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Battling the Butterfly

In Hashimoto's Disease, Health by JenLeave a Comment

January is thyroid awareness month. What is a thyroid and why should you care? The thyroid gland is a small butterfly-shaped gland at the base of the neck. Although fairly small, this gland is FIERCE as it plays a huge roll in our bodies. It influences the function of many of our organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidney and skin.

My daughter was eight when she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease, which is autoimmune thyroid disease and it SUCKS.  Her body attacks the thyroid gland and it causes hypothyroidism. Her thyroid does not produce enough thyroid hormone.

Before she was diagnosed, she began gaining weight very quickly and it did not make sense.  She was an active kid and the amount she was eating should not have caused weight gain. She was tired, puffy and constipated. We saw her pediatrician and she did not believe the weight gain was not from over eating and recommended we see a dietitian. We got the same response from the dietitian. It was so frustrating!  As a mom, I knew it was not what she was eating! There was really something wrong. I started researching on my own and came across thyroid disease. It really fit.

I would not give up until she was tested. Yes, I became one of THOSE mothers. The ones that doctors cringe when they hear her name. I have discovered that you must be your child’s advocate. If you don’t you can bet no one else will. So we had the blood test done and as I suspected…Hashimoto’s Disease. You would think that would be the end of the story, right? Pop a pill and all is fixed. Not hardly!

Fast forward eight years. We still battle the butterfly every.single.day. We have tried every type of thyroid medication, diet and homeopathic option. Nothing has made a huge improvement and we are not alone. We have met other online families that struggle like we do.

If you suspect that your child may have a thyroid issue, it is important to have the tests run. Your pediatrician can easily order them. If your doctor refuses…find another doctor. You know your kid and when something is wrong. Never doubt your mom intuition!

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Livin’ Like Joe

In Humor, Resolutions by Jen10 Comments

Three years ago I read an obituary about a man named Joe and he LIVED LIKE A BOSS for 59 years! I mean this guy blew.it.up.

  • At 15, he had a semi-valid licence by transposing some of the numbers.
  • At 18, drove his first Harley off the showroom floor.
  • Loved hard having 4 wives and 3 sons. One named Jack Daniel. I like to think it’s ya know…like the liquor.
  • Was at the forefront of the online adult entertainment industry during the internet’s early years.
  • Made breast implants.
  • Sold and repaired Singer sewing machines.
  • Was a model train enthusiast.
  • Rode Harley’s cross country.

In celebration of Joe’s life, his friends and family met a local pub. Although I had never met Joe, he has fascinated me. I had thought about going to that pub on that day to hear more Joe stories, but decided that may be a bit odd.

Now is the time we make resolutions for the new year. Being a single mom, I feel like I blink and a year has come and gone and I just went through the motions. I want to live a fuller, more interesting life. In 2018, I’m going to live like Joe.

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Show Me Some Skin

In Health, Humor by Jen10 Comments

I visited a dermatologist after felling a scabby bump on my back.  I know…ew. I am what ya call a worrier. I went from mole to melanoma in less than sixty seconds. In the past six months, I have lost a friend from melanoma and had another diagnosed with it, so I knew I had to make the call.

Days later, there I am, waitin’…in the waitin’ room. After the medical history pleasantries, it’s go time. Time to don the gown. Aw yeah! Enter the doc. She begins the full body skin inspection. After an eternity, ok maybe more like fifteen minutes…seborrheic keratosis aka a noncancerous skin condition that appears as a waxy brown, black or tan growth…whew, but…ew…again.

Goofiness aside, skin health is important. A full skin exam is recommended as part of your annual doctor check-ups. I will adding this exam to my yearly doctor rotation. I hope you will too. We single moms often put ourselves last, but our health really needs to be first.

At the conclusion of my visit, the doc said “compared to people your age, you have very little sun damage.” That’s right, I have the skin of a 21 year old or at least that’s what I am going with. Moisturizer with a spf people!

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Ho! Ho! Holla for Dolla…Stores

In Humor, Saving Money by JenLeave a Comment

I love dollar stores! Where else can you get four rolls of t.p., two greeting cards and three bags of frozen broccoli florettes for five bucks. No where people! If you are a single mom into saving cash, find your nearest one. I buy all my gift wrap, gift bags, tissue paper there. There is a great selection of containers. If your child has school projects, go to the dollar store! We buy all of our poster board and foam board there. I love the chocolate covered graham squares and stripped cookies. At a dollar a piece, I buy both!

Seasonal decor is also a winner. With the holiday season quickly approaching, make a stop at your local store. It will be well worth your time. At my neighborhood store, there are small table top trees for trimming, both green and white. I bought three! There are also lots of poinsettia floral picks, holiday mugs and candy perfect for stockings. It makes me utterly giddy walking out with armfuls of bags and still having money in my wallet! Happy dolla…I mean holla-days!

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Straight Outta Marriage

In Divorce, Humor by JenLeave a Comment

Hi, my name is Jen and I have…two ex-husbands. I know, I know…I am shocked myself! Life goals, am I right? Number 2 came into my life first. We met my freshman year of college. A beautiful blonde, blue eyed sophomore in tight acid washed jeans who also had a girlfriend back home.

That aside, we became close friends. We spent time together in the T.V. room of our residence hall and went for drives in his black Thunderbird and listened to Whitesnake. The next fall he transferred to the same college as “her.” More on “her” in a post to follow…a lot more.

We wrote letters, yes letters people! I visited his new campus. As years passed, we stayed connected. He married “her” and I married Number 1. We exchanged photos of our daughters. When my daughter was two, I left…more like fled from…Number 1. Issues made me fearful and I knew I had to get my daughter out. We moved back to my hometown.

Number 2’s marriage also ended. “She” had affairs. Fast forward – I and my daughter relocated to start a new life with “them.” Ya know how that ended. Being divorced from Number 2 has been a very different experience than Number 1. I am grateful that we did not have children, but because of that it is as if that part of my life never happened. Number 2 and I divorced in 2013. Our day in court was the last time I saw him. I think of Number 2 often. I know we can’t be together, but that doesn’t make it less suckish.