Like a Surgeon

Every January I talk about how I’m going to become a better blogger. By the time February rolls around I realize that that’s a lie. I hope to change that this year. There are going to be a lot of changes. I have already started some. But first I’d like to catch you up on what’s been going on in my life.

As you know my thyroid hates me and has been plotting against me since 2012. At the end of 2015, I was taken off of the anti-thyroid medications that had been bogging me down for the previous 3 years. Not only were they cramping my style (because of like a thousand side effects), they were damaging my liver. My new Endo was like “Woah man! We need to take you off that crap like right meow.” Okay, she said it more professionally, but you get the idea. So she took me off the meds and I started seeing rainbows and cartoon birds everywhere I went. Well not really, but I was starting to feel better. I wasn’t as lethargic and I actually felt like doing things. My chronic back pain wasn’t as bad and I was able to go to the gym and work on my fitness with Fergie. Towards the end of the year, I had lost 30 pounds and I thought that it could only get better. Sike! I started feeling crappy again. My tremors were back and so was my lethargy and chronic pain. I shook my fists at the heavens and yelled “Why!?!” while rain poured on my face and dramatic music played in the background. I went back to my Endo so she could run some tests and charge me 5 million dollars. Her conclusion? I was hyperactive again. Not just a little, but super, turbo hyper active. My Graves antibodies were through the roof. They are supposed to be at 35 or lower. Mine were a little over 2,000. Yes, I used three zeros there. With this news she gave me two options: remove it with surgery or kill it with radioactive iodine. The second one seemed sketch, so I was like “yeah give me that surgery,yo.” Just kidding I don’t really talk like that, but you know what I mean. Another reason I picked the surgery was because my sister had it done lasted year and it turned out very well for her. Fast forward to today, I met with my surgeon. This was the same surgeon that my sister had, the one recommended to me by my Endo. He did an exam on my neck and said I didn’t have any nodules (which I already knew), nor did I have cancer (which I also already knew). He said that because I had neither, he didn’t think that I should get the surgery. That was a relief because I really didn’t want the surgery. That just left me with the sketch radioactive iodine. Rut row. The surgeon and I discussed it though and it actually doesn’t seem so bad. He said that there may be some side effects, but that they’d be temporary. I’d also have to get a hotel room for a few days because I couldn’t be around people. So for this treatment, I take a pill that kills my thyroid and then I get to avoid people for a few days. Sounds like a win for me. I also wont have to miss as much work as I had originally thought which is nice. A couple of downsides to not having the surgery is I won’t get to have a cool battle scar that matches my sister’s. I also won’t get to keep Lestrade (my thyroid) in a jar. Haha that would have been gross and I totally wouldn’t have done it? Now all I have to do is wait to hear from my Endo telling me when to come in and get the treatment. Hopefully soon so I can just get it over with. Well I think I’ve bored you enough for tonight. That’s pretty much all I’ve been up to. If I think of more I will make another post later. I’m also going to make some 2017 goal blog posts so look for those. For now, Adieu.

[Side note: how I named my thyroid Lestrade. Greg Lestrade from BBC Sherlock is played by Rupert Graves. I have Graves Disease that is causing my thyroid problems. Well I thought I was being funny at least.]

Art in St. Pete

This past Saturday my mom invited me to go to St. Pete with her. Her friend was having an art show and my mom wanted to support her. We didn’t end up leaving until 2pm and it’s about a 2 bout drive for us so we decided to just spend the night down there. We only spent about an hour at the art show because it was hot and the gallery didn’t have A/C. The gallery was in the art district of downtown St. Pete so when we left we drove around looking at all the murals.

This Tesla mural was by far my favorite. One of the other artists at the show actually painted it. I forgot her name.

Here are some more murals we found around town. The octupi are my other favorites because they are my favorite animal.:

After we drove looking at murals, we decided to get something to eat . My mom’s friend suggested The Pizza Box because they had gluten free pizza.

It still had cheese on it so I still go a little sick afterwards, but totally worth it.

While we were waiting for a spot to open up at The Pizza Box, we HD walked around town A little. We came across this wall that said “Before I Die…”

There was a basket of chalk so we added what we wanted to do before we died. I put travel the world.

My mom put live in a van down by the river.

After dinner we stopped by Publix to get some treats. The Publix had was two stories. The first floor was parking and you had to ride an elevator to get to the store on the second floor. I thought it was pretty cool. Once we got to the motel, we just chilled. I watched Doctor Who while she watched whatever she watched. It was nice to have internet since we still don’t have it at home. 

The next day, check out wasn’t until noon so we slept in. That was nice since o usually can’t sleep in any bed that isn’t mine. The blanket was itchy and the A/C kept making weird noises. When we left we stopped At the beach. St. Pete is on the Gulf coast which I enjoy a lot more. 

We only spent about two hours there, then we headed home. Here are some more pictures from around town including a Thunderbird hotel for my fellow Potterheads:

Here some pictures on the drive home including an Air stream monument And Dino World:

Here is a giant Pokeball at a Target on the way there:

Hair supply store in the ghetto part of town:

And some cloud pictures. Can’t forget those:


We had a fun time and it was a nice little weekend trip. We definitely can’t wait to go back!

