Thyroid problems

I cant believe what a little butterfly shaped thing in your neck can do to your body when it isn’t functioning properly.  It can make you bat crap crazy.

I am going to explore my problems and recent diagnosis of hypothyroidism in hopes to let someone out there know that they are not alone.  Know that they are not the only person feeling like they are losing their mind. I really feel like I am not the same person that I once was.  I hope this medicine is a magic pill and helps get me back to my so called normal.

I have had symptoms for years with extreme dry skin, cold intolerance and hair coming out in globs. My TSH has ALWAYS been normal. my mom has thyroid nodules/hypothyroidism, my grandmother had it and my great-grandmother too. Now me. Doctors usually wont do anything unless your TSH is abnormal.  Stay tuned to hear my struggles and medication prescription.

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2016 goals

I have big goals for 2016: Winning the lottery or Publisher’s Clearing House, opening an antique/craft shop and buying vacation properties in warm climates. Oh wait! Those are my dreams.  My bad.

2016 goals that I am looking at are pretty dreamy too.  Some I am throwing out there for reminders.

  1. Lose about 30 pounds. Okay I more like need to lose 40 at least.  I want to feel more confident.  Okay at least with the strength training I am going to do lose inches…
  2. Start to pay off debt.  Starting with medical bills, credit cards and working up to car loan.
  3. Live frugally and earn extra income to put toward a 10th anniversary vacation in the fall and a new to me pickup.
  4. We also need a new mattress. 10 years old and falling apart ours is.
  5. I know I just talked about saving then spending. I have a pickup, but it is in rough shape.  We have used it and used it.  the body is bad while the motor is not.  I would like to save up for a newer used one.  I thought I could live without one, but I use it for driving in snow, going to haul and collect wood for our wood burning stove, hauling stuff and in my earning extra cash. I had planned on working on this in 2015, but my newer used car I was 6 months from paying off was having motor problems so I traded it like a hot potato.
  6. Purge and organize the entire house one room at a time.  I literally have had dreams recently of clutter in the house and how I feel overwhelmed not everything having a place.
  7. Eat better. Fix more dinners at home.
  8. Go back to having one date night a month.  We haven’t and it hurts…a lot.
  9. Pay off the riding lawnmower we had to get a loan to buy.  push mowing 3 acres….too much so we had to get a replacement.
  10. Get back to sticking with a grocery budget and meal planning.

What are your 2016 goals?

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Newfound site for natural products

I would like to find better deals on natural products.  I find that online sites are the best way to get natural products cheaper.  I frequently use Vitacost to get products at a great discount. They have awesome sales pretty often and carry everything from grocery to pet items.  I usually get my protein powders from here.

I recently stumbled upon a site called iHerb. The name is a bit misleading as it is definitely more than just herbs.  There is a little bit of everything on this site also. They carry herbs, baby items, grocery, pet, health and beauty.  I recently purchased a essential oil blend for my diffuser after getting a credit of $5 for the site.  I also purchased a sample of probiotics and a travel size of hand cream.  All natural products.  I ended up paying basically for shipping only. The probiotic sample (10 days) was $1.00 and the hand cream was a try it for $0.10.  Shipping was very fast for this site.

Try them out..you might enjoy them!

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Energy saving tips

Even with this mild weather we have been having I have noticed an increase in my electric bills as of late and rumor has it more increases are coming.  I haven’t been using any more electric than I did in the summer, but the price continues to hop up a few dollars.

Here are some ways to reduce your energy costs:

-Unplug things that are not being used.  Items that are plugged in but not on supposedly still pull energy.  I went around unplugging things we don’t use on a daily basis.  This can of course also reduce the risk of fire .

-Turn lights off in rooms you aren’t in or when you leave a room.

-Put plastic over your windows in the winter. An alternative to the kits they sell in the store is bubble wrap.  You can get a roll and trim it to fit windows.  Apply water from a spray bottle to the flat side and press against the glass you want to cover.  The little bubbles help absorb the heat of the sun and insulate against cold.  This is of course good for windows you don’t mind not being able to see out of.

-Put weather stripping around doors. Also get the insulated covers for the inside of light switches and outlets to prevent air from seeping in.

– Wash laundry with cold water more. Dry laundry loads back to back so the dryer won’t have to reheat up.

– If you have a dishwasher make sure it is full before running it.  I only run mine a couple of times a week making sure it is stuffed before turning it on.  It is like the adult version of Tetris trying to put everything in it.

-Look to alternative heat sources if you are able.  Whether it is wood, pellet stove, etc.. if you are able to there may be cheaper alternatives to heat with that will save you in the long run.

Hope these tidbits help you!

