🕶 Summer 2017 👒

The skies are blue with white clouds, the wind is in the tops of the trees, and the scent of freshly mowed grass floats through the air.

I can be found outside to absorb Vitamin D more often.  I often go for drives in my 1999 Mazda Miata (top down, radio up.) singing my heart out.  I can enjoy the scenery when I take my dogs on walks.  I could go for bike rides with my husband.  I could follow through with plans or have a summer job for extra money.  But I’m not doing any of these things.  I can hope that all of this will play out next summer or the summer after that.  I will be ok, just not today.

I am spending this summer filling out forms.  Forms?  Yes, forms.  Being in my condition, I have a lot to “prove” to people, I guess.  I have forms for Student Loans, Social Security, Insurance Companies, Appointments to keep from each groups’ Independent Medical Reviews.  My years worth of forms is not helping to remove my carbon footprint.

So if you get the chance to capture some Vitamin D, walk your dog, drive your convertible and go for bike/ horse rides, do it.   Do it for everyone who can’t, right now.  Enjoy the outside and stay “form-free”.  Don’t pick up a writing utensil or hide behind a screen of any sort.  Mind your manners.  Eat full-fat ice cream … on a WAFFLE CONE! 

Most of all… 

Enjoy the Summer of 2017. 👒

Planning, Hoping & Fumes

I think that I have a friend or two who genuinely care about me and my illnesses.  I believe that I have some acquaintances who would be certain to talk to me if we were in the same place, coincidently.

Thanks to Pastor Trisha Peach, blog peacht, via Hypothyroid Mom, I caught a few of her comments to be very true for me, currently.

Like this… “It makes planning nearly impossible. Many humans take for granted that they will wake up feeling “normal”, go to work, go see friends, go to their child’s sports game – same as always. 🌅👩🏻‍🏫👩🏼‍⚕️👨🏼‍💻👩🏻‍🏫👩‍🎤👮🏻👯‍♂️

For someone battling a chronic illness, you just don’t know. Instead of “planning”, it’s more like “hoping”. You “hope” you wake up feeling ok, you “hope” you can make it through work, you “hope” you can make it through your child’s play…..and each event takes its toll on your energy and health.

You cannot predict the day before how you will feel. So the world makes plans and prepares for events and you…..”hope” to be a part of them.”

She goes on to write,  “It is not because you no longer care or because the event is not important to you or the person is not important to you. You are missing out because your body has given out.

In fact, your body may be 4 or 5 events PAST too many by the time you just give out. It’s like driving a car that is running out of gas….you lasted on fumes, but finally despite all your efforts, the fumes have run out. The gas pedal is all the way to the floor, but she’s not going any further.”

My doctor had requested some blood work from me…, which, upon return, explained a plethora of my health problems. She was speaking another language (Greek? Latin? Dr. Speak?), regardless I needed Google. And here I am. 🌎.

Meghan O’Rourke has an essay called “I had Autoimmune Disease and then it had me.”   It was printed in The New Yorker Magazine, Aug. 26, 2013.  It came up in a Google Search for Hypothyroidism.  She was speaking my language.

So, for my friends, I hope to keep our plans but I need to be full; not on fumes.

💩. I don’t even like me when I’m on fumes.  👺

Bariatric surgery

I experienced Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass through removal of a portion of the stomach (sleeve gastrectomy or biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch) or by resecting and re-routing the small intestine to a small stomach pouch. 


I needed to be smaller than I was.  I had a great job, my own apartment, a strong family, a very nice Infinity QX4.  Life was grand, until I opened  my mouth to eat.  You see, in 2000, I was diagnosed as being morbidly obese.  I think that my BMI was in the 40’s.

My last year of undergrad was interesting.  I had my first real relationship, student teaching and no cash.  So I ate the cheap food from gas stations, dollar stores, and CostCo.  Bulk was definitely the way to go.  By the year 2000, I was going to end up with diabetes and heart disease.  

The gossip magazine’s were all doting on Carney Wilson of Wilson Philips.  She had an “Easy surgery and the fat just melted off of her”. No pills, drinks, fad diets or exercise programs ever again.   Hey I can handle that!

I got the surgery in October of 2001 -insurance companies are just so easygoing (*Sarcasm).  I laid on my dad’s couch for two weeks and followed the new diets prescribed by my surgeon.  (Clear liquid, regular liquids, soft solids, and then in 6 months normal food, just in very small amounts.  My stomach was now the size of an egg.  The pounds were indeed melting off.  I ended up losing 150 lbs in less than a year.  

