Tips and Tricks: Facial Moisturizer, Thyroid, and Irises (Weirdest blog title ever? Maybe.)

My skin has gone crazy this winter. This could be the result of many things. Age. Winter and the the dry, heated air that comes with it. Could also be the dumpster fire that is my TSH levels.

TSH are the thyroid hormone levels; I have hypothyroidism because my thyroid gland basically stopped working after my second daughter was born. Honestly that’s pretty common, but lots of my relatives on both sides have issues with it too- so it is somewhat hereditary. Under control thyroid levels are 4 and under. When I was diagnosed my levels were at 17- and I thought I was dying. I was so exhausted all the time my hands shook. I was a bit blue/blah mood-wise (not my usual mentality, let me tell ya), I was always cold, my skin looked AWFUL- dry and grey, I was losing my eyebrows from the outside in, my bones felt like glass. I hurt- all the time. I forgot things constantly and there was a constant metal haze I just kept trying to muscle through. These, turns out, are really common hypothyroidism symptoms! They diagnose people in old paintings because of the eyebrow thing!

I got diagnosed almost 10 years ago, I take a pill once a day- I felt AWESOME. A pill a day to feel back to normal? Like so sign me up- I was so grateful for it. Too grateful? Did I stop appreciating it? Did I honestly forget to take it often enough or is something else going on now? Because surprise surprise- my levels on my last lab work? 17 mu/L. Well crap. Maybe it was too high of a dose on my medication and swamped the system? Because that can happen, more is not better. Maybe I was really bad about taking my daily pill? maybe. So now I have a reduced prescription dosage, take a second pill midday for T3 (normal thyroid stuff is for T4) and I wait 6 weeks to see what changes.

And for my levels being a 17 I honestly felt so different from that first time, I would have never guessed it was so out of whack. But of course psychosomatic me… as soon as I heard that’s what my levels were I started feeling tired (or just acknowledged that I was tired?) and the bones in my hands started to ache.  Trust me- there is both eye rolling at myself for that and some wondering if there was some blissful ignoring of symptoms with a LA LA I’M FINE NOTHING TO SEE HERE mentality going on before I found out.

I put this out there because my thyroid issue was missed for a long time originally before it was diagnosed because I wasn’t gaining weight- that’s a classic symptom and can be the only one looked for; for sure it was why my shit OBGYN missed it 3 times before I just refused to leave her office till they did bloodwork. Sheesh- she was also the one who botched my tubal ligation… why did I keep going back to her? Glad I did now, because of the toddler we got out of the whole thing, but seriously… don’t put up with bad doctors, folks.

This time I’ve gained 10 lbs and haven’t shed it over the last 6 months despite lifestyle adjustments and watching my diet more. Lo and behold on the new medication I’ve already lost 4 pounds without changing anything else… maybe that’s it, maybe this time weight gain was a symptom. Can I have enchiladas twice a week for lunch again then? no? FINE.

This is taking a long time to get to- I’ve been on a search for a good facial moisturizer because my skin went to shit and I finally found one!

Arty shot of moisturizer.

So obviously, I get paid nothing for saying this- I’m just going to put that out there. I’ve tried the $60 Rodin and Fields stuff, $40 Lancome moisturizer, some gross and oily Estee Lauder stuff. More expensive is NOT better, turns out. None of it worked- all of it just sat on top and my skin still felt tight and flakey and no bueno.

And then I read some good reviews on this moisturizer, Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. The reviews promoted it as excellent for mature skin because holyshit that is where I fall on the spectrum now when did that happen. Also, it was only $16 on Amazon and at my grocery store, so was worth a shot. It’s a god damn revelation is what it is! Weirdly gel feeling but my skin feels amazing once it sinks in; not sticky or like it’s a heavy product just sitting on top like icing on a dry cake.

It gets my recommendation and solved a problem I was facing (snort) so wanted to share!

And now- a hard pivot to gardening!

How to start this sentence without y’all worrying about me… so we have two abandoned houses on my street. We live in the historic district in town. There is a house on the end of our street that sold for almost a million dollars. We have a nice house! But you’ll remember before our house was fixed up and flipped and purchased by us there were three abandoned houses on the street. Our house sat vacant for 20 years before us. One of the other ones on the street has been abandoned for longer. It has owners, they just don’t live there- they mow the lawn regularly, so it’s a well cared for abandoned house at least. (is a thing? Turns out yes.) *Edited to add- that makes it a vacant house, not abandoned… now that I think of it.* We live on the outer edge of the historic district and it’s still in the midst of gentrification. It has a ways to go yet, but that made our house more affordable.

The other abandoned house on our street is WAY worse, and wasn’t abandoned when we moved in. Some weirdo who we heard was a conspiracy theorist who thought the government was after him lived there. He also parked his Breaking Bad type bus on the front lawn and would periodically take off in it for weeks at a time. (Not an RV. A serious old and run down bus. Think “greyhound” and not “school” when I say bus). The house is in SUPER disrepair and lawn unmown and was even when that dude lived there.

So the story goes, he owed a ton of money on back taxes, refused to pay them, and eventually took off in the bus and never came back. There are issues with the taxes owed and the title, so it can’t be sold yet. The neighbors have heard he died because the sister has been here a few times recently and is trying to sell it. Many of the neighbors are keeping an eye on it to snap up and flip… once it goes it’ll make someone some serious money and be a big improvement for the street. But for now it’s a disaster.

BUT- totally uncared for during the last 2 years and probably 30 before that- was a big plot of irises in the yard of that abandoned house. Since irises need to be thinned periodically for their health, and because I didn’t take all of them I feel like I come out of this with my karma intact because it isn’t stealing… it’s helping.

I could have moved the soccer ball and hose but I’m all about keeping it real and also didn’t think of it in time.

Where did I put all these irises? Because the way they spread that is a LOT of irises.

Go nuts, irises!

The small strip between our driveway and fence has one good thing going for it- a Mexican Flame Vine that’s already coming out of dormancy that’ll cover the fence, but at ground level the rest of it was this 9″ wide strip of weeds. Maybe not the biggest priority in the scheme of things- but definitely on the list. And when a perfect solution presents itself, well, it got bumped up the list.

So much better
Another shot- it is about 30′ of irises now

I have no idea what color they are. (Please don’t be brown, please don’t be brown, please don’t be…) Hopefully purple. Or white. Yellow and pink I could put up with. But seriously, if they are damn brown flowers that iris aficionados call red or bronze… ugh. I’d still take them.

I have christened them Conspiracy Theory irises which entertains me no end. I’ll keep you posted on what color they turn out to be!

8 thoughts on “Tips and Tricks: Facial Moisturizer, Thyroid, and Irises (Weirdest blog title ever? Maybe.)

  1. Glad you gave the irises a home–they deserve to be loved. Hope your thyroid issue is resolved, bummer! I’d say your title is a mixed bag title!

  2. Oh that thyroid issue sounds unpleasant. Glad you found a good moisturizer. I do not have overly dry skin. I use Oil of Olay. Love that you helped yourself to those irises.

    1. The thyroid WAS bad the first time… this time it’s much easier… I’m sure it’ll all sort out.Thanks for reading!

  3. Love this post, Lauren. I learned a lot about a lot of things. Good luck finding balance for your thyroid. And the irises, it’s exactly what I would do (and have done). It’s not the flowers’ fault that they were abandoned and left uncared for. They are your rescue irises, and yes, I think Conspiracy Theory Irises is a good name for them. Be sure to take pictures when they bloom and post them for us.

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