Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Why are so many women experiencing thyroid issues?

Image from photographersdirect.com

Today my parents' neighbour dropped in seeking a pair of pliers, she'd unfortunately got her key jammed in the keyhole of her front door.

She greeted me cheerily, "I wondered which one of you girls it was at home" she said. It made me smile inside, because in the 9 days I have been here I have been outside on only 3 or 4 occasions, usually straight out of or into the car. How on earth did she know I was home? And why was she wondering which one- that means she didn't know if it was me or my sister? When you live in a small town this kind of thing can get annoying, one can't do anything without being noticed. But I don't live in this small town, I grew up here, but now I just visit. I can appreciate these little things that come hand in hand with a small community; I can also go back to the land of anonymity (Melbourne) when I've had enough.

But today I appreciated it, because it's nice to know that people are aware, and she's a really nice lady, so I like to know that she's my parents' neighbour and that everyone in the court is looking out for each other.

'Just home for a couple of days?' She inquired. I explained, 'No, a couple of weeks, I have an overactive thyroid.' She was disappointed for me and said that her sister had been sick with the same thing for a couple of years, she reeled off a few of the symptoms her sister had been experiencing until her recent operation to remove the thyroid 'irritable, hungry, tired all the time, bitchy'. I saw Mum smiling knowingly, I nodded too, I know I'm not the person I was a year ago, my patience seems to wander off and leave me regularly, and yes I notice I am prone to being more bitchy. The kind of thing I dislike in others and myself.

But this lovely neighbour got me thinking, is this thyroid problem a lot more common than I thought? I know that when you buy a new car they say you start to see them everywhere. It's true, I saw a number of little red Yaris's when I bought my own home from the dealer. So am I now starting to notice and elicit thyroid related information from the people I meet? Since my diagnosis a couple of weeks ago I have met or heard of six other women with complex thyroid issues. I say complex, because from what I've learned there's nothing simple about a thyroid out of balance.  The symptoms and treatment can be complex and hard to put your finger on; and the reason provided by endocrinologists or GPs as to why the problem develops are usually not terribly enlightening.

So now I ponder, what's going on that women of all ages in our western world have got whacked thyroids? They're either over functioning or under functioning. I have no answers right now, but I'm totally open to clues. In fact I feel like I'm embarking on a treasure hunt! I want to consider this question on all levels, taking into account our lifestyles, our personality types, our environment, diet, exercise, spirituality. I'm thinking metaphysics here, the big picture.

It might be time to pull out the bible on this one. My 'You Can Heal Your Life' bible written by Louise Hay. I love her work and her book reminds me of my children's bible I had as a young girl, full of colour and easy to read. I no longer have the Christian version of the bible, I now have favourite authors and great teachers of this time and my own 'wise one' inside to guide me.

So the question has been posed, what's underlying the thyroid issue? Is there more for me to learn? Are there things we just don't know?

Please leave comment if you've got any hints or clues, or your own thyroid story to share, or flick me an e-mail at innerbeam@gmail.com

Monday, August 30, 2010

I confess, I tweet & I love it

I know some people think twittering is for twits and there's not much to it. I am here to bust that myth right open. Lately I have personally discovered the joy that Twitter can bring. Twitter has introduced me to lots of new information, learnings and ideas. It provides a channel for me to express myself about the topics I love...and politics. The latter is an interest, not a love, my political tweets are more about a compulsion to have my say on issues affecting my nation. I adore how quickly information and ideas are shared via tweets; an absolute delight to the quick thinking, communications loving Gemini.

I'm talking Twitter right now because it's just led me to a little gem, perhaps also a clue. One of the people I 'follow' on Twitter 're-tweeted' a link to '10 tips for Writing a Short Story'. I loved these tips, I instantly embraced the learnings imparted by Amanda Lohrey on the art of writing. I particularly enjoyed that it came in the form of 10 brief points!

