Category: Diabetes Be Proactive

Always Something…..

Always Something

Just after I feel proud of the way I’ve been able to handle my diabetes over these 40+ years, I find myself battling, of all things, sleep.  It has easily been a year or more of feeling exhausted, run down, foggy, and falling asleep just sitting still for a moment.  Not a big deal one might say, however, picture this at your work desk,  or in your car in a line of traffic  behind a stopped school bus,  all of a sudden horns are blowing,  you open your eyes to find the school bus blocks ahead of you.  Not very comforting.

One might say this has happened to everyone, and I will be the first to agree, however, these things were happening more and more, and not just after a long day at work, but in the morning on my way to work!!!  After what I thought was a full nights sleep.  Sound asleep from the minute my head hit the pillow until my bladder woke me in the morning.   Yes troubling.  When I mentioned it to people they would just say it happens to all of us as we get older.  Do people not realize age is not an illness!!!  But that’s another soapbox.  When brought to my internist attention, her first response is to do labs, ”it must be hypoglycemia, lets review my diet, exercise, or supplements, then tell  me I do not fit  the apnea profile.  Well guess what, I do not fit the ”diabetic” profile either but here I am.  When all the labs come back normal it is pushed away again, blaming the “highs and lows” of diabetes.  Of course, why didn’t I think of that!!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a glutton for problems, but I do know when answers are needed.  I gradually stopped enjoying everything I once loved, didn’t look forward to things which usually brought me pleasure, ie; vacations, visiting family, going out after work, cooking, working out, nothing.  I was happier when my husband was away on business so I could come home from work and do nothing; no cooking, just sit, veg and fall asleep.  I was angry ALL the time, because I knew this wasn’t me, and luckily my husband knew it too.  We managed to get an overnight  Pulse Ox gadget to test my vitals while asleep.  Oh surprise,  it turns out my 02 levels (oxygen) were dropping to as low as 72% throughout the night.  Normal is 90% and over.  Needless to say now my internist was paying attention.  She felt the need to stress to me that of course “being diabetic” this was a perfect set-up for stroke or heart attack during the night.  Now the fun part…..the overnight Sleep Study at the hospital.  One would wonder how you can sleep with electrodes across your chest, wires down your pant leg, pulse ox on one hand, more electrodes wired and glued to your hair,  face and neck, and an nasal canula in your nose, but tell you what, when you have gotten so little sleep, over so long a period of time,  you fall asleep.  Even knowing the ones watching you in the control room can tell when you move your eyes!!!

Well, the nightmare told us what we knew from the simple pulse ox,  my brain was getting little oxygen during the evening, I was not going into the deepest stage of sleep, but for about 20 mins nightly and so I WAS TIRED!!!!  Months later,  no big change since I  cannot sleep with the damn mask, now I’m up all night adjusting it,

Valentines Day, Another Challenge!

Happy Valentines Day, Another Challenge!!

Oh yeah!!!!   Valentines Day is coming.  We have finally finished, and hopefully survived the “holiday” calorie traps, now we must stand strong on chocolate hearts, pastries,  and other expressions of love from people who care about us.   Question is,  do they know about us?

Do not find blame in others for giving gifts of sweet affection from those who do not know our  resolution or nutritional limitations.  Be polite and thankful someone thought of you and is following tradition, after all, who’s ever heard of giving a heart shape box of fruits and vegetables, or a bouquet of celery stalks.  Simply accept with a smile and a thank you, maybe take one of your favorite out of the box,  and then spread the happiness by opening the box to others in the office, or at the house.

Yes, this, my friends, is called will-p0wer, but remember that resolution, the one about starting your healthy life making smart decisions?  It really gives you a sense of power and a feeling of “you” are in control of this.   After all, 2 year olds and animals have no self control, you are different, you DO!   You’re  a smart, adult learning how to take care of yourself and being a smart example for your family.  Sure, some one who loves you could give you flowers, but they die quickly, and can be expensive, or jewelry, now that last forever, and yes can be expensive,  but no, they choose to buy you something they know you’ll love, not realizing this too, last forever, on your thighs and  hips, and most probably in your blood work, making your next MD appt very uncomfortable.    Another option is a fine dinner out, some nice restaurant with elegant atmosphere.  Personally, this is  my favorite because I am confident in my meal choices and knowledge of foods.  It can be a disaster if you get carried away with sauces and creams and all the extras, another reason to get educated on nutrition, it’s liberating to know what you can and shouldn’t eat.  Please refer to my article  on Nutrition Traps.

When in doubt, hold to your convictions,  choose the cuddly, cute teddy bear.  He’s the safest choice, hands down.


Happy New Year, Healthy New You!!

Happy New Year! Healty New You

Yes, we all do it…we convince ourselves we will start a new, healthier,  life style this year.  Our yearly “New Years Resolution”.  Will it be the gym, diet, smoking, or all of the above?    Well,  you  are the only one you need to convince.  If you are NOT ready to make the life style change required, you will NOT succeed, and it must be a “life style change”.    It can be small steps at a time or a major overhaul, but here is my promise,  if you truly make the effort to eat healthier, in moderation, small changes at a time, your body will let you know it was the right decision to make.

This  may seem extreme, however, this is how I changed my unhealthy eating habits years ago.  After doing much self-educating, studying, reading and record keeping, and experimenting with how different foods affected ME as a Type 1 PWD,  I made the conscious decision that I  did not want my diabetes to be what kills me in the end.  After being told by every doctor you see for any given ailment, whether as simple as a skin tag, or hang nail it suddenly is because of your diabetes,  I was pretty much convinced my diabetes was their easy answer to everything.

Being heavier than I was comfortable with,  initially I stopped adding the tasty add-ons that not only add more flavor, but tons more calories, HFCS, and artificial flavors, ie;   margarine on bread, potatoes, and  hot veggies,  I  switched to mustard instead of mayo,  oil and vinegar instead of creamy salad dressings, no more gravies or melted cheese.    I soon came to realize, I actually loved the unadulterated flavors of these foods without all the window dressings.  Not only did I start to drop pounds, but I also did not eat as much because I was not doctoring my food for more flavor, but making it  good enough  to eat.  Less food, fewer calories and moderation became MY life style.  My blood sugars were easier to control and my A1Cs were always in the low 6s.  (if you are diabetic and do not understand A1Cs, you have some self-educating or MD switching to do.)

Soon, my sister began explaining my eating habit as “eating to live, not living to eat”, as is our family tradition.  It has become a good habit, I do not even think about it, or feel I’m being deprived of anything.  Another healthy thing to do is, next time you just HAVE to have that pastry, or desert, or bag of chips, and you finish it, ask yourself, “was it really worth the calories, extra insulin shot, or damaging preservatives you just put in your body?”  If you are honest with yourself, the answer will be NO!   Another trick I use is to simply have a taste of the treat, this does,  and will suffice, once you are on a better path.  Read more, read  about the preservatives, chemicals, additives, artificial colors and words you can’t pronounce and learn what they do, most will stop you in your tracks, then REREAD it again to gross yourself out, because this new life style will make you unwilling to put that garbage in your new, healthier body, and your body will thank you.

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