I am not the same person.

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I know I keep bringing up the fact that I have Hashimoto’s. Part of the reason is my own frustration and because it is on my mind – obviously because it has impacted my health so much, and partly because I hope by sharing my own experience that I can be a voice for this, even here in this tiny seemingly insignificant little blip of a spot on the Internet.
The fact is, I am just NOT the same person anymore and it makes me a little sad and a little angry.

The most devastating thing I am experiencing is the fact that I am losing my hair.
As a woman this is probably one of the most traumatic aspects of this disease.
Not just because of vanity….because you stick out like a sore thumb when you are losing hair – (it’s not like you can stop people from looking directly at your head), but because you have absolutely no control over it.

Being in control has always been important to me. I suppose to most it is important but to me because certain circumstances in my past were completely out of my control and inevitably had a long lasting negative impact on me, this control thing is really quite an issue.
So to end up with an auto immune disease where your body attacks ITSELF….me attacking ME basically, is kind of ironic because I’ve always been my own worst enemy – emotionally.
I wonder if there is some sort of a connection?

I hear a lot of stories from other women (it’s mainly women who have Hashimoto’s though some men can be unlucky too) who speak of their frustrations and symptoms and anger at the medical community out there who for the most part have very little knowledge when it comes to auto immune disease.
Unlike something like say diabetes for example, little research has been done on Hashimoto’s in comparison and the standard treatment of handing out thyroid medication telling the patient “take this for the rest of your life” quite frankly is JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH, because it really does nothing to address the WHOLE issue.

Your thyroid is an amazingly complex gland that can impact almost every cell in your body.
But that is just the organ which is targeted by this disease.
The auto immune side of things is another thing altogether and many auto immune diseases go hand in hand. You have one, you are at risk of others joining in the party.
To me it is like the beast inside me. Invisible and clever and very very slippery.

It’s so complicated and I don’t pretend to understand it all, and what makes it harder is that it affects your brain too. “Brain fog” they call it.
Your ability to absorb and retain information, to have full concentration. Being either hypothyroid or hyperthyroid can affect your brain in different ways.
I knew something was not right with me years ago….Ha! (So did many others)
No seriously…I felt that my brain was not working “right”.
I felt “creatively stupid”…..at times. Not all the time. Sometimes it would clear and I could do things but then at other times it was like my brain was just not able to function properly.
For a highly creative person like me – and trust me this is different to a ‘creative block”, it has been immensely maddeningly frustrating, and sometimes a little scary.
Knowing WHY this was happening to me, along with the anxiety and depression, weight gain, weight loss and dozens of other things was almost a relief in a way.
Suddenly I wasn’t just CRAZY anymore.

You wouldn’t think that your thyroid would affect things like your brain function and your hair….Seems strange that it could affect your moods and state of mind.
We think of the thyroid as being a metabolic organ….and you think of weight principally, but it affects SO many other things.
In fact there is a list of more than 300 symptoms and effects caused by Hashimoto’s.
I am immensely pleased that I do not have them all. :)

http://www.sarahwilson.com/2014/07/300-typical-thyroid-symptoms-yep-that-many/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

I wish every family member, partner or friend of someone with Hashimoto’s would take a look at that and understand that it really does drive a person to distraction – even having just a fraction of those things going on at any one time….and to make it worse, variations of symptoms that can crop up – come and go as they please. (It’s really no fun for loved ones standing by watching it all either, I might add.)
Never mind about not knowing if you are Arthur or Martha….with Hashimoto’s it’s like you have the worst kind of multiple personality disorder ever imagined!
Fact is, from one week to the next sometimes you just don’t know how you’ll feel.
Hence – I REALLY am not the same person anymore.

It’s not that bad for me, now. At the moment anyway! (shhh, the beast might hear!) Medication has helped somewhat and a lot of my symptoms have lessened or gone away, but the hair loss in particular just seems to be getting worse despite doing everything I know to do to try and get it under control. Diet, supplements, hormones, digestive enzymes….Right now I’m on natural dessicated thyroid made from pigs thyroid. Controversial to some doctors and not always easy to get. Agghh! You have no idea how much this is costing both mentally and monetarily.

