Friday, May 29, 2015

Found Out Something New Today

Can you say Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase?

That is one of the tests the Dr. ran on my last week. It has a shortened name when they order the test and it is called the MTHFR test. 

I stopped in to see the Dr. for a second at the end of the business day yesterday. He had a baby to deliver and another patient and was already there after hours but he did say that I have low Vitamin D. 

That is no surprise to me as we don't eat lots of dairy as several of the girls have allergies and I don't digest it well so I often take a D supplement and have gone tanning sometimes in the past as well. 

That alone wouldn't explain how tired I am all the time but he did run other tests. Two of my thyroid tests came back abnormal. That also is not anything new. The last Dr. I went to said that as long as the TSH is normal, they won't do anything. Why test the other hormones then? Obviously there is a reason or they wouldn't have the tests. He did a TSH test and it showed normal in January. The new Dr did several tests which point towards "Hashimotos Disease" which is a thyroid issue where your body thinks the thyroid is bad and starts to destroy it. 

Symptoms include: 
fatigue (yes)
weight gain (yes)
pale or puffy face (yes)
feeling cold (for hours nightly! I bought a mattress heating pad to get warm and can't sleep until my body gets warm. This has been going on for years now and my cousin that is my age mentioned it and recently my sister mentioned this as well. Just in bed at night being cold.)
joint and muscle pain (every morning for about 20 minutes)
constipation (eating lots of grains has helped this)
dry and thinning hair (yes, but I have a thick head of hair so this isn't as noticeable)
heavy menstrual flow or irregular periods (worse a few years ago, not so much now)
depression (thank heavens not this. I keep up on taking my vitamins which I list on my blog - click here for that)
panic disorder, a slowed heart rate, and problems getting pregnant and maintaining pregnancy (no, no and no for the last three that I have noticed anyway, with five children, I would think getting pregnant wasn't my issue.) ha ha 
Enlarged Thyroid gland (yes, told the other Dr. in January I was having a hard time swallowing. He did nothing and tested just my TSH this Dr. said he could feel it and it was enlarged. I felt it was and have choked on food often in the last six months.) 
Thyroid Peroxidase - TPO test high. (Two years ago it was 590 plus. Last week it was 187. But, 0.3 - 9 is normal range so it is still very high. Some say gluten is the culprit and I haven't eaten any (on purpose but had a few accidental doses) since September of 2013 and it has gone down a great deal since then so I am thinking that not eating gluten may be helping the issue)
Thyroglobulin Test is high. 0-14 is normal, (mine is 42.7).

The last test the Dr. Mentioned being abnormal yesterday (there are other abnormal tests but he didn't have time to discuss them) was the MTHFR test I started out mentioning. It is basically an issue where you can't produce certain amino acids. My specific genetic issue is with the Heterozygous gene. Genetic defects that show up on this type of test can cause different things. I am not sure exactly which this one effects but some of the defects can cause blood disorders like bruising easily or bleeding issues. Some cause mood issues, certain leukemia etc. Depending on which gene the mutation is on, depends on which issues you have. My guess is mine is the amino acid non-absorption one. ha ha Nothing ever feels like it is being absorbed, even water.

It also increases homocystines in your body which can cause MIGRAINES! That explains so much! I also read that those with hypothyroid problems can have worse symptoms because the thyroid produces hormones needed for the MTHFR gene. BOY, that explains so much! It also mentions it can interfere with melatonin production which would explain my sleep issues for the past few years.

I spoke to one of his office staff today about it and she has a similar defect. She said they can prescribe that amino acid in pill form and it costs about $1 a day. She stopped taking them as she couldn't afford it but she didn't notice a huge difference but mentioned that she did know someone whose life was turned around when she started taking it. She felt like a different person. I guess it is like anything else, everyone is different in how they react. 

One site suggested that you consume a diet with folate-rich foods such as spinach, asparagus, chickpeas, beans, and broccoli. Ummmm gassy foods?!!!

  There are some other issues still ongoing that I am quite sure I have but I will post them later. We are still working on the testing for it. I do know that prayers are answered and that eventually, God will allow me to be healed in His time. I have always felt that I was going through this to help my family figure out health issues as well as with my mom's health. She just keeps gaining weight no matter what and is so tired all the time. I continue to pray that I figure it all out so we can both live a happier life and since this is genetic, hopefully I can help my children live happier, longer lives without the trauma and health problems many of my family have suffered with for years.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Quick Twice Baked Italian Herbed Potatoes

I have mentioned in several posts about my twice baked Italian herbed potatoes because I thought I had written a post about them at some point. My guess is that I took the pictures to post about them and never actually posted about them. 

