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Anna's Blog

Anna's Blog
By: FatCatAnna

The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes! Whoo! Whoo!

I am a Type 1 diabetic diagnosed back in the early 60's as a child.  I am living in Montreal, Canada and enjoy scribbling about diabetes from time to time. I’ve had my ups / downs just like any person would experience with going through life - diabetic or not.  My motto in life?  Diabetes does not control me – I control it!! 

You can find more posts/discussions at my Facebook page called "The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes" and also on Twitter under the name of FatCatAnna.  Feel free to follow me at both places or send me a private message!


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 Blog Entries
Crack Free #ShowMeYourPump - Jul 29
Well, recently that hash tag statement went abit wild on Twitter and other social media areas.  Mainly I think due in fact to Ms. Idaho’s recent win – and ...
more
Jenna and The Hypo Fairy - Jul 28
This past weekend we finally got the Mum of Jenna who our sailboat Jenna’s Journey (a Catalina 30) is named after onboard.  It's been something we've been planning ...
more
Miss Idaho is Defeating Diabetes - Jul 15
Okay - now who as a young girl didn't watch beauty pagents?  Come on, be honest, don't be shy!!  I loved them, curled up in front of the telly with my family. Well, ...
more
My 13 year old self describing her DKA in the 70's - Jul 05
Craig Idlebrook who is the editor at Insulin Nation has been asking on their Facebook page for stories from children/parents about their diabetic camping experiences.  ...
more
Edmonton man denied insulin for 20 hours - Jul 04
Last year I'd written a blog about Revina Garcia - a Type 1 diabetic in New Mexico who had caused a fender bender when she had a low blood sugar (hypo) at the wheel of her ...
more
Crack Free #ShowMeYourPump
Posted: Jul 29, 2014 15:30:52 0 Comments.
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  • Well, recently that hash tag statement went abit wild on Twitter and other social media areas.  Mainly I think due in fact to Ms. Idaho’s recent win – and showing off her insulin pump proudly (wonder if she has a name for hers like I have always done with my pumps?).

    This past weekend I was sailing with some friends on Jenna’s Journey.  I decide to be brave, and show off my pump after I’d had a splish splosh in the water (I no longer wear my Animas 2020 aka George Michael in water due to trying to keep him functioning as long as I can, as he no longer is under warranty).

    So, viola …. here I am poising with him clipped onto me after I came back on board (well – clipped back on about 1 hour later I REMEMBERED that I had to reengage him).  I know …. Bad, bad, bad.

    One thing though, since having that picture taken.  George has taken a few dives of his own.  Off my body.  I’ve been using a longer infusion tube (36”) due to the fact I can stick him into my pockets of my button up front dresses, skirts, pants.  He’s easier to access to do calculations, etc.

    Well, long tubing means, when he takes a dive, he goes plunk onto the ground.  For the picture above, I only clipped him on temporarily, but after that he was sitting "snug" under my rash guard, until I did something that made him plop out).  Twice on the weekend he went clunk, OUCH, onto the gel coat of our sailboat.  It sounded HORRIBLE.  I thought for sure I had killed him!!!

    Of course, I examined him like I would a real life baby, checking for any cracks, etc.  Trying not to tickle him.

    And to top it all off, last night, I remember having one dream of dropping him, and the casing cracking.  I think I woke up to that pretty startled, realised I was dreaming, went back to the land of nod.

    A Child’s Garden of Verses” by Robert Louis Stevenson and illustrated by Dorothy E. Russell. Introduction and notes by Blanche E. Weekes  ©1928 by The John C. Winston Co.

    So, just now, after having done an infusion change (with a 23” tubing for a change of pace).  I’ve now dressed him all up in one of the skins I’ve gotten over the years at Friends For Life events in Canada.  If he ever takes another plunge, at least he’s got that protection.  Much like we have for our mobile phones.

    Oh – and notice – I’m back in reduced basal mode again?  This seems to be a common thing with me lately even with my weight gain, which should be reverse, you would think I need MORE insulin. Thank goodness for being able to do that with a pump as well as SUSPEND.

