geanniegray.com

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

Tag: health


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!


I’m bAAaack!


Hey guys!  I’m back from my unintentional hiatus.  As I have alluded previously, things around here have been crazy what with the kids moving to Ohio and me being sick and now the hubbs is dealing with some medical stuff.

He had allergy testing a couple weeks ago and lit up like a Christmas tree for a LOT of things.  Mostly foods and environmental.  Several trees and grasses (hay fever), the usual indoor culprits (dust thingies) and a whole list of the oddest foods.  Strangely enough (or not!) most of the foods were things he had eaten recently.  WEIRD!

So, we’ve gone off all these foods.  I’m talking things like wheat (yeah, his celiac tests came back negative, but he’s allergic to wheat and I don’t quite understand that just yet), carrots, grapes, coconut, apples…WHA??  Yeah, weird.  Oh, and turkey!  Pecans, walnuts, sesame seeds… sweet potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes!

Poor guy, he was pretty stunned and dazed.  You’d think after living all these years with a type 1 diabetic, he’d be used to the concept of not being able to eat certain things, but nope.  He seems so baffled.  It’s all I can do not to say, “See?  Welcome to my life!”  heh!  But no, I haven’t done that.  But occasionally I REALLY want to!

On top of finding out about all the allergies, he then had to begin the prep for a double scope.  From the top and the bottom.  Yikes!  So then he had to go off things like rice (which is what most ‘wheat free’ things are made of) and fresh fruit and veggies (seriously?) and nothing purple, red or blue… that was only for 5 days, thank God.  Then on the last day, he had to do liquids only and take that nasty diarrhea stuff then drink like 40-some ounces of clear liquid immediately after.  Egads!!

He did okay but it was a challenge figuring out what he could eat.  During the 5 day thing, we were in Cincy with Corey and Melissa, so that actually helped since Corey has celiac disease and has learned what to avoid for that.  We just basically put Tommy on a celiac diet with the added restrictions from his allergy test and/or his prep diet.  My brain was fried after all that food juggling!  And that’s not counting my own food restrictions like dairy and super-acidic foods that either give me horrible sinus issues or cause my tongue to swell and crack.  (yes, crack…it’s so painful!)  It’s a wonder we can find anything to eat between us! Ha ha ha!

So back to the scopes.. this was the same gastro doctor he went to for scopes before, so we were thrilled to get in with her.  It was probably three years ago when he had his first one done and we hadn’t seen this doctor since.  Anyway, she said there wasn’t any new damage, thank God… no ulcers or any thing like that.  But his stomach was a raw, irritated mess.  She said the same thing about this irritation, which he also had on his first scan years ago…get off the NSAIDs.  He’s been on those off and on (mostly on) for ages because of the pain in his back and legs, specifically his Achilles tendon.  It tightens up so much, it had tears the last time he saw a rheumatologist.  He went off the NSAIDs then, but ended up in misery so the GP he had at the time put him on a “new” pain med that he said wouldn’t bother his stomach.  Yeah, whatever.  And so now, he’s been having pain under his ribs on the right side, classic gallbladder/stones symptoms, so he’d had an ultrasound the week before.  We hadn’t heard those results though and they hadn’t forwarded them to the gastro doc, so we had to wait around to get those.  The report from the imaging center only said the tech saw nothing that “needs immediate attention” but the gastro doc wasn’t good with that and told us she’d look at it herself.  The next day, they called Tommy to schedule a hida scan.

Hmmm… me thinks there WAS something needing attention on the ultrasound.  A hida scan is when they put that radioactive dye in an IV and then have you hang around for scans over a few hours to watch the dye move through the gallbladder.  Nice.

I’ve had radioactive dye stuff done before.  It’s scary to think about, but apparently I survived without issue (that we know of, at least!) but we don’t want to do that if we don’t have to.  Besides, we’ve already knocked this year’s deductible in the head with these tests and don’t want to add more bills to the heap.  I’m sure the hida will be uber expensive.

ANYway, so Tommy started looking up stuff on the gallbladder online, which was surprising and exciting.  He usually is all, “Well if the doctor says I need to, I won’t question it.” while I’m all like, “NO!  Don’t do that, I don’t care what the doctor said!”  Heh.  And I joined him in the research til we found all this info on a gallbladder flush.

Maybe you’ve heard of this before.  I guess I sort-of had during my time working in the health food store, but being the youngster I was, I didn’t really ponder it.  Back then, with my fully functional 20-something body, it all sounded gross and like something only old people needed to think about.

Well, guess what, Poopsie!  You’re OLD now!  sigh

We looked at several sites and watched a bunch of videos detailing what the gallbladder does and what the flush does for you.  One doctor said, “If you’re 40 or older, you WILL have some gall stones which may or may not give you symptoms or at the very least, you will have developed sludge (thickened bile) in there which leads to stones.”  Sounds delightful, doesn’t it?

Ugh!

When Tommy realized that the gallbladder helps the liver in filtering toxins and such, he was all like, I NEED my gallbladder!  At this point, we knew that if something showed on the hida, they’d most likely want to take his gallbladder out.  So after months and months of me telling him he needed to change his habits or he was gonna be big as a horse and have a heart attack…he’s ready to commit to changing his diet.

Of course, I have to do it too.  And I get that.  I mean, I don’t stick with a diet unless he’s at least supporting me if not also doing it too.  It’s just easier that way.  He’s just not always willing to be talked into being supportive!

I figure a flush will not hurt me either.  I mean, I am in that magical area they talked about…”over 40″, so I’m sure I have my share of sludgey-crapola in there too.

We made a run to the Aldi in the next town over since they have so much affordable gluten free and organic stuff.  We got organic olive oil and lemons and apple juice.  Yes, even though he tested positive for apple allergy, and he DID have some slight allergic symptoms (looking back, that is) after eating apples like a slight scratchy throat, we figure doing the juice instead of whole apples would be less irritating.  The pectin in the apples is supposed to soften the stones so they come loose or become soft enough to pass out of the gallbladder.

We read anywhere from 5 to 14 days to either eat 5 apples a day (Gah!) or drink 2 cups of apple juice twice a day before doing the actual flush.  Then, you go on a very low- to no-fat diet for a couple days then choose your day to flush.

Obviously, you need to stick close to home/the bathroom for this.  So even though we (he) don’t have time to do a full week with the juice before the hida scan (this coming Thursday!) we’re still going to do it.  After the apple juice days, on flush day, you stop eating at 2 pm then you begin a schedule of drinking an Epsom salt/water mixture at 6 and 8 pm.  They have you lie on your right side after each dose (to allow the mixture to gravitate to the gallbladder).  The Epsom salt helps open up the bile ducts in the gallbladder so the stones and sludge can move out easily.  At 10 pm, after you’ve gone potty (so you don’t have to get up during the night), you drink an olive oil/lemon juice mixture and go to bed.  Again, lying on your right side, as still as possible for at least 40 minutes.  At 6 am, you drink another dose of Epsom, lie back down, then same thing again at 8 am  and then at 10 am, you can eat.  They say very light, bland foods and wait for the “magic” to happen.

By this time, of course, you have effectively given yourself the screaming trots which is the mechanism by which that sludgey-stoney goop is to exit your body.

Yay.

Oddly enough, none of these instructional sites give any detail about how long or how um…er.. intense this phase of the flush is, but I’m guessing it’s gotta be pretty daggone epic.

On one site where we found this flush recipe, the guy (an Oriental doctor, I think) asks for photos of your results.  BAHAHA!!  Um, nope.  I don’t think so, pal.  I’ll be doing well if I can find the handle with my eyes closed to flush the toilet, okay?

Oh yeah, in an effort to keep him from being in so much pain from going off NSAIDs, we are using tart cherry juice and tumeric.  I’ve wanted to try the tumeric drink (sometimes called “golden milk”) for awhile after hearing that it’s good for inflammation and helps you sleep.  I could use some-a that.  So we also bought coconut milk (which, for any T1D out there, has NO CARBS!) and organic tumeric.  I made a batch last night and it’s not bad.  I was afraid the coconut milk would be strong, but it’s not.  I don’t really like the taste of coconut which is weird since I use coconut oil for everything!  Anyhow, coconut was a 1 on Tommy’s list of allergies, meaning it was a mild irritant, so we’re going to use it anyway with the hope that getting his gallbladder flushed will relieve these silly allergies!  Anyhow, I thought the golden milk was actually sorta bland, so I think I’ll use a little more cinnamon next time.  I ended up putting apple juice in it last night.  Heh.

So there you have it.  You’re mostly caught up on the doin’s around here.  Hopefully, this ol’ gal will start feeling better soon.  I’ll let you know AFTER I’ve recovered from this flush.

Tah-tah!


doing that thing you do…


Hello, boys and girls!  Today we’re going to talk about something that everybody does, but in most circumstances, nobody talks about.  This is an important thing.  Something that, if left undone, would eventually cause the human race to disappear from the earth. It’s something we should be taught about when we’re young, before things get too out of hand and we can’t get back in control.  Something that, left explained or considered unimportant, we may make foolish decisions about and soon find our lives are wrecked.

I am sure by now, most of you know what I’m talking about.  Many of us have problems with this while others seem to find it a non-issue.   Those who are “good” at it don’t understand those who struggle with it.  Those who spend their lives trying to master it, can’t even fathom those people who seem to do it without even thinking.

I’m talking about pooping.  Dropping the bomb.  Dumping the load.  Laying the brick.  Doing the dookey.   Taking a $#!+.  Whatever you call it, however you refer to it, it’s important.

Wait…what did you think I was talking about?

Sheesh!  Minds out of the gutter, people!

So yeah, I’ve been sick as a dog for over a month now.  Trying not to die takes a lot of time and concentration.  You’re worried about taking your meds, do you feed a cold and starve a fever or the other way around, will your ribs break if you cough any more?  It takes considerable thought just to breathe! So I’ve been a little busy with all that stuff, besides feeling like death reheated!

Annnnd…. I may have neglected a few other very important tasks.  Yes,

–stands up– My name is Geannie and I am a Problem Pooper.  sigh  There, now you know.

And it’s true, I don’t get you people who can just drop a turd at the drop of a hat.  What IS that?!?  I mean, it could take me hours.  I just don’t see how you can just snap do the deed and go on about your life like

Nothing.

Even.

Happened.

My husband, Tommy, is like that.  That man poops at least five times a day and twice during a full moon.  If I take the least bit more time getting ready to go somewhere than he does, just when I’m ready to walk out the door, he’s all, “I gotta poop.”

blink, blink

“NO WAY!  We don’t have time for that!!” I wail.  Then -boom-, two minutes and he’s back, ready to go and it’s like he never even left the room (as long as he turns the fan on and shuts the door).

I cannot do that, people.  It takes time.  Concentration.  Sometimes hot coffee, a laxative and an enema!  And even then, it’s not a sure thing.

How is it that you people can just POOP?!?!  Just drop the bomb, anytime, anywhere, even with other people in there just on the other side the door that doesn’t latch properly.   Nuh-uh.  Not happening.

It’s not that we don’t WANT to.  We’d love to be like you poopers who are not hindered by geography, audio interference or emotional distress.  Those who’s poop seemingly just slithers right out, nice as you please, like a big ol’ chocolate snake, allowing you to continue on with your life.

No, it’s not that we want to be bound by this heavy burden.   I could never understand as a child why my mom was always worrying about whether I pooped or not.  To me, pooping was an irksome task that interrupted my playtime.  I mean, I guess it never occurred to me that I could just poop in the woods like the forest creatures because that’s where I usually was, playing for hours.  No, I thought I had to walk allll the way back to the house for this, and so many times, I would not.

Nope.  That poop wasn’t gonna be the boss of me.  I’d show it.

I eventually developed the sphincter of an iron man.

But as I grew and became an adult, I realized that pooping may have been a tad more important than I had assumed.  By then, however, it was too late.  I was caught in Pinch Mode.  It was automatic, if I felt the least urge to lay one down, I’d pinch up tighter.  Seriously, The Gatekeeper learns what you teach it.  I had taught mine not to let ANYBODY out.  Ever!

When I got pregnant with my first, my mother scared me to death about getting a hemorrhoid.  I did everything possible to eek out a turd every day.  I wasn’t always successful and it was a lot more work than it should have been, but I got by without the dreaded butt condition developing and it felt like I had escaped the jaws of death.

As I’m writing this and pondering the topic, I wonder how ANY body in history kept a clear bowel.  Especially women!  I’m thinking pioneer days, late 1700’s to early 1800’s.  I can’t imagine coping with all that long material in those heavy skirts and petite coats trying to squat and poop in the middle of a prairie, probably with some bad-guy train robbers in hot pursuit, shooting arrows or Minie balls at you.  I mean, c’mon!  There’s no way any of those women could have been “regular”.   Let’s don’t even talk about how you wiped.  How they even found their hind quarters in those things is a mystery, let alone actually wiping it.  shudder

Ah, but today, we’re all civilized with special seats and nice soft paper to wipe with, all in temperature controlled rooms and with exhaust fans even!  Not to mention specialty things like this:  Poopouri & Squatty Potty

We’ve come a long way.

Except for those of us who haven’t.  But you know, at one point in my life, I’m not sure what happened.  I’ve had so many medical mishaps and of course, our bodies change over time, but I was in the Super Poopers league for awhile.  I’m not kidding!  Sometimes… whispering –I could even go twice in one day!

I never got to the point that I could dump a load away from home, though.  I mean, some things are just sacred.

#1, I need my things.  My toilet, my magazines, my toilet paper.  You know.  And

#2

(BAHAHAHA!!  Number 2!!)

I need space.  You can’t even turn around in some of those stalls.  There’s no way I could launch one in there!

#3, I need quiet.  How can I poop if people are standing around out there talking..  AND I can SEE THEIR FEET??

Then there are the other issues…I may occasionally make noise.  I mean, getting the brown train to exit the tunnel takes a lot of work.  It’s like hard, manual labor, people.  Not to mention if I were to be able to just drop a single train car, let’s say… the ensuing “bloop-splash” sound would just shut it all down. POW!  Sorry folks, this station is closed and I mean RIGHT NOW!  EVERYBODY STOP!  The tunnel would close indefinitely and who knows when you might expect to hear from the rest of the train!?!?

As an adult seeking to become one of the Perfect Poopers, I’ve read a lot of stuff about the role our nerves play in the whole elimination process.  I told you we sorta train our GateKeeper and the same goes with those nerves.  If we ignore every time we get an urge to even think about possibly releasing a brown bear, then our nerves eventually stop telling us there even IS a brown bear.  Heck, we don’t even know there’s a forest nearby, let alone a bear!  And I think that might be part of the issue, too.  Those Pro Poopers, they get a load right up the dump point before their nerves are all like, “Okay, comin’ out!”  so they run off and launch their rocket.  Wham!  Bam!  Thank you, ma’am!  No prob.  I think the rest of us, our train gets its nose in the tunnel and those nerves, the little conductors of dookey, are like “Yo!  I’m leaving now!  Should be there..oh, in a couple hours.  Maybe tomorrow.  I dunno…”  So if we tried to evacuate headquarters right then, it’d be useless.  That train is still a mile down the track and not in any hurry to leave.  “Hey, yeah!  I see you’ve opened the gate.  I’ll be there…hang on…”  Um no.  Seriously!  Ain’t nobody got time for that!  So we go on about our business and by the time our business finally arrives at the exit position, we are in full-on pinch down.  Too bad, buddy.  You had your chance.

Look, it’s a doo-keychain! BAHAHA!

Before long, the dookey conductors stop communicating.  “Oh, look!  The Turd Train is here.  Let’s don’t tell her.  hee hee  Let’s see how she likes that.”  All the while, said train is backing all up in the terminal and the conductors are soon rethinking things.  “Maybe we should have told her?”  But it’s too late. You missed your chance, suckers.

So anyway, as I said in the beginning.  Getting deathly ill has put me on the outs at the Elimination Station and I have got to set things right!   As the CEO of the rail line, I’ve got to get this train back on the track and moving!

I have doodies to attend!

Let’s put on a pot of coffee….  All aboard!!  Poooo-poo!


I’m not a whiner…however…


I am seriously over this crud!  Guys, I’m still hacking and coughing.  I am beginning to wonder what in the heck is going on.  Seriously!  I’ve had, thus far, 2 Decadron shots, 2 rounds of Prednisone, 2 different antibiotics, every anti-allergy med known to man in varying and increasing doses, dual-dose nebulizer treatments throughout, Dulera inhaler, and Flonase spray along with whatever other OTC/vitamin supplements that are supposed to help.  There have been changes, sometimes from day to day, in how this “is”…whether the secretions are thick or thin, whether the congestion seems loose or tight, the cough “wet” or dry, etc. but overall, there’s really not a whole heckuva lot of improvement.

It’s driving me nuts.  Besides absolutely wearing me out.  I’m exhausted.  The house is beyond hopeless and I’m stuck in it all day.  I have not stepped foot outside the house since I went to the allergist on Thursday.  I opened the back door to wave at one of the boys in the yard.  That’s as “outside” as I have been.

I’m scheduled for allergy testing on the 13th which is too stinkin’ long to live with this after I’m past a month with it already.  I’m considering trying to get in with a pulmonologist.  I mean, I’m sure I need the allergy testing anyway, but I’m wondering if there’s not some lung issue.  Why are the steroids not more effective?  I mean, I’ve taken them often enough over the years, not often, but enough times to know that they normally produce a noticeable improvement within a couple of days.  But with this?  No such thing.  And I’m sitting here wondering if I should finish up this last course of Prednisone I have.  I mean, that stuff jacks my sugars up so bad.  It’s like insulin has no effect on it almost.  I raise my temp basal as high as it will go, 173% and STILL have to override the boluses to give 2-4 more units of insulin to cover my food.  Well, not cover it even, just to keep it below 200.

I’m thankful to have the CGM now so I can keep on top of what my sugars are doing while the steroids jack with my sugars.  I shudder to think of how bad they have been in the past when I didn’t have a way to keep such a constant watch on them.  Ugh!  At the same time, though, watching them stay up there while I’m “throwing” insulin at it as hard as I can is just maddening and more than a little scary.  I don’t know about any of you guys, but when I know my sugars are up and I can’t get them down (quick enough to suit me, of course) all I can think about is all the damage being done.  All the blood vessels being clamped shut and nerves being killed out or whatever goes on in there while there’s an overabundance of sugar floating around.  It drives me nuts!

So here I am.  Still hacking, still unable to speak with my actual voice.  It’s more like I’m doing the voice of some alien monster thing complete with alternate growling and shrieking.  I just wanna get well, y’all.  Is that too much to ask?

Alright.  Like I said, I’m not a whiner, so I guess I’d better shut this down before I become one.  heh  Maybe that should be, “I TRY not to be a whiner”?  Yeah, probably so.

Ah well…I’m not changing it now!  ha ha

I hope none of you guys are this sick.  I guess I’ll update you if I get in with a lung doc next week.  For someone who never worked in an environment that was potentially lung-damaging or who never smoked (other than a couple months in high school), it sure seems odd to me that this would be some lung issue.  It honestly seems like it should be entirely allergy related.  But then that brings the question of why in the world aren’t the meds helping, then?  I have always been weird with medicines…either it takes a ton of it to work for me (pain meds) or I’m allergic to them (antibiotics) or they stop working…??  Why would that happen?  It’s not like I’ve ever taken steroids for long periods of time.  I have had them several times over the years, but not for extended periods or even frequently, so what gives?

Argh.  I give up.  It’s scary to think that there’s some (other/more) weird thing going on that is causing my body to no longer respond to these medicines.  What do you do when nothing will heal you?  Um…die?

Gah.  I need to stop thinking about this.  And I need some answers…and um, some relief.  “and that’s all I need…” ~Navin R. Johnson

 


I pronounce me ‘better’


I went back for…what’s this?  My third appointment?  Yeah, my THIRD appointment with Dr. Kim.  I already knew I was better.  The past two days I’ve had less pain and more energy than I have in months and months!

It’s amazing!  I am praising the Lord because I was in sad shape.  I didn’t wanna move for the aches all over my body, mostly my neck and shoulders.  When those hurt, there’s not a whole lot you can do without hurting, ya know?

She was almost more excited than I was when I rated my pain for her.  And then when she felt my neck, she got really fired up!

First of all, my atlas had kept the last adjustment, which in and of itself is a miracle.  I never stayed “in” from one appointment to the next with anyone else.  Sometimes with my last chiro, I would get out to the parking lot and feel myself “go out” of alignment and just go back in to be adjusted again.  The swollen knot at the base of my neck that’s been there for years is almost gone, I have lots more range of motion in my neck.

It is just amazing!  I am SO thankful God put Dr. Kim in my path because I was a pitiful mess and just getting worse as the days went by.  I know I’m better because I’ve had the energy and presence of mind to start working on this house and folks, I haven’t had the gumption to do any of that in a long time.  I went through all the paper that had amassed itself on the bar, got it sorted, filed or tossed as needed and actually cleared the kitchen bar/island.  You can’t imagine how much better that makes me feel!  I also got the other main counter in the kitchen cleaned and cleared, even cleaning the stove thoroughly and wiping down all the small appliances.

I’m sure that sounds like nothing to most of you, but for me?  It’s a big ol’ deal.  I’ve been sleeping since I got back just before noon, which is good I guess since I didn’t sleep much last night.  It took me forever to get to sleep (it was a little after 1 am) and then I was up a couple different times.  Once because my Dexcom kept alarming but I was sleeping through it.  Actually, it was my phone alarms (for the Dex) I was sleeping through and the Dex receiver was in the living room, where poor Tommy had fallen sound asleep in the recliner.  So he ended up waking me to drink some juice.  After that, of course, I had to get up and pee.  Sheesh!

Anyhow, I’m trying not to beat myself up for taking such a long nap, but seriously, I probably needed it.  I woke up with a slight low, but now I’m doing good and am thinking I’ll tackle another part of the kitchen and make that my goal…getting it completely cleaned.

Since that’s where we come into the house, it’s hard to keep tidy, but I’ve let it go WAY too long in my feel bads and depression til it overwhelmed me so much I froze.  I’d look at it and want to clean it, but felt I didn’t know where to start.  Sometimes I might even make a tiny stab at cleaning it up, but then I’d get so tired or it would hurt to move so much that I’d just give up.

I got my new TENS/EMS unit, it’s this Ultima Combo TENS/EMS unit,  and am working the snot out of it as I type.  I went to sleep with it on my neck and shoulders in TENS mode.  That’s the nerve stimulation, where it sends pulses of electricity to help alleviate pain in muscles and joints.  This one also has an EMS mode, which is Electrical Muscle Stimulation.  This is what sports types use to help tone their muscles or work out even more the muscles that need it or are hard to tone other ways.  I’ve got this sucker stuck on the flab that has begun to form on my arms.  You know, that part of your granny that keeps waving at people even after she stops moving her hand.  Like some stalker-type person who wants desperately to be your friend but they’re just so creepy, you can’t even!

  • shudder *  Arm flab!!  I just can’t deal with it.  I will wear this thing 24/7 if it’ll keep that off me.  (And yes, it works.  I Googled it before I ordered the unit.  I figure it ought to do more than just keep me from hurting so bad, right?)

That’s pretty much my day so far.  I stopped at the pharmacy on the way home and picked up a couple of Tommy’s scripts and now I’m here working on the blog.

I have another post rolling around in my head.  I may lay that on you a little later or maybe this weekend.  Til then, have a great day and see how many blessings you can count!

Hugs,

G~

[this post contains an affiliate link to a product I recommend!]


excitement over a kitchen gadget?


vitamix 5200

Hey guys.  I’m a little excited.  I’m watching a YouTube video about this thing I’ve wanted for literally decades!  I almost feel a little silly that I’m so excited about this, but guys, I have really wanted this thing for ages but just never would bite the bullet because they are a little pricey.

Here…I can’t stand it anymore.  I ordered myself a VitaMix!vitamix5200

[FYI: I am NOT receiving compensation for this post!]

You can go look it up on YouTube or Google yourself and see what this baby can do.  I always thought it would be so amazing to throw fresh ingredients into this thing and pour out hot soup, ready to eat.  It will also make sorbet and ice cream in a blink.  That’s really exciting to me too because I can cut out the dairy and cut down the sugars to make a treat that I can enjoy without getting sick later!  You can make fresh nut butters with it as well, which I love.

This is a photo of the 5200 model, which is what I ordered.  They had a special through PayPal Credit that I could get it with no interest!  It will put a bit of a strain on us for awhile, but nothing we can’t handle and I really think it was high time I had one of these.  Especially since the doctor has told Tommy to knock it off with the weight gain and cholesterol uppage.  Ugh!  I really think this baby will help us eat healthier and make it easier for me to cook more at home.  And with the garden coming along nicely, I look forward to doing lots with the VitaMix this summer!

Maybe I shouldn’t have started watching these videos or searching for info on recipes…I am drooling now!  I will be able to make nut milks and bread dough with this as well!  Oh my!  I may turn into a kitchen phenom!

Heh…well, if my energy level will support that!  I have always cleaned a blender by using warm soapy water and mixing, but of course, then you’d have to take it apart to dry or sometimes to completely clean it.  The instructions actually say to clean a VitaMix this way.  So handy!  The only thing you need to disassemble is the lid!  I absolutely cannot wait!  Look for more blathering about this thing once I get it unpacked, y’all.  I am sure I’ll have plenty to say about it then.

So, do any of you guys have a VitaMix??  If so, please share any insights you have or tips for using it!


finally a bike ride!


Redbud Ride London KY 2016

If you’ve been reading my posts lately, you might have picked up on the fact that I have REALLY missed getting to ride my bike!  We had these huge plans to really stick with training all winter.  I mean it!  We went so far as to clear out our small “living room” which held some Queen Anne furniture my mom had given us, selling the small sofa and two chairs, keeping only the wardrobe and four tables (I plan to re-do the tables to match in our family room…SOMEday!) so we’d have room for the bikes and fans and trainers.

In case you don’t know, a trainer is a contraption you can affix the bike to in order to “ride” in place indoors. cycle trainer Click the photo above for more examples on a Google search page so you can understand a little better.

So yep, we got rid of all that stuff so we could become killers on our bikes over the winter.  And we got on the things all of ONE whopping time!!  GAH!!  I think Tommy actually got on a second time, but lemme tell you, as much as I love riding outside, I detest riding inside just as much.  Ugh!  It’s just not fun, as any cyclist will tell you.

In our defense, we did get really sick.  Tommy had some bronchial thing that started his asthma, which had been pretty dormant since just after high school!  He was taking nebulizer treatments four and five times a day there for awhile!  Poor guy.  There was no way he could have ridden in that condition.  And of course, if you know me, you know I wasn’t about to do it without him keeping me going.  (I know, I KNOW!  I really need to work on being a li’l more independent, but there ya have it.  I suck at self-motivation!)

After the season had really started, at least for the dedicated cyclists around here, I had the itch to get out and ride, but I am a chicken.  I don’t like to go riding by myself.  I let fear overtake me and start worrying about my sugar going low or having a flat on the back which I couldn’t change myself if my life depended on it.  I worry about wrecking my pitiful self in the remote areas where we ride and being stranded all alone.  Ha ha… see?  I can really do a number on myself.  Although, in all seriousness, I don’t like to ride alone because I don’t recognize when my sugar goes low anymore.  After the time I sped off a hill going about 35 mph only to stop at the bottom when I got this teensy flash of fatigue and thought, “I wonder if I’m low,” only to find that I was very low, in fact, hovering around 40.  sigh   I just don’t trust my body to let me know that I’m dropping before I do something crazy like that, ya know?  I had no idea I was anywhere near that low and could have SO easily had a major crash.  I like to avoid those any time I can.  😉

But Sunday afternoon, after seeing all the bikes go by the house the day before, we couldn’t take it anymore.  We decided to head out after church.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it all the way back home.  Talk about being MAD at yourself!?!  I was!!  The worst thing is it wasn’t my legs or even my saddle that gave me problems.  It was my stinkin’ neck and shoulders that got so tight and hurt so bad, it felt like the muscles were going to tear through my skin.  ARGH!

me, crapping out at mile ten  :(  Hey, the sign said stop, so I did.  Okay?

I made it ten of the twelve miles and crapped out just before the hills leading back to our house.  How disgusting!  Once those muscles start aching though, I can’t get them to calm down no matter how often or how long I stop to “rest” them.  I’m not sure how to overcome that, but I have GOT to figure out a way!  *sadness!*

Geannie's 2016 inaugural ride gets a thumbs down

                                   Sad. Just SAD!

The start of the cycling season in Kentucky has been well under way ever since it got halfway nice enough to pile on that insulated spandex and pedal, but the official start is our town’s Redbud Ride.

redbud ride kentucky

The Redbud is our town’s annual bike ride which took place this past weekend.  The Redbud Ride has become one of the premier rides of Kentucky’s Century Challenge and it happens right here in London.  Actually, the main route goes right past our house!  Before we got into cycling, we would watch all those “crazy bike riders” go past in the spring for the Redbud and then again in the fall for The Thriller Ride and think, “I can’t believe those people would get out in this weather/this early/in that getup/etc and pedal all day!”  You know what they say… Never say never.  Ha ha!

 I actually know and have ridden with some of these fine folks.  Seriously, if you have ever considered cycling as a hobby or way to get healthy, cyclists are some of the nicest people you will ever meet.  And the most diverse “sports” group you’ll ever encounter too!road cycling kentucky

There are several routes to take.  There’s one for beginners that’s 24 miles, another route that’s 36 miles, a moderate route of 58 miles, an intermediate route of 70 miles and then the “century+” of 102 miles.  That one is the first of the four century rides that must be completed during the season to earn the coveted Kentucky Century Challenge jersey.

kentucky century challenge 2016

My beast-of-a-husband earned his jersey last year!  I was so proud of him!  I seriously can’t imagine riding a hundred miles in one day.  Heaven help!!  I barely did a half-century (54 miles, to be exact) and I cried the last four miles in.  I was SO tired and hurting!  I think I’d stop and curl up in a ditch on the side of the road to cry if I attempted to do 100 miles!!  Ha!

I am SO glad we finally got out to ride.  It WAS a lot of fun til I started hurting so bad.  And now I’m struggling to not let my mind work me over, ya know?  Trying not to tell myself not to try again.  Honestly, if I could do a couple 18-25 mile rides a week, I’d be thrilled.  I think that might even get me back on track with losing weight.  I lost a little over 30 pounds once I really started riding last year and I’ve kept it off, thank God although I’m not sure how!  I would love to repeat that this year, but I sure am getting a pitiful and late start.  *bleh*

And we have the garden this year too.  We skipped putting one out completely last year because we were spending so much time riding, it just didn’t leave time to tend a garden.  We probably wouldn’t have done more than peppers and tomatoes this year except that Mom wanted a full garden, so maybe she will understand if we ride instead of work the garden sometimes.  She’s always been very supportive of me riding.  I’ll have to explain some time how my parents view hobbies and such…let’s just say it’s not very favorably.  Heh.  I think deep down, she usually feels proud of my riding but she really doesn’t understand it.  Once she made a comment when I told her I’d done my first 40+ mile ride (without planning to!) last year “Why didn’t you just make it 50?” as if it was just a matter of trying harder or something.  Bahaha!  She has no clue about factoring in weather, road conditions or daylight, not to mention physical capability.  *pshh*  Funny, Mom.

So there we have it.  At last.  Our first ride of the year in the books.  I really DO hate that my attempt was so pitiful, but I plan to try it again.  I’m not sure how I’ll overcome this neck issue because those muscles stay in constant pain, so when I push them at all, they get really angry.  Maybe I can pre-dose with some ibuprofen and some muscle spray or something.

We shall see!

I Corinthians 9:26-27

26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. 27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Blessings to you!!

G~


depression and type 1 diabetes


depression symptoms
Just a quick post to keep this in the forefront for my blog… it’s a sunny Saturday in my part of the world and yet I’m having to force myself outside.  This is the first gorgeous weekend day we have had all year.  So why am I so resistant to go out and enjoy it?
Depression.
Do I feel all sad and blue?  Not really.  Am I weepy and melancholy?  Nah.  I’m just plain BLAH today.
I recognize this and I realize it’s just one of the many symptoms of my depression.  I know I need to get out, and I actually HAVE to get out (need to pick up scripts at the pharmacy!) so I’m dressed, put my makeup on and fixed my hair.  I’ve made progress already!
And soon I’ll head out to do a few errands.  What I would love to do when I get home is go ride my bike, but I’m having a little problem with that right now.
Don’t laugh… I don’t want to get it out because neither Tommy nor I have ridden the bikes (on trainers in the house) all winter!!  If you want to do rides of 20 or more miles, at least in my case, you don’t need to “let yourself go to pot” and that’s exactly what I feel like we’ve done!
We were both either really busy or sick this winter, and we really didn’t need much en/discouragement to ditch the trainers.  So I’m ambivalent about the bike even though I LOVE riding and have wanted to get on the thing for months now.
Here’s the thing… I’m afraid that if I get on and find out how bad out of shape I am, I’ll get REALLY discouraged and feel even worse about it.  But ya see, I might just surprise myself.  And then again, I might not.
STOP LAUGHING!  You see how I get when I’m a little more depressed than usual?
Ah so… we shall see which part of me wins later.  The Naysayer or the Optimist.
Now that I’ve “said it out loud”, maybe I’ll be even more motivated to just do it!!
I promise to report back in.
Have a gorgeous day, my friends!
Blessings,
G~
..:EDIT/UPDATE!!:..
Okay, so I got my errands done without getting wiped out.  Thank God for that!  And I DIDN’T make the bike ride, however, I didn’t just flop either.  😉  My intention was to mow our terribly neglected yard, but when I got changed and went out to ask Tommy what the mower needed (oil check, etc?) we discovered that it was out of gas and both gas cans were empty.  Of course… so I headed back to town to fill the cans, came back and let Tommy fill the mower only to then find that SOMEone (who wasn’t me) had left the key on so the battery had run completely down.
Well, ya might as well laugh, right?  As I’ve said, I don’t really enjoy mowing the yard like I used to since I got my foot cut back in 2012 but I was going to do it because it needed doing and Tommy wouldn’t have time.  I’m not really that picky about much, but a yard that needs mowing just bugs the soup out of me!
So I mumbled something about it being a sign that I shouldn’t mow as I came in the house and piddled around til the thing had charged.  At last I finally got to mow only to almost have a panic attack (and I have never had a full blown one of those) when I got out on the steep-ish incline in front of the house.  I normally have some issues with that area, but after the accident, it was worse, but never this bad.  I just told Tommy I couldn’t mow that part.  He was cool about it, which is why I married him.  *pththt*
Now I’m back in the house cooking a bit so we can have a cookout tomorrow, hopefully with some of the kids if they’re not all busy right after church.
All in all, it’s been a good day.  Maybe we’ll both get our courage up and drag those bikes out tomorrow….

 


an open letter to the t1d mom…


Dear Type 1 Diabetic Mom,

I know you.

I know you are tired.  Tired of worrying about your health and how you can take care of it, your baby, your home, your job, your marriage, your other kids…every other thing in your life that stresses out the most healthy of moms.  I know adding t1d to the mix can create sheer havoc.  I know it’s easy to feel bitter, angry and completely cheated.

I know that being a mom is a monumentally hard job.  I also know that being a mom with t1d increases the difficulty exponentially!

Sometimes.

Something else I know is that it’s doable.  Yes, it’s hard.

It’s the hardest thing you will ever do in your entire life.  But you can do it.  I know, because I did it.

type 1 diabetic mothers

Type 1 Diabetic Mothers

Yeah, and if I can do it, so can you.

I have two healthy, productive, intelligent grown sons to show for all the effort to take the best care of myself that I could in order to best care for them.  It was worth every poke, every extra test, every extra bag I packed for my supplies that added to all the things I already had to keep up with for them.  It was worth every tear I cried in private, tears of exhaustion, of fear, of despair feeling that I just couldn’t do it one more minute.

I have to tell you my secret.  You may or may not see it as something that would work for you.  I understand that, but for me, without this “secret weapon”, I would not have made it.  I wouldn’t have survived to escort my boys into adulthood.

My “secret” was (and IS) Jesus.  Without my faith, I could not deal with the reality of diabetes.  I couldn’t deal with the ups, downs and sideways, upside down spirals that it creates in my life.   I encourage you to investigate Him at the very least.  For so many other things in my life, He is my Sustainer, but for motherhood, He was indeed my Savior and thus, the reason my children are who and what they are today.  I am immensely proud of them and thankful for all the Lord has done in their lives.

Another thing that will be essential for “getting through” motherhood with t1d is HELP!  You do not have to do it alone.  Nor are you supposed to.  If you are a single mother on top of it, reach out to friends and family.  If your husband isn’t as supportive as he should be, call on others to help you.  ANY mother is well within her rights, and responsibilities for that matter, to ask for help when she needs it.  If you don’t, you risk failing even more!  ASKING FOR HELP IS NOT FAILURE…IT IS WISDOM.

In my opinion, that’s good advice for ANY mom or any person!   Don’t let pride keep you from reaching out for help when you need it!  That’s just foolish!

Back to you, T1D Mom… I know there will be days when you just can’t seem to get your blood sugars to cooperate.  No matter what you do, no matter that you’re doing everything the doctor has instructed, the disease will not cooperate.  It will become a monster on those days and it is one you will simply have to resign yourself to fight.  Your health and your children are worth ever effort you make.

I KNOW it’s hard.  I know there are times when you just want to quit!  You don’t want to try anymore to control this raging beast that is sometimes T1D.

But do it anyway.  Do It ANYWAY.

You are not alone.  Others have gone before you.  They are walking beside you and coming behind you in this epic battle to remain physically healthy and mentally sane while being a mother with type 1 diabetes.  Your only mission is

               do NOT give up!

I hope this has encouraged you to look for the brighter side, to focus on the good and remember that this season of your life won’t last forever.

If I can help you, encourage you or maybe just reassure you that no matter how bad it may seem, you can’t afford to give up…contact me.  Leave a comment, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter or email me.  All my info is in the sidebar!  I want to remind you… you have too much at stake to let this disease defeat you!  Let me encourage you and let’s encourage each other!

Blessings!

G~

 

 



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