One of my daughters is growing (do you grow them?) dreadlocks at the moment.
I don’t like them much (but they do suit her I must admit) and I said to her “Maybe I should save all my hairs that are falling out and roll them into dreadlocks for future use?”
The crazy thing is…I really thought about this for a bit and actually wondered if there was some way I could clip them to what’s left of the hair on my head?
Just as I wondered if I could get fake hair kinda tattoo’d on my scalp in the places where it’s thinnest…..just to disguise the white of my scalp?

Sheesh.
I know there are more important things in life, than hair…but dear Universe….God, Goddesses….. wishbones, birthday candles, and shooting stars….please hear me, and do your thing!!!

Crafting frenzy!

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THIS is what is keeping me from blogging!
You see I feel this terrible GUILT that I just do not have the time at the moment to be catching up with everyone else’s blogs and if I myself write a blog then you lovely other bloggers who I am neglecting might comment and then I feel so bad that I am not reading YOURS.
I’m sure you all know the feeling.

BUT…..I have to blow the dust off my own blog and at least attempt to write the occasional thing or two or else it will just wither away to nothing.

So as the title says, I have been in a crafting frenzy.

My daughter, Shai, and I have created a little business. Well, we’re not out there selling YET but we will SOON BE!

We’ve called ourself “Twisted Gypsy designs”. And a bit of a plug….here’s our facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/twistedgypsydesignsau?fref=ts

She’s the twisted one and I’m the gypsy.
:) No….we’re both as twisted as each other and I happen to love everything GYPSY like. So does she.
When I say “gypsy”…..I mean anything alternative, hippie, ethnic, old worldish, magical and basically DIFFERENT.

I love this saying….

“Blessed are the gypsies ,the makers of music, the artists, writers, dreamers of dreams,
wanderers and vagabonds, children and misfits : for they teach us to see the
world through beautiful eyes.”

….and I shall put it on a handmade card or SOMETHING, soon.

And speaking of cards….this is what I have been making lately. Or attempting to.
I’m still very daunted by cardmaking. Seems simple but it’s NOT.
You have to have knowledge of design elements. Know how to pick the right fonts, the right colours, the right backgrounds, the right focal points, the right GLUE!
Oh don’t even talk to me about adhesives….I got myself into a right sticky mess there before trying to work out the right way to attach things.
And then I jumped straight in the deep end and started dabbling with alcohol inks.
Oh my ….what a whole nother FUMY world that is!
You know….you can get high making birthday cards?
Who needs drugs. Just sniff my cards.

Anyway, I’m cutting this short, because I could waffle on forever and I have to get back to finishing some more craft stuff.

So here are a couple of cards I made today with the alcohol ink backgrounds.
I’m not into “pretty pretty”. It’s just not me….so I think I will lean into a more grungy, maybe even steam punkish, vintage, old world look with them.
I could just be lying though. I am completely at the mercy of my creative muse, who happens to be very eclectic.

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Speed drawing. (Avatar)

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Just had to share this. Us mums are allowed to show how proud of our kids we are. :)

My daughter Shai made this video of a drawing she did. It took seven hours to do the drawing and she sped the video up so it’s a three minute clip.
Pretty cool!

Shai and I are going to be working together on a new business venture.
I’m crazily creating my market “things” and she will be doing the same with hers.
It’s a glorious creative mess in our house these days!
Love it!

I will be back soon to show some pics of some of what we’re up to.

The food court debacle.

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I dislike going shopping with my dear other half for many reasons but the main reason the whole affair fills me with such dread is because of food courts.

When you undertake a day of shopping with my husband it is never a brief duck in and out get what you need kind of thing.
Inevitably we must go here there and everywhere, to China and back, nip into Uzbekistan before the day is done.
Prices must be compared, certain things MUST be purchased from at least seven different supermarkets.
It’s just how it is with him and I have resigned myself to the fact that shopping “quickly” just isn’t within my hubbies mental capabilities.

The result of these drawn out all day affairs means that at some point we will need to eat something.
This means we have to enter into the dreaded kingdom of “food courts”.