Life Update

Religion:

About a month ago I started going back to the Mormon church. I had been missing it lately. I like being back. I know it’s where I need to be. From now on you’ll see Mormon related posts. I’ll still post about other things so don’t worry. I’ll still keep some Pagan practices as well. I’m actually doing a 90 day Book of Mormon challenge on my Instagram if you want to join in. My IG is @ldsgingerasrai.

Health:.

I don’t think I ever updated you on my thyroid levels. I went to my general physician and Endocrinologist and they both told me that my levels are normal! That’s awesome news. I still notice symptoms from my Hashimotos, but I have a lot more good days then bad days now. I really think that it was my Graves medication (Methimozole) that kept me sick. My new Endo said that my old Endo was over medicating me. She took me off my meds at the beginning of the year and ever since then I have slowly started feeling better.

I still haven’t gone back to doing Whole 30, but I’m really trying. When you’re on it you have to cook every meal. But that’s been hard because I don’t have the energy most days. I know that if I go back on that I will have energy. It’s a vicious cycle. I also need to plan my meals better, that’s a huge part of it. I’ll get back to it though. I really want to start taking care of myself. I want to keep my thyroid levels normal and get my Hashimotos under control.

I have signed up at Planet Fitness 3 weeks ago. I really enjoy going (when I have the energy). I try to go even when i don’t have the energy, but some days it’s really bad. I did good the first week, but these past two weeks I’ve only been a few times. I’m still losing weight most days. I’ve lost a total of 24 pounds!

Family:

My sister has been on her mission for a month now. Only 17 months left! I miss her so much, but she is doing the Lord’s work. She’s really enjoying it. I knew she would, she’s a great missionary.

On July 30th, my nephew Carter turned 3. I can’t believe how big he is getting! He’s such a character.

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

As you may or may not know, I was raised Mormon. I’ve kind of become inactive over the past couple of years. My younger sister however, has stayed very active. She has even prepared to serve a mission. It was a bumpy road for her to prepare. She had also developed thyroid problems a couple of years ago. She was diagnosed with Graves Disease, Hashimotos, and Thyroiditis. She even had to have her thyroid removed. None of that discouraged her though and she submitted her mission papers of the summer. She got her call to Wichita, Kansas. She was very excited! She said she didn’t care where she went. She’d go wherever the Lord needed her to go.

She reported to the MTC over two weeks ago on Wednesday, August 3rd. My whole family dropped her off at the airport that Tuesday. It was very hard because we are all so close. We’re going to miss her very much, but she is doing the Lord’s work and we know she will be taken care of. She went to college for a year out in Utah, but that was different. We could talk to her on the phone. Now we only get to email and write her letters. We still get a call on Christmas Day and Mother’s day. It’s going to be hard, but we’ll get through it. It’s only for a year and half. She’ll receive blessings because of it and she’s doing good things.

Here’s a picture of she and I before she boarded her plane. Please excuse my hot mess hair.

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Here she is with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. My nephew was upset that he couldn’t go with Jensen.13886434_10208551968293508_8417478633378716193_n

Here she is holding her mission call. Wichita, Kansas!

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 This is her Wizard of Of themed farewell cake. 

Summer Solstice

I hadn’t really planned on doing anything big for the Summer Solstice (Litha). It’s one of my favorite Sabbats, but I just didn’t haven’t had time or motivation to plan an elaborate like I usually do. There was a public ritual in Orlando with the Pagan group I usually meet with, but with recent events i didn’t feel comfortable going.

The day before the Solstice though, my mom asked what we were doing to celebrate. She’s not Pagan, but shows interest when I tell her a Sabbat is coming up. Since she showed interest I decided to plan something. I decided to cook a nice Solstice dinner and then we wanted to have a bonfire. But before I made dinner I cleaned house and paid some bills. Something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Thought Litha would be an appropriate time to do so.

In addition to my mom, my nephew and my sister and her boyfriend attended. Half way through dinner my brother and his girlfriend stopped by to pick up my nephew. They stayed for a bit to eat dinner too.

For dinner we had diet complaint food. Chicken salad with various fruit and veggie toppings: Strawberries, apples, avocado, carrots, cucumbers, and sweet peppers. I even made compliant ranch dressing (not pictured). We also had a cooked veggie mix (zucchini, squash, and green beans), garlic roasted potatoes, and mixed berry water. For dessert I made baked sweet sweet potatoes, apples and strawberries diced up and sprinkled with cinnamon. Pictures of dinner:

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My brother, his girlfriend , and my nephew didn’t stay long. After dinner we had a bonfire and read aloud our favorite Edward Gorey stories: The Hapless child, Gashly Crumb Tinies, and The Doubtful Guest. Not very :Litha related, but we had a good time.

