Monday, October 12, 2009

Warning: Toxic brain dump ahead

As I sit at work before the official start of my day catching up on blog reading after not doing much of it over the weekend, I notice that a lot of you posted at least one of the 2 weekend days. I should have done that this weekend, because my mood was gray and cloudy for no particular reason and it manifested ultimately with me overeating both days. I felt itchy and restless and just this side of irritable; and I never really put it out there to anyone. That isn't like me. Most people who have read my blog know that in addition to food addiction, I am in long term recovery in AA, where I frequently put my hand up and share at group level when I'm feeling funky, as well as when I'm great. This weekend I didn't share at any meeting I went to, and I didn't post on the blog either. Maybe if I'd just talked about my discontent briefly, I could have saved myself a few thousand calories.

I'm wondering what my atypical quiet and keeping thoughts to myself was about. I'm going to list a few possibilities that are percolating up into the noggin:
1. I want to look and sound better than I feel
2. I don't want to feel funky, and by not acknowledging the funk I can will it away (if only)
3. My left knee feels messed up so I haven't done the 5-6 mile walks (on or off the treadmill) I usually do. Exercise definitely helps me clear out the cobwebs in my brain when I'm out of sorts.
4. I haven't felt like I have my act together the last few days but I don't want anyone else to think I don't have my act together. WHY? WHO CARES? No one is on their game 24/7.
5. I have a medical procedure coming up this Thursday that I'm a little nervous about, even though this will be my 3rd one of these. More on that in a few minutes.

That's enough of a list. It doesn't take much reflection for me to know that at some level I chose my mood by letting go of practices that have proven to help me again and again. Eventually my angst and discomfort lead me back to food for comfort, although using food like this is not comfortable at all. I've come too far now for food to work for me that way. It's nothing more than a disgusting distraction at this point. At least that's how it was over the weekend. There's a saying in AA: Pain is mandatory, suffering is optional. I think I opted for suffering this weekend.

I still feel myself couching my words and wanting to sound better than I feel. I can't say I'm depressed, but I'm definitely funky and down. I'm not doubting that I'll be back on track with my food today - I already am. I know "this too shall pass" and I most likely will feel like myself tomorrow. I can't blame PMS, perimenopause, external struggles or family issues. None of that fits. The prevailing winds are just blowing in this direction for now and I'll get through it.

About my medical procedure...I'm having a biopsy of a thyroid nodule on Thursday. As I said above, this will be my 3rd since March. Long story less long - I went to an ENT doc for sinus issues last March; during her routine exam she felt a thyroid nodule and ordered an ultrasound. I was freaked at first, but she assured me they are very common and that it's standard procedure to check them out. Turns out I had 4 nodules that showed on the ultrasound (also common), and one was big enough to biopsy. The biopsy turned out fine, but the endocrinologist who consulted on the biopsy result said I should see her for follow up, and had me get a nuclear scan. Then she did another ultrasound in her office and found a 5th nodule that needed to be biopsied because it didn't show up on the nuclear scan. That biopsy was done in July, and the result was that there was no cancer, but some unusual cells that needed to be rechecked in 3 months to be sure they stayed okay. That brings me to this Thursday, when I'm going to University of Pennsylvania for what is hopefully the last biopsy.

As I type this I feel myself filling up and getting teary. I'm nervous, though the doc says she thinks all will be fine. Even if it did turn out to be malignant or suspicious enough to have surgery recommended, thyroid cancer is over 99% curable just with surgery. So my honest sense is that no matter what, I'll be fine. But I'm still a little scared. I've been able to back-burner this issue for the 3 month intervals between biopsies, but now that it's 4 days away, I feel myself getting antsy. The procedure doesn't take more than 20 minues, and basically they stick a pretty long needle into the nodule (guided by ultrasound) 2 or 3 times to get cell samples. There's no numbing involved because it's so fast that it isn't necessary. But it ain't much fun, either. I just want it to be over. I'm having it at 8:00 Thursday morning and then have the rest of the day off from work, mainly because I wanted to. I'd be fine to work afterwards, but I have to have something to look forward to that day. I will likely have results the very next day which is how it went last time.

Thanks for putting up with reading that, if you did. I think talking about it with other than the inside of my head will help me feel better about it. In the meantime, I'm going to see the knee doc tomorrow to see about an MRI or physical therapy or something, because not exercising makes Leslie a crazy girl. Okay - woman. At 56 I guess I'm not exactly a girl, but I do feel like one most of the time, which is precisely why I want to be okay from this thyroid issue. I'm going to keep my food clean and sane, and if I feel like crying, let the tears flow. And keep talking about stuff with friends and blog buddies. Because if I don't talk about stuff, I'll find myself stuffed from my own doing, trying to seek something from food it can't provide. That will just make everything feel worse.


