Monthly Archives: August 2014

Chapped lips.

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Chapped lips.

Oh Dear God…I am sitting here thinking, “oh yeah, I should blog”…but I am too irritated to think of what I feel like writing about.

MY LIPS.

They are driving me MAD…

After a long fun day at a family party, I decided to lay in my bed and relax…a luxury for me. I couldn’t wait. I snuggled with one of my daughters as she fell asleep, and then had a bite to eat and cocktail (served by my amazing husband).  So after I felt relaxed with a full belly and slight buzz, I wanted to write. I sat up and grabbed the laptop, and realized that something was not fully allowing me to focus.

MY LIPS.

God in heaven, make it stop.  I am not an openly religious person.  I usually pray quietly to myself everyday and occasionally at church.  This was one of those moments where I wanted to scream and yell how irritated I was.  But why???

I despise that name brand little stick that comes in black, blue, pink and quite possibly a dozen other flavors. It is addictive. And can quite possibly ruin a person’s day if they don’t carry it on their body at all times.  Like now, and the past fifteen minutes of torture( I have yet to get up to search for the little annoying tube to keep my creative juices flowing…otherwise, the story would be over by now).  I have no clue where that little bugger went.  I may have tossed it back in my pocketbook at the family party, due to lack of pockets in my dress pants. Mistake number one.

I applied it generously all day at the party-after meals, or drinks, or just because I felt that strange tingling sensation coming on that my lips were getting parched…again.

The only way to truly get through the day, is to carry it in your pocket for immediate relief.  Yet I am repeatedly blamed for not removing it from my pocket before washing the pants. Mistake number two.

I am not going to ramble on about the possible long list of mistakes one can make when addicted to said “lip balm” for chapped lips…I will say that I am ready to pounce out of my bed and run around the house like a crazy person until…yes…whew.  I found it…give me a sec… (generously applying it over and over to ensure relief)… It’s all good again in universe.

I am dedicating this blog to my daughter, Addison, who has more problems  than one could imagine with chapped lips.

Happy Thoughts!

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Happy Thoughts!

 

 

Ahhh…the first day back to school! I am joyful!! I have two more kids to send back to school next week, and one still in diapers at home with me…I can do this!! I am slowly getting a creative vibe following in my veins again, and I am SO ready for it!

I adore all four of my amazing and beautiful children.  Even when they leave shoes in the middle of the floor or a crumb trail to the toy area and juice pouches stuck to any and every surface.  I love them when the giggle. Or when they are bickering for absolutely no real reason, or burping or farting.  It is unbelievable how they all seem to think this is still the funniest thing in the world!  I love them when they want to read bedtime stories and snuggle on school nights.

I love the structure of school.  Play, dinner, homework, baths, bed.  Collapse. Repeat. 180 times. Maybe squeeze in a date night or family gathering here and there. Collapse even harder. 

Maybe I am insane…school brings on a lot of additional stress to an already crazy day.  Parent meetings, sports, practice, clubs, dances, class trips…an endless list of FUN(insert sarcasm)!!!! I have been the only parent basking in the beautiful glow of school days! Possibly because my summer up to this point has entailed driving…and LOTS of it. I am officially a cabbie. Chauffeur. Driver. Personal assistant.

My family uses the revolving door that spins around me (and many days our two little ones)…constantly.  In and out. Dump and run.  And I stand here in an “on your mark” position with keys in hand and a pocketbook full of snacks, juice pouches and random small toys to entertain the little ones, as we depart yet again for another “joyous” day of carting teenagers to jobs, friends’ houses, sports, shopping…

My car looks like my “dump and run” house…books, crayons, goldfish strewn on the floor, seats and a random sticky substance usually on one of the cushions. The teens leaving remnants of a quick meal or snack and drinks and hairbrushes and makeup bags on the seats and floors…a constant cluttery mess.

But I love it.  I really do…I think.  I am told I will miss these days so badly it hurts. I will regret not stopping to enjoy all of the chaos. I will never get it back.