Lately the idea of writing a short story has been floating in my mind; however I'm acutely aware that I haven't been learning about story writing since primary school. Back in those days, short stories were reallly short! I'm passionate about learning more and developing my writing skills. I like that Twitter is offering me the opportunity to make the connections I need to tap into the world of writing. Seeing as I've decided The Answer Is Writing, I believe it's important to share my newly discovered tips for writing right here.

You can visit The Inc.Blot yourself to discover Amanda Lohrey's 'Top ten tips for writing a short story'. Even if you're not a writer, if you're more of a creative/artistic type, I believe some of the tips could be helpful in your pursuits too. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Open mind, Open heart

I've got lots that I could report today, I've been learning and exploring lots and am excited about the possibilities and potentials that exist. I'm not sure where this post is headed. Let's call it a mystery post. We can take a ride on the mystery train, I suppose it's probably the same train I rode into struggletown on. So chugging on, next stop? Who knows. Let's travel with an open mind and open heart.

A few days ago something significant happened. A friend of mine introduced me to a friend of his. I liked her straight away. I didn't realise this was a possibility over the internet. I knew it could happen in 'real life', love at first sight and that kind of a thing. But this new friend of mine was instantly likeable. I felt able to say whatever came to mind with her; none of the usual reservation or care that I might employ when conversing with someone new, especially a new internet friend.

As we got to talking she shared with me that she too has thyroid troubles, as we continued to chat we found we had more and more in common. She spoke of a book she is writing, it reminded me very much of the intention I had set when I created my first blog Innerbeam.

Over the next couple of days we continued to discuss our life experiences, our passions, our fears, our hopes and dreams. We soon discovered that we have the same life path number 38/11 (numerology), what a coincidence..or perhaps, something more? I feel it makes sense of our instant ease with one another and why we share so many similar stories and dreams.

 In the short time we have known each other we have discovered many commonalities. Did I mention we are also the same age? I am excited to have met someone with whom I can communicate with so effortlessly, little explanation is required between us, because even though we can't see each other, it's as if we are nodding our heads alot as the other speaks. We're in sync, in fact sometimes we pre-empt each other and answer the others' question before it is asked.

We're both on the journey of self-discovery and seeking to understand how we might move forward in a way that fulfills our desire for self-expression, creativity and ways to  help and support others with joy and abundant energy.

I feel blessed to have discovered a friend such as her, as with any time in life, it is nice to share with someone who is going through the kinds of experiences you are. As I am currently unwell and unemployed, my networking opportunities with people such as myself might appear to be in the doctor's waiting room or Centrelink . So far I've not made any friends in the aforementioned locations.

The Internet has been fantastic lately, I can do so much from the couch, I can bring many aspects of the world to me. It's also provided a means to meeting and connecting with people who share similar philosophies or passions as I do. I'm finding ways to broaden my horizons from my parent's living room in the country.

My loved ones know that I can become extremely passionate about certain topics or causes. Sometimes when I'm with them and energetically sharing with them about such topics they might begin to glaze over or appear distracted. Sometimes I'm sharing information about food and nutrition that I think might help; even though my suggestions appeal as much to them as it would if they suggested I take up smoking. In such situations I know that I need to stop talking, but I get on a roll, it's hard! Kind of like when you're newly in love, you can't help but drop your lover's name into conversation, you just have to talk about them because they are on your mind. I'm not ashamed to say I'm a lover of ideas. Some friends have told me I think too much, they need to realise that there is an up side to this, it helps to minimise the amount of times I drop my boyfriends name into conversations!

This wise one inside has been whispering to me for some time that I need to find a channel for my passions, for my need to impart information and wisdom. It is such a waste of energy to use my passion with people who don't want a bar of it; it's also a sure way to piss them off. The wise one suggests that there are people out there who would embrace and appreciate what I have to share. I sense that this journey I am on will help me to develop the tools and ideas for how I can channel my energies for positive outcomes, for both myself and the people I connect with.

