I have never been a very good test taker.

My favorite bombed test in college was racquetball.  I had signed up for a “sure A”, but soon realized that it would be harder than I thought to pull it off.  My friend Kori registered with me,  because for some reason we felt like we would be a good example to each other, like we had been in Anatomy.

We were so confident we would pull a stellar grade in the class, it made it very hard for us to actually show up.  My attendance was hit and miss, and so was my swing.  Come time for my final, I was bound and determined to show that teacher I could hit the ball well.  He would be proud of me, if he only had the chance to see my in action.

This was my chance to redeem myself.

He walked into the small, enclosed racquetball room.  It smelled of old gym socks and sweaty arm pits.  Across his face was his one protection for the hundreds of students he taught to play the game.  Special eye glasses with a band that held them tight against his head.  One can only imagine the sacrifice he was making to give out that “easy A”.  It’s like drivers Ed teachers, in passenger seat of a car driven by a first time driver that has probably never read the manual and cheated on the test.

He seemed nice enough, a quiet man in his mid forties.

He had an easy temper and a quick serve.  I did alright demonstrating my stance and knowledge of the game, but he didn’t seem overly “wowed”.  Finally, it was my chance to return his serve!  I couldn’t wait to shock him with my accuracy.  Jon had been with me once and showed me the art of hitting the blue ball low on the wall, so he didn’t have time to hit it back.  I believed all was in the bag,  I had it made.

He called out those numbers you say before you serve (remember, this is a long time ago so I’m not sure what they were) I wound up and whacked that poor ball harder than I am sure it had ever been whacked.  I smacked it.  Flattened that thing with all my might.  It was soaring across the room at break neck speeds…

Right into the back of his head.

It fell quiet for just a minute.  All I could hear was the echoing of the ball whizzing off his head and the remaining bounces.  I held my breath.  I pulled a half grin, which happens without much thought when I am worried about something, namely his reaction to my bulls eye delivery.

He turned around with his hands outstretched to the sides.  “did he want a hug?” I thought.  “that must of REALLY hurt!” I said in my head.  And then it happened.  The loudest guttural, cavemanish yell I have ever heard.  This man that I thought was so calming, was the scariest thing I had ever seen.

“GET OOOOUUUUTTTT” he screamed.

me: “sorry?”

“GET OUUUUUUUUUUUUTTTTTTTTTTTT!”

I got a C

I could go on and on about my poor testing skills, but you get the point.  I am a visual student, it’s how I learn.  I am good at understanding concepts and putting them into practical usage, but written tests aren’t my strong suit.  That’s why when Dr. Jones let me know that I would be taking a blood test, my anxiety shot up.  t.e.s.t. yuck.

Let me give you a quick run down of the outcome:

Category 1: Energy Enhancement

Thyroid: The optimal level of this hormone is about 375, with 400 preferred.  The thyroid controls weight, causes chronic tiredness, dry skin, mild depression, brittle finger nails, hair loss, forgetfulness (see it’s not my fault! ;), mood swings irritability, anxiety, brain fog….etc. etc.

My level was 310

Ferritin or Iron:

The desired level is 90 plus… Thyroid is affected by low iron.  Iron helps bind oxygen in the blood.  The lower your iron level, the more oxygen-starved your body is.

My level was 4 

F.O.U.R.  *He put down his pen and said, “I am amazed you are even walking around still.” I looked at Jon and he gave me a high fiver.  We learned long ago we could either cry, or laugh…and I was fresh out of tears.

He moved on.

Iodine skin patch test: I actually scored an “ok” thank goodness.

DHEA: The desired level of this hormone is from 150-250.  It is the main function that helps the body deal with stresses, physical or emotional.  It also slows down the rate in which the body ages.  I scored a 155.5 and he was happy with that.  Thank goodness I have been blessed with help in this area.

Cortisol: Desired level is between 12-20

Cortisol levels that are too can cause one or more of the following: difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, followed by continued fatigue, salt cravings, lowered sex drive, light headedness when standing up quickly, visual sensitivity to bright light, mild depression, increased PMS in women, decreased ability to handle stress, and decreased productivity overall.  Basically feeling burnt out.

