Blog Entries With Tag: menopause


Posted: Nov 17, 2014

The-sea-of-time by Kyle Bean - http://www.kylebean.co.uk/

If any of you read my posts on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll have noticed that I’ve been going through some little health problems that are compromising the control of my #diabetes.  It’s nothing serious, just the usual “woman” issues that occur as we get on in life. 

Just last week, I went for a pre-op for a partial hysterectomy ( 1-2 hours of slice ‘n dice time for my surgeon and moi).  It’s to remove some large fibroids in my cervix that over the past 30+ years HAD (and I stress this with caps) become painful.  When I finally saw the gynecologist (gyno) back in June, I was a bleeding mess (menses lasting up to a month), slightly anemic due to blood loss, along with discomfort from pressure of fibroids against the bladder, I was exhausted (thyroid problems weren’t helping there).  I’ve always thought I had a bladder built like a truck driver; I can go on forever without having to take a wee.  Not so anymore, pressure of fibroids … hmmm, you want that truck load of bananas to arrive still green … pick another driver.

While she’s down there in the nether regions, due to my age, she’s going to remove the uterus since I’m at the age where I’m too old to have a kittens.  Recovery time of 4-6 weeks.  I’m fine with that, with diabetic mastopathy surgery back in 2009  – I was back on my feet faster then a speeding bullet.  Though this maybe abit different with the act of sitting on the throne and pushing out a load of crap!

What initially lead me to write this #dblog (aka my online diary that some people read) was after the blood work/EKG.  The RN, who after going instructions for what I was to do the night before surgery, etc. told me …   “that was it.  You are free to go home”.  I then stupidly asked the RN, “what about my insulin coverage for diabetes on that day?”  I told her I’d be probably back on the pump at that time since I’m on a break from it due to not having greatest control of #BGNow.  Hormonal issues with peri-menopause have increased my TDD (total daily dosage) to …. 60% and I was having infusion site issues with larger doses of insulin!!!  Really, it’s like I’m a T2D (Type 2 diabetic) with insulin resistance – and no – with my #dblog post in October – my endo refuses to allow me to take metformin to help control this resistance - urrrhhhh.  Sadly,  I don’t see my GP until end of January 2015 to see if she’ll consider allowing me to try this out (she was the one that allowed me to go onto Synthroid since my endocronolgist aka endo had refused).  I also explain to the RN, that in past surgery’s my endo signs papers to allow me to take full control of my insulin regime once I’m conscious.

So, the RN decides I will need to talk to a doctor at this point.  A short wait of an hour (I was catching up on a few English newspapers that I don’t receive where I live in Montreal – I was in heaven – reading about local stuff) – I get to see the doctor.  He goes over my medications, tells me to stop a few before the surgical date.  He asks me what my #BG (blood glucose) average is.  I tell him the story of my recent roller coaster ride with the #BG.   The only good thing about my telling him this …. I’m now maybe going to see one of the two endo’s that understand pump technology, but … and this will be hard for me … I’m supposed to keep my lips zipped on the fact I already have an endocrinologist (who sadly does not understand pump technology and is just my pimp for prescriptions).

On top of all that’s swirling in my sponge brain, is the hospital I went to.  It has not got the greatest reputation and I personally avoid it at all costs (though according to one #PWD (person with diabetes) – it’s improved).  BTW, I detest hospitals, white jackets.  I’m probably not alone in this statement, especially when it comes to medical staff not understanding the complexities of #diabetes and those of us on an insulin regime that maybe is not by their “book standards”.  I’m self-taught in what I do with both MDI (multiple dose injecting) / insulin pumping, due to being unable to find help where I live.

So now after all of this scribble, I am now in peri-menopause since August, no more keeping Protecter & Gamble’s stock up with purchasing sanitary supplies (that we get taxed on in Canada of 15% ovey!! – what a bloody rip off).  Anyway, I wasn’t expecting was to go into peri-menopause, and guess what?  No more discomfort, pain.  According to what I’ve read, fibroids shrink at this point in time, which does not necessitate having surgery. 

So, I’m on the fence post whether I should just cancel the surgery, or go ahead.  What would you do in my case?  Preserve your stomach for future MDI and infusion sets (while I healed from the 4-6” incision there will be less real estate for me to play with)?

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Posted: Oct 3, 2014

Jerry Reed's song title above - is what made me get all squirmy and excited about writing this #dblog post today.

This winter our heating bill for the house will be reduced drastically.  That is if my DH can withstand <16 C (60 F) temps all the time.  A recent holiday on our sailboat aka Jenna’s Journey, where the cabin temperatures at night dipped as low as 4C, with a duvet on top of “us” to keep us warm over the night, along with the v-berth that we sleep in, with the door closed ….  Well, the “us” means my DH was all huddled comfortably under the covers, whilst I had thrown them aside, tossing & turning in a sweaty hot heat. 

The other aspect of my hot flushes.  My skin has an even rosier glow to it (I have rosacea), and people say I look so healthy and young (see glistening skin below <lol>).  Meanwhile, as they babble on, I’m sweating like a pig and wishing I could plunge into the Arctic Ocean. 

The above two statements are the pro bit of this little ditty.

Yes, the sexy illusion of "glistening skin", especially in-between the girls is a right turn on for some blokes.  Sadly, my DH is a solid sleeper, so he missed out on that aspect of my night sweats lately.  For me, it’s becoming a bloody nightmare, along with sleep deprivation if the temps aren’t cool enough for me.

Oh and the mood swings (never had those before) … I even scare myself at times – it’s like I’m watching a psycho movie and I’m staring in it ( strike a poise Madonna style).  I talked to some people at various ports during our holidays, and their advise when you’re about to blow off steam …. COUNT TO TEN J

So, as we all know, mucked up sleep can screw up a lot of things.  Our bodies were meant to have a good solid sleep (whether it be 4 or 12, depending on the individual, solid … no waking up inbetween … is the best type of sleep).

For myself, with all this hormonal imbalance with T1 diabetes, Hashimoto’s, menopause … my blood sugars are going right whacky over the past year.   My A1c has gone up from it’s usual 6% level I’ve had over the past 4 years to my last blood test where it was 7.2%.  With the last few months of blood tests I’ve performed, where I seem to average 12 mmol/l ( mg/dl) – I think I’m going to be seeing an even higher number. 

Yes, a higher A1c number is freaking me out at the moment, but not so much as my daily #BGNow (blood sugar) are.   I’m trying not to let it get to me, but it does worry me, because higher #BGNow cn lead to complications.  Waking up to 15 mmol/l ( mg/dl) – hopefully will be reduced back to a lower number.  Eventually …. I have to be patient …. not freak out.

I’m still waiting to hear back from another T1D who claims that taking Metformin is helping them with their blood sugar control.  In the meantime, I’ll try to gather up information searching the Internet to see what I can find – to put forth to my health team. 

So, the best I can do for now?  I’m sticking with George Michael for the ease of adjusting my basal with temporary fixes and corrections along the way.  I’m also going to do some research on natural products that will help deal with the hot flushes (that hopefully won’t screw up my diabetes control – we have to be extremely careful with naturopath medications as diabetics). 

I don't have hot flashes

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Posted: May 3, 2013

So, if you read my Twitter / Facebook feed you’ll know that for some reason –  for about 5 days earlier in the week – I thought I was perhaps CURED after almost 50 years with Type 1 diabetes (T1D).  I wasn’t the only one having the same thing happening – other T1D mates of mine were having the same lows like I was – tho’ for me – I wasn’t rebounding up (e.g. blood sugar spiking high) – but I was having the opposite – of going lower or not moving at all from a range of 3.5 – 4.5 mmol/l (63 – 81 mg/dl).  Sometimes I would go lower, and this was just on my basal insulin – which currently is Lantus while I’m taking a siesta from George Michael my Animas 2020 pump since the beginning of the year.


Of course, things have gone back to normal, but still, times like this, where we feel like we are detectives, trying to figure out what is the cause of the crime is sometimes so frustrating that at that point – diabetes takes over your life – as you try to accomplish what you want to do – but blood sugars (BG) are not cooperating.  Even worse for me, with the onset of menopause and thyroid acting up, I’ve been told to shed weight.  This is so hard to do, trying to lose weight, when you are having to stuff your face with sugary things to keep your BG in balance.   Of course, after having a low blood sugar (hypo) it makes some of us exhausted, sleep head folks.  I’m very lucky that of course, these 5 days of being low, were during my days off from work, when I have so much to do at this time of the year with Spring clean up, getting ready for the sailing/motorcycle season.  If you heard a lot of screaming coming from up north in Canada – that was moi – frustrated as all hell, as I laid on my comfy couch in the spare room, cat in my crotch purring with contentment of a human pillow.  I feel so unproductive at times like this – when I have so many plans – and poof – with a low BG’s that last more than just 1 day but goes on for many- … this is when I hate being a diabetic!!!   This is when FatCatAnna is not a happy cat like she appears to all she meets and greets!  On top of dealing with hormonal changes, I’m surprised during those 5 days I wasn’t ready to be locked up with the ups/downs of mood swings .

Now that the warmer weather is occurring (Spring is very short here in Montreal, boom, suddenly we are having summer like temps) – more of my neighbours that I chat to during the year are coming out of their homes.  One of my neighbours is a Type 2 diabetic (T2D) – and her sister who lives close by is always coming to me to ask for advise on her.  She says her sister eats too much bad food, doesn’t test her blood sugars enough, yadda, yadda, yadda.  I always ask her, is she seeing her doctor, is she getting ill frequently, is she happy?  Of course, the answer is, yes, she’s doing fine.  So, I try to tell the sister that if she’s okay – then not to worry too much - but that she is a good sister for caring.  Now, if she was losing weight/gaining weight drastically, getting ill, then there would be concern to worry I told her.


My neighbours sister asked me how I was doing.  Of course, I told her about having low blood sugars and saying I’d been CURED (I was joking of course).  She looked at me and wondered how could I have diabetes – since I look so healthy.  Nice compliment I told her, but sadly my T1D doesn’t just go away like that – I’m on insulin for the rest of my life.  She then cried out when I told her that I’d had T1D for almost 50 years.  

I explained to her the difference between
T1D & T2D.  T1D is an autoimmune disease - - and your body makes little or no insulin at all and then T2D is usually age related or being overweight along with insulin you produce not being used efficiently She then went onto tell me that 2 of her other sisters also have diabetes and just on pills.  I’m not sure if what I told her will be retained in her memory banks – but like many T1D’s – we always have to explain “our” type of diabetes against the more common T2D.  If I really wanted to confuse her, I could have gone on about the other forms of diabetes – but that’s another day of my advocating about diabetes. 

On with staying balanced in my little world of cat nip and sunshine!

 

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Posted: Jul 17, 2012
Piggy bank surrounded by drugs

Last year I'd written about going to the big box store of Costco in order to obtain my "legal drugs" that I use to control my diabetes at a less expensive rate then what I pay at my local pharmacy here in the province of Quebec.  I mean, when you save almost $10 CDN per bottle of insulin - that is a big savings - especially when you are not flush with monies (who is these days?).  I know that many Americans do not really know what they pay for their prescriptions - due to the insurance companies doing all the leg work (or that's my understanding from my American friends).  Here in Canada - and other countries that don't have the same health set up as Americans - we either have private health care plans from our workplace - government assisted (it varies from province to province here in Canada) - or you pay out of pocket.  For myself, I luckily have a package through my workplace - but in about 5 years time - that's no longer going to be my option when I retire.


Yesterday, I went to see my "legal drug dealer" aka the pharmacy at Costco (BTW - the pharmacy now knows that my pet name for my endo/GP who hand out my prescriptions are called "pimps" - they think it's quite funny - they like being called the "legal dealer").  I was picking up some ketone strips - due to having strips that were past due their date by a few years (that's how often I have to test for ketones in my urine).  Lately, with my hormones going wacko with menopause - keeping a tight control of my blood sugars has been a challenge - but at least I'm doing my best - and know what needs to be done to recitfy the situation (I must be patient <lol>).  Speaking with the pharmacist I discovered that the laws here in Canada - make the pharmacy section in Costco open to ALL people - not just Costco members (though she said that of course - Costco would like you to get the membership).  I was astounded to learn this - but then it should have dawned on me that the same thing applies to the eyeware section (I always get my specs from there) at Costo - you do not have to be a member as well. 

