Hey! I’m back. We’ve had lots of appointments and “to dos” lately and I haven’t been able to post anything. Not sure I’ll be able to put together anything comprehensible today, but we’ll see what I can come up with. grin
Today is daughter-in-law Melissa’s birthday. I hope my card got to Ohio in time! I also had an appointment with my endo this week which went really well. Despite my struggle with highs, my A1c was the same as last time. I guess that’s not too shabby to stay at 7.3 for six months? I would love for it to be lower at the next check up though, and hopefully, the tweaks to my insulin pump settings will do that for me.
So far, I have really been seeing the effects because I’ve had several lows in the past couple days. Nothing serious, thank God, or crisis-causing, but after dealing with highs, the lows can be a little more scary than before.
The thing is, for the non-D out there, lows can come out of nowhere for no reason with no warning. Especially if you are like me with hypo-unawareness, lows seem to just appear! I had no symptoms of being 60 or 50, so when it gets to 40 and 30, I’m a little surprised (and panicked!) That’s why I’m so thankful to have the Dexcom now. At least that kind of thing doesn’t happen nearly as often as it would otherwise.
The only way it happens even with the Dex is that I can miss a calibration and the readings be off, like 20 points. That’s not much if you’re in the 120-150 range, but when you’re in the dirt below 60? 20 points is the difference between conscious and not. (remember my experience in November?! yikes!)
So yeah, I’m trying to be much more diligent about at least timing the calibrations so that there’s not one due in the middle of the night. That’s what happened before.
Anyway, so Tommy and I did the gall bladder/liver flush a couple weeks ago. (see this post for deets) My personal opinion is that it’s not horrific. It’s not pleasant by any means, but it wasn’t a nightmarish couple of days. And there was plenty of evidence that we both had some seriously gunked up innards! Sheesh! Since Tommy had been religiously drinking the apple juice as prescribed to soften stones, there was not a whole lot of “solid” evidence for him. I only drank maybe 3 cups of apple juice total in the five days prior (when you’re supposed to drink four cups a day!!) so there were tons of pea-green “stones” anywhere from the size of a dried pea to a stinkin’ lima bean! We also both reacted differently. I was up about 2 hours after drinking the last of the potions for the first day (the olive oil and lemon juice) going to the bathroom. He was able to sleep all night without getting up. He started out with thin results whereas I started with thicker but definitely not-normal stuff.
I KNOW!! I KNOW!!! How gross that I’m telling you guys about our poop!!! But c’mon now. I’m getting close to the age where that’s normal conversational material, right? Ha ha!! Besides, we’re attempting to regain some health and hopefully help Tommy (and ultimately me too!) avoid gall bladder surgery! So cut me some slack and go do the flush yourself! I betcha you’ll be talking about what you discover too! Ha ha ha!! Seriously, I tried to be as tactful as possible here…just be glad I didn’t post you some pix as well!! gasp
FYI: neither of the recipes on the links above are exactly the recipe I use. I’ll try to do a post about that soon so you guys know exactly what I’m using here.
As for what it’s done for us? Well, if you recall, I told you after having the scope done on Tommy’s stomach, the gastroenterologist told us he has GOT to stop taking NSAIDs once and for all. She took him off of them about 4 years ago but his GP put him back on something else we were told wouldn’t bother his stomach. We’d never heard of the drug before and I guess were so busy and concerned by how much the pain was limiting Tommy (the man could barely walk) we didn’t question it. Turns out? It’s a form of NSAID. Nice. So his stomach is once again raw, irritated and close to developing ulcers and bleeding.
While Tommy was still mostly under the sedation, he mumbled and almost cried about this because he knew the doctor had already said in the procedure room that the NSAIDs had to go. He was saying things like, “how am I going to walk?” and “how am I going to work?” sigh I felt so awful for him. He was worrying so much about this stuff.
When the report came back that he needed to have a HIDA scan (which is routinely when gall stones are suspected) he began looking up all sorts of info about the gall bladder and came to the conclusion that it was important and not nearly as disposable as most doctors like to say it is. We decided that God didn’t put any spare parts in there, so we’d start researching ways to heal the gall bladder naturally with diet and nutrition. (note that I’ve been trying to get the man to change his diet for several years now, especially this last year when he quit cycling and began to put on a lot of weight… rolling my eyes here)
Anyway, that’s when we ran onto the stuff about tumeric being good for the liver and gall bladder. I’d been wanting to try golden milk already just in the hopes that it would help me sleep better. We bought the few ingredients that we lacked the next day and made a batch. We were pleasantly surprised with the taste and committed to drinking a cup of that each night. We also started him drinking two cups of tart cherry juice each day. Tart cherry juice is known as a great anti-inflammatory agent as well as tumeric. So we hoped using both of these along with a lot of dietary changes (because of his allergy testing) would keep him from seizing up and having awful pain.
So far? This is two weeks post-flush and about a month after the scope and he’s been using nothing but the cherry and tumeric (sometimes taking capsules of each of those along with the drinks when he hurt more than usual) and he’s doing really, REALLY well. Seriously, before he would have been almost bedridden in about three days without those NSAIDs. If we could start riding again, I’m sure it would help even more, but with his dad wanting to restore this old pickup (and Tommy loves doing it to, but it would be nicer if he could work on it in his own time instead of his dad’s schedule, which kills any time to ride bikes sad face) it doesn’t look like we’ll be doing that with any regularity. He might surprise me and start getting on the trainer. As for me, I’m riding outside!
