Day Four

Day four of virtual school was one for the history books. Particularly, if your history books focus on dumpster fires or shit shows. If so, this day was legendary. We all knew it was coming, didn’t we? I mean, I think we’ve been waiting for the shoe to drop. And today that mo-fo of a shoe dropped. This means the low expectations I wrote about yesterday came to fruition today.

First of all, my thyroid is raging. I’ve been so hot at night I can only manage with one light blanket and the thermostat at 72 degrees. My doctor will be adjusting my dosage down a bit come next Tuesday morning. It also means that falling asleep and staying asleep has been a real challenge. For some reason, I don’t fall into a good deep sleep until early in the morning. Anyway, I remembered to get up to take my thyroid meds, but I slept through my alarm to wake up the boys. Fortunately, this wasn’t an issue for my Mayor, who was ready to go to school by 7:00 am.

On the other hand, this was a problem for Goalielocks. As soon as I woke up, which was still before school started, I ran upstairs to make sure he was awake and ready to attend class. He sat up in his bed, grumbled, and laid back down. I proceeded to repeat my message; i.e. get out of bed and get ready for class. This time he sat up. He told me he knew he had to be up and asked me to close the door so he could get dressed. I shut the door, albeit it not tightly. He then yelled at me for not being able to close the door right. Teenagers are so pleasant in the morning. Aren’t they?

Thinking he was up, I headed out to grab my coffee. As you may know, Dunkin’ coffee is essential to my ability to function as a human being. Afterward, I took the dogs out and went to work. It was a long commute to work from my couch to my room, but I made it safely and without incident. I got some work done before going to yoga via Zoom. It was at that point I realized I hadn’t heard my middle child moving around upstairs. Before relaxing into child’s pose, I texted him and added a find my iPhone alert. He responded pretty quickly asking why nobody had woken him up for school. Seriously?

Obviously, he made me mad. Since he was now up and attending class, I continued with my yoga class. I was hoping that the beautiful yin class taught by Jennifer would help calm me. Fortunately, I finished the class feeling like a new person and completely calm. At least for a few minutes. Naturally, the calm left me after interacting with my two star pupils, who were in stellar moods today. How lucky am I that both were in a piss poor mood? At dinner, Goalielocks was still insisting nobody walked him up. This despite the fact I had a full conversation with him this morning at 7:15. Anyway, today was the type of day I have dreaded. Thankfully, we only have one day left in the week.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Mary Barton, by Elisabeth Gaskell. It’s really getting good now! We have a murder mystery on our hands.

*Yin with Jennifer at Open Heart Yoga Studio

*It’s only day four, but I was feeling inspired. Consequently, I wrote a poem about the first week of virtual school. While it’s no The Raven, it gets my creative point across.

*I ran two miles and walked a mile today. Naturally, I listened to Metallica and watched Curb throughout my run. I am basking in the joy of accomplishment.

*I survived day 3 of virtual school. I am keeping my eye on the prize aka the weekend.

*We had no hockey practice tonight. It was family dinner night. I cooked pork carnitas tacos, which were awesome.

*BBG 2.0. week 12 day 4: cardio and yoga

*I took my puppies including sweet Anakin for a walk.

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I’m tired…

I’m tired, but what else is new. Tryout week is sapping my last vestige of energy. I will be giddy and dancing was this week is over. While, I’m tired I did have a good day. I got to spend the day with Sweet Eva. She is heaven sent and a perfect anecdote for an emotionally exhausting week.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*I read Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte.

*Yin Yoga with Jennifer from Open Heart Yoga Studio

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Tonight I’m watching nature shows with Anakin.

*Week 9 BBG 2.0 day 4 yoga.