The only stipulation when it comes to payment - you either use an AMEX or debit card, or cash.  They actually were surprised that I didn't pay for my prescription with the insurance issued card from work - but as I keep on telling them - if I can earn 2% cash back by using my personal credit card - then I might as well make the most of being a sicko!!!  It'll help go towards paying for some exotic holiday - or whatever tickles my fancy.

So, if you live close by to a Costco, and need a prescription filled at a reasonable price (they will give out the price of the item you want over the phone - handy if you have limited access to a set of wheels) - then I say GO FOR IT!  It's as easy as saying to the head counter at the entry way of the Costco store - "I'm here to go to the pharmacy!".

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Posted: Jul 5, 2012

Well, I was expecting what my endo told me a few hours ago when I had my 6 month check up – my A1C was 7.2% - usually it’s 6% - has been for past 4 years ever since going onto the pump.  That was one discussion we had – as usual – he’s not keen on the pump – except in children – where he said that less hypos are shown in children (if only I could tell him some of the stories that I’ve heard from D-Mum’s about that – but we could have been debating for hours – while his other patients were waiting).  He was not keen on my going onto the pump back in 2008 – when I decided to give it a try – but eventually I proved to him – that for me – it works ….. as well as MDI (multiple dosage injections) do for me.  I am lucky that I can do both – but as long as I can afford to pump – as it is a luxury if you do not have insurance coverage / provincial coverage / Sugar Daddy – the regular routine of MDI does work – with abit more effort – but it does work as I’m sure some of you reading this will agree. 

The result of my higher A1C is mainly due to being in the menopause stage of my life (oh joy) – and learning to readjust my insulin needs – weight (I have gained 11 lbs / 5 kg).  I didn’t need to step onto the scale to know that – rubbing thighs making music to my ears lately (NOT) have been making me wince.  Either I learn to take charge, get out of my potato couch mode – or change jobs (what I do now is basically a desk job – prior to this I was much more active) – so I’ve got to get out and just DO IT – rather than write about it – and suffer the consequences.  What didn’t help was problems with an elbow and drugs to help it and to top it all off last month’s threats made to my personal life – very unpleasant to say the least – were a test of my sanity – my parents / my bosses / friends / neighbours – all came to my help keep me sane thru’ the days that followed.  Hopefully the threats do not occur - if they do – we’re prepared.

The other reason for my visit to my endo – was to finally have him sign the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) forms that I’ve been wanting to give to him since I learned about this earlier in the year (see forum discussion link here) – that will either be accepted by the federal government as being legit or not.  He sadly does not like the word “disability” – and in a way – I agree – but heck – if I can get some sort of monies back – to help maintain my health as long as I can without going into the dog cat house – then call me disabled!!!   Like I told him, one of the form questions ask – “Does your patient meet the conditions for life sustaining therapy as described above? “ - the answer is a resounding “YES”!!  Without it, I’d be not only disabled but most likely dead in a short time.  So forms, along with printed up pages from Diabetes Advocacy – will hopefully help him understand what I am trying to attain.

So, as I left the office, into the stinking heat wave outside (a balmy 30C / 86F) – I almost felt like crying believe it or not.  Yes, I know an A1C of 7.1% isn’t bad – I know why it is occurring – but I hate having my diabetes control be a victim of it.  So, what does this D-gal do to handle the latest result ?  She goes shopping – finds herself a really nice blue TIGHT shimmery skirt from H&M (only $10) to be worn at hopefully a future D-OC (diabetes online community) meet up – and driving back home – windows open in the car with music from Caliente (tropical latin music) blasting away.  Yes, I am back in my happy place as I plan how to get my diabetes back in control!!! Ole!

Oh – and guess what - when I got home – my blood sugar (BG) was 4.1 mmol/l / 74 mg/dl – right on (this warmer weather keeps my BG’s in good control). 

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