I am pretty certain we are all aware of this.  But am I inhuman to wish I could eat a meal from start to finish in a chair in my own home (date night is generally the time it is uninterrupted) or to want a half hour on the sofa watching some mindless show…or even to scan a magazine on my cute little wicker sofa on my cute front porch with a light ocean breeze, instead of a freezing doctor’s waiting room? I am not inhuman to feel this way.  I am human.  I think good things, and maybe a little much bad sometimes( that’s when I discovered blogging). And that’s ok. But the good stuff like first days of school, and movie night, and school dances or proms, and birthday parties or family gatherings, give me those moments to be able to appreciate all the hard work day in and out.

I am happy for another school year but will miss long summer nights and cookouts and beach days even though they were few and far between, but still they existed for me…I guess I am one lucky girl. I will make the most out of my car rides trying to talk to my quickly maturing teens and silliness with my little ones as they slip into boredom in the backseat.

I am in the middle of that revolving door.  I am that tetherball pole that stands firm to let the ball spin circles around me…but I am ok with that.  I am their rock and will remember this post as I get in the car again in ten minutes to pick up my daughter at work. I will smirk at the thought that she will be in school this time next week…they all will be…except for my little man.  It is his turn. He gets me all to himself to go to the playground or splash in his water table or cuddle and watch a movie…I am happy-so happy for this.  I was lucky enough to have this with all my babies…and I will enjoy every little moment I share with him.

 

 

Forgiveness.

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buddha

 

Will you forgive me?  Can I forgive you?  Well of course it is possible.  With much ado. The “ado” part is necessary to find resolution. So okay. Get that part. Talking things out. Hashing it out. Crying. Laughing. Hugging.

                                                                 Or simply saying goodbye and agreeing to disagree…sometimes forever.

 

I have had to do this part.  It wasn’t easy.  But it was necessary. Sometimes, as a therapist told me long ago, that the red flags in your life are meant as warnings…to remove them if they cause a relationship to suffer continuously. There were times when I raised the red flag, and then lowered it again…in hopes that the bad stuff would just go away or fade with time and age and maturity.  Most of those red flags were when I was younger and a new mother and wife.  Hormones were raging, as were differences of opinion on childrearing and life in general.

As I have gotten a little bit older, I have realized that these red flag moments in my life were defining me and making me stronger once I started evaluating why these things were always happening to me or my family or those around me…I started to wake up. I began to realize how different we all were.  Sisters, cousins, friends, parents…I learned from their mistakes, and maybe they learned from mine.  The hardest ones to learn from were from parents…in a weird and sometimes almost self-destructive way, I adored them…because I wanted them to adore me.  They were young and obviously oblivious to the harm they were causing us all.  Still are to this day.  But the damage is done…and I still adore them.  I still talk to one of my parents, but sadly the red flag went up for the other.  Over petty ridiculous things…yet I now look back at the void of my other parent in my life and realize that the red flag had been up for a while and that the void was inevitable…sad but true.

If you are from a divorced family, then you know…the questions over and over in your head. What did I do wrong? Why don’t they want to be together? Why do they fight so much? Why do they put us in the middle? It is all we know.  “We” meaning me and my sisters…we have all battled our demons differently through our unsettled childhood, teen years and now adulthood. Some of us choose to act as if it never happened, and some of us (me) like to dissect it over and over and try to figure where it could have possibly been fixed, and some of us have just accepted it…it is what it is.

I hate it.                                                                                  All of it. 

The constant pain and worry in the back of my head of whether I am doing the right thing as a mother/wife/daughter, or talking to the right people or moving on from those who walked away…again.  As my littles one might say ” it is so icky”…

Icky is on point.  Sticky and unnatural to put children in this alter world of doubt, fear, neglect, and sadness- instead of innocent worryies about play dates, snack time,   cuddling and bedtime stories.

I miss my parents…the snapshot in my mind of maybe three times of smiles and hugs and laughter that we shared together WAY back when…and then darkness. In the darkness, I bonded so tightly with my sisters…with a mother that was numb and a father that was gone. We played, and fought, and played some more to forget why we were always alone.

As adults, we needed these figures we called parents, for weddings and baptisms and birthdays and grandchildren…but they STILL didn’t need

US.

