Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's official!!

I am positively the Grand Prize Winner of the "This Old Gingerbread House" contest on the "This Old House" website.

Check it out - the picture of my gingerbread treehouse pops up immediately.

Cool, huh! I'm just pretty thrilled.

I won a major award! It's no leg lamp, but I'll take it! :-)

Thanks to everyone who voted for me.......especially those of you who voted more than once. ;-)

"You like me. You really like me!" - Sally Field, 1985 Academy Awards

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The diagnosis is grave......

......actually Grave's disease. Yeah, I've got Grave's disease. I told Tal yesterday when I called him after I left the endocrinologist's office, "You know, the name actually sounds worse than the disease really is!"

If you want an in-depth description about this ailment, go to or In a nutshell, my thyroid is overactive (hyperthyroidism). The course of treatment will be radioactive iodine. I will go to the Nuclear Medicine department at the Imaging Center, and a doctor will give me a pill to swallow that contains radioactive iodine. The iodine will be absorbed by the thyroid and the radioactive ions will kill the thyroid cells that are overactive. This will probably make me go the opposite direction - underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) which can be treated with medication to bring the thyroid levels back into balance.

Some of the indications of this treatment, according to a few websites I've read, is that I will have to avoid contact with pregnant women and small children, and stay within arm's length from everybody for no more than two hours - for 4-11 days. I won't even be able to sleep in the same bed with Tal for several days. I will have to have a separate set of tableware that I will have to wash separately, I will have to wash my clothes separate from Tal's, and I will have to flush 2-3 times after I use the bathroom and wash my hands thoroughly. This is all to minimize radioactive exposure to those around me until the iodine and radioactivity are all diminished in my body. I swear, you'd think I was exposing myself to cooties with all these precautions.

Tal asked me if the radiation is so dangerous to those around me, then how is it not dangerous to ME? I couldn't tell him, I don't know. If anyone has an explanation then SHARE, SHARE! :-)

As far as my lucky penny. Well, I guess it may be pretty lucky after all. I mean, I wasn't hurt in the car accident. I may have "diabetic neuropathy", but I don't have diabetes. I may have Grave's disease, but this is a very treatable condition, and it's not thyroid cancer which was one of the possibilities. And another stroke of luck - I got an email today that said I was the grand prize winner of the "This Old Gingerbread House" contest. Now, I won't be 100% convinced of this until tomorrow morning when they post the results to the website so I'm not telling a whole lot of folks, but I wanted to tell you guys! I just couldn't wait! Woo hoo!

So, check out the website on Wednesday- Don't know when they'll post it, so watch for it!

I hope you all have a nice holiday!


Sunday, December 21, 2008


Yay! I have finally hit 50! At yesterday's weigh-in, I had a loss of 2 pounds, giving me a total loss of 51 pounds even.

I was so hoping to hit 50 before Christmas, and I have. What a good feeling.

In other news, Friday's visit to the neurologist (after waiting 2 months for this appointment) found me to possibly have some sort of neuropathy, giving me that numbness to my toes. The doctor said that even though I am not diabetic, because I have been borderline diabetic I still could have developed diabetic neuropathy. Oooh, Fun! So, I get to go through more tests. I have to go get poked again to have more blood work done, and then next month I get to go have an Electromyogram (EMG) and a Nerve Conduction Test done. FUN! Nothing like lying on a table for an hour or so and getting electrocuted!

Even more fun - Monday I go to the endocrinologist to get the results from my previous bloodwork and thyroid scans to see what the heck my thyroid is trying to do.

Good news is that I don't think I have any injuries from the car accident the other day. Any aches and pains that I feel - well, they were present before Thursday. So, I'm pretty much convinced the only injuries sustained were to the SUV.

Tal posted that the two of us went to a blood drive yesterday. Tal was able to donate his pint (and they were actually asking if we could donate TWO pints at once!). Unfortunately, I was unable to make a donation this time. My iron levels were not at acceptable levels (mine was 11.6 and they have to have to be at least 12.5) so I was turned away. This was the second time I attempted to give and my iron was down. I guess I need to start getting more iron rich foods in my diet. Another suggestion on the paper that I was given on how to raise your iron levels was to cook your food in cast iron pots. I might try that!

That's it for now. I'll try to update on Monday the results from my endocrinologist appointment.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A brush with an Angel.

OR......"My lucky penny was defective!!"

I got rear-ended today by a guy named Angel......a week before Christmas. How's that for irony?

I'm OK, right now. I think. My neck and shoulders are feeling a bit stiff so we'll see how I feel in the morning. Rupert is OK, too. I think. He's got a few white paint scuffs and the edge of the tailpipe is slightly bent but who knows what's underneath the bumper? The guy whacked me pretty hard.... or so it felt!

The thing that really gets me, though, is the area in which this incident happened. More often than not, I've said that this stretch of road (Eisenhower Dr., between Abercorn St. and Hodgson Memorial) needs a turn lane. There's two lanes with no "suicide lane" in between. It's a very dangerous area - as Tal can attest. In fact, mere seconds before I got hit there were two cars sitting in the eastbound lane facing west as if they were in a turn lane, trying to get into the lane I was driving in and there was a car coming toward them! And then while I was sitting in the parking lot where we'd pulled over to, waiting for a police officer, there were nearly two more accidents! Will someone need to get killed before they do something?

