March 16, 2014

Iodine Deficiency: My Story



Hug for Fran



How do I begin telling my story? I have numerous choices:

  • Everything that is healthy for you is bad for you
  • I can’t share my symptoms with my family, friends, or doctors.
  • A simple test clarified my physical and mental symptoms.
  • I’m one of the estimated 40% of Americans experiencing this.
  • My three-day miracle.

Whenever someone tells me they don’t know how begin telling their story I tell them to “just start.” So I guess that’s what I’ll do.


The annual stress of the year-end triple holiday can be exhausting, even depressing.

During December 2013, however, the feelings I experienced were intensified. How I celebrated my 70th birthday didn’t matter. Preparing for Christmas was a true chore. I wanted to escape, go to the New England coast with my husband Monte, and experience Christmas on the beach. I didn’t care—about anything.

I excused the feelings. It’s just the stress of the season. Depression isn’t uncommon.

There was a settled layer of pea soup fog between my conscious and subconscious mind.

I excused it. It must be a result of my almost debilitating cataract which makes reading challenging.

I was overwhelmed with diminished cognition skills. If you told me something, I couldn’t recall it several seconds later. I had to struggle with writing and other tasks. It was a weird feeling.

Perhaps it’s the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s.


I didn’t tell anyone about what I was experiencing. I didn’t want to be told the obvious: I was depressed. For some instinctive reason I knew it wasn’t depression. It just didn’t seem to fit. I also didn’t want to hear that I was just experiencing the effects of aging, something I couldn’t dismiss, something very frightening.

After the holidays I shared my concerns with a friend I trusted, telling her how I felt, not expecting her to do anything but knowing she would at least listen and hear me.

“Try something,” she said.

What she instructed me to do sounded like an old wives tale, something taken from mythical and ancient medical remedies. But I trusted her. As long as I’ve known her, her information has been reliable and well-researched.

“Purchase a bottle of tincture of iodine,” she said. “Swab a quarter-sized spot on your wrist. If the color (more…)


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