Not sure if my parents understand unconditional love…I will no longer be angry or hateful towards them for this…this is their problem that they can choose to fix or ignore. Walking away from me and my family forever…well, that just ain’t cool…so for that I bid farewell to you…no more hurting me or my kids that way. I have a small hole in my heart for you that aches to be loved by you, but I will never let it be filled again, for the trust is broken forever.

I discovered the beauty of in-laws ( in my case, but not always so for others!) and friends.  New family and a new life. My husband’s family…they didn’t care that we started out the wrong way, or that I came from a damaged home.  They loved me because I loved their son. They grew to love me as I slowly allowed them to get to know me…which wasn’t easy.  Because I am tough. I keep everyone at an arm’s length. Safer that way…

They have loved me unconditionally for eighteen years, through good days and bad. Through fights with my sisters and family, and making up…they never judged. They never got in the middle…until recently.

For this, I need forgiveness.

I wrote my last blog about several things, but one of them being about my mother-in-law.  She is the most loving amazing mother, friend, wife…she has devoted her life for whatever reason, to just loving…everyone. Including our children. She may interfere a bit too much sometimes, or buy them too much, or cook too much for them…but it is and has ALWAYS been out of love

Forgiveness…I ask her for this. For putting it out in the universe that I wasn’t happy with you…this may be true, but you are someone that I need in my life because I know you truly love me and my family unconditionally…always and forever. And so  we will be stronger from this challenge we face as a family…because I know that you do adore me.

Control.

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dali lama

 

Today is one of those days.  I am taking control again.  It may be coming off as brash or bossy or even a little selfish.  But I am speaking my mind and doing what is right for me, myself, and I…and a whole gang of children and a husband that need me at my best.  Not that I am at my worst, but I have definitely lost control. 

Maybe the right word is FOCUS. It doesn’t sound as harsh or serious…and everyone loses sight of their goals and responsibilities at times…so I am reassuring myself that I am indeed NORMAL

Whether it was yet another disappointing doctor’s visit, that scared me for no real reason, and gave no answers…or that my older daughters take any opportunity to take advantage of me and teach my little ones to do the same…or that I have people saying that maybe they could help me get control over my family…I have felt out of control, but here is where I found my focus again…

I am sticking with my new diet/life change and listening more to my holistic nutritionist vs. a very caring and friendly doctor that never has answers(probably because she needs to worry more about what insurance companies will pay for or deny and what new drugs will give a quick fix)…and realize that I need to search for the answers myself and count on my doctor for the basic needs like physicals and colds.

I am calling my daughters out on their behavior…I count myself as lucky that it isn’t a more serious problems with my teens, but enough to drive me insane at times, and that could lead to disrespect of authority in the future if I don’t nip it in the bud.  They are genuinely good girls making stupid teenager choices that we made as kids too…we are honest with them and listen, but need to be more consistent and firm.  It is all fixable.

Lastly, people butting in…I know it is out of love and caring…but unacceptable…and uninvited. I immediately get defensive  and rear up with the slightest suggestion that someone else thinks they can do a better job than me or my husband…not so welcome here. We are loving and devoted parents who make as many mistakes as the next parent, and learn as we go. We take pride in our accomplishments as parents and have worked our butts off to get where we are today.  We DO take kindly to hugs and asking what might be going wrong, or advice here and there.We stand firm on the belief that as long as we are here and present mentally and physically as parents,

                                                                          then no one else will do.

So with that, I feel better. I vented (again). I tried to make a whole lot of little negatives into positives in my foggy, overcrowded brain filled with dates and schedules and worries and lists and more worries. I feel like control can easily be lost…and my focus HAS to be this…that at least I know I went to bed owning my mistakes, apologizing when needed, and trying to make the most out of any bad situation.

Guess It’s A Girl Thing…

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Guess It’s A Girl Thing…

Maybe it is the few beers I just had at dinner.  Its been a long week.  I am pms-ing pretty bad(exit most males after that sentence)…the worst it has been for years….honestly. Even though my hubby will probably say last month was equally as bad.

Whatever it is, I am over emotional and possibly overreacting.  I will take the courage from my two beers and hormones and say what I think.  I am hurt.

I am a woman who wants to scream on the boardwalk that is a few blocks away from my house or on a social media outlet and rant and rave that I AM HURT.

