February 6, 2015

Life Lately...Some Art. No Bags. Thyroid Gone Bad.

Finding Your Style

I'll admit it. Life around these parts is slower of late.  Blogging and shop updates have become haphazard and sporadic. It's not because I don't care or love art and bags. Believe me, I care. But the fact remains, life is slower. Here's why.

Almost two years ago I began to notice a slight hand tremor. Photography became increasingly difficult. Holding a beverage or bringing a fork from plate to mouth was downright embarrassing. So, I did what any normal person would do. I hid it.

Those symptoms combined with others such as persistent heart palpitations, unexplained weight loss, lack of energy and brain fog led to my diagnosis - hyperthyroidism. Specifically Graves Disease. In truth, I was thankful to find that I didn't have something worse. AND it explains my lack of energy and focus which was just as troubling than the physical symptoms.

I've gone from being someone who can't wait to hit the studio to someone who struggles to find the energy to complete daily tasks. Good news is that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. After tweaking and testing medications over the past year, next comes this treatment, which isn't nearly as scary as it may sound and should eventually lead to "the light" - no pun intended.

TMI? Why am I spilling? First, I'm no longer hiding it and want to thank you for sticking around. I love keeping this online journal and am not going anywhere. Posting here is the nudge I need to continue doing, making, creating. For now, I post when I can and do an inordinate amount of reading. :)

Second, if you've dealt with thyroid issues, I'd love to hear from you - about your experience, treatments, etc.


  1. Sending well wishes your way! Maybe try small amounts of creativity each day to feed your creative soul, even if it is just coloring! Glad to hear you have found a treatment that will help you. Love your art and handbags. I get so many compliments on the leather bag that I purchased from you. It is my favorite bag!

  2. Oh Lori, I am ever so sorry you've been suffering of this ! :( But I'm releaved to read that there might be light at the end of the tunnel !
    When I lost my dad, my blog was my refuge, my anchor, there was no way I would stop blogging. My blogs have seen the best & the worst of times. And I'm totally OK with that.
    Keeping you in my thoughts & sending much love & hugs. xoxo

  3. I am wishing you to get well and recover from the illness and be back to your normal artful self!

  4. I don't think I've ever commented here before, but since you're suffering, I wanted to chime in & maybe it would help. You're not alone! By the way, before I start the list of complaints - I love your blog, your art, your bags - your talents are amazing & now I'm embarrassed I haven't commented sooner.

    A few years ago, I started getting white patches on my face & saw a dermatologist about it - he said it was vitiligo & thyroid related! At the time, I also thought thinning hair & [most notably] eyebrows were age related (pshaw, I'm early 40's, what was I thinking?) - but since starting synthroid, my hair is now lush again & no new white patches have developed. Along the way, I've had weird night sweats, depression, can't lose weight, and a (benign) mass was discovered on one thyroid..so finally went to a specialist. I'll be visiting next week for a routine checkup & will also ask about what other dr.s have said is carpal tunnel/cold hands but I've heard could be thyroid related, too. Having an attentive dr. who monitors periodic blood work & adjusts medicine dosages has made a big difference for me

    Good luck with the radioactive iodine treatment. I had not heard about that & hope that it helps with your symptoms. It's amazing what science can do nowadays to help us out - I really do hope things get cleared up for you and that you can be back up on your feet, doing what you love with energy!

    1. Tammy, I can relate! While on medication, my numbers have swung into both the hyper and hypo camps over and over. I've had all of those symptoms except the white patches. I will look up those terms and the medication. I believe that when they medicate, it's in the hope that they can put you into remission (this happens 40% of the time). This didn't work for me. Hence, the radioactive iodine therapy.

      I can tell you that Hyper/Hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disorder and once you have one you are more likely to develop more. My mom had cold, white hands and she had an autoimmune disorder called Raynaud's Disease.

      Thanks for your sweet compliments! I have faith that it will be cleared up.

  5. I too am glad it is not something much worse, Lori.
    Sending good wishes your way.
    I have a friend that has hyperthyroidism, and has been doing very well on medication for years now.

  6. I have/had hyperthyroidism probably since puberty. I was always hungry, and always active. It really didn't start to affect me until my mid-30's. I had tremors, palpitations, I was constantly eating since my body was processing food so quickly, and I had trouble sleeping. I had the same procedure done, about 10 years ago, and I'm fine now. Although, I find with menopause creeping up on me, I feel its affects. I make sure to eat proper food, no alcohol, I exercise regularly, and get lots of rest.

    Once I had the treatment, I had to go back to the doctor several times the first year to make sure I had the right dosage of medicine. Now I only go once a year for a check up.

    Glad you are getting treatment. You'll feel better soon.

    1. Hi Charlene, I kinda believe that I've had some issues for years as well and it didn't come to a head until lately. I was hoping to hear from someone who has had the treatment. With the treatment itself, how did it go?

