

Our evening of baking, will finally be over in about an hour when the cheesecake can go in the oven. I’ll start my Thanksgiving where I start everyday: Dunkin’. We’ll then head to my brothers’ house to drop off the goodies before heading to the Mayor’s 11:00 am game.

It was just over a year ago I went through radiation to kill my thyroid. A year later, my thyroid levels are stable. I’m hopeful that the symptoms of Graves will abate in the next year (although it could be 1-3 years.) Unfortunately, my health is not where it was before I got sick, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As I end my evening enjoying Agatha Christie’s Poirot, I am filled with gratitude for my family, my friends, healing and my life’s transitions.

Paradise Found

Paradise found indeed. Living in sunny South Florida you’d think we would live at the beach. Unfortunately, our busy work and hockey schedule has rendered the beach a foreign place. Today the kids and I joined my bro and his family along with my folks for a fun day at the beach.

To be clear, the beach is always beautiful. However, the conditions don’t always cooperate with your plans. Today was an absolute exception. First of all, it was cool with temps in the low to mid 70s with clear skies. Secondly, the water was calm, relatively warm for our out of town guests and the tide was low. It was paradise.

Unfortunately, I stayed out of the water since tendon is bothering me. Fortunately, the temperature was so pleasant I didn’t need to go into the water to cool off. I spent most of my time at the beach chatting with my dad, sister in law and her father. It was fabulous.

Meanwhile my older brother, niece, nephew and mom spent hours in the water enjoying the warm water. My Floridian boys and Jake’s girlfriend (who we adore) thought the water was a bit cool, but still managed to have fun with the family in the water. There was also plenty of beach soccer, football and volleyball. It was a great day.

I capped my day off with an incredible yoga class and Open Heart Yoga studio with Debbie. Her class is beyond divine. Tonight it was an hour and a half of per perfection. My body and soul relax and unite in paradise on my mat. The yin and restorative yoga classes are truly helping me rebuild my body, mind and soul after surviving a devastating year. Autoimmune diseases are no joke, but self care will be key in finding my path forward.