I vowed after parenthood began for us, that I would live my life as an honest and caring and giving adult. I maybe have faltered here and there, mostly out of immaturity and ignorance,  but would own it as soon as I realized I was wrong.

I won’t specifically say why I am hurt for fear of adding bad karma or negativity to my life. But all it took was one innocent look from a child to know someone is spinning a web of lies about me and my family…and as a pms-ing/momma bear/fierce woman at the moment, I want to call out a liar.  But I won’t.

That person will have to wallow in the deep dark sadness that they are stewing in,  that forces them to try to make people think they are so much better than me…well, sadly they are not better than me. As I am no better than them. They are hurting for whatever reason, so they want to hurt.  Well, me too. I am damaged goods too. But after all these years, I would rather vaguely blog about my feelings or talk to someone quietly that I trust, than talk badly about anyone to spread rumors and hate…that was SO high school….

Oh where oh where has my mother gone

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Love this…

Maeyella Smiles even though

Born to live, live to thrive, thrive to survive.
I tell myself I can’t. Can’t see you, hug you, love you.
As a teen I associated Heaven with you.
Where I wanted to go when I die, to sit with you in the sky.
Are you there?
Did you ask Him into your heart?
Or did the enemy win so we’ll forever be apart?
I fight back tears knowing I’m free because I want to tell myself your looking down and you can see me!
That your proud of your baby, the girl with your face.
That your singing and dancing because I won the race.
Race against hurt, pain and abuse
That I did it, I made it and you were my muse.
Without even knowing it, you strengthened my life.
Gave me reasons to live, even through strife.

As a child I couldn’t understand.
What’s adoption? why am…

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Grandmothers.

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Grandmothers.

 

They are good for a lot of things. Grandmothers.  They squeeze you tight at first sight. Sometimes too tight.  They slip you money that Mom and Dad weren’t supposed to see.  They smile even at the dumbest things you say.  They are Grandmothers.  Powerhouses of love…and not any kind of love.  A very specific kind…unconditional love.

These amazing women we call Grandma/Grandmother/Grammie/Nana are women of experience.  They have lived. And lost. At least the ones I know have.  They are beautiful in their own right, inside and out.  They built a life with their spouse through the hardest and best of times, and created the best world for their offspring that they could afford and manage…to teach them everything they know about how to be to be good solid parents to their children…

So that someday… they could be a Grandma or Grandpa.  Parents without grief.  Parents to smother with love, and occasional gifts and stories of the past to their grandchildren. 

As a parent of teens and little ones, I am starting to think this is the most coveted position involving family and children.  Grandparents can sit for hours and ask questions about friends, school, relationships and just walk away…not without caring.  But knowing that Mom and Dad have this…hopefully. That these kids that they call grandchildren will grow into responsible adults someday with memories of weekend visits with Grandma and Grandpa, and talks about the past to apply to their futures, and what was right and wrong when they were kids and be able to laugh at how different things are today…

Grandparents are a gift. 

I am writing this out of heartache for my amazing cousins who are saying goodbye to their adoring grandmother today…we don’t share this grandparent, but I immediately am drawn to write a blog for them because I absolutely dread the day…the day when we collectively have to say goodbye to our grandmother…the grandmother we share memories of good and bad together.  But that day is not today…today was their day to say goodbye to this precious woman who helped shape their mother and them into the successful, beautiful people they are today…I love my cousins and wish I could hand them the courage to get through this…but someone already has…their Grandmother.

Grandparents are a family’s greatest treasure, the founders of a loving legacy, The greatest storytellers, the keepers of traditions that linger on in cherished memory. Grandparents are the family’s strong foundation. Their very special love sets them apart. Through happiness and sorrow, through their special love and caring, grandparents keep a family close at heart. ~author unknown

Rain Rain Go Away…

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Sheesh. It is raining…again.  I know my sister would be saying, “oh stop. It’s good for our veggie plants and grass”.. .that is until her ceiling starts gushing rain water later tonight.

I don’t mind rain at all. But it is sort of the salt on an open wound for me today.  I know I have whined about bad karma or bad days before, but this feels like a temper tantrum worthy sort of day.