The fact that I loved smoothies and coffee;  the ideal weight loss was fairly easy to maintain.  I would drink Protein shakes from the local GNC, drank the Jamba Juice’s “Mocha Moo’s” with extra protein powder, and Starbucks Caramel Macchiato.  I never bothered with cooking.  My idea of cooking was making a pb&j (if I really had to).  I took my dog for walks, farther and farther as weeks went by.  

I started going to “clubs” within the very end of my first year.  It didn’t matter which génère the music was. I just wanted to dance and feel the rhythm of it all.   I felt alive.

After the six months, I had a calzone (black olive, mushrooms, ham, and extra cheese).  Mmmm.  It was really good.  I needed a whole week to finish one… but I didn’t care.  Dancing on the weekends would burn off the calzone calories.   

I moved out of my home state and started a new life with my (then) boyfriend, (now) husband, in a new state 2003.  Alas, as I have mentioned in other posts, my new “home” was missing out on Jamba Juice chain stores and Starbucks (Coffee Shops).  I went through withdrawals.

I was definitely depressed (whenever I had a craving for a Mocha Moo) .  And since I’m an emotional eater, I ate.  I started with the homemade food at the school, where I taught.  That led to eating solid food everywhere!  I even got cooking lessons with, like, a real chef person!

It was getting harder and harder to maintain the ideal weight/ BMI. This means that I was gaining the weight back.  I honestly believed that the operation was to essentially banish the ability to gain weight.  Yet, here I sit, knowing it is possible.  Luckily I have plateaued at a number I can live with.  

I often wonder if the Bariatric Surgery has/ had something to do with the Hypothyroidism, Hashimoto’s, Adrenal Fatigue, etc. that I am going through now.

Millennial Generation 

Millennials are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting … Wikipedia

I am writing this because I am worried about my two nieces and one nephew the Millenniums whom I love so much.

All three are very intelligent 🤓 (their school report cards can vouch for this).  I’m not just being a “Helicopter Aunt.”   They each have some very cool hobbies: Baseball, Volleyball, Cooking, and Computer games.  Their parents are very supportive of the kids, and are happily married (since 1998).

They have unique friends and seem to be a sort of “renaissance” childhood plus adolescence.  I am so happy when I get the chance to see them 😊.  

They have been around the world, Paris, China, Hawaii, South America, Alaska, Washington DC, Florida, you name it, they’ve been there.  Their parents believe that the kids need to see the world and really understand history (as opposed to an outdated textbook).  

The one thing that is a very different for this Millennial Generation is community.  It seems that they may have 400+ “friends” online, but how many do they really know?  Everything is online.  College, Loan requests, Dating, Music, Games, Notifications, Arguments, Banking, etc.  Everyone feels safer to say whatever or be disrespectful behind their computer monitors or cellphones or ear buds.  Right?

What are my nieces and nephew really going to do if “the grid” goes down? What am I going to do?  Hmmmm.   Or if they meet and fall in love with someone they met via the latest dating app, only to find out that the person behind the profile is not who they pretend to be?  What is in the future for my darlings?  Will emotional cheating become a part of trust issues?  This even happens now!  The two individuals/profiles have never met, they just had a “friend” online and it’s none of your business as to what is discussed?  Sometimes it really is nothing, but there is always a special person that you can pour your heart out to.  Remember  You’ve Got Mail   (Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan?).   Bookstore brawl… Granted it’s not a recent film, yet it is relevant to make my point.

It’s been said that four out of ten marriages end up in divorce because of Social Media.   (Sirius/XM Satellite Radio).

What if one of my darlings gets hurt or worse because of a bad online meeting?  You hear about those every day.  Example:

  • One out of 10 sex offenders use online dating to meet other people.

  • Women are afraid of meeting a serial killer. It’s OK ’cause only about 3% of online dating men are psychopaths!

  • A study found that men who reported incomes higher than $250,000 received 156% more email than those with $50,000. That’s 156% more golddiggers, guys, so think twice about whether you want to post that kind of personal info.

  • On free dating sites, at least 10% of new accounts are from scammers, says Marketdata Enterprise, Inc. Catfish, anyone?

  • In 2005 alone, 25% percent of rapists used online dating sites to find their victims. Let me repeat that: twenty-five percent of rapists used online dating sites to find their victims.

  • A matchmaking service in Denver, Colorado says that 51% percent of online dating singles are already in a relationship, yet are putting themselves out there as being single.

  • A third of those surveyed said “They falsified their information so much that it prevented them from getting a second date.”

  • In 2011 alone, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center lodged 5,600 complaints from victims of “romance scammers” with collective  losses of over fifty million dollars.

  • Each year internet predators commit more than 16,000 abductions, 100 murders and thousands of rapes, according to InternetPredatorStatistics.com.


