Archive for the ‘Vertigo’ Category

I am always talking and writing about the opposites in life, so I guess I deserve this. But what an education! The body is so f–king amazing.

Just to make things interesting for me, I got to experience not only the hypo-thyroid state, but also the racing heart, palpitations, breathlessness, anxiety, dizziness, lack of appetite, muscle weakness and aches, and foggy brain of the HYPER thyroid state for a last few weeks. Turns out the dosage the doctor suggested that I start with was way too strong for my body. My blood tests still show up in the hyper range. These hormones will take weeks to get out of my system. It is like being accidentally drugged and waiting for the spell to pass. On the worst days I felt like I was on speed (yes, for those of you wondering, I have done speed before in my youth), but with muscle weakness and fatigue. You have all these things you want to do, and you can’t physically do any of them!

I think it is more uncomfortable than the HYPO thyroidism state that is my general problem. For years I kept the symptoms at bay with amino-acids, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and yoga. Despite my efforts, the hypo-thyroid peaked in the last few months as my thyroid got more dysfunctional. The symptoms were fatigue, extreme dizziness, drunk feelings, slight depression, weakness, aches, and stiffness. Some people gain weight, loose hair, and get dry skin, but my worst symptom was the vertigo-like dizziness that lasted for months (see earlier blog experiences).

It makes me wonder how many people are really NOT mentally anxious or depressed, but are being misdiagnosed. People think they are going crazy when these symptoms start happening. You feel like your body is not yours. Your whole experience of being alive in your body is different. It is very disconcerting.

The American Thyroid Association http://www.Thyroid.org suggests that men and women over 35 get their thyroid hormone levels tested, mainly TSH level, every 5 years!

Who knew? The thyroid and thyroid hormones affect everything and you would die without these hormones. Your muscles use them, your heart, your lungs, the endrocrine system, etc. Without thyroid hormone your muscles, heart and lungs would waste away.

I thought I would pass on this information to plant the idea that your symptoms might not just be in your mind.

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Well, add another illness to the growing list of tropical diseases I’ve experienced here in the developing world: typhoid fever. Or at least that is what the blood test results vaguely showed. I still have my doubts. Explaining why would be too long of a story for this blog.

Since before Thanksgiving I felt dizzy, lightheaded, weak, unstable on my feet, and tired in a way that was unfamiliar to my body. In Spanish I would describe this feeling to my doctor as “borracha,”  drunk. I described it to my mother as “how you feel after having a high fever for several days.” She couldn’t relate. Drunk seems to get the point across more quickly.

I was at a Christmas party and I noticed that I kept missing my mouth when I sipped my wine. Interesting. Luckily, my summer dress was pink and burgundy.

I noticed I had to lean on the kitchen counter in the mornings while making coffee, as if I were on a fishing boat excursion for too long.

I didn’t drink anything last night on New Year’s eve; I didn’t have to. At least I didn’t spend any money!

Is this the last wall I will hit before my book Yoga at Your Wall is finally in print?

Stay tuned for more from “Typhoid Stefi…”

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No coincidences.

During the past year as I wrote Yoga at Your Wall, I experienced one of the most challenging years of my life. As I practiced yoga at physical walls in NJ and Mexico, I also found myself against emotional walls, intellectual walls, and spiritual walls. So many distractions interfered with my writing. At times, what appeared to be stumbling blocks between me and completing this book were actually starting blocks motivating me to write more. Writing and yoga, yoga and writing became the safe places to be.

And as I write this blog, I am fiercely focusing on the page to stop the vertigo that started over a month ago. What do you think? Maybe it will go away once the publisher starts printing the book next week? Is it the last of the great walls before publication?

I offer this book to you in gratitude for getting me through a challenging year. If you find yourself against the wall, hitting your wall, or between a wall and a hard place in life, know that you are not alone. As you read these pages, keep in mind that I was encountering the largest and hardest walls in my life.

At the beginning, I had no electricity in the Caribbean cabin I call home. To order to keep writing, I relied on electrical outlets at friend’s homes and internet cafes. I wrestled with menopausal symptoms, allergies, and various tropical diseases which were all exaggerated by the intense summer heat and humidity. I swatted away a variety of tropical pests between paragraphs: scorpions, spiders, mosquitoes, flies, ants and another unidentified insect that bit in its own unique way. I scratched and itched during file saves.

A few weeks after the initial concept for this book began taking shape, my mom was rushed to the hospital in New Jersey. The diagnosis was heart failure. I shuttled myself back and forth between NJ and Mexico all year. And then there was the break-up of a very intense 6 year relationship, and learning to live alone in a foreign country.

Eventually I had electricity, but so did my neighbors. As I powered up my computer, they powered up their stereo and celebrated with thunderous music and around the clock parties—some lasting for 4 days. As the walls vibrated around me, I inserted my ear plugs and wrote more.

Practicing yoga is an act of kindness toward ourselves. Even if we dedicate 10 minutes a day to our own well-being, self-awareness, and spirit in the middle of chaos and drama, it is time well spent.I hope this book inspires you to practice more yoga— wherever and whenever you encounter walls!




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