WOT 8

I can hardly believe it, but WOT 8 is finally here!!! It feels like we dropped Jake off at the recruiter’s office a lifetime ago. At the same time, it feels like it was yesterday. Now our count down is in days!! I will see my boy in three days!!! Yahoo!!!!!!  Yay WOT 8!

For our airman trainees, this week is all about wrapping up loose ends and out processing. After all, he’ll be on a bus to tech school early next Monday morning. From a training perspective, they’ll learn about educational benefits, be briefed on town pass and continue to practice for graduation.

As Jake wraps up his BMT journey, we’re busy making preparations for grad weekend. Sadly, it appears that gluten is the devil for my stomach. I say sadly because there’s a cafe in San Antonio that serves a 3 lb cinnamon roll. Can you imagine how aromatic that roll must be? Yummy!!! There’s also a restaurant that serves a 42 inch pizza. Finally a pizza that will serve my entire family!

Lastly, we’re so appreciative of all the support we’ve received since Jake’s departure for BMT. Your support has meant everything. In this vein, I’d ask you to hold Goalielocks’ teammate in your prayers as he begins his battle against Osteosarcoma. Cole is a wonderful kid and his family is fantastic. As he and his family fight this battle it is imperative that they know they are not alone.

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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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Happy Birthday Big Papa

Today we wish a very happy birthday to Big Papa, who turns 96 today. Luke’s grandfather has been one of my favorite people since the moment I met him. His heart is as a big as his tall frame. Throughout our marriage, Big Papa has always been one of our strongest supporters. We are forever grateful for all the time we have spent with him and for his love and support.

Jake and I were blessed to spend sometime with him in October on Jake’s farewell tour. He looks absolutely amazing for a 97 year old man. Unfortunately, he’s in a memory care facility with little of his memory left. Words cannot describe how beautiful it was to see his eye light up with Grandpa Steve told him Jake was joining the Air Force. It was magic.

He didn’t remember me, but he responded to Steve’s news by saying Jacob with the German pronunciation. He had an uncle Jakob and has always associated our Jake with his uncle. Throughout most the visit he spoke mostly German with some English sprinkled in. It was a special time. While he did not remember me, he thought I was way too young and pretty to be Jake’s mom. Score one for Grandpa Ed – still my favorite Lorbach!

We love you!  Happy Birthday Big Papa!

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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.

World Pancreatic Cancer Day

Today is World Pancreatic Cancer Day and across the globe we’re uniting to improve patient outcomes for this deadly disease. Pancreatic cancer is the only major cancer without significant improvement in survival rates of the past decades. Our patients, our friends and our families deserve better.

Thankfully, I have plenty of purple to wear. I started the day rocking my Minnesota Vikings shirt (Skol Vikings!) It is awesome when you can support your team and an amazing cause at the same time. I went to my 12:00 yoga in an nice purple Gaiam top and my favorite Gaiam yoga mat (also purple.)

I’m hopeful as the general public becomes mor aware of the disease that our collective voice for more research will get louder. We need more dollars out against the disease if we are to unravel it’s secrets i.e. early detection methods and a cure. PanCAN has been hard at work the last twenty years increasing awareness and research. I’m excited with that the next decade will bring us in terms of research. Nevertheless, our voices cannot be quieted until we have found a cure.

You can support PanCAN’s mission in honor of World Pancreatic Cancer day and in my friend Debbie’s honor by donating here.

Today Was A Dream

Today was a dream of a day. Since I’ve left the corporate life behind me, I’ve been enjoying my time with the kiddos and family. It’s been amazing to be able to spend time with my family without worrying about professional repercussions.

Today was a dream day that started like most others: my yummy Dunkin in my hand and some quality time with Jake and the puppies. Ordinarily, I’d go for a run or rollerblading in the morning, but there was not time for that today. Plus my legs were sore from running two miles yesterday for the first time in months.

The weather was absolutely dreamy. Chilly in the morning and absolutely perfect, with almost no clouds in the sky, the rest of the day. It was the perfect day for lunch along the intracoastal waterway in Fort Lauderdale. One of my favorite hockey moms lives in Miami, so this was the perfect meeting place.

I hadn’t been to Blue Moon Seafood Co in ages, but it was just a good as I remembered. We started with some wine, baked brie and calamari. The baked brie was served like a cream puff on a pool of coconut cream and apple chutney. It was simply amazing! The calamari was just as good.

Our main courses, were just as scrumptious as the appetizers, but I forgot to take a picture before I started eating. Since I’m trying to minimize my gluten intake, I opted for the spinach and blackened shrimp salad. I’m not quite sure what happens in their kitchen, but it might be wizardry as that was the best salad I’ve ever had. Meanwhile, Jodi was enjoying their mahi mahi entree. Honestly, it almost felt like a crime for food this good to be but one get one free. Thankfully, it is two for one special, so I can afford to go back more often.

After lunch, we stopped at Dunkin to grab some coffee and talk shop. My girl has been using Melaleuca products for awhile and invited me to join. As many of you know, the past year has been a struggle as I’ve dealt with autoimmune thyroid disease. I’ve found that my body has grown increasingly sensitive to certain food and chemicals. I’ve been looking for a good option to replace some the products in my house and this was the perfect opportunity.

I actually placed my first order this evening and can’t wait for it to arrive. I’m hopeful that these beauty and household products won’t send my body into autoimmune hell. Standby for the product reviews.

Unfortunately, we had to cut coffee short as my parents plane was landing early – like way early. The jet stream was clearly in their favor today. Picking them up was quick albeit it took me awhile to find them. Usually they wait inside for us, but they decided to wait outside. My mom definitely made up for the airport snafu with the tumblers she picked up for as a Caribou. As you can imagine, anyway my parents come to town is a dream day.

