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. 🙂

Maybe it should be

I’ve contemplated changing the name and domain of this blog to — because that’s what my life is. CrAzY. It seems the older I get the more there is to get done, the more there is to deal with, and the time flies faster and faster.

There’s so much going on that I struggle to figure out where to start when it comes to updating this. Some of it good, some of it scary, some of exciting, and it all adds up to stress for us. Some of it is good stress, but stress is stress.

In the health and diabetes department I’m pretty much just coasting along. There’s been so much going on I don’t even have time to think about it, take my walks, worry about food, etc. I’ve been basically scraping by taking my meds and attempting to eat somewhat healthy.

In the financial department I’m so so tired of the roller coaster ride from the banks, mortgage industry, etc. I knew I had reason to worry. Thanks to the market nose-dive, we’re upside down on our mortgage. I try not to stress about it too much but it’s hard not to, ya know? I mean.. we’re in the HOLE as far as this house is concerned without a lot of options. When we bought our first house, we had a great loan but not such a great house. The second time around we got a great house but not such a great loan. If there ever is a third time I pray we get BOTH right.

In the family department we’re doing good. We’ve got kids in football, choir (two of them in choir), safety patrol, drama/theater production, etc. It makes for never a dull moment around here. There’s also exciting, scary, and new stuff happening. Unfortunately it falls into the category of Things I Cannot Post on the Internet. At least not right now. For those of you in our life that know what’s going on, all I can say is thank you for your support, encouragement, and the help offered and given in this new adventure for us. It means a lot.

That’s all for now. I’ll try to update this more often.

WTF.. just WTF

Got the results of my lab work… and a note from my doctor that “for some reason the lab didn’t do my hba1c so we’ll check that again in two months”. WTF.

Despite all my efforts at naturally lowering my cholesterol, it went up anyway. WTF.

Despite the increased exercise habits, my good cholesterol only went up a little and is still well below the normal range. WTF.

My doctor is asking me to try another ‘statin’ medication that “should be more tolerable”. WTF.

There’s a bunch of fancy medical terms for other tests that were done that I don’t understand at all. WTF.

Three of the tests results were for “lymphocytes, absolute neutrophil count, and neutrophils all that fell just outside the normal ranges. I have no idea what these mean.. something to do with white blood cell counts I guess from a google search? WTF.

I knew I wasn’t completely healthy. I mean.. duh. But I didn’t think all my efforts meant squat. WTF.

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.

One Diabetic related doctor appointment down, 2 to go

I’ve managed to drag myself to the doctor, and have another appointment this week, and a follow up after that. Could be more depending on the results of all this. Especially if I decide to fire my doctor. (How does one go about doing that? Is it in poor taste to ask him to recommend someone else? hehe)

I’m not going to go much into it. I know this blog is about living with my diabetes and all that, but there are some things I just don’t want to share with you, dear Internet, as much as I love you and all. 🙂 Maybe when I get things back under control I will. But for now, I’m once again taking baby steps to get this thing under control. And there may be changes ahead for me. We shall see.

Doctors.. oh how I loathe thee

Why is it so hard to find a good doctor? I need a little medical attention. Specifically some diabetes medical attention and a possible sinus infection. But because my doctor has stressed me out so many times I get almost panicky when I have to call him.

I end up with this internal battle with myself, trying to figure out if my issues with this doctor is him, or is it me? Take for example this post from a few years ago where I ramble about how I don’t like my doctor because of one little thing he said to me and I felt he brushed me off. Then I post that he’s not so bad. The thing is I still feel he brushes my concerns off and just wants to push pills on me. It seems if I try to question the choice to put me on pills at the first sign of any trouble, he acts like I’m just a dumb patient, take the pills and shut up.

Today I’m all anxious because I have to call him. (I only get his medical assistant’s voice mail whenever I call.. I doubt he’d give me the time of day over the phone..) I have knots in my stomach waiting for the assistant to call me back. I shouldn’t be this nervous/anxious/worried about even talking to his assistant but she’s just a clone of him attitude-wise. She always sounds put out that she has to return a call too. Besides calling the front desk to schedule appointments, I’ve called them 2 times since November, both for prescription refills, so I don’t think I’m calling too much. It’s it a lot to ask that they act like they WANT my business?

And that’s what it is. A business. I pay them to help me make decisions about my medical care, find any issues, and plan a course of action to fix the issues. I sure wish my doctor saw it this way. Instead I just feel like he’s in a hurry to throw some pills (I’m sure he treats the pharmaceutical reps better) at me and move on to the next dumb patient with cash or good insurance in their pockets.

Walking is an adventure

Or maybe it’s the diabetes that’s the adventure? Maybe it’s a bit of both.

I had planned to walk earlier in the day today since it was going to be blazin’ hot again.

Before I go any further, think about what I just typed. I had planned to walk. Again. Two days in a row. *pats self on back*

Unfortunately I didn’t get to go until around 1 PM. I contemplated skipping it since by then it was close to 90 degrees out but I’ve managed to find some sort of motivation lately to do these walks and I knew I could talk myself out of it with a million excuses so off I went. Except it wasn’t that easy.

I took my dog Randy with me yesterday. Today it was only fair that I take Kendra (both Golden retrievers). Until I figure out the best way to pack the phone, iPod, and a bottle of water, I don’t want to wrestle two dogs, so one at a time it is. I got Kendra leashed up, cell phone in one hand, iPod in the other, and as I walked out the door a flash of black and white zipped by my feet. RatDog (AKA Cassie) decided she was going too.

Cassie was never properly leashed trained. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t know what a leash is. She sees one and gets excited. But try as we might, we’re not teaching this old dog the ‘trick’ of walking properly on a leash. She is also the kind of dog that once she gets loose, she’s GONE. “See ya!” I chased her down with Kendra in tow behaving like an angel on her leash, but Ratdog was having none of it. She managed to keep one step ahead of me for a full block. I realized as long as I had Kendra on the leash Ratdog was never going to come back to me. So I ran Kendra back home (she looked pretty confused at that point) and went back after Cassie. Except in the time it took me to get Kendra back home, Cassie pulled a disappearing act. The little shit just vanished.

By this time I was pretty ticked off and already out of breath (from running). I power walked back to the house, hopped in my car and went looking for her. If I was in shape I might have been able to keep on running on foot to look for her. But I’m not… and I was starting to panic that she was going to get lost. I found her crouching in the grass in the shade of a tree two blocks from home. She was looking pretty guilty, as well as a bit overheated. I sternly scolded her all the way home. (I didn’t yell at her, but she knew I wasn’t happy with her.)

I should have called that my exercise for today but I felt cheated and wanted my walk! I’ve never done walks like this on my own. I know that sounds crazy for as old as I am but it’s true. I thoroughly enjoyed myself yesterday and wanted to do it again. I got Kendra leashed up again, Ratdog kenneled, and set off for a real walk even though I was already sweaty at this point.

I chose to walk along the trails in the park a few blocks from our house. The park has tons of tall trees with lots of shade. By the time I got to the park my legs and ankles were tired, likely from yesterday. But it was well worth it and I’m glad I did it. I pushed myself to go home the long way past our old house and up the hill and saw my old neighbor. We talked for a few minutes then I headed home.

When I did this yesterday, I kicked off my shoes and sat down as soon as I got in the door. I think that was a mistake. It took me a long time to cool down and I felt sick for a bit. Today I walked circles around my house to slowly cool down and let my heart rate come down at a slower pace. That worked much better and I didn’t get the sick feeling. I should have known to do this. I used to do aerobics (jazzercise) all the time and they teach you about warming up and cooling down. I assume it’s the same for any type of exercise even if it’s just fast walking.

If only the adventure had ended there.

My brother got home a few minutes after I did. I chatted with him a bit and then chatted with a friend online. I was hungry at this point and decided to drive up to the corner store for a deli sandwich real quick before my lunch break was over.

They make them fresh while you wait and as I was watching the deli girl make it, I started getting frustrated. A co-worker had walked up and started chatting with her. She continued to work on my sandwich but at a slower pace and with pauses here and there as she talked to her co-worker. Suddenly I wanted to cry. WHY was she taking so damn long?? Didn’t she know I had to get back to work? Didn’t she know I was hungry? Tears started welling up in my eyes. Jeez these people just don’t get it.

It’s amazing to me how a low blood sugar moment can creep up on me without my realizing it. Many times in my life I’ve had food shoved in my face by friends and family. They see it before I do. But here I was at the store, by myself, ready to start bawling my eyes out because the deli girl was taking 30 seconds longer than normal to make my sandwich. Something must have been on my face because she asked me if I was OK. It wasn’t until she asked me that I realized what was happening.

In the fuzzy haze my brain was in I knew I needed something NOW and stupidly grabbed the first thing I could reach. That happened to be a bag of Funyuns. (They had a row of chips to go with the sandwiches right where you wait.) I ripped open the bag and started stuffing my face with them. Stupid stupid stupid.

First of all, Funyuns aren’t something you can eat fast. Second of all, they aren’t going to do much to raise blood sugar quickly so one can drive home safely. I should have walked the 5 feet over to the other counter were they had rows of candy bars. But.. I was in a fog at that point and knew I needed food. Anything. Just food. I am not sure Funyuns qualify as food!

By then the deli girl was looking at me funny. I’m sure I appeared to be about 2 steps away from needing drug treatment the way I was shaking and shoveling Funyuns into my face. I also have a vague memory of telling her I was fine, just drooling over the sandwich. I’m sure that didn’t help my case much.

And I drove home. This is a no-no. I know this. I was so panicky at this point all I could think about was getting back to my desk so I would be back on time from my lunch break and eat. In hindsight, if I had my wits about me, I wouldn’t have driven home. It’s only a few blocks but still… I screwed up by doing that. They have a table and chairs at the store I could have sat down at and eaten my sandwich. Or at least a candy bar to raise my BG Levels up enough to be safe to drive.

When I did a test it said 71. That’s not that low, but I’m beginning to suspect my BG meter is a bit off. I had a mildly shaky moment a few days ago and it said I was 92. It felt lower than that. So I’ll be getting that checked, too. I should have checked before I drove off. Suddenly throwing myself into vigorous exercise is surely going to tweak my bg levels a bit. It should have been common sense for me.

If I’m going to continue keeping score, I’m not sure how to score this one. While I managed to get some good exercise in despite the issues I had getting started, I still failed at some basic diabetic ‘rules’. Things that most diabetics would consider common sense.

I guess we’ll call this one a tie.

Tracie 2
Diabetes 1

I quit whining and I walked

I took a walk today. A brisk (for me) walk even. It’s a start.

I’m just so disgusted with myself for gaining back any of the weight I’ve lost, and doing nothing to get my health back on track. All the issues I’m currently experiencing can very likely be reversed if I just took care of my body.

I’m not sure how far I walked today since I had nothing to measure it with other than the song times on my iPod. I added up the time (not counting the time I spent flipping through songs until I landed on one I felt like walking to):

3:29 – Above the Wreckage – Dishwalla
3:40 – Across the Universe – Michael Johns version
3:11 – Banana Pancakes – Jack Johnson
3:27 – Bleed Like Me – Trapt
3:33 – Born Like This – Three Days Grace
4:27 – Burn – Three Days Grace
6:23 – Change – Candlebox (1/2 song – I was home before it ended)
Total time walking: 24:59

(Note to self: Put the iPod on shuffle next time instead of alphabetical. And seriously think about actually purchasing that external hard drive you’ve had your eye on for all your MP3’s.)

I might have overdid it a bit. I AM out of shape after all and my route included a rather steep hill. It took a good hour for me to cool down and not feel nauseous after I got home. Of course I went at my lunch break (2:30’sh PM) and it was freakin’ hot outside. But I survived it, it was actually fun, and I feel pretty good right now.

I even tested my BG levels twice today. So despite my whining earlier today, I’m going to call this day a victory for me. I hope it’s only the beginning of many more to come.

Maybe I should keep score?
Tracie 1
Diabetes 0

I suck at diabetes

I’ve been having some ‘off’ days. By off I mean, I’ve been cranky and not in the best of moods. When I get like that I don’t like to post because I know I’ll come across whiny and annoying.

So what’s got me down? It’s a lot of things. We’ve had a lot of stress in our lives the past few months, and being sick twice in two months didn’t help. But right now what’s weighing heavily on my mind the most is my health.

Back in 2004 when I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, I knew it was time to do something about my weight. I was freaked out but determined to get it under control and fast. I read a lot of books, did a lot of research and soul-searching. I thought I had a handle on things.

My goal was to lose enough weight to be able to control the diabetes on my own without medication. I did great. I lost almost 50 lbs over the next few months. I felt great. My BG levels were under control. I had some ups and downs but for the most part I was on the right track.

Then, I’m not sure what happened. My weight loss plateaued and I just hung out at the same weight for a very long time… about two years. It was frustrating but at the time I was hyper-focused on my job and living for that job (like an idiot). I stopped exercising but continued to eat right so it wasn’t that big of a deal. Even when I was diagnosed with borderline high cholesterol, I brushed it off knowing I’d “get back on track” soon. I knew I even gained a ‘couple’ pounds back but I wasn’t going to worry. I mentioned it here a few times how I was going to exercise and kick my butt back into gear. I meant it at the times I posted.

But I failed.

The reality check came the weekend Jack and I went on our little getaway. I brought some jeans I haven’t worn in a while. When I put them on I noticed right away they were snug, but I figured it was because they were freshly washed and would stretch out a bit. WRONG. I was miserable. I sat through breakfast wondering if I could get away with unbuttoning them and wondering if the circulation would come back to my legs when I stood up. After breakfast I explained to Jack my discomfort and we went and picked me up a few pairs of Capri sweats so I could breath again.

I wanted to cry. Those pants not only fit me when I got them over a year ago, they were sort of loose. Now I couldn’t even breathe in them.

A few days ago I finally got the courage to get back on the scale. I’ve gained back 13 pounds of the 50 I lost. It doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but it’s definitely showing and it’s obviously affecting my health both physically and mentally.

What the hell is wrong with me?

I thought about posting (mostly to myself) another “I’m going to do something about this” type post but FFS I’ve done that and I clearly don’t follow through. Getting all self-pitying about it isn’t helping either.

At this point, I just don’t know WHAT to do to get the motivation, the time, and the energy to do what needs to be done with this body of mine.

Bullet Sunday #16

It’s been a while since I’ve done a Bullet Sunday and there’s so much random stuff going on I figured it was fitting to do one today.

  • Last weekend the sun was shining, it was close to 80 degrees outside and we had a BBQ. This weekend we’re taking pictures of the snow that fell. SNOW. In April. This just isn’t right. It wasn’t a lot of snow and it’s gone now but still. Snow? In April? Unheard of around here.

    Snow that fell April 19, 2008

  • Today’s the day we get to go to JCPenney and to have them correct their mistake. I have to quote Jeff in the comments on that post because he gave an awesome suggestion for how to handle it:

    Jeff on April 20th, 2008 at 7:29 am

    (((RING))) (((RING))) (((RING)))

    Tracie: “Hello, Store Manager? Yes, I’d like you to send someone out to the house to finish the job that your sales clerk didn’t.”

    Store Manager: “Well, Ma’am, I don’t think I can do that.”

    Tracie: “I’ll come to you, then. I’ll be the one with the flock of kids running wild up & down your aisles of nice, light-colored, ladies springtime outfits with triple-scoop chocolate ice cream cones.”

    My kids are usually well-behaved in stores. (I say usually because sometimes when their dad is with them they are less well-behaved because he’s a big dopey kid himself who doesn’t see anything wrong with running up and down the aisles.) But in this case, I think Jeff’s idea is a good one. Don’t you?

  • Today is also the day we will finally replace the stupid vertical blinds that plague our back patio door. I can’t stand them anymore. Though I do think I’ll be in for disappointment. I’m pretty sure the curtain I want will have to be ordered. *sigh* I also want to look at installing some motion sensor lights for our driveway. Our old house had them and I miss being able to turn off the porch light but still have those come on when we came home or when someone comes over.
  • I haven’t updated on my health lately so here’s quickie: I’m doing OK with the Diabetes and my BG levels are pretty under control. I have a doc appointment coming up soon’ish and I’ll find out how my cholesterol levels are. I know he’s going to want to put me back on the Lovastatin and I’m not looking forward to that battle with him. Weight-wise I’m still stuck in the same rut (lost 50 pounds, gained back 10 and have plateaued).
  • I changed up the site design here at a bit. The basic template is the same but I’ve taken out the colors on the sidebars and changed up the fonts a bit. I also created a graphical logo for the header and a favicon. I think this is easier on the eyes and a bit less busy. What do you think?
  • Who watched Battlestar Galactica? I don’t want to say much … but OMG! Just.. OMG! What a totally messed up episode. OMG! … lol

[tags]bullet sunday,diabetes,living with diabetes,cholesterol,battlestar galactica,vertical blinds,jcpenney,wordpress template,site design[/tags]