Weight Loss With Thyroid Disease Is Not Elegant, CI#89

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I haven’t been here in a while.  I should be smacked.  Seriously.

I do have some good reasons–the biggest one is my life took a dramatic change (mostly for the better) and my time has been compromised.  This blog and all other writing and editing kept falling farther from the top of my list each day as I was learning to reorganize my time.  In reality the changes have taken a bit of adjusting to.  The truth is that adjustment period was over a couple of weeks ago.

I think most writers will tell you that any writing stoppage, no matter how legitimate the reason, becomes this battle of wills to get started again.  Maybe to you non-writers that sounds like a giant bunch of BS and honestly maybe there is some, especially these past 10 or so days when the urge to write has been strong.  But that’s just 10 days.

I am here now and that is what counts.  Right?

Yes.

So 11 more check-ins and 10 more videos to go.  I got this.

My weight-loss-aversary is in three days and I’ll have some new photos to share next weekend.

In the meantime, I am struggling through a thyroid medication change now.  My weight loss came to a screeching halt and I am frustrated.

So not how I anticipated the last days of this challenge and year to pass.

In keeping with my personal goal of being honest with myself, the truth is I’m massively bummed to be stuck right now.  That 365th day is going to pass no matter what I do but I would be a total liar if I didn’t admit my disappointment it’s going out on a whimper.

However, my twelve years of weight loss experience has me well-versed in being a loser–not so much of weight–but of goals and deadlines.

I know, I know it’s all self-imposed.  But if you know me at all you know I love blowing past my goals and deadlines.

This just feels…blah….and I am trying to shake it off.  It’s not like I haven’t felt hostage to my body most of my life.  I admit I am pouting.  I have even considered the possibility I sabotaged myself.  I would be a fool not to at least wonder.

However, I keep going back to being in the exam room with Mr. Big Shot endocrinologist and hearing him tell me my thyroid is destroyed and that the chronic elevation of Reverse T3 is wreaking havoc on my entire body including my muscles, heart, and brain.  It’s scary sh*t!  So the reality I need to deal with is despite any weight loss success I have had over the past year, my levels needed changed and changing thyroid medication is never a one-and-done proposition.  For example, it took my osteopath and I eight months to bring my TSH from 134 to 5.86 and that is about a normal length of time.  I am trying to be very patient with the process but honestly when the medication change slammed on the weight loss brakes I really just wanted to jump up and down and scream.

Yes, I know logically and rationally it is more important to correct my RT3 level than to lose weight.  My head knows it probably better than anyone except my doctor.  But my heart, she dreams big dreams.

Besides, I am rarely accused of being logical or rational.

*smirk*

I want it all…NOW…damnit.

*deep breath*

The only antidote I have is trying to stay present.  Today is Reward Day and tomorrow I start a new week with carb cycling.  Today I am wearing a skirt that was a bit too snug and a shirt I did not even own a year ago.  Today, I am on my third attempt at gluten-free bread when a year ago I was not convinced “gluten intolerance” was a real thing.  Today I am lighter and more healthy and active than I was a year ago.

Today I am also still frustrated by my slow weight loss…oops I kinda fell off the positive train didn’t I?

But this is real.

I can talk myself up for hours and BOOM knock myself right back down again.

And….I forgot to do my measurements this morning *facedesk*

It’s not pretty but this is where I am at right now.

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I Think I Need More Information, CI#78

I had a new doctor’s appointment today.  It started with Bio Meridian testing and ended with a nurse practitioner asking me which tests I would like run.  It wasn’t out of ignorance either.  She was genuinely asking what I felt should be investigated.  She didn’t even bat an eyelash when I said “A full thyroid panel, please.”

What?

Twenty years of fighting with doctors about my thyroid and the many requests for the Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis antibodies test…and BOOM she just checks the box?????

Maybe this is a victory…

But…

It doesn’t feel like one.

I am not convinced this is the right practice for me.

The Bio Meridian testing was interesting though not entirely scientific did show my thyroid is stressed along with my GI system.  The gentle push toward expensive supplements was a total buzz kill.  But, the lab tests…C’mon!!!  You’re just going to give me everything I want without a fight?????? so now I have to be perpetually bothered by the “snake oil” part of the practice.