  1. I believe that obesity is a disease of isolation. I love blogging because even a shut-in can reach out to others through their blog and not go through this alone.

    Being aware of our patterns and actions is half the battle -- for how many years did we mindlessly eat with no thought or consciousness about what we were doing to our health?

    Yeah, your weekend was fucked up in a sense, but you are aware that it was and came here to share it. You aren't hiding in the basement with a bowl of triple fudge ice cream.

    There are all sorts of progress. Your post IS progress! You are conscious of what you eat and honest about it. Not everyone is there yet. Sadly, some will never get this far. Rock on! You're an inspiration!

  2. Write your heart out. I read every word. I will be praying for you all day everyday. And we all have you in are hearts and thoughts always. You are never be alone. You are doing a great job. And I know everything will be fine.

  3. Leslie. Keep that scale picture nearby to remind yourself of what you've done and where you are going. I will pray for you also! It's scary to deal with medical issues. Don't let it all eat you away inside. Blog 3 times a day if you need to. We are listening!

  4. Hi Leslie. Doesn't sound too toxic to me. But then you didn't see the stuff I was writing over the weekend - I didn't dare post it it was so bad! Maybe you feel worse than you're writing.

    Maybe you feel that if things aren't going great you're letting other people down or you're embarrassed about it or even letting yourself down esp because last week was such a good week. Obviously there's no need to feel that way. Or maybe you feel you've shared so much recently, you just felt like pulling back a bit.

    At least eating too much to cope with a low mood doesn't feel right anymore, not an approrpiate response. That is a good change. Means you're less likely to want to have a repeat.

    Anyone would be scared over a medical procedure. Although you know it's a *relatively* minor procedure, it's always a worry.

    Overall it sounds like you feel you need to protect yourself. Maybe because of the upcoming procedure. Or maybe it's a reaction to getting to a new low with your weight?

    Maybe you need to nurture or pamper yourself a little bit right now. Like a massage or spa treatments or just baths with candle light or going to the hairdresser or planning some treat in the near future like a theatre visit ie ways of cheering yourself up/ distracting yourself from the latent stress that don't involve food.

    DIfficult weekend, yes. But you know that we're always here to read whatever you want and need to write.

    Hope you're having a good day today.

    Best wishes,
    Bearfriend xx

  5. Leslie, I read very word too. I dont know what to say to make you feel better, so I am sending you good vibes and will say a prayer for you.

  6. OOps, that should have been 'read every word'

  7. We are all about the brain dump over here. I hope everything goes well for your biopsy. Keep us posted!

  8. Didn't mind reading that at all. I hope everything goes fine with the procedure they do at the doctor's, and I pray that your mind becomes at ease soon. Maybe you should also do something nice for yourself other than having the day off after you go to the doctor. Take a bubble bath or something, instead of turning to food.

  9. I hope the biopsy goes well for you. It sounds like that should be the outcome. As much as that though, I also hope you pull out of the funk.

  10. My dear Leslie!! I can't encourage blogging your feelings enough...truly...vomit it all out girl...don't keep it inside. You can write just as much as you feel comfortable posting, and we will be right here to help you through it. The therapeutic side of blogging is something I never, ever expected...but am soooo thankful it has turned out that way. You are loved and cared for girl...and I too have thyroid issues. Haven't had any nodules yet, but you never know what's down the road! I am wrapping you in prayer and will keep you all snuggled up all the way through the procedure. There is power in prayer!! Keep your eyes on Him and you will get through this. Please know that you are never, ever alone. Know that we are here, and we really do care...we'll take the bad days right along with the good. You said it in your post one is on game 24/ you already know we ALL have our own set of issues. I always appreciate the caring and insight that you leave in your comments on my post. It's nice to know that someone really IS reading and catching every word...just as I do with you. Hang in there girl...we'll get through the crap together. :)

  11. Hey, I just found your blog. This is very probably the reason for your funk. Having health issues hanging over you is enough to make you want a brownie. Get through it and past it and you will be back in no time. I am adding you to my blogroll. Keep up the good work.

  12. writing does help. I think the reading it back (to ourselves) helps as much as putting it out there to start.

    I hate having things hanging over my head too. Hugs