All posts for the month September, 2011

There Can Be Miracles~ A time for reflection and retrospection

Published September 18, 2011 by Kristel Goodspeed-Correa

Sometimes when we have not been feeling well for long lengths of time, we can not help but to start feeling sorry for ourselves. We are human after all, and it is very hard to NOT miss the lives that we used to live before we got sick.

Many days I have pondered on what used to be, what I used to be able to do, the fun I used to have..back before I got sick.  Boy, I sure can be a depressing soul when I want to be!  I can be my own worst enemy.

Then one day, I realized that I needed to stop doing this to myself!  Life can always become much worse than it is, so count my blessings for the things that I do have.  The most fortunate of these blessings is that I am STILL HERE to tell the tale of my illnesses and how they have effected me.

I honestly believe that God sends people into our lives at the times when we need them the most, guardian angels here on help pull ourselves out of the darkness and into the light.  My Grandmother used to tell me “Everything in life happens for a reason, even if we dont know the reason why..”

A few weeks ago, my good friend, Walter Fleury, celebrated the 27th Anniversary of a fatal car accident in which he was one of two survivors in an accident that killed several other people.  Since that fateful day in 1984, Walter has had to live his life in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury.  From that point forward, his life was permanently changed.

I graduated from high school with Walter and over time, we lost touch until about a year or so ago when we reconnected on facebook.  I have learned many lessons from Walter on forgiveness and caring.  I look at Walter, who has lost way more than I have..and he is always smiling, happy and ready to give of himself  and to help in any way he can.  An inspirational person to have in my life.  It makes you stop and think- what do I really have to complain about in comparison.

Somewhere along the line, I learned to turn this huge negative in my life (Lupus and RA) into something positive, or at least I hope so anyhow.  Hopefully, I am paying it forward with love, kindness and compassion as has been given to me.  I learned that by helping others, it  helps myself.

There is also the hope that somewhere, somehow.. someone will read my posts and inspire them to go into Medical Research and perhaps be the one to discover the cures for these diseases.  You just never know how your life may touch anothers somewhere along the line …but there is always hope that somehow your life can and will make a difference.   😉

~Who knows what miracles you can achieve..when you believe…~
– Mariah Carey/Whitney Houston,
“When you Believe”, Prince of Egypt soundtrack


For My Sister, Karen~Sisters in life and now Sisters in Autoimmunity, too

Published September 4, 2011 by Kristel Goodspeed-Correa

First and foremost I want to send my sister, Karen one giant long distance hug {{{{{{{{{{Karen}}}}}}}}}}}}.  She just found out that she was diagnosed with the Autoimmune disease, Hyperthyroidism.

It wasn’t all that long ago that I was in those same shoes learning that I was being diagnosed with a chronic disease.  Its a very scary place to be~ not knowing what to expect, reading the statistics, coping in a world where no one understands what you are going through.

Just know YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  There are millions of others out there worldwide who also suffer with this condition.  They are your best support system because they understand everything that you are going through.  I find out more information in talking with the other patients out there than I do my own doctors.

Autoimmune Diseases, in general, tend to run in families in the form of disease clusters.  Meaning that where one sister (Me) has Lupus & RA and another family member (Karen) has one or more of the other 100+ AI diseases out there , which in her case is Hyperthyroidism.  Sadly Karen, we just became a statistic, sorry to say…

What is Hyperthyroidism?

The Thyroid is what controls our metabolism, which ultimately effects how much we weigh, how many calories we burn, regulates our body temperatures (hot/cold) etc…

In Hyperthyroidism, the thyroid is overactive and producing too many hormones so it can also effect vital organs like the heart, causing an increased heart rate.  Pretty much every cell is effected when there is too much of the thyroid hormones being released into the body.  Think of the thyroid as the control center telling all of these things what to do, when it gets too little or too much of the thyroid hormones, chaos ensues.

Common symptoms and signs of hyperthyroidism
*Heat intolerance
*Increased bowel movements
*Light or absent menstrual periods
*Fast heart rate
*Trembling hands
*Weight loss
*Muscle weakness
*Warm moist skin
*Hair loss
*Staring gaze

While there are many causes for Hyperthyroidism, one of the most common is Graves Disease, which is when the thyroid becomes enlarged.  But there are also other causes for it too (Ex a nodule growing inside the thyroid, inflammation of the thyroid gland, etc).   Graves Disease happens when antibodies are created by the immune system attacking the thyroid.  It is these antibodies that cause the thyroid to produce too much hormone.

Karen~  I am so sorry to have to joining me  into this world of Autoimmunity.  I wouldn’t have wished it on anyone, not even my worst enemy.  While our diseases may be different, there may be many commonalities that we can both relate to one another with.  I will be here for you whenever you need me to be xxooxx ❤

Love you and I hope that your medications help you to feel better very soon.  I am not only your sister, but your friend too.  You can never have too many friends

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