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Diabetes. If you can prevent yourself from getting it, do. It’s not a nice thing and not always easy to manage.

After being diagnosed in 1999, I managed my diabetes with oral medications then later, when I had no insurance, I watched what I ate and exercised. It wasn’t under control but for  someone with no insurance and no financial resources to see a doctor for medication, it was “not bad.” Then last Christmas I turned 61 and all hell let loose. I started getting symptoms, which when combined, I knew it meant my diabetes was no longer going to let me take care of it on my own. It reared it’s ugly head and asked for professionals. I was able to find a free clinic that approved me and was immediately put on oral medication. My HA1c test (a test that tells the doctors the amount of sugar in my blood for the past three months) came in at 14.4. It should be 7 for diabetics and 5 for non diabetics. Mine was obviously whacked! After two weeks on oral medication, I was no better so they determined that my body had stopped producing any insulin at all, which means that the oral medications had nothing to work with, and I needed insulin.

Thus began this journey. About a week later, I was approved for the Oregon Health Plan (state medical insurance for low/no income). I got in to see a doctor right away because the insulin needed to be adjusted as the free clinic had started me on the lowest dose of long acting insulin. So the new doctor doubled the dose and added meal time fast-acting insulin injections that I take just before eating. They help maintain my sugar level low so it never gets super high in any 24 hour period. It’s still not as it should be but it’s getting there. (A fasting of 175 is much better than what I had before insulin, which was in the 590s.)

So I am learning to deal with the fast-acting meal time insulin. It has been just under a week and in that time I’ve had three “low episodes.” A low episode is when you don’t have enough sugar in your blood. And it will kill you. Quickly. I was able to handle the first two which were both in the 70s. Then today, I got to where I could only see blotches of color and I was sweating so much my clothes were soaked, like dripping wet, within about two minutes. How low was it? 59. What do you do for it? Eat Life Savers or other kind of sugar source, eat sugar right out of the bowl, drink juice, put icing from tube icing inside your cheek. There are also sugar pills but I didn’t have any. So I used Life Savers and fruit juice. It almost didn’t budge. I repeated the juice and candy and it was still only at 64 a full forty minutes later. I ended up eating a whole personal size watermelon. Finally, I got it to 90 and I knew I was out of the woods. But that was a scary hour. I thought I was going to die…from low blood sugar.

I need to talk to the doctor and show her my numbers. I need to know the cutoff number. When I take my blood sugar before insulin, what number should tell me “don’t take any insulin?” So until I figure that out, I’ll be a little scared of injecting myself again.

So yeah, don’t get diabetes.

That Was It!

I often get ideas for posts and I get all riled up about them but I’m not near my laptop so I don’t write them. Then when I am ready to write, I can’t figure out what I was going to write. That’s about where I’ve been for awhile. In fact, my laptop has been no where near me. I haven’t even charged it since February. I pulled it out and of course, it was dead as a door nail (door nail, just what is that). Now it’s charged and I wanted to write this post that I have been thinking of but I don’t remember exactly what else I was going to write on the subject, which I sort of began on Mother’s Day.

The idea is that I often feel (and know others do too) like I’m no longer useful because I’m now old. It seems to be that  no one wants to hear what I have to say. It doesn’t matter that I have experience in what I’m saying. For example, in groups of young mothers, what I have to say has no merit because I don’t currently have little ones. It doesn’t matter that I have had them or that I have gone through what they are going though. They just don’t seem to be interested in what anyone older than their age has to say.

I often get that when I read certain blogs and leave comments. I might leave a long and detailed comment that is right on target with what is being discussed in the blog post and the comment thread but no one even acknowledges it because I’m old and what I have to say has no bearing, if they even read it!

It’s frustrating. It’s aggravating. It’s also depressing.

There’s more to say on the subject. I’ll probably come back to it.

How about you? Have you been in a situation where, instead of being appreciated for imparting certain information from your own experience, you’re ignored because you’re in a different group (age, gender, economic, educational, etc.)?  How does it feel?

Screws

Instead of complaining or going into the continuing sag of my healthcare situation, let’s do something different.