    I understand that this generation will have highs and lows that my generation can’t foresee.  As I am certain that the Baby Boomers felt about GenX and had no idea that the computer would change the world and how we manage things when everyone is a winner.

“The Millennial generation is the largest in US history and as they reach their prime working and spending years, their impact on the economy is going to be huge.

  • Millennials have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization and economic disruption. That’s given them a different set of behaviors and experiences than their parents.

  • They have been slower to marry and move out on their own, and have shown different attitudes to ownership that have helped spawn what’s being called a “sharing economy.”

  • They’re also the first generation of digital natives, and their affinity for technology helps shape how they shop. They are used to instant access to price comparisons, product information and peer reviews.

  • Finally, they are dedicated to wellness, devoting time and money to exercising and eating right. Their active lifestyle influences trends in everything from food and drink to fashion.

  • These are just some of the trends that will shape the new Millennial economy.”


With all that they will be up against in their future, I just hope that my millennial family members know how much I love them.

Odds: Six:One 

I have worked for SIX, yes, six principals and there is one who stands out the most.  It isn’t because he was Math and I am English.  It isn’t because he knows my husband and they have mutual friends.  I enjoyed him the most for his colloquial trivia.

For example, one morning he was standing in the main office and called me in…  “Mrs.  Ellsworth will know the answer, I just know it. ”

     “Uh-oh.”  There were other teachers standing in there too.  Jeez he stumped them too.  “Is it one of those logic questions again?  I don’t do logic.”

     “Nope, it’s about shopping for fruits.”

     “Okay, try me.”  

He rubbed his hands together and he had a sparkle in his eyes.  I started to sweat.  He took a deep breath and began “Out of the top three selling fruits, you have five apples and seven oranges.  What does that leave you with?”

My mind was spinning.  I took a deeper breath and looked around to my co-workers.  No one attempted to help me…  “That’s it?”

     “That’s it!”

     “Obviously, it leaves me with eleven errr, ummm, grapes!”  

     “Nooooo, where did you get grapes?”

     “The Fruit Section.  Ok, what’s the correct answer?”


     “How many bananas?”


     “What am I going to do with eleven bananas?”      

     “What are you going to do with eleven grapes?!”  He was (sarcastically) huffing and disappointed.

      “Eat them, in one sitting.  Why did you pick bananas?  I figure it could have been any thing as long as you followed the Prime Number listing-thingy.  Right?”

     “Bananas are one of the top three fresh fruits.  Where do you shop?  Jeez….”

I rolled my eyes, while saying “I guess…”. 

He tossed me a mini Milky Way, and I went to my classroom.  My thoughts were on the popularity of bananas vs. grapes.  (And undoing the wrapper of the Milky Way.). Oh well.  Time to teach!

This particular principal was one of a kind (in my world).  He honored my request for Teddy bear pancakes during Staff Breakfast Potlucks…

He was notorious for taking the heat out of any argument at school.  He would say,  “There are two sides to a pancake and whatever is in the middle is the problem (gooey and shapeless).  Is it worth fighting for?  Think about it for a few minutes.  

Really consider it, do you guys need me to get involved as well as your parents?”  

Damned if it didn’t work!  I liked joking around with that Principal.  He was chivalrous and full of random trivia.  He respected me and vice-versa.  

Another example:  He answered the school office phone when the local Veterinarian called, he said that I was in class and that she could leave me a message…  It turned out that  my new kitten died in surgery.  

He knew that I would be devastated when I found out.  He called my husband; called a sub in to cover my classes.  When a familiar face who subs in emergencies walked in, and my husband was waiting in the hallways to escort me to the office, I had no idea what it was about.   Thank God I saw my husband-he had ridden his motorcycle to work… My mind and breath began to even out again.

 I saw my Principal’s face, my husband stepped to the area of the Principal and softly told me what the Veterinarian told him.  My husband caught me just in time and brought me home.


He not only knew me, he understood me.  Don’t get me wrong, he had his personal life issues, but the professional Principal who I worked with, was a wise and kind soul.  I notice that I used some of his “trusty stand by statements” which made more sense –than what I would love to scream at people.

He taught me a lot.  I learned about my weaknesses and strengths.  I learned some things that were math specific.  I also learned how to read people via their body language.

He’s retired now and lives in a different town.  We run in different circles now.   He may not take credit for these things; but this is my side of the pancake.


I am really weird about food. Onion slices are ALWAYS next to Tomato slices in restaurants.  The Onions ruin everything. It is so frustrating!  I have felt the same way about pickles, jalapenos, peppers, etc. 

