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Posts Tagged ‘diabetes’

Whew!

Well, it was an interesting month with the A to Z Challenge. This was my third year participating and it was a tough go. I didn’t start on schedule and I didn’t get caught up until the very end and that’s because I doubled up on a couple of the posts, posting two letters in one post. But hey! I finished on time!

It has  been a tough couple of months, actually, a tough three months. I have felt like I am sinking and there’s no way out. Sinking health-wise and emotionally. I did finally get the doctors to listen to me so I am now on a new medication that I inject once a week (along with my five injections of insulin each day and oral medication for diabetes) and that’s supposed to stop the weight gain which is the reason I am sinking. I think I have posted previously that the insulin processes sugar differently so a lot of people end up gaining weight. I have gained a full one hundred pounds since last August. That is a lot of excess weight. It effects everything I do. I have a lot more trouble walking, sleeping, sitting, moving around, and just plain being. Day to day activities are either impossible or take me so much longer to do that I end up giving up. As you can well imagine, this has taken a huge toll on me emotionally. I’ve asked the doctors to give me  an anti depressant but they didn’t listen until a couple of weeks ago when one of the nursed became concerned about my mental/emotional state and talked to the doctor. I got my prescription and started it right away. I’m not sure I feel much difference yet but I have been told that it can take up to a month to see/feel some difference. I’m crossing my fingers.

I’m hoping to get back to more regular blogging. I think it’s one way that I keep sane and I haven’t had that for awhile. April was more regular but that was a set topic/theme so not my normal blogging. However, I did come up with a few characters that I might explore with a longer piece of writing. Did you have a favorite this month? Let me know and maybe I can try to develop that soon.

My eyesight is not great these days. It’s a direct result of the diabetes. I have a lot of  trouble, especially with “screen time.” I end up not being able to spend too much time reading online. I’m working on a few things that might help, one being those glasses that help with the glare of back lit screens. I’ve used them before but I need to get some more. I think I gifted mine to my mom when she was here in July so I need to see if I can find an economically feasible pair.

Speaking of economics, my Social Security finally came through so at least I don’t have to worry about paying rent. I do have to come up with an additional two hundred dollars a month so I can pay my electric bill and afford gas in my cars and some of the other things that my check doesn’t cover. It basically covers rent and my internet connection ($40/month). So I will be looking for some babysitting and anything else I can come up with to make a few extra bucks! It’s doable, though. I am hanging on to that thought!

I’m actually looking forward to today. My daughter and I will be joining a group of about fourteen people on a trip up to Seattle. We were lucky enough to get admission to the fifth anniversary celebration for Lularoe clothing. A friend is a consultant and she and her husband rented a big van to take us all up there and were nice enough to pay the fifteen dollar fee for each of us to attend. It should be fun, or at least an experience! And later this month I will be driving up to Seattle to see my grandson who will be turning two years old on the eighteenth! I don’t get to see him often enough so I am really looking forward to that.

Anyway, that’s it. That’s my update. I’ll be reading y’all soon!

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Join me during the month of April as I blog through the alphabet. My theme will be What’s In A Name. I will attempt to write up a short fictional character sketch beginning with a different letter of the alphabet each day. Remember that a place can also be a character.

Eve

They had been to this diner a million times and rarely had bad service. Today, it was a treat for Eve’s granddaughter who had gotten a perfect report card so they were celebrating. Eve loved being able to take her grandchildren on these special little trips, just her and them. Today was supposed to be special and once they were finished she was planning a trip to the stationery store where her granddaughter, Julie, loved to shop but she hadn’t told Julie yet. It was a surprise.

They were pointed to a table which was strange because that didn’t usually happen. Someone always came and greeted them and seated them. Not today. So they sat at a table that hadn’t been wiped clean yet for longer than they should have. Eve had to get up and go get someone to wipe it. Then they had no menus for a long time and when they took their drink orders, Julie’s chocolate milk came back as a regular white milk but the waitress had just plopped the drinks down and left. And Eve couldn’t stir her coffee because they had no utensils. A solid ten minutes after being seated, the waitress finally came and took their order. And fixed Julie’s chocolate milk but still no utensils. Eve got up and swiped the utensils from the counter so that she could stir her coffee and drink it as it was already getting cold.