None of of our alarms went off this morning. Most days, I could care less for missing an alarm,  but having to be up at the crack of dawn to pack up a family of six and close up the house for an overnight (to spend gobs of money at the mall for back-to-school clothes and supplies) at my in-laws was stressing me out already.

Not to mention a phone meeting at noon for my hubby and two back-to-back doctor appointments BEFORE shopping even commenced.

The car ride was an hour and change of pure torture. Not only did the a/c on my side of the car stop working, it decided to blast heat instead. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the typical bickering soon turned into verbal boxing ring between out three oldest. Such petty, mind-numbing topics to freak out about…yet the most important and current event for them to defend and fight for. Who took who’s earbuds or who farted or who forgot to charge what device…as my kids have taught me to text in a simple response….UGH.

So not a great karma kind  of day,  but managed to end it with some good wine and food and laughter. I guess that is all I can ask for♡

Guilt and Worry. You are NOT My Friends.

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Guilt and Worry. You are NOT My Friends.

 

I was born and raised with it.  I am even raising my kids with it.  I feel it everyday.  Not just through my own doing, but all around me.  Others inflict it on me.  And I let them.  Still. This thing I speak of is GUILT.  Its best friend is worry.  They go hand in hand.  I worry that I inflict guilt on my children.  I worry that I make others feel guilty about things.  I worry that I will never escape the dreaded feeling of GUILT.  I was a pretty bad teenager, from what I remember and the stories people care to tell me of my bad behavior growing up.  I never felt deliberately bad.  I never even suffered from that awful feeling of guilt.  I fought it tooth and nail and ran in the opposite direction of guilt.  But it crept on me like a dark shadow following me everywhere I went.  I let it in the door after I became a mother.  Maybe that is one of the many gifts of motherhood, I guess.  I could hear the voice of my mother in my ear, as I repeated similar phrases to my girls to make them feel guilty about something…but why?  Learned behavior is what I am hoping. Because I quite honestly despise the feeling…

The guilt of eating the wrong things, saying the wrong things, not including someone in a plan, not helping someone enough, or not fighting hard enough to end a fight or not knowing when to just let something go…

 

I admit I use guilt to make myself better sometimes.  I say something or write a comment on a social media outlet to release some bad feeling I am having towards that person or situation, or maybe want to say ALOT more, but it is controlled by a smaller possible snide comment…I am a firm believer in saying what you think, but know that comes at a high risk…so I opt for this somewhat tacky and stealthier version of making someone feel bad…it is a mean and childish thing to do, but in comparison to someone that is being hurtful or dishonest with me, it feels right…for a split second.  That must be that “bad girl” in me that everyone was talking about when I was a kid…then the motherly side comes out and slaps me across the face, and tells me to grow up. Take it back.  Don’t try to make someone feel bad because they made ME feel bad…that was their choice.  And I have a choice too.  To behave as badly, if not worse than the other person, or let it go

 

Whoever wrote that Disney song, knew what they were talking about.  I feel like I am saying this phrase to myself and kids more and more now…let it go.  The drama, the hatred, heartache, sadness, and of course, the guilt.  We can only let people make us feel these ways…I do, so I know it is possible.  I need to stop the vicious cycle and move away from it.

I beg my girls to stay out of drama, yet it still seems to find them, and then sucks us as parents into its sticky web.  When my husband and I get stuck in this web, we inevitably seem to take the worst blows. We are blamed for all of it somehow, and even when we try to “play nice” it bites us in the rear end. I feel guilty for ever getting involved in any of these situations, where we felt like we were trying to diffuse the situation but it always seems to turn into a battleground somehow…not sure why, but as I have said before,  I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that when we have opened the “gates” for honest talking with people, it turns out to be the demise of a relationship…as if it was brewing for ages under the surface.  I ache knowing that the outcomes of these blowups could have ended more amicably, but they don’t.  They are sad endings to long relationships that maybe were over long ago, and we just were too naïve to notice it coming or too busy worrying about this very thing happening at some point and biting our tongues to avoid it… we have taken them all on the chin and added it to the checklist of LIFE and GROWING UP…live and learn.