Spencer, who is now a fresh four year old, is obsessed dismantling anything and everything in sight, especially when there is a screwdriver involved. No matter where the screwdrivers are hidden from him, he climbs up (often up a chair, a ladder, and the counter) to reach the screwdriver. So the other day, I was watching them, all three of them. The oldest and youngest are easy to watch. And then there is Spencer. He wanted  to go outside to play but it was raining so it was a big no. There is a small deck off of my daughter’s bedroom  that they can play and can’t get down into the yard. So he said he was going to play in mommy’s room. Then it was too quiet. I went to check on him and he was inside the door “working” on something. It turned out that he had a screwdriver and had unscrewed the handle/lock to the glass slider.  Completely gone. He knew that wasn’t good so I think he was trying to put it back before he was discovered. He couldn’t do it and to make matters worse, instead of putting the pieces together, he threw them into the yard which is full of yucky leaves from a long winter, yucky-wet-molding leaves.

Then there was the next day. Again a rainy day so they couldn’t go out to play and again I had all three of them. Spencer went to play in his room and after twenty minutes Anderson went to go check on him. He ended up staying in there and I could hear and see they were doing fine. Ten minutes later I hear them at the door to their room. It seemed they couldn’t get out. I went to check and this is what Spencer had done:

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They were locked in their room and he couldn’t figure out how to get the doorknob back on so they could get out. I told them had to wait until their dad got home in a half hour and I called their dad. So I kept checking on them to make sure they were okay. I was actually afraid Spencer would climb out the window to get out of the room, and he just potty trained and got used to running around the house with no clothes on so he was naked. Not a good thing if he climbed out the window. So I kept checking and calling them to the door so I could see they were okay. THEN…there was a loud banging at the door and of course I was changing the baby’s diaper so I couldn’t get it right away. It was the property manager. She yelled at me because the kids were “hanging out the window” and throwing trash outside. I explained what had happened and that their father was on his way home to get them out. She is very rude and kept yelling in my face, so close I could feel her spittle. I knew she was going to go yell at the kids so I closed the door and ran to their room and told them to close the window and stay away from it. And yes, she was yelling at them and made them cry, just like she had made me cry. Soon their dad was home and all was taken care of but it was a week ago and I am still shaking when I think about it.

And today I have to go talk to her. I really dislike talking to her. Sometimes she is the nicest person and at others she is the wicket witch.

Wish me luck.

Still Mom

Lately, well for the past five or six years, it seems that my “mom duties” aren’t needed any longer. Once you kids grow and start having kids of their own, everyone forgets that you’ve a mom. Out in public, moms are the ones with little kids or teens; not the ones with grown kids. It seems that we loose that identity. At least that’s how I’ve been made to feel.

But when I think about it, it’s not true. My son my be in his 30’s and live three hours away but it has been more than once that he has called me from the grocery store to ask what brand he should buy for one of my recipes, or where in the store would he find a certain ingredient. And even though I lived in Santa Rosa when my daughter went to visit friends in Los Angeles, it was me that she called to ask the fastest way to get from Pasadena to Redondo Beach in rush hour traffic. And it was me that got the phone call, early last Sunday, asking to rescue my daughter whose car battery was dead way across town. I’m also supposed to be looking for a specific photo of my son from when he was one year old so I can bring it to him next weekend when we go for my grandson’s first birthday.

Yeah, I guess we sometimes forget. We sometimes leave out the older moms. We don’t include grandmoms with the group of moms.

I know I still need my mom and I’m 61; she’s 85. I’m really missing her these days. I haven’t seen her in over a year and a half and that was just for a few hours when we drove down to southern California for a funeral and swung by my mom’s. Too short of a visit. I need a mom visit.

Anyway, on this Mother’s Day, remember all the moms, not just the ones with little ones. We all count. We’re all moms.

New Hope 

As I write this (on my phone) I’m surrounded by grandchildren. I’m babysitting, and I’m so glad I’ve had them to keep me going the past few weeks. 

Let’s see, I was out on insulin at the beginning of April but the doctor  wanted to start with a very low dose and work up. However, before he could adjust it,  I was approved for the Oregon Health Plan so I could use the free clinic anymore. I had done trouble finding a doctor that was accepting new patients but finally found one.  

