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Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

Lots

That’s what I have to share. In fact, too much for what must be a quick to write post but if I wait until I have time to write a longer post, that will probably never come.

I’m so busy these days that I am getting all lost in the busyness and not enjoying the holiday season. I want just a couple of days to myself to wrap gifts and make lists and maybe make some tamales to share with the family. Just a couple of days. It seems I can’t catch my breath these days and when I have time I am just so exhausted that I don’t have the energy to focus on relaxing and enjoying and doing for me.

I hope that changes. I am trying to change it. I am starting the new year with a planner/journal. I haven’t done that in a long, long time. This one is called bullet journaling and it is new to me. I got my Happy Planner (mini) and a few (very few) accessories but I won’t start until the new year. In the meantime I want to figure out what sections I will put in it. Well, I think with bullet journaling they call them “collections” not sections or topics. I know I want to have a collection for tarot, gratitude, kids’ stuff, blogging ideas, and a section for my diabetes related stuff. I need to sit and plan it out and get some more refills, although I am thinking it may be more cost effective to get myself the paper punch and put together my own refills. We’ll see.

Diabetes. Several things. First, I got my A1c results back on Thursday and I am at a 7.1 which is super! 7.0 is target range for diabetics so I am excited to have made it to that number. And my insulin is working better now that I have learned to concentrate on the carbs I consume in relation to the insulin I inject. AND a big bonus: I finally got my one on one with the dietitian this past week and she asked me if I would be willing to try something different. It seems she has read a lot of articles that show that taking 1000 to 1200 grams of alpha lupeic acid can lower blood glucose, help with weight loss, AND help the pain from nerve damage. I said I would try it. The pain from the nerve damage is getting worse and if there is a chance that this will help, I will take it. The neat thing is that I only started taking it on Friday night and already it is having an affect on my glucose levels which means less insulin that I need to take which also means less weight gain (yes, insulin makes you gain weight). I had been gaining ten pounds  a month and that has to stop! I think this really might work! Yay!

There’s cute kiddo stuff to tell you about but I have to run again. I think we’re going to a Christmas program in just a bit and I’m not ready!

I hope you are all having a great holiday season and stopping, or at least pausing long enough, to enjoy it!

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When I went to the nutrition nurse a couple of weeks ago, she answered one of my questions before I could even ask it. I had wondered about my bedtime blood sugar reading. I usually eat a snack before I go to bed so my blood sugar won’t get too low overnight. However, sometimes I am just not hungry for a snack and I always wonder how high or low my blood sugar should be before I go to bed. She said, while she was going through a list of dos and don’ts, that I should never go to bed with my blood sugar lower than 100. That’s the magic number. So now I know that when it’s over 100, I don’t need to worry about a snack but if, like tonight, it’s only 81, I need to have a snack. That snack can be a small apple or a low calorie yogurt or something like that. Not a huge snack, just enough to bring my blood sugar back up before I go to sleep.

What happens when it gets low? Well, I’ve had it as low as the upper 50’s and it is not a good feeling. At about 70, I get blind blotches in my eyes so that means I can’t drive or do much of anything that requires eyesight. I also get very hot, like a hot flash, hot enough to make me want to start taking off clothes or turning on the fan. Uncomfortably hot. And I start to shake. That’s really scary to me. I start to shake to the point where I can’t even take my blood sugar reading because I can’t hold the lancing device or the test strip or get my blood onto the test strip. It’s really very scary and it also brings fuzziness. Like mental fuzziness. I can’t concentrate and I can’t even figure out what I am supposed to do.

So obviously, the idea is to not let it get that low. I usually carry hard candy in my purse or pocket. I have also taken to carrying a small juice box with me and putting one next to my bed at night time. I have glucose pills, too. I try to cover all the bases. My daughter is also well versed in what to do if I tell her I am having a low or that I need sugar. If my blood sugar gets too low, I can die. Not a good thing. That’s one of the reasons that it is so scary. You know where you’re headed and if it’s too low, you aren’t able to do much to stop it because when I get that shakiness and weakness, I can’t get to the kitchen to get something to eat or to the fast food place down the street if I am in the car. And if I get that way, I shouldn’t be driving so I need to pull over right away. In fact, I usually drive in the slow lane so that if I have to pull over because of my blood sugar, I’m right there. And there is candy and sugar pills in the car. Just in case.

That’s your diabetes lesson today. And a word: if you are ever out and you see someone having some kind of problem where they are shaky or seem disoriented, try asking them if they are diabetic or if you can get them something, like juice or a piece of fruit. You might be saving someone. That’s your bonus lesson.

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November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Here’s something I wrote on Facebook:

Diabetes is not just having to watch your diet. It’s not just limiting sweet stuff and sugary stuff (because everything you put in your mouth has sugar or turns to sugar). It’s not just having to test your blood sugar four or more times a day. It’s not just having to inject yourself with insulin four times a day. It’s not just the possibility of going blind. It’s not just the increased danger of cardio vascular disease. It’s not just having immune dysfunction. It’s not just a life expectancy that is fifteen years shorter than the average American. It’s not just increased medical costs. It’s not just being dependent on life saving medication for the rest of your life.  It’s not just…

It’s all of these things and so much more.

And here’s a link to an American Diabetes Association post about November and Diabetes Awareness.

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That’s about four inches and it’s the size of the tumor that yesterday’s CT scan found growing outside of my gall bladder. From what the doctor says, the CT scan shows that it is “acting like it is cancerous.” The next step is a needle biopsy which should happen within the week and the gastroenterologist has already put in a referral to the oncologist. Approval for oncologist consult should take a couple of weeks, at least.

I’m sort of in shock. The doctor says it will have to come out, whatever it is, because it is protruding into the colon. So best case scenario is that it only has to be removed. But it is very likely that there will be a need for “follow up treatment.”

I managed to hold it together enough to call my three kids and tell them, and then my mother. I learned that hearing bad news is bad but having to relay the bad news to someone you love is far worse. So I guess we all have some more waiting to do. I wish the wait to be as short as possible.

I want to digest this news so that I can let my mind think about other things. Right now it’s kind of tough to think of anything. I’m sort of numb.

With luck, I can distract myself in a day or two so I can write and post here. I have a lot of ideas for posts.

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If we were having coffee, we could actually choose to sit inside or out. The weather isn’t too bad. The sky is a bit gray but it’s not cold. Or wet. We’re currently in the low 60’s and the air out is nice and fresh. So where would you lie to sit?

There hasn’t been much going on here, then again there has. With the better weather, the boys have been wanting to go to the park every day and I am the designated “park taker” so we’ve been visiting two and three parks a day each day this week. We take a picnic lunch or a snack with us and that’s part of the routine. They like eating at the park then playing. I have dusted off and charged my Kindle and have been taking it with me so I can read a little while they play. I read two or three pages then stop to check on the boys. It’s slow going but we’re all happy and I actually got to read a whole book this week and have started a second. I hadn’t done any reading since January so I’m glad to get back to it, even if it is not as much reading as I would like to do.

The news this week was an update on my medical tests.  The good news is that all of the samples came back as benign! Yay! However (yes, there’s a however), the doctor was really puzzled because the growth he observed was very suspicious looking. He asked if I had noticed any pain in the area. I thought it was on the left side and I said no. I have had an awful lot of pain on the right side but not the left. That’s when he said the growth is on the right side, just below my rib cage. That’s exactly where the pain has been. It has been excruciating and has been there for over a year. In the past couple of months though, it has all but disappeared. I only get in a couple of times a week and it isn’t as bad as it has been and only lasts an hour or two. So we are doing a CT scan to see if we can determine what the growth is and what is going on. At least we know it is not malignant. Now I’m waiting for the authorization to go through for the CT scan.

As for getting used to the insulin, it’s coming along. I’ve gotten good at avoiding most of the lows but still have a few which I am getting good at anticipating. I’m not great with food yet. I tend to be eating the same thing over and over because it works. However, I need to find some different things to eat that will still work well with the insulin injections. I’m hopeful that will happen soon.

Not a lot going on here. The book I read this week is excellent. It isn’t one I would normally pick up but it was highly recommended and I got it on sale. I actually had it on my Kindle for over a year before I began to read it. It’s a post-apocalyptic novel, which I don’t normally read. The Girl With All the Gifts by M. R. Carey is excellent. I do recommend it. You might be surprised, even if it isn’t a genre you would normally pick up.

What are you up to? Books? Movies? Please do tell.

#WeekendCoffeeShare is hosted by Emily at Nerd In the Brain. Go on over and take a look at the other coffee share posts!

 

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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!

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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.

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