I scored a 10

Fasting Blood Glucose: desired level is 85-100.  If levels are too high, this indicates that you are “insulin resistant”.  This means you need more and more insulin to “eat up” excess sugar in your blood stream.  The higher the insulin levels, the more you convert any food you eat into fat for long-term storage.

I scored 86 and he was happy with that.

Insulin: 5-10 is where that number should be.  Insulin levels that are slightly elevated (above 9) will cause the body to start converting carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into body fat for long term storage.  Insulin levels over 17 are dangerous and lead to diabetes.  Insulin levels that are too low lead towards hypoglycemia.

I scored a 15…he wasn’t too happy with that.  *neither was I.  My brother has diabetes and it scares me to death* I talked to my mom and dad after I got my results and my dad said that I didn’t need to worry too much.  He felt like once I got my thyroid under control that this would even itself out.

Vitamin D: The desired level is between 60-80

Vitamin D is actually a hormone and not really a vitamin.  It is made by our skin in the sunshine when we are not wearing sunscreen.  Due to winter conditions or being indoors most of the time, many people are not getting enough vitamin D.  This can be a major cause of depression, insulin resistance, and diabetes, thinning of the bones, and other conditions.  Good levels of Vitamin D can prevent breast , colon, and prostate cancer as well as type one diabetes.

I scored at 24.3

Category 2: male and female hormones.

Estrogen: Yes, men have hormones too!  It is funny because some how we just relate hormones as being with women, but that just isn’t true.  The desired level of estrogen is 50-150.  For more than 40 years women have been prescibed estrogen to prevent hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, rapid aging, saggy wrinkly skin, anxiety, insomnia, etc etc..

My level was 297.  He said this is from the Morena that he told me “You need to get removed a.s.a.p.”  and when I told him “I planned on doing it myself tonight.” I finally got him to blush for the first time.  Serves him right for talking about decreased sex drive so non-chalant like. 

Progesterone should be 10-20: Is a very powerful mood elevator.  Being low can cause depression.  If she is menstruating, it will cause worse PMS and will cause heavy bleeding, cramping and endometriosis.  Insomnia is possible, higher chances of breast cancer, osteoporosis, fluid retention, fibroids, breast cysts, postpartum depression and more.

Take a guess…I dare you!

My level was 0.3……………………

I felt like I was taking a *fill in the bubble test* and failing miserably.  Jon and I kept giving each other side glances and knuckle bumps under the desk.

And lastly..?

Testosterone.  A healthy level is 1.5 in females and 20 plus for males (no wonder they are so crazy)  Although a women as a very low amount in comparison to a man, it is extremely important.  It affects sex drive, mood, bone health, muscle mass. Men who are low in testosterone have lack initiative, are moody, grumpier (couch potato)  and they tend to gain weight around the middle.   It makes women flabby, more prone to thinning of bones, little interest in sex.  Low testosterone makes on more passive.  “hmmm this may be a good thing for a mother.” it think.

and then he tells me my final score.

 0.2

If I were good at math, I would figure out what my overall grade would be on my “health report card” but I am not.  So you can decide what it means to you.  What it means to me, is that I have a lot of work to do.  He actually advised me NOT to work out for the next 3 weeks or so, much more than walking because I need to build up my strength.  Working out hard, wipes me completely out for the rest of the day.  I have never felt this way, but until I can build everything back up, it is what it is.

My first goal?

To learn to take pills.  I hate taking pills. abhor.

Why do you think I have so many children?  I stink at it.  I think I need one of those old people reminders with days on the top of the plastic. 

My biggest fear?  Removing the Morena and loosing a ton more blood.  I can’t risk it… but I have to.  It’s the only way to get healthy and let Dr. Jones give me natural hormones that won’t mess my body up.  So we take the journey.

And, if you actually made it all the way to the end of this post, you must be really bored…and I am sorry about that.  Maybe you can come on over and help remind me to take my pills.