The Weekly Ramble

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The weekly ramble: where I blog like it’s 2004.

trixie belden

This week came and went like a flash. FishBoy18 started a campus job; the atmosphere at home was different with two men gone all week. The kids and I fared pretty well with week three of school.

The girls and I read through the first Trixie Belden book. This was one of my favorite book series growing up, so it was fun to read them to the girls. (I never liked Nancy Drew.) Even some of the boys were tuning in. An observation from one of the boys: “these kids have really sophisticated vocabularies!” Indeed, they do. I can’t help but wonder how different kids in the 1940s talked from us today.

I was hoping I’d have some bigs news to share regarding my thyroid, but I don’t.The endocrinologist seems very nice, but she wasn’t able to tell me much. My GP didn’t order all the right tests, so I go back for more blood work tomorrow. My GP also told me I had nodules on my thyroid which I do not. Enflamed lymph nodes instead. I’m not thrilled at the moment, but neither am I devastated. I guess that’s good.

My preference would be that this is just a random bout of hyperthyroidism and not Grave’s Disease. I am thankful that it’s not cancer or anything else like that, so I will be hopeful that God has a plan for all of this no matter what.

One good thing from all this is that iodized salt is back on the table. Years ago I switched to sea salt after I heard that it was better for you. It is if it is unprocessed sea salt that contains iodine. I just didn’t do enough research for myself. My bad. As if I don’t have enough to worry about, I have stressed about whether that has hurt the kids. So, after researching natural sources of iodine and seeing that we do have a fair amount of those items, I decided not to worry about it. We picked up a carton of iodized sea salt last week and are moving on.

london cup

In other news, we’ve tentatively decided to head back to Europe next Spring after college finals are over. I am super thrilled! Super duper thrilled. Planning a trip and anticipating is so much more fun than worrying about whether you have lymphoma or thyroid cancer. Am I right?

So, we’re mapping out our travels: Spain, France, England, Scotland, and maybe a stop in Ireland. We’re also working up a budgeting and scheming how to have this funded so we can make arrangements earlier than later. If you’ve got advice on any of those places, feel free to lay it on me.

Meanwhile, here’s what’s been happening on Life as MOM:

Here’s what’s been happening on Good Cheap Eats:

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  1. Michelle S. says:

    Oh, what a rollercoaster for you, Jessica. I hope you can get some answers soon. I am so glad you have a fun trip to look forward to. Hooray!

  2. Don’t sweat not being labeled, I had grave’s then had hashi’s. The best advice is to always get a copy of your labs & check your level’s against your previous numbers. My thyroid was out of whack for probably 3 yrs before it was properly diagnosed. During those 3 yrs I lost a lot of hair, gained a lot of weight, lost a lot of weight, lost a few babies, lost a ton of tears, told to see a shrink and it was all in my head…… It wasn’t until my throat was swollen like a orange that my dr’s realized even though my numbers were in the normal range they were fluctuating like mad. I was advised to do RAI to treat my overactive thyroid (I wouldn’t do it again). I now have no thyroid so I’m always hypo. I have had two doctors tell me to avoid iodine because my body can’t process it. I was dumb enough to believe them.
    I didn’t mean this to be a vent, conventional doctors (at least here in Ohio) can be clueless, even the endo’s seem to be more concerned about diabetes than a gland that can control so much. I recommended Stop the Thyroid Madness on FB, it is available from most libraries and helped me understand so much.
    This is fixable!!! It’s a PITA, but fixable (I had a friend tell me once it was God’s way of making me slow down & take a breathe–that ticked me off so bad! But it does make me pause)

    FWIW I still use himalayan salt & supplement my iodine

    • Thank you for sharing your story and for the recommendation. Curious what you would do different if you went back to the initial Graves’ diagnosis?

      • My biggest regret is doing the RAI (radioactive iodine) to treat it. So I wouldn’t do that. I’m not sure how the doctors are over there but here I wasn’t given much of a choice & was told I had 4 days to decide if I wanted surgery or RAI. I just went thru a 3rd miscarriage, more than likely due in part to thyroid issues, and was told it could be cancer and what I just went thru wasn’t the worst of it, I could be killing myself too. (seriously) In those 4 days I couldn’t find a doctor that could see me in less than 2 months. I felt bullied & trapped and confused. But I went thru the RAI. (I’m scared crapless of surgery) I flied a complaint with the hospital about the doctor & his comments (he even told me with RAI I would ore than likely be able to ‘keep part of my thyroid’) I’ve been thru 5 different doctors & have been told so many different things some that even contradict what previous doctors have said.
        Luckily the internet has changed a LOT in 10 yrs and there is so much more information available! I agree that not all doctors are the best informed. With my experience endocrinologists are not (but I’ve heard there are good ones out there, just not here in Ohio, or within 150m of me) I wish I could find a naturopathic doctor and go that route, but here we tend to be more traditional doctors who like to prescribe pharmaceuticals
        (again, sorry about the length)

  3. Can you clarify about the sea salt and iodine issue? I have thyroid issues as well and am very confused?

    • I’m confused, too. I would suggest talking with your doctors about if they have a recommendation for you as to what to use. My understanding is that processed sea salt does not have a significant amount of iodine. UNprocssed sea salt and iodized salt do.

  4. Doesn’t this stuff make you wish YOU had the medical degree??
    That’s how I always end up feeling after ‘inconclusive’ appointments. Oh well.
    Teachers went back to work this week, and kiddos are coming Monday. Ready or not, school is here! 😉

  5. Did somebody already point you to this article? It was helpful for my daughter and I to understand her lab work and look at it with a different eye. “Normal” lab values aren’t always optimal for everyone, so hopefully this will help you decipher the results from your tests.

  6. Sorry you didn’t get more conclusive news! That’s frustrating. I’ve never read Trixie Belden, and your girls may be too young, but even now at 31 I’m rereading my grandma’s Beverly Gray series by Clair Blank, which I started reading in high school. From the 1930s-50s, something like 26 books and pure fun. The way they talk is funny too. Most of the books are out of print but can be found online and on eBay.

    I spent 6 months in Spain (Andalusia) in college and loved a lot about it, but as a single college Gal at the time wouldn’t have much advice for your traveling family. Definitely go to Seville though. Barcelona was cool, but even as an almost fluent speaker of Spanish (at the time! Lost a lot now) I found the people were really rude to Americans. Oh, and watch out for sea urchins on the Mediterranean. I got spines in my feet several times. Ouch!

  7. I also switched back to iodized salt this year after a bout of minor thyroid issues. I use sea salt in baking and iodized at the table and stove. A good mix of both…

    Like I always say, I’m willing to go “natural” as long as it works. If it isn’t working (or I’m stressing that it’s not), I’ll switch back without regret.

    I hope you get answers with this next round of labs. My DH and I are dreaming and scheming about a trip to England/Scotland with the kids, but it will be awhile before we can save the cash. We are campers, so we are contemplating renting a small RV to lower vehicle & accommodations costs. It won’t lower them tremendously, but every little bit helps.

  8. How exciting that you are going back to Europe!
    So fun to be in the planning stages. Are you planning on going in 2016 or 2017?

    That would be wonderful if you could hit up all those countries. Will you be able to take a lot of time for the trip like you did last time?

    I hope you go through all your planning and list it here. It is so helpful. I hope to take my family to Europe soon. Just waiting on the 5th kiddo to be born. I will for sure be coming back to your posts about your trip to help me plan and figure things out. You had so much info in there it was great.

  9. Trip planning sounds like a fun distraction! England/Scotland/Ireland would make one trip, and Spain/France another. BUT, I hope you’re lucky to be going for a long enough time to do it all! We went to London/Bath/Wales at the beginning of summer and 5 days in London seemed too short (then 2 days in Bath, 2 days in Wales)! We rented a car for the drive to Wales — now that was an experience! I can’t wait to hear the details as you plan this.

  10. Hope everything turns out well for you. As for the trip, I was in Ireland with my husband a few years ago for his work. We were in Limerick, which was no big deal. But southern Ireland was beautiful. We spent a weekend in the Aeran Islands which was beautiful! If you do that, be sure to take a ferry with stabilizers; we took one that didn’t, it was not a good ride to the islands!

    • I would love to know more details!

      • I will find my notes/bookmarks and get back to you. 🙂

        • Don’t forget me. 😉

          • Ok, are you ready? :). I didn’t forget (completely!). Keep in mind, we were there in 2008. Most of my bookmarks still work, however, so that’s good! My husband was in Limerick for work for only a week, so I didn’t get a lot of travelling in, in the south-western part of the country, but I enjoyed what I got to do. I would like to go back some day and see Dublin and other parts as well.

   General info.

            I booked two tours with a bus company, Bus Éireann. It looks like they have different tours now, but that may be since it is fall. I went from Limerick to County Clare, where we stopped at the Cliffs of Moher and the Caherconnell Stone Fort. Beautiful, even though it was windy and rainy at the Cliffs! The bus made a couple stops on the way to look at minor castles and farm areas.

            The other trip was to Adare, Killarney National Park and Killarney. Killarney was beautiful, and I wish I had taken the overnight option there. Part of the tour included tickets to the Muckross Friary.

   We spend the weekend on Inis Mór, the largest of the islands. Lovely, lovely, lovely! Accidentally ended up walking about half of the island because I couldn’t read the map, but it was still great. Various buses to take you around. We also toured Dun Aonghasa, a cliff-top fort. We took a bus from Limerick to Doolin, which is a small town that really felt Irish to me.

   This was the ferry we took to the Aran Islands. For us it was horribly rocky. Had friends who took it a year or so prior and were sitting on the outside deck having a lovely time. The gal at the B&B we stayed at on Inis Mór said they don’t have stabilizers and that we should have taken a different ferry company, but I don’t know what else there is.

            I hope this helps a bit. I know it’s renewed my desire to travel! I hope to take our kids to Ireland and England someday. I need to start planning now to make it happen.

            Happy Travels!

          • Thank you!

  11. I hope you are feeling better soon! This past Spring we spent two weeks in England. My husband was born there moved to the States when he was twenty. We spent 5 days in London. Upon arrival we hopped on the #11 bus at Liverpool Street Station. It is the 1st stop on the line so when the buses arrive they are empty. Catch an empty double decker bus and go to the front of the top. Best tour of the area. Great way for the kids to see historic sights we did not get a chance to visit. A visit to Windsor Castle exceeded my expectations. Amazing! You can tour rooms at your leisure with a media guide, one for adults and one for kids. The castle is in a town. So as you are walking along one side of the street visiting shops, the castle is on the other side of the street. We ate at a kid friendly pub. We had a window seat and it looked like we could reach out the window and touch the castle. Stonehenge was beautiful but the traffic getting there, even in the early morning, paired with having to wait in line for prepurchased tickets, waiting for a shuttle to the site, made it an all day excursion. Leeds Castle is beautiful, especially the grounds

    • As for London, everyone loved Westminster Abbey, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Picadilly Circus, and a football (soccer) match. We planned to tour Tower Bridge and take a boat ride down the Thames but ran out of time. I highly recommend visiting Westminster as they have media guides for adults and kids. We were able to hear a boy’s choir rehearse. They close around 4 pm so go early so you have time to tour all the areas.

    • We loved the Hoho bus tour we took. Good tip about Windsor Castle. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the tips. Feel free to share more!

  12. I LOVED Trixie Belden when I was growing up. I used to buy a 95 cent paperback books each time I went to the mall with my parents. I still have my childhood books and pick up copies every time I find them at used book sales. They are so much fun!

    Good luck with figuring out your health issues.

  13. Hi – I am still confused about salt and iodine. I used to buy regular, iodized salt. Then I found out that it has been stripped of most of its minerals. So I switched to “unrefined sea salt” and found that I like the taste better anyway. My understanding of it is that it does not contain iodine…but that as long as you are eating a variety of healthy foods, you will get your iodine that way. Is this incorrect? Sorry, but I am just so confused.

    • I have heard that unprocessed sea salt is fine, but that some people still use sea vegetable supplements. I do not know enough to give you good advice. It would be good to check with your doc.

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