That situation happens more often than I would like to admit. The girls will ask me a question about something and I will tell them to go look it up on the blog and they tell me they can't find the post about the thing they were asking about. 

When I go through the pictures later, I find that I took them and never posted it. Other times, I will start a post about something and upload the pictures and maybe start writing and then get moving on to newer posts thinking I had finished and posted that post. 

I sometimes head back to the "draft" section on a day when I have had a long day and don't want to take lots of time on a post and hope to find one that is partially done. 

Today is a day like that. It was a very long day. I am still having lots of health problems. I haven't been sleeping well and even though I got tests done, I can't get in to see the Dr. for a few more weeks. I stopped at his office and showed him some new developments and he had a delivery he needed to attend and another patient and it was already after hours.
With that, I will post this as quickly as I can as it is nearer morning more than last night at this point in my very long day. 

To make these wonderful potatoes, wash the potato and if you want, you can peel it but I have done several types of different potatoes with the peels on and they all tasted great. We peeled these as they weren't the best potatoes but I prefer the peel on if they are in good shape. 

Cut the potatoes into cubes the size you like to eat. We like ours a bit chunky so we make them larger. 
Put the potatoes into a container that can be microwaved. I then use my favorite herb mix that I share on this post here.  

I dump the herb onto the potatoes and then drizzle olive oil onto them and then with clean, washed hands, I mix the potatoes to make sure they are all coated with herbs and oil.

I then cook the potatoes in the microwave on the "potato" setting until it says they are done. 

I then put the pan into the oven and let them bake until golden. 

This isn't funny but I thought I had uploaded the finished pictures onto this page. I deleted all the pictures and am just now realizing that the finished pictures aren't on here. So, You will have to trust me that they look amazing. :-) 

They taste even better than they look which at this point isn't saying much. ha ha!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

End of an eRa - Saying Bye to the R

We have been talking about doing a photo shoot for weeks now. One of the near by schools is being torn down this summer. 

We thought it would be fun to go take some "goodbye" photos at the school. 

We wanted to go this weekend while we had most of the girls home but it rained a ton and some girls were home when the others were gone and at other times, a different girl was gone. 
I am kind of sad that we never got the girls together and just went to do it. We probably should have spent less time shopping and gone to take photos. ;-) 

I think it may have been that no one really wanted to get ready that day and Princess Four was gone most of the day on Sunday and then they both left on Monday.

Princess Five went to a friends most of the day today to work on getting ready for the 4-H camp they will be staffing in a week or two and then came home and mowed the lawn.
Ok, truth be told, she mowed the front lawn because it started raining something hard half way through. It was raining sideways as she came in.  
Now, I could have told her it was going to rain as my teeth and head have been hurting most of the day. (Click here for the human barometer post.
She had her ear buds in and didn't hear me as she passed and waved on her way out to the garage to mow. I, at this point, was lying on the couch trying not to move.

While I am grateful for the rain, my head is NOT grateful for the rain but I know the farmers are in need of rain and I am VERY grateful that God gives us a little rain every day instead of all at once as we need the rain without flooding as we had a mild winter. 
In fact, I have not turned my front sprinklers on yet as it has rained nearly every day for a month now. I know our prayers are being answered as many of the local church groups have been praying for rain! God does answer prayers. 
Anyway, back to the photo shoot. Princess Five asked if she could have a friend over after play practice and as we picked up her friend, I asked about doing a photo shoot as the rain had cleared. 
Her friend was in a t-shirt and basketball shorts. We stopped by the house and Princess Five lent her some clothes (from our shopping spree I posted about two days ago!) and  they grabbed the camera on their way out from the house.

I drove them to the school and we had a great time taking some fun photos to remember the R with. 

On days like today, I have to remember that the "R" doesn't stand for "Rain!" Didn't the "R" photos come out great!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Memorial Day Video Cleanout and Game Fest

What a wonderful long weekend we had. It was so great to spent time with some of my Princesses this weekend.  
I got to play "Ticket to Ride" for the first time with the girls and we enjoyed that. We also played "settlers" which we also really enjoyed. We played both a few times with different people and then we tried a new game. It is called "Anomia." I was tired when we played, but really is that anything new? Click here for my post about "Sititus."
It is a game where you have to think quickly and blurt out something before your opponent. I couldn't even get flipping the card over in the right way or place. The girls were laughing as I kept doing it wrong. I am usually quite quick but I got myself laughing so hard I cried.

