Tag Archives: thyroid

Things That Go Bump In The Night

rashThe boss has had a lot of fun this week, pointing at me, saying ‘ewwwww’ and ‘commiserating’.

Not the foot-drop, the fatigue, the red face or dropping my buttie. Nope, something spectacular and brand new.

I have broken out in a humungous rash of blisters, all over my arms and neck. And ears. Ears! I now have Spock ears.

For some bizarre reason, unknown to MS or the thyroid problems, I have erupted in icky, hot, itchy blisters. Even The Teenager is impressed, which takes some doing.

One GP appointment later, I am back on a course of steroids (meh), plus steroid cream, plus anti-histamines. In the back of my mind, I’m already calculating how much energy these tiny innocuous tablets of Prednisnolone will give me – skirting boards? Spice cupboard? Dusting?

I look awful. The boss likens me to a post-apocalyptic zombie. The blisters itch and burn. I slather steroid cream on them and pull  my sleeves down in shops.

I was back at the doctor’s today, where he posed me in several ways, taking great shots of the rash to send off to a skin expert. Then it was off to the endocrinologist for a follow-up appointment as my thyroid has gone haywire since Alemtuzumab. To be fair, I knew all about the risks and was more than willing to sign up. It just so happens I was the one in three.

Anyway, the endocrinologist told me that my thyroid was going crazy again. In the back of my mind I’m thinking, ‘hmm, weight loss?’. ‘Yes please’.

The upshot is, I have to let them know when I feel a kind of manic energy again, with palpitations. And tremors.

The joy. On the one hand, the slump of MS combined with the up of thyroid. It’s making me kind of confused.

Up? Down?

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I Love You, No Really, I Do

nhsValentine’s Day (aka Smugged Up Day) is drawing ever closer.

Confronted by oceans of red roses, snuggly-wuggly teddy bears and soppy cards, I am sending a different sort of Valentine’s card this year.

Gone are the painfully awkward days when I had nothing – nothing – to display on my desk at school/work. The shame. Despite firing off 3 for £1 cards to all and sundry, in particular the guy who wore Grolsch bottle tops on his shoes at the height of Bros-fame (younger readers, you may have to google this).

Nope, this year, especially after today, my heart most definitely lies with the NHS. I am in love.

To cut a long love story short, I had an appointment with an endocrinologist this afternoon. I was, of course, the 1 in 3 who got thyroid problems after Alemtuzumab. To my delight, my weight dropped two stone in six weeks, nothing short of miraculous. I sent The Teenager up into the attic to ferret out boxes of clothes I had consigned to the Skinny Era. However, my ever-vigilant GP spotted the trend in my blood results and put an end to my fun.

Anyway, I had the most wonderful consultant today, and, buoyed up by his kindness, I waxed lyrical about the NHS. We’re so lucky in this country and it’s something I try not to forget. I have a great neurologist, a fab team of MS nurses and the knowledge that any problem I have will be swiftly addressed.

In short, I am counting my blessings. Despite the horror of this week, when I lost my beloved cat and companion, I know that I am in good hands.

So, this year, despite being a Sad Singleton the Wrong Right Side of Forty (with a Teenager and Compost Heap), I will be celebrating. I may even treat myself to a romantic dinner for one. But in the back of my mind, I will always remember just how fortunate I am.

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Paleo for Schmucks

paleopicThis Paleo malarky is taxing my brain.

I’ve read everything I can get my hands on, I’ve raided the local fruit and veg shop and The Teenager can’t find his yoghurts in the fridge without foraging through bags of curly kale and spinach.

I’ve scoured Gumtree and am now the proud owner of a juicer (ok, not strictly Paleo, but I’m easing myself in gently). I have also bought a spiralizer gadget thing which I tried out yesterday; after grating my fingers over and over I finally figured out how to make carrot ‘spaghetti’, yum.

I made a packed lunch for work today, eschewing my usual carb-laden fare and pulled out my brand new salad box (with detachable dressing pot) and started munching away on my carrots before moving on to four chicken drumsticks. I also turned down a pastry and snacked on nuts instead. Unheard of.