    Now, if only I could get a royal blue colour for him …… Animas Canada ….. are you reading this?  Hint! Hint!

    Jenna and The Hypo Fairy
    Posted: Jul 28, 2014 14:53:58 0 Comments.
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  • This past weekend we finally got the Mum of Jenna who our sailboat Jenna’s Journey (a Catalina 30) is named after onboard.  It's been something we've been planning for awhile, but with my friend losing her DH to cancer only a few years after Jenna, it's been a very difficult time for her.  Jenna, sadly died at the age of 17 after battling a form of cancer called aveaolor Rhabdomyoscarcoma .  Jenna lives on through our sailboat – she will never be forgotten.  And she looked over the two newbie sailors, her Mum and her boyfriend Billy, as we heeled over gently at 15 degrees in winds of 10-15 knots.  It was a great weekend of reliving memories of Jenna and the weather held out for us to perfection. 

    Of course, preparing for visitors, especially the MUM of Jenna was nerve wracking.  I wanted this to be perfect for my friend of 25+ years.  So, between working during the week and trying to get things ready food wise, that would suit both “normal” people and myself as a diabetic.  It was abit of a challenge.

    So of course, the Hypo Fairy came to visit me quite abit last week (and from other FB postings during the week – I was not alone – warm weather just makes our insulin work much better).  All I can say is THANK GOODNESS for Michael George aka my Animas 2020 insulin pump.  I was able to SUSPEND his delivery at times that we’re not convenient for me (e.g. going out for a quick grocery run WITHOUT any fast acting sugar … bad bad bad – even worse – not #BGNow meter – but I know when I’m going low / high still at least).  Also, with being able to lower your basal insulin, compared to my usual MDI (multiple dose injections) is VERY handy.

    Artwork courtesy of http://marasop.deviantart.com/

    So, Friday rolls around, we are off to Jenna’s Journey.  Both my DH and I are trying to finish up work abit earlier (didn’t happen) – and then try to make sure the furball children are all settled in for a few days alone (I know – they’re cats – but still …. ).  Again, that day, the Hypo Fairy decides to play games with me earlier in the day.  We hit the road, for the 70 minute drive to where we keep our sailboat and then I realise my lips aren’t tingling because of the wind hitting my face (driving with the top down on the car).  And what seems to be a normal with diabetics that I've met over the years - I get an unusual hunger pang.  

    I don’t like to broadcast to the world I’m having a low #BGNow .  So of course, the Tim Horton’s server is all chatty and so am I.  Meanwhile, my eyes start to go blinky, blinky and I’m trying to control my jerks/twitches (like I have Tourette’s Syndrome) and at that moment I think … “Why am I such a polite person in a mini-me crisis?”   When all I want to do is SCREAM out …

    “Give me my Fing donut NOW”. 

    If I had TS as my DH told me later, that’s probably how it would come out – and save me some time in getting what I need … NOW!

    So I enhale my donut (below is EXACTLY what I had) - along with a coffee - and there goes my chance of ever shedding the 20 lbs I'm attempting to lose on my goal to one day being 40 lbs lighter. Urrhhh.  

    Strawberry Shortcake Donut

    The nice thing – it worked out fine – though I battled with the Hypo Fairy over the next few days with people who don’t really understand diabetes (e.g. “How often do you have to use your insulin pump?” or  “Where’s my food?” … this coming from the nondiabetic person whose NOT having a visit by the Hypo Fairy with a 2.2 /40 #BGNow  ).

    As most of us do with people who don’t understand Type 1 diabetes – we are forever trying our best to educate them – and maybe one day – they’ll get it.

    Miss Idaho is Defeating Diabetes
    Posted: Jul 15, 2014 14:06:07 0 Comments.
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  • Okay - now who as a young girl didn't watch beauty pagents?  Come on, be honest, don't be shy!!  I loved them, curled up in front of the telly with my family.