The weather around here has been hinting spring for a couple weeks now and I am itching to get my bike out. I’m going to be so bummed to see how far back I’ve gone since I haven’t ridden in over a year now, but maybe I can build back up quickly…ish. ??
At this point, it doesn’t matter. Frankly, I’m thrilled to be feeling good enough to even think about riding. And that’s, I believe, another benefit of drinking golden milk each night. I think it’s helping me feel better.
Hmmm…well, I wasn’t planning on this being all about golden milk and our experience with it so far, but in case you’re all curious about the latest “fad”/trend or whatever you like to call it, and decide to try it before I ever get (finally) a post up about how I make it, let me share a few tips and a bit of info with you….
First of all, the body doesn’t readily absorb tumeric on its own. That’s why there is (or should be) always fresh ground pepper corns in the recipe. (if there’s not or it says you can omit it, don’t use that recipe or site!) FRESH ground black pepper corns, yep, the same kind people have used for eons to flavor their food, is one catalyst for
helping the tumeric absorb. Don’t skip it. I am not a big fan of black pepper, fresh or otherwise, so I was a little hesitant, but when you blend it with everything else, you can’t even see the pepper, let alone taste it. It just calls for a pinch so the other flavors easily overcome the pepper. You can also just put in 2-5 peppercorns when you heat it then strain those out. I’m too lazy for that. Whichever way you do it, make sure it’s fresh. It’s important for proper absorption.
Second, I don’t make the recipe that calls for making the tumeric into a paste. No particular reason and I believe there’s no way it could make a nutritional difference. It’s just easier to me to put in the powder. I HAVE finally procured some fresh tumeric root (by driving 80-some miles to Whole Foods) so soon as I’ve used up the ground that I have on hand, I’ll try the fresh. We already use fresh ginger root and love it!
Third, I DO NOT USE COW MILK! I had to give up dairy years ago because it turns my head into a nightmarish snot factory before it even hits my tonsils! UGH! So, we use almond milk. If you can find organic soy, that’s okay, but to me, it comes out way too frothy. Now, I love me some froth, but there’s just so daggone much with the soy milk, you have to about scoop it off to get to the liquid! Too much work for me! I’ve also used coconut and it is great for this! I would continue using it, but Tommy’s allergic, so… I only use it if he’s not here and I’m making for myself. sigh
Fourth, I heat the milk in my Vitamix. I am slap in love with that thing! I’ve had it close to a year now, but have DEEPLY DESIRED one for decades! I finally found a deal offering major discounts on returned units, so I jumped on it! I use it at least once a day, but usually more than that. I make Tommy a frozen fruit smoothie in the mornings and then I make our golden milk in there in the evening. Lately, I’m also blending coconut oil into my coffee, too, so that’s at least three times most days!
Fifth, get organic ingredients whenever possible. I know that’s a big buzz word in health news these days, but I think it’s important to ingest as few chemicals as we can. Lord knows we are bombarded with enough harmful things out there that we can do nothing about. I try to do whatever I can when I can.
Okay… there you go. Oh wait… here’s a page I found talking about the benefits of tumeric. It appears to be written by someone for whom English is a second language, but it’s very readable anyway. It just points out the importance of the pepper! Don’t leave it out! 😉 Use the whole-kernel/strain method if you have to!
Let me know if you try this…what you think of the taste and what it does for you! YAY!
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
I’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.
I 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 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!
Acknowledgement: All images in this post courtesy of Type 1 Diabetes Community FB group
DISCLAIMER: Let me say right off the bat that I KNOW I messed up in the story I’m about to relate to you. I’ve been dealing with this disease for over 40 years, day in-day out. It gets old. It gets tiresome. It gets almost impossible sometimes. So yep, most of us T1D’s will at least once in our lifetime (usually many more!) fall off the proverbial wagon of good diabetes management. Therefore, I really don’t need you to scold or lecture me about what a big no-no it was, okay? Thanks for your understanding.
I wanted to title this post Oops, I Did It Again but all I knowRead More »
This is PERFECT!! Show this to those people, in- and outside the medical field, who think managing diabetes is just a matter of following a particular method…
In case you need to print it out and show it to someone who might not understand just how incredibly easy it is to manage diabetes on a daily basis. (I can’t even type it without laughing.) I…
This is an update to my last “health” post sick again, naturally.
I made it to the allergist in one piece. Turns out this was the same office I’d been to in another town. This doc has offices in a couple other towns, and I couldn’t remember the name of the doctor to save my life! So anyhow, that meant they had my last scratch test results and other info. It wasn’t quite three years ago since that last visit, so they didn’t redo the scratch test again. I was VERY thankful for that!
I saw the PA, who I liked very well. She said it sounded like I just really needed some maintenance meds for the asthma. She gave me a steroid inhaler and a refill for the albuterol for my nebulizer. I’m supposed to take it twice a day along with another similar medicine, iprapropium. Boy, does it make me jittery! I’d never had much of a reaction with albuterol alone, but the two of them together make my heart race and feel like I’m gonna crawl out of my skin. I hate it!
The steroid is the nastiest thing I’ve ever tasted! She gave me a sample of it so I’m stuck with it for awhile, but my insurance won’t cover it so I’ll have to get some other similar inhaler after this runs out.
I’m not sure if she’s planning to keep me on that one for maintenance or not. Not sure what kind of affects inhaled steroids have so I need to research that.
She also gave me antibiotics, my usual after I told her it’s the only one that seems to work for me…Keflex. It seems to be doing the job. I still have plenty of coughing, but not the violent fits where I can’t get a breath.
So…for my own benefit, there’s the update. Finally doing better and I’m SO thankful!