Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Signs of spring

On the way into the Community Food Co-op this morning, I saw these beautiful primroses for sale, two 4" flats of primroses for $3. They are so lovely and made me realize that spring really is just around the corner. Okay, maybe not exactly that soon, but the days are now beginning to lengthen enough for me to see the sun come up when I walk to the bus, and in the evening the sun sets at almost 5:00 pm, instead of 4:14 (at the solstice). It's enough to make me smile and feel happy when the sun comes out to play.

Today, though, I was walking to the bus in grey fog, just before sunrise, with my gloves, hat, coat all making me feel nice and warm, plus it wasn't raining for a change. And what should I spy heading down the gentle slope of the road but a teenager in shorts, t-shirt flying, on a skateboard! He was obviously on his way to school, but I was struck by the disparity in our gear: he didn't have a hat, coat, or gloves and didn't seem to miss them. The temperature was 45 degrees F, not terribly cold, but not exactly t-shirt weather to me. A sign of spring coming, I'd say.

When I lived in Boulder and the sunshine was just a given most of the time, I didn't appreciate it nearly as much as I do now, after several days of rain and overcast skies. Right now the sun is shining brilliantly, the birds are busily foraging on the front porch under the feeders, and my spirits are pretty darn high. Although when I went to get the ultrasound yesterday that took a look at the condition of my carotid arteries, I was given some good news and some not-so-good news. While the arteries are not exactly pristine, they are not blocked more than ten or twenty percent, according to the technician. Nothing to be concerned about. However, he saw an anomaly on the left side of my thyroid: a pea-sized lump or nodule. He showed me the ultrasound picture and we discussed its implication. He told me that I should expect a call from my doctor ordering some blood work to find detailed information about the functioning of my thyroid. After that, I might expect a biopsy if the doctor wants to rule out cancer.

I wasn't exactly surprised when he told me about it, because for several months now I felt something in my neck when I looked down and to the left. I thought it might be a swollen gland. Of course as soon as I got home I hit the Internet and discovered that thyroid nodules are fairly common and are more prevalent with age. Around 95% of them are benign. So now I will find out if my new doctor is really on the ball and what he decides to do with this information. I'll be letting you know.

I had decided not to mention it here on my blog, but it has occupied enough of my attention that I really couldn't skip it without doing some mental gymnastics. I feel a bit of relief now that I've written about it. And since I had broken the two-pound barrier, I stepped on the scales again today, wondering if it would still show that they are gone, and it registered another half-pound lost! With the sun shining and expected to continue through our hike tomorrow, my weight loss going in the right direction, and spring flowers smiling at me, life is pretty darn good!
Closeup of the primroses


  1. Spring--what a wonderful thought as I look at 4 inches of new snow with 5 to 12 expected tonight. You inspire me. I think I will visit Longwood Gardens and look at some springtime plants. I think maybe an ultrasound should be in my future. That is a good idea. I struggle along with the diet also. Those holiday pounds sneak up and hang around for the next holiday if I don't get more vigilant.

  2. You seem to be posting daily lately. Great!

    Not so great that you have a nodule in your thyroid. I'd never heard of such a thing until now. Best wishes for a full recovery.

    Those primroses are lovely, and I don't blame you for buying them.

    I, too, have good news to report on weight issues: I have lost 4 lbs since last Thursday, when my doc ordered me to lose weight. Yay!

  3. You fall in the 95%, I'm sure. Benign. Love these flower photos!

  4. I don't like things growing on me or inside me. I don't care if they are benign, I don't like it. Pursue that little critter that's invaded your body until you know for sure what it's up to.

    I have no doubt you'll have that weight off long before spring actually gets here. You're disciplined enough to do it.

  5. My thyroid gave me a problem about a year ago, underactive, but one little pill a day has fixed it...hope it's a simple fix for you too, DJan...and that last pretty darn pretty!

  6. Your photos are just lovely. I also love when I first see the primroses in the stores. I know that I will soon see daffodils in the grocery store. Then, before you know those beautiful signals of spring will begin to pop up in my garden.

    Thyroid problems are not good. I know for sure the havoc the thyroid can bring. Some say it is a simple fix. I say that isn't always true. Did you know that cholesterol levels can be affected by your thyroid? I didn't until mine were. Keep on top of it. I hope you get a good report on the nodules soon,

  7. The primroses are beautiful! I am so glad that the days are getting longer. The deepest part of winter can easily get me down as it is dark for so damn long.

    That's wonderful news about your arteries and the weight loss. I imagine that the nodule is benign, but either way I know you'll be on top of it. Your attention and dedication to your health is obvious. I'll send positive thoughts your way.

  8. At this age we do get a few surprises when it comes to health. And these discoveries do give us a jolt.
    Spring for me is another good six weeks but my head is prepared for it.
    Good luck with those pounds.

  9. I hope you get fast and positive information on your thyriod. It's not fun to have something like that nagging in the back of your mind all of the time.
    I began treatment of a thyroid deficiency quite a long time ago and it sure made a difference in my life. that little gland is important!
    Love that close up of the pink primrose!

  10. glad you shared it wife had thyroid surgery a week before our wedding...hope it does not come to that but...

    i am looking forward to spring..

  11. My sister and I both had nodules on our thyroids. They shut my thyroid down with medication. They removed my sister's and she's on medication anyway. Both of us are fine! Hopefully you'll get the same results!

    I LOVED feeling spring as I looked at the colorful flowers in your photos...they are awesome!

  12. It doesn't feel like spring is just around the corner, or the month either. Hubby keeps saying that too but hey, look outside at the foot and a half of snow all over. Nah, winter is still in charge.

  13. Signs of spring. Sounds good to me. I'm quite sure you'll be all right. Hang in there....

  14. Hi DJan, It is best to get it all checked out..dealing with a unknown is really hard..another gal in the PNW is having thyroid surgery tomorrow..she is young..hers is a Hurthle Cell Tumor..which is usually benign. ( Dreaming what if's on my sidebar)

    Those Primroses are beautiful..Thanks for sharing them!
    If there is anything I can do for you..just holler..sending you a hug:)

  15. I'm glad you posted what's on your mind healthwise. My mother always said we shouldn't talk about our ailments but I find that very isolating. Especially as we get older and come up with these common things.

  16. Isn't it amazing how a few flowers can lift you right up there! I know the feeling so well. In England we have a lot of cloudy skies and rain comes often but I never take any notice. I'm used to it and I like it. Does that sound strange? I did notice all the sun when I came over here. It was totally daunting to me and I was well out of my comfort zone. This time around I feel a lot more 'at home' with the rain and the snow and the cold.
    I shall keep my fingers crossed that the little lump is nothing that will trouble you D-Jan.

  17. That closeup of the primrose is stunning – I biggified it and it is very sharp. Congratulation on your diet – you are doing really well.

  18. Seeing the primrose flats is a pretty good sign of spring for me, but you will probably be able to plant before I will. It was in the fifties here this past week and while cleaning out one of my flower beds I was warm enough to be out in a tee shirt.

    The odds are in your favor so hopefully the results of your tests will be good.


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