Facebook killed this blog…

I don’t blame Facebook entirely. It’s just that I post anything of significance there, where I know who’s reading and who cares. And then conversations ensue, or they don’t. Either way, I don’t post here because I don’t want to be redundant. I’m pretty sure anyone who still reads this is on my Facebook. Right?

Well, in case not, and at the risk of being redundant, here’s what’s new:

Work: I got a new job. I resigned from the web hosting field, and got a job that will benefit my career and family in the long run. I still work from home but I’m no longer working as a contractor. I’m an employee for the first time in over a decade.

Kids: Kevin is home from college until he figures out where and how he wants to proceed with his education. We tried to tell him that pursuing a musical teaching degree in this economy might not be the wisest choice, but did he listen? Not till he got there and realized we were right. Musical programs are being cut all over; teachers, assistant teachers, you name it. He even experienced it first hand when the award winning choir program lost their assistant choir teacher his senior year due to budget cuts. That didn’t phase him.. but watching the cost of college rack up and seeing how many students would be his future competition opened his eyes. He’s currently working part time, while trying to find full time work somewhere to help with the cost of school once he figures it all out. It’s really tough for his age group right now..

The rest of the kids are doing great!

Grandkids: That’s not a typo… We’re going to be grandparents. Soon. VERY soon! Kat is due early August but I’m guessing she won’t make it till the end of July. 🙂 We can’t wait to meet our little grandson!

Home: We’re still happy with the rental. We’re ecstatic with the central A/C. Until it breaks. So far that’s only happened once and the landlord paid to fix it. Happy about THAT! 🙂 The old house is no longer our concern. And that’s all that needs to be said about THAT! Well, maybe a bit more needs to be said: Banks suck. They are the root of all evil. I’ll never use a bank again and I’m quite happy with my local credit union. OK. I’m done.

Health: Well, there’s a can of worms. I’ll start with Jack. He’s always had breathing issues at night (sleep apnea) as long as I’ve known him. But it used to be occasional. It’s progressively gotten worse over the years. Now, it’s so bad he keeps ME up at night because I’m worrying and poking him so he’ll breathe. He struggles physically all night to breathe. When he starts struggling (the second he falls asleep) his arm shoots up in the air and he holds it there for a while (this seems to allow him to breathe), then it falls back down. Occasionally on me! Rinse and repeat. All. Night. Long. He can no longer stay awake for… well, anything. So he saw a sleep specialist today and they’ll be calling us back soon for his overnight sleep study. I have a feeling it will be a split study.

Normally they monitor you all night, then go over the results, decide what to do, and call you back in a few days. However; if your apnea is bad enough, they’ll stop the monitoring that night to treat you right away. Since Jack’s apnea starts the second he falls asleep and he struggles the whole night, I don’t think they’ll let him go all night like that. We both can’t wait to get a good night’s sleep! 🙂

As for me: I’ve started a new Diabetes medication. Remember that Lizard Spit I was all “wtf??” about? Here’s an updated link to an article about it since the one in my old post doesn’t work anymore.) Well, guess who’s on it! Moi! Never thought I’d see the day! Although, it IS really fun to tell people I inject Gila monster venom twice a day. 🙂 It’s done wonders for my BG levels. And I’m one of the lucky ones that have lost weight on it. Twenty pounds since October. Basically for some it has a side effect of loss of appetite. I never really lost my appetite, BUT… If I overeat, even by a bite, the results aren’t pretty. I get very ill. So, I eat smaller portions. Eating less = weight loss. Who knew??? 😉

The weight loss also made me rethink the exercise thing.. again. Remember how I ranted here, and then pondered here about the whole exercise and weight loss thing? Well, I can tell you from my own personal experience that just by eating less and controlling your portions, while not exercising one bit, you can still lose weight. I’ve never tried that before and didn’t plan to when going on this new medication. It just happened all because I physically could NOT overeat. I still can’t, but also have no desire to. I’m now acutely aware when I get full.

But I still don’t get enough exercise. And exercise is good for you… There is NO denying that. So, since we can afford a few extras now, we joined a gym this week. We tried Aqua Zumba last night and had a blast! As soon as I publish this I’m heading out for a Yoga class. Which means I got to go!

I posted this last night right before the Yoga class, but wordpress was doing maintenance so it didn’t post. FYI: yoga is harder than it looks!

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Exercise and weight loss

Remember this rant? Exercise only affects 5% of weight loss… WTF?

Ever since then, I keep hearing that this may actually be true: Exercise has a lot less of an affect on weight loss than previously thought. I had such a hard time wrapping my brain around that concept, but more and more articles are saying so and it’s starting to make a little bit of sense to me.

I know many who have lost weight with the “eat less move more” mindset as posted in this article, “Exercise? A fat lot of good that is for weight loss”. I’ve lost weight with this mindset. But everyone I know who’s gone this route has gained most, if not all of it, back. I lost 50 lbs! But I gained 15 back, then lost five again and am currently plateaued and have been for two years.

Here’s a quote from The Times article where The Mayo Clinic concluded, from recent research, that:

Most studies have demonstrated no or modest weight loss with exercise alone … patients should have realistic expectations, an exercise regimen … is unlikely to result in short-term weight loss beyond what is achieved with dietary change.

So I guess instead of looking for a gym membership, I should be consulting with a dietitian? 🙂

Exercise only affects 5% of weight loss… WTF?

First, the good news.

I got my pathology results today and there was no atypia or malignancy identified in the tissue that was removed. So that’s a huge huge HUGE relief. My incision is healing fine and everything there looks good. The THINGS are truly NO MORE! I go back in six weeks for another check. After that I’ve been instructed to be checked every six months, with every other checkup being a mammogram. They want to keep a close eye on me.

The other news isn’t bad. But it’s weird and I need your opinions, thoughts, etc. But first I have to back up a bit.

Wednesday last week I woke up with a sore throat and a headache. It wasn’t horrible, just annoying. Then the morning of my surgery I woke up in a coughing fit. It subsided by the time I got to the hospital but I let them know anyway. They weren’t concerned after listening to my lungs and finding them clear. I was pretty much fine till Sunday when I started coughing again. I proceeded to cough during the night, and had several coughing fits Monday. My throat has been hurting off an on all week as well.

No one else is sick in my family. No sore throats. No sniffles. I don’t even have a sniffle. Just this weird and annoying cough and the occasional sore throat.

I mentioned the cough to Dr. S (the one who did my surgery) at my post-op appointment today. He said if it persists I should see my regular doctor. I then asked him about Dr. D. (the one who was supposed to do my surgery but got sick and canceled). It turns out Dr. D got really ill with a cough. It was so bad she had to be hospitalized (she’s pregnant) and put on medication. I just saw Dr. D the week before and now *I* have a cough. Interesting.

I asked Dr. S if he knew if Dr. D’s cough was viral or not. He wasn’t sure. Then he caught on to why I was asking, so he joked and said, “Who got who sick? “Maybe YOU got HER sick?!” Who knows? Who cares? I was just asking out of curiosity since that is a coincidence and it’d be nice to know if she had a virus that was contagious. (No I haven’t been to Mexico.)

But that’s not the weird part.

While I’m still talking to him about this cough he cuts me off and asked if my regular doctor is working with me on my weight. This was completely random and out of the blue. I stammered a bit and eventually said no, but I starting a walking routine recently and…

He cut me off again and said “walking won’t help”.

Jack and I both gaped at him.

I replied, “it’s not just walking, it’s a full cardio workout.”

Dr S. replied with a wave of his hand, “exercise doesn’t do anything. It only affects maybe 5% of weight loss”.

Again Jack and I gaped. Only 5%? WTF is he talking about? This is a DOCTOR and he’s telling me that exercise isn’t going to help me lose weight? So I asked him if he meant I needed a diet change.

He was pretty vague in his answer. He said that people rarely lose weight on their own and usually need some sort of program. He said I should talk to my regular doctor about it.

It’s bugged me all day. And I can certainly understand now why my sister didn’t like this doctor.

How can a doctor who claims to have 26 years of experience say exercise won’t help me lose weight? I’ve tried to wrap my brain around it and I can’t. It could be that he means that exercise will help me lose weight, but unless I exercise forever it won’t stay off? I know it’s hard to keep the weight off and maintain. I know this quite well as I’m a yo-yo when it comes to my weight…

Or maybe he was trying to tell me that he thinks I overeat and no amount of exercise would help me? Maybe he’s one of those kind of people who just assumes all overweight people sit on their ass all day and eat as much as they can stuff in their mouths? Or maybe since he’s a surgeon, he was hinting at some sort gastric bypass surgery or something?

