I Own a House Now.

I have joined the homeowner category of people.

I finally found a house where I could not find any arguments not to buy the place. Of course, the thyroid medicine helped a lot.

This may sound to you like I’m not very happy with it. You would be wrong.

It has been a strange year. With a lot of bumps in the road and ups and especially downs. I am very much looking forward to a place of my own.

A place where all my surfboards get the space they deserve. Where I can fling paint around as much or as little as I like. Where I can sleep, without hearing anybody going to the toilet, except myself. My own bathroom with tub, my own kitchen, with all my own appliances. A whole refrigerator for myself. A freezer to store my precooked food in. A garden, even though mainly facing north, I also have a west facing part and even a little garden in front of the house. It provides tanning locations. I can try and grow my own vegetables, or herbs at least. I can do yoga, work out, both inside and outside.

The location to me is close to ideal. Although not walking distance from the beach (unless you want to walk half a day), it is located close to main roads, walking distance from both a supermarket and a small park. Friends live nearby. And the street is quiet. So quiet that I’m already worried everybody will hear me sing if I feel the need :X

I am already living in my own house for a week and it feels good. I really have to get used to not having roommates: everytime I cough at night I’m worried I’m waking someone up. Makes me smile though πŸ™‚

Last weekend we painted a bunch of walls (especially the bedroom walls: white, and living room wall: blue) and my chill spot now looks like this:

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Comfy chill spot

Needless to say πŸ™‚ I’m happy (even though I’m using my holiday to recover from the flu πŸ˜‰ ).

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Calisthenics

With my energy levels back up, I found myself with the drive to work out again. Mainly because I have literally tried for years to lose weight and to get fit. And now I may finally get there again.

At the moment I’m mostly interested in feeling fit πŸ™‚ if I happen to lose weight in the process, I won’t be complaining though.

Since my shoulder has been bothering me ever since my initial weight loss (I still suspect muscle imbalance because of reducing muscle mass), I am more and more interested in learning about form. I want to know the balanced way to work out. I figured there should be a workout type where it is impossible (or at least less likely) to train in an unbalanced way.

I googled some, saw some human flags, decided you need to be really balanced and aware about it in order to achieve that and looked for a trainer in the neighbourhood. But alas, there were none to be found in my region though. This particular type of workout is called calisthenics and for the most part works with your own body weight.

I did find a calisthenics trainer course. So I signed up for it, because why not? I’ll never be as young as I am today!

Saturday the first of September was my first day (of 6 in total). I was a bit nervous because of my lack of skill (I mean, hanging is already a challenge, even doing nothing). But it was actually great! Awesome people (and yes, they can do all the fancy and impressive moves), great vibe and I’m really happy to be there and to participate.

Now it is at the forefront of my mind a LOT. The result is that I am now seeing furniture, nature and random objects to be found on the street in a very different light. They have become workout objects. I am ecstatic πŸ™‚ I am very curious if I’ll be able to do a pull up at the end of this πŸ˜‰

 

Magic pills

For a while now I’ve been wanting to write. But I couldn’t seem to find a suitable topic.

I may have mentioned before that I’ve been taking things day by day. This is nice and doable. I won’t even try to wrap my head around the chronic illness.

It basically means I am feeling my way through life. The basic things, like I feel tired, hungry, thirsty, sad and consequentially I provide myself with what I need at that moment. Other then that, I am not doing that much. Surfing every once in a while. I joined a gym, but I only go once a week at the most.

As some of you may know, every 3 to 4 months I have to return to the hospital for an evaluation of my blood values.Β  Which is fine, since I would like to be or at least feel healthy too.

A month before my most recent appointment, I felt really weak. And that is not something I am used to. I had some tremors in my hands, was light-headed, dizzy, and a bit nauseous. Since these things are listed as side effects, I sought contact with my doctors. They pointed me to my local GP (general practitioner) (which is huisarts in Dutch) to check my blood iron levels. The GP also added some other items to check upon. And so it came to be that we found out my thyroid isn’t working as well as it should.

Although I didn’t want to take more medication, I am now on new pills, once every day. These pills though, are magical.

Along with the physical side effects, some psychological discomfort has disappeared as well. For the last half a year my thoughts have been a tad darker, more somber, some may say downright depressing. I’ve not been enthusiastic and didn’t experience a lot of fun. I even walked around like a zombie from time to time, especially the days after an injection. Sometimes not even able of picking up on cues for jokes. Highly frustrating, if I could have felt that, that is. Since I was so numb, I didn’t feel a whole lot altogether. Everything seemed pointless. (This is not a good place to be at and I was very aware of this! Sought help and everything.)