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Intro to couponing.

BASICS OF COUPONING

I am super excited to be offering my tips for saving money.  Things are tight these days and with prices going up saving is becoming a lot harder.  I have been couponing and trying to find unique ways to save for the last 14 years.  While it does take work, to me it is so worth it.  Don’t get discouraged. It is so easy to when you start out.

Kind of like this blog…

Easy ways to get coupons besides buying the Sunday newspapers is asking coworkers, neighbors and relatives for their unused coupon inserts from the Sunday newspaper.  My friend at work uses coupons.  We each buy papers, cut out the coupons that we want and bring the rest in to “exchange” with the other person.  She buys a newspaper that I can’t get where I live.  I buy her two that equals the price of the one she buys me.  She can’t get these where she lives. This way I can get multiple coupons of a product I will use.

There is also coupon clipping services online that you can buy a certain coupon you want or whole inserts.  This can save you time by only ordering the coupons you want without having to cut through inserts from the Sunday newspaper. There is a very helpful website called http://www.sundaycouponpreview.com/ that allows you to see what coupons and inserts are going to be in the upcoming newspaper. Remember most major holidays there are not coupon inserts.

Now that you have got your coupons you will want to organize them.  There are various ways to organize them.  Some people use the shoebox method. This includes a shoebox with dividers in it to put coupons by section.  My luck, I would drop that in the store and coupons would fly everywhere.  There is the accordion/file folder method.  This is where each pocket is labeled by section and coupons organized like the shoebox.  You can also just save the inserts and organize them by date in a file cabinet and pull out the ones you need.  I personally use the binder method.  I put baseball card holders and 4×6 photo refill pages in a binder and use dividers to organize the binder by sections. My sections include dairy, pet, health and beauty, cleaning, baking, dinner, condiments, drinks, frozen and miscellaneous.  I make sure there is a zip up pocket for overflow coupons.  This way I can take them with me in the store and if I find an item on clearance or unadvertised and have a coupon it is a bonus.  I look forward to helping you save!

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Fibromyalgia at a young age

When I was a teenager I was diagnosed with scoliosis like a lot of others. I went to a chiropractor.  I got physical therapy.  I still ached.  I remember complaining to my mom about my legs aching and my lower back. I kept having back problems and pains even after physical therapy.   At first, she thought maybe I was still growing, but I complained enough that she took me to a rheumatologist.  Being young I thought a rheumatologist was someone who treated “old people” for arthritis.

After an examination and listening to my list of complaints of pain in various places I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia.  My mom asked what his recommendations were and he said “exercise”.  Yeah, right.  Besides being three sizes bigger than I am now, exercise with how I felt was the last thing I wanted to do.  Even though my mom had been diagnosed with fibromyalgia years earlier, I kind of shrugged the diagnosis off.  I really didn’t know what I was in for.

When I was 18 and had to become more responsible by getting a job and going to college I noticed I started to forget things.  I had to start writing things down and putting the sticky notes on my purse or car keys so I would remember important things I needed to do.  I should have invested stock in sticky notes for as many as I have wrote.  I remember my grandmother saying “You are too young to forget things.” I didn’t understand myself.  I thought there was something seriously wrong with my head. I had started writing things backwards, mostly numbers, even though I swore I saw it one way I wrote it another.  My attention span and ability to concentrate was becoming impaired. I would have a hard time finding words.  My friend’s didn’t understand my complaints of pain. They didn’t understand the nonsense coming from my mouth and quite frankly neither did I.  I felt alone in dealing with such a life changing disease and I felt misunderstood. I eventually just tried to deal with it and not complain.

In my 20’s I decided to see what this fibromyalgia was about. I began searching on the internet and realized many other sufferers felt grossly misunderstood. I joined a online Christian fibromyalgia support group, a small group of women whom I am still friends with today. I found comfort in knowing I was not alone at all in this journey, just a bit younger than most people when they are diagnosed.

I have had fibromyalgia or “fibro” as I like to call it now for 16 years. It is not getting any easier as I get older.  Most everything that I feel weird happen to my body I attribute to and blame on it.  Some symptoms that I have encountered besides lumps in my lower back, writing and talking backwards, forgetfulness, attention problems, pain all over which can become worse with stress, weather, etc, chest flutters, stiffness, depression, fatigue, IBS, numbness and tingling in my extremities, sensitivities to my skin being touched, sensitivities to scents, dizziness, and TMJ just to name a few. (Yeah, a few).

I am lucky to have found support in my mom, friends and online communities. If you are dealing with this disease and feel alone, please remember there is support out there and you are definitely not alone.

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To eat or not to eat

That is the question. I admit a few years ago I started reading the stories of this ingredient, that chemical, about GMOs, about this food additives, artifiical colors, etc and I about went off the deep end. I started following numerous blogs on eating clean  I wanted to rip everything out of the kitchen that had something in it I can’t pronounce.  I started preaching the word of the horrors of all sorts of food to others around me.  I changed the way we ate. I started preparing most meals from scratch.  Then I got sick.

Oh, that isn’t how it is supposed to go is it.  I ended up in the hospital for five days from a really bad infection. While this wasn’t from my change in eating, it still made me realize a severe illness can happen.  I will post on it later.  My mindset changed while I was in there for five days.  It changed in more ways than one.

I will say I continue to watch things I buy. I stopped buying a lot of processed boxed foods.  My tastes have changed.  I started making homemade seasoning mixes, spaghetti sauce, cleaners and dog food (another post to come later on how it changed my dog).

Now I don’t believe in GMOs. At all. I hate the use of chemicals in food.  But, I also cant go around giving up everything and worrying about every single bite I take.  I can’t. I won’t. I will need a one way ticket to the loony bin.

I can’t eat canned soup anymore. Tastes weird. I  Most meals are from scratch. I try to buy organic when I can.  I freeze a lot of veggies we grow in our garden.  But I also can’t sit around and live on avocados, hummus and weird tasting stuff that makes me think the cows on the farm next door are eating better.

My point is while eating clean is great and I hope to one day follow the 80/20 rule of it. 80 percent clean, 20 percent or less not. I won’t let this consume my life.  I will never give up pizza, the occasional box of Velveeta mac and cheese, Reese’s cups or the occasional frappe. I wont give up cheese…EVER. I won’t give up eating out a couple times a month because I enjoy it. I love something greasy sometimes.

Bottom line everything in moderation.

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Flu season strikes early

So, I had big plans when it came to this blog. Start by posting a few times a week and work up from there and if you see the date of my welcome post you know that hasn’t happened. I started it over a week ago and this is my second post.

It happened suddenly.  Monday around 12:30 p.m. Yeah, I can actually almost pinpoint the exact minute. I had taken my mom for her Mohs surgery to remove basal cell carcinoma on her face.  Everything went well. We went to the store. Went to lunch. I dropped her off at home and went home myself. By the time I got to the garage and started unloading my bags I started not feeling well.  I figured had to be the not so great sleep I got the night before.  I decided to sit on the couch and browse social media on my phone. I started feeling worse and decided to go lay down. I was freezing.

When my hubby got home later the afternoon I felt like I had been hit by a truck. Took my temperature it was 101.5.  Coughing, chills, body aches they all came out of nowhere. I called off work the next day and went to urgent care. My job requires a flu shot and because of a cold I hadn’t got one for this season, but had got one in March. So the doc said it is the very beginning of flu season, but they are seeing people with it. I had all the symptoms and even though my fever went away at that point all signs pointed to the plague, I mean flu. He said it was up to me if I wanted the nasal brain biopsy, or nasal lobotomy or okay its a nasal swab to test for the flu but it feels like the other two. He said it is actually only 50-80 percent accurate and he has seen plenty of people with all signs of the flu test negative. I said no thanks. I had the flu in January and that was enough brain picks for me.

He gave me Tamiflu, cough syrup with codeine which I spent throwing up that afternoon.  The miracle drug of Tamiflu they give you only is supposed to make you better by a day and guess what I am on day 5 of the flu.  I admit I only took half of it because I want to vomit every time I take it even with food. I also will say my fever has bounced from normal to 102 until today. This strain is definitely worse than the last one I had.

Things I learned:

  1. The different strains of flu virus definitely provide different symptoms.
  2. The nasal swab for the flu is only 50-80 percent accurate and is more likely for the CDCs tracking of the different strains than our benefit.
  3. Flu shots aren’t a prevent all obviously.
  4. Tamiflu isn’t worth the copay with this strain at least in my opinion.
  5. Cough syrup with codeine should have a cough suppressant besides an expectorant.
  6. Next time I’ll treat with over the counter remedies unless it turns to bronchitis or pneumonia like the last one did.
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Welcome

I have lots on my mind that I am throwing out into space now.  I had tried a blog earlier on my own.  I am trying again, this time with some guidance.

A little about me. I am an outspoken 30 something girl from Pennsylvania.  I live in a rural area. I am going to throw my thoughts out there on life and experiences, share recipes, gripe, yip, sharing savings ways, share a struggle with Fibromyalgia and weight problems from a young age and not take lip off of anyone.

Yes, I am mighty behind this keyboard.  Okay that is a joke, but onward and upward and welcome!

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