“It’s Not Your Thyroid”

“It’s not your thyroid.”

That’s what the doctor told me earlier this month when he had a cancellation and could squeeze me into his schedule. After a long discussion of my symptoms and quick exam, he told me he was 97% sure that my thyroid wasn’t causing all my problems.


Based on all the research I’ve done on hypothyroidism and discussions with my doctor in Wisconsin, I don’t know that I agree that we can completely rule it out. It may very well be hypothyroidism + another condition that are leading to all my symptoms. Or it may be that it was never my thyroid at all. It still isn’t clear, which is unbelievably frustrating.

At the very least, I appreciated that he didn’t brush off my symptoms entirely. He didn’t tell me that it was all in my head or that I just wasn’t practicing healthy habits enough, for which I was grateful. And he did order some thyroid blood tests in addition to copious other tests to help narrow down the problem.

Four vials of blood for testing later, and I’m still no closer to an answer. I have another appointment in two weeks, where it sounds like we’ll be doing even more blood tests to rule out food allergies.

Note: I also appreciate the nurse who allowed me to lay down while she drew my blood and gave me juice afterwards. I have a tendency to get light-headed with blood draws and shots.

A new symptom has cropped up lately that makes working out difficult. Some days, I can bike and lift weights just fine. On others, I am so tired and weak that I get shaky, feel sick to my stomach and simply can’t keep moving when I try to exert myself. It is hard to predict when a ride like this is coming, but I think I’ve figured out my body’s signals for it. It is difficult, though, convincing myself that my symptoms are real and that I’m not just being lazy.

So in the meantime, I’m focusing on eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking water and getting plenty of sleep. I still get some movement in when I walk to my errands, work in the garden, and do some canning and cooking. And I’m trying to not be too hard on myself.

After all, healthy living is about doing the best you can do, right?

For more about my experience with hypothyroidism (or whatever this is), check out this post:

Six Weeks

The Little Things #30: Doctors Who Listen

Pea Andouille Risotto


I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: my weak point is my lack of patience. I think it comes from years of over-extending myself in high school and college, when my to-do list was always a mile long. Oftentimes, I felt like as soon as I crossed one item off the list, another 2 or 3 would need to be added. So naturally, I became adept at working quickly and efficiently, with lots of multi-tasking to round it all out.

Now that I’ve graduated and started freelancing, I’m no less busy than I was before, but at least my schedule is a bit more flexible. I no longer need to multi-task to quite the same extent, and I have time to slow down and take my time with my assignments and cooking.

The problem is that I don’t know how to do that anymore. I am so used to doing 5 things at once that I don’t know how to stop and focus on the task at hand.

I’m learning, though. I can’t rush my garden, and must patiently wait for things to grow. And if I rush my sewing, I’ll just make mistakes that I’ll have to go back and fix. And if I leave the stove and try to multitask while making risotto, I’ll end up with a terrible final dish. Patience is a must.


Pea Andouille Risotto

Pea Andouille Risotto


  • 1 pound andouille sausage
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
  • Fresh basil leaves, shredded, for topping.


  1. In a large pot, bring the stock and water to a simmer.
  2. In the meantime, heat a stockpot over medium heat and add the sausage. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side until both sides are browned. Remove the sausage and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the olive oil and onion to the same stockpot. Stir to coat the onion with the oil and heat until softened, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Toss in the rice and stir for 1 minute. Pour the wine into the stockpot and stir until it is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the water and stock one-half cup at a time, stirring continuously after each addition until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue until the rice is soft and a bit creamy. This may not require all 7 cups of liquid. Remove the stockpot from the heat.
  6. Chop the sausage into bite-sized pieces. Fold in the sausage, butter and peas until the butter is completely melted.
  7. Serve topped with fresh basil.

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Do you struggle with patience like I do? How do you deal with it?