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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.
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).
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
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)
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.
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Tags: Shinpei (8) weight (1) Levemir (1) Lantus (1) desiccated pig thyroid (1) depression (1) fatigue (1) desicated pig thyroid (1) TPO (1) TSH (1) T4 (1) T3 (1) Synthroid (1) thyroid (1) autoimmune (1)
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Posted: Nov 1, 2013
Last week I had gone to my local clinic (CLSC) for my blood work for my endo appointment I had on Tuesday. Two hour wait – fasting – wanting to pee like a horse – but I held fast – and wished I lived in Cornwall, Ontario – where you can make an appointment for a diabetic blood work – no waiting. Welcome to my province of Quebec – where we diabetics get NO RESPECT !! It's like lining up for a loaf of bread in Russia in 1915 !
Fast forward to this week – and I’m waiting in anticipation for what my results are. Don’t we all go thru’ this (well – maybe not for you folks that can get your results the next day). Here in my province in Canada – unless you go private - $$$ - or have private insurance coverage - you out of luck - you wait). For some reason, I lucked in on only waiting 10 minutes (usually it’s much longer) – and my endo called my name.
The first thing he said to me as I entered into his office …. “You’ve put on weight – what’s happened?”
I wasn’t really shocked by that statement – since I know I’ve been gaining weight (thryoid tests are normal - I'm just perimenopausal). It's not from over eating – my habits haven’t changed - I actually am eating less due to work load – but my emotional state of being over the past year has been abit fragile plus … I’m a lazy cow (the job I do requires a lot of sitting on my behind).
Of course, as I explained this to him, he nodded, saying “Good excuses Anna”. Onto the scale I went – since my last visit to him in July – I’ve blossomed. I’ve never ever been the weight that I am – even after I’d had my DKA experience as a teenager – where I’d put on weight (memories of my Mum buying Hefty Boys corduroy pants for me always makes me cringe). My Mum was often picking on me about my weight, and made me feel guilty about eating – sigh. Writing these blogs sometimes brings back memories I don’t like to remember.
Promptly he took my blood pressure (BP) and this is sometimes the worst part for me – as I have the well-known ‘white coat syndrome” – my BP is never as good as what I have at home. His first reading out of the corner of my eye was something like 185 over … at that point he said something that wasn’t good. Meanwhile, in my brain I’m going WTF??? He retakes it on another machine – the regular wall version (before he was using one of the home versions we can buy) – and this time – it’s abit better – but still higher than my normal readings – 135/120. Of course, at home, mine are in usually in the 115/70 area – sometimes lower. I’ve never had a problem with high BP.
Of course, he says this is all to do with my increased weight (jab, jab, JAB) – and then asks – “do you eat a lot of processed foods?” I tell him no, that I rarely eat processed foods; when I have time/money I try to do all my own cooking without adding extra salt, etc. Hmm, but inside my head I think … I DO LOVE CHEESE - which is high in salt!!!
So, the jist of the whole visit was that I’ve REALLY got to lose weight - especially with his concern over my BP. He stressed that I become active (he still insists that sailing is a lazy man’s sport – which in away – as a cruiser – it is – you don’t do much – not like he does with his golfing – where you have a goal – to find the hole).
And yes, my A1C despite my DKA episode over my holidays this summer – was pretty good (he says normally A1C will rise due to DKA) – it was abit higher – but still excellent. And he admitted, if I’d been on multiple dosage injections (MDI) – that probably the DKA would never have occurred – which I totally agree with him. Pumps do have their benefit - but not when they don't alarm for an occlusion, etc. like George Michael apparently didn't do in my case.
So, now I’m off to test my BG, hopefully accomplish a 30 minute walk, then test my BG again, and post my results for the Big Blue Test that I partake in every year. I’m hoping unlike the other day when I did it, I don’t drop in BG to the point of hypo land, and will be reducing my basal rate on my insulin pump abit (thank you Petronella Peach for that suggestion).
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Tags: low blood sugar (1) hypo (1) blood pressure (1) BP (1) Big Blue Test (1) DKA (1) processed foods (1) endo (1) Canada (1) Quebec (1) CLSC (1) cheese (1) loss (1) gain (1) weight (1)
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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.
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.
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Tags: hormones (1) weight (1) low blood sugar (1) hypo (1) Lantus (1) pump (1) insulin (1) thyroid (1) menopause (1) insulin resistance (1) CURED (1) BG (1) T2D (1) T1D (1)
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Posted: Jan 4, 2012
I don't usually set NY goals - but this year - I've decided to give it a go - promising myself to eat breakfast in the AM - and hope that by doing this - it aids in losing that belly fat I have ( though it comes in handy for my infusion sets ). I know - bad excuse to stay plump!!!
One thing I've discovered with some of my fav shows I caught over the holidays since I had time to actually watch what I miss as a working stiff - is that missing out on meals does not help in losing weight. Your body goes into panic mode and decides to hang onto those fat reserves when you don't eat on a regular basis. Something I secretly have known all these years, but I hid it in the far regions of my sponge brain.
I am like many of my friends, diabetic or not, that find consuming breakfast in the AM to be a chore at times. It's been something that was always difficult for me and as a child I did eat breakfast, but leaving home, that all disappeared.
So, my goal this year, is to try my best to eat something in the AM, rather then just a cup of coffee until I "find" the time to eat later in the afternoon (bad, bad, bad). Take for exampe yesterday, I didn't have much of an appetite, but I managed to get 1/2 cup of cottage cheese into me, besides my regular java. Amazingly enough, with grazing every 2-3 hours - my blood glucose (BG) averaged 5.0 (90). That was even with eating a blonde brownie in the afternoon at break time. Of course, giving the correct amount of insulin to cover the carbs as well as my basal rate I have set up on my insulin pump helps out alot.
I'm also trying out an "at home" A1C test and posting the results on my Facebook page called the Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes and also Twitter . I lucked in on getting the 10th edition of the book entitled "Diabetes Mellitus - A Practical Handbook" by Sue K. Milchovich and Barbara Dunn-Long. In the chapter on Labratory Tests - they tell you to do an at home eAG (or A1c). Not that I'm not going to have a lab test done anymore, but the instructions which I'm following by testing my BG before and 2 hours after a meal using your glucose meter will give me a bit of a heads up I feel. I always thought that by averaging out ALL your BG results from your glucose meter would reveal similar lab results - but apparently not according to the authors of this book. The main thing is, I really recommend this book for any newly diagnosed diabetic - or old fart one like myself - since I always am learning new ways to improve the control of my diabetes. Check out your library - you never know - they might have it - if not - ask them!
Happy New Year!!!!
NB: If the picture above doesn't show up on your screen -
you can view the picture at this link
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Posted: Jul 19, 2011
Yesterday on Facebook - Diabetes Daily had a poll going about the amount of carbs we consume a day. Going back to it today – the one that seems to be winning out is 50-100 grams of carbs a day – which I personally think I cannot do. I then decided to go over my past few days (this is after I’d put down my choice of 100-150 grams per day) – and was amazed to see that the last 3 days my average amount of carbs is actually on 90 grams. I may have to go back to the poll and change my answer. One of the other higher totals (same as the 50-100 totals) was “I don’t count carbs”. Either they were folks like myself that just eat based on what they think is alright for them and semi-shoot in the dark for the amount of insulin to cover the carbs I used to be that way and managed to stay in an A1C of 7% - but my blood sugars did yo-yo a lot back then on multiple dosage injections (MDI) – which probably led to the lower number for my A1C. – The other thing is that those that answered perhaps were not on meds at all – but just diet and exercise. All I know is that when preparing to go onto an insulin pump, I started to look at food labels more closely, not just for the carb count, but for other things like fat/sodium count that I felt was important for me to monitor as well. I guess I reeducated myself after 40 years of being a diabetic – and just following the guidelines I was brought up on by my Mum and CDA with eye balling the amount of rice I had on my plate, etc. It did work, but I just wasn’t being as precise with carb counting as I am now.
That’s one thing that I noticed the other day when going grocery shopping with a friend. I picked up a bag of Bing cherries that are affordable at this time of the year. They told me that they had bought a bag the other day (about 2 kg) and had consumed it practically in one go. On top of that she was buying another bag as I picked out the darkest cherries I could find to share with my DH over the week!! The first thing that went through my head was the amount of carbs they had consumed in that one bag of cherries –it boggled my mind. Next we stopped by the bread area. I swear those places pipe out smells of fresh baked bread just to draw you in – resistance is futile to most – but in my case – the constant walking wanna-be-dietician - I resisted the urge to a loaf of cheese bread my friend was buying. As they teased me with the comment of, “There is one loaf left – buy it!!!” They then told me … that they would be consuming this WHOLE loaf probably that afternoon. I just had these flashes of potential diabetes or not being able to fit thru’ the bathroom door in the making. On top of that they are already have been diagnosed with hypoglycemia – yikes! All I could say was – “In my next life I come back with a pancreas that doesn’t pack in on me” – and almost added – “and a bank account that can pay for all the clothing / medical bills I may get from becoming overweight”.
For some of you who are newly diagnosed with diabetes – carb counting is a chore – along with watching the quantity/quality of food you consume. Trust me, it gets better over the time, and in the end you’ll be doing the calculations without even thinking about it. For long term diabetics like myself, it’s just something I’ve always done; looking at food with a critical eye and pondering what it’s after effects will be to my health. I really rarely think about what I doing except when faced with a food that I can’t really access properly – then I just wing it the best I can!
Off to munch on some cherries (not the WHOLE bag!!!!).
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Tags: A1C (1) CDA (1) Diabetes Daily (1) carbs (1) weight (1) pump (1) insulin (1) hypoglycemia (1)
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