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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Lowering Those Standards

Did I ever tell you that I have hypothyroidism?  Probably not.  After all, nobody told me I was having thyroid troubles until a few weeks ago.  So, I guess there's no way you could know either.

It all started a couple of months ago when I noticed that my running was going downhill.  Although technically it probably started before that.  I've never been a fantastic runner - I run from obligation and not enjoyment - but over the years I've gotten a pretty good feel for how fast I run (using a treadmill makes that quite easy).  When I'm in peak condition I can run at 6 mph by the end of my run, and when I'm nine months pregnant I can run at 4 mph.  Which is slower than Brandon walks.

My speed dropped bit by bit - first my top speed was 5.5 mph, then 5, then 4.5 then 4.  And it stayed at four.  I could maybe explain 5.5 or 5 or maybe 4.5, but definitely not 4.  That's how fast I run when I'm 39 weeks pregnant, not when I'm supposed to be normal and healthy and not pregnant.  I decided something was not right.  A call to the embassy doctor, an office visit, and a couple of blood tests later, it was confirmed.  Hypothyroidism.

And like that I gained my very first lifelong medical condition.  But it turns out that, as far as lifelong medical conditions go, hypothyroidism is one of the easiest conditions to deal with.  Take a pill, have blood draws occasionally, and you're good to go.  Pretty simple.

When the doctor called and told me the news she offered to start me on the medication immediately.  "But," she continued, "I do have to tell you that our medication did expire a month ago."  Since I'm trying to get pregnant, she recommended I visit with an endocrinologist when Joseph and I are in London this week (two medevacs for the price of one!).  And that doctor might want to run their own tests, so perhaps waiting on the medication would be the best idea.  I agreed.

So that leaves me a firm diagnosis (yay!) but not much to do about it until I visit with that doctor in London (boo!).  Which means that I've just have to deal with being hypo for awhile.  This means that on the good days I feel like I'm four months pregnant and on the bad days I feel like I'm nine months pregnant.  The good news is that I've had some experience feeling crummy for long periods of time.  The bad news is that I've never dealt with it very well.  Every day I start with a firm promise to be nice and cheerful and smile all the time.  Some days I (mostly) keep the promise.  Some days I don't.

And so, for now, I just have to lower my standards.  It's the best way to try and keep a grip on sanity.  Your bed isn't as neatly made as I like?  That's okay - you'll just sleep in it later anyway.  Those messy clothes drawers really aren't such a big deal.  After all, my drawers are clean and I don't have to look in yours.  As long as the clothes are put away somewhere, I don't really care how they're put away.  Feel free to not finish your food.  Pancakes are a perfectly reasonable dinner food.  Movies are the best babysitter ever.  Schoolwork gets done and that's what counts.  After all, the school year is almost done anyway.

There are some days when we have pancakes for dinner because really, food is food and everyone likes pancakes better than whatever else I had on the menu.  The house is a little messier than it usually is, but that's why I have a housekeeper come twice a week to make the mess go away.  And nap times occasionally last until four in the afternoon.  It's times like these when teaching the children to only wake me in dire emergencies pays off.

Thankfully all of this has an ending date - a few weeks, they say, after I start taking my magical pills.  I wonder sometimes how much I can blame on my thyroid (and I blame that whenever possible) and how much is just the vagaries of growing old.  I'm trying to contain my expectations, but sometimes it's hard.  I suppose I can always 'forget' to take my pills when things aren't going so well and then blame the thyroid.  It's always nice to have a convenient excuse.

Until then, however, everyone will get to enjoy those lowered standards.  I'm pretty sure they're not going to like it when they're raised again.

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