Friday, May 27, 2011

The Diabetic Returns


Hi, I’m back!  Did you miss me?  I have to say that my vacation from diabetes was nice but it wasn’t fabulous.  You know how you look forward to something so much that you build up this dream of what it will be like, and then when it turns out to be not so great you’re disappointed? That pretty much describes my vacation from diabetes.

Did I eat things I shouldn’t have?  Yup.  Did I feel guilty about that?  Not in the least.  That was the best part of yesterday; I didn’t worry about what I ate.  The lack of guilt and concern made the day so nice.  In that respect the vacation was a huge success and I learned a few things about myself in the process.

First of all, I am definitely addicted to carbs.  When I want something to eat I always think of carbs first.  That’s not necessarily true when I’m planning a meal but it is very true when I think about snacking.  Given the choice between hummus with veggies and hummus with crackers, I’ll take the crackers every time.

Second, I feel much better when I don’t overeat.  Now that may seem like a no-brainer but actually experiencing that was helpful.  I didn’t pig out (I’m happy to say) but I did eat more than I normally would have eaten.  Feeling too full after a meal was a good reminder for me.  I have more energy and don’t gravitate toward the recliner nearly as much when my stomach is not so full.  That slightly hungry feeling is a good one!  I need to remember that.  No matter how yummy the dinner tastes, it’s better to stop before I’m stuffed.

Third, even though I was giving myself carte blanche to eat “whatever”, I still made healthier choices!  That makes me smile.  I’m finally getting to the point in my life where I am aware of what I’m eating.  It’s not just because of the diabetes but I’m trying to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle.  I’m seeing what old age is like (not me!  I’m not old.  In fact, I wonder if I’ll ever grow up) and I want to slide into that part of my life as gracefully as possible.  I like the fact that I’m starting to “get it”.  There’s hope for me yet!

My last observation is that I’ve been way too obsessed with my diabetes.  I think about it too much and stress over the damn meter when it really isn’t necessary.  I don’t need to test multiple times a day.  In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if I have to test every morning!  Please remember that this is me we’re talking about here.  I’m not, in any way, advocating this idea for anyone else.  It’s important to listen to your doctor about how often to test etc.  My reality is that I’ve been at this for nearly 6 years now.  I know what I can and can’t eat.  I know, for the most part, how different foods affect my blood sugar.  Do I really need to keep reminding myself?  I don’t think so.  My doctor was right; let’s see what my A1c says.  It will tell us how I’m doing and if adjustments need to be made.  My next test is next week.  Testing my blood sugar multiple times between now and then isn’t going to make a bit of difference in the results.  So now I’m thinking that I will extend my vacation just a bit and I’m going to take a break from testing quite so much.  I will go back to eating smarter and watching my snacks.  The exercise is a must.  I’m just going to give my meter an extended vacation.  I’ll let it rest on the shelf and not bug it unless I’m feeling wonky or just curious.  This is going to be difficult.  I see it being akin to stopping smoking or kicking any other habit. I am addicted to testing but I can do this.  I can hear Ray now, “step away from the meter….” 

We have family coming to town this weekend and are planning a bbq.  My children will all be gathered and I’m looking forward to a good time.  I have a healthy menu planned and intend to relax and enjoy myself.  I hope the same for each of you.  Happy Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Diabetes Vacation


I’m not taking a vacation with diabetes; I’ve decided to take a vacation from diabetes.  Yes folks, that’s right.  Tomorrow I will not be a diabetic!  I plan to eat whenever I’m hungry and not think about my meter.  I will eat whatever sounds good (that’s already in my kitchen) and I won’t measure it.  I won’t think about carbs and what they might be doing to my blood sugar.  I will not test!!  I just plan to be me; sometimes-too-sweet, crazy me!

Let me interject here that I am a type 2 diabetic who doesn’t need to inject insulin.  I am on oral meds (Metformin 500 mg, twice daily which I do plan to take as usual).  This would be an incredibly stupid and dangerous thing for me to do if I was type 1 or injecting insulin.  I’m fully aware of that.  I’m just so sick and tired of thinking about my diabetes that I’ve decided to take a vacation!

We’ve all taken mini vacations from our diabetes, haven’t we?  That time we went out to eat with friends and actually ate those French fries or tasted that dessert, after which we felt incredibly guilty or pissed at ourselves for “blowing it”.  How about that bag of chips that mysteriously disappeared or the time you could have one cookie but ate three instead?  Yeah, you know what I’m talking about.  But just once, I’d like to eat whatever I want and not think or worry about what it’s doing inside my body.  JUST ONCE!  I don’t want to feel guilty about it so the best thing I can think of to do is take a vacation.  Who feels guilty while on vacation?

I’m not just doing this to indulge myself, although I think the break will do wonders for my stress levels, I am curious to see how it goes.  What will my fasting numbers be the next day?  Will I pig out or eat sensibly?  For those of you who are thinking that I’ll stock up on pizza, ice cream, sub sandwiches and bags of cookies, I will not stock the kitchen with anything but what we normally have on hand.  I promise. 

I will post my results the next day.  So, aloha!  Bon Voyage!  Arriva derche!  Wave to me as I sail off into diabetes oblivion!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Building a Foundation


Our house was built in the Roaring 20’s on a rock foundation.  A rock foundation is simply piled-up rocks mortared together to make a wall on which the house is built.  It’s easy to think that this type of foundation is “rock solid” but after 80-plus years the mortar had crumbled.

Our house is on the side of the hill, corner lot, with a beautiful view.  This hill location means that the house is off the ground in the front by at least 10 feet.  Picture this: an 80-plus year old house perched precariously on top of a crumbling rock wall.  Makes you feel a wee bit unsteady, eh?  Welcome to our world.  There were so many projects that we wanted to start around the house but we kept thinking that we needed to get the foundation fixed first.  The crumbling foundation was keeping us from making progress.

We were finally able to find a contractor who actually wanted to work.  He and his crew descended on our abode this week and now, voila!, we are again on sound footing.  It looks great!  They were able to keep the integrity of the house’s style and give us a strong foundation, once again.

I was pondering what to blog about next as I looked out the window at the workers when it hit me; Building a Foundation would be the title of my next post.  So how does an 80 year-old rock foundation jive with my life with diabetes?  I could think of lots of ways.

Life with diabetes is like building a house.  You have to learn so much about this disease and how to live with it.  The research and information you gather is the base of your diabetes foundation, but that’s just the beginning.  You can’t just get the information; you have to do something with it.  So the next building block is a plan.  You create your plan with the help of your doctor (and dietician if you have one).  Your plan should include what to eat, how often to test, what medications to take and, last but not least, regular exercise.  Now you have to put your plan into action!  Your diabetes won’t improve unless you actually take action.  

So now you have this great foundation upon which to live with your diabetes but there is one more, very important thing we all need: the mortar.  Your foundation will crumble into a heap without the mortar.  I think the mortar for my diabetes foundation is friends.  Friends are the glue that holds it all together.  Where would we be without the support of our friends and family?  This support can come from the people you live with, your extended family, your friends and don’t forget about your online community!  Finding someone who understands what you’re going through with diabetes is priceless.  We all need someone to vent to or rejoice with; someone who understands.

Writing this post has reminded me that I do have a strong foundation on which to live with diabetes.  I’ve educated myself and will continue to do so.  I have a plan, which will change as time goes on, but it’s a plan.  I’m working that plan to the best of my ability and I have wonderful friends and family who support me throughout my journey.  I have a strong foundation; now I can go on to do so many other things.  My "projects" don't have to be on hold because of diabetes, the foundation is there for me to build upon.  I am blessed.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Houston, We Have A Problem

Things are out of control.  I strongly dislike being out of control.  Maybe that’s why I don’t like rollercoasters and bungee jumping….no control.  I’m not a control freak by any means but when things in my life are out of my control I get….grumpy.

Something has definitely shifted with my diabetes.  My morning numbers continue to be high (130’s) and occasionally my after meal numbers have been up.  The Testing Zealot has returned and she’s ugly!  But wait, there’s more!! I’ve been so freakin depressed for no good reason.  I suppose my concern over the changes in my diabetes could have something to do with my depression but it seems deeper than that.  So today I had the overwhelming desire to put my fist through the wall….and then I cried.  (The wall is still intact but the desire was real).  Kate had an epiphany……menopause.

I’ve been dealing with hot flashes for a couple of years now.  They come and go and I lose sleep but it hasn’t been awful.  No HRT….just dealing with it.  I’ve never experienced the “the bitch is going through menopause” part of this time of life.  I’m here to tell you that if this mood thing continues the HRT will be happening SOON!  I can’t live this way.  Ray shouldn’t have to deal with this either.  (He’s been very sweet and supportive).

It’s very possible that this hormone swing could be having some effect on my bg but who the heck knows!?!  That’s the frustrating part and what’s got me so upset.  I don’t know what’s causing all these things so therefore, I can’t fix them.  No control.

I’m a decent problem solver.  I like trying to figure out why something works or doesn’t work.  What has caused this to happen?  Why?  I think that’s why the testing zealot has returned; I desperately want to figure out what’s going on with my bg.  I’ve come to the conclusion that turning my fingers into pincushions isn’t doing anything but frustrating me further.  I mean, come on, I’m not on insulin so there really isn’t a need for me to continue bleeding all over the place.  I’m going to make a concerted effort to stop.

The really ironic thing is that this change in bg has happened at a time when I’ve been working so hard to lose some weight and I’ve amped up my exercising.  I’m doing so well so why aren’t my numbers showing that?  Again, no control.  It’s not like I’ve made wild changes to my diet or that I’m suddenly running marathons; all the changes have been slight, but effective.  

It would be so easy to give up but I don’t want to.  I’ve had a couple of days where I couldn’t seem to eat enough but I haven’t given up.  I decided that the best course is to continue my healthier eating and exercise routine.  Those are good, positive things to do regardless of the bg issue.  I will see my doctor in June and the A1c will tell the story.  The ugly, horrible, I’m out of control story.  (I’m just a little ray of sunshine, aren’t I?)

I wasn’t going to blog about this.  I was going to wait until things were better and then say, “see? Life is good”.  But you know what?  Life isn’t always good.  This blog is about my life with diabetes…..this is my life right now as sucky as it is.  Thanks for “listening”.  It really helps to think that someone out there is reading this and understands my frustration at some level.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Learning Experience


It’s the last day of DBlog Week and we’re supposed to blog about what we’ve learned from reading other blogs and the experience of blogging on the topics.

This has been my first experience with DBlog Week.  In fact, I just stumbled upon the whole thing a day late….I’m so glad that I did!  I only started blogging this past February and have really enjoyed the process.  It’s been good for me.  DBlog Week has opened my eyes to lots of things.  A huge thanks to Karen for making all this happen.  This must be a lot of work and I hope you know how much your effort is appreciated.

I’ve read a lot of blogs written by T1 diabetics.  I really had no idea how much work it is to deal with that side of our disease.  It’s like another whole world, isn’t it?  We (T2s) have some of the same issues but T1’s have the added layer of needles and LOTS of testing, highs and lows etc.  I won’t pretend to know all of what you deal with but I learned enough to know that it can be really hairy.  I now have a greater respect for all of you.  The fact that you can handle all that’s needed with T1 and maintain a positive attitude is amazing.  My hat is off to all of you!

Dear D moms and dads: You are the BOMB!  I raised 4 children and now have 3 grandchildren (with another on the way!).  The idea of dealing with a diabetic child is beyond me.  Parents of all kinds deserve respect and kudos for what they do to raise their children; D parents take it to another level.  I’m amazed by what you do on a daily basis for your children.  Respect doesn’t begin to describe what I’m feeling.

Participating in DBlog Week was both fun and difficult.  Pushing myself to write every day was daunting at first but I liked the topics.  I liked that others were reading my blogs and it made me feel more like a part of the community.  I also learned that I may just be addicted to blogging since I went through withdrawals when Blogger went down! 

And finally:  We need more Type 2 bloggers!!!!!  I found a few of “us” out there but we need more voices.  Happy Sunday to all of you.  I hope that I can make some more D friends after this week.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Awesome?


It’s Friday of DBlog week and the theme is: What awesome thing have you (or your child) done BECAUSE of diabetes?

This one is tough.  I’d like to say that because of diabetes I have begun to lobby congress to find a cure or started a taxi service for old folks to make it to their doctor appointments, but I haven’t.   I haven’t climbed Mt. Everest or travelled the world.  Heck, I can’t even figure out how to keep the dandelions out of my yard!  I honestly can’t think of something stellar that I’ve done since being diagnosed.  I have, however, accomplished two things of which I’m proud.

First, I am living a much healthier life since my diagnosis.  It hasn’t been overnight but I’ve made small changes throughout the years that have added up to a huge change in my health.  It seems trite to say that being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes saved my life, but it did.  I know there are those who have literally been saved by their diagnosis.  I wouldn’t have died soon if I hadn’t made changes but I would have died to be sure.  Well ok, everybody dies but you know what I mean.  I’m proud of the fact that my weight is the lowest it’s been in years, I have more stamina and energy and my zest for life is increased.  Diabetes gave me that, and that’s awesome.

Second, I started blogging because of diabetes.  I’m new at this (just since February) but it’s been wonderful for several reasons.  Mostly it’s helped me to stay on track with my condition.  It gives me an outlet to “talk” about what’s on my mind in regards to diabetes (without my husband’s eyes glazing over).  I enjoy writing and this blog gives me practice.  Blogging has been awesome and I owe that to diabetes.

Besides those two things, I have a better appreciation for life.  I’d say that’s awesome to the max.