I appreciate how sitting at home on the couch, cruising around the internet has helped me to explore ideas I am in love with; particularly those relevant to holistic health, psychology, food, personal growth, spirituality and writing. This research has created the potential for connecting with people who also feel the need to talk about such things as much as I do. In opening my heart and mind to new possibilities new doors are opening.

So the train is slowing, now arriving, in a place of great interest to me, with much to explore. The ticket I purchased to get here was the 'open heart,open mind' mystery kind. It's slightly risky, though potentially great value for money. I am tempted to encourage you to do the same with the old  'ahh but you only live once' line, but I don't believe that at all. However, that discussion is for another day!

P.S If you're interested in the idea that we live more than one life, I've just seen a great show on Oprah about healing through past life regression. I ordered the book 'Many lives, many masters' (from my loungeroom). After I've had a read I might just post here on the topic.

Like The Answer Is Writing? You might also like Inner Beam.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Toot toot...welcome to struggletown

image from visitingdc.com

Today is a bit of a struggle day. I got off the train in struggletown. Today I'm really tired. I am having trouble getting my head around the concept of being so tired that I need to spend the majority of my day lying down.

My head is all up for movement, my body disagrees. I thought the answer to this might be to spend alot of time on the computer. Even though it goes against my intuition that this is neither beneficial for my mind, which has a tendency towards becoming overstimulated, nor my body; let's face it, computer vibes aren't so 'positive'.

Upon hearing that I was feeling restless yesterday and that my parents ongoing discussions about work related matters wasn't helping, my partner suggested (via text) that I'd become an expert mediator over the next three weeks. Mediator? I inquired. His response clarified, he meant meditator. Hmmm. Was that yet another hint? If I had a dollar for every time someone suggested I meditate, perhaps I could afford a trip to Europe next year. Ok, a slight exageration. If I had $1000 dollars for every time someone had suggested I meditate I'd have enough money for a wonderful month in Europe, flying first class and staying in only the best hotels in Paris and the Greek Islands.

I digress. Europe, and in particular, France is a long term dream. I wanted to say lifelong, but I feel that sugegsts I was born with the dream. That wouldn't surprise me, but I can't be sure. The dream of France awoke inside me during Grade 5. Our school decided they would teach french, because LOTE (Languages Other Than English) had become mandatory in all schools. So my dream was borne during French lessons. The making and tasting of croque monsieur and croissants, accompanied by deliciously chilled orange juice was enough to impress this 10 year old country girl. There was also something terribly exciting about hearing someone speak in another language. It's not just any language that impresses me though, only some, perhaps only French. Sometimes I hear another language and it provokes an internal response of something more similar to that of nails on a chalkboard. But not the language 'de France'; it was the most amazing language I'd ever heard and it's my truth to this day. I think it was during my 10th year on earth that I promised myself I would learn to speak this beautiful language as fluently as did our native french language assistant. FYI- I'm still not close, but that's a whole other post in itself.

Look, a whole paragraph of avoiding meditation and talking about something of far more interest. I've become a master of not meditating. I have a 45 minute guided meditation based on buddhist teachings, awareness, acceptance and letting go. I have been playing it most nights. Just playing the meditation track does not mean you're meditating! There is more work for me to do here, I know it.

Yesterday my Mum asked me why I was using my mind so much, she told me I was talking fast. I agitatedly told her that if my body wouldn't do anything then I only had my mind. The wise one inside of me flashed on a lightbulb. She said 'did you just hear that? ok, thank-you, now here's something to work with'. It seems my mind wants to overcompensate for my body; if my body is to be still my mind will do enough work for the both of us. There's no way this mind of mine wants to be still. Would that mean I was dead? I hope it need not come to that.

Stay tuned for how I overcome my biggest challenge yet- calming the mind. In the calming of mind, I trust I shall hear my heart, my spirit will be lifted., grace and presence cometh forward. Oh wise one inside, if only you could show me an easy way to make this happen!