Let’s face it, food court food is pretty awful and the choices are limited.
There’s always either the predictable artery clogging MacDonald’s or KFC, shriveled luke warm pretending to be Chinese cuisine, a kebab place, greasy fish and chips, a “healthy” sandwich place that costs an arm and a leg but usually tastes like cardboard, Subway (the mere smell of which makes me gag) and very occasionally an Indian takeaway fast food place.

To me eating is simple. You are hungry, you buy something and you eat it and viola – you are not hungry anymore.
This is not the case with my husband.

In fact even before we enter the dreaded kingdom I can sense a shift in my husband’s mood. You can visably see his shoulders tense, his mouth begins to scowl in disgust, his eyes harden and oh boy…here we go AGAIN.

So, we go into the food court and I need to eat something because if I don’t I will simply faint. That’s just how I am. Hypoglycemia – something my husband doesn’t believe I have but it’s the truth.

So I see food…I go and select something, sit down and eat it.
While I sit there and eat it I observe my husband transform into something akin to a food court werewolf.
He literally sheds his usual easy going persona and becomes….something else. Something quite horrible and rather embarrassing.

It’s quite a thing to behold, this shift, that goes from sneers of disgust, growls of contempt, spits of grumbled verbal abuse, aggressive gesticulations as he paces from counter to counter peering at the dishes wrinkling his nose and baring his teeth at the poor innocent employees who don’t quite know what to make of his mumbled tirade, which consist of “This is shit….it’s all shit….Nothing but shit food….”

He does this for at least twenty minutes and then he comes back and sits down (I’m a slow eater) and the next transformation takes place when I say.

“Didn’t you find something?”

“I’m not eating, it’s all shit…I hate this place!” he says.

And then he sulks.
Nose in the air like “I’m too good for food courts and I can survive on air alone.”

This used to make me feel guilty. I don’t know why?
I would kindly make suggestions “Why don’t you try this…or that….Go look at the……”
But he would just settle deeper and deeper into the sulk position and eventually refuse to even speak.

The whole day is ruined by the time we get to the silent sulking hulk stage because it means it’s time to go home just so the poor starving man won’t wither away.

The ONLY thing that even comes close to being acceptable for my husband’s finicky tastes (and really it is amazing because when I first met him his diet consisted entirely of takeaway food with Macdonald’s being a huge part of his diet.) is the Indian takeaway food.
That he WILL eat, onion bhaji after onion bhaji, but not many food courts have one.
In fact the presence of one of these Indian takeaway places largely determines, in my husband’s eyes whether or not the whole shopping centre in it’s entirety is “shit” or not.

I am writing this because tomorrow we have to go food shopping.
We have nothing. I was forced to make cauliflower soup last night for dinner as there was nothing else in the fridge. All the cupboards are bare. Not even a humble spud in sight.

I did think to myself that maybe next time we go on one of these tiresome day long, sometimes all weekend long shopping sprees, that perhaps I should pack a picnic lunch? That would solve the problem wouldn’t it? No more embarrassing werewolf morphing episodes ?
But it’s a catch 22.
We’d have to go shopping for food FIRST.

“Cauliflower sandwich dear?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home again! Back from our cruise.

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Well I’m back on land again and thankfully it’s not moving!
I was so worried about experiencing the after effects of cruising, like last time, but I’m happy to report that due to extremely calm seas I am NOT walking like a drunken sailor this time.

We had a wonderfully relaxing time and to my surprise it seems hubby is hooked!
He did complain a bit though.
“We need to find a less tiring form of holiday” he said numerous times….that was, after sitting outside on the back deck in the Serenity lounge area, where he spent hours reading in one of these comfy “pods”.

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Exhausting hey.

Ok so the weather wasn’t great. The water around the islands wasn’t that brilliant sparkling turquoise I was hoping for but we made the most of it anyway and despite the overcast days and sometimes even rain we still got out and about and did some exploring of the islands.
The worst part was the wind. Oh it howled and whistled….some nights it sounded positively eerie whistling through the ropes and whatever else was way up there on the top deck.
I was a bit nervous up there, worried I might just blow away. Like this!