However…

In the two weeks since I made this appointment, I found out the triple-board-certified endocrinologist in Las Vegas now accepts my insurance.  It is two hours one-way so no matter what the co-pay it is a significant investment.  And, there’s the chance he can be a total jerk.

I HATE THIS!!!!!!!!

I love my regular doctor.  We just do not see eye-to-eye about my thyroid and weight loss.  Why can’t I just be the patient who knows her body better than anyone else–including and especially him.

Ugh!

In other news, today was my best day in a couple of weeks.  I still crashed in the afternoon but I didn’t feel as blank as I have been.  Progress.

I’m Tellin’ Ya, It’s The Little Things, CI#76

Disclaimer: This is an exact copy of my Facebook post so if you’re a Facefriend I haven’t changed a word.  Some non-Facefriends asked for the details and I had intended to write something similar here but last night my daughter ended up in the ER and we did not get out until the wee hours of this morning.  Here’s my GiveIt100 video to go with it.  My best advice: Pay attention to the little things.

I know I profess my love for the internet and Facebook more than most people and I’m okay with it because without either I simply would not be who I am…or…as healthy as I am.

Over the weekend I hit a huge research goldmine and my husband quipped, “The internet is the best doctor you’ve had so far.” Sadly, he is not far off. So here I am again to profess my love.

You see my Hashimoto’s started falling off the cliff last week. When it changes it is usually not so violent for lack of a better word so I knew something triggered it. That is what sent me researching in the first place, I found some gems, including the suggestion of a positive FB support group. I joined with partially held breath but so far it is a good one.

Somewhere in the back of my still-fogged mind sits a little mouse pouring over every single thing trying to figure out what I’ve done to cause this flare. The mouse squeaked just as I was getting into bed, “Excuse me please but haven’t you been eating a lot of strawberries.”

Now I’m talking I was in the act of getting into bed, in that awkward space where you have to lay down to get back up. “Do not get up….just write yourself a reminder in your phone and go to sleep.”

One of the very first things I did this morning was to ask my new group if a single food could trigger a flare and explained how strawberries were on sale so I’ve been eating them almost daily when I normally do not. In less than five minutes, I learn for the first time in my 20+ years as a patient that strawberries are mildly goitergenic, which means they suppress thyroid function.

DING DING DING BINGO YAHTZEE WE HAVE A WINNER, WINNER CHICKEN DINNER.

Bloody hell.

Chronic friends PLEASE keep track of what you eat, even just informally, because sometimes we are not doing the right things for our medical conditions even though we’re doing “healthy” things because I submit 5-6 strawberries at breakfast are generally considered healthy AND unhealthy when it’s every day for a week AND you have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Since I was eating them closest to my medication it’s highly likely my serum levels are a touch off.

As the owner of this body, I take full responsibility. No more breakfast berries. Totally MY fault. Friends, I know it is hard to admit but sometimes we ARE causing ourselves more grief. It is innocent and no one likes to change but damnit how many more times do I need to prove it to you. I WILL be back to normal in a few days I am sure.

For the millionth time…..It is the tiny things, the tiny changes, the ones so small you may not even stop to consider until you are really willing to find better–not cured–just better. However bad you are feeling at this very moment, there is better waiting for you when you put in the time and effort to find it. STRAWBERRIES people…it can be as stupid as strawberries.

Some Interesting Thyroid Research And An FYI, CI#76

Let’s start with the FYI….So Give It 100 made some changes to their site based on user feedback.  Now, instead of being able to catch-up missed days the count starts from wherever you left off.  I missed most of the week so while this should be CI#76 on the Give It 100 site, it’s video 73.  I haven’t quite decided what to do about the mismatched numbers.  I’ll think on it more tomorrow.

Now about the research…

So I read an article about the vitamins and minerals the thyroid uses to process the hormones and how in Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis patients those nutrients are often in short supply.  Of course, I started wondering how my own records stack up to the claim of the article.

Thank God (no that is not a vain comment) I have been keeping excellent records with Fitday.com and can access the breakdown of these specific nutrients with just a few clicks of my mouse.

The results were very interesting.  I was able to undercover a correlation between lower levels of some of the nutrients and dismal to non-existent weight loss.  Conversely, I found higher levels correlated with better results.

Hummmmmmmmmm, very, very interesting.

