Blog Entries With Tag: depression


Posted: Jul 21, 2015

It’s rare for me to compose a #dblog that is not all “chirpy chirpy” … I think the last time I did one that was kind of down was at Diabetes1.org  and sleep apnea testing.  Sleep really is vital to everyone, diabetic or not … without a good sleep … well … we become exhausted, depressed, need I say more?

So, here’s the jist. 

  • Been in our new home now for close to a month.  Yippee!!!  Searching for new team of doctors is a job in itself.   
  • Trying to figure out where to shop that isn’t all “meat and potatoes” food (the grocery stores I’m used to that are more Middle Eastern are so far not to be found here)  … yippee … sigh. 
  • Realising the street you moved on is a major artery when you were told otherwise by real estate agent who sold you the property … sigh (so far my explorer cat has survived not getting hit … very scary).  
  • Trying to motivate your DH to unpack with the limited time they have at home due to their work schedule … having lived with limited things since putting our previous house on the market back in March … it’s getting old. 
  • This promise of a new beginning, yadda, yadda, yadda, in the land of insulin pumping program (ADP) … isn’t all it’s built up to be.

Basically, I miss Montreal … my home for the past 26 years (that the new owners just LOVE …. Urrhhh …. why did we make our house so cute).

The biggest thing that is hitting me for the past few months though is that finally I can admit that diabetes is bringing me down.  I rarely will admit that, and am all smiles (damn they create wrinkles around the eyes … and I’m already feeling like I’ve aged 20 years in the past few months with stress).

My basal rate is almost down to ½ of what it used to be … and still needing to be tweaked.  Why I’m become even more insulin sensitive is making no sense at all with the extra hormonal issues I’ve been experiencing that were making life the opposite.  Has my body gotten used to them?

With the use of the Dexcom CGMS … I am now at least getting a better vision of where to tweak things … but what has finally dawned on me lately is … is with my basal portion of my insulin coverage pretty well covered (I mean … .450 / hr seems to be my average hourly rate) it maybe lowered if I continue in this hypo fairy land I seem to exist day in day out.

limp noodle joke

As we all know, hypos are exhausting, they leave you like a limp noodle, and the things you have set out to do that most people take for granted … get in car, drive to store, do your shopping … get on bicycle, go for a cycle, get active … go for walk … yadda, yadda, yadda.  I think you get the drift.  To do these simple tasks lately, I’m not able to do them.  It’s bringing me down to the point where I had a friend force me OUT OF MY HOUSE, to go out for a trip with her (searching for green bacon along HWY 2 of eastern Ontario). That did help, but sadly, getting behind the wheel, even with my Dexcom alarm set at 4 (72) … is not much help.  I am crashing in the blood sugar area … and luckily it’s not behind the wheel.

So, what dawned on me lately is that my other ratios I have been using are wrong for insulin coverage.  I’ve upped my I:C (insulin to carb) ratio … and giving it a test … I see a few times where it will have to be upped more.  Just like our basal rates are different from hour to hour on a pump … and this is where a pump is VERY handy.  You’re sort of stuck with MDI (Multiple Dose Injections) … once injected … you are the insulin slave.

cat at the wheel

My other fear?  Tomorrow, I am going to visit my family that I haven’t seen since last year.  I’m driving alone which I never used to feel.  It’s not far, but it’s that background fear of going low.   So my CGMS alarm for going low is set abit higher for that drive (I usually have it at 4/72 … for driving I put it to 5/90 … to allow for any variance in the blood meter verification test).  I did this last week when driving back to Quebec to have the Ontario MOT form filled out by my endo to certify me that I’m insane … JOKING … that I can drive a vehicle in Ontario safely.   The form from Ontario really goes into hypo unawareness unlike the form my endo filled out for the province of Quebec last year for me.  This all stems from Allan Makii, a T1D  who caused a TRIPLE fatal crash while driving with a low blood sugar back in 2009.  

 comic look at unpacking

So, as I post this blog, and I’ve missed posting them lately, but life has been whacky as you’ve seen … wish me luck … on sorting out my insulin requirements … getting my new home organised with help from my DH when he’s home … and trying to get out of what I think is one of the worst depression bouts I’ve ever had. 

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Posted: Jun 15, 2014

I’ve been dealing with feeling tired the last few years.  I mean REALLY REALLY tired. No energy to do much that is active, use of sponge brain, yadda, yadda, yadda.  It’s like I can sleep 10 hours – and still feel like I’m needing more.  It’s like I’m a teenager again …. NOT!!  Though maybe I could redo my life if I could go in a time machine.

Another thing is my DH has told me that once in awhile, I sound like I’m not breathing.  I’m surprised he is awake to hear me gasping, or snorting (I usually wake myself up to that – EMBARASSING).  My DH tends to sleep like the dead – in an ER crisis, in order to wake him up is  very difficult.  I mean imagine trying to wake up someone as the house is filling up with smoke, and one of their eyes is open, you think they’re looking at you, but they’re not registering your poking/yelling for at least 5 minutes.  Yuppers, that’s my sleeping beauty DH …. once he hits the hay  …. He’s out for the count.  I’ll talk about this abit later after I’ve done my bit of education about sleep apnoea.

Yuppers, that’s what my GP thinks I may have.  I thought my being so fatigued, more so then I ever used to be was due to a sleuth of things, depression, peri-menopause, recent thyroid problems.  She says it could be part of it, but after she heard my DH explaining how I sound – she decided to send me to a sleep clinic.  I could have waited 6 months for the public system to be taken care of here in Canada, but luckily my DH’s medical insurance covers 80% of the initial $500 test (ouch).  That’s just for the apparatus that you see me wearing in the picture below – for two days.  Yes, I am Borg Woman … hear me roar … I mean snore … I mean snort … I mean …. Fill in blank _____________ for your own amusement.

Sleep apnoea according to the American Sleep Apnea Association if left untreated  “ can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments.

So far, I’ve not fallen asleep at the wheel, though talking to the Respiratory Therapist (RT) at SAS here in Montreal, she says she has.  Scary stuff, since  I know my BIL did at one time, scrapping up against a highway girder (wee bit of damage to his passenger side – no biggie he says).  He blamed that on overtime work/playtime, etc.   Who knows,  maybe he’s got sleep apnoea too?  I know he yawns a lot when he’s at our place for a meal, or maybe it’s due to my being such a boring conversationalist? 

Breathing/sleeping problems are also correlated with Type 2 diabetes diagnosis according to a recent study published by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).  OSA is the most common form of apneoa - e.g. " OSA may have effects on glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes ".  Hmmm, along with that comes hypertension, stroke, heart failure.  Who knew that having a good sound sleep could be the cure all for some of us with health issues?

I know when I posted about doing the test last week on my Facebook wall – a few responded with the joys of using a C.P.A.P machines  (not cheap with prices averaging $1K for just the machine).  I’m just not sure about being hooked up to a machine, having to lug it around when I travel along with oxygen tank(s).  I find since going onto an insulin pump – what I lug with me now is way more than I used to bring – so imagine having to transport this type of stuff!!  I’d have to hire a Himalayan porter!  On top of that, I twist and turn in the bed like I’m dancing to a Beatles tune – so I’m wondering if I wind up strangling myself – or sleeping worse due to worrying about it.

I did explain to the RT at SAS that having diabetes and the fear of having a hypo (low blood sugar) overnight – is perhaps why I don’t sleep as well as some folks do.  I’ve always been used to dealing with hypos on my own – not having anyone around to aid me like some of the great D-Parent’s  out there that lose sleep worrying about this child going low.  I think it’s just in our nature as Type 1 diabetics – to always be on the ALERT – and I doubt I’ll ever change.

One thing, one person told me that once they removed their dentures at night time (after almost 30 years of wearing them continually - and driving their spouse bonkers) - they no longer had breathing problems.  Sadly, my teeth are not remobable ... yet ... but I did come across an oral dental device when looking for some pictures for this blog.  The wearer has a type of mouth guard that does away with the C.P.A.P machine.  I know I do have a bite guard for my teeth grinding (according to my dentist my rear molars teeth are wearing down).  I've worn the device from time to time - and it does sort of prop my mouth open similar to the device shown at the website.  Hmmm, to have twisted tube and machine by my side or a mouth apparatus .... decisions, decisions!!

 

So, test results will be known in July – I’ll keep you posted!  Psst, anyone have any toothpicks I can borrow to keep my eyes open in the meantime?

Picture courtesy of Kitty Cassandra at http://www.kittycassandra.com/

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Posted: Apr 28, 2014

This blog post is dedicated to Susan Townsend who died of a stroke on April 10th.  She’d become a diabetic in the 1980’s, and she struggled with it, she admits that she thought she was the “ world’s worst diabetic. Diabetes eventually lead her to become blind in 2001 and almost 10 years later she suffered kidney failure and her eldest son Sean donated his kidney after she’d waited a few years for a donor (now is that a son or what?).   I thoroughly enjoyed reading her books over the years – if you’ve never heard of / or read ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ “– I am saying “shame on you “ – go to your library, bookshop, get thyself a copy – and keep on reading all of her fantastic books.

Picture of Sue Townsend courtesy of Brunchnews

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wednesday, February 19th

I’ve sort of been out of the loop lately – especially with diabetes discussions on the Internet – and composing my entertaining blogs.  My life lately has been overwhelmed by dealing with thyroid issues – or at least that’s what I think it is – with my lab work for endocrinology showing the signs. My endo I see for my diabetes (the one that was against my going onto a pump, etc.) – has been telling me for years that “eventually you’ll be on meds” – that’s despite my asking him if he agreed with the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) new guidelines for TSH normal range and recommended to change it from 0.5-5.0 to 0.3-3.0 (this was back in 2002!).  He rolled his eyes – end of discussion.  At that time - I was over the 3.0 range - and feeling like crappola (lose weight - eat less - exercise was his basic advise).

Today – after my lab work from the previous week for my GP – where I had ticked off extra tests for my thyroid panel rather than just the TSH which really doesn't reveal all the dirty details.  I pay 20% out of pocket for these tests to be done in a lab rather than government run clinic - wher they don't allow the patient to have a copy of their results - ssshhh - if only I lived in France).  My feelings are, it's my body - I want to know how to make things better along with my health team.  This time - thank goodness - my GP obliged me with giving me a prescription for Synthroid– the lowest dose possible – it’s a start - to hopefully regaining a normal life again.

Dare I mention that it’s helpful to have your DH with you on a doctor’s visit – because I think otherwise she might have dismissed my pleas for help (I was getting desperate - to the point of jumping out of a tall building and going splat).

Photograph by Ahn Junn

Wednesday, March 5th

I’m really behind on keeping up my journal.   actually have to admit – that I now understand how an adult – being diagnosed with diabetes feels.  It’s very daunting – when you don’t know what the heck you are dealing with.  For myself – by doing research – trying to learn all the terms that are associated with my thyroid are just the same as diabetes.  It’s mind boggling!!!  Personally, I’m finding having diabetes – even with the roller coaster ride I’m going on currently with my blood sugars (#BGnow) going wacko (oh – did I mention I’m peri-menopausal right now – I’m a constant bleeding and emotional pig – which I’m trying to cope with so I don’t worry my DH).  Diabetes is the easy part of my life at the moment compared to what I’m dealing with having had it since I was a child – it’s like riding a bike.  Thyroid disorder – is like learning how to surf (whack goes the board into my head – do people wear helmets when they’re learning I wonder.

Monday, March 17th

Heart burn city!!!  Never experienced this before.  I don’t know how people put up with this when it’s caused by eating.  Mine I think is caused by the Synthroid.  So far, no success with having GP  return my call for advise - just her RN - saying she'd follow up.  Nothing.  Mint flavoured calcium packed Tums - delicious - semi affective on the pain.  I’ll keep on popping the Synthroid pill – which I’ve discovered – tastes slightly sweet (reminds me of baby aspirins – that some kids used to pop like candy – bad, bad, bad).

Tuesday, April 1st

April Fool's Day

Urrrhhhh!!!  Of all days - April Fool's -  I’ve had enough of this – doubling my dose – did I tell you some of the symptoms I’ve been having over the years???  Sit back – have a drink – gonna tell you a story about a man call Jed

Weight gain!!!!  I’m afraid to pull out the scale – at my GP’s visit – I’d gained 10 pounds (4.5 kg) over a few months. I have rolls of fat on my back now – never had that before) Muu Muu dresses are my fav thing to wear – except difficult in winter months when you have to go out!  And with my difficulty with staying warm (I’m frozen all the time – so unlike me – I even wear a hat inside the house – brrrhh – it’s Spring time!!!).  Therefore, I’m actually not going out much anymore – no energy – I want to sleep like I’m Sleeping Beauty.  To be happy about waking up in the AM – would be oh such a wonderful thing to appreciate again.  It’s been close to 3 years since all of this started (and the happy pills did nothing (you can see my talking about it in this vlog I did a few years ago) – they are a common thing given to undiagnosed thyroid patients – sad to say)

Maxine - I'm Out Of Bed cartoon

Friday, April 25th

New labs – TSH level is down – but other levels have changed – along with my antibodies (TPO) now being even higher.  I’d tried posting my results in a few groups I belong to online – but no replies (they mostly are more concerned with a natural thyroid medication aka Canadian Bacon/CB that I’ve been told to go on – but again – one step at a time with my health team).  It is made from desiccated pig thyroid that has a balance of T3/T4 – unlike the T4 Synthroid.  The only problem I’m finding – it varies on how it works depending on the manufacturer – and sometimes isn’t covered by health insurance plans  I think due to my being on the synthetic one – that they think I’m a whack job (just like pumpers think of folks who do MDI – aka multiple dose injections).   Also, I do know that the Canadian units in our lab work differ from USA – but so far – like with blood sugar conversion rate – I’m not having much luck (or time) to locate anything.  So for now, I’m happy with what I have found in a great article written by Dr. Marina Gutner at Outsmart Disease.

Monday, April 28th

What I’m learning from all the research I’ve been doing with pro-CB folks – and folks on combinations of T3 / T4 meds – like diabetes – YMMV (your mileage may vary).  None of us are the same on medications – like Levemir insulin (insert blog).  I did try it again after my GP told me that Lantus causes weight gain.  I have an allergic reaction to Levemir – it pools up in a hard  lump – despite the small dose).

I think having patience to find the right combination of meds / diet / exercise – like any health problem – takes time.  I am trying to be optimistic here – as I meet up with my GP tomorrow – and hope she understands all my babble - if not - it's onto my endo the following week.

Hmmm, maybe I should give her this blog?  So, she’ll understand what I’m going through.  That’s a plan … that’s a plan.

Picture of peacock courtesy of MyCrappyHouse.com

 

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Posted: Oct 14, 2012


Okay - I swore I'd written about this skin problem of mine before - but apparently - after searching every nook and cranny here at Diabetes1.org - I think it was a figment of my imagination that I had or like usual - my best blogs occur during my brief sleep periods I have been having at night these months - and then BING – GONE - lost in the recesses of my sponge brain forever.

So, here's the deal.  Back in the Spring, I saw my GP, who is VERY difficult to see (average 3 months to see her – welcome to Canada’s medical system – or at least Quebec).  I explained that I was having some issues with very itchy skin; she looked, and commented ... "it's nothing to be worried about, are you stressed?”  That's the usual response I've had from doctors in the past when I have seen them with something that can't be explained medically – it’s like … it’s all in my frackin' head.  At the time, no stress was happening, just average everyday life things happening, you know, staying employed, wondering what to cook for dinner, when the cat will pee in the bathtub next, etc.

I did mention to her at the time – which had nothing to do with my skin problem – that I often find the Internet very useful for helping myself and others in health areas (e.g. how to test your blood sugars correctly, how to perform a surgery on a banana).  Her comment was … "If everyone went to the Internet for medical advice - you wouldn't need doctors like me".  As you can see, she was not pleased with my using the Internet – but at the same time was happy that I was so proactive with my health – and looking into matters – but apparently not discussing what could or couldn’t be the problem.   So, after that, I slinked away - to continue scratching (my vet is really good at this).

Well that was over 4 months ago, it hasn't stopped, and it's gotten worse (more so at night time - man oh man - I'd rather have my back scratched then rolling in the hay with my DH).  It's that much of an O experience to have my back scratched that is sooooooo ITCHY.  Now, personally I think he finds it disgusting, especially when I ask him to rub some cream onto my back (it "sort of" helps cool things down abit). All I can say is, I'm lucky if I get about 4-5 hours of sleep each night - with scratching all the time (I wake myself up doing this to the point I've rubbed myself raw - which isn't good - especially for diabetics like ourselves).

This itchy / crawly feeling of the skin that I've been experiencing is something I’ve seen alot when using the search engine for hypothyroidism problems.  I have done some research that also says a similar problem happens to women in peri-menopause stage - which I am as well.  I'm like a mixed douche bag of hormonal upheaval right now – scratch, scratch, scratch.   On top of all this, let’s not mention – anxiety, mood swings (both not usually me at all), depression, weight gain - just all common things for these types of hormonal changes.  Oh the joys of aging!!!  Can I click my heels together and be taken back to earlier days???

So, thanks to the Internet (sorry to all my doctors).  All I have to do now is await my appointment in December with my endo - where I will pounce upon him (claws retracted – I like him too much as he’s my Pimp for Legal Drugs).  I will present him with what I've come across in my quest for the itchy skin problem – that’s if I have not scratched myself to the bone (though I've got LOTS of fat to go thru' before then - that's the only good thing with this weight gain).

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Posted: Jun 29, 2011

Hmm, originally I was going to post a few pictures from my garden of a new herb I'm growing this year in my garden, called borage.  Even my nursery where I went to find it had never heard of it and it took 2 weeks for them to get a pot in for me.  It's beautiful flowers are edible and taste like cucumber believe it or not.  Though I did originally try the hairy leaves when the plant was younger. Gag me with a spoon, they were slightly fishy tasting for my taste despite a hint of cucumber, but I vowed not to waste my 5-year old aged cheddar cheese sarnie that the chopped up leaves were tucked into.  Lesson learnt there!  



I then started to do abit of research on it and was amazed at the history of this herb.  It goes back to Celtic days, with warriors consuming borage wine before going into battle (think of Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart).  Maybe that's my reason for Celtic artwork (and also part of the tattoo I have on my back - which consists of a Celtic swirl)?

As some of you know from my vlog I did last month for a DOC project .  I've been battling depression for the better part of the year.  Nothing to do with diabetes, but just life in general.  I'm now on anti-depressant meds and going into my 3rd week of popping what I call effectionately "my happy pills".  My biggest fear of going onto anti-depressants was that like insulin, I would be on them for life.  Some people are, especially those dealing with chronic pain and other problems that require them to help make their brain fuses function better (this is my wording as to how I see these pills helping out my sponge brain).  For myself, the meds I'm on the therapist doesn't see me being on them beyond perhaps 6 months and she has told me that I should have no fear of becoming hooked on them forever.  Time will tell - but so far - I am seeing improvement despite the early days.

What I discovered about borage is that it's been traditionally associated with good spirts and well being aka anti-depressant for the feeling of elation it induces.  Even better, to find courage you should tuck a borage blossom in your pocket before any stressful situation, or drink a tea or glass of wine flavoured with borage leaves. According to what I also read, borage tea is "said" to increase psychic powers ( hmmm, see my previous blog post on bending metal ).

I will bore you no longer with little bits of folklore with this beautifully flowered but hairy leaf plant (that I should have put in my garden - not in the container that you see below as it's almost a tree!!).  I will leave it up to you to explore the further possibilities of the herb called borage (Borago officinalis) or star flower that originates from Syria.

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