Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Minor Freak Out

First, the good news. The PA at the oncologist's office called me yesterday afternoon, and shared that my TSH was already at 42 (needs to be above 30, but hopefully 50 by treatment day; normal value is between 2 and 4). So, it means my surgeon did an EXCELLENT job removing my thryoid. And, it means that we got to schedule my treatment, which we did for July 13th. All good news. The only downside being that I needed to start my low iodine diet immediately.

I knew this was a possibility, and so had planned ahead by eating Taco Bell for dinner the night before, and a chocolate shake over my lunch break. I had even kind of read through the low-iodine cookbook during my training hour (not when I should be training, but when I facilitate online training, kind of like a homeroom monitor). So, I wasn't freaking out but was definitely anxious to get to the grocery store and get something I could eat for dinner.

Also at lunch, I had kind of started reading labels and looking for some no-salt-added foods. All I could find was no salt peanut butter. But even then, I had to find the no salt PB that didn't contain any soy contaminents from the process, because soy contains iodine, too. And since the diet is the one thing I can control right now, and because it has such a great impact on whether or not these I-131 is effective, I am trying to give it my all.

Even though I thought I had a good jump start, I knew I wasn't as prepared as I would like to be. I didn't have a grocery list all ready to go. And DH's aunt was coming over after work to get 'instructions' for caring for the boys since our regular daycare provider has vacation next week.

SIDENOTE: I will always say that our daycare provider is underpaid. Even with two paid weeks of vacation a year, which means that I have to pay her for a week of nothing, and someone else to actually watch the boys. She is still totally underpaid. So, even though the money thing stresses me out, she deserves the break and I want her to take it. Although, it would be nice if family would do this for free ;-)

Anyway, DH wanted to get a haircut after work, which was fine. I texted him that the diet would be starting and I would be anxious to get to the store when he got home. But to please go ahead and get his haircut because I wouldn't be able to leave until his aunt got all of her instructions anyway.

So, he gets home, I still have no grocery list. And he is jabbering on about how I should get extra batteries for the baby swing, look at his new shoes, what can he eat for dinner since I'll be gone. I freaked, but held it in while I was there. I didn't want to blow up at him. But SERIOUSLY?! I can't eat anything in this house, I'm starving, and stressed about figuring out not just what I can eat for dinner tonight, but for breakfast, lunch, and dinner tomorrow and the next day. Oh, and did I mention that we're leaving for a road trip and I can't eat at any restaurant at all, so I will need to pack food for the trip, but not just snacks, but actual meals! But I didn't say any of this, except about the batteries. But he still didn't take the hint as I'm laboring at the table frantically writing down food I want to buy. He's just going on and on about the rest of it. So, I finally left.

While at the grocery store, I realize the diet is totally going to blow our grocery budget for the month. But I try not to focus on that. We have plenty in savings we can use. I'm just stingy. While I'm shopping, I'm on the phone returning more concerned friends and family. I secure one volunteer for him to come help him with the kids one night while I'm radioactive. But by the last few aisles, I'm getting a little panicky because I still haven't really found anything that's a 'meal' or anything that would really travel well. So, I'm imagining what I'm going to eat Thursday night while we're in the car on our way to Iowa. So, I start tearing up at the grocery store. I hold it together. I mean, I'm teary but I'm not actually weeping and the tears stay in my eyes, but I just so badly wanted to sit right down and cry. I *so* want to do a good job of eating right these next two weeks, and I don't want some 'hidden' iodine to get in my system because I was rushing or didn't read the label. I already think that will happen just because it can be anywhere - even in my makeup. How do I know whether or not MAC uses red dye #3?

What set me off was the chicken. Even fresh chicken can be enhanced with chicken broth. And commercial chicken broth contains salt. No telling whether or not its iodized or not, so best not to risk it. So, I searched and searched and searched finally finding some organic chicken breasts that did not say 'broth' anywhere on any label that I could find. They might still have it, but it was the best I could do. But I was still worried about it, and doubting myself and freaking out a little in the meat department. So, I called my SIL who is always supportive. Whined to her, sniffled to her, and mostly just made fun of my real sister who would be packing organic food and sugar snap peas on any given day, but for me, it would be just whatever they had at the convenience store. And I felt better after talking to her, that I could do this, and even if I have to pack a cooler of organic, no-salt-added food, I would be fine. And then I bought some Tylenol PM because I knew there was no way I would sleep last night without it.

Got home, and truthfully, kind of ripped my husband for being so insensitive yet again. He is a wonderful husband, great father, and my best friend. I don't expect him to read my mind, but I asked him to re-read my text message from earlier in the day and explain what I *should* have said to help him understand my mental state since he obviously didn't appreciate the terms "anxious" and "nothing to eat". I'm still kind of pissed. I mean, he skips my diagnosis day. He talks about stupid, insignificant things when its obvious that I'm stressing. And I guess I think he's just being really insensitive, even though I've told him my needs. I don't just pretend like everything's okay, I send him messages or I tell him that I'm freaking out. Meanwhile, he's on the internet looking at cars. So, I asked him to grill up my effin 'organic' chicken while I focused on preparing low-iodine sauces like ketchup, bbq sauce, and oriental sauce. I liked the smell of the ketchup and oriental sauce. But the BBQ sauce, I'm pretty sure that's going in the trash. Anyway, the chicken will be a godsend. I have 8 servings all grilled up, and chicken I can eat cold out of a cooler on the road, as compared to other meats. But I can only have 6 ounces of meat a day, so can't solely rely on that.

Anyway, I finally sat down to dinner at 9:30 last night (normally prefer to eat around 6). I had a salad with a little less than 3 oz. grilled chicken. And then some no-salt peanut butter and jelly spread on some kosher Matzos crackers. Elana has reminded me this will bind me up, so I have written myself a reminder to get out the colace and senna from my c-section. I actually couldn't finish the cracker sandwich, because it was so filling. So, the night ended up on a high note - I could get full on this diet! But all of my organization is going to be required to make this work.

Tonight, I will be making up some more low-iodine recipes for the trip, and packing up our stuff. Our goal is to have the car packed tonight, so we can just jump in and drive off tomorrow after work. It's a 6-hour drive to my brother's in Iowa, so it will be late when we get there.

This morning, I'm enjoying a fruit smoothie for starters, and will follow this up with some oatmeal with cinnamon/sugar/apple. If I'm still hungry, I've packed my kosher crackers. I think I may live on those for the next two weeks! And I also brought some carrots to snack on, as well. I will need to go home at lunch to prepare some sort of salad with my chicken. But I also wanted to go get the scar treatment from my dermatologist's office so I can start working on my 'frankenstein' scar on my neck.

I promise my posts aren't going to stay this long. I just needed to vent about my night. I am going to accept my emotions and feel them. But I also need to function, need to be organized enough to be able to eat during this time. And so, it would not have been helpful to collapse at the store last night. Would also be helpful if DH would take his head out of his ass and perhaps be a bit more attentive so I don't have to reach freak out level. It would be nice if he was attentive and sensitive and supportive, instead of dumb-dee-dumb-dee-dumb which only raises my level of anxiety.


JamieD said...

I keep thinking about all you have been through and then coming home and not being able to have anyone within 6 ft of you for eight days. I understand the reasoning behind it but it would make me want to shake my fists in the air and scream, "When is enough?!?!"

Good luck with your diet this weekend. It is so hard to stick to any kind of diet when you are away from home. Just think - by the time you get back home the toughest part will be over. The last 10 days will be cake.

As for Hubby . . . well, I've always said men really are from Mars. My Hubby can act the same when I am really in need of support. I not-so-affectionantly refer to it as the "Hubby Show." Sometimes it needs to be the "Jamie Show" and he just doesn't get it. I think he doesn't have the necessary coping mechanisms at times, so he tries so hard to carry on 'normally' because he doesn't know what else to do.

Thinking of you and I hope you have a good time with your friends and family this weekend.

G$ said...

See, I get all rattled and totally bitchy when I haven't eaten anyways. So I can't imagine the level of freak out I would have had. You did a great job keeping it together.

I hope you can get the meals figured out (BEER) and the road trip is ok (BEER) without too many bumps (Might spill your BEER).

Have a safe trip hun, iodine free.


Jess to the Lo said...

My husband acts the same way when we are in any kind of stressful situation, it's his coping mechanism and it drives me CRAZY!

Here's hoping that your DH comes around and pays a little bit better attention.

I hope you have a great trip, diet and all!!

Faithful Infertile said...

I'm sorry...

Maybe DH is just scared shitless & so his way to deal is to not really deal with it at all? I know that is how my DH is. To kind of ignore it. I don't know your DH, but just thinking outloud.

Hope the diet & the trip go well. You will continue to be in my prayers!

jill said...

I'll be thinking of you and reading along.

I have to say, you sound like you are doing an awesome job staying on top of all this craziness!!

Lots of luck with the diet, it sounds like a huge pain in the ass.

She said...

Oh my goodness... You certainly have a lot going on. Good luck with the iodine free diet. That definitely sounds challenging. I'm sorry that your husband is being kind of insensitive. That stinks, but at least you know that he's a good guy deep down so that should count for something. :)

Sushilover said...

oh you poor thing! I can totally understand wanting to break down in the grocery store! You are trying your hardest I'm sure you will do fine. Keep up the good work!

Pepper said...

OMG, I am such an a$$! How did I have my head so far up my patootie that I missed this? Granted, I've avoided the blog reader for the past two months, but this is just ridiculous. I've learned my lesson, promise!

I am so very, heartfelt, deeply sorry that you have to go through all of this. I can't imagine how scary and taxing and overwhelming it all is.

I've read all the posts that I missed and I must say that I am so impressed with how well you've kept things together and handled everything that's going happened. I hope the low iodine diet is going well for you and that you're feeling well. One day at a time.