geanniegray.com

a blog about life with diabetes, depression & dysfunction & how to manage them with HOPE!

Tag: doctor


playing catch-up


That’s what you can consider this post.  Me trying to update you on all that’s been going on with me and the hubs in the health and medical happenings department.

I’ve indicated a few times that he and I both have been really busy getting all sorts of tests done and then, when something comes up on a test, having some procedure or other done.  Unbelievably, this year it’s been mostly him having procedures.  More about those in a sec…

So far this year, I’ve had a mammogram (joy. not.), an eye exam (got my new glasses & can see MUCH better now, YAY!) I’ve had several blood draws, which is usual for me, I had another sleep study done (after about 8 years?!) and have a new C-PAP machine now, I had my first stress test and echocardiogram done looking for the source of my constant fatigue, that led to seeing a cardiologist and having my first-ever heart catheterization done, which came out fine, I’m finishing up my allergy shots along with getting weekly B12 injections, and now I’m going to physical therapy to get my shoulders and neck back into shape after going for years with constant stress-related pain.

Ha, I told a friend the other day if I could just get some new teeth (I want to get implants as soon as I can) and some liposuction, I’d be almost good as new!

As for my poor hubby, Tommy’s had a bunch of tests run as well.  I finally talked him into seeing my doctor and he really likes her, just like I said he would.  She has been working to find the source of his stomach problems.  He’s had scopes done, both directions, which led to the gastroenterologist telling him again to get off the NSAIDs.  He thought he WAS off them, but come to find out, the meds his old doctor had put him on for the pain in his Achilles actually was another form of NSAID, so his stomach had gotten all messed up again.

He was so worried about having to stop them since every other time he’s gone off pain meds, he has been just wracked with pain and barely able to walk, let alone anything else.  So we began looking for natural anti-inflammatories.  I found a good source for tart cherry juice concentrate and started him on two cups of that a day along with drinking “golden milk” which is a turmeric drink.  Turmeric is a very powerful anti-inflammatory as well.

After having his allergy tests done, we found out he is highly allergic to a ton of foods, weird things that are so common it was pretty discouraging to think about how we’d avoid them.  Like apples, tomatoes, and vanilla!  Just sit there a minute and think about how many foods are made with those ingredients!!

He has done really good with changing his eating habits but soon, his stomach really started to bother him.  I’ve been telling him for the past several years if he didn’t lose some weight, he was going to regret it.  He’s the type who will do the opposite of what you tell him just for spite, so he’s not been trying at all to modify his eating.  So now, with several doctors telling him it is a MUST that he eat differently, he’s finally on board.

When our doc began testing to see what was up with his stomach, she mentioned gall bladder, which put us on the search for ways to avoid having to get it removed.  That’s when we did the gall bladder/liver flush.  Tommy ended up doing it twice but still had to get his taken out.  Turned out he didn’t have stones, but instead his gall bladder was just grossly infected.

They had a horrible time getting him sedated, or rather, intubated and we left the surgery center with a letter from the doctor and anesthesiologist to keep with us in case he ever had to be sedated again.  Seems he has a very small airway along with a strange alignment of his esophagus that makes it impossible to intubate him in the normal way.  He has to have a bronchi-scope instead, which is a whole different set of tools for the anesthetist.  During his gall bladder surgery, they had to stop everything while the other tools were located and brought to the operating room.  Apparently, it was very stressful and maybe even dangerous to have to do this.  I didn’t understand all that she was telling me, but she said to make sure the doctors got that letter before he has another surgery or sedated procedure.

After the surgery, Tommy seemed to start doing better.  His terribly bloated stomach went down which made us realize that he’d probably been sick with that for a couple of years!  We didn’t realize it was bloating instead of just weight gain!  However, he has continued to have pain in his upper/mid back area.  So our doc sent him for another CT scan to check his kidneys.

This would be his fourth scan-type test this year after an initial ultrasound, then a CT for the initial stomach pain, then a HIDA scan, now this CT and then, after finding cysts on his kidneys, they sent him for another ultrasound to see if the cysts were something serious.

Turns out they aren’t and now doc wants to send him to the chiropractor thinking his back pain is muscular instead of internal.

I wasn’t thrilled about that since I’ve been a ton of times to this chiropractor without getting any relief for my neck and shoulders.  I really love the gal that works on me at physical therapy.  She’s a former masseuse so she also does some massage on my neck and shoulders, which helps a lot.  She’s trying to help me build up the muscles that are weak from years of trying to accommodate my misalignment due to pain.  The reason the chiropractor hasn’t worked for me is because all those muscles are so tight, even when the chiro aligns me, my muscles will pull things back out.  Until my muscles are retrained, any alignment isn’t going to stick.

I’ve been to the PT three times now.  Yesterday was an unusual day, though.  I was late getting there, which made me nervous and stressed anyway.  She put me on this bike to do hand pedaling and then over to the pulleys to do some exercises when I began to feel extremely tired.  Tommy texted about that time to tell me my sugar was pretty low.  I had seen it about the same time and walked over to my purse to get something to treat the low blood sugar with…but all I could find was one solitary Tootsie Roll!!  My little zip bag I keep stuff for lows in was empty!!  ARGH!  I remembered then wiping that out when we were on vacation but never thinking to restock it once we got home.

By this time, I was beginning to sweat and feel shaky.  I texted Tommy, who had been planning to come by the therapy office to get his computer out of my car.  He had already come and got it though, so he was already gone when I asked if he could bring me a Mt. Dew or something.  By this time, the therapist had noticed something was up with me.  I told her what was going on and she spotted the number on my CGM app on my phone… it was 54 at the time and trending straight down.

She said, “Is that what your sugar is?!?”  “Um, yeah,” I told her.  Then she and the receptionist both started to wig out a little.  I felt so stupid having to tell her I had NOTHING to treat the low in my purse NOR did I have my glucometer with me.  I’d left it at home charging, thinking I shouldn’t even need it.  But now, I could have used it to be certain what was going on … to determine if the CGM was correct or not.  Obviously, it was, though because I began feeling really crappy.  The therapist ran to get me something she’d brought to work with her.  They were some kind of health-food choco-peanut butter things and I ate them, feeling like an idiot having to eat up her food!!  She told me it was fine and said: “they aren’t that good, but here…”  LOL!  I guess maybe I was doing her a favor by eating them??  Ha!

I knew they weren’t going to do the trick though since they weren’t very sweet and had a lot of protein in them.  Tommy called me about that time and told me he was coming to bring me something to eat.  Then I felt horrible that I was making him have to come all the way back because I’d forgotten to restock my purse.  I told the ladies (only the receptionist and therapist were there at that time) that my husband was bringing me something when the receptionist said she had a Mt. Dew and some honey in her car.  I told her not to bother, that he would be here soon.

The therapist said, “Go get your stuff.  I’m not going to sit here waiting on him while she passes out on me.”  Sigh.  So, I downed the soda when she came back and handed it to me, mumbling ‘thank yous’ and ‘I’m sorry’s’ between gulps.  They both assured me it wasn’t a problem, so I relaxed a little.

By the time Tommy got there, I was in the middle of getting the post-hypo freeze and slowly, my numbers started to come up from LOW to 42. He sat down on the table beside my chair and during the recovery, the subject of his medical stuff came up and he asked the therapist some questions about what would be best for him to do.

When I was finally up in the 90’s, they had decided between themselves that the therapist would text our doc to ask if she could see Tommy and try to help his back before the chiropractor.  I ended up not having any therapy yesterday, which stunk, but I think Tommy and I both felt better about him possibly getting to be in with the therapist instead of the chiro.

We will see what becomes of it all.

By this point in the game, we only lack a few hundred dollars meeting out out-of-pocket limit, so we are going to get all the therapy and tests done that we can and take full advantage of our insurance!  Lord knows we’ve sure spent a buttload of money on our health this year and it’s barely April!!

I sure do wish I could get my teeth done on the medical insurance, though!!  Siiigh.  Oh well…

Oh!  I forgot to tell you that in the middle of all this, we took a short vacation to Destin!!  It was actually “prescribed” when I was back in with our doc, talking about all the various appointments we had already had and those coming up soon, she said, “You guys need to take a vacation!”  I asked her to write a script for it.  Ha.  Anyway, we had bought this three-day package last year and it was going to expire soon, so we decided to just do it.

It was fun and nice to get away, but next time we go to Florida, it definitely needs to be longer than just three days.  Hopefully, that can happen before we get too old to travel by ourselves.  Heh.

Okay.. I think you’re all caught up now!!  Later!


crap sammich


That’s where I’ve been living for almost a month now.  Now, I don’t normally use the “other” word…$h!+.  So don’t go thinking I toned this phrase down for posting on my blog.  I assure you, I didn’t….but that’s about all I can think of when I ponder how my life’s been these past few weeks.  Just a big ol’ crap sammich!

They are telling me it’s allergies, but I’ve never had allergies treat me so bad in my life!  I mean, this started out like just a case of the sniffles.  Seriously!  Nothing major, just a bit of drainage…not even a sore throat, and then that cough started.

I guess I’ll never post any such declaration as> THIS <again!  You betcha!  I mean, the very title is just asking for a big ol’ dose of Murphy’s law or karma or whatever you wanna call it.

I don’t actually believe in those things, but if I was trying to decide whether to believe or not, these weeks since that post would make a believer out of me!  And God knows, I wasn’t bragging!  I was just trying to share my joy!  Honestly!  sigh

So here I am now, for whatever reason God has, with this nasty bronchial/sinus infection now.  After going to see a doctor I didn’t know, (because I couldn’t get in touch with mine due to a cruddy phone system) y’know, to get in front of this thing, and getting NOTHING done other than confirming no infection (and I am sure I didn’t have one at the time) I have ended up Friday having a Decadron shot, a round of antibiotics, doubling up on the guaifenesin, adding a steroid inhaler plus nebulizer treatments, making sure I take the nasal spray steroid (that I’m so bad about missing!) and now another 3 days of oral steroid just because my cough was still bad when my doc called me Monday.

In case you are a non-D person and don’t know, anytime a person with diabetes has to take a steroid, it sends their blood sugars soaring.  That’s just the nature of the beast, which is why some doctors are so hesitant to give them to a PWD.

I assured my doc I could adjust the basal rates on my insulin pump to handle the rise in blood sugars, but man, I had forgotten just how hard it is to manage my sugars while on steroids.  Egads!  Having high sugars makes you feel like poo all by itself, so it’s like a crap sammich with a side of poo, y’know!?!

Today has probably been the least fatigued I’ve felt since this whole thing started.  I’m not sure if that’s because my mom and my aunt came down to help with the house this morning or not.

I really, REALLY didn’t want them to come.   I mean, Lord knows I need the help around here but do you have any idea what the home of a depressed person with diabetes who has been sick for weeks actually looks like??  It is NOT pretty, folks.  And my mom is a perfectionist housekeeper.  We have had some doozies about my inability to keep my house up to her standards over the years.  But bless her heart, she didn’t fuss too much and I know good and well she wanted to.  I guess maybe she’s figured out I have been really, really sick.  Maybe it’s sinking in that dealing with depression on top of diabetes is a big load to bear and doesn’t lend itself to being an organized, always-on-top-of-it person who keeps their house spotless.  Especially not one of those who also has some hoarding tendencies.  Heaven help!