.....watch this space for how I attempt to make peace with my mind and body and what happens. I suspect it's something like what they say about a certain shampoo 'It won't happen overnight, but it will happen.'

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Celebrating the little things in life....on the couch

Last night I got to sleep without assistance of any pharmaceutics. I am so pleased! Last night I had placed a packet of sleeping tablets and panamax next to my bed; fully prepared. The latter was to deal with the headache I anticipated would greet me in the morning, after having woken with one for the past few days. The sleeping tablets were there in case after an hour or two of meditating and mantras, adrenaline still coursed through my body keeping me awake. This morning I awoke without a headache and felt pleased; I slept naturally and was naturally pain free. I felt a sense of pride in this 'achievement'; I'd not had to take drugs! I quickly shifted into feeling amused; funny how such small things had become so significant this morning. They indicated progress, and less reliance on pharmaceutics, something I value highly. So highly infact that I have only had 2 courses of anti-biotics in my life and have prided myself on not walking through pharmacy doors for a year or years at a time.

This morning I also washed my hair, it just hadn't happened this week yet. I awoke determined this morning to get the job done, I went straight from bed to the shower, nothing would stand in my way. I then returned to my place on the couch, somewhat finding breathing a challenge (apparently another symptom of the thyroid disorder).

One may wonder why I am discussing such seemingly mundane details on my blog....allow me to explain.

It seems important to me to be documenting my progress, or, my journey through this period of time (illness) in my life. To keep track of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual changes that occur. I've really got very little idea of what is yet to come; but it's about time I started practicing the celebration of small achievements. The doctor tells me I can expect another three weeks of being capable of little more than lying on the couch and flicking through channels.

It is no accident that my body has stopped still. I feel as if it is telling me 'don't you dare take one more step in that direction, lie on this couch until you get real, wake up and listen to your own knowing.. your desires.'

My body is wise, from much prior experience it knows that once I'm well I have a tendency to push harder, want more and go faster. This goes hand in hand with less acknowledgment of my achievements and diminished acceptance of where I'm at. My body knows I could go into a place of more wanting; less satisfaction. It is not fulfilling, and apparently, it does not sustain the mind, the body or soul.

I want, no, I need, this blog to keep me honest- to help me stay on track, or should I say get on track? I feel that by writing regularly, dare I say every day, I will have to be aware of how I am. I will need to be more conscious of what happens every day. The realisations I have, the progress that is made and how the challenges serve me. I believe each day is a gift. My intent is to not reject this gift just because I'm unwell and couchbound. I don't want to dwell in hopelessness or why me? I can let them visit, I will welcome all feelings and thoughts and graciously accept them, because they too are part of my experience. But to dwell in the boggy quagmire of such feelings alone, gosh, three weeks of that would be creating my own personal hell. I now choose to consciously and graciously accept each and every day as a gift, accept myself as I am, how I am, and whatever is here right now for me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The day I found out I had an autoimmune disease

8 days ago I was leaving an interview with a recruitment agency, the interview had gone incredibly well I thought. I felt some pride in having been completely honest with the recruiter about who I am, where I have been and where I would like to go. Even more impressive was how honest the recruiter herself was with me; I felt pleased as I observed her surprising herself at how much she was sharing of herself during the interview. I honoured her sharing, but took responsibility for creating the environment where she might 'overstep' the mark. 'I started it' I said with a reassuring smile.

I left the interview feeling it was a positive experience, but incredibly dubious about the jobs she was suggesting I might go for. I know my CV suggests I might be the ideal candidate for these types of jobs. The problem is that deep down I know that however capable I might be of undertaking such intense social work roles it is not what I want. I don't want to spend my days intervening in families who are underpriviledged, suffering and often due to long term inter-generational patterns of abuse, mental & physical illness, drug & alcohol problems...and the list goes on. I don't even want to fill a paragraph with this talk. Why on earth am I considering returning to such work? I feel it no longer matches my vibration, nor my need for learning & growth.