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The Pinnacle

Just when we thought we had reached the pinnacle and were on the downslope of COVID-10 wave, here we are seeing increases here in South Florida. The prospect of a prolonged social distancing period is a bit overwhelming at this point. Albeit, I totally understand why it’s necessary and I am 100% on board. Nonetheless, it’s emotionally exhausting to be withdrawn from people socially. Zoom is nice, but it’s just not the same. Honestly, I just want to be able to go visit my airmen and my parents, but I digress.

I woke up not feeling fantastic on account of a lump on the back of my head/neck. I’m not entirely sure if it’s a swollen gland or a bug bite, but I gotta say it’s mighty uncomfortable. Consequently,
I missed my yoga class this morning as I rested with Anakin on the couch. While it was still a bit uncomfortable, I was feeling up to the BBG workout. Today was leg day and it’s always a tough workout. This week was no exception, but I felt good and confident throughout. Certainly, I enjoy every time a new exercise is added into the mix. One thing that I love about the workout is that it’s not all squats and lunges. Rather Kayla Itsines does a great job incorporating moves like burpees and skipping ropes, which work your whole body not just your legs. Obviously, I felt much better after the workout and was regretting missing my yoga class this morning.

One of the wonderful things about the pandemic is the advent of Zoom fitness classes, several of which will be featured here on the Hockey Mom Fit Life in the near future. I love having the option to attend classes online or in-studio. Particularly, it gives me more options to manage my day and ensure I can fit yoga into my schedule. Also if you’re not feeling great, but not sick enough to skip your workout, you can attend via Zoom to ensure you don’t share your germs. Ordinarily, I would skip my class because I didn’t want to share germs. Now I can attend online and continue my practice. Importantly, the Zoom classes gave us a way to stay connected throughout the pandemic. This sense of community is an important tool in minimizing loneliness and isolation.

My day was pretty low key. The puppies and I spent the day on the couch watching The Office. Can you tell I miss my airmen? Today some of his favorite episodes were on and I was laughing so hard. In particular, he loves the rabies 5k episode and that was on today. Jake has been my running partner since 2016 and we have run countless 5Ks together. He would usually win his age group and I would usually try not to throw up at the finish line. So you can imagine how funny this episode is to a bunch of running nerds. I think I may have thrown up a little as Michael Scott carb-loaded on fettuccine Alfredo immediately before the race. I don’t suggest eating a heavy meal immediately before a race.

Honestly, I miss the 5k races. Most have been canceled due to COVID. There are some virtual races, but it’s just not the same experience. I’m looking forward to the day that Jake and I can once again run a 5k together. Since it’s summer, there aren’t many 5ks in Florida right now anyway. I’m hoping by the time the fall/winter running season comes around that we’re able to do some races. If not, hopefully, we can run some races together at his new base. As for now, the 80 degree dewpoints and high temps will keep me running insde on the treadmill.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskells

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Binge watched The Office with the Mayor and our puppies.

*Lamented my lack of craft skills as I folded the quilt my grandma made us.

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin!

*Obedience training Anakin

*Week 6 BBG 2.0 day 1 legs!!!

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena out for a walk

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Two for One

It’s a two for one sale here at hockey mom did. That’s right folks two blogs in one day. Since I have no good excuse, outside of poor planning on my part, for missing my post yesterday: it’s only fair that I write two today. After all, it’s not like I did much of anything today. In fact, I slept late, kept off my foot and cuddled with my puppies. It was a great day.

Actually, my foot feels a lot better today, but I felt it prudent to hold off running for a bit longer. I’ll try my luck on Tuesday, which is a normal run day for me. Naturally, it’s good to take your foot off the pedal some time. This is especially true for those of us that suffer from autoimmune diseases. Too much stress on the body be it from exercise or other external forces can lead to a flare up that will set me back further. Consequently, I have to be more flexible in my mindset. In fact, I have to accept that some days the healthiest choice for my body is to rest. Honestly, it feels so odd saying it because I’m used to pushing myself to limits.