So yeah, I might be a tad better today.  I sure hope these steroids will move this cough on out, though.  I have one day left of those.  My doc wants to send me for a cardio workup just to make sure none of this coughing is due to a heart issue though.  I really don’t think it is.  The only time I have any sort of lung issue is if I :

  1. get tickled or
  2. get choked or
  3. get something like this

Then I’ll end up hacking my lungs out, sounding like a long-time smoker (no joke!) and needing a rescue inhaler.  I think the main reason Doc is sending me for cardio tests is that I had a nasty coughing fit in her office.  You could hear me barking all over the office.  They were bringing me cups of water and Doc wouldn’t let me leave til I had taken the sample steroid inhaler and then a nebulizer treatment.  It was awful and I was sure glad it wasn’t far to my house, but then I had to stop at the pharmacy, which was on the way.  Only, they didn’t have the one item I really needed right then…the cough syrup…so I had to drive back across town to get that at another location.  sigh  Ain’t that always the way, though?

Anyhows, so that’s where I stand with this lastest issue of Creeping Crud Magazine.  Ugh.  I am so ready to be done with this.  I realized though, thanks to Facebook and Timehop, that I’m always sick, getting sick or getting over being sick at this time of year.  If it IS allergies, then perhaps if I set a reminder on my calendar for the end of August to start being super-diligent with my allergy treatments, up the vitamin C, etc. if maybe, just maybe that would help?  What do you think?  Is that crazy?  I know if I don’t do that though, I’ll forget it completely.  Do any of you do things like that??…set reminders for yearly things besides birthdays and anniversaries??

So how are you guys doing with allergies?  I take allergy meds year round and have done so for decades.  Used to, this seasonal stuff really didn’t bother me but now, oh boy.  It sure jacks me up!

Hope you are all well and free of Creep-o Crud!


frankly Friday: how do you feel about “a cure”


Okay folks, once again, Friday is for us PWD’s (that’s People With Diabetes) but as always, I hope you will all enjoy the post and it will get you thinking about things maybe for the first time!

I just read this article that initially sounded like yet another “we’re closer to a cure for diabetes” thing, but when you got into it, I found that it’s about getting closer to a way to detect future development of T1D and then possibly a way to prevent it from ever developing.

You can read the article here:  Type 1 Diabetes Breakthrough: Scientists Identify Key Molecule Targeted By Immune System

See what I mean?  The title is like “DIABETES BREAKTHROUGH!” and you’re all like “WOW!  YAY!  YIPEE!”  then it just tells you they’ve discovered a fifth molecule that is attacked by the immune system during the development of type 1 diabetes.

depressing letdown  Yeah.  I mean, that’s great news and obviously it’s progress, but for me, it is definitely a little anticlimactic!

How does it make you feel when you hear news about a possible cure for diabetes?  I’m not talking about the okra-water cures that are constants on Facebook.  I mean the news reports from legitimate sources researching a cure.  What goes through your mind?  Whether you are a diabetic or not, I’m interested in how that makes you feel.

For me it’s a mix of emotions.  I’m usually like, “Yay.  Thank God those coming behind me might be spared living with this nasty disease.”  I never feel hopeful of a cure for me.  If you ever look at the clinical testing sites, they want people who were diagnosed t1d within the last year or two, or maybe sometimes you’ll find a study looking for people who have had t1d for as much as ten years, but forget being eligible if you have had it over 20 years.  I know this isn’t the case, but to me it feels like they’re saying, “Oh man, you’re practically dead from it already.  Sorry, we can’t help you.”  Pshhh!  Sorry… did I shock you with my killer negativity?  Yeah, I apologize.  It sneaks out sometimes.  grin

Personally, I don't think us diabetics 'get used to' injections or finger pricks. I think we simply accept that it's necessary to survive.

 

So how do you feel when you see things like that?  Are you “new” enough to have hope that a cure will be found in time to benefit your life?

If I’m totally honest, my conspiracy-theory self thinks there is already a cure, but it is being suppressed because just think of all the money that would be lost if we didn’t have to pay out big bucks to live??  See?  I have this completely pessimistic side and she comes roaring out when it comes to stuff like this.

ANYhow… it IS encouraging that they are learning new things about how diabetes occurs and which genes might be responsible for the misfire that causes our immune systems to attack themselves.  Really, guys, it is.  I just can’t get too excited because progress is so slow and it’s really already too late for “a cure” to save me.

the workings of the t1d brain

Heh.. I was telling some friends last night that I’ve had diabetes for so long, I don’t know any other way to live.  If I got cured right now, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.  How do you go from spending every waking moment calculating and figuring out food values and dosages for everything that crosses over your teeth and trying to decide how this or that activity will affect your fickle disease to … well, to NOT worrying about those things constantly?  Ha ha… I guess it’d probably be a lot easier than I imagine, but wow… it’s just not something I can really fathom.

diabetes doesn't define me, it just helps explain meI’m gonna close now, but something has been on my mind that I want to share… a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a friend while waiting for a low to pass so I could drive home.  (fyi: don’t drive when your sugar is low, ‘kay?)  I was explaining something or other about dealing with diabetes when she said, “I thought your pump took care of that.”  I’m pretty sure I contained my dumbfoundment enough that I didn’t bump my chin on the floor, but I was really stunned that she didn’t understand any better than that.

minion: the look you get when explaining diabetes to peopleI guess I just assumed she’d been around me enough to realize, but I guess that’s not the case.  Or maybe I had never really discussed the finer points with her specifically?  I dunno and really, maybe I shouldn’t have been so shocked, but I guess it really floored me that she thought my insulin pump was essentially like a cure.  That as long as I was on the pump, I didn’t have to worry about the disease anymore.

WOW!  People of the world!  AN INSULIN PUMP IS NOOOOT A CURE!!   It is merely another tool in the arsenal that helps us manage life!  I guess I should admit here that I HAVE used the term “external pancreas” to describe the pump to people before.  Now I’m rethinking that!!  I can’t assume that people understand that while a pump is MUCH MORE like that than treating with MDI (multiple daily injections) for most of us, but we STILL have to calculate everything, still have to manage the unexpected, unexplainable lows and highs that can happen.  We still have to deal with going into DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) if the cannula kinks or we put the port into an area with scar tissue that won’t properly absorb the insulin, or we sweat too much and the adhesive comes loose and the cannula pulls out or… I could go on with a list of possible things that could go wrong, but you get the picture, right?

That’s part of the reason I am writing more about diabetes here than I ever have before.  I believe this wholeheartedly:

I may have diabetes, but diabetes does NOT have me!

I have diabetes.  That’s me, I am a PWD, a Person With Diabetes, but diabetes, no matter how hard it may try, does NOT have me!  It doesn’t define me.  It makes me strong, makes me tough, makes me determined but it will not defeat me.  I may die from the blasted monster, but it will never control me.  I want to live my life to the fullest, be all I can be, yadda yadda… and diabetes may slow me down, it may make me do things a little differently, a little more cautiously, but it won’t keep me from doing what I want.  It may put me in The Pit (depression) for periods of time, it may make me more susceptible to The Pit, but it won’t keep me there.  Never.

ahem   Soooo…. how DO you feel about this??  Please share.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!  Let’s encourage each other, lift each other up, whether you are a PWD or not, if you know me, you have a vested interest in learning about diabetes, you have reason to be concerned about possible cures and other diabetes news.  Chances are, someone you know in your own life (if we aren’t friend IRL (in real life) that has diabetes.  It’s like a plague these days and we don’t understand it well enough to know why!  Get involved.  You don’t have to go join the ADA or JDF, but learn all you can.  Be knowledgeable.  What you learn could one day save my or another PWD’s life, after all!

Please share this post and share your thoughts here!!  THANKS!

mwah!

Blessings,

G~

Acknowledgement:  All images in this post courtesy of Type 1 Diabetes Community FB group


getting graded…part 2


Well, I have to say I’m a little surprised.  Pleasantly, and thankful for it, but still surprised.  Even though my A1c was up a little (0.5) it still wasn’t considered horrible.  Dr. Wendell says I just need to tweak a little on my pump settings, Read More »


mega X meds


Oh my goodness!  I came back from the recheck at my doc with a buttload of new or changed prescriptions and OTC meds.

Normally, I wouldn’t be very pleased about being prescribed a ton of meds for something, but Read More »



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