There was a man in front of me in a red truck, I saw him turn his left signal on and brake. I slowed and had just come to a stop when I hear SCREEECH....SCREECH.....BAM! Yeah, there were two screeches. Angel said that when he braked, the van he was driving wouldn't stop and slid. He was towing a utility trailer and I'll betcha that didn't help. Been there, done that before!
(When I was about 11-12 my family and I were on a vacation and were towing a small camper behind our truck. It was raining (wasn't raining today - BTW) and we were about to go through an intersection when the light changed. Daddy tried to brake, but the trailer pushed us right on through the intersection. Scared the crap out of all of us.).

Before this all happened, I had just left work and was walking across the parking lot to Rupert when I spotted a heads-up penny on the ground and picked it up. If I'd only known......

Seraphim "Where's my neck brace?!?!" Wells

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So close....AUGHHH!!!!

After weeks and weeks of ups and downs, I'm finally in the black again as far as pounds removed. At this week's weigh-in, I was down 1.6 pounds to give me a total weight removal of 49.4 pounds.

49.4......... 6/10 of a pound away from 50. Darn it all. I really am not complaining too much, really. I mean, I'm at my lowest weight since I started WW. I just really was hoping to catch up with Tal and Kate/Susan. I mean, especially since they both started a month or so after I did! :-)

It's been a busy week for me. There has not been a day that my hiney has not been in a waiting room chair at some sort of medical facility or another.

Monday and Tuesday, I was set up to have a thyroid scan. Monday morning I had to go into take a dose of radioactive iodine and then go back in later that afternoon for the first scan. After the dose, I went over to the allergy doc's (which was just across the parking lot from the imaging center) for my allergy shot. (I though, what the check...since I'm here already and needed it since I had not had one since the Wed. before Thanksgiving!).

Tuesday, it was back for the second scan.

Wednesday morning, it was a 6-month follow up with my sleep doc. Good news is I don't have to see her again for a year, things are going pretty well. But she did tell me that if, as I lose weight, I find myself not needing the pressure on the machine that it is set at then I can come in. Otherwise I don't need to see her again until next Dec. Hopefully one day I won't even need to use a CPAP! YAY! Although, I am kind of sad that I won't be seeing her for a whole year. I just really like her as a doctor. She's super-smart and very personable. I can talk to her about everything, because it seems like a lot of things that are going on with me can also affect my sleep. Her husband is also super-nice, too. He was a candidate for our VP of Business and Finance (the division I work under) at the college earlier this year. I was so hoping he would get the job, but alas he didn't. (The previous VP resigned after an audit revealed some questionable purchases on his university purchasing card - tsk tsk. And this is the same guy who wouldn't pay me an extra $10 a month for me to do the department's monthly employee birthday cakes. He preferred to save the $10 and have the cafeteria do the cakes. The employees weren't so happy about that - they LOVED my cakes and couldn't stand the cafeteria's frozen-slab-and-icing-from-a-bucket cakes. Hmph!!!) But I digress.......

And today, Thursday, it's back to the allergy doc to get back on schedule with my allergy shots!

Friday.....what? No appointments? Wow. And all next week, with the exception of Thursday and my "OWIE" as I put on the board when I leave work to get my shot, no doctor appointments.

Monday, the 22nd, is when I see the endocrinologist for the results of the thyroid scans. I'm a bit nervous but optimistic to find out what the deal is with the thyroid. Talking with my sleep doc yesterday she feels like the endocrinologist will probably put me on thyroxin, and she said that will help me lose weight and also might give me more energy. Boy, I sure hope so.

I'm surprised that Tal hasn't mentioned our activity on Sunday evening! Wonder how many points standing around on a beach and freezing your butt off for 4 hours is??? :-)

Anyway, we were asked to be extras in the movie that Tal's co-worker, Eric, Eric's brother Nate, and their pal, Jody, are currently filming for their company, Perpombellar Productions. The movie is titled "Trumpet My Return". The scene we were shooting was at the Back River on the back edge of Tybee Island.

We got there at 5:00 PM and while the crew was setting up we got to witness the most beautiful sunset. After dark we started shooting the scene which involved about a dozen or so of us extras lined up on the shoreline. There were several "candles" floating in the water before us (as if we had just launched them) and we were to shout out the name of someone we loved and missed, and just do this over and over. Tal shouted Tiger's name, "Tiger, I love you son." He thought Tiger would think it cool that his name would be in part of the movie. And I know he truly does miss getting to be with him every day.

For some reason, I just couldn't think of anyone who I missed quite like that. I mean, I miss my mom and dad, and other people, but I keep in close contact with them so I don't quite miss them as badly. But then I had an idea of what to do:

I have a friend through a stepparent's email group that I've been on for a few years now. Her bio-son, Lee, has been missing since October 2007. Seems like he just walked off the face of the earth. His mom has been sick since his disapearance. His friends have been frantic - many of them have graduated and are away at college now, still with Lee in the backs of their minds and wishing he was going off to college with them. They don't know if he committed suicide, or maybe just staged it to look like he did. They found a copy of "Into The Wild" in his car, and feel maybe he did just what Christopher McCandless did. Divers searched the river and no body was found, that's why many feel he may have staged it this way to give him some extra time to get away. His family and friends are just puzzled as to why he left. What's driving them craziest is just wanting answers and not getting any.

And so, my shout was, "Please come home, Lee. We miss you so much." For Beth, Lee, and any other parent with a missing child, or anyone who has a loved one missing out there somewhere. I can't imagine in my deepest fears how having a child missing - not knowing if they are dead or alive, sick, suffering, or in danger - must feel.

I can't wait to see this movie once it's finished. I hope it wins as many awards as their first one, "The Street Cleaner" did!

Well, I think that's it for now. Things have been pretty busy since I last posted over a month ago but I think I've covered most of it!

Toodle-loo for now!

Seraphim "SuperStar!!" Gleck