Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Springtime and the Living is Easy
Spring has come in fits and starts to the Salt Lake Valley. We have had such balmy warm weather with blue skies and wafting breezes and backyard picnics, interspersed with spring storms racing through the mountains bringing snow and cold rain and getting the fleece jackets back out for a few days. I don't mind the waffling weather one bit; I know that summer will arrive in all good time and meanwhile these back-and-forth days are lovely, each in their own way.
One of my very favorite things about the advent of warmer weather is being able to wear skirts with bare legs and sandals-- my very favorite way to dress. So easy, so comfortable. This does also mean the beginning of pedicure season, which is kind of a pain, although also sort of nice. I feel conflicted about all the rituals entailed in our society's feminine beauty norm. On the one hand, it takes so much energy and time and it is problematic to think of your body's "natural state" (whatever that means) as unacceptable. On the other hand, self-care is good and these rituals provide a framework for caring for your own corporeal self. And sparkly toenails!
Spring has been achingly lovely but our enjoyment of it has been besmirched by illness. We were very lucky all through the winter but we've had a string of colds and stomach bugs around here lately. Violet has been hit the hardest, as she always is. Grace, in contrast, almost never gets sick. When Grace was a toddler, I was so smug about how she never got sick. "Oh, it's because I breastfed her for so long. And look at what healthy food I feed her!" Then Violet came along with the same length of nursing and the very same food and she gets sick much more frequently. Grace just has some kind of immune system of steel, I suppose. Anyway, it's been since my dad's last visit, so... over a month of various little viruses, shared amongst us to one extent or another. Right now Violet is getting over a cold and is in a TERRIBLE grouchy mood, and I am in the throes of it with a nasty cough and laryngitis and feeling like crap.
In other health news, I was just diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I had Graves' disease in my early 20s, the autoimmune version of hyperthyroidism. I never had bugged-out eyes but I was losing a bunch of weight and was jittery and exhausted and my heart raced all the time. I saw an endocrinologist who had me on thyroid-suppressing drugs for about 5 years, gradually tapering off until I was declared in remission. That endocrinologist always told me that patients like me usually end up going hypothyroid later in life, and well, that time has apparently come. My thyroid has decided to give up the ghost and quit working. I had an annual check-up with my midwife last week and she checked my thyroid levels like I always do at check-ups because of my history. They've been in the normal range for almost a decade now off any drugs, but this time they came back VERY hypothyroid. It's probably the autoimmune version again, although they haven't checked for the thyroid antibodies yet. I have been feeling rather tired and losing the baby weight has been slower this time than after my other pregnancies, but I just attributed those things to having a new baby + two other children, being a few years older than after my other pregnancies, etc. I started on the thyroid hormone drug (you just take in pill form the hormone that your thyroid would normally make) this week and I will be pretty happy if suddenly I am full of energy and get super skinny without having to work very hard. On the other hand, I am now probably facing taking a pill every day for the rest of my life, which is kind of a bummer. Not in the grand scheme of things, I know, as spring and a joyful baby and warm weather and Holy Week would like to remind me.