So next time I start to say something to make my daughter feel guilty for not coming home to spend time with us, or think about something I said to a dear one that could’ve been said nicer, or remember how someone tried to make me feel bad,  I need to remind myself to let it go…I cannot change the past, but I can steer clear of guilt and its best friend worry…they won’t be welcome, and when they come to my door and try to turn the knob and enter into my life again, I will simply tell them to “let it go”…

Healthy Makes Happy.

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thyroidI am the queen of dieting…or one of millions of queens on the diet carousel. Round and round we go…and keep hopping off before the ride ends. I have done this ever since I became a mother.  Especially after I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism.  I ballooned up after my second daughter was born…I literally felt and looked like a pufferfish.  I thought I had post partum depression really bad…I was miserable.  I finally went to the doctor after about seven months of misery.  He thought it was depression too, since I had it after my first pregnancy. But thought more of it, and decided to do a full bloodwork up to check everything. Thank GOD he did. I was handed a pamphlet about Hashimoto’s ( Hashi what?!! A side note-I never have heard a doctor say this again in fourteen years…), started my meds immediately, lost about thirty pounds in a couple of months with ease,  and never looked back…until my next two pregnancies…and turning 40.

So this still very young body of mine has felt to be about eighty for the past few years.  It got progressively worse after our son was born. I had him when I was thirty-nine going on forty. The weight wouldn’t budge…even with two years of nursing( all the supermodels and celebrity moms SWEAR the pounds melt off with nursing) and changing my diet…I said to myself- I give up.

I am just going eat pizza and drink regular beer and have as many cupcakes as I want. Why bother? Then I kept getting sick…sinus infection after sinus infection. On my last bout of illness in March(including a breast scare), I went to the doctor for yet another antibiotic…my blood pressure was abnormally high for me (150/100) and my sugar was elevated as well as cholesterol…my knees ached, and couldn’t bend a few of my fingers without pain. The nurse informed me it isn’t my thyroid because my labs are ALWAYS normal…it is age. I am getting old, so therefore losing weight “will be an uphill battle from here”. Is this lady really saying this to me right now??? I was miserable. I was sick. And I was especially sick of being sick.

I got a call a few days later from my doctor to inform me that I need to see a nutritionist now because I was pre diabetic. I needed to get the weight under control. I was informed at the nutritionist that I was “obese”…my heart sank. How was this woman calling me obese?!! I know I am a little chunkier than a few years back…but obese?!! What is going on with me?

After a somewhat informative visit to the nutritionist, I decided she was telling me everything I already knew and was doing.  But I was still “obese”.  I started googling, and scanning the internet and facebook for all things thyroid.  Facebook had it all.  This is why I stick around, Mark Zuckerberg.

Which brings me today (for fear of overloading you with too many details).  My new journey started at the end of May.  I found an integrative nutritionist who gets it. Who listens. Does that actually exist anymore?  Thankfully it does. She does.  I have been losing the weight slowly but I am down twelve and a half pounds since I started eating healthier(or so I thought) on my own in January to lose the weight. But with my new doctor, I have a new clean diet, more energy and a healthier outlook. Except for one roadblock-my thyroid.

 

The piece de resistance…I went to my GP the other day to beg and plead to have complete thyroid panel done ( they have refused constantly and even for the need to get a referral to see an endo) and a A1C test done (recommended by both nutritionists) to see what is going on with my sugar level.  SHE AGREED!!!! Can I just say I have NEVER been happier to go to the lab for blood work?!! I literally danced when I got out to the car…it was a small but oh so important victory.

See, they can say no all they want to do this test or that. But I know my body. I know that even with my new diet and way of thinking, something is still not right.  So as I end this blog today, know that I will be making this a good karma kind of day…victory is MINE (as Famous Footwear tells me regularly via emails)!

Update since original post: I have been officially diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis after FINALLY confirming I had Hashimoto’s fourteen years later. I may also have psoriatic arthritis and this seems to flare when I eat something that is a “cheat”, yet another food sensitivity, or not on my AIP. I have successfully lost a little over twenty pounds…slow and steady.  (Note to all Autoimmune sufferers…Gluten is NOT your friend! Eliminating Gluten brought me more relief than anything)…But most importantly,  I FEEL better! Not so many aches and pains and my energy level is amazing…all priceless accomplishments for anyone suffering from an autoimmune disorder.