Mom: How old are you?
Mom: What grade are you in school?
Mom: What’s your favorite subject?
Ryanne: That’s easy. Choir.
Mom: When you perform whether it be singing or in the theatre, how does it make you feel?
Ryanne: Limitless. Like nothing can touch me. I feel like I’m flying. On cloud nine.
Mom: What has been your favorite role you’ve played in the theatre?
Ryanne: Wendy in Peter Pan.
Mom: Why was that your favorite?
Ryanne: One, I was lead. That was fun. Two, I was able to interact with everyone on stage. When you are ensemble, you primarily interact with ensemble. Ensemble is still fun, but it’s more fun when you get to interact with everybody.
Mom: Ryanne, how often do sixteen year old girls think about boys? Is it 50% of the time, less than 50% of the time or more than 50% of the time?
Ryanne: Well, every girl is different. For me, I want to say it’s about 75%.
Mom: [laughing] Seventy five percent???
Ryanne: Yeah, I’m a little boy crazy, but I know what my priorities are.
Mom: [still laughing] So….are there any boys in particular you think about?
Ryanne: Yes, but I do not want to name names. That is classified information.
Mom: I’m not considered to be on the inside ?? You won't give me that information??
Ryanne: Next question.
Mom: Ryanne, recently you were diagnosed with some health issues. Do you mind sharing a little bit about that?
Ryanne: I was diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis.
Mom: What is Hashimotos?
Ryanne: It’s a thyroid deficiency where my immune system is attacking my thyroid. It’s not Graves disease, but it’s the same kind of concept where they are both thyroid issues. It’s not that serious, but it could be serious if you don't take care of it. I’m on medication to help regulate my thyroid. A lot of foods can cause my thyroid to flare up. In my case, I have a gluten intolerance and an intolerance to Polysorbate 80. Polysorbate 80 is a chemical they put in a lot of foods, in a lot of make-up, soaps, fragrances, you name it. It’s in a lot of processed foods as well.
Mom: How did you feel before your diagnosis?
Ryanne: Super depressed and anxious all the time. I just didn’t feel like myself. It was up and down where I felt like had to pretend to be myself. I would feel like myself for a split second and then, I don’t know, it just kind of sucked.
Mom: How else did you feel? Hungry, not hungry, tired??
Ryanne: It changed a lot. It depended on my mood. If I was happy, I wasn’t hungry. But if I was feeling sad, I was hungry all the time.
Mom: You were also diagnosed with Vitamin D deficiency. Do you want to talk about that?
Ryanne: Mine is really low. The recommended range most people are supposed to be in for Vitamin D is between 30 and 100 milliliters. My vitamin D was at 9 milliliters. So that was super low and it affects emotions and ties in with some of my other symptoms.
Mom: How did it impact school? Your ability to focus or learn?
Ryanne: When it came to school, I felt like I had no ability to focus. I felt like I had a lot of things I needed to think about rather than school.
Mom: You once described your feelings before you started your medication as if you were living in a fog, or as if you have a cold and you were on cold medication. Tell me about that.
Ryanne: Yes, it kind of felt as if I were in a classroom with a bunch of smokers. There was a huge haze where I couldn’t see anything and I was just trying to see the board, but there were all these things popping up through the smoke around me, preventing me from seeing what I needed to see. I don’t know…it’s kind of a weird analogy.
Mom: I think it’s a great analogy!
Mom: So… now that you’ve been on supplements how do you feel now?
Ryanne: I feel pretty good. I feel better. I feel healthier. I’m not as anxious, which is good. Before I was on medication I would go through phases where I didn’t want to get out of bed. I was anxious about something or afraid something was going to happen which I know is irrational. But now I feel really good. I feel more awake, and more willing to do my homework. It still kind of sucks [laughs], but its gots to get done. :)
Mom: Do you feel less depressed? Do you feel like you can focus better?
Ryanne: Yes! Definitely.
Mom: If you had to describe what it’s like to be a sixteen year old girl? How would you describe it? How does it feel to be a 16 year old girl?
Ryanne: [long pause]
Like a roller coaster that’s never ending. You get on and you can’t get off. It has its ups and downs. It’s great and then other times I wish I was 25 already. You get sucked into this drama you don’t want to be in and then you find yourself digging a hole that’s only getting deeper and deeper and you can’t find your way to the top. It’s never in the middle. It’s either really, really good and you are just waiting for it to end, or it’s going terrible.
Mom: As a sixteen year old girl who do you look to for inspiration? Is there a celebrity, a singer or someone in your everyday life?
Ryanne: My mom and my brother.
Ryanne: I’m going to get real emotional here. They, I believe, are my rocks. They keep me going.
Mom: Oh Ryanne, that is so nice.
Ryanne: [fanning her eyes] I’m getting a little teary eyed here. Good thing you are writing this so no one has to hear me cry.
Ryanne: Is that the last question?
Mom: No… I have more questions.
Ryanne: Dang it..
To be continued.......
In the meantime I hope you can enjoy a special duet my daughter performed with a man she's never met. They sang one of my favorite songs together through an app called smule. Hopefully, you can access by clicking on the link below.