He then went on to tell me that with the history in my family, losing weight is something I should really think about as breasts don’t like fat. (I thought breasts were primarily fatty tissue, but HE’s the doctor…). He pretty much was all about talking about my weight after that.

Jack and I were so shocked that we didn’t really get to ask any questions about the surgery, including the most important one: why did I have these clogged ducts and masses in there. I know the answer would have likely been, “who knows with these things” but I still would have liked the chance to ask. Instead I felt like I was being accused of something and felt a little offended. I really wanted to tell him that my sister was not overweight and she got breast cancer, asshole.

So what do you guys think? Especially about this exercise thing? Were we justified in being shocked at what he was saying? Do I have a right to feel slightly offended? Or are we completely missing something (besides that we both know I’m overweight)?

The turkey was stuffed, but I wasn't!

Ok so I lied. I was a little stuffed. But I did better than years past eating-wise on Thanksgiving. I only had one piece of pie the whole three days we were at Grandma’s house. Even turned it down for leftover lunch the next day. Although apparently my sister-in-law thought it freakin’ hilarious in a “you’re delusional” way when I said I’d stick with my healthier (than pie) spinach dip and tomatoes for my dessert. The nerve. But hey, overall I didn’t stuff myself to oblivion like I’ve done in the past and for that I’m patting myself on the back. I am pretty sure my BG levels remained pretty consistent. (I say “pretty sure” because I forgot my glucose meter).

We came home Friday night in time to unpack, clean up the house, and start some Christmas decorating. The rest of the weekend was spent decorating outside. What a CHORE! Thankfully we have wonderful friends that help us every year that makes it so much more fun and enjoyable.

My only gripe is I can never get a decent picture of our efforts. Our camera sucks at taking night pictures. The iPhone camera pretty much sucks too as you can see from the pictures taken with it of our decorated house below:

Our house all lit up

Our house all lit up

Closeup of the lights on our house.

Closeup of the lights on our house.

By the way, in my previous post there were two pictures. I edited them out just now because I was testing the WordPress iPhone application and didn’t think about the fact that someone else’s child (my nephew) was in the pictures and I forgot to get permission from his parents before I posted them. They’ll be back once/if I get permission. 🙂

We're still alive

Quickie update: Some sort of bug is making its rounds through our household. It’s a sinusy headachy eye-watery cold bug of some sort. It kept Sissa home last week a few days, and now Cody and I are feeling it. Sucktacular.

Things are moving alone nicely with the transition of our foster daughter. There’s been a few ups and downs and the two youngest are struggling a bit to figure out their new places in our family but for the most part it’s been a very smooth transition for all of us. (If you don’t count the red tape that I’ve been tangled up in here and there.) 😉

We had a court trial yesterday to determine the child’s future. I’ve never been to anything like that and it was pretty uneventful and quick. There will be more of these in the future I’m told.

Health wise I’ve lost a few pounds. I haven’t done anything to lose it though. I think it’s just been the flurry of constant activity going on in our lives and barely having time to eat some days. Other than this weird bug I’ve got now I’ve been feeling pretty good, though.

Diabetes sucks. But we already knew that. I’m just coasting along as usual in that department.

Laughter is the best medicine?

My “big” doctor appointment went well yesterday all things considered. I had Jack go with me and that relieved a lot of my anxiety.

Yesterday’s appointment was a full physical … and I giggled through the whole thing like a total idiot. For example, my doctor asked if I drank alcohol. I giggled little a guilty little kid as I said no. He looked at me skeptically and asked, “not even occasionally?”. Oops. I admitted that I did drink occasionally then confessed I had one Mike’s Light Hard Lemonade (Raspberry Flavored) the night before. Then I had to elaborate and explain that my kids drank all the diet pop we had in the house and it was the only thing left.

He asked me, “what’s wrong with water?”

I giggled again as I felt a bit defensive explaining I drink water ALL THE TIME. What choice to I have? I even whined about how restaurants only have water or diet cola as the beverage choices for a diabetic… Not that any sort of alcohol is good for a diabetic.. but you know.. He caught me and I was rationalizing and acting like a goofy teenager or something. I also admitted to having a few drinks on the Fourth of July. He just gave me a disapproving look to which I giggled at of course.

The giggling did stop during the ‘female’ part of the exam. Imagine that?

Jack brought up basically everything I’ve been concerned about and that embarrassed me a bit. It was like being a hypochondriac by proxy. There were some things I wasn’t going to bring up. He meant well and I’m sure it’s all stuff I should have brought up anyway.

What was weird is my doctor’s attitude was completely that of a concerned doctor who wanted to hear everything I (Jack) had to say. Such a different experience than I’ve had in the past and not what I expected. Maybe because Jack brought some of it up instead of me? (Figures.. a man would listen to another man better… er. I didn’t say that.)

Now I just await the results of the blood work and most importantly, the results of the HbA1c. If it’s good, then life will continue as normal and I just need to get to back on focus for the weight loss. (Btw, I’ve lost 5 lbs since the last time I whined about gaining some back). If it’s not.. well, I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. So far everything looks OK now and my fears were mostly put aside. For now.

Keeping score

When I typed up this post the other day, at the last minute I mentioned I should keep score. Ever since then I’ve gone to bed with the score in my head. It’s not something I planned or thought about ahead of time. It literally popped into my head at the time I typed it. Then I started wondering what exactly I am keeping score of?

I read a lot of blogs of people who have diabetes. Many (most) of them have type 1 diabetes or are insulin dependent. I feel for what they go through and sometimes I feel guilty for the whining I do about my own diabetes. The guilt primarily stems from the knowledge that I am not doing much to manage my own diabetes, while they struggle with injections, constant testing, insulin pumps, etc. All things I don’t have to deal with.

Having been insulin dependent for an entire pregnancy I have a small taste of what’s it’s like to manage that type of diabetes on a day to day basis. That was only 8 months. The blogs I read are doing this for LIFE!

In many ways it was easier for me to manage the diabetes when I was on insulin. It was so much more in my face and part of my daily routine. The constant testing, the injections, learning how to compensate for highs and lows. I even learned how to plan ahead for meals I knew would have a higher carb and/or sugar content and adjusting my insulin injections accordingly.

It wasn’t just the insulin. The biggest motivation for me to keep things under tight control was the diabetes wasn’t just affecting me. There was a baby inside me I had to consider as well. This was true also when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes during the previous pregnancy. I had such control over the diabetes during that pregnancy that I lost weight. My total weight gain for that pregnancy was 4 lbs. The baby was born an 8lbs 10oz. When you add the baby’s weight, the fluids, etc. I lost over 20 lbs during the pregnancy. And that was with diet alone!

It’s been over 7 years since I’ve been pregnant and I’ve had a pretty crappy attitude towards my diabetes ever since. Sure I have taken the horse supplements sized pills I’m supposed to take faithfully morning and night for 3.5 years, I lost some weight, and I’ve tested here and there. That’s pretty much all I’ve done to manage this. Other than the pills, there’s been no daily routine for me. And I’ve had it in my head it’s just me so it’s not a big deal.

I really do want to change my attitude. It DOES still affect my family. Especially if my diabetes or complications from diabetes takes years off my life. The thought of that really scares me.

For the past few days, keeping score has been a silly way for me to find some motivation to do something every day that helps me manage and control not only the diabetes, but the weight issues as well. I guess you could say I score a point for the days I do something about my diabetes: the days I feel I have done well to overcome some aspect of it. If I do even just one thing daily, no matter how small, I’ve had a successful day diabetes-wise. It’s working so far so I’m sticking with it.

This weekend I scored only one point sadly. This is actually what made me wonder how I’m going to keep score. When does the diabetes score one?? I guess it’s going to be the days I did absolutely nothing to manage or control it, or the days I utterly fail at the basics like I did on Friday.

I scored a half a point Saturday and Sunday for a total of 1 point for the weekend. I didn’t get my walks in. I could have, but was busy and never worked it in. (AKA: I made a million excuses, though the one about my shins hurting was 100% true! :)) I also didn’t consistently eat 100% healthy the whole weekend. At the same time, there were times I did make a conscious effort to eat smaller portions and I found ways to get small exercises in. (No cardio, just toning stuff.) I also made the decision to look into jazzercise again and even found a class nearby that has times that would totally work for me. Considering that’s more than I did last weekend, I’ll call it a success. Not enough to score a full point each day, but still a success. 😉

Tracie 3
Diabetes 1