    Well, going viral with ShowMeYourPump  at the moment is the newly crowned Miss Idaho aka Sierra Sandison with her insulin pump boldly going where no pump has gone before (well - she's joining ranks with former Miss America 1999 Nicole Johnson - but it just sounds so good to write that bit)!  Reading Sierra's diagnosis story (she was diagnosed in 2012) made me smile when I went onto an insulin pump after 40+ years with MDI (multiple dose injections).  I had the same feelings as she did ... being hooked up to a machine (hmmm, wonder if she gives it a name like I do with my George Michael and his predecessors)? 

    She's officially started writing a blog (oh noooo competition for the FatCat - scrambling around in my litter box worried).   Kidding - the more the merrier as we educate folks around the world about diabetes is what we all believe in within the DOC (Diabetes Online Community).  Like many of us, we all have obstacles that can stop us, but as many of us have done, WE can overcome them, and as Sierra says " use them to empower ourselves and make an impact on those around us ".  

    Many of us who aren't shy to show off our own little sweet devices as well. I know I'm not, though.  We are so proud of her.  Now, if I could only wear a bathing suit the way she does.  Hmmmm ....

     

     

     

     

    My 13 year old self describing her DKA in the 70's
    Posted: Jul 5, 2014 15:30:23 0 Comments.
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  • Craig Idlebrook who is the editor at Insulin Nation has been asking on their Facebook page for stories from children/parents about their diabetic camping experiences.  I gave Craig a brief description of my Camp Banting experience (and I actually had blogged abit here at Diabetes1.org a few years ago).   Though boy oh boy could I tell him a lot more – e.g. sleeping with my first “boyfriend” on a sandy mosquito infested beach at the young age of 10.  Oppsie – my parents will now know I was being a naughty girl then.  He’s also asked for pictures but cameras weren’t cheap in those days like they are today.   I said I’d look Monday when I was off work for the pictures just incase but of course, what did I do?!?

    Cat looking out of a box

    I opened up Pandora’s box (aka my memory box) on my afternoon break (I work from home). I have yet to come across any camp pictures (cameras like today weren’t readily available – and not cheap for destructive kids like me  to own).  I did though come across disintegrating scrap books, pictures of friends that I could use as blackmail … KIDDING … sort of.  I haven’t gone thru’ this stuff in 30+ years.  Memory floods are hitting me – but luckily – not many revolve around diabetes – but I did come across something in my careful rummaging around.  

    I came across a letter I that might interest a few of those parents – worried about their kids and DKA.  I survived it luckily without any ill effects (sometimes brain loss can occur).   I was 13 years old when I wrote this back in the 1974, and had been diabetic for 7 years already.  

    What you will find below is EXACTLY how I wrote it out … in pencil (fast fading – and reason for my typing this out here) … obviously the word “unconscious” was something I didn’t know how to spell

     ***********

    May 30th

    I’m in the hospital because I had a very bad coma. I came to the hospital at about 3:00.  During Monday I had been very sick and vomiting.  I had a plastic tube stuck up my left hand for about three days. Luckily, when I came to Emergency I was uncon while they were putting the wires into me. It really hurts getting them into you because last night a nurse had to put it in my hand, but right this time. She jabbed me with a 3 or 4 inch plastic needle but it did’nt work. After two other attempts she put it in the same spot as in the other hand. But it did’nt stay in that long. My left hand is all swollen. It am staying here til I don’t know when. But I thought I was leaving on Friday, but I think I may stay Saturday and Sunday because the dietician made my diet up for those days. The food is out of this world. My hair was in a mess this morning but a nurse helped get them out for me. The doctor said I just came in time. He said I’ve been having a coma, (really) for about 3 months

    May 31st

    Yesterday was DIASTER day, “this was a rehearsal” a woman said on the intercom. Their were lots of ambulances and it was interesting. It’s all because of the bridge they were building near Vincent Massey Park, a lot of workmen were killed or injured for the rest of there lives’. So if something happens like this again all the people in the Maternity ward go over to the Nurses’ Apartments, and the injured go to Maternity. I’m going home today, that’s what Needle Nurse says. I can’t wait. I’m going to miss Mrs. Lachance a lot though. I really like her a lot.

    -----------------------------

    Note from Anna of today – The doctor who took care of me?  I feel in love with him – sadly my regular endo at the time … WAS NOT AMUSED by my going DKA.  Mrs. Lachance was the lady next to me in my hospital room.  Back in those days – we T1D youngsters were put into the ward for what I am now called … an Old Fart. 

    Edmonton man denied insulin for 20 hours
    Posted: Jul 4, 2014 12:02:18 0 Comments.
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  • Last year I'd written a blog about Revina Garcia - a Type 1 diabetic in New Mexico who had caused a fender bender when she had a low blood sugar (hypo) at the wheel of her car.  It was horrible the way she was treated.  Sadly, the officers mistook her for being drunk.

    Advance a year later - and once again - a similar occurrence has occurred to an Edmonton man here in Canada by the name of Mitchell Chernoff.  He was pulled over by the RCMP due to having an unpaid speeding ticket, put into the Edmonton Remand Centre for 20 hours.  If you look at the link for the ERC - it states it's the " most technologically advanced remand facility in Canada ".  I'm scratching my head here wondering ... "For an unpaid speeding ticket you go to this huge complex?"   

    He is a Type 1 diabetic like me, and the officers took his insulin away from him.  Of course, resulting in his going to a level most of us would be screaming bloody hell out to the world (I wonder if he did that - which might have made matters worse?).

    It's just all very puzzling as to why this happened.  Twenty hours without insulin.  Scary.  

    You can read more about this story at this CBC News link - and rest assured - a few of us in the DOC (diabetes online community) - are looking further into this - one of them is Chris Miller who is a reporter at Western Catholic Reporter - in his free time - he's delving into this - just like I am!  

    Once again - was diabetes misunderstood with what occurred here!  Sadly, not just by nonmedical folks do not understand this disease - but actual medical practitioners - who sometimes misdiagnosis.  Time to start a petition! 

     

     

     

    Laughing over your diagnosis
    Posted: Jun 22, 2014 14:39:51 0 Comments.
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  • I'm trying to search for an earlier blog that I'd done about my diagnosis of diabetes in the 60's - but coming up with nadda in my search (using the wrong key words obviously) - so if I'm repeating myself here - sorry - blame it on a menopausal moment  ....

    I made friends with a gal who was diagnosed about the same time as I was – in the 60’s with Type 1 diabetes.  We were comparing notes – and I remembered a few little details about how it was for me before I was diagnosed.

    Memories of my Mum cooking up liver – not calf's liver like my parents ate.  We kids ate the beef liver which was cheaper – which I found out much later in life really isn’t meant for human consumption unless you prepare it correctly - e.g. soak in milk.  My meat looked like it could bounce like a rubber ball across the kitchen floor.   They thought I had low iron due to being tired all the time.  Whether this was a recommendation from our family physician – I have no idea.  All I know, liver and HUGE grey iron pills (that I could not chew – they were too huge for my tiny kiddie throat). Gross. Gross. Gross.

    Iron Pills

    Just the smell of it. Gross. Gross. Gross.  Really GROSS!! (insert picture of little boy from Christmas story)  This grey piece of something on my plate.  I can’t remember if my Mum fried up onions with it, but as claimed later on when I moved out … she didn’t really enjoy being a domestic engineer aka DE.   I would have to eat it all before I could leave the table.  I remember a few times crying at the table (memories of A Christmas Story - oink, oink oink), as everyone left.  I had to eat it all. Chew. Chew. Swallow. Ugh.  I can’t remember if it was after that I had to take the iron pill meant for a horse –my reward after consuming this …. a humbug or candy (my parents are British – they like they’re sweets).

    Baah HumbugI was hungry.  ALL THE TIME.  Due to my parent’s upbringing in the war time.  We had enough food in the house to suffice until the next weeks shopping excursion. Not like today, where you run out of something, and you go off to the store to get more.  My Mum had a budget. Plain and simple … meanwhile … I’m starving away – looking like the cat with huge eyes picture that I had hanging on my wall.  I WAS HUNGRY!!!

    1960's Gig Pity Kitty

    I actually one time, nipped off to my BFF’s house a few houses down the street.  Either I knew they were away or I just chanced it.  I lucked in that no one was home, went through the back door, clambered up on the kitchen counter (trust me – even when you’re short – when you want something – NOTHING STOPS YOU) – heaven was behind one of the cupboards I found … either cookies or something else. 

    All I knew, I felt VERY guilty having done that.  I’d stolen food from good people.  A church going little girl had done something that God would disapprove of – but my appetite was sated until the next meal came along my way.

    bedwettingOMG, Bed wetting (drinking of fluids was strictly enforced - I was so thirsty all the time - I'd even take a wee outside of home - in order to not get told off for drinking too much - sigh).  Again – my Mum was not into DE – to be dragged out of her beauty sleep to deal with pee stained sheets.  Let's just say it wasn't a pleasant time for my Mum dealing with me.

    In the end – obviously something went ding in either my Mum’s brain or the GP – that I wasn’t being bad on purpose … and that’s when I was introduced to my first love … insulin ... x o x o ... and life has never looked better!

    The adventure continues ......

    Twist and Shout – Sleep Apnoea
    Posted: Jun 15, 2014 13:01:57 0 Comments.
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  • I’ve been dealing with feeling tired the last few years.  I mean REALLY REALLY tired. No energy to do much that is active, use of sponge brain, yadda, yadda, yadda.  It’s like I can sleep 10 hours – and still feel like I’m needing more.  It’s like I’m a teenager again …. NOT!!  Though maybe I could redo my life if I could go in a time machine.

    Another thing is my DH has told me that once in awhile, I sound like I’m not breathing.  I’m surprised he is awake to hear me gasping, or snorting (I usually wake myself up to that – EMBARASSING).  My DH tends to sleep like the dead – in an ER crisis, in order to wake him up is  very difficult.  I mean imagine trying to wake up someone as the house is filling up with smoke, and one of their eyes is open, you think they’re looking at you, but they’re not registering your poking/yelling for at least 5 minutes.  Yuppers, that’s my sleeping beauty DH …. once he hits the hay  …. He’s out for the count.  I’ll talk about this abit later after I’ve done my bit of education about sleep apnoea.

    Yuppers, that’s what my GP thinks I may have.  I thought my being so fatigued, more so then I ever used to be was due to a sleuth of things, depression, peri-menopause, recent thyroid problems.  She says it could be part of it, but after she heard my DH explaining how I sound – she decided to send me to a sleep clinic.  I could have waited 6 months for the public system to be taken care of here in Canada, but luckily my DH’s medical insurance covers 80% of the initial $500 test (ouch).  That’s just for the apparatus that you see me wearing in the picture below – for two days.  Yes, I am Borg Woman … hear me roar … I mean snore … I mean snort … I mean …. Fill in blank _____________ for your own amusement.

    Sleep apnoea according to the American Sleep Apnea Association if left untreated  “ can have serious and life-shortening consequences: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, automobile accidents caused by falling asleep at the wheel, diabetes, depression, and other ailments.

    So far, I’ve not fallen asleep at the wheel, though talking to the Respiratory Therapist (RT) at SAS here in Montreal, she says she has.  Scary stuff, since  I know my BIL did at one time, scrapping up against a highway girder (wee bit of damage to his passenger side – no biggie he says).  He blamed that on overtime work/playtime, etc.   Who knows,  maybe he’s got sleep apnoea too?  I know he yawns a lot when he’s at our place for a meal, or maybe it’s due to my being such a boring conversationalist? 

    Breathing/sleeping problems are also correlated with Type 2 diabetes diagnosis according to a recent study published by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).  OSA is the most common form of apneoa - e.g. " OSA may have effects on glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes ".  Hmmm, along with that comes hypertension, stroke, heart failure.  Who knew that having a good sound sleep could be the cure all for some of us with health issues?

    I know when I posted about doing the test last week on my Facebook wall – a few responded with the joys of using a C.P.A.P machines  (not cheap with prices averaging $1K for just the machine).  I’m just not sure about being hooked up to a machine, having to lug it around when I travel along with oxygen tank(s).  I find since going onto an insulin pump – what I lug with me now is way more than I used to bring – so imagine having to transport this type of stuff!!  I’d have to hire a Himalayan porter!  On top of that, I twist and turn in the bed like I’m dancing to a Beatles tune – so I’m wondering if I wind up strangling myself – or sleeping worse due to worrying about it.

    I did explain to the RT at SAS that having diabetes and the fear of having a hypo (low blood sugar) overnight – is perhaps why I don’t sleep as well as some folks do.  I’ve always been used to dealing with hypos on my own – not having anyone around to aid me like some of the great D-Parent’s  out there that lose sleep worrying about this child going low.  I think it’s just in our nature as Type 1 diabetics – to always be on the ALERT – and I doubt I’ll ever change.

    One thing, one person told me that once they removed their dentures at night time (after almost 30 years of wearing them continually - and driving their spouse bonkers) - they no longer had breathing problems.  Sadly, my teeth are not remobable ... yet ... but I did come across an oral dental device when looking for some pictures for this blog.  The wearer has a type of mouth guard that does away with the C.P.A.P machine.  I know I do have a bite guard for my teeth grinding (according to my dentist my rear molars teeth are wearing down).  I've worn the device from time to time - and it does sort of prop my mouth open similar to the device shown at the website.  Hmmm, to have twisted tube and machine by my side or a mouth apparatus .... decisions, decisions!!

     

    So, test results will be known in July – I’ll keep you posted!  Psst, anyone have any toothpicks I can borrow to keep my eyes open in the meantime?

    Picture courtesy of Kitty Cassandra at http://www.kittycassandra.com/

    Ohhh I don't know what's come over me!!
    Posted: Jun 7, 2014 16:55:11 0 Comments.
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  • Sock Monkey always travels with us (he even has his own Facebook page)

    Yes, some of you think I'm on holidays alot.  Well, I guess I work to travel after the bills are paid for.  Does that make much sense?  My DH and I lately have been talking about whether or not we will retire in a few years (we've been working for close to 35 years now - we've paid our dues we feel).  The strange thing, we both like what we do and we get paid for it!!!  The other factor, which I may have mentioned before in blogs.  We have health coverage while we work.  If we retire, that all disappears or else we fork out our own money for it.   My DH won't have to pay much as he has no medical conditons ... yet.  With my diabetes though, it could be hefty.  So, with the holiday time we have allocated and my contract work which is feast or famine (I'm alright with that) - we're sticking it out longer than what some of our work mates think is crazy.  Of course, this may all change if our health does as well - but the main thing - we both like what we do.  Hearing stories of folks retiring early, and then they regret quitting - not plesant - epecially if you have to start at the bottom of the totem pole again for senority, holiday time, etc.  

    -------

    So, as usual, I've gone on a different vector for my blog.  What I was originally posting about was the fun of menopause heat flair ups and how closely related they are to when we diabetics experience a hypo or low blood sugar.  You know, that warm fuzzy drenched sweaty feeling? Yuppers, I experienced for some reason so many of these during my week long holiday that I think everyone down to the stateroom cleaning staff knew I was having a moment!!!  I'd be talking to someone, and then sudden ooze of warmth from head to toe.  Oh joy!!

    I'd be feeling slightly cold at the time (darn Hashimotos disease that I've acquired this year) - and then ..... woosh - I'm feeling like I'm in a tropical rain forest - except no monkey's (sorry Sock Monkey doesn't count) or bugs surrounding me wanting to munch on me.  Very odd feeling and of course, PANIC, is it a low I wonder to myself (especially at night which most diabetics worry they won't wake up in time to treat it properly).

    Sea Glass Beach, Bermuda

    It's taking abit of adjustment to realise it's not a hypo but instead a hormonal flush.  I'm was thru' test sticks like crazy on my holidays - but it's a necessary thing in order for me to not go out of control.

    What was amazing on this recent holiday.  I came across so many Type 2 diabetics - who of course - I get chatting to (my poor DH - he is soooo patient with me when I'm blabbing about diabetes this, diabetes that - bless him).  Some on insulin (I saw one diabetic at night time with an Omnipod - soooo cool), some not.  One woman told me she hadn't tested her blood sugars at all since starting her holiday.  I was like SCREAM!!!!  You crazy woman.

    We were that close to her on our way out on the NCL Getaway

    Of course, last day of my holidays.  Low and behold as we're coming into Manhattan and hanging out on the deck (anniversary/birthday splurge - DH spoiled me rotten going all ouot).  I discover she's right next to our stateroom - since her room mate recognised me.  Small world - despte being on a big Fing mega floating city (+6500 people - scary stuff - and never again for us - too big for my taste I'm afraid to say).

    So, yuppers, that's my little blog for today.  Menopause flushes and hypos flushes - are VERY similar - and I'm having to adjust - not panic.  Strange enough though, since coming back home.  I've not experienced these overwhelming flushes that just comes out of no where .... odd ... does sea air only cause it?  Instead I'm feeling cold despite the 25C+ temps we are now having.  Eghads, I'm meant to live in the islands man - or drink more Dark 'n Stormys ;)

    Doing my "model" poise at Black Bay Beach, Bermuda (yes - the water is turquoise!!)

    Patience Is A Virtue
    Posted: May 11, 2014 14:02:40 0 Comments.
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  • Quaint french road sign

    Last week I’d written a #dblog about seeing my GP – and my lab work for my blood – along with ongoing tweaking of meds for Hashimoto. If some of what I write here makes no sense - then check it out.

    That appointment lead to some eye openers.  She feels that my being tired is probably due to peri-menopause – not my thyroid – as well – it could possibly be due sleep apnea.  I actually agreed with her on that.   So, next month I’m seeing a doctor about that.  I know I do snore  – I mean who doesn’t?   My DH has told me thought that  I sometimes sound like I’m not breathing.  Plus my god daughter I took to the CWD FFL get together last April - and shared a room with - said I was snoring (but not too bad - she's soooo sweet).  So, click click with the health card for that visit.

    My GP felt that the Synthroid (T4) amount she prescribed in Feb shows my TSH level has gone down and is good (though I mentioned I'd doubled it in April).    She uses Synthroid herself and feels just fine.  I told her I wasn't - plain and simple    I managed to persuad her to tweak my dose – to see if any improvement could be made.  I think she was beginning to wonder if I was taking over her job.  Sigh – far from it – though if I could prescribe meds to myself – well ....

    I then asked her opinion on natural thyroid medications and her answer was "they’re too unregulated".  She basically waved all my questions aside at that point – it was Synthroid or nothing else – no T3 (Cytomel) - an experiment that I was hoping to give a whirl at.  Case closed until mid-July for my next blood work. 

    What stumped me the most was near the end - and her exact words –

     “STOP READING”

     That floored me abit – in the past she’d said she wished all of her patients were like myself – educating themselves in their health.  I knew at that point my time was by her polite firm smile and her glazed eyes.  I’d already taken up more than the allocated 10 minutes allowed for each patient.  I think this is where some of patients frustration comes from - is how rushed our health team is.  Would things have been different if my DH had been with me which he was last time?  Sigh.

    A pretty blur

    As I went back to my car - my thoughts in a blur – I thought how I should have told her that like my diabetes – " what may work for one person – may not work for another ".  We can’t all be stuck into the same square box!!!  Sigh.  

    FAST FORWARD TO THIS PAST TUESDAY – MY ENDOCRONOLGIST

    I brought my DH along for this one and I have a feeling – that with him by my side – he helped convey to my endo how I have been feeling.  I actually think my DH is scared of how he’s seeing me – and frankly it scares me as well.

    My endo actually did not poo poo the possibility that if the meds I’m on now don’t work out – he’s willing to give other methods a try.   That left me feeling abit better – I mean he is an endocrinologist – that is his field of study.

    Between taking care of my diabetes as well (that's been having some fun times with all the stuff going on due to hormone changes).  Lantus prescription given (since GP is stuck on my only using Levemir - it doesn't work).  I think I managed to accomplish alot in my 10 minute allