Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes

Are you in?

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

March 13, 2011

I completely forgot to submit my blog entry for last week.  I actually wrote it.  Just never actually posted it.  Flighty moment.  Anyway, here it is.  Enjoy.

This past week (March 6th – March 12th) was National Patient Safety Week.

This year's theme, "Are you in?" is all about committing to safe health care.

Are you INvolved in your health care?

Speak up if you have a question

Here are three questions you can ask to make sure you are an active participant in your care.

·         What is my main problem?

·         What do I need to do?

·         Why is it important for me to do this?

Are you INformed about your health care?

Research shows that people who understand their treatment program get better results. 

Are you INvested in being healthy?

 

It is important to be an active participant in your health care so that you can properly take care of yourself.  Know when things aren't right and can get them fixed before it is too late.  You are the best person to know what your body is or isn't doing so you have to take part in your care.  Get serious and get IN?

 

March 8th is International Women’s Day.

And I am just returning from a long weekend in Alabama for the annual celebration of the Selma to Montgomery walk somy mind is swimming with lots of thoughts of celebration, accomplishments, and struggles.  One of the theme for this year's event was education, along with growing rights of women.  We are so blessed to be part America where our battles are still important but on a different level.  We have decent healthy care, the right to vote and speak up for ourselves.  I think I read that Marci, one of our speakers last year, went to DC to support the health care stuff that went on this week.  I tuned in one day and saw one of the executives of the American Diabetes Association promoting the need for more involvement from the government and support in fighting this disease.  It is interesting to think of the different things that we as women face and how far we have come.  I can relate to many different struggles as I am a double minority.  A black female.  So those that came before me in my ancestry struggled in so many areas.  Both of these events caused me to stop and think, what am I standing up for?  Am I just a passive observer?  I have a few things to think about.  I am not quite IN yet but I am getting better.

Busy Busy always busy

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

February 28, 2011

Just finished the busy period in my year.  The scheduled one anyway.

I think I mentioned that I am part of a show choir that performs a big show in February and raises money for a charity.  This year, our charity was Triangle Flight of Honor.  We raised over $16K for this honorable organization.  During this time there was a lot of preplanning involved for me since it was long days with work, quickly followed by rehearsal/performance.  I think I did well.  I probably ate better during this time frame than I usually do.  Planning ahead appears to be the key.  If only I had that same willpower during my regular life. 

I haven't been checking my sugar regularly but the times I did check, they were pretty good.  Eating better and constant exercise with the dancing had a lot to do with it.  I started a new medicine that I think I mentioned last week.  So far no problems with it.  I continue to work on getting my insulin pump and I go next week to the weight loss doctor to start that program.  Hopefully the next few months will see me doing much better in the A1c department.  Here's hoping.

I am also gearing up for my Avon Walk so looks like 40 might just turn out to be a good year for me after all.  Fingers crossed!

 

Forgetful

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

February 22, 20111

Sorry guys!  This is my crazy season and an already packed schedule caused me to slip on this week's blog.

 

 

I am part of a show choir sponsored by SAS, a local software company recently voted #1 place to work for the 2nd year in a row by Forbes magazine.  Nope, I don't work for them but they do let me sing and dance representing them.  We have our big show this weekend and are well in the midst of getting everything together.  Tomorrow is our open dress rehearsal.  It is both fun and also trying.  Of course the impending pump came to mind as to how it would interfer with my performing.  Where on earth would I put that thing and would it get all tangled up while I dance.  I was grateful that it didn't become part of my routine here in the what is the crazy season for me.  Work by day, rehearse at night.  This poses a challenge for the diabetic on the go.  Can't say that I have made all good choices when it comes to eating right but at least there is exercise in the equation. 

My doctor put me on a new drug called Victoza.  So we are adding that in the interim to see how that affects my blood sugars.  I go back in a month to see where I stand.  Hopefully we are moving in the right direction.  I counted and in 4 years, I have been on 7 different medicines.  I am still trying to find the right balance to get me on the road to better health.  Another step in the right direction is a consultation with a weight loss doctor.  A program that involves eating certain foods under the care of a doctor with weekly checkups and such.  Maybe one of these steps will get me where I want to go.  Feeling better.