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Actually, I was just dancing around trying to get IN the shot because every time I give the camera to my dear other half he either chops off my feet, or my head or completely chops me out of the picture and damn it, I’m always the one TAKING the pictures….for once I wanted to be IN it to prove that I was actually there, even if I do look like some kind of blurred flying fish.

Here’s my much more nicely composed much more FOCUSED pic of the dear other half….and don’t be alarmed, it’s not the grim reaper standing there, thats actually my husbands “I’m feeling really happy on the inside” pose.
He’s having so much fun up there in the wind and it translates so well into this happy snap.

Richard deck small

The ship was very ornate. A bit garish really (compared to P&O) but hey, people want to feel like they’re doing something fancy and going on a real glamourous vacation.
I spotted a woman standing at the bottom of these stairs, which I couldn’t see as I was to the side of them and she was acting really strange.
She’d put one foot on the bottom step, shake her head, look distressed, try again, no…something was obviously tormenting her and I thought “Poor woman…maybe she’s having a panic attack…Maybe she’s a little bit “challenged” or something.” Her husband looked on patiently and I felt sorry for him too having to care for this woman who obviously had issues.
That was until *I* had to walk up these same stairs and realised that some four or maybe even five floors above the ground I was looking down through GLASS STAIRS…..in a SKIRT!
And then I looked every bit as distressed and “challenged” as the other woman!

We came back later to take a pic and this time I put jeans on!

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Imagine all the “up skirts” that would be snapped on THAT with a decent zoom.
Hmm. Here’s a tip….always wear underwear on a cruise ship.

We wondered where all the people were on this cruise.
At times it felt like more of a ghost ship than a cruise ship. Maybe they were all wusses, not brave enough to face the wind.
Maybe they were all bonking in their cabins?
I don’t know where they all were so we just did our own thing.

She needed a kiss.

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He needed a tickle.

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I know, we are such children….and just a wee bit intoxicated.

Honestly though, everywhere you went in the ship there were nipples or tickly bits.
They should have called it the love boat.

Tickle nipple

See, now he has a smile on his face. A nipple tickle does that. Isn’t that the name of a drink?

We went to Amedee island. Ahh, paradise.
I went for a paddle and when I looked down blood was pouring from my foot.
I must have stepped on coral (didn’t even feel it) and sliced three of my toes.

Getting into water Tracy  small

Speaking of toes…One night we were sitting in bed talking about toes.
Well, don’t you discuss toes in bed?
I was teasing my husband about his deformed toes. ( They ARE I tell you.)
They curl over. Most distressing to look at. They are truly ugly and he really should wear closed in shoes but he doesn’t. Just displays them for all the world to be horrified by.
He always says it was from his younger years when he did diving…..His toes curl like that from standing on the diving board.
Phhhttthhhtt!! (that’s a raspberry)
Liar. He just has unfortunate toes.

I was telling him that that very day on the boat out to the island there was this really attractive young mother sitting opposite us.
“Did you see her toes!” I asked my husband.
Of course he hadn’t, but *I* noticed them because she was such a pretty woman, with a nice looking husband and two gorgeous kids…
Every time I saw her on the ship she was so perfectly groomed, you know just one of those women that always look so “well put together” in a casual way. Unlike me, who always looks a mess.
Anyway, so I happened to notice her toes because she was wearing thongs (ok, flip flops!) and to my surprise she has my HUSBANDS toes.
Ugly curled over toes…..so curled over that you can barely SEE the toenails because they are so bent that they are nearly touching the ground.
But what puzzled me was the fact that she had painted them….How? I thought to myself. And WHY?
You would have to turn your foot upside down – sole facing upward, to paint those toe nails.
Poor woman.

Which led my husband to look at my toes after I gloated…”I have lovely toes….see?” to which he then asked…
“Why are two of your toes purple?”
“What do you mean? They’re not purple….which toes?”
So we’re both peering at my toes in bed….. and then my hubby points at two of my toes wrapped in bandaids…and I realise…My God, he really IS blind, and maybe even colour blind as well because they were skin coloured band aids.
Anyway, where was I?
Oh yes…the island.
Amedee Island lighthouse.
We climbed this.

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Look at the pic I took looking up the spiral stair case. It was a looooooong way up!

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There was a net to stop people from falling down, and well placed too because on the tour they feed you this HUGE lunch and plow you full of FREE rum punch and when I say punch I mean PUNCH.
My God, I don’t know what was in that stuff but I’m so glad we climbed to the top of the lighthouse BEFORE we were punched.

Here’s me being blown away at the top and the view looking out.

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Gorgeous hey! Would have been SO much prettier were the sun out but oh well….Sometimes gloomy is good too.
I snapped this shot which I liked because of the gloomy feel…

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We went exploring and came across snakes. We’d been warned…Yes they are poisonous but apparently their fangs are at the back of their throats so it’s hard for them to bite humans and they are pretty laid back ‘just chillin’ island snakes. Yeah mun!
I wasn’t worried, but I didn’t put any bags on the ground, just in case.  Wouldn’t want to come home with a stowaway.

Richard filming snake small

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Then we went on glass bottom boat ride. See the small boat at the end of the jetty?

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We went on it twice actually because we liked it so much and saw huge turtles, and loads of pretty fish, huge brain corals and we picked up some hitch hikers along the way.

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What a great day! Good food, marvelous punch and lovely views.

Ha…here’s another good view.

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Being called for lunch I mean.   :)

I’ll be back later to post some more about our cruising/island adventures.

Been a slack blogger!

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Ok, so I’ve kind of fallen off the planet for a while.
Slackness…and being swallowed in the vortex of time, which just moves TOO darned quick!
My apologies for not at least keeping up with some of my favourite bloggers posts. :( Hope all is well in your worlds!

I had a moment the other day when I began lamenting at the dinner table that I STILL, at age 46 do not know what “my purpose” is here on earth.
Of course my daughter piped up and said “To have me!” which is true, all my children have been my “purpose” for a LONG time, but the youngest are not exactly kids anymore and the older two have now flown the coop…

I still don’t know exactly what I want to DO when I grow up, and I’m growing up FAST!

I get panicky about this…. about using my time here, wisely… and seem to just drift rather than actually feel as though I have a clear GOAL.
I suppose a lot of people do the same and it might not even bother them, but I always feel a bit stressed by the thought that I may not be making the most of this precious gift of life.

One thing we ARE doing, hubby and I, is making the most of our freedom now that the kids are older and it’s great!
In fact this Saturday we are off on our first CRUISE together!

I went last year on my first ever cruise with a friend but my husband pooh poohed the whole idea of cruising as a holiday.
Honestly never thought I’d get him to warm to the idea because so many of our travels have been on land, and very intensive full on trips.
However, I discovered just a few days ago that he’s had this cruise booked since February and was going to leave it till the day we are due to leave to surprise me.
His (unwise) plan was to announce it that morning and say “Quick, pack a bag….we’re going away!”
That would NOT have gone down well.

Perhaps MEN can do that….just chuck a few things in a bag and off they go but WOMEN need time to think and prepare. Mull over what coordinating outfits to take, which shoes, which jewelry…
Things need to be washed and ironed. Tried on, taken off, put back in the wardrobe, then get taken out again and packed…then unpacked…then repacked.
I even need to go online and check what other people take, then consider what I’ve packed…then unpack it, then repack it.
Just to be SURE, you know.
And I’ve packed my husbands suitcase as WELL.
Control freak?

Can you believe that he wanted to take his COWBOY hat?
On a cruise?
I mean that is just not “proper attire” for an ocean holiday.
Fair enough in the outback but he’d stick out like a sore thumb in thongs (with holes in the bottom I might add!), board shorts and a cowboy hat! (Dag!)

I jokingly pulled out this long Indian outfit that was given to him when he worked over there. Like one of those long sleeved mens “dresses”. Like a Kaftan, sort of. You know what I mean? Basically a big tent of a thing!
I said to him sarcastically that maybe he should pack that since he plans on taking full advantage of all the cruise food!
To my horror though he was delighted that I’d found it, and put it on, then and there saying.
“I’ve been looking for that for ages! I really like it! I think I WILL take it actually!”
My daughter and I just looked at each other in shocked dismay.
Talk about a joke backfiring.