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After we read some stories and had s’mores, we decided to go in since the mosquitoes were eating us alive. Everyone started to do their own thing so I decided to take this time to do a private ritual. I just did it in my room where I’d be undisturbed. I didn’t take any pictures because it was a private one and I didn’t want to bring my phone into the circle. I will tell you I decided to do something for the 49 victims, as well as the other deaths in Orlando (the Voice singer Christina Grimmie and the two year old taken by the alligator; Lane Graves. I also did something for the actor Anton Yelchin, who had been one of my favorites). During the ritual I also wrote down some goals I wanted to accomplish in the next 6 weeks (until the next Sabbat).

After the ritual, I set out my crystals and water I wanted to make into moon water under the full moon to charge.

Well that was my Summer Solstice. I turned out to be a rather nice one. I’m glad my family wanted to join me. How was yours?

Pray for Orlando

Every morning when I wake up, I check Facebook on my phone to may sure a client hasn’t messaged me. Yesterday when I checked Facebook, I couldn’t believe what I saw. Everyone was talking about the shooting in Pulse, an Orlando gay club. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. Not only was it a gay bar, it was an hour from where I live. It hit close to home, literally. You always hear about these kinds of things happening on the news, but you never think it could actually happen an hour from your home.

Here are some facts about what happened:

Omar Mateen acted alone in shooting over 100 people at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida at 2am Sunday morning
Omar had a 3 hour standoff with police, and was eventually shot dead
50 (and counting)were killed, 53 were injured
this is the worst mass shooting America has seen
this is the worst act of terrorism since 9/11
police say Omar was organized and well prepared
he was armed with an assault rifle, a handgun and an unspecified “device”

If you live in or around the Orlando area, here’s what you can do to help:

blood banks in Orlando are at capacity – if you wish to donate, schedule an appointment for later this week
when the blood banks are no longer full, they will need O-, O+, and AB plasma
donors must be over the age of 16, healthy, and weigh over 100 pounds
oneblood has not lifted its ban on lgbt+ men giving blood
oneblood is in need of water, juice, snacks, and fruit for those donating (drop them off here)
here is a check-in page to help people locate friends and family
-family hotline: 407-246-4357
-for emergency blood donations:

Orlando West Michigan Donor Center
345 W Michigan Street, Ste. 106, Orlando, FL 32806

Orlando Main Donor Center
8669 Commodity Circle,  Orlando, FL 32819

Oviedo Donor Center
1954 W. State Road 426, Oviedo, FL 32765

-bloodmobile locations:

Asbury United Methodist Church
220 West Horatio Ave.
Maitland, FL 32751

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
4851 S. Apopka Vineland Rd.
Orlando, FL 32819

Metro Church
1491 East State Rd. 434
Winter Springs, FL 32708

-there is a gofundme now set up for the victims and their families
-you can donate to Orlando hospitals here
-The Center is an lgbt+ organization and is accepting donations here
-Orlando Youth Alliance is and lgbt+ organization and is accepting donationshere
how to contact representatives about gun control

If you need to talk:

The Trevor Project: always open, for lgbt+ youth. call them at 1-866-488-7386.
Trans Lifeline: for transgender people. call them at US: (877) 565-8860 or  Canada: (877) 330-6366
Scarleteen: text them at (206) 866-2279
-The Zebra Coalition hotline at (407) 228-1446 to speak to a counselor.
-The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida will be staffing counselors all day at their location: 946 N. Mills Avenue Orlando, FL 32804.

My e-mail is always open too if you need to talk: Claytonm22@hotmail.com

Here are some supportive pictures if you’d like to change your FB profile picture:

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Yesterday I lit some healing crystals and set out some stones to say prayers for everyone affected.

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If you ever need to talk, please to hesitate to comment on here or email (listed above).

Weekly Review + This Week’s Goals

Review for 6/6/16-6/12/16

Health– Well I didn’t get as far as I wanted to with my health goals this week. I only did strength training one day, I didn’t walk at all, and I still couldn’t get to sleep before 4am. I also had too many “reintroduction” days. I at least I know for sure which foods I can and can’t have now.

I did however get blood work done at my doctor’s. I don’t go back for a review until July 5th.

Spirituality-I still didn’t meditate. It’s hard for me to actually mediate on little to no sleep.

Work-I worked as many hours as I could and did some much needed advertising.

Art-I finished painting all but one of my mini altar sets. Now all I have to do is make the pouches and they’ll be ready to list on Etsy.

Goals for 6/13/16-6/19

Health– Work on the goals I didn’t accomplish last week.
1. Strength training 3 days a week.
2. Walk 3 days a week.
3. Get to bed before 12am.
4. No reintroduction days. They just make me sick.

Spirituality-Actually meditate instead of just talking about it.

Work:
1. More advertising.
2. Add complimentary water and beverages.

Art– Pouches for the altar kits and get them listed.

Blog-Now that it’s kind of slowing down at work, I want to start writing more articles/posts pertaining to Paganism and Witchcraft. I feel like I don’t have enough in here. I want to write them geared more towards beginners like myself. It’ll help me learn too. I’ll be posting which topics I plan to cover later this week.

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