Oh you know I’m going to follow this and see where it goes.

For over a decade I have said, “It doesn’t seem to matter how many calories I eat because there is no rhyme or reason to my body losing weight.”  There was even a time about eight years ago I proved I could gain AND lose weight eating an average of 1800 calories.  I never could figure why.

This has been my “normal” weight loss story since 2002.

Yeah, TWELVE YEARS!!!!

I did everything I could think of to switch things up to find the “magic” my body needed.  I never found the “it” I was searching for simply because the only thing I could prove is it really did not matter how much I exercised or what sort of food plan I followed my average remained about one pound per month.

ONE POUND!!!!!

My inability to find the “it” is what lead me to almost have weight loss surgery last year.  However, interestingly enough on the advice of several fellow Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis patients who have had weight loss surgery and are still battling to lose weight and whose universal recommendation was to not follow with surgery through without a good endocrinologist on my team; I decided to step back and continue to work on finding the right specialist to make sure such a drastic intervention would not be fruitless. My current doctor is not a specialist and refuses to re-test my antibody levels since my TSH is “normal.”  I know, I know…You’re screaming at the screen.

Sigh.

At least for the time being, it was the right decision because there is nothing to convince me my thyroid is working properly if my body is failing to release weight while having a “normal” TSH, a reduced calorie diet, and sufficient exercise.

This feels like the closest to “it” I have ever come.  It makes all the randomness make sense.  If my body doesn’t have the right micronutrients my thyroid needs to function at optimum levels then it really isn’t going to matter what I do.  Broken things do not work until they are fixed…all the way fixed.  It is a universal law.  All the mornings I started at the amber pill bottle and wondered what was wrong with the pills and my body.

“Why can’t you get along?”

I swallowed those pills every morning without the least bit of faith they would actually work.  They weren’t working…together.  I have known it for a decade.

Tonight is the first time any of my experience makes the tiniest sliver of sense.

As I looked up each nutrient, suddenly some of my food cravings made sense.

I actually get a little twitchy and sad if I go too many days without carrots.  You read that right, carrots.

I crave them more than chocolate.

Seriously.

Carrots give my body Vitamin A.

Second to carrots, my body screams for peppers.  Peppers give my body Vitamin C and anatabine, which helps negate the effects of the thyroid antibodies my body produces.  I have craved peppers my whole life.  As a child, I would rather have a sweet green pepper than an apple any day.  The substance is also in potatoes (and all others in Solanaceae family).  Do you remember I devoted an entire post to the lovely vegetable.  As it turns out, research has proven anatabine and vitamins A and D combine to combat inflammation.

If you are reading this and have fibromyalgia, apparently the “rule” to avoid the Solanaceae family, also known as nightshades, could actually be pain increasing and potentially dangerous dietary advice if you also have Hashi’s. Furthermore, one of the commonalities between the two diseases is gut absorption problems so it likely we need more than the RDA of each nutrient to actually “get” what our bodies need.

Interestingly enough, according to the article I linked anatabine is also present in another nightshade, tobacco, and most Hashi’s patients report a worsening of symptoms after quitting smoking.

Guess when I was at a normal weight?

The same freakin’ period of time I was a smoker.

When did I balloon up and suddenly become “unable” to lose weight?

Yep, when I quit smoking.

SERIOUSLY!

Another of my must have foods are nuts and seeds.  These little gems are chock full of three of the other key nutrients–Vitamin E, selenium, and manganese–and I eat them regularly.  Cravings for them are not as strong as carrots but I do notice I “need” them from time to time.  Without them even a normal thyroid will struggle and those with a compromised thyroid may never find relief from their symptoms.

Is it possible my body is actually pretty smart?

My body…the one I have spent the last decade bitching about…smart?

Is the morale of this story: NEVER GIVE UP!

So it seems…on both counts.

Disclaimer:  I am not a medical professional.  I am a frustrated and seeking patient.  No information in this post is meant to be or substitute for medical advice.  Please consult your doctor about all medical decisions including dietary changes.

 

 

Your Call Will Be Answered By The Next Available Operator, CIs#72-75

Do you ever feel like that?  I do.  Ever since fibro hit me my brain, and my body, can only process so much and the rest goes on standby until the queue thins out some.  That is where I have been the past few days–thinning the queue.