I had left the interview and stood descending in the lift of this big city building. I experienced polarising energies- that of a positive interview experience where I could be authentic and successful; and opposingly, the dread of actually following through on job opportunities I can hardly bare to speak of. Before I'd reached the ground floor my mobile rang. It was my GP's clinic asking me to come in ASAP. Fear struck straight away. The blood tests results were in and my GP didn't want to wait until my scheduled appointment tomorrow to see me.

I walked into her office after an uncomfortable 3/4 hour wait in the waiting room. I watched her body language and facial expressions for clues of what might be to come. She smiled and told me we had got to the bottom of what was making me so sick. I had an overactive thyroid.

Both relief and concern emerged simultaneously; the concern wondered what this meant for me. The relief came with the knowing that something very physical was happening; that it wasn't my fault that I'd been unable to function 'normally' in the world all year. Or that I'd become so sick in April that I had no choice but to quit my job.

So that was 8 days ago, 4 days ago I saw an endocrinologist. My GP was very handy at pulling strings and ensuring I had specialist treatment as soon as possible.

Today a friend suggested understanding the larger meaning of all of this, of considering what this illness was offering me. I feel incredibly unwell today, too tired to do much more than get off the couch. But I agreed, I knew he was right, and I've been learning about metaphysics for years. I guess I had never really had a serious illness to put the concepts to work.

He made me list 5 reasons why the illness was benefiting me. They rolled off my tongue with little thought. I promised I would write. He said 'yes writing, I feel that you should write it all out, perhaps a blog, then it could help others.' In my heart I knew he was right, I know that 'this' is happening for a reason. I can stay fearful and dutifully take my medication; without any guarantee that the underlying cause or the lessons I need to learn will be revealed or healed.

For many years I have believed in the theory that our body will mirror the imbalances of all areas of our life and once recognised provide potential for growth. I also believe that the way western medicine dismisses this is a major limitation to our healing; for it cannot be truly holistic when it frequently treats symptoms rather than causes. The fact that this diagnosis has forced me to be still for yet another 4 weeks is already doing me a huge favour. I am being prevented from taking a job which inevitably would mean returning to a life that clearly my soul, nor my heart desire.

Today when my friend challenged me about simply taking medication and doing nothing much else for my condition he woke me up. It wasn't easy and in my current tired and unwell state I didn't particularly want to hear that I had more work to do. He invited me to get excited about this and see it as an opportunity. Creating the blog is my first step; I'm putting some theories to the test because I have a knowing inside that he is right, perhaps I just wandered off track for a little bit, no blame, no judgment, it is what it is. Let me try to have fun with this! There is more here for me. The answer is writing. The answer is listening. The answer is Trust. So here goes...

2/11/2010 Note: While I was initially told I had Graves disease which is an auto-immune disorder, I now know that my condition was caused by consuming dangerous amounts of Iodine in the soy milk Bonsoy. This condition is expected to be healed in time as my thyroid recovers and the excess iodine leaves my body.

Like The Answer Is Writing? You might also like Inner Beam.

But what is the question?

There's many questions, but always, the answer is in the writing. It's an open minded, open ended kind of blog- the sort of thing I really like.

Topic of the moment is health, I nearly called this blog 'the wealth of health'; but I couldn't fathom the idea of sticking to any one topic.

I'm a gemini, I think like quicksilver, hope you can keep up.

I just want to write and write and write, because it brings clarity to me; it may bring something to the reader, at worst I do no harm, at best I help another.

The other reason that the answer is writing is because I've been told by so many to do it. I don't always listen to others, but it's wise to do so when you're own being is also singing the same tune.

I don't really know where this is going, what I do know is that I have a month of couch time to fill in and much more soul searching to do to find responses to many of the questions being posed for me right now.

Stay tuned for more questions; and always, writing is the answer.
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