We finished off Seinfeld today. I think I like the finale better now than I did when it first aired. As for my Hubby, he still thinks it’s an abomination. Nonetheless, the show hasn’t lost its relevance or its hilarity. I’ll probably rewatch it again and then binge watch Curb. Maybe the second or third time my boys see it, they’ll start to understand it’s genius. We followed up the Seinfeld, with some It’a Always Sunny. These are the perfect shows to have in the background as you’re getting work done. Moreover, they keep me awake when I need to be productive, but would rather be taking a siesta.

This evening I cooked the family a Thai inspired tilapia meal courtesy of Blue Apron. Honestly, I was surprised that both boys tried it with an open mind and little rancor. Ultimately, the Mayor liked it while Goalielocks did not. Although Goalielocks ate way more of this fish than I had expected. Also, he didn’t make a spectacle when he didn’t like the flavor, which has been the hallmark of my Mayor this week. As for me, I really liked the spice of the fish with the sushi rice and green beans. Ultimately, it’s been fun trying a bunch of different recipes through these services.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*Reading O Pioneers by Willa Cather

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Took obligatory picture of Anakin

*Obedience training Anakin

*Facetime with my airmen!!!! I miss and love him so much!

*Week 4 BBG 2.0 day 7 rest

*Offered two for one special on my daily blogs on account of my planning yesterday.

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena out for a walk

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America Strong

Today was the day the Blue Angels came to South Florida as part of their America Strong mission. Since the mission was announced late last month, I’ve been anxiously awaiting its arrival here. Originally, I had hoped we would get the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds together. Sadly that was not to be. Nevertheless, I was thrilled we’d have the chance to see the Blue Angels today.

Before we could for see the Blue Angels, I had my doctor’s appointment this morning and a workout to complete. Fortunately, my doctor’s appointment was early in the morning. This was my first Covid19/quarantine doctor appointment. Consequently, my temperature was taken before I could even proceed to an exam room. Also, everyone was wearing masks. I did, however, have an option to do a telemedicine, but I prefer the in person visit with my endo.

Most of my bloodwork was good less my free T3 which was a bit low. Some how Quest forgot to do my TSH test, which is a bit of a problem. Naturally, it’s a pretty critical lap test in the treatments of Graves’ disease. Fortunately, my primary doc had tested my TSH in mid February, so she had somewhat of a barometer. Since I’m still experiencing hypothyroid symptoms and no weight loss, my doc prescribed T3 for me. Interestingly, a small percentage of patients aren’t able to convert T4 to T3 effectively. Unfortunately, it wold appear I fall in that small percentage. All in all, the visit went well.

My morning continued with an awesome BBG ab workout. I did entirely too many sit-ups and jack knifes. My abs were sore afterwards. Worse yet, it included jumping rope for 100 rotations. In case you forgot, I suck at jumping rope. Naturally, my lack of skill here cost me a lot of time, so I didn’t get through the first and third circuit twice. The second and fourth circuit were a bit easier since they didn’t included jumping rope. Consequently, I got though both of those circuits 3 three times. Yep, my abs should feel great tomorrow.

Meanwhile Goalielocks abandoned our deal from earlier in the week and was fast asleep in his bed. Okay, so he assured me he wasn’t sleeping, but I’m not sure what else he would have been doing. I don’t think he’s started a mediation practice. Obviously, I was none to thrilled. The last thing I wanted to do was spend my morning trying to corral him out of bed. Finally, he made it downstairs in time to watch the dogs as we left to see the Blue Angels.

The Mayor and I headed to Boca a little early, so I could be sure to find a kid viewing spot. We did arrive a bit early, but it paid off as we had a great location. Not surprisingly, the parking lot had plenty of people there to watch the Blue Angels support our healthcare workers. It was a pretty awesome unifying experience. The flyover was brief, but spectacular. We hopped back in the truck to head to West Boca where they were to end their flyover.

