Friday, July 31, 2009

Just a minute - July

I saw the Just a Minute meme on Badskirt and thought I would give it a go - a good thing to do on the last day of the month ...

Winning... a crazy fort from KidsStyleFile for doing a survey. I never win anything so this was very exciting. It might be too old for Chet at the moment but that isn't the point.

Learning... about 10 month old baby development, blogging and google analytics.

Seeing... old friends in Brisbane, Pineapples from the Dawn of Time, people in my neighbourhood.

Collecting... fabric from charity shops, baby clothes and toys. The K-man is collecting hornsea mugs and cameras.

Planning... a trip to Tasmania and Melbourne in August, childcare for Chet from October.

Watching... Baby Einstein, The Wire, Flight of the Conchords, The Bill.

Listening... Radio National, Lucinda Williams, Vashti Bunyan.

Reading... info on rheumatoid arthritis, Revolutionary Road, Watermelon: husband in a coma & other setbacks, friend's blogs, the local paper, The Monthly, The Foolish Tortoise.

Making... a mess, corn and polenta muffins.

Thinking... about writing, about blogging, about what to make next, about health and illness.

Walking... round Iron Cove, to Marrickville, to Summer Hill, to the park.

These boots are made for walking ...

I have been doing a lot of walking of late in a bid to lose weight and get a little bit fit before I go back to work in October. It would be good to fit into those work clothes - I don't fancy having to buy more, at times I resent having a work wardrobe as it is! I either walk around my neighbourhood or I drive to various points around Iron Cove and walk part of what is known locally as the Bay Run.

In the mornings it is beautiful walking around the water and if I time it right Chet will go to sleep straight away which means I don't have to worry about him. Last week I drove to Rodd Point and walked around to the cafe above Drummoyne Pool and had breakfast while Chet slept. He woke up halfway through breakfast and seemed quite happy to take in the view.

I love the Bay Run for its' essential dagginess. I don't look out of place exercising in jeans and a jacket - I just don't seem to own any 'athletic' style clothes aside from yoga clothes and I don't like wearing them in public. I don't own a tracksuit (they make me think of that footage of John Howard goofily stepping out for his morning walk) and I am the woman who climbed a mountain in Pakistan wearing a pair of 70s brown cords, a 70s ski jacket and a pair of blunnies. The exact same outfit I had worn to underground raves in London - it was nothing if not versatile. Whilst in Pakistan I did add a large green scarf that I could use to cover my hair and upper torso if required. On the Bay Run I have seen old men wearing even older suits stepping out around Iron Cove, lots of dog walkers and of course the serious runners and cyclists with all the gear. But it retains the essential inclusiveness of the inner west, there is space for everyone to get out there and enjoy the water, the views and the fine weather.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Happy pills

I picked up my new lot of thyroid pills from the compounding chemist last week and they were purple. It made my day. Purple makes me happy, so purple pills that also help my thyroid work better have got to be a winner. The old ones were small and white and were slowly making me more and more depressed. Within a day of switching back to the thyroid extract the thin veil of depression that was hovering over my head had just disappeared. It may have been a placebo affect due to me feeling that I was taking control of my body by changing by thyroid medication but I think not.

Here are the purple pills nestling with part of my purple glass collection, purple on purple on purple. Reminds me of that famous poem from the '60s by Jenny Joseph which is actually entitled Warning but starts with "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple". Not only am I collecting purple glass and wearing the occasional bit of purple but I am even swallowing purple pills. Practising to be an eccentric old woman perhaps?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

9 months and counting

Well, Chet has now been out for as long as he was in. 9 months on 5 July. It has gone pretty fast - it seems as though it was summer only yesterday and now here we are in the middle of winter. I saw a photo of myself heavily pregnant yesterday - I was a bit surprised - is that what I looked like? I can scarcely remember. I wonder if other mothers feel like that - maybe that is part of the forgetting that makes woman go back for more - babies I mean!

