October 22, 2020

Winter has arrived.  It snowed for a while yesterday however it disappeared overnight.  We are consistently experiencing below zero temperatures.  Hopefully, the snow will stay away until the end of October.  These barometric pressure changes and temperature changes sure play havoc with these old bones of mine.  

As I mentioned in earlier posts my family doctor stopped my Cytomel 25 mcg medication because it was giving me a high heart rate.  He then went on to reduce my Synthroid medication from 200 mcg to 175 mcg.  The change in dosage has not been good to me.  In the last two months, I have managed to acquire many of the hypothyroid symptoms and let me tell you they are not fun.  Here is a list of some of the symptoms that have invaded my already compromised life:

Exhaustion is one of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism. In addition to physical fatigue, a person may experience low motivation and mental exhaustion. Exhaustion occurs because the hormones the gland produces regulate energy — too little leads to fatigue. If this symptom is a result of a thyroid issue, getting sufficient sleep will generally not alleviate the problem.  

Rapid weight gain can be a symptom of hypothyroidism. When your body does not release enough thyroid hormone, it slows resting metabolism, the rate at which the body burns energy at rest. This causes weight gain. Furthermore, the exhaustion that leaves a person with hypothyroidism feeling sluggish or tired contributes to a lack of regular exercise.

Depression It’s unknown why depression is a symptom of hypothyroidism. However, many people report feelings of sadness associated with low levels of thyroid hormones. Medication may help this and other symptoms by boosting the production of the missing hormone. Medical professionals can help find the right form of support, be it medicinal or psychological.

Itchy or Dry Skin Hypothyroidism can lead to itchy or dry skin, another sign of issues with the thyroid gland. When the thyroid is not releasing enough hormones, the skin may dry out. Furthermore, if skin cell turnover slows due to hypothyroidism, skin cells stay in place longer instead of shedding as they should. In turn, they build up and cause flaky skin.  The above from Factcheck – Trista

Monday afternoon I called my doctor’s office and discussed my thyroid issues with his assistant.  The assistant called me back this morning and told me that my family doctor did not want to raise my Synthroid back up to 200 mcg.  He was willing to compromise by allowing me to add an additional 25 mcg of Synthroid three times a week.  I can only hope and pray that this will help to alleviate some of the symptoms. 

About an hour before going to bed last night I noticed that I was experiencing pain around the ankle that I broke a number of years ago.  I had a compound fracture and after three surgeries and the removal of three screws, the ankle healed nicely.  I woke up this morning and the pain has travelled up my leg almost to my knee.  My foot is swollen and if I did not know better I would consider a fracture.  However, nothing happened to that foot to warrant this much pain.  I suppose it will eventually settle down to the point where I can walk on it again.

Peter will be celebrating his 74th birthday on the 24th of October.  Not sure what we will do to celebrate.  With the high number of COVID 19 cases in Manitoba, we do not want to go to a restaurant or any other public venue.  We will probably spend a quiet evening at home.  

We just finished watching seven seasons of “All Creatures Great and Small.”  We both enjoyed this series and were sorry to see it finish.  We subscribe to Prime Time, Acorn, Britbox, Mhz and Sundance Now.  I really enjoy the series from Sweden, Denmark, France and Norway.  It does not take long to get accustomed to reading the English captions provided for foreign language shows. 

Just in case anyone is interested I decided to list the books that I have been reading in the last few weeks.  They are as follows:

  • The Pact by Linda Castillo
  • Winter Grave by Helene Tursten
  • Revenge by Susan Hill
  • Hunting Game by Helene Tursten
  • Snow Creek by Gregg Olsen

Excerpts from the Zacharias Site https://zachariasfamilytree.com  

The following are excerpts from a few of the 580 histories, stories, documents, letters documented on the Zacharias site.

Annihilation of the Kulaks: A personal journal written in the 1930s by a member of the Zacharias family documenting the annihilation of the Kulaks in Siberia. Many of our Zacharias family members were forced to participate in collectivization. The penalty for refusal was death.

Compulsory Return Transport: A personal journal describing the difficult times the author and other Mennonites experienced while waiting for exit visas from the former Soviet Union and the cruel forced return journey from the suburbs of Moscow to their village homes. These events happened from 1929 to 1930.  On Sunday evening, November 17, 1929, the menacing return transport began from Perlowka, Malo-Metischtschi, and Tarasowka. The transport continued on the 18th. During the previous night, the GPU had written up a list of all the refugees. The refugees who were forced onto this return transport were mainly Mennonites and included members of the Zacharias family.

The summer of 1929 in Moscow: A personal journal describing the summer of 1929. Many Mennonites from Siberia spent that summer in Moscow and the suburbs of Moscow while waiting for their exit visas. Many of them were forcibly removed from Moscow and its’ suburbs and transported back to Siberia and to the villages they came from. Many of the children died on the return trips from the extreme cold, starvation and an outbreak of measles.  October 1929 will remain in the memory of many people. This was the day that in the early morning hours the first group of refugees who had gathered in the passing months in Moscow were loaded into prepared cattle train cars to begin their trip back to Siberia.

Bernhard Giesbrecht’s Letter to His Children: The following is a translation of a German letter written by Bernhard Giesbrecht to his children in Canada dated October 30, 1934. The letter was written very carefully to avoid censorship by the Soviet government should the letter fall into the wrong hands.  The letter was smuggled out of the Soviet Union in 1934.

History of Katarina and Maria Giesbrecht: Katarina and Maria Giesbrecht were the daughters of Bernhard and Helena (nee Zacharias) Giesbrecht. They were the granddaughters of Wilhelm and Anna (nee Peters) Zacharias. The sisters survived World War 1, World War 11, Hitler’s Birkenau Concentration Camp, and Stalin’s Gulag. They raised their sister Anna’s three orphaned children namely Helena (nee Zelmer) Neufeld, Heinrich Zelmer and Ewald Zelmer.

Autobiography of Isaak Isaak Zacharias:  Isaak Isaak Zacharias was born on February 22, 1868, at Zachariasfeld, South Russia and this is his autobiography.  Wilhelm, Isaak and Gerhard, three sons of Isaak Wilhelm Zacharias, the founder of the Zachariasfeld Estate, all farmed together on the estate, all experienced the same events during the revolution.  All fled to Osterwick during the time of anarchy in 1918 and immigrated to Rosthern, Saskatchewan in the first contingent of Russian Mennonites to arrive in Canada.  Full credit for this document belongs to Ruth Heinrichs and Heinz Bergen.

History of Johann Johann Epp and Family: The Great Grandfathers; from a thesis titled “SADLY THERE ARE NO DIARIES OF THE GRANDMOTHERS” HEALING ANCESTRAL WOUNDS ‘AN EXPLORATION OF TWO GRANDFATHERS’ PERSONAL MENNONITE TEXTS, 1852 ~ 1945;  Permission granted by author Eleanore Margaret Koop.

Holodomor:  Ten million children, women and men died in this horrendous genocide, the Holodomor of 1930-1934.  The survivors who have shared their stories with me will live on forever in the hearts and minds of future generations.  It is a testament to the resilient spirit of the Mennonite, German and Ukrainian people.  Holodomor was genocide by starvation and one of the most heinous crimes in the history of mankind.

Nestor Makhno:  Nestor Makhno was born on November 7, 1888.  He was a terrorist. Between 1917 and 1921 he took advantage of the breakdown of law and order in Russia and assembled a band of thieves, rapists and murderers.  My great grandfather and his family including my mom Helen (nee Giesbrecht ) Reimer were forced into the basement of their home by these monsters and left to die.  Helen was a six-month-old baby at the time.

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