Hypothyroid and Life’s Little Challenges

Life has changed for me a lot over the last couple of years.  Shortly after losing the baby I lost my job…exactly 30 days after actually.  Now the job opportunities in southern Ontario are not exactly lucrative.  One of the only guaranteed jobs available is in a call center and yeah, not exactly appealing but always there as a last resort if need be.

Unemployment is no joy and being on unemployment insurance is no picnic either but at least the bills are getting paid, right?  Six months goes by with me applying for anything and everything locally for my skill set and they are either not paying a lot or it’s too far away to make the travel worth what they are offering.  At this point, desperation is starting to set in because I’ve been unemployed for far too long and if I wish to stay living with the man I love, I need to be working so I don’t drive him nuts.

When you are on unemployment insurance for x amount of weeks, they send you to a mandatory information session regarding resumes, successful interviews etc.  They also discuss retraining.  I had been thinking about that but wasn’t sure it was something I could do given I’m (at the time) 43 years old and been out of the school system for a long time (I don’t want to crunch those kind of numbers personally lol).  Well one of the options was a program called Second Career.  There were quite a few requirements needed in order to qualify for applying to this, and I mentally checked them all off and decided I might as well find out more.  Long story short (this was in July) I applied, got accepted and then, with the government being what it is, I wasn’t inform of my acceptance or denial until after the school year had already begun in September.  Luckily I was instructed to go ahead and get my books etc and attend.  Three days in I had to go and fill out all the paperwork to make it official.

Now going back to school amidst 18-23 year old students was a little intimidating to say the least.  I will admit that I didn’t have the best study habits when I was younger, but then I was blissfully unaware that all of my grades in high school really would have a major impact on my life.  And yes I was told that, but really, what do parents truly know of life?  Oh to do certain things different if one could.  *sigh*

But my biggest fear was brain fog.  Would it keep me from absorbing the information that I needed to retain not only for that class but for the tests?  I was terrified that brain fog would add to the disadvantages I already faced as a mature student.  My first semester was interesting and quite the adjustment to say the least.  It took a while to get used to school life once again, but I was thoroughly enjoying myself and had met a good group of people.  Although, when one of the professors told us there is a 65% drop out rate, I was freaking out just a little on the inside wondering what the hell I’ve just got myself into.

My first term came and went and ended with a 86% GPA.  Not too shabby having been out of school for so long.  I knew that it was only going to get harder from here as we’d been warned over and over that it is one of the toughest programs the school has.  As a side note: seriously? Who says that to students, especially mature ones?  The ones that still aren’t sure they’ve made the right decision but are trying their damnedest to succeed anyway.  Grrrr.

Anyway, second semester was much harder as I got sick on three separate occasions which ultimately meant I missed far too many classes.  Due to that, although I had a great classmate and friend that gave me a copy of her notes, I still struggled to catch up and continued to struggle right up until the end of the first year.  *phew!*  I made it, but my GPA dropped drastically.  My struggling to catch up for some reason hindered my learning current information as I was worried about what I didn’t know so much.  I really was an evil circle.  But I passed all the classes but at what price?  The stress of not being able to catch up caused me to feel like I was constantly treading water which added more stress.  The insomnia didn’t help either.  I was exhausted.  Trying to keep the brain fog at bay, study, work and life….all trying to take priority of my time.  Some days I didn’t know which way to turn.

This first year has been a lot of fun, a lot of stress and a lot of trial and error.  I now know I need to organise my life more.  I need to allot studying into designated time slots and stick with it.  I’ve made myself a goal for this year.  I want to end my second year with a 90% GPA.  I know I can do it.  I just need to get my shit in order.  Organisation means less stress which should mean more sleep, which in turn should help with keeping the brain fog at bay.

Oh and by the way, I’ve tried most electronic organisers and was left disappointed which I found to be the same even most paper organisers.  However, I found Passion Planner right before school and they have free downloads and a YouTube channel to demonstrate the many different ways you can use it.  And I’ve found it to be better than anything out there.  It is still a young company but their customer service is outstanding, they have new cover designs regularly and they have a great kickstart program as well.

http://www.passionplanner.com

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqHQiQpT0UkmF73-y9JHbCw

https://www.facebook.com/thepassionplanner/

 

I don’t normally endorse anyone, but I honestly love this system and I’m just starting my second year using the Passion Planner and won’t switch to using anything else as they just don’t compare.  🙂

#passionplanner #life #brainfog #thyroiddisease #hypothyroid #synthroid #hypothyroidism #backtoschoolafter40 #maturestudent #whatinthehellamIdoing #gluttonforpunishment

 

 

 

Copyright © 2012-2017 Sandy Monk/Unleashthehounds blog. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Monk, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2012-2017

Part 3- Puppy Producers

This is the last segment to this series. Totally agree with all the points made. Goes to show that the facts don’t back up what the animal rights groups have been shouting all these years. Makes you wonder why they lied about it, doesn’t it?