  7. You already know I love your bags-I am a repeat, repeat, repeat (etc.) customer of yours for that very reason! I am sorry you have to deal with the thyroid issues.

    I am the opposite -hypothyroidism with hashi-motto disease (sounds like a bad King Kong movie!) , though I cannot blame that for my weight forever! It started 2 years ago (I am 54). I had to have monthly blood work to get the Rx correct, I have now graduated to every 3 months. My best friend has had a nodule on her thyroid for over 20 years, and has to have it aspirated once a year. I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about the thyroid!

    Hoping you reach the light at the end of your tunnel soon, along with your return to "normalcy". We'll patiently wait for you!! :)

    1. Thanks, Patti. That does sound like a bad King Kong movie! Haha!

  8. thank you for being brave enough to share….and i hope that everyday you feel a bit stronger and steadier!!

  9. I am the opposite to you. Have dragged myself round for years and am sure that if I lived on lettuce leaves would still put weight on! I do what I can when I can and then stop. Sedentary I may be but I am creative.. .. eventually. I love my Blogs and I travel the world every day reading other blogs. When on blogger, try hitting 'next blog' at the top of the page......you never kbow where you will end up. Good fun!
    Hope your treatment can help without too many side effects.

  10. Hmm I have several of these symptoms and asked my doctor about them but he said my thyroid is fine. it looks like i might need a second Opinion. Thanks for sharing and I hope this treatment works!

  11. Oh, Lori - I'm so sorry to hear you are now dealing with health problems of your own. You know I can relate. I hope your new treatment works and you get back to some version of your old self soon. Know that I am thinking of you.


    Book By Book

  12. Sorry to hear this Lori! What a bummer, but I am glad that you are on the path to get fixed up :-) Thinking good thoughts for you!

  13. Hi L. :)

    Sorry to hear you are dealing with hyperthyroidism and yep, it is pretty common while on meds for one you can get symptoms for the other Hypothyroidism. I have been dealing with Hypothyroidism for a long time now ;(. The one thing I know is that a lot of Docs. still hold to the old standard testing but having your Free T3 and Free T4 tested separately shows a clearer picture. (just wanted to add that because of the comment Alice made and encourage her to get another opinion)

    So glad you were able to get a diagnosis L. :) Feel better soon, hope the treatment works :) Cheers, T. :)

  14. Thinking of you Lori - I hope that that light is indeed in sight for you very soon x

  15. Oh Lori - the things we do to ourselves! Not the hypothyroidism, but the shame you somehow felt. My mother-in-law is mid 80's and lived with it for over 50 years. My cousin has lived with it for a long time as well. They both had the eye issues and were successfully treated with radiation. I think my mother-in-law was one of the early ones to receive that at Stanford. The only thing I know that might help... is that my mother-in-law is on a higher does of thyroid meds which puts her out of the upper range, but that was because she felt low in energy like you otherwise. She's done fine with that though, obviously.

    Take care. You of course know you're not alone. Glad you're to the bottom of it and now entering treatment. Good to hear from you no matter what.

  16. I guess we belong to a very large club!

    Over 20 years ago, I was back in college (again) and lost my appetite. Then one day, while sitting on some concrete bleachers, I realized I couldn't get up! Fortunately, I was sitting on the end of the row and could swing around and slide down the few inches to the ground.

    Those were my first symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

    I lost so much weight my niece thought I was dying and a cousin didn't recognize me. I noticed a lump on my throat and the doctor put me on meds.

    Three years later, shallow breathing and a swollen arm sent me to the ER from the doctor's office. After a transfer to a medical college, they gave me a radioactive iodine tablet to obliterate my thyroid. [Very disappointing since there was no fanfare or suiting up or insulated room! He just asked if I could be pregnant and I told him to look out the window to the east for a star if I was.]

    Anyway, I took the pill.

    Since then, I take meds every day and after much adjusting feel quite normal--except for that leg thing, I still can't get up from a squatting position like normal people, but I can live with it.

    I occasionally miss a day, but I'm still here!

  17. Hi Lori! I'm very glad you at least have an answer to what is going on. I'm also glad that there is a light at the end of the tunnel in regards to the treatment...

  18. I can relate to your thyroid not working properly. Meds are helping mine to stay regular. Here's to feeling better soon.

  19. Hi Lori, I am very glad to hear that you are on the mend. I too had Graves disease and like you was treated with the radioactive iodine. It took a while for me to get my Rx right but it finally happened. A couple of things that I learned along the way: don't take your rx any time around taking calcium or multivitamins, some of the components interact with the levothyroxine making the rx less potent. The second thing I learned was that not all generic thyroid meds are created equally so I only take Synthroid, it's more expensive but I know that I am getting the same results time after time. Best wishes, and do love your watercolors! Judy

  20. Eek, how did I miss this ... I'm glad to see two posts since so you're out the other side of this particular tunnel, I do hope there aren't too many more on your journey back to health x


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