Today, I saw the new doctor and I think I’m really going to like her. She increased the night time long acting insulin and added fast acting insulin at each meal. I go back to check progress in one week. I also got referrals for a couple of specialists. 

Yay! Once again I am hopeful that I will start to feel like myself again,  soon. It really socks to have absolutely no energy and to be in pain aim the time. 

Crossing my fingers! 

Come on in for a cup of something. I haven’t managed to get up for coffee yet. I’m moving slow today. It’s a bit brisk outside and inside so I’m under blankets, but come on it and I’ll grab a blanket for you and we can chat.

When I last wrote this week, I was having a lot of trouble with the medication I was given for diabetes. It wasn’t working and I was falling apart. I ended up getting an appointment for Wednesday. Apparently, my body has stopped making its own insulin so they put me on insulin. The doctor explained that the metformin I was taking doesn’t make the body produce any insulin, it just helps the body utilize the insulin being produced. With no insulin at all, the medication wasn’t doing anything. So now I am insulin dependent. They started with the lowest does and will increase it gradually. I go again on the 19th.

This past week was a little busier than in the past few weeks, mostly because of Spencer’s 4th birthday on Monday and the doctor appointments I had. Yesterday was also the memorial for my friend Peggie. I’m glad I went. I met all her family…most of which are former in-laws and a few former co-workers. It was a wonderful testament to who she was. I will add that she was the type of person that made friends with everyone immediately. The service yesterday was attended not only by family, but also by her gardener and her mailman! I’m so lucky to have known her.

I am currently reading (not very often) My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  I haven’t read more than about five chapters but I like it. Have you read anything you’d recommend?  I’ve also gone through the entire six seasons of Parenthood in the past week. You? What are you watching?

Well, I am cutting it short. I have very little energy. I’m hoping that will change when they find the right dose of insulin for me.

#WeekendCoffeeShare is a weekly blog link-up hosted by Emily at Nerd In the Brain. Head on over and check it out!

The Scoop

It has been a while. Since my last post, I have been to the free clinic and gotten an excellent exam. I was there for four hours, every bit of it was with a nurse or doctor or lab tech. Not much sitting and waiting.

I got a prescription for my diabetes medicine. I did tell them that my diabetes does not respond to only one medication. I need to take a combination of two medications. However, in an effort to save me money on medication, they decided to start me out with a high dose of metformin only. It’s not working. My fasting blood sugar (which should be about 100 to 120) has ranged from 302 to 600. It’s not only depressing but when it is that high it makes me feel really sick, and very sluggish. I was so desperate yesterday that while I was in the clinic neighborhood, I stopped in, almost in tears. There wasn’t a doctor to see me but they gave me an appointment for this afternoon. I’m hoping that they will either prescribe a second medication or try a third dose of the metformin in the middle of the day. Currently I am taking 1000 mg twice a day.

On another note regarding the free clinic, I also walked out of there last week with an order for a mammogram, a colonoscopy, a hearing test, and an eye test. All completely free. I am really surprised at the services that professionals have donated so that people like me can get medical attention.

It has been quiet, as I can’t do too much with such low energy. However, our weather has graced us with a few semi-sunny days in the past week so I did get out for a hike with the boys. Actually a half a hike because the trail we took was longer than we thought and I couldn’t make it all the way so we turned around. Still, I think we managed about 1.5 miles, at least, maybe more. It was also Spencer’s birthday. We spent the day at Chuck E. Cheese. The boys loved it and it was in the middle of the day on a weekday so at times we were the only ones there. I think we were there for about six hours! We had a food problem. The buffet had a total of four slices of two different kinds of pizza and no salad. It took them over 45 minutes to bring out more. They eventually brought it out and the manager also sent over a large combo pizza just for us and then they refunded the original purchase and gave the kids a bunch of game tokens. So the afternoon was free! Yay. The kids loved it and we loved watching them play the games and have fun. Win win.

Anyway, with luck I will get the prescription thing sorted and I will be feeling better in days. I’ve missed blogging but just have not been up to it.