They mentioned playing the game today with Princess Four who was visiting friends the first time we played it. They commented on my laughing and I started all over again. It was so funny that I was so tired I couldn't get it. 

After that, they wanted to watch home videos. I pulled out our video "wall." Click here to view the post about that.

I got rid of two boxes full of videos and laughed as I would pull out some videos to get rid of and one of the girls would tell me to keep some. I then would ask one girl which I should get rid of and the other girls would get upset at her choice. 
I was talking to Princess One on the phone and asked if I could get rid of the "Barney" videos as a friend of the family bought the entire first season on VHS for us. She said I could get rid of all the VHS's. I said, "So I can get rid of the "Golden Book" and "Melody Magic" videos then?" "No, you can't get rid of those!" It was funny. 

In the end, I was happy with what we got rid of and I have several shelves of movies I haven't seen that once I watch them, I will most likely get rid of them. 

I also went through all the DVD's and found a few doubles and then organized them by category a bit better than they were. 

I worked on the family videos a bit as well and it was so sweet to watch Princess Five watch her birth for the first time. Not that we video taped that but had the camera on my face for the first cries etc. We they video taped the other girls holding her for the first time. It had us both crying as they were so tender with her and excited about having her as a sister. 
There was one video of Princess Four and Five doing a "lip sync" music video to a Barney song about how the two sisters may not always get along but they care about each other. We laughed and laughed and joked about them "recreating" it for us. 

We also had a wonderful Skype video chat with Grand-Princess one and her parents. She is so cute. We just sat there mesmerized with her cuteness. All in all, it was a wonderful weekend. 

And, YES we do own a TON of movies! It is the activity of choice next to games for family and friend activities. My girls LOVE theater, musicals, etc so we own LOTS! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Blessings and Cleanout

Princess Two, Four and Five were all home for this long weekend. We missed Princess Three who went on a road trip with friends. She had a great time with her friends. I look forward to hearing all the fun details of her trip. 

Princess Two and I went to a few stores on Saturday. She mentioned that she would like to go to "Rue 21" to see what they had on sale. 

I had such a bad experience at our local Kmart that I went out of the parking lot headed towards Walmart to look for some new bathroom rugs. We looked at Kmart and they were on sale. 
I get to the checkout, 20 minutes later, we get through check out only to find that the rugs were on sale but they didn't ring up on sale and they would only give me part of them on sale. 

I walked out without purchasing anything as this type of thing happens all the time there. I HATE that I have to spend so much time in the checkout line. There is ALWAYS a problem with checkout. 

I remembered once I pulled out that she wanted to go to Rue so I went back even though she said she was "ok" not going. We get in there and she saw a "$2" rack. She didn't believe that they were really $2. 

I ask my friend "Tiffany" who was working if those two racks were "really only $2 an item?" She tells me that there were also some shelf items that were also $2. There were all sorts of clothes. 
They even had a rack of jeans that were $2 each. I had about 20lbs of clothes off of only one of the racks so I called Princess Four and Five and asked them to come to the store to look for themselves so I wouldn't purchase the wrong size or things they wouldn't like. 
They came down and I am almost embarrassed to say that we were at the store for 3 hours or so in all. Each girl had a large pile of clothes to try on and they all shared a large dressing room so they could get impressions on different outfits. 

I was THRILLED to be able to get Princess Five a huge, filled to the brim sack for under $70. She got a closet full of cute clothes for the price of a few items. 

They also got three belts for $1. Princess Two and Four paid for their own bags and they all ended up with a huge bag and all paid about the same for their treasures. 

I admit it was a long day for all of us as Princess Four and Five didn't want to go shopping and shopping isn't either of their favorite thing anyway. 

My friend checked us out as another employee checked out her sisters. I didn't realize until we were in the car that the store had been open later just for us and another customer. I rushed back in as Princess Four was finishing up and oppologized and asked why they didn't say anything about closing.... 

They said they don't announce that the store is closed. I guess for over $200 they would stay late without complaining. Not to mention we cleaned out some of their clearance items and actually got some friends to take a look at them as well. 
Then today, Princess Two helped Princess Five go through all her clothes and she got rid of as much or more than she added so it was a great weekend for Princess Five as she got help updating her wardrobe and cleaning out the closet and drawers. She got her school shopping and birthday early this year as I have been giving her her gifts for a month now.
It was a blessing in our lives finding the $2 racks and I have to know that I would never have gone to Rue without Princess Two coming as it is one of her favorite stores. Thanks for the prompt to shop there Princess Two. You are a blessing in our life!