Can you imagine it? A bald middle aged man, with a rather ample belly in an indian Kaftan with a cowboy hat….and thongs?
(It has now discreetly disappeared again.)

This is why I have packed his suitcase.
Sensible wife?

This is going to be interesting…I can feel it in my bones.

We’re going to the Pacific Islands- Noumea, Mare and Isle of Pines, on the Carnival Spirit ship – (the “fun” ship) which boasts a giant water slide.
The “Green thunder”.
Take a look at it here.

My husband INSISTS that I have to go on it!
HE is planning on going on it!
I told him he’d better do that on the first day – before he begins his eating holiday.
I’m not going on THAT!
Do you think I will?
Ok, well, maybe…once. I’ll see.

I saw a ghost!

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Or at the very least, something I just cannot explain.

Ok, I’m going to be really cool about this. No hysterics, no freaking out, just calm and collected….

I was sitting on my bed today. (Broad daylight) I can see directly to the front veranda from there as there are big glass sliding doors with wooden venetians.
The door and blinds were open to let the breeze in.
My view from the bed includes the top of the veranda stairs which lead directly to the front door.

I saw a figure which I immediately sensed was female because she was short-ish and small framed wearing a light grey hoodie walk up the stairs, directly to the front door.
When I say I “sensed” it was female….I just couldn’t see her face or hair, just saw a person, as real as any person I’ve ever seen but couldn’t see who it was because of the hood – and she walked quickly, with purpose, like she was quite comfortable walking into our house.

I saw her reach for the screen door, heard and saw it open….heard it close behind her…
My bedroom doors were ajar so I waited to see the person walk past into the kitchen /living area…
I was watching to see WHO it was because I thought it was odd that they were wearing a hoodie like that…..all covering up their entire face as though they were really cold.

My immediate thought was that it must be my daughters friend Toni because she’s staying here for a few nights….and besides myself she is the only short -ish person in the house… Everyone else are giants, even my fifteen year old son now towers above me.
I thought maybe Toni had gone out to her car to get something….
But nobody walked past my bedroom doors and the only other room to go into is the front lounge room.
That’s usually my sons hangout ….but I knew it couldn’t be him because the person I saw was short and “appeared” to be female.

All of this, seeing it, thinking, pondering – the whole thing was mere minutes….and before I had a chance to get up and go and see if it was my son, my husband suddenly appeared walking up the steps. He too came inside the front door but I DID see him walk past my room.
Ok, so it must have been my son, I thought…

I went into the lounge room, and there was nobody there.
Strange.
So I went into the kitchen to see which one of them was wearing the grey hoodie.
All four people were in the kitchen. Toni, Shai, my husband and my son.
NONE of them was wearing a grey hoodie.
“Is there someone else here?” I asked
(My daughter HAD had a bunch of friends over earlier in the afternoon.)
No…everyone had gone. I knew that.
Nobody else was here. (trust me, I checked.)

And THEN I freaked out!

As unbelievable as it sounds, plain as day, as real as any real person, I watched a girl in a grey hoodie walk into my house, heard and saw the screen door close and then seemingly “disappeared” into thin air.

This is the second time in my lifetime that I think (can’t come up with any other explanation) that I have seen a ghost.

I know it’s unbelievable. I understand the skepticism. I know it looks suss because I am INTO all things of this nature, the mysterious, the ghostly….and heck, I just posted up photo’s today showing that I do enjoy delving into these more “dark” things.
I swear though, I am not embellishing anything that I write here on this blog about the very strange happenings that have occurred ever since we moved here.

In fact, just a few days ago I had a friend over…and thank God….finally a witness! We were sitting talking in the kitchen when we both (including the dog that was under my feet at the table AND my husband who was in the next room) heard something fall to the ground and make a thud. It set the dog off barking and my friend and I searched the room and ajoining rooms to see what had fallen (sounded rustly like a plastic bag hitting the floor) and there was nothing to be found anywhere!

I want to know WHY we are seeing, hearing and experiencing so MUCH of this stuff?