World Parkinson’s Day

April 11 is World Parkinson’s Day – a poignant day for me and my handsome hubby as both of our fathers were diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Sadly, my dad passed away four years ago after fighting this insidious disease. My father-in-law continues to face the challenges thrown his way with wit and courage.

“Parkinson’s disease affects 1 in every 500 people in Canada.  Over 100,000 Canadians are living with Parkinson’s today and approximately 6,600 new cases of PD are diagnosed each year in Canada (based on annual incidence of 20 new cases per 100,000 people).” 1

Today I’m going to stop and smell the tulips (the official symbol of Parkinson’s disease) as I remember my dad and support the research for a cure.

Smiles,

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What a difference a year makes

So this time last year, I was lying in a hospital bed wondering what the heck had just happened. How was a 46 year old woman, who until two months earlier had felt healthy and active was now dealing with blood clots, heart issues and a thyroid condition?

The answer? The thyroid condition. I had ignored the lump on my neck for over a year. Well not ignored so much, as became a Google doctor. My diagnosis was that it was a goiter caused by a low thyroid.

It made sense. I was eating mostly vegetarian and leaning even closer to vegan in most meals so I could justify I was missing some vitamins. And I was tired and cold and could tick most of the boxes in the “hypoactive” thyroid column.

So I did what any good Google doctor would do. I self medicated. First it was Brazil nuts since they are supposed to be good for your thyroid. When I realized how much I was spending on these nuts and not really seeing an improvement, it was time for a more drastic approach – iodine supplements.

This may have worked out fine, if in fact, I actually had an under-performing thyroid. What I had instead, was a hyperactive thyroid and the iodine pills were just like its crack!

Now if at any point in time, I had made a visit to a healthcare professional, the above mentioned hospital stay would have been avoided. But I continued to ignore signs that something wasn’t right. That is until severe abdominal pain forced me to the ER on Good Friday.

Continue reading “What a difference a year makes”