Wednesday, March 25, 2015

My Journey






I want to tell you about a very long journey I've been on. It started just after Christmas ,2013. 
I started having these very, strange symptoms that I'd never felt before. I would absolutely burn up without a drop of sweat off and on all day long. Then other things started happening. My body was in over drive one moment and the next I could barely walk. I went to my Primary Care Doctor for my six mos. checkup and I had my usual Labwork done before my appointment like I usually do on my Thyroid, Cholestrol, etc.. Since everything looked ok he brushed it off by saying it was my nerves. In other words I took it he meant all in my head. I've had Thyroid Disease (Hypothyroidism)  for 23 years and made sure it was always checked and over the years they've adjusted my meds. accordingly. I noticed in  my copy of the Labwork they had done my T3 and T4 was off some. I questioned him about it and he said it wasn't bad and not to worry. 
Meanwhile my symptoms got worse and worse to the point I was getting very worried. I called him and asked him to do more Labwork. He decided to send me to a Rheumotoligist to see if it might be some kind of Autoimmune Disease. The Rhumetoligist did his own Labwork and everything came out good except my body was virtually empty of Vitamin D. He said that can cause serious problems alone and he put me on 50,000 Units once a week for 8 weeks but nothing improved.
 During all this time I kept doing research on my own. I goggled every Web Page I could, trying to find a solution. By that time it was the middle of July, 2014 and I was getting more sick by the day and what I found about the Thyroid was very scary so I asked my doctor to do more Labwork on my Thyroid, Hormones and anything connected to it. He did the Labwork and uncovered that my Antiobodies connected to my Thyroid was extremley high and my hormones were showing I was in Full Blown Menopause. I said, "Hold it and back up here. I had a Hysterectomy 17 years ago, how can that be and further more what in the heck is Antibodies and why are they so high? " His answer was to send me to an Endocrinoligist and let her figure it out. I traveled 2 and a half hours to an Endo that checked the TSH only on my Thyroid and never even bothered to check the Full Thyroid Panel, FT3 ,T4, TSH, and the Antibodies, TPO (Thyroid Peroxidase), Thyroiglobulin Antibody, and Thyroglobulin. 
The only other thing she was interested in was my Adrenal Glands and she gave me several plastic jugs to collect urine in 24 different hour periods and turn them into my local hospital lab and they were to send her the results. 
I waited for results and all I got was that my Adrenal Glands were ok and my TSH was good but she was gonna lower my Thyroid Med. ,and for lack of a better excuse she told me that as we grow older it looks like we may need more Thyroid Hormone but we actually need less. 

Needless to say, I was back to square one and fired my Primary Care Doctor and hired another one. She did more Labwork and run an Ultrasound on my neck and finally I got answers. She told me I had one of three types of Thyroiditis and the worse being Hashimoto's . She sent me to another Endo and she confirmed it was Hashimoto's and there wasn't anything to be done. 
I took more matters into my hands and set up my own appointment with another Thyroid Specialist that I'd heard nothing but good things about and got in with him. He told me I had the worse kind of Hashimoto's and my Thyroid was so inflammed that it was burning itself out in my neck and had to come out. He said the TSH is your intake. That means how much meds. you're taking in and although most primary care doctors like to see it at a 5 and there should be enough meds. going in to support that crippled and diseased Thyroid. He said he liked to see it stay at a 3 and no greater than 4. He raised my meds. some more till he could get the surgery set up. I asked him how long it took to get balanced out on meds. after the surgery and he told me not to long. I came away with the best feeling of peace I'd had in a very long time. But oh my goodness what lay in store for me was torn out of the book. It seems another horrendous chapter had just begun..

I had my thyroid Gland removed November 6th, 2014 (Full Thyroidectomy). I was on 100mcg. Of Synthroid at the time of surgery and I went back to see him a week after surgery for my Post-Op and he raised my Synthroid to 150 and went high as a kite (Hyperthyroid)  I've sled down the ladder all the way to 50 and now I'm on my way back up the ladder and still feel nothing but Hyper. When you have your thyroid removed you're considered Hypothyroid the rest of your life but I've yet to feel Hypo (low) . My doctor that did the surgery and worked with me till a month ago gave up and sent me to another Endo and he's finding out he's got his work cut out .
To top all of this I was supposed to have my Gallbladder removed the 17th of this month and when I went for my Pre-Op my numbers were running extremely high and they refused to do it till the Endo could work with me some more. So now I'm dealing with that as well and wondering how on earth they'll get it out. The ones I've talked with that has had their thyroid removed tells me it can take up to 9 to 12 mos. and the rate they're going with me even longer.

