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I have been just reading what digests I have time for in the past few weeks, but I want to take the time to chime in and say thank you to Val, especially.

I look back to where I was a year ago and want to slap myself for complaining that I haven't lost the weight I want to lose. At this point last year I could hardly drag myself out of bed, had so much generalized pain that if I found myself on the floor (like to get something from a lower cabinet) I often had to crawl to a chair to pull myself back up. The brain fog was horrendous. I couldn't remember the names of, for example, various appliances and had a hard time just completing sentences. Fortunately for my career, I had retired to homeschool my sons because I had been Director of Nursing and I couldn't have done my job like I was. My hair was falling out by the handsfull, my vision was pretty poor and I was a shrew to live with. I hardly ever got to sleep before 4 am, and then needed to get back up to teach my children and take care of my home in 3 or 4 hours. Insomnia had been a lifelong issue for me, but at 53 it was really taking it's toll. I have never been able to tolerate cold. It caused physical pain, even as a child. I had lost most of my body hair. It was nice not to have to shave my legs, but there are places a woman likes to have a little fur. ZERO sex drive!! My hearing was bad, mostly because of the terrible ringing in my ears. I had been on synthroid for several years and knew it wasn't helping so I had fought with my GP just to get on 60mg of Armour and it still wasn't helping with the myriad other hypo symptoms. STTM was helpful, but I was at the end of my rope and would have been very happy if I could have gone to sleep and not awakened again.

Then I found this group. Every question I asked on here was quickly answered without me being made to feel like I was stupid, even though at that time I was stupid! I found that Val pours her heart and soul into helping, and doesn't ask for payment. I never had to call her for a personal consult, but would have been more than happy to do so and any cost if it had come to that. Now Nick is on here taking some of the load from her shoulders and I am thankful for him as well.

Today I am painfree; well until I pulled a muscle shoveling snow. I have energy that I haven't had for 30 years. I am actually able to start a regular exercise program and not be wiped out in 2 minutes. My mind is clear and I sleep much better than I ever have in my life. I can handle this nasty cold winter in the midwest, and have even found myself standing on my deck waiting on the dogs to "go" and not wearing a coat. My hair has finally stopped falling out and I actually had to shave under my arms for the first time in many moons. I have my life back and it's because I found the answers I needed to find, right here!

I still have a lot of issues I want to resolve. I have 30 pounds I would love to drop and the ringing in my ears is still pretty bad. I have not seen a return of sex drive, but I feel sure I can find the answers to those issues right here. I am participating in a "trial" related to Leptin, and did lose 7#'s in the first 3 weeks, but am at a stall right now. I also have changed my diet to include a good amount of animal fats and low amount of carbs. That has helped with the awful dry skin and my hair is so shiny!

I just wanted to give encouragement to those of you just starting on this road and to tell Val that I thank God for her!! I have a quality to my life that has been absent for most of my adult life. I have a life!! I don't wish to die in my sleep and if I never lose another ounce I know that I have been truly blessed by the help found here. I will keep trying to resolve the last nagging issues, but will not lose sight of where I was just one year ago.

God bless you Val and Nick.