Given that I am from Arizona, I don’t know why or how this happened -Mexican food was, well, awful -in my opinion.  I loved the fresh chips and a very plain Chicken Chimichanga.  But nothing could be on or near my plate.  That made it a dry rectangle on a dessert plate.  It’s supposed to be covered in a “Sauce” and Salsa with rice and beans as well as some little salad (onions included).   I was the only person in the world of the Southwest who preferred Jamba Juice, Starbucks and mall food to honest-to-goodness real Mexican food..
So, moving to Michigan was a great thing for me. Potatoes, Berries, Steaks, Soups, great pizzas, Farmers Markets, oh my! Although I’m not a fan of the pickled eggs, bologna and of course, pickles.

I steered clear of pickled things. However, I was devastated to find out that my Jamba Juice wasn’t here in Michigan. Starbucks is two hours south of my home. 

I went through Jamba, Mall and Starbucks withdrawal. I was miserable to be around. My husband took me to the “Mall” north of the house and I cried. It wasn’t a mall! It hade three or five shops and no food.  

Maybe Arizona wasn’t so bad after all. While everyone else was burning their taste buds, I had “Mocha Moo’s” with extra protein powder. Or I would go to the real mall for Panda Express.

What was I going to do here? Mashed potatoes come to mama!

Growing up, I wouldn’t eat a pickle. Dill, sweet, relish, whatever else was up to my co-lunch mate. My sister would get them off my McDonald’s burgers and pretty much everything else that had a pickle served was fair game. 

I went to a pot luck luncheon recently and someone had made/brought these weird looking ham wraps of cream cheese and a dill spear. After much coercion from my friends, i said that I would try one.  


Then all of a sudden I started to crave dill pickle spears. ?!

I mean really crave. I still don’t know what happened. I hated anything pickled and Mexican food; and then all of a sudden I’m eating Dill Pickles daily. At least they aren’t expensive.  What’s going to happen next?  Peppers on my pizza?
My husband and I attended the MSU presentation (we owned a pet store and the presentation was a customer service reminder) of “Give ’em the pickle!” 

I was entranced. I found the website which the presenters got their information. Little did I know that there is a link between pickles and customer service.   WHAT?!

“The idea of giving pickles away comes from a letter I received from a disappointed customer who was visiting the first store we opened.” (Bob Ferrell)

“The pickle philosophy has evolved from there as it’s been put into practice at various businesses. It may be about going the extra mile to make customers happy or putting your own personal stamp on customer service that sets you apart from your competition.  (And I just gave it away.)

At my favorite tire store they literally run to greet me when I step out of my car in the parking lot. I’ve met garbage collectors who stop to start lawn mowers and coffee baristas who add a heart or other designs in the latte foam. Those are all pickles. What are yours?”  


It may seem like an odd metaphor for customer service. I feel bad about not recognizing the intentional customer service.

Weird. Right? Now I understand why pickles are served with entrées.

I don’t know what triggered my love for dill pickles. I am a fan.

I don’t believe that I will ever love onions, nor will I order something with the potential of having touched an onion. Ironically, everyone in my family loves onions; as well as my husband. (*sigh*)

By the way, I’m not pregnant. I simply want to know why I love the stupid pickle -all of a sudden.  Is it a body mineral thing?  Potassium?  Vinegar?  Brine? 

Maybe my taste buds are changing as I age.  What a pickle!

Everybody is Dealing with Something -even if they aren’t “The Sick One”.

(Edited to reflect the life that my husband and I are currently experiencing.)


For me, hypothyroidism has been a cruel illness to live with, especially with all its horrible symptoms. Hypothyroidism can be hard on a marriage.

However, if you add divorce and/or maybe job loss to that, it makes it even worse – I have met a lot of people in that situation.

From the Husband’s Point-of-View:

And there is no doubt that hypothyroidism can be hard on a marriage. As a husband, you will probably hear about this illness a lot because it affects all aspects of your life and that of your wife. 
Besides, you might already be a little tired of listening to her complaints, not to mention that it might not always be interesting talking about the disease.
But don’t give up just yet, as there is hope if and when she gets the right treatment.
Let me describe some of my experiences in living with a thyroid patient.
She was sick for years before she was diagnosed.  She was the “hypochondriac of her family”, at least that’s what she was told.
As years went by, more and more symptoms became known. Not only did she gain weight, she was also sleeping a lot. 
But at the time, I didn’t know that she was actually ill – I just thought it was all part and parcel of getting older.
But she, herself, was convinced that something was wrong with her. Finally, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and was told that she needed medicine for the rest of her life, that she would feel well again, and that her symptoms would eventually disappear. Sadly they did not.
I didn’t really realize she was sick – I was busy.
Sure, I knew she was diagnosed and prescribed a pill -sick. But I also knew that since she was on medication, she should be alright, and so I stayed busy.
I was too busy and caught up with trying to manage both my job and almost all the housework at home like doing the dishes, preparing dinner, doing the laundry, cleaning, – all at the same time. I was too busy to really be conscious of my wife’s illness.
😴 She was sleeping all day
Of course, when I had the time I sometimes wondered why my wife was always sleeping when she came home from work. Sometimes she would sleep until the next day when she had to go to work again. 