She waited for the food and decided to check her blood sugar and take her insulin based on the number of carbs she had ordered, otherwise she might forget when the food arrived. Big mistake!  Just as she plunged the medication in the syringe into her body, the waitress came to say they were all out of the dish she had ordered so now she had to pick something entirely different that would be the same number of carbs so she didn’t have to worry about having her blood sugar go too low because of the insulin she had taken. And she had ordered the French toast which she rarely got. That one had lots of carbs and there wasn’t anything else on the menu that she wanted with an equal or similar number of carbs. She finally settled on something but had to ask the waitress to bring her fruit, too, so she would have enough carbs.

The waitress was so inattentive today. She kept disappearing for ten minutes at a time and it was frustrating to Eve and Julie. Their food arrived and it was cold because it had sat up on the counter forever waiting to be brought to their table. The coffee refill Eve had asked for had never been poured. She finally got the waitress to bring her more coffee and to bring her the fruit she had asked for. Eve was starting to feel light headed. That’s what happened when her blood sugar got too low and that was happening now because the insulin was a quick acting one which took effect within ten minutes.

All told, it was a horrible diner visit. She actually expected the waitress to adjust the bill. They always did that at this diner when there was the tiniest of screw ups. But today, the waitress didn’t do that. Eve had Julie stay seated while she went to find the manager. This wasn’t right. And while she didn’t want to get anyone into trouble, this just wasn’t right.

 

 

Alexa

Babs

Curtis

Diane

 

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Whine: I got a new phone last week and spent hours finally getting it all set up on Monday then on Monday I tried to use the camera and it wouldn’t work. It took the picture but when I went to the gallery to view, there was nothing there but a grey frame. No picture. So off I went to the T-Mobile store where they couldn’t figure it out either. They did a factory reset for me and it started taking pictures fine. Whew! But then on Tuesday and Wednesday, it kept doing the same grey frame again so I spent three hours at the T-Mobile store on Wednesday afternoon getting a new phone. First they tried to do a warranty return but the phone is so new and selling like hotcakes so didn’t have any to to send to me from the factory and I was not willing to wait two weeks so they got creative and I finally walked out of the store with a new phone and the old/glitchy one wrapped up and ready to go to the UPS store to ship back to them. Yay. So last night I spent hours again setting up the new one. But that’s okay because this one is working fine and I love my new phone! Yay again.

Wine: Well, after spending all that time setting up the latest new phone last night, I was ready for some wine but it was about three this morning and I was not going to drink wine at that time so no wine. Maybe another night. No rush.

More: Well, there’s lots more but I will be brief. First, a note about April. I will once again be participating in the Blogging From A to Z Challenge. For those not familiar with it, bloggers set out to write a blog post for every letter of the alphabet during the month of April, posting each day Monday through Saturday with a day off on Sunday. This year April first is one Sunday so we will be posting on Sunday of the first week only. My them this year is What’s In A Name? I will try to write about a different character (fictional) each day. The posts will be in order with the name of the character beginning with A on the first and ending with Z on the thirtieth. Wish me luck! I think it’s going to be more of a challenge than I expect. So you might see some badges or headers with A to Z on them if I can figure out how to add them to the blog before the end of April! Ha!

And hurray for baseball! Today is opening day and I am looking forward to watching the game. I think I might be able to. I signed up for a free season of MLB TV through my phone carrier who offered it as a perk this week so if i can figure out how to log in, I will be watching the Dodgers play the Giants. That will be interesting because I grew up in San Jose which is major Giants territory but I root for the Dodgers because I lived in Los Angeles from 1978 to 2004 so I bleed Dodger blue! Let’s hear it for the Dodgers! Go team go!

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And even more: After asking her several times, my primary care physician finally referred me to an endocrinologist for my diabetes. I saw him this week. I really liked him and he listened to me. I walked out of there with very thorough instructions on how to use the insulin as I had never been told how to use it. I was just told to use it and given a range of 10 to 17 cc with no word on when to take the 10 and when to take more. He ironed all of that out for me and told me how many cc to take for each gram of carb and also how to adjust the insulin if my blood sugar is high before I eat. Yay! It has only been one day but I am very happy with how it all worked out yesterday. He also doubled the amount of one of the medications I was taking and added another which is a once a week injection. So far I am beyond happy with this doctor. And the bonus: he wore a yellow shirt when I met him on Tuesday! (Yellow is my favorite color.)

I have so much to write that I haven’t been able to get to because there is always someone else needing my attention and/or I am not near my laptop. I have too much trouble typing on my phone to do an entire blog post beyond a picture post or just a paragraph or two so I don’t usually post by phone. Hopefully I will be able to put up a couple more posts before the April madness begins. Believe me, it will be tough!

So go out and enjoy baseball. Root for your team but don’t forget mine!

 

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I’ve debated about writing this. On the one hand, it’s too much whining and I have done more of that than I like to do. On the other hand, I guess maybe someone will learn something or someone will have some encouraging words. I’m at the point, almost, of just giving up.

It’s this weight thing with the insulin. I continue to put on weight and the medication that may help me is still not being approved. The tiny sliver of hope just popped up in my inbox. The doctor’s office responded that they are still working on authorization and they should get it but it may be another week. Crossing my fingers that they are right.

Until I can talk to the doctor and/or the dietitian, I think I’m going to try those liquid meal replacements for diabetics. Each one is supposed to be a full meal and they have about fifteen carbs. I think if I do that I might not need very much insulin at all. But I don’t even know if I am thinking this out right. My mind is foggy these days.

And my hands hurt, my fingers. I don’t know if it is my arthritis or the extra weight or something else. All of my lab work done at the beginning of this month was really positive. My A1c is within normal range; my cholesterol is in the lower part of the normal range; lipids are fine; liver function is good. So I am thinking it is my arthritis. It’s quite painful and to have it in my hands makes it worse because it is difficult to use my hands too much because of the pain.

See? Too much whining. I am trying to keep positive but some days are tougher than others and this is one of those days.

If you are so inclined, please hold positive thoughts for me. Send me some magic ju-ju!

 

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What a question. The obvious answer would be yes, we’re all going to die. However, it was Spencer (4 years old) asking. So not a good answer for him.

It all came about because of his curiosity and my diabetes. Actually, it goes back to my surgery last July. Somehow, he must have heard the grownups discussing the possibility that I might die. They hear everything, those little ones, especially the things they are not supposed to. I was very careful not to discuss anything like that in front of them. But I think my daughter must have discussed it with either her boyfriend or her friends, maybe even on the phone. So he heard it and got it in his head.

Fast forward to now. I am careful not to test or inject my insulin around the boys but because they spend so much time with me, it is sometimes inevitable that they will see me test and/or inject. Spencer asked me what I was doing when I was testing my glucose, which requires a prick of the finger to get a drop of blood for the meter. I explained that I was testing to see how much sugar was in my blood. I went on to tell him, in the simplest of terms, that we all have sugar in our blood but sometimes our body doesn’t work right and we end up with too much sugar in our blood and that can hurt our organs and make us sick. I told him that is what I have and it is called diabetes. That’s why I have to test my blood before every meal and at other times. Then I have to give myself an injection of insulin that helps get rid of the sugar in my blood (again, I had to keep it very simple). He’s very curious now and every time he sees me reach for my meter, he wants to come watch. Then when I am done testing and injecting, he always asks “Nana, are you going to die?” The answer I give him is simple, too. “No, I’m okay. I’m not going to die.”

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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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