Thankfully since their plane was early, I was able to make it home in time to make my 4:00 yoga class. I just joined Open Heart Yoga Studio in Boynton and it’s absolutely amazing. Wednesday’s class is all about loosening muscles and improving strength and mobility. If ever there was a class designed for me, it is this one. I simply love it. Fortunately, I was able to share the experience with my mom today. I knew it would be the perfect anecdote to the stiffness that comes with flying.

Our night ended with Sal’s pizza and family time. That’s right not only do I have my parents in town, I also had all three of my boys home tonight. It’s like a lunar eclipse of a blood moon it happens every 3,543 years. I’m just happy to have the family home especially since Jake leaves on 20 days for the Air Force. We even hit a landmark as the Mayor is finally taller than his Grandma. All in all, in the immortal words of Sponge Bob, “It was the best day ever!”

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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!

It’s Time For States!

It’s time for states!!! The vaunted state hockey tournament. The culmination of countless hours of practices, driving, off ice sessions and games is finally here. Fortunately, both of our boys are playing locally this year for states! Yay!! Unfortunately, we’ll be at the rink all weekend with nary a break.

Our tournament started with our U12 Panthers Gold taking on the undefeated Blackhawks Red. It was an exciting game. I had expected a lopsided affair, but it was 0-0 through much of the game. The Hawks put one in while on a 5-3 power play. Our squad didn’t stop their effort and kept it a tight game, but we couldn’t bury the puck. All in all it was a good game.

Well after my bedtime, Goalielocks’ U16 game was scheduled. Okay, maybe 9:50 isn’t my bed time, but by Friday night I’m exhausted. Fortunately, I packed my beta blockers so I could take the edge of my nerves and my heart rate. The game opened with a breakaway against Goalielocks and he came up with a huge save.

The rest of the game was back and forth. Goalielocks saw a lot of shots, but was on point. TK buried the puck early in the first to put us up by one. We netted another goal in the second putting us up 2-0.

The second period had me worried, but our squad stood strong. They ended up banging one in, but I couldn’t see what happened from my angle. When the period ended it was 2-1. Thank God for beta blockers.

As the third period got underway I was hoping for a quick goal to allay my nerves. I got it! #relieved. The team had some great offensive moments in the third period. Consequently, we went up 4-1. It was then that the wheels started to fall off for the other team. They took a 2-10 penalty followed by another minor penalty late in the third. Happily, the game ended a 4-1 decisive win for our Panthers Gold and my Goalie.

Now it’s midnight, we’ve been at work and school all day. Tomorrow starts early with a call time at the rink of 9:30. We have game all day and another late night at the rink. I’m off to bed to get some much needed sleep. Let’s Go Panthers!

Peewee Quebec Day 4

Peewee Quebec Day 4 was full of hockey and Canadian whiskey. Officially, our boys went 1-1 today in their exhibition games. In their first game versus LSA France, they lost a tough one. It wasn’t even close.

The second game, they played a French team and won handily. It really was the first time this trip, they were able to get their offense going. Of course, my updates ceased in the second period, but that’s a whole different story my Hubby probably doesn’t remember. I love the team picture from the second game. My Mayor has his arm around one of the French players like they’ve been friends for years. This is why Peewee Quebec is the best experience for these kids.

Now back to my Hubby and the lack of updates in game two. One of the beauties of Peewee Quebec is that the kids are with the coach from morning tonight, so the parents are free to do as they please. This is even true if it includes drinking copious amounts of Canadian whiskey early in the morning.

Today has been bizarre. The moon is full and the weirdos have come out of the woodwork. I should have know how the day would track when leaving Dunkin’ this morning there was a man out of his gourd high. I mean, high! He was talking to himself like he was in the midst of a video game and acting it out. It was surreal. It reminded me of my childhood neighbor, who when he was five would pretend to be Yoshi from Mario Kart. Only difference is about 30 years and total lack of sobriety. This man was so out of it, he didn’t even notice me or the other customers leaving the store.

The day’s trajectory continued upon this bizarro path. When I didn’t think anything else could go sideways, I got a call from my friend in Quebec. My first reaction was panicked as I thought maybe one of my boys got hurt. Alas, my Mayor was fine and my Hubby has passed out after a tangle with Canadian whiskey. Oh boy….. In case you’re wondering the final score on that fight: Canadian Whiskey 1 Hockey Dads 0

To be clear, the caller was also far from sober. My friend was insistent that I give him the hubby’s phone code, so he could update his lock screen to gay porn. At 5:30 in the afternoon, this was just the call I needed. I asked if Hubby was okay and positioned, so he wouldn’t aspirate his vomit. To which my friend responded, I put him face down, you’re missing the point I need to update his lock screen. When I suggested he used My Hubby’s finger to open up the phone, I could literally hear the lightbulb going off in his head.

Shortly thereafter, I ended up speaking with his wife and my dear friend. She’s clearly a saint for a number of reasons (including last night’s recreation photo,) it today for checking in on my hubby while babysitting her’s. I’m pretty sure that’s not how she envisioned her Peewee Quebec trip. Nonetheless, she kept a watchful eye on my hubby and got some golden pictures. As for me, I was laughing so hard I was crying and that was exactly what I needed today.

Tonight My Mayor is taking in the QMJHL Ramparts game with his team at the Videotron Center. Meanwhile, back at the hotel my Hubby is “undrinking” the whiskey. Once my Mayor is back to the hotel, he’ll call home. He’ll tell me he had a fun day, but wants to go to bed and I’m preventing him from doing that. Tomorrow brings the second game of the tournament and a must win game. Perhaps I’ll even get updates through all three periods tomorrow.