Now that moving is off the table and my body is starting to relax my mind starts remembering all the “little” things I should be doing.  Oh there’s that should word.  Isn’t evil?  Should be.  Should have been.  Should.  Should.  Should.

So tonight I am lumping all these updates together and snuggling with tea, a blanket, and my dogs.  I am not doing anything self-destructive, not even close.  I am even avoiding potential triggers as I respect I am too close to the edge.  It’s a huge victory.

Honest, the week has not been bad.  I have just had a lot more on my plate than normal.  It has been draining–not bad–it just takes energy that all so precious and elusive commodity missing from the lives of people with fibromyalgia.

Foodwise, it has been a good week.  I have been very aware of the extra stress in my life so I have been watching myself like a hawk.  Practicing that level of mindfulness also takes energy.  Maintaining the focus to be present as I eat and drink has been worth the effort.

Now, having said that I fully admit to wanting to dive head first into a pile of sugar and not come out until I’m sick.

I rarely want this for myself anymore so I am trying to celebrate that success while not giving into the temptation to wreck all my good work this week.  This also takes extra energy.

I am depleted in many senses of the word.

It happens to the best THRIVERS because it is just part and parcel of the chronic life.  It is one of the things the “normal” folks have a hard time understanding.

But, I have been at this long enough to know the more I can rest, restore, and recharge the better I am going to feel.  It won’t be tomorrow and likely won’t be Sunday either but I will bounce back.  I always do.

Back to MY schedule.

Back to ME.

Stressful Day, CI#71

I’m cranky.  I’m tired.  And I am only posting this so my conscious will be clear because the last thing I need is something else to feel cranky about.

To save time and because my brain is fried I’m copying what I posted on Facebook (if you’ve read it, I apologize):

You’re about to read something I do not often say….I’m a stressed-out, anxiety-ridden, on-the-verge-of-tears mess. Hubs received an email from our landlord this morning. He called him first thing. Apparently there is a deal in the works involving our house and the house next door. In case you don’t remember, we live at the edge of a commercial zone so we’re zoned mixed use. If the buyer can secure both properties, he can develop the land for commercial use. It’s a both or nothing because of the zoning requirements. If the deal goes through, we’ll need to move mid-May. So we have to plan for a maybe. Considering the market is swinging up in our area and comparable rents are up to more than we make in an entire month. Yeah, for just rent. I looked at one today for a cool $4,200 a month. How can people here afford such a thing? They fly to L.A. to work. Seriously. Finding something in our price range will be nothing short of an actual miracle. Then there’s the matter of our business which we can do here and may not be able to do somewhere else. This would be one of those moments when my former counselor would say, “Why don’t you just get mad and cry?” He was awesome but I never could quite get him to latch on the “fibro girls throwing a tantrum no matter how well deserved have consequences” concept. Can fibro please just go away so I can have a proper meltdown without spending a week or more recovering.

FACEDESK!!!!!

Wait…what does any of this have to do with losing weight?  (Notice I am asking that question a lot?  Well, it is because things you would ever imagine have an impact on my, and your, success.)

People tend to overeat when under duress.  It is a fact and if you are trying to lose weight one of the best things you can do is keep tabs on your stress levels.

So did I have a pig-out?

NOPE!

A couple of fingernails didn’t survive, however.  In my defense, they were already peeling and/or ragged thanks to Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  But, my calories and food choices were on point.  My activity was a bit off thanks to the flashing neon sign in my head “We have to move.  We have to move.  We HAVE to MOVE,” but I already have plans to get out of the house tomorrow.  The weather is supposed to be rainy and 15 degrees cooler but I’m going out no matter what…at least that’s my plan…I think.

PS…It wasn’t all bad…this morning I saw 257.6 this morning…and believe you me it was HUGE motivation to not find huge piles of chocolate and swim in it 🙂

 

Sunk By Socks, CI#70

Yesterday was payday and I was a shoppin’, errand-runnin’ fool!  It was not an overly taxing day just busy enough I was not able to rest properly in between adventures to four different grocery stores, taxi duties, and bill paying.  I was also wearing cute socks.

What do socks have to do with anything?  Well…and as lame as this is going to sound it is the truth…if I am extra active in cute socks I tend to swell more than if I wear ugly socks (read diabetic-style with the bulky, loose knit cuff).  I hate ugly socks with a passion.  Socks go on feet.  Feet are gross.  Therefore socks should have a sense of humor, or at least be cute.

Honestly when I put them on, I thought my day was going to be a little freer than it ended up being.  Had it been I would have been able to elevate my feet to help keep the puffiness to a minimum.  Alas, the universe conspired with my socks and they sunk me.

But here’s the super cool thing…It was my choice of foot covering which did me in and not fibromyalgia.

All these days of pushing myself, all these days of thinking way too deeply about how to best load a shopping bag or box so I can manage it myself, all these days of moving when I do not want to, all these days of reading and researching, all these days of being determined to THRIVE are paying off.  I can grocery shop alone and in peace.  To gain this shred of independence back from the dragon is one of the most empowering things I have done for myself.  It is almost a Zen thing for me most of the time.  Yesterday was not exception.  I was a little more hurried than I prefer but I had a wonderful time out searching for the best deals for my family.  Hello, non-scale victory!

But, by the time I finally held still yesterday my ankles were puffy and when they are puffy like that I cannot sit in my desk chair, or any chair.  My spot is either the recliner or flat on my back with a wedge pillow to elevate my legs.  I fussed and I fidgeted and I even tried coming to the computer a couple of times but I knew if I pushed myself to sit here an write the puffy would only get worse.  So, I didn’t post.  I THRIVED the day at the expense of coming here to report on it.   That tiny bit of limitation was the only frustrating part of my day.  I have come a long way.

 

Mini Challenge Day Five, I Am Not Above Bribery, CI#67

Into every chronic babe’s life, a bad day must fall.  Today is the day.  It happens that’s why this is it is chronic and not food poisoning, a cold, or a broken bone.  We have to plan for the bad days as much as we relish the good.  It’s just how it works and there is no getting around it but bribery can help.

Let me explain.  Here’s my list today:

Migraine
The neck thing is back
I’m frozen, despite it being 78 degrees and being clad in flannel
Legs burning
Toes numb/asleep
Chin asleep, which I am sure is just referred from my neck but still
Nausea
Whole-body itching
Fogged like San Francisco in February
Weakness
Tremors
And on the verge of becoming a total bitch about it.

Do you blame me?  Not if you’re a chronic babe (or dude) too.

Honestly it is so tempting to blame all of this on fibro but the likely truth is some of it is not.  One of my wellness strategies is to give the proper disease credit for making me feel like shit but today I just cannot muster the caring to sort them all out.  Although I highly suspect Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is largely involved.  None of this was helped by my faithful companion Petey, my ShihTzu, waking me up at 4 a.m.  Sometimes when you have critters, it happens.

Here I am at 2:30 in the afternoon and really starting to feel my day, my life has been wasted.  The sludge at the bottom of the self-pity barrel is in sight.  My choice is to continue to sink into the abyss or do something to hold on for dear life.

Bribery to the rescue.

So I have this commitment to walk every single day this week.  Yes, I did consider the potential for a day like today when I made the commitment.  I’d be a fool if I didn’t.  I even postulated that the daily regimen might even trigger some extra pain though I do not believe for a second the walking is to blame in the particular case.  Again, I would be a fool if I did not explore the possibility before hand.  It is part of the contract being chronic thrusts upon us.

I am sure if I said, “I can’t today,” there is not a single person who would blame me…except for myself.

Did I mention I am on the verge of being a bitch?  Oh yes, I did.  So here’s the thing I know about myself…When I am standing at the precipice of the netherworld of chronic pain I can get super mean with myself.  The internal dialog is uglier than I would let any other human hear.  So, bribery has become my way of putting the brakes on and convincing myself to change course.

“Dear Tanya, if you’ll just go take a shower and get ready to go pick up your son you can get a Powerade slushie and sit in the sun.”

“Oh…okay…I can do it.”

I have two hours to accomplish the terms of the agreement.

Honestly, I am not so bad off that I am physically unable to shower and dress myself but truth be told when I feel this bad I just do not care.  Oh I could go pull my hair back in a pony, put on a hat, yesterday’s jeans, and a clean shirt and call it good but under the circumstances it is not good enough.  Right now what I need most is to flip fibromyalgia off and dirty hair and mostly clean jeans just are not going to cut it.  And I know this about myself.

