Have you ever heard about “canaries in a coal mine”? Back in the day, the miners would have a canary in the coal mine and if the canary died, they knew the air was toxic and they needed to get out.

Two of the podcasts I listen to “Happier with Gretchen Rubin” and “Happier in Hollywood” both talk about their “canary in a coal mine” moments. Which is basically the things they do (or don’t do) when they’re struggling.

My “canary in a coal mine” clues are when I do not feel like either reading or writing. It’s an indication that I am struggling and not wanting to deal with it, especially if I am not wanting to write.

I made it through March okay, thanks to my plan and Cary’s support. Then the last couple of weeks, I have really struggled. There is some personal stuff going on that I cannot talk about here. Then, on Monday, I had the doctor appointment from hell.

For the last few years, my thyroid levels have been very erratic, bouncing up and down and not seeming to find a middle ground. Then about a year ago, it got drastically worse and has gone from being extremely hypothyroid (not enough thyroid hormone) to hyperthyroid (too much thyroid hormone). At the same time, even though I’ve lost about 30 pounds over the last several months, my blood sugars have also been erratic. I went from having crazy lows overnight last fall to having ridiculous highs now. So when I visited my primary care, we talked about a referral to a specialist. She also sent me for an ultrasound of my thyroid.

The ultrasound showed that the right side of my thyroid is gone and the left side has a nodule on it, but it’s not big enough to be of concern.

The appointment with the specialist was Monday. He said that the thyroid is “nothing to worry about”, it can be controlled by medication. I pointed out that it was not being controlled so far by medicine, despite many adjustments.

Then he said of much more concern were my blood sugar levels. I agree, they are of concern, that’s why I was there. He told me I needed to lose weight and I said “yes, and I’ve lost about 30 pounds and the blood sugars have worsened, so I feel there is more going on here than the weight”. He then replied “that’s not enough, you need to lose at least 100 more pounds). I was upset-not so much about the weight comment, more about the fact that he wasn’t listening to me. I stepped out and went to the bathroom to calm down. Was not there very long, went back to the room to try to talk to him and explain/express my thoughts. When I came back in and sat down, he gathered the paperwork, said “we’re done” and walked out.

I was humiliated, upset, heartbroken, devastated. I have cried pretty much anytime I think about it since Monday. I have never been treated that way by anyone, especially a doctor.

Cary was very upset and called to talk to the clinic manager the next day. She said the notes said I told the doctor that “no one is going to tell me I need to lose weight”. That is a flat-out lie. I did not, nor would I ever say that. I KNOW I need to, that’s why I’m working on it. I’m trying to take better care of myself. I have also talked to the overall manager of the clinics at the hospital, who is supposed to be addressing the issue.

So, now I’ve let my canary out of the coal mine and hopefully I’ll start feeling better and get back on a good writing schedule. If you’ve read this far, thank you.


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