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.

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

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