We had twenty five minutes to make it 4.8 miles from where we were to West Boca. Not far at all. Of course this is Boca and South Florida, so traffic had other things in mind. In what I can only describe as the most South Florida thing ever, the Blue Angels beat us to West Boca. Meanwhile they had travelled to Homestead (80 miles to the south) and back as we drove west. Fortunately, we happened to be at a stoplight when they flew out of the west over West Boca Medical Center. I can’t believe we nearly missed it! Needless to say, it served as a reminder as to why I avoid Boca at all costs.

This evening I made my last meal out of our first Blue Apron box. Tonight we had steaks with cheddar potatoes and roasted vegetables. Simply put, we ate like a king. It was super yummy! The hubby prefers grilled steaks to pan cooked steaks, so next time we’ll probably just grill the steaks. As for the mashed potatoes, they were fabulous. Who doesn’t love l white cheddar? I may have added some additional Tillamook white cheddar just to be safe. Additionally, we had roasted carrots and sugar snap peas, which were very tasty.

I’m feeling a bit of relief tonight as the school week ends. We’re spending a relaxing evening on the couch with the puppies binge watching Impractical Jokers. Honestly, it’s exactly the kind of mindless, funny television that we need right now. No conspiracy theories or fairy tales here! It’s the perfect end to an arduous week of virtual school and Covid19 pandemonium. Fortunately, there is a end in sight. Our county will open to Phase 1 next week, which will include our beaches the week after. This has been a long season, but it too shall pass.

Here’s a list of our day’s activities:

*Reading Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

*Week 1 CS50

*Watching the Blue Angels

*Watched Futurama and Impractical Jokers

*Morning and afternoon meditation

*Week 11 BBG day 5 abs 

*Virtual school fun

*Goalielocks booked a gator

*Obedience training Anakin courtesy of myself and the Mayor. 

*Took Anakin, Maya and Athena on a walk. 

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What Next: taking supplements

So you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune thyroid disease, what next? Can you still take my supplements? When I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, my life was flipped upside down. There are plenty of treatment decisions to make, but there are immediate consideration as well. In fact, I had to evaluate all the supplements I was taking. Anything that was considered goitrogenic had to go because it could cause a thyroid storm. Moreover, I had to make decisions on how to mitigate the symptoms before treatment.

Here are the supplements I’m using to cope with my autoimmune disorder (as a major caveat everything I take has been played by my endo:)

1. Selenium – this mineral is essential for normal thyroid function and is beneficial for hyper/hypothyroid patients.

2. L-Carnitine – before I was given beta blockers, I used L-Carnitine to mitigate the hyper thyroid symptoms. Once I was post-RAI, I stopped taking this supplement.

3. CoQ10 – I was taking this before I got diagnosed and was advised to continue. Apparently, patients with Graves’ disease have lower amounts of CoQ10 in their blood.

4. Zinc – I just added this to my regimen after meeting with the registered dietician at my Endo’s office. There is evidence to support that zinc supplementation helps support thyroid function.

5. Collagen – I’m loving Vital Proteins Collagen Powder. It ‘a flavorless, can be mixed into coffee, is only 70 calories and has 17 grams of protein. As for why I’m taking this, it’s really about my vanity. I’m trying to keep my hair, skin and nails as healthy as possible. Thyroid disease and thyroid hormone supplementation can lead to hair loss. I am not about that life.

6. Biotin – see the explanation above.

7. Essential oils – no I don’t think they are a cure all, but lavender has helps calm me down if I’m Graves’ raging. Peppermint and Eucalyptus are critical in relieving congestion . Since my blood pressure is not always normal, I avoid taking decongestants.

I used to take a multivitamin and myriad of other supplements, but had to stop them once diagnosed. There are a lot of supplements that interact with the thyroid or thyroid medication, so you have to be careful. I have a lot of friends that have great results with Thrive and other supplements. The temptation to try those supplements is real, however, until my doc gives me the all clear, nothing in my small regimen will change. What’s next: adjusting my exercise routine.