These pills though… They make everything better! Physically I am doing good, amazing things are happening (and with this I mean that regular bodily functions are now again normal! Which is amazing and I enjoy it very much, but it is weird to say that my toilet going experiences have improved so so much πŸ˜‰ needless to say, they were unpleasant before the magic pills).

My sense of humour has returned, my enthusiasm, my upbeatness, quick witted-ness (if I may say so :D), my energy levels are back up! I get hungry again! I’m not nauseous anymore, and I don’t even walk around like a zombie after my injection!!! It is absolutely awesome.

Of course, this is great news, and for me great to experience. I enjoy every minute of it.

The downside is, that for the last half a year I have been feeling like crap, even though there was a simple way to fix that. All the posted side effects are explained by the slow working thyroid. The fact that my body isn’t working as it should (and the normal rules don’t apply anymore), combined with the knowledge that I could have been feeling so much better gets to me sometimes.

But then I remind myself that I am taking things day by day, I check how I feel, and today is a good day πŸ™‚ and I can let things go.

 

 

Side Effects: Mood swings

Most of the physical side effects I just wait out. I am used to my body changing. It is sort of funny to experience it yet again. But the timespan now is a bit shorter πŸ˜‰ I am not sure where it is going, but I am not worried too much.

The side effects that do worry me though, are the mood swings. I think it is mainly because of the reduction of steroids that I now am so hyper-aware of my mood, or hyper-aware of the effect of certain hormones on my mood. If that makes any sense at all…Β Now I can feel like shit from one moment to another, for no apparent reason. And people notice! My colleague laughed his ass off when I was telling a couple of bulbs off for not growing flowers fast enough… :/

I still have to learn how to manage this. But in the meantime, I am letting it get me down. It literally drives me crazy. I can’t (yet!) snap out of it by myself. And it feels like going insane. Or at least, that is what I suppose it could feel like because it is hard to recognize myself at those times.

I suppose that my cycle and my medical treatment together don’t really have the best effect on me mentally, or the stabilising effect of the steroids (nobody ever described steroids like this, to me, it is a calming blanket) has been rudely stripped away. Combine this with the fact that the diagnosis is finally starting to sink in a little bit, and it makes sense for me to seek out help to get me through this particular rough patch.

New Room

Yes! I moved!

I am ecstatic! After the drowning of my mattress (seriously), I just didn’t sleep well anymore. I didn’t feel safe.

Fortunately, a friend of mine had a colleague that was going to move. And the room in the house she occupied would become available.

So I went to look, I saw, slept on it, and decided to do it. Just like that. And within a week I got the key, and I haven’t slept in my old room since πŸ™‚

The room is not even half the size of my old room, so I had to get rid of nearly all my furniture. The bed that was already in there is pretty high so I can stack boxes underneath. And I have a small walk-in closet which I share with a roommate. ChallengingΒ sure, but cosy and organised (for now πŸ˜‰ ).

I now live with only 2 guys, who are both younger than I am (I must be the weirdest woman ever, but screw that πŸ˜‰ ), and both are working at a ship design company here.

There is a nice garden, my boards are all in the shed, I have already planted some seeds for growing tomatoes, had breakfast in the garden and a BBQ with my housemates and their colleagues. And! I have a roof window right above my head when I lay in bed!

It is truly awesome (I have now lived here for just over a week πŸ˜‰ ).

 

 

Side Effects: Physical Discomfort

Before the treatment, my body had a lot of steroids. You know, the stuff bodybuilders use to get more muscles. My body had a tendency to make muscles all of its own accords. It would be clear whenever I would try a new sport or work out routine. I would have muscle aches once, after that my body knew what I needed: extra muscles. This lead to me always gaining weight, even though I would eat healthily and work out.

So now that I get the medication, my natural steroids are at a lower (more normal!) level. This brings about its own set of side effects.

My muscles are melting away a bit (I haven’t been working out for about half a year). This in itself is no issue. I feel more feminine. However, it does bring some imbalance to my joints. And this gives a bit of discomfort (you know, pain and some unsteadiness). It makes me take more care with moving, doubting what I can and cannot do. Am I just as strong as before? How much should I carry? Should I wait it out? Can I go surfing?

For now, I have decided to join a gym. This week is actually my first couple of weeks back on exercise πŸ™‚ so I hope I can balance my joints out properly. For now, it feels good, since I also get to have muscle aches again after a workout πŸ™‚ this is something that I didn’t use to get a lot of before the treatment. I must say it feels good. Also, I hope it contributes to the downward trend of my weight. It has been on a plateau the last couple of weeks.