So... to say this has been a journey is an understatement. I call it a Living Nightmare and ongoing. I never know what to expect from one day to the next. I know this post is awfully long and might not even be of interest to some since they don't have Thyroid issues. I've found out that well over half the population has it and doesn't know about Antibodies or what the Thyroid tests mean... But I wrote all of this for several reasons ... Many people have been praying for me and still many prayers being lifted everyday and they are being felt and answered. For that I'm humbly grateful to each one. The second reason is I want to let people know what this terrible, horrendous disease can do . It takes away so much of your life and you can never get it back. I tell everyone I come in contact with to be sure and keep a watch on your Thyroid. If you have Thyroid Disease make them check the Full Thyroid Panel  including the Antibodies every time they do your Labs and Educate yourself as much as possible. Look up anything and everything and read and more read. The best Website to go to is The American Thyroid Association... When the Antibodies go so high it means something has went wrong with your Immune System and it attacks that little, vulnerable Thyroid Gland. Maybe it's something as simple but yet so important as lack of Vitamin D.. For 23 years I never knew about Antibodies and they had never been checked. If I can help one person and keep them from going through what I have it  means the world to me. Take it on yourself to do what's right for your body, cause we're the ones that have to live in it. Doctors only do so much and you can never depend on them to tell you what you need to know.

Many thanks for reading and most of all for your prayers and understanding. I will be back to visit ya'll soon as possible. I can't stay on the computer for long periods of time and it has taken me several attempts back and forth to write this.

 May God Bless each one of you. ~Susie




Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Echoes





                                                 The steeple stands so proud
                                                 The echoes are still there
                                                 When I listen very close
                                                  I hear singing in the choir

                                                 And preaching was a plenty
                                                 The Sabbath was its day
                                                 That old alter was the key
                                                 Most humbly they did pray

                                                 Those old weathered boards
                                                 Oh what stories to be told
                                                 The congregation was all there
                                                 And the bell chimes were gold

                                                 They came from far and near
                                                 Parked under trees with shade
                                                 In the dirt where they sat
                                                 Many wagon tracks were made

                                                 The mules were so content
                                                 As they grazed on green grass
                                                 Slightly peaking their ears
                                                 When a big Amen was passed

                                                 Plenty of shouting and rejoicing
                                                 Still hangs in every crack
                                                 No memories will ever be lost
                                                 Nor echoes will it lack

                                                 Such a big part of history
                                                 And a grand, old Godly place
                                                 It touched so many hearts
                                                 With beauty, dignity and grace

                                                 That old door is still open
                                                 Just like it was before
                                                 Calling, calling to someone
                                                 Come on in there's still more

                                                 Listen closely to each sermon
                                                 There's many left to hear
                                                "Amazing Grace" still echoes
                                                 Through the wooded path so clear

                                                 © Susie Swanson, 2015

The picture above is an Abandoned Church in Lincoln County, Wisconsin. Built in 1907.

A little update.. I am very sorry I haven't been around to visit ya'll lately and read your wonderful posts. As most of you know I had my Thyroid removed this past November (Complete Thyroidectomy) and they've been trying to get me balanced out on Thyroid Meds. Well, I've had a terrible setback. A week after surgery they raised my meds to high and I've been in what they call a " Shocked Hyperthyroid Stage". That's when it runs to high and they can not get it to come down. I went back to the doctor yesterday and I'm now being lowered to a very low dose which is very dangerous without a gland but they can't take me off of it all together and start over due to the dangers involved when there's no Thyroid Gland. To top all of this I'm scheduled to have Gallbladder surgery two weeks from today, 17th of March. If it was out now it wouldn't be to soon. It's stocked full of stones and I can hardly eat anything at all. But God is in control and I will get through it just like I always have. Without him we can not make it. I have laid it in his hands a long time ago. I know ya'll are sending up prayers for me and they are most humbly appreciated. I felt that ya'll deserve to know and I will be back soon as possible. God Bless , ~Susie

Sunday, February 22, 2015

That Little Backyard Spring



Our family was so blessed when we were growing up in so many different ways. We came to appreciate what we had more everyday. We didn’t care if there wasn’t any indoor plumbing, we made do with what we had. And unlike so many people that didn’t have well water like us and had to tote their water all uphill, we had a little spring in the back yard. All we had to do was grab the bucket and step off the back porch and walk a few feet. That was the best drinkin water in the world and we always had a little dipper hangin on one of the hedge bush limbs that grew out over the top of the spring. We also kept one in the house as well. Those were the handiest little dippers and the water even tasted better.
 Every time one of us came through the back yard we’d grab a cold dipper of water. After workin in the garden we felt like drinkin the spring dry. But we never had to worry about it going dry cause as long as I can remember that spring stayed full all the time, even in the hottest part of the year.

 It run out down the side of the yard as a little branch and we liked to catch spring lizards in the summer.
We also loved to wade that little branch and play in it what time we wasn’t playin in the creek. Sometimes mama would pitch a bar of soap at us when we headed towards the creek and say while you’re at it take a bath. We didn’t care that the creek water was just as cold in the middle of the summer as the winter like the little spring. We’d lather up good with the soap and throw it on the bank of the creek and keep on playin and splashin till suppertime. We’d go in home wet and wrinkled up like a prune and the first thing mama’d say, “did uns wash with that soap like I asked uns to.” She sure did believe in being clean.

That little spring came in handy for many things. Back before we got a frigerator we’d put our milk in the spring to keep it cold. We even put our homemade butter in there too. Mama would put it down in a glass, milk jug or bowl with a lid and stick it in the spring. That cold, spring water sure took care of us in more ways than one.

And the many buckets of water that we carried, I could never count in a million years. Come wash day we’d carry so many our arms felt like they’d fall off, some to heat outside in the big black pot over the fire in warm weather or on the wood cook stove in the winter. And there was plenty of rinse water to carry as well. It’d take the whole day cause we had so many clothes, bed linens, etc.

In the summer we’d carry buckets after buckets to fill up the wash tubs and sit em in the yard in the sun all day to warm so we could get our weekly baths that evening in the bedroom or the ole smokehouse. In the winter the tubs were placed in the kitchen by the wood cook stove. We had to heat our bath water in big pots on the cook stove in the winter.
 We took baths in between too, the only way we could in a wash pan.

Mama made sure we never went dirty to school, church or anywhere for that matter. Her motto was, “there’s to much soap and water in the world to go dirty.” And the one I liked the best was, “rags are honorable long as your hind end ain’t shinin and they’re clean.” She always made sure we washed behind our ears and she’d tell us to be sure and clean them rusty ears. I don’t think there was ever any rust behind our ears, except for the boys and that was cause they‘d been out playin in the dirt and runnin through the thickets.
I do recall her scrubbin some of the younger ones ears before with a wash rag and soap. I heard her say one time, “if I catch that rust on them ears one more time I’m gonna scrub em till they’re raw.” She’d even tell daddy the same thing. I heard her tell him one time, “you’re worse than a youngun to let your ears go rusty.” He must of remembered it cause later on in life after we all were about grown and we had indoor plumbing he hollored at me one day to come and check his ears after he’d took a bath. I inspected his ears and he looked like he’d scrubbed em raw they were so red. I told him they were clean as a whistle and he said, “ I just don’t know about your mammy anymore, she sure is bossy.” It was all I could do to keep a straight face.

Yep, that little spring was a life saver. Before dusky dark every evening we’d grab the water buckets and carry in the night’s water, come morning they’d be empty again. My name became,” Go Fetch.”

We all had our own share of chores to do and tried to take turns but sometimes it fell on the one that was the most handy. The boys helped daddy chop, split and carry in the wood. In the winter time it was worse. They had to keep both wood boxes filled, one for the heater and the other for the cook stove. And there was always plenty more water to be carried from the spring.

That little back yard spring sure was a God send and kept us going for many, long years.  Times have changed and I admit I wouldn’t want to carry those buckets of water again unless I had to but back then it was a necessity and I’d do it all again if I had to. And we never know just how much water we use till it’s gone. Water is a precious commodity and having it close by is an even bigger blessing.



Back when times were different
Water was a most useful resource
And carryin plenty of buckets
There was never any remorse

The dishes needed washin
Clothes were hung out to dry
And washin those dirty ears
Was a rule to always comply

Havin water nearby and handy
Was something to be admired
A cold dipper of spring water 
Is something to be desired

And fightin over the dipper
With plenty of glasses around
Was worth every drop of spring water
There’s none better to be found

Awe, how useful that water could be
And bath time was worth it all
Even if those big wash tubs
Held so much ya had to crawl

 The branch was an added bonus
With quite a runnin spree
It felt so good on bare feet
Flowin to the next stream or sea

Even catchin spring lizards
Was such a joy and thrill
Just to make a few pennies
To a kid is surely a big deal

I still miss that little spring
And will forever be grateful for
The many buckets I carried
And my go fetchin chore

© Susie Swanson, 2015

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

In Her Corner Of The World




She came from humble beginnings
A place she grew, learned and loved so
Across many mountains, hills and valleys
There was nary a trail she never came to know

Where a simple, little home became a mansion
And laughter sounds a stronger note than tears
Still holds their rhythm in the scheme of life
 In the wind’s sweet insistence from yesteryears

How many childhood days did she play and run
So happy and carefree through those ancient fields
Feeling the wind and rain brushing against her face
So many praises rise above for the joy it still yields

When she closes her eyes she can still see it clear
And hear the humming of the little, honey bees
Under crab apple trees that still bloom in the spring
She faintly smells the perfumed, petal rippling breeze

And the gathering of family around the fire at night
So many cherished memories still fresh in her mind
A father telling his life stories to each of his young
A mother sewing on quilts, a sure legacy left behind

An old oil lamp sits in the window, guiding her path
Leading her onward to that little mansion home
Where the door is open and the light shines bright
She steps inside to a welcome, the best she’s known

Those familiar voices she hears are music to her ears
Gathered around the table, giving blessings galore
The simple, little things in life, are the best of wealth
Even a bowl of milk and bread is worth so much more

Many seasons have come and gone like yesterday’s wind
 The memories will always be close beside all of her days
For the pleasures of this world is found only in the heart
Perhaps across some shadowy valley or ridge, in joyful ways

 And when she is bearing a load up some steep hillside
Familiar echoes are there, pulling her homeward bound
The cool, mountain air upon her face is still just as fresh
Yet still the earth beneath the paths lie packed and brown

A cool drink of water straight from a mountain spring
Where the mountain still hold its kingdom and crown
Crystal, clear waters flow from it’s downward sloping
Can quench a thirsty soul better than any to be found

She’ll never forget where she came and where she’s been
Or the many miles while spreading her wings to fly
 Trying to find the end of a rainbow takes an eternity
But the gold lies within her heart underneath the same sky

In her corner of the world the mountains are her legacy
She never knows what lies beyond a hilltop but delight
For the things that cause memories to awaken her soul
She so yearns for, she shall sit down and write and write

© Susie Swanson, 2015

Friday, February 6, 2015

If We Could See



If we could see beyond a sorrow
Beyond a present grief, as God can see
We would be braver, knowing some tomorrow
Will still hold happiness for you and me

If we could only glimpse through other eyes
To see the things that is God’s plan and design
We would be more strong and would be keeping
In our hearts, peace and hope through every darkened time

If we could see beyond blurred eyes and weeping
Knowing again the road will smooth before our eyes
By putting our full trust in God and his promises
The lessons of life will unfold to make us wise

We are so blinded by our grief and heartache 
The suffering of so much sickness, sorrow and pain
That we forget the joys beyond believing
God’s promise of healing and peace will be ours again

© Susie Swanson, 2015

I hope all of you are well and surviving the winter. Some are having it really rough and others like us have been blessed so far. Our winter has been in and out but nothing like last year. 
I'm still having health issues but I'm getting by, God has seen to that. 
I wrote the above poem to help others and the very fact that we've had two deaths in our families this week. Mine and my husband's nephew lost his sweet wife Wednesday. She lost her battle with cancer. Then yesterday morning the phone rung around 6am telling us that my first cousin had died suddenly. He has had Chron's Disease for many years and he woke up around 3am hurting and his wife called an ambulance and he died on the way to the hospital. He was only 51. He practically stayed at our house all the time when he was little. Since I had four brothers already, he among several more just blended in and when one decided to hightail it home we missed them. But ya don't have to be old to die and we know they're both in a far better place than we are ,It's the miss that hurts so bad. Thanks for ur patience and understanding and most of all your prayers this past year for me. I know there's lots in worse shapes and I do pray for them also and ya'll are in my prayers daily... Blessings, Susie

Friday, January 23, 2015

When I Think Of January




                                                     When most people think of January
                                                      they think of the cold
                                                      winter's wrath has settled in
                                                      with a powerful hold

                                                      When I think of January
                                                       my heart dances to a song
                                                       I can hear the sewing machine now
                                                       as it hums on along

                                                       All of those quilts
                                                       I patiently piece together
                                                       will surely keep somebody warm
                                                       in January's harsh's weather
                                                       
                                                       I can't forget those trips
                                                       I take to distant lands
                                                       in my mind I travel often
                                                       with my pen in hand

                                                       With every little poem
                                                        my spirit surely does climb
                                                        and I live every moment
                                                        in every little rhyme
     
                                                         So when I look out my window
                                                         and see the January snow
                                                         I don't mind at all
                                                         if time is moving kind of slow

                                                         I know it can't be long
                                                         until spring rolls around
                                                         and it doesn't matter one bit
                                                         if I stay house bound

                                                         © Susie Swanson, 2015

    The above poem is somewhat misleading in many ways. Nope, haven't done any quilting this winter. I managed to cut some pieces out but can't sew because I can hardly lift my arms. I've been helping my husband put together a couple of jigsaw puzzles. Well...let's be honest, I may have found one or two for him if you can call it helping. Still trying to get balanced out on my Thyroid Meds. and having stomach problems to boot. Went to my GI doctor this past Monday and he did the Endo light in my stomach on Wednesday. He didn't find anything out of the ordinary, said my Hiatal Hernia looked good so I'm to try eating a little more and if the gas continues he'll look at my gallbladder. It's not hurting so unless something changes they will not be messing with it anytime soon till I feel better other ways. ..So, I'm starting Probiotics and praying for good results. Enough about me.. hope all is well with ya'll and will be back soon as I'm able. I sure do miss ya'll's posts and keeping up with ya. Blessings, Susie

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Beneath The Fog




                                                      She walks through the blinding fog
                                                      it engulfs her morning stroll
                                                      Her mind is stuck in marsh and mud
                                                      waiting for something to unfold

                                                      Underneath the shrouded veil
                                                      lies a poem waiting for wings
                                                      To take flight in earnest sail
                                                      in the midst of misty dreams

                                                      Each voice she hears, echoes back
                                                      whispering in the brisk breeze
                                                      Like bells along the aerial track
                                                      amidst the flutter of leaves

                                                      Her heart beat is dancing strong
                                                      soul searching for each rhyme
                                                      Through the dense pathway on
                                                      The bells are beginning to chime

                                                      Drawing her ever so close by
                                                      beneath the fog and bitter rain
                                                      She pulls the sun from bending sky
                                                      her muse plants each tiny grain

                                                      The shadows of mere words
                                                      bounce upon the ground
                                                      Awakens the morning birds
                                                      as silver rays are shining down
                                                
                                                      A perfect foggy morning beams
                                                      although words are hard to find
                                                      In the pathway of misty dreams
                                                      Inspiration is never far behind

                                                       © Susie Swanson, 2015

Yep, this is the way I feel right now folks. I'm at a loss for words and left with nothing but memory fog. I haven't had the mindset to write much at all and it's no wonders. Between dealing with trying to get balanced out with Thyroid Meds. after my Thyroidectomy and my long time Stomach Problems rearing their ugly head, it's a wonder I've got any brain left at all. I want to try so bad and I get on the computer to write and the next thing I know I'm miserable. So.. I'll wait it out and hope for better days ahead and the Fog will have lifted FINALLY... Blessings to all of you. ~Susie