Let's Talk Dogs...Logically!

When I started writing Part One of this subject I had no intention of needing a Part Two. And when I finished part two I felt relieved that I was finished – I didn’t like the pressure of people waiting for me to publish the next segment.

But as I started trying to write about responsible breeders vs puppy producers I realized that really, the whole topic is just a continuation of part one and two and I should write it like that. So here’s part three, and it looks like there’s going to be a part four. Get your reading glasses out!

Part Three – Puppy Producers

In part one I spent a little time going over the landscape of dogs in the US. In recent years there are fewer dogs coming from AKC breeders, fewer dogs in shelters overall, and eighty- three percent of dogs in…

View original post 2,671 more words

Hypothyroidism Sucks!

What does being hypothyroid mean?  Sounds like a relatively simple question, doesn’t it?  I mean, if you ask anyone on the street, they just tell you that you’re on medication for life.  Hell, even doctors tell you that.  And that’s pretty much all they tell you too.  But is thyroid disease as simple as that?  Hell to the no!

What does being hypothyroid mean to me?  Simply put, everything.  Having been diagnosed 20+ years now has put some perspective on this, but the last few years have been the most enlightening.  The first few years it meant regular blood tests and obviously daily medication.  I didn’t think much of it for many, many years.  I took my pills, I did regular TSH testing and that really was the sum of all I and more importantly, my doctor did.

Now in all this time, my symptoms really didn’t go away.  I still felt tired, some days more than others.  I still found most things a lot more effort than they should have been to accomplish.  My doctor watched my levels, he’d ask how I felt, I told him, he’d tell me to keep an eye on it and if it got worse, we’d see about upping my medication.  it never got worse per say, but it certainly didn’t get any better either.  For all intents and purposes, I was still hypothyroid due to my symptoms vs having thyroid disease (symptom free with the right medication) and shouldn’t have been.  It wasn’t until I developed additional symptoms that I started doing my own research.

I’m still trying to get my doctor to the same level as I am in regards to more knowledge of this disease and I’ll give him credit, as he has been doing some research on his own and he’s slowly coming along.  But I’m just tired of struggling with fighting not only my symptoms, but to get proper help as well.  I’m tired of the long bouts of insomnia, the development of gallstones, the occasional need to get outside immediately because I feel like I can’t get enough air.  I’m tired of struggling to keep the brain fog at bay.  I’m tired of the months of pain in one (at a time) area that randomly starts up for no apparent reason.  I’m tired of working my ass off in the gym 6 days a week with both cardio and weights, improving my diet (yes, getting my macros right) and it not making a damn bit of difference in my weight.  I’m tired of weighing up how badly certain things need to get done because I am so drop dead tired right to my soul that I don’t even know how I’m still standing and dear lord, do I really need to do that giant pile of laundry or god forbid, take the dog for a walk right this very minute?  *sigh*  Yes, yes you do because it’s not the dogs’ fault you’ve got this pain in the ass disease, not to mention going to work or school naked is generally frowned upon.

I’m a responsible adult dammit but some days I just want to tell the world to fuck right off!  Even if the world were on fire, do not disturb me cause all I want to do is hide under my blankets feigning sleep cause who the freaking hell can sleep when your tired as sin but your body is so screwed up it won’t let you do anything but just lay there staring up at the ceiling?

Who’s bright idea was it to come up with a disease that makes you so tired you can barely keep upright yet as soon as your head hits the pillow it at the same time laughs at you and says “Nope!  Not tonight sweetheart.  Tonight we’re going to toss and turn and never get comfortable and just watch the time crawl by one minute at a time”?  I think we need to hunt that ass down and do unspeakably painful things to him.  Who’s with me?

 

 

 

Copyright © 2012-2017 Sandy Monk/Unleashthehounds blog. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Monk, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2012-2017

Cesar Milan: Friend or Foe?

I’ve been a trainer for over fifteen years. In that fifteen years, I’ve read countless training books on all conceivable methods. Some just downright evil in their methods.  Today some of those methods are still used by some but thankfully they are few and far between. 

Training has evolved over the years, as has our understanding of canine behaviour. That evolution has caused the evolution of training methods. It’s only natural for that to happen.  The more we understand the better we can communicate with our dogs. Who wouldn’t want to be able to do that?

Training has become friendly, fun, informative and bonding moments in time. It’s amazing when handler and dog have those “ah hah!” moments when everything just clicks. 

No intimidation. No alpha rolls. No set up for supreme failure.  And more importantly, no fear. 

So, let’s get right down to it. Cesar Milan. I think most of us have heard about, if not already watched the video that has his ass in such hot water. Personally I think it’s a few years late, but that’s just me. 

Now I’ve heard people rant about him being an excellent trainer and blah, blah, blah. So let’s set the record straight here. 

This is a man that has no formal behaviourist training as per his own admission. This is a man that is not a trainer by his own admission. This is a man whose formal training is as a groomer, again by his own admission. 