It is also the reduction of steroids that makes my hair fall out. I suppose compared to my sister on chemo, I can’t really complain much, but it is annoying to be having my hand full of hair when I would just run my fingers through it. So mostly I put it up in a pony tail to not shed everywhere πŸ˜‰ I think I now have about half of what I had. And although it sounds like a lot, I really used to have a lot of hair, so you really won’t notice. It does mean, however, that my hair isn’t as heavy and therefore it dries way more quickly and my curls get more bouncy and light. Not too bad πŸ˜‰

Side Effects: Temperature

I wanted to write a post about the side effects. But it has gotten to be a long and boring piece of text that had a bunch of lists. I would like to explain what it feels like, and what I have to deal with. But I don’t think it will come across really as I intended it would.

Nevertheless, since there are so many symptoms and side effects, I will give them to you piece by piece πŸ˜‰

Firstly, as is appropriate forΒ the current weather circumstances (it is pretty cold in The Netherlands), I am going to tell you about my sense of temperature.

With full-blown acromegaly, I was never cold. I was always feeling warm (not feverish, but the sensation of being warm enough, if not hot). I broke out in sweat really easily and for no apparent good reason like standing in line at the supermarket, or walking in the city, shopping. Trying new clothes was horrible. I was always picking clothes that wouldn’t show sweat stains. And I never wore warm and cuddly pieces of clothing. Never. It was uncomfortable.

After my first injection, I was driving to and from Delft weekly, and at some point, during one of those commutes, I noticed my feet were cold. To me that was mindboggling.

Now I’m on my fifth injection and this trend has continued. It is now pretty cold outside and it makes me dig into my closet searching for my warm sweaters and long fuzzy cardigans. But I didn’t find any. Realization hit me quite late (not a compliment to my intelligence). For the past 6 or 7 years, I really didn’t need or even want warm fuzzy sweaters.

I need to go shopping. Again. But now for warmer clothes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Within normal range!

I got the news. And the news was good.

Totally unexpected to my endocrinologist my blood values were actually showing great signs of improvement! All my values showed a change for the better. The best news was that my IGF-1 (the growth factor causing the worst things) values were now within the normal range! Hurray πŸ™‚

So yes πŸ™‚ I am very happy πŸ™‚

And because of that I won’t mention the tiredness after the fourth injection, or that my hair may be getting a bit thinner (I have a lot to lose, so it won’t show), or the gastrointestinal issues πŸ˜‰

No, I am in a good mood now πŸ™‚

Bring on the future!

Happy New Year

I was very happy to say goodbye to 2017. 2018 is going to be so much better πŸ™‚

A diagnosis is just a new starting point and I am totally optimistic looking forward. And I am right in doing so because on the second of January I got a call from my eye doctor telling me that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my sight or field of vision!

Last week I met with my endocrinologist (internist/endocrinoloog), the doctor that is an expert on hormone balances (endo for short). He is a pleasant guy, with a sense of humour and not afraid to be speculative (apparently sensing I can handle that). So he made a good impression on me and my dad.

In a couple of weeks, he will call with the results of the blood that was taken that day. Then I will know more about what the medication is really doing in my body. He did mention though that it will take 5 months, more or less, for the effect of this medication to have a stabilized in my body. So I am holding course πŸ™‚ and curious about my blood values πŸ™‚

The Weirdness of my Life now

If you read back in my posts, you will notice that in November I was back in The Netherlands for a year. I have done what I set out to do: earn money. However, I could never have imagined such a strange reality as the one I live in right now.

In this last month, I have had my second injection (only a day of cramps! yay!), I have had two hospital appointments (for me, mostly eye tests since this tumor is right in between my eye nerves), my sister has had her breast amputated, I have done a yoga course, I have had to study for an exam and then take that exam, driving to and from said exam in my very sturdy (or so I thought) car and to top it off, the day after I learned that my car won’t pass the yearly check, so I need to buy a new one. It is a lot all at once.   

No amount of chocolate will ever be able to fix it (although I’ve tried, and tried, and tried). Which is good, because too much sweet stuff is causing headaches (not sure if that is the tumor I feel or just something else altogether). So I make an effort to eat more healthy (less crap basically).
I am very much looking forward to christmas to catch up on sleep as my housemates are total asshats. And all this weirdness is leaving me TIRED (yes in capitals). Or it could be the medication, as it is mentioned as a side effect. But these times are not really very normal to me, so it may as well be something else (and with that I mean that it might be everything else). Did I mention I wanted to move? I was looking to buy a house but I still can’t wrap my head around everything that is happening and I really need to be able to sleep at night, so I may see about renting something (which makes me unhappy, but still, health comes first right?)

The good news is that I will be teaching a yoga lesson as of January πŸ™‚ every Wednesday. And although for now my mind is still very much preoccupied with all the above mentioned titbits, I am sure that by January I will feel much better.