So again I can choose to allow the chronic part of my life to take over, or I can know myself and do something to stop it.

To Sonic for a Powerade slushie.

Why?  Isn’t this against the “no feeding your pain with sugar rule”?

Yes, sugar is bad for pain.

However, part of my pain is a headache that feels like migraine.  Meds did not solve it or even take the edge off of it so I have to consider perhaps dehydration is masquerading as a migraine.  Sports drinks have been proven to have near-instant effectiveness for this type of headache.  At this point, it’s worth a shot.  And, I can leave a little early, walk to Sonic while drinks are still half-price and give the Powerade slush and some sunshine a chance.

Besides, I also have to consider the tremors could be form a lack of calories. I had french toast at about 8 a.m. and then nothing, not even water, until just after 2 p.m.

The slush is either going to help or plunge me to a whimpering pile of goo…and there’s only one way to find out.

Here is me before and then after a shower, a very large beverage, some food, and sunshine.  This is only about two and a half hours difference but it looks and feels like a whole world.

Before

Before

After

After

 

 

And in between there were Crocs and funky socks 😀

 

 

 

You are worth this much effort!

Do I feel better?  Yeah, a little bit.

Did all my symptoms go away?  Nope.

Do I at least feel like I can make it through the rest of the day?  Thankfully, yes.

Have I even managed to stay on track today?  Mostly.  Truthfully, I haven’t had a single veggie all day.  I have veggies but when your stomach is upside-down it’s best to stick to the bland, less acidic side of the culinary world and for me that was soup and rice.  It’s not ideal by any stretch but under the circumstances I do believe it was the right decision in the moment.

Now I am off for more water.  THRIVE ON!

Mini Challenge Day Two, CI#64

What a random day!  It’s really been a little bit of everything.  As for my walking challenge, it wasn’t the best day.  I did all my walking in the form of shopping.  When winds are gusting up to 35 mph and the temperature takes a 10-15 degree nosedive, I do not belong outside.  I also have not been able to keep my body temperature stabilized.  I have been freezing all day!

Even without my official walk, I should hit my step goal for the day before I go to bed.  I only need 350 steps and I have a kitchen to spruce up and a kid to pick up from work.  If I miss it, it won’t be by much.

But, I met my activity goal of 19 minutes.  Let me clarify just a little.  That does not mean I moved for 19 minutes straight.  The activity goal is measured by my BodyBugg which uses heat flux (transfer), body temperature, and motion to determine if my movement was enough to “count” as activity.  In other words not all movements count as activity because my body temperature and heat flux were not elevated even though I had been moving.  It takes these measurements every second I am wearing the device.  Today, the longest continuous stretch of activity was 8 minutes while I was buzzing around the kitchen this afternoon.  The other 11 minutes were in onesies and twosies throughout the day.  All movement counts but activity is what matters most for weight loss and physical fitness and it only counts at levels sufficient enough to register real change.

One of the new things I am doing is setting my timer or the alarm on my phone for 15 minutes and sticking to one task, or one room, until the timer goes off.  It has proven to be an effective strategy.  I am getting more movement throughout the day and my BodyBugg is recording more activity minutes not only in total but they are spread out over the course of the day.  It is something I have been working on for quiet a while so I am glad it seems I have finally figured it out.  My house is also getting cleaner.  It’s a nice side effect.

Tomorrow’s weather is supposed to be similar today so I am not sure how I am going to work around the weather.  I think my plan is to be dressed for a walk when I take my son to school and hope to catch a break.  My second choice would be going to the mall and I really do not want to do that.  I hate the mall.  Either that or the reason why I have not been able to hold my temperature is because my daughter shared her bronchitis.  I have that fever-y feeling that could be real sickness or just a fibro fake out.  My throat has started feeling funky so I guess only time will tell which it is…sigh.

Today was a great food day but my water retention is not budging.  This makes me crazy!!!!  My body just flat-out refuses to lose weight when I am retaining water and I guess it makes sense but I do not know why the swelling happens in the first place.  Nope.  I am not going to get grumpy about this at this time of night.  I still have a couple of days to siphon it off and then I’ll freak out.

I was also able to be a positive influence for someone today.  She was very sweet and it made me feel so good to be there for her.