This is also a man who CHOSE to set up this dog to fail in an astronomical manner. This man CHOSE to ignore all the positive behaviour he was getting from the dog (ignoring, walking away from the pigs etc) and had an assistant grab a pigs leg to make it squeal. That squeal of pain set off the predatory instinct in this dog. The assistant HELD the pig in place so the dog could bite it and then Cesar, in his infinite wisdom, chased the dog all over the place to alpha roll a dog that had already shown submissive behaviour. THIS is NOT the actions of someone who knows a damn thing about training or behaviour modification. THIS is the behaviour of a man that needs ratings. Period. 

This man is dangerous and people need to realize his methods are ancient and long since been debunked.

But my opinion aside, let’s walk through this video, shall we?

Cesar and said pig killer enter the enclosure on a leash. The dog offers loads of excellent behaviour and all non-reactive. Most trainers would be throwing all sort of rewards and reinforcement of every kind at the dog at this point. The dog is OFFERING this behaviour on his own. A trainer worth his weight would be excited to see this and do everything they could to see he repeats it. 

What does Cesar do?  He ignores it. Not only does he ignore it, he takes the dog off leash. What I like is the dog OFFERED the exact same behaviour: ignoring, walking away, sniffing and investigating this new environment. 

This however makes for a very boring show. Now if this was me, I’d reward the good behaviour which he is already showing and continue on with this road of success and I’d call it a day and hopefully the next client will make as a better story on tv. Why?  Because the main purpose is supposed to be correcting the dogs behaviour. With what the dog was offering, it would have taken time but honestly wouldn’t have been that difficult using positive reinforcement. But it’s not ratings worthy though now is it?

But I digress, so dog continues to ignore the pigs (which is ultimate goal). To the side one of the assistants is holding one of the pigs and grabs it’s leg, making it squeal in pain. That squeal set off the predatory instinct in the dog and he went right for it. The pig didn’t stand a chance as the assistant was still HOLDING the pig. No surprise, the dog bites the pig. NOW Cesar has what he wants: drama. So he chases after the pig all over the enclosure and when the dog finally stops, he drops into a submissive stance to which Cesar responds by alpha rolling him. 

Watch the video here:  

Please turn down your sound, the audio is not the best. 

Cesar set up the dog to fail in astronomical proportions. This whole scenario was a set up to make for better tv. The welfare of any of the animals was not once considered. 

It’s time he is stopped before one of our pets is killed by this mans’ choices for sensationalism to keep his ratings up. 

Pregnant Over 40

You know, our society has a greater amount of women having children over 40.  On purpose.  I have to say that I find that completely nuts.  Wait, wait! Hold up!  I’m not being judgemental, I’m being bloody honest.

I’m 42 and 15 weeks pregnant.

ONLY 15 weeks.  The first 13 were awful.  My boobs were so sore and sensitive that crossing my own arms became impossible let alone sleeping on them.  Forget that!  I’d weep just thinking about it.  Please keep in mind that I’m only just entering my second trimester and I’ve already gone up TWO cup sizes.  Dear lord, help me!  Then there was the constant nausea and occasional bouts of “kill me now” vomiting sessions.  All the time.  Forget this morning sickness shit.  It was 24/7 sickness.  I’d crave something, eat it and then that same thing would make me sick as a dog.  Evil, evil little parasite.

I wouldn’t change a damn thing.  Except maybe the age I am doing this.  Again.

My first child, a brilliant, caring, gorgeous daughter, was also a little surprise bundle of joy when I was just 20 years old.  The apple of my eye.  The one thing I did right in life.  My one and only child…or so I’ve thought for 23 years.  Yep.  There are 23 years between my two children.

I’ve done the pregnancy both ends of the spectrum.  Neither were planned.  Neither are regretted.

 

Edited:

January 31, 2016:  this blog had not been published at the time due to my simply forgetting to finish it.  Things have changed since this was written.  At 19 weeks I had no choice but to terminate my pregnancy due to serious health issues.  Let me just say it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make.  One that a part of me will always be very upset about.  I cried throughout the procedure as well as afterwards and on some level will always regret things not progressing as they should.  Yes, I know things worked out for “the best” but it still sucks big fat sweaty monkey balls.

On a side note, I am pro-choice and always will be.  But I have to say that the whole procedure was something that I’d never want to go through but once.  It wasn’t pleasant and affected me quite deeply.  I’m glad of course, of being able to have a choice, but it still wasn’t easy physically nor mentally.

 

Our little boy whom we named Colton George William.  Never really made it here, but will never be forgotten.

 

 

 

Copyright © 2012-2016 Sandy Monk/Unleashthehounds blog. All rights reserved. Revised: ALL PICTURES AND CONTENT ON THIS BLOG ~ UNLEASHTHEHOUNDS ~ ARE THE SOLE PROPERTY OF Sandy Monk, and may not be used, copied or reprinted without express permission from the owner. Copyrighted 2012-2016