And, I go back to work in 3 months which is a little bit difficult to get my head around - not the work per se, but the kerfuffle that has to happen before and after work - getting myself and a baby fed and ready for the day and to childcare and then work and doing it all in reverse at the end of the day. I feel exhausted just thinking about it!

Chet really is developing in leaps and bounds now. He has 8 teeth and another one on the way, a head of very blond hair, no skin tag, some excema and possibly some psoriasis, a delightful chuckle and a cheeky look on his face a lot of the time. He has recently mastered a kind of one armed commando shuffle which appears to use a lot of energy for not a lot of reward but is surprisingly effective - he can get across the lounge room floor pretty fast that's for sure. He can launch himself out of his bumbo and laughs when he does. In fact, he laughs at most things - he certainly doesn't take life too seriously - he would get that from the K-man I think. The K-man was changing him this morning and he farted on the change table and burst into laughter - fart jokes appeal to all ages apparently. It might be time to get out that whoopie cushion!

Chet is also very determined - if he sees something he wants he really tries to go for it - the K-man claims that this comes from me. He loves going to the park - he particularly loves the swing and in general seems quite fearless - something that could be a concern later on but at the moment is quite nice to watch. He is happy to be passed around, loves going out and meeting new people, doesn't mind staying up at all and is generally pretty good fun to be around. And, he doesn't seem to be shy at all - maybe that will develop later on but at the moment he seems to be a happy, confident, outgoing little boy. I don't think we can take credit for this - it just seems to be the way he is. We cater to his needs of course - ensuring he is fed and changed and loved and that he sleeps but otherwise it feels as though he is on his own path and developing in his own way at his own pace. Remarkable really, sometimes I just look at him in wonder - it doesn't seem real that we produced this perfect human being ...

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's my thyroid

For a couple of years now every time I have had some kind of health issue I have blamed my thyroid - and it is true, my thyroid has been responsible for weight gain, excessive tiredness, hair thinning, eyebrow thinning (bizarrely), brain fog, dry skin and possibly some of the aches and pains I have had in my wrists and feet. But now, joy oh rapture, I possibly have another autoimmune disease to add to the mix - rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

I saw a rheumatologist last week who said that she thought that there was probably some kind of autoimmune thing going on with me and that it was probably rheumatoid arthritis. They don't like to go out on a limb diagnosing these things unnecessarily which I guess is fair enough. Better to err on the side of caution than to diagnose prematurely. However, the pains I have had in my hands and feet would indicate RA as would a range of other things including having had a miscarriage. So perhaps I have been unfair in blaming my thyroid.

So, two chronic illness which basically involve the body attacking itself. Hashimoto's thyroiditis is where the body attacks the thyroid and with RA the body attacks the lining of the joints. With autoimmune disease, for some reason, something causes the immune system to see the body's own tissues as foreign invaders. In pregnancy, the immune system is suppressed so that the body doesn't attack the baby and I think that this is why I felt so good when I was pregnant as my immune system also wasn't attacking my thyroid. And I guess why I have been feeling fairly crappy of late - my immune system has kicked into overdrive. The RA symptoms started appearing about 2 months after Chet was born - apparently not uncommonly with this form of arthritis.

So, I am trying to work out a personal plan of attack for this without feeling too depressed about it all. It is fairly tedious and I certianly don't want it to be the only thing I can think about. I have a small boy to attend to and I would rather be enjoying watching him grow up and experience the world than thinking about how my hands hurt. None of this is a death sentence and really just needs to be managed effectively but some days are better than others that's for sure. Some nights I can hardly pick Chet up and some mornings when I get up all I can manage is a particularly attractive crone-like shuffle. However, at this stage it is not debilitating and I hope that it won't be. So, back to acupuncture and a wheat-free diet for me. Possibly a dairy free diet (luckily I have been eating a lot of cheese lately, hopefully I won't miss it too much). It is time, in the words of my favourite thyroid blog, to kick the arse of this godamn immune system.
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