I wondered why she suddenly seemed to have problems with her employer**– she used to be a highly valued employee who was entrusted with a lot of responsibility. She used to argue with her Boss when he tried to interfere with her work – and more often than not she’d get her way. But suddenly, all her spirit was gone.

🤔 She forgot everything
I used to wonder why she kept forgetting everything – all the time: purse, credit card, cell phone, shopping list, where she was, and where she was going. 

She gained weight, even though she was always following a serious diet. I couldn’t understand why. 
However, I did not really think much of it. Maybe it was only natural. It didn’t matter to me.  I was warned about Menopause. For all I knew, this could be Menopause.

😷 She was seeing doctors all the time.
In all this, she saw her doctor quite often and later some endocrinologist – I honestly don’t remember the details. She would often complain to me about her weight gain and about her troubles with getting back in shape. She could hardly walk, even up short stairs, without taking a break to breathe.
I listened but I didn’t really quite understand. And of course, sometimes I got a little tired of talking about the disease.  I just hoped the doctors would help her. However, they kept leaving the physical office or profession altogether, thus a lot of time was spent on “new” lab work, or another referral.  And life went on – daily life that is.
🤗 I got my wife back!  Or so I assumed.
One day she told me she had found a new doctor (again!), and that she wanted to give it another try. He apparently gave her another kind of medicine – I didn’t really understand, at the time, the difference.  I was busy.

🤓. Finally I understood
It was when I also came to realize how terrible she had been treated by her doctors, and how little, (people including me and many a doctor), had understood hypothyroidism.

🐘. I became her memory 

  • *But she still needs help and support. Hypothyroidism is chronic and if she forgets her medication, even for only a few days, the symptoms would be back. She has to take her pills three times a day.
  • *In the beginning she hated when I looked inside her pill-box and told her if she had forgotten to take some of the pills. But she learned to accept it – because if she forgets her pills – the symptoms come back and she becomes forgetful and therefore forgets to take even more pills.
  • *So I have become her memory. Every morning I ask her if she took her first pills and check that she remembers all the pills on the day before. As long as she takes her medication,  we hope it gets absorbed and I get my wife back.

What can you do?
How can you help your hypothyroid wife (or husband, relative)?

****That really depends on whether s/he is well treated or still struggling just to get diagnosed or find the right dose or treatment.  We are still struggling with different doses and triggers (food, allergies, spices, scents, texture and cravings) that knock her out.  🤷🏼‍♀️
Brande is still struggling with the symptoms and/or finding the right treatment, there are many things that have be recommended to me:

  • *Most importantly: remember that you love each other. Remember how you first fell in love. Help each other to recall those precious moments. You will need those to get through the difficult times ahead.
  • *Accept and understand her situation. It might be helpful to read about other patients’ experiences. You will realize that other patients are in the same situation and that there is hope for a normal life again.
  • *Don’t expect too much from her in daily life. You probably have to take up most of the practical work in and around the house.
  • *Don’t let her see the doctor alone. A person suffering from hypothyroidism will often find it difficult to explain her symptoms. 
  • *Be there to support her and if necessary be her advocate. Help her get the proper treatment. And if need be, help her find another doctor.
  • *Remember, there is always hope. Given the right treatment, chances are your wife may recover and be herself again.
  • *Maybe she needs help with the medication. Doses sometimes have to be regulated and adjusted. 
  • Be aware of your wife’s condition – has she changed? 

You will probably be the first to notice. 

  • Is she getting tired and forgetful again? 
  • Maybe she needs a raise in dose – talk to the doctor. 
  • Or is she restless and anxious? Maybe the dose is too high – talk to the doctor.

🌏. Life can become normal again.
When your wife is well treated, she probably will not need that much support anymore on account of her illness, except for making sure that she does take her medication which you might need to remind her.

Also, she might need your help to explain her illness to other people. Hypothyroidism is a trivialized illness and very few know anything about the consequences and extent of the disease.
😐. Accept that hypothyroidism will be part of your lives.

😳. For the full article and hyperlink to other helpful sources please refer to: