Thursday, September 27, 2012

In the nick of time



Just when I needed some support and inspiration, along comes an opportunity to not only deal with my current D struggles but to make a donation to a wonderful D charity!  I was pleased to be included in a conference call this morning that highlighted a new program sponsored by Amylin Pharmaceuticals, LLC.  The website is called This Week I will and is a sponsored page on the Diabetic Connect website.  The website focuses on helping people with type 2 diabetes make small, doable changes to their lives each week; changes that will help improve their D control.  I have always been about making small changes over time and this website just reinforces that idea.  Sweet!

It’s simple and swift.  You enter your first name, last initial and email address.  You select a behavior that you will pledge to do for the week and then select one of 4 diabetes charities.  Amylin Pharmaceuticals, LLC will donate $5 to your selected charity up to $25,000 per charity.  The charities are: Behavioral Diabetes Institute, Diabetes Hands Foundation, Diabetes Sisters and American Diabetes Association (selected local chapters). That’s a whopping $100,000 total that will be donated to programs that help those with diabetes, any type!  Sweeter!

I encourage you to participate, not only for yourselves but to do something for the greater good.  I pledged this morning to “portion snack foods into serving sizes” since I’m currently struggling with snacking too much (see previous post for the gory details).  I plan to do a new pledge each week until every charity receives their $25,000.  Won’t you do it too?  It’s a win/win situation.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Struggles



“Nobody knows the trouble I've seen
Nobody knows my sorrow”
“Sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down”
Spiritual

Ain’t it the truth?  When you look at someone, there is no way to know what they’re really feeling on the inside.  Generally speaking, when someone is smiling/laughing/carefree we assume that they are happy and when they’re crying/frowning/sighing we assume that they are sad.  But we humans can excel at deception, can’t we?  Yeah sure, if someone is crying, the chances that they are happy inside are slim but smiling faces are harder to decipher.

“Smiling faces, smiling faces sometimes
They don't tell the truth”
The Temptations

I tend to try and remain upbeat when I face the world.  Ray can tell you the other side; the side I sometimes let him see when we’re at home.  Hey, if you can’t be yourself at home, then there is something terribly wrong with your home!  That upbeat tendency flows over into my blog as well.  It’s not that I haven’t written posts when things aren’t peachy but I tend to avoid writing when I’m not in top form.  I think it’s important to acknowledge that life isn’t always a bowl of cherries.  I think it’s ok to raise our hands and admit when we’re feeling down or are struggling.  Kate is raising her hand.

I have been struggling this past week with food.  I have “splurged” too often.  I seem to be in a downward spiral and am beginning to feel pretty awful about it all.  It’s not like I’ve completely tanked my D management, but it’s more like I’ve had small insurrections.  I’m battling against…?  “I rarely go out to eat with my friends so this one meal won’t hurt.” “Look, I chose the “healthier” chicken wrap at Sonic so I can have a few of these tots, right?”  “Aw hell, I sorta blew it today so I’m having the full-blown taco salad, the one with the shell that contains ridiculous amounts of carbs.”

Dang, when I put it down in black and white it looks like I’m an idiot!  I blew it so I’ll just blow it some more?  What?  This is the kind of thinking that has completely negated my weight loss goals in the past and now I’m fighting it, not because I don’t want to gain weight again, but because this will completely muck up my D control.  This can’t stand!  Thankfully, I have continued to exercise through all this but even my enjoyment of that has dimmed.

Can I turn this around?  God, I hope so.  It’s a vicious circle, this lack of control, both mentally and physically.  I don’t feel so great.  My stomach kinda hurts and I’m rarely hungry.  I’m not really hungry so I don’t eat good meals, but snack instead.  Snacking usually means overeating and poorly balanced choices.  Overeating and poorly balanced choices can lead to feeling full and crappy. Those physical feelings give rise to sadness. Rinse, repeat.  Gah!

I’d like to say to you now that starting today I will get back to the program that has made me feel good in body and mind.  I’d like to do that, but I can’t honestly say that I’ll kick this thing today.  What I can tell you is that I’m going to try, damn hard.  “Telling you” all this should help.  I’ve put it out there and that makes it more real for me, so thank you for listening.  Today I plan to fix a more sensible breakfast; one I know will be good for my glucose.  Today I will not snack (did you hear that Kate?).  Just maybe, tomorrow I can wake up and feel good about things again.  Here’s hoping.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Falling into random thoughts



Hi!  Did you miss me?  I realized this morning that it’s been 10 days since I’ve posted anything here.  Life has been busy I guess, but even though I’m busy doing other things, this blog is never far from my mind.  Today I thought I’d do a group of random thoughts instead of focusing on one subject.  It’s my way to catch up on all that’s been happening around here.  So grab your cup of coffee and let’s sit around the table and chat, shall we?  (oh wouldn’t it be nice if we could?  I’d like that.)

Fall.  Autumn.  Hazel.  Whatever you call it; this is by far my favorite season.  “Bouquets of newly sharpened pencils.”  You’ve Got Mail.  I enjoy that movie, possibly because I met my husband on the internet.  I didn’t own a book store and he wasn’t a corporate tycoon, but it was kismet none the less.  I digress.  Where we live, fall is truly a change in seasons.  I grew up in southern CA where a season change meant slightly lower temps and more fog, but here the trees change colors and the nights become crisp.  Days in the mid 70’s and dipping into the 40’s at night.  That does amazing things to the vegetation and, for some reason, my mood.  The trees may be shutting down for winter but for me it feels more like the beginning of good things like quilts and books and the warmth of a fire.  Comfort food can be an issue but I intend to conquer that D problem.  I have the urge to create something, and I will!

We just got home from 4 nights of camping (which is one of the reasons that I haven’t posted lately).  We took this opportunity to go for one last camping trip this year before it gets too cold.  We started out planning to stay 2 nights but the weather was so perfect that we stayed longer.  Ah, retirement!  I’ve written before about camping with D and those ideas still hold true for me, other than I no longer eat cereal or crackers.  I did discover one interesting phenomenon; I tucked my meter into my sleeping bag like always and when I tested my fasting glucose I saw some ridiculously low numbers: 78, 71, 58!!!  Wait a minute, that can’t be correct.  I sort of wondered about the readings in the 70’s but just figured I was experiencing better than average camping mojo, but 58?  Nope, I don’t think so.  I stuck my meter in my arm pit to warm it up and tested again: 75. Well, come to find out, the “shock” of leaving my cozy bed into the upper 40 degree morning was a bit much for my meter.  On the last morning I sat up in bed and tested right away: 91.  Ok, that’s more like it.  This is just one more example of why you need to be sure that your meter and strips stay within the temperature guidelines.  If I was an insulin user and saw a 58 on my meter, my plan could be much different than a reading of 75.  This is just a word of caution for you campers out there.  And before you get all jealous of those fasting readings, mine was 127 this morning: camping mojo is gone!
 


Testing.  This is a subject that comes up over and over and over again, not only in the diabetes community but in my own life as well.  I go through phases when it comes to my glucose testing.  This summer I was in the testing zealot phase due to following a food plan that was different than what I was used to.  When I went off that plan, I tested frequently to reassure myself that I was making smart food choices.  Now, I’m getting “lazy” and some days I only test in the morning.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t think testing is important, it’s more that I’m eating foods that I’ve already tested and have a good idea of how they will affect my glucose.  I will still always test when I’m eating something “new” or if I’m feeling off or just randomly to see how I’m doing.  Testing is extremely important; don’t ever forget that!

I am in an amazingly good mood today.  It could be due to the relaxing camping trip we just took, or the weather I enjoy or…just cuz.  Today I feel hopeful and excited; I feel creative and energized.  Today my diabetes is waaaaay in the back of my mind.  It’s still there but it isn’t in the front seat with me.  (I’m always in the driver’s seat!)  I encourage you to find something that excites/motivates you and do that thing, whatever it is.  Focusing on something other than our D is a great way to regain some of the life we sometimes feel that we’ve lost due to our diagnosis.  We haven’t lost anything, we’ve just moved on to another phase and it can be wonderful.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Blame it on the ‘betes



When I’m feeling shaky, I blame it on the ‘betes.

When I’m feeling sleepy, I blame it on the ‘betes.

When I’m grumpy, I blame it on the ‘betes.

When I’m confused or have trouble concentrating, I blame it on the ‘betes.

My bank account’s a little low, must be the ‘betes fault.

My toe hurts, the car won’t start, I have a headache, there’s this weird pain in my side, my house is cluttered…blankety-blank ‘betes!! 

Wait, what?  It’s diabetes’ fault because I’m a lousy housekeeper?  Maybe my toe hurts because I just kicked the sofa leg.  Maybe my bank account’s low because I went shopping for new clothes.  Just maybe I’m shaky because my thyroid meds need to be adjusted.

I don’t know about you, but all too often I tend to blame diabetes for all the woes in my life.  It’s easy to do, isn’t it?  I mean, come on, this uninvited guest has taken up residence in my life and it just seems like every time something “bad” happens it gets blamed on the ‘betes.

I’ve often read posts in D forums where people will ask if some bizarre symptom they are experiencing could be caused my diabetes, when the reality is that it’s probably something completely unrelated.

Blaming everything on diabetes is giving it too much power.  Yes, diabetes sucks but it isn’t the ever-present evil in our lives; at least it shouldn’t be.  Stuff happens each and every day.  Some of it’s bad.  Some of it’s good.  Paying attention to our diabetes is important but don’t make the mistake of giving diabetes too much power.  Keep it in its place where it belongs.  That’s sometimes easier said than done but it is an important step toward living a good life despite diabetes.