Pinch me, please

I’ve lived in Australia for 8 1/2 years. I swear sometimes it’s passed in the blink of an eye and others, usually in Winter, it slows to a normal pace. Today isn’t Winter. In fact, today was a 39 degree Summer day that pushed my reasoning of “I moved here for the weather,” to the limit. As I sit here at 9pm, boiling in my own skin as it is still 27 degrees, I’m still surprised that I actually live in Sydney.

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I left the UK for a fresh start, coming out to Australia on what was meant to be an extended holiday! Turns out I fell in love with Sydney and the rest is history. Sydney became that elusive, Nicholas Sparks-type turning point for me – a fresh start. After more than a couple of hellish years living in Edinburgh, culminating in redundancy and losing someone close to me. I struggled with depression and migraines that debilitated me at least once a week. I wasn’t living, I was just getting from one day to the next.

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Sydney for me has been a balm that started to heal me – it didn’t fix me, but living here has certainly taught me how to breathe again, how to start to find self-worth and all the things I had lost along the way. I have to pinch myself sometimes, usually when I catch a glimpse of the Harbour Bridge or one of the many beaches in the city. I did it – I moved 11,000 miles away from what I knew and started again. I live in an amazing country and live a life nine years ago I didn’t think I would ever live. Though my opinion on this might completely change tomorrow after a night’s sleep in 27C and another day at 38C – Hell might be cooler!

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Do a postgrad they said…

One of the big reasons I stopped blogging in March was that I decided to go back to university and get my Masters. University the first time around for me was about as far from fun as you can get. It ended up being the toughest four years of my life so far.

Growing up, I was an independent girl. I started working at 16 and had lived in different countries across Europe. I thought going to uni would be me some time so I could figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Unfortunately, I didn’t cope well with uni; the pressures and trying to fit in drove me to depression which I’ve battled ever since.

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I’ve never been particularly career orientated, instead preferring to use work as a way to pay for the more fun stuff. So when someone suggested that I should look at doing an MBA, I laughed; like full-on, deep in the belly folded-over laughed. There is no way little old me was getting into an MBA program. It took 6-months of tooing and froing before I actually put in an application and had my interview. Even after I got in, I kept expecting them to call me and say “Sorry, we made a mistake.”

Nobody called and the online system even let me enrol for units of study! I started my MBA just over three months ago and it’s been absolutely mental! I’ve just finished this semester and can finally come up for some non-MBA air. I have over 25 hours of recorded TV (most of it trash) to watch and at least five weeks of washing to do.

Fun Times!

My Hashie’s Journey

back in October, I went to see the doctor about my hair falling out. Turns out that there was a lot more going on that being folically challenged. The more I chatted with my Doc, Doc M, the more it became apparent something serious was going on:

  • Skin so dry it was cracked and peeling off  
  • I put on 9kg in 6 months after maintaining a stable weight for 5 years
  • A complete loss of control of my brain and speaking mixed up words (nope, not learning a new language)
  • Deep gravelly voice that had gone from Taylor Swift to Aretha Franklin
  • Exhaustion and insomnia
  • Winter was hell, I froze pretty most most of the season – not a usual occurance in sunny Sydney
  • Pain in my shoulder joints that made boxing impossible

  

So off for. Whole round of blood tests, and I do mean rounds – 4 in total. Doc M also could feel a small lump in my throat. It was a wait and a half for the results but the blood tests painted a picture that maybe all to familiar for some people. My TSH (thyroid simulation hormone) was in the upper range of normal, I was ferric aneamic and my thyroid antibodies were 15 times, yes 15 times the upper normal limits. Doc M’s diagnose was Hashimotos Disease, pending ultrasound confirmation.

And this is where my Hashie’s journey started. It’s a common disease, 1 in 10 women will be diagnosed with Hashimotos, and 1 in 6 women overall will will experience hypothyroidism in their lifetime. So my blog is changing direction, at least for now. Writing is an outlet for me, and I just want to tell my Hashimotos tale. I don’t claim to be an expert, I’m certainly no WebMD on the subject, but I am a suffer imparting what little wisdom I have.

I’d love to hear from other people with Hashie’s, share your story, your advice, you shoulder to someone else who’s just begining their own Hasie’s Journey.

Why Is My Hair Falling Out?

I’ve kinda taken some time out from blogging. For around 6 months, my health has been niggling at me. Small things like gaining 10 kgs despite the fact that I was working out at the gym five times a week. I was eating much better than I used to (only one Big Mac a month instead of once a week). My hair is also falling out, I mean clog the drain, coating everything falling out. Then there was the really dry skin which made me buy shares in Garnier and the deep throat that was put down to scarring after laryngitis.

Eventually my friend convinced me to go see the Doc, even if it was just to be told to cut out the Big Mac all together (hell, no!!). So off I toddle. Doc thinks that it could be one of a couple of things; poly cystic ovary syndrome, Cushing syndrome or, given my family history, thyroid issues and so began a whole round of blood tests. I was pricked twice for more blood than would sustain a vampire and then packed off to get an ultrasound on my throat. 

I’ve got to wait a few days for the result but given the ultrasound technician said “wow, that’s some lump!” I’m not holding my breath for an easy result.