So far, so good. I’m feeling virtuous and renewed, and it’s only Day Two. I’ve read that Paleo can be excellent for MS although some of the internet posts verge on the fanatical and are a little worrying. According to some of them, by not doing Paleo before, I’ve been compromising my health and making my MS worse. I even – if you can actually believe this – read that the Paleo lifestyle, i.e. living clutter-free and calmly, can cure MS. Oh, really?

I like the idea of Paleo, eating a more natural diet, cutting out the wheat, etc. It’s basic and it makes sense. And that’s where it stops for me. None of this forum nonsense with people posting questions such as, ‘I weakened and had a Dairylea Triangle and now I’m devastated, how can I overcome my feelings of shame?’. Or, ‘can I feed my cat a Paleo diet?’

For now, I’m going to stick to the 80/20 rule, i.e. for newbies like me, Paleo 80% of the time and treats the rest, even a Dairylea Triangle if I fancy it. Or some chocolate cake. Sigh. Will I stick to it? I reckon so, as long as I relax about it. Since my thyroid’s been playing up I’ve had the unparalleled joy of losing two stone rapidly then piling most of it on again. I spent a couple of weeks in my skinny jeans and loved it, but it was the wrong way to lose weight.

This time, I’m going to do it properly. And reward myself along the way …

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Erm, What Am I?

starvingOk, ok, violins out – my chosen career path is, well, dead. Withered. Mothballed and shoved to the back of a cupboard in the spare bedroom next to the Nordic walking poles.

Apart from the fact that there’s a distinct lack of translation jobs in Cardiff, not many companies are inclined to convert their English brochures into Norwegian. And why would they?

And that’s fine. Honest. Gulp. Takk, and all that.

So now, who exactly am I in the grand scheme of things?

Well, pull your Ikea chair closer, for I have The Answer.

I. Am. A. Writer.

I know, strange, huh? We had a new peep on board this week at our latest project. He took in my overalls, my notepad, my, ahem, probing questions about the job. And then he asked me what I did in my real life. Hmm. I stumbled. I stuttered, ‘well, I, like, you know, erm, blog?

‘You’re a writer then.’

‘Erm, ah, no, not really, I, you know, blog, kind of…..’

‘You’re a writer then?’


*Pauses for a very, very long time to let this information digest, totally forgetting that I am enrolled on an MA in Creative Writing*

‘Erm, Yeah, s’pose. Never thought of it like, you know, ‘Writer’.

Eek. A writer?

A seductive thought. The clouds, they are very dark and they are bright. And dark! And light again.

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MS Never Sleeps

knackeredThere was me, down to no afternoon sleep, dropping off to Loose Women, no slumping over books.

I had ENERGY, the MS currency of choice.

Yup, it had to end, and boy, it did.

On the one hand, the pesky thyroid was a gift from above.

I had an obscene abundance of energy. I am ashamed to admit I cleaned round my taps with dental floss and vacuumed my house to within an inch of its life. Dust was banished.

On the other, I ended up in hospital. On Sunday, my mum took one look at me and called a taxi, ‘um my daughter can’t stop moving and shaking, no it’s not drugs, um, apart from Amantadine, but no, it’s not speed, and she won’t throw up in the cab’.

So I spent the next five hours staring at a lovely man who had no idea where he was. I cried. He was wheeled away and I stayed in limbo, with a cannula in my hand and a difficulty talking to the Doctors children who were looking after me. Plus I had an ID band around my wrist. In case I forgot who I was.

They wanted me to stay in overnight but as much as I was tempted by the gruel they serve for breakfast, I demurred. I had to get home. A nurse gave me beta blockers. Sigh. Divine. The trembling stopped and I could breathe again.

At 1.30am, I went back home and sank into my bed. Today, I had an appointment with the GP. Thyroid meds – These will help, but if you get an infection, you have to get a blood test straight away.EVEN if it’s the weekend. Meh.

I was quite happy, just checking in twice a year with the MS team. Now I have to see an endocrinologist, have more blood tests, see the GP on a fortnightly basis. But if it’s the same endocrinologist as before, I’m looking forward to hearing his Italian dulcet tones.

There has to be some recompense, no?

p.s. I had to miss book club too…

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