 

Here's to hoping!

Happy Valentine's Eve

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

February 13, 2001

February 13, 2011

Boy is this bad day to be diabetic.  

 

 

All the candy and chocolate and other sweet treats dressed up and ripe for the pickin’.  Sweets for your sweet.  How can you resist?  It's all so pretty and dainty. Temptations all around.

On top of that, it's Girl Scout cookie time!.  Add that to the mix and it is almost impossible to resist.  And truthfully, I haven’t.  It takes a lot of resolve, as I have mentioned before, to stick with the plan and do what you need to do to be healthy.  Even giving in hasn't made me feel any different but I am sure my insides are begging for mercy.

Even my attempt to treat my single girls to a gift bag of treats of the soothing adult beverage variety (Daily's single serving frozen cocktails) made my mouth drop as I looked at the sugar content.  Sigh, those will have to be added to the not allowed list.

I can’t continue at this pace of course because even though I am not physically feeling bad right now, I have no doubt it will catch up to me.  So if I get back on track and behave, I suppose I will celebrate VDay with a tasty protein shake.  Cheers my friends, but sadly, this is not for you.  Which holiday is the low carb, high protein, sugar-free holiday?

Being sick

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

February 6, 2010

So this week I discovered a new thing to think about in regards to my diabetes.  Being sick. 

 

I have had a few more battles with colds and sickness than usual.  Back in January I asked my doctor about my insulin and being sick because after all, my appetite is non- existent so it affects my blood sugar levels and they aren’t normal.  For me, they drop lower.  Not too low, just lower than my normal.  So I was concerned about taking my insulin.  My doctor told me to keep taking my insulin to just maybe halve it.  My body still needed the insulin.  Okay.  I did

Now I am sick again and my concern goes to over-the-counter medication.  I see sugar-free cough drops and cough syrup and other cold medications.  I never thought about those.  Should I be taking that?  I have to take into consideration all of my ailments, sodium affects blood pressure and sugar alcohols, often found in sugar-free item upset my stomach and digestive system.  So what is a diabetic girl to do?  Make the best choice with the information and options before you.  My doctor also recommends checking my blood sugar more often of course.  Diabetes is a 24/7 disease that never takes a vacation.  So many things to think about my friends. Add another one to the list.

What happens when your plan changes?

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

(January 30, 2011)

Hi my name is Tomiko and I am an emotional eater1

Well sisters, I talk a lot about weight and eating because that is MY biggest struggle with diabetes.  I am a 4 year member of this club remember.  My first year's my treatment was diet and exercise.  My A1c was 6.9 at that time.  So I was diabetic but within reach of getting it under control.  Now, this is where we want to get my A1c back to as it has crept up to a high of 8.3.  Currently it is down to 7.5. 

 

So the progression of my treatment is: 1st year diet and exercise.  No dice.  Next year Metformin I believe.  I wasn’t on it long as it made no difference.  Janumet had its turn at a smaller dosage and then was increased to the max dosage.  Still nothing.  In October 2009 came insulin to compliment the oral medication.  It got better but still was not moving quick enough.  So I found myself facing an insulin pump.  I put it off and pushed back at first mention.  Not sure why, I pushed back on the insulin too at first and ended up with it anyway.  My doctor is persuasive. Me: “I can’t get a pump.  It will affect my fashion sense.”  Dwan, my wellLIFE practitioner: “Well, having your leg cut off will affect it a lot more!”.  I hate her!!  hahaha  Not really.  She is not in my network but she is worth the extra I pay because she tells it like it is.  So, I agreed to think about the insulin pump.  Much like we do with the dentist, I had an appointment coming up, this past Wednesay, so I started checking my sugar more frequently, the diabetic equivalent to flossing.  My A1c was down a little more, 7.2 I think but still not down enough so the insulin pump came up again.  I learned about basal medications (my lantus solostar insulin) versus bolus medications (my impending insulin pump humalog or novolog).  Dwan explained why I needed this and it made sense.  So now, I am getting an insulin pump.  At least I can get a purple one.  Maybe I can create some new fashion trend.  The ultimate goal though is to get my sugar under control.  She did say it didn’t mean that I would be on it forever so there is some good news. It seems that my good shopping skills do not port over to my diabetes treatment.  A fashion forward gal, I  can spot a bargain a mile away.  If I get bored with something I die it a different color or donate it to thrift store cause that is probably where I got it in the first place. However in my health, I am all about the brand names.  It seems like such a waste to have a half bottle of designer meds sitting there wasting away just because you didn’t finish it before your routine changed. Oy vey!  What do you do with your old supplies?

I don't know how this new pump thing is going to work out and I am not sure whether or not I should consider this a success or not yet, but it is the next step for me.  My 2011 goals are still in the works and even though I may not be 100% on target, it is only one month down.  I got a few months ahead of me to reset and get back on track to succeed.  So, here we go.  Let's see what is in store for me now.

2011 is going to be my year!!

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

January 23, 2011

Here it is the middle of January.  How are YOU doing with your resolutions?

As for me, well it has been hit or miss thus far.  Not unforgivably bad but certainly not great either.   This year I have a couple big events coming and I have set my goals accordingly.  I turn 40 in October and I “celebrate” my 5 year anniversary with Type II Diabetes in December.  It has been a bumpy journey with both of these in terms of stages in life and in health. So my 2011 goal is to take my health seriously.

Through Diabetes Sisters this past year and a half I have met some great ladies who have provided fantastic inspiration.  I envy their commitment and dedication to the cause and to their health and because of them; I have made this goal for myself to have a healthy 5 year anniversary by improving my health and making better decisions.

Diabetes is a difficult disease because unlike other illnesses, you don’t have something that physically or visibly hurts.   You rely on tests to tell you what your body is feeling and what is going on inside making it easy to mismanage.  Sure you have highs or lows that make you feel a little off but eating that candy bar doesn’t give you an immediate consequence so it is easy to dismiss and deny what you are doing to yourself.  Only people with diabetes can understand how hard it is to be diabetic.

We as ladies are no strangers to weight issues and diets.  Dieting is hard for the regular person who may simply be doing it to look better or for a special occasion.  Their failure doesn’t have the same consequences as dieting for your life.  Even with the threat of complications, it makes it no easier to eat properly.  You have to be dedicated.  My health is worth the effort.

I heard or read somewhere a mantra I need to have tattooed on my hand.  I love me more than I love _____ (insert any variety of weaknesses here).  Maybe through blogging I can inspire someone but I believe this experience will do wonders to help me as well.   I look forward to getting to know you girls and hope you find something in my story to help you take care of you.  You are worth the effort.

 

 

Best Wishes

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

Dec. 26, 2010

This is my last post to DiabetesSisters Type 2 Blog.  I could not imagine back in July that I would find enough time or enough “material” to actually fill my commitment of posting one blog a week for six months.  Now I am finding it somewhat difficult to say good bye.

Thank You to...

  • Brandy Barnes, Founder of DiabetesSisters, for giving me this opportunity
  • Laura Bennett, Blog Manager, for helping me learn the ins and outs of posting my blog
  • Markee Flint, Blog Manager, for continuing support
  • Riva Greenberg, author and friend, for encouraging me and offering editorial advice
  • Members of and visitors to the online DiabetesSisters community for your comments and emails 

Writing this blog brought unexpected blessings.  I learned to work outside my comfort zone; writing is not my strong suit.  I learned through research how to better manage diabetes and to live a healthier lifestyle.  I focused on how I managed my diabetes, finding ways to improve my treatment plan and to share insights with you.   I made new friends.

I hope in some small way to have made a difference in your life – a smile or even a good laugh, a useful bit of information or a friendship formed through a shared experience. 

I am proud to be part of DiabetesSisters.  Our sisterhood will strengthen as we voice our concerns and learn from each other.   Through DiabetesSisters we can affect positive change in the lives of women with diabetes and bring our issues/concern to light in the diabetes community.

 May 2011 bring you joy, adventure and good health. May you continue to find strength to manage your diabetes well and to not allow having diabetes to stop you from achieving your goals.

Best Wishes for a Happy New Year, Ann.

 

Caught off Guard

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

Dec. 19, 2010

Snow last Sunday turned into being snowed (or iced) in for a week.  We live on a small hill and icy conditions do prevent us from getting in and out of our subdivision. I am usually prepared for being stranded for a few days.

I don’t panic about what food I have in the house.  I keep cans of beans (all varieties), tomatoes, and soups that I can open in an emergency.  I have a freezer full of meat, homemade soups, and frozen vegetables. We may run out of milk and bread, but a few days without them is just an inconvenience.

If the electrical power goes out, we have candles and kerosene lamps for light and two kerosene heaters for warmth.  We also have sweat shirts and pants, gloves, wool socks that we can layer on to help us stay warm. 

I had not thought about my diabetes supplies or my medicines.  When my pump beeped a “low reservoir” message Tuesday morning, I jumped up from the table startling my husband and began to search through all my supplies.  He thought I was in trouble with my blood sugar and quickly came to aid me in my search. Searching for what, he wanted to know.

I assured him my blood sugar was fine.  I had just realized I had no idea if I had enough reservoirs, infusion sets, insulin, glucose tabs, and strips on hand to get me through these house-bound days.  He left me to my task of taking inventory.  Thankfully, my tally showed I would be fine even if we were not able to get out for several weeks.

Then I did an inventory of our prescription medicines.  Did any need to be ordered?  Next, I moved on to our medicine cabinet to check expiration dates and make note of any that needed to be replaced or any other items I needed.  With winter yet to come, I like to keep cough suppressants and other over the counter medications on hand.

Now I am set for the next few months.  I do not have to worry about being caught off guard by the snow, ice or torrential rains Mother Nature may send my way or unexpected sick days.

How prepared are you to manage your diabetes if bad weather or illness keeps you house bound?  If you have not done so recently, take time to review a few areas in your home.  Clean out and update your medicine cabinet.  Verify all prescription medications have refills available and refill them if it’s time.  Count your diabetes supplies, ensuring you have plenty on hand.  Also make sure you have diabetes friendly food in the freezer and on your pantry shelves.  Being prepared at home is just as important as being prepared when traveling.

 

Family Weekend

Type 2 Diabetes Blog

Dec. 12, 2011

We have had a fun weekend. Saturday we packed up Christmas gifts and headed to our son’s home to celebrate early. As is often the case, since he is married we now alternate which holidays they spend with us or with Sarah’s family.  This is the way it should be.  Since they were not going to be with us on Christmas Day, we took Christmas to them.

We joined the throng of tourists and locals enjoying millions of twinkling lights adoring outsides Christmas displays and indoor areas at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Conference Center.  Poinsettias and camellias were in bloom throughout the resort.  We strolled past decorated Christmas trees, children building gingerbread houses, and the long line for a photo op with Santa.

That night we were baby sitters so that Chris and Sarah could have a date night.  I cherish time spent with our grandson Edward.  We read books, made music with his plethora of music instruments, danced, and snuggled down to watch “Frosty the Snowman.”

Today, they invited us over for a lovely brunch and opening of Christmas presents.  While we talked, snow was falling out side.  Before we knew it, dinner time had arrived and so had several inches of snow. 

After dinner, Larry and I did make it back to our hotel safely but the roads were very slick and traffic was moving at a snail’s pace.  All schools are closed in Middle and most of East Tennessee for tomorrow.  Larry and I are wondering if we will be able to get home tomorrow.  It seems the interstates are treacherous too.  A winter wonderland is blanketing the area causing wrecks and worries as well as opportunities for winter fun.

Yes, I have kept an eye on my blood sugar.  We walked miles in the resort, eaten foods not part of my normal plan, and gotten less sleep.  The walking kept my blood sugar in check after our lunch.  Yet, I have seen a few high numbers from eating food that is prepared by others. It is hard to know exactly what is in something you don’t prepare.  Of course, there are tempting desserts to taste.

I have enjoyed spending time with our son and his family. Tomorrow I will return home and to my routine of home cooked meals and regular exercise.   That should result in more stable blood sugars until the next holiday event.  I did have to check my blood sugar more frequently, but that is a small price to pay for spending quality time with family.