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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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Corporate Run

Last Thursday was the annual Mercedes Benz Corporate Run in Fort Lauderdale. I was excited to participate for my third running. This year was a bit different though since I haven’t run a 5k in over a year. Unfortunately, after tearing a tendon and a subsequent diagnosis of Graves’ disease, I was sidelined for what feels like forever!

Thankfully, my doctor was able to clear me for exercise once my thyroid finally stopped functioning in February. Yay! Nonetheless, a 5k was a tall order. I trained as much as I could, but with a hypoactive thyroid my energy is nonexistent. Meaning, instead of a normal, rigorous training schedule, my body needed 2-3 day breaks in between workouts. This itself represented a massive departure from my grandiose expectations for my recovery.

I was back at my doctor’s office early last week for my six-week check-in. She made some adjustments to my medication, which should help immensely. Honestly, the effortless weight gain, the absolutely no energy, the absolute exhaustion and the absolute inability to sleep properly have gotten old. On a positive note, my blood work supports my symptoms, which in my doc’s words “means we can fix it!”  My doc is a rock star and is taking good care of me through out my treatment. Unfortunately, it’s just part of the process as we figure out the right Synthroid dosing.

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She did reiterate my ability to work out, but added a caveat about common sense. Clearly, she doesn’t know me. I did ask about the 5k, to which she responded “I hope you lose – meaning I hope you walk.” As I got up to leave, we compromised on a solid effort in the first mile with common sense dictating mile two and three.

In the end, I was nervous and excited for my first 5K in over a year. I went into the race with reasonable expectations and the hope that I’d finish somewhat respectably. As the race neared, we entered the start corral, which was huge. The corporate run had over 9,000 participants this race. Fortunately, it was a chip to chip race.  Consequently, my time was not negatively impacted by being encumbered by mobs of people behind the start line. img_0615

It felt amazing to be racing again! The first mile went pretty smooth and I felt pretty good. As I promised my doctor, I was conservative over the remainder of my race. In the end, with my foot asleep and pride swelling in my heart, I crossed the finish line. While my heart was swelling with pride, my right foot was coming back to life, after falling asleep on mile 2, as I waited patiently for my post race free beer.

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My time this race was the slowest I’ve ever logged at a 5k, but it will forever be the one that gives me the most pride. After a torn tendon, a diagnosis of Graves’ disease, subsequent treatment and no exercise for nine months, my time of 37:23 is pretty damn good! Moral of the story, winning isn’t always about getting a PR every race. Sometimes winning is not being afraid to show up and do your best no matter what cards you’ve been dealt. 

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Lastly, I had to share this photo from last year’s race as it included Paul.   My associate director Paul was someone who embodied perseverance.  While he wasn’t with us this year physically, he was definitely therein spirit.  We miss you Paul!

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead

Ding dog the witch is dead, which old witch my thyroid bitch.  (Sorry mom, I couldn’t resist the rhyme.). That’s right peeps after months of hyperthyroid hell, radioactive iodine and all the fun Graves could serve me, it’s done.  I’ve been waiting for this day since last summer when my hyperthyroidism was discovered.  For months, particularly the last two, I’ve felt like my mind and body were on a run away train.  In fact, for much of December and most of January, I ran a fever and was far too often tachycardic.  I even had to miss some of Goalielocks’ games because it would be too much of a load for my heart. (My doc was proud of me for actually recognizing the risk and avoiding it.)

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Throughout my hyperthyroidism, I have been unable to workout.  As someone who was teaching Zumba, running and practicing yoga all the time, the lifestyle change was unbearable.   I look forward most to resuming my active lifestyle.  I’ll be easing back into it, so as to not hurt myself or imperil my tendon’s healing.  I’ve found that since my thyroid flipped from hyper to hypo that my joints and muscles are quite achy and sore.  My doc assured me that the pain will go away as my thyroid balances out on the medication.

When my doctor told me this morning that my thyroid had finally flipped and the radiation worked, I could have kissed her.  A fact, I was not shy in sharing with her.   When she cleared me for activity, I was even happier.  I think I left their office skipping with an ear to ear grin.  I started the synthetic thyroid hormones today and with it another chapter in the fight against Graves. My doc has laid out a clear and concise treatment plan, which won’t be without bumps, but in the end will get me back to normal.  I’m happy knowing that I’m on the road to normalcy with the worst behind me.

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Naturally, when I got home from work I ate my dinner, let it rest and got on the treadmill.  I promised myself that I’d start slow and I did.  I put on my AirPods and ran.  The first mile was not easy.  My knees were quite stiff and unforgiving, but they to settled in as time went on.   It felt absolutely liberating to jog/run again.  I warmed up for three minutes then ran for ten, walked for two, ran for ten and then cooled down.  When it was all said and done, I had run two miles.  The last mile kicked my arse, but it felt so good to be back at it.  I complimented my run with a 25 minute yoga session focusing on stretching the legs.

Thursday Eve

It’s Thursday eve, or hump day as we affectionately call it in corporate America. There’s something magical about the promise of a Wednesday.  We’re oh so close to magical Friday afternoon.   In our house, Wednesdays are also the only weekday where we can enjoy dinner as a family.  It’s a nice rarity.  Fortunately for me, the hubby usually has dinner done or in progress by the time I get home.  It’s such a relief to not have to cook.

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I was reminded tonight of the importance of being exceptionally specific when giving teenage boys directives.  Sunday I had asked Goalielocks to bring down all his dirty clothes and towels, so he have clean clothes when school started.  There was one crucial mistake in that sentence: the phrase “when school started.”  Apparently, this freed the way for him to only wash the clothes he needs for this week.

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When going upstairs to find my mouse, I noticed the error of my ways.   His room still look like a clothes/bath towel box had exploded.  Clearly, he hasn’t watched Tidying UP on Netflix.  Or perhaps he misunderstood the directions to put all the clothes on your bed before figuring out what he could part with, but somehow I don’t think that’s the case.  See when raising teenage boys, you have to be exceedingly specific and definitive in your directives.  Moreover, you have to follow it up with turning off the wifi until the chore is done.

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To be fair, both Goalielocks and his older brother Jake do their own laundry, so I can’t complain too loudly about his laundry.  It’s just when Goalielocks does laundry, he only does 10%.  Marie Kondo would lose her mind!  Now for the good news.  With the youngest in seventh grade, I’m a year away from only have to do me and my hubby’s laundry.  That will be an awesome day!

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An update to the thyroid, I’m still hyperactive and there’s inflammation in the gland.  This is part of the process of they thyroid dying, but it’s taking forever and I’m impatient. Due to the thyroid, I’ve been running hot (low-grade fever) for the past several weeks.  My heart rate has come down a bit since last week, which is a relief.  It had a mind of its own last week, so I skipped the trip to Tampa with Goalielocks.  After all if my heart rate Friday was 105 bps sitting at my desk while on beta blockers, my heart rate watching my goalie would have been dangerous.   Good times!

While I wait for the hyperthyroidism to abate, I’m taking it completely easy.  At this point, I’m not even non-aggressively riding my bike.  We’ve had a cold in the house, so I’ve been taking fresh ginger shots with lemon to boost my immune system and reduce inflammation.  It’s amazing how sweet a lemon tastes after drinking ginger.  If you haven’t tried it, I do recommend it.  For my S. Florida peeps, I recommend checking out Juiceberry in Boynton in Deerfield Beach or Smoothie Whirl’d in Boynton and West Palm.  A solid online option is Jus by Julie’s boosters.  When bundled with a cleanse, they’re 30% off through Sunday with the discount code Cleanse30.   Since we’ll be traveling a bit in the coming weeks, it will be easier for me to have them delivered.