Autumn colors reign at the moment. They are dull by some standards but better than I expected from this brittle dry year we have had. I love this time of year even though I know it is the harbinger of the winter to come. I just key up Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher and settle in for Thanksgiving and Christmas to come.
Thyroid goes on holiday
I have just returned from a two-week holiday in Great Britain. In catching up on long-lost reading I read a great post by fellow thyroid person, Sarah Wilson and I was reminded that not everyone goes on holiday with their thyroid but I can tell you that some of us do. One day is up, the next two are down and in the meantime you find yourself trying to find the right mix, that perfect combo of relaxing and managing your thyroid. Sometimes the perfect solution is elusive and sometimes it is just slow to come to mind.
This year was no different from many of my recent holidays. When I left for Scotland I suspected I was going quite hyper. I wasn’t sleeping well. I was having these stress dreams that wake me with a start and make my heart beat out of my chest. My daily temperatures were pretty high although my basals were unremarkable (if I took them at all).
Krisinsight cure for jet lag
When you travel overseas, unless you are some super human, the time change has a destructive influence on your body. This year, similar to most recent years, I handled the jet lag really well. My spousal unit and I have this strange practice prior to overseas trips that all our friends laugh at but I tell you it works and if you are very brave it is worth trying.
About 4 days prior to departure we start getting up early and going to bed early. The first morning we arise at 4 am. The next day it is 3:30 then 3. On the last day, the morning of the evening we leave, we pull our weary bodies out of bed at the ungodly hour of 2 am having gone to bed around 7:30 p.m. I make a cafetière of tea and we enjoy reading time for a few hours. There are always lots of details to take care of before you leave, so this gives us ample time to catch up on loose ends and we pretend we are already on GMT. It is therefore 8 am and we are going strong.
When we arrive we are tired but not too bad because we were so tired when we got onboard the airplane it is all we can do to stay awake. In other words we do sleep most of the flight. The cool air slaps us in the face as we step outside the airport, we gather our wits about us, get in our rental car and start driving on the left side of the road.
Our first night we are ready for bed around 10 and trundle off to lay our heads down. I take Melatonin for the first two nights at lights out (as well as having taken it the night on the airplane). We wake around 8 the next morning and honestly we never look back. We were comfortable on our new time almost as though it is always where we are. Yes, it is hard on the home end, but not too hard, and we would rather enjoy every day of our holiday.
Ms. Thyroid goes too hyper
With the time change behind us I foolishly think all will be well. I guess because the first night I always sleep wonderfully the next night when I don’t and I am awakened with that characteristic thumping heart I blame what I ate, what I drank even jet lag. I never blame being hyper or simply intolerant. By the next night I know I have to lower my dose of T3 but I do it reluctantly, very reluctantly.
I was on 57.25 mcg when we left home and felt pretty hyper at that dose. My temperatures were running high. My pulse was fast; my blood pressure up. Anyone who knows T3-only knows we are told we need around 75 mcg of T3 to function properly. We need to have a FT3 that is above range and a TSH that is suppressed. That is what we are told, so I always have that goal in mind and 57.25 mcg doesn’t cut it, so, at first, it doesn’t occur to me that I might actually be hyper or intolerant of my dose.
Then I have a few nights of dealing with my achy breaky heart and I know it is time. “Lower that damn dose” screams from every corner of my mind. I lower it but still sleep is rough some nights and better other nights, probably that is the time change being hard on my adrenals and thus on my thyroid. Suddenly 37.5 mcg of T3 seems to be the dose that makes me feel best. My energy is good, sleep is okay and, in general, I feel human.
Thyroid person on caffeine
I actually felt pretty good on holiday. We hiked, I fell into brambles and mud and recovered; overall a huge success. I ate things I never eat at home including sugar and conventional bread. On the lower dose of T3 despite this irregular “unhealthy” diet my glucose readings were acceptable, nothing over 100 and mostly around 90. My sleep wasn’t great but it wasn’t horrible once I lowered my dose.
On the way home I limited my caffeine as I know it can stimulate me and cause me to fret and worry about flying. I made one mistake, I had a tiny cup of tea just before landing in Minneapolis/St. Paul. From the minute the lukewarm and tasteless tea hit my lips my anxiety increased and my heart acted like it hasn’t acted in a year or more.
Pretty soon I found myself coughing (that dry unproductive cough) to try to regulate my heartbeat. I felt panicky beyond my flying anxiety. My throat was dry and swallowing was difficult. To put it succinctly, it was awful for about thirty minutes. Message to self ”When you are flying consume no caffeine unless you are up for the panic attack roller coaster ride”.
Home, sweet home, and back to CST
So we landed safe and sound as I knew we would. MSP airport has never looked so good nor so welcoming. We got home, found our house in fine shape. We had company coming the next day, so our bags were unpacked and a load of laundry was up and running before we settled down for a cup of chamomile tea and in bed for the night.
Our adjustment to central standard time has never been as easy as it was this time. The first morning home we woke around 4 am. Thanks to our company we didn’t go to bed until almost 10 that night and the next morning I slept until 5:15, my normal time to get up. That has been the worst of it, and for me, that is remarkable.
Jet lag is hard on lots of people with chronic disease (hypothyroidism is a disease, so if you deny you have a disease get over it, accept and move on). My friend with ME has a terrible time with time change and both of us suffer a setback when the blasted clocks go back in the autumn and forward in the spring.
One could choose not to travel but, in my opinion, to do that is to limit my horizons. A change of scenery, the power of tidal waters and time away from stress and the work-a-day world is vital to my good health and my spousal unit’s. The answer for me is to handle it. Adjust as quickly as possible and adjusting easily has been made possible with my Krisinsight Cure for Jet Lag.
If you change several time zones remember it is hard on our adrenals and thus your thyroid. For example, you should never test your thyroid health for at least 6 weeks after an overseas trip. That is how long it takes for everything to stabilize and show you an accurate picture of your thyroid health. My doctor won’t do blood tests for thyroid within that period of time because he feels it is a waste of time.
Before I close I would like to recommend you read the lyrics from a Nickelback song “If Today Was Your Last Day“. A friend of mine lost a friend yesterday and it has all come as a huge surprise for his friends and for his family. But for me it begs the questions that arise in the song by Nickelback and I cannot say it better. “If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late. Could you say good-bye to yesterday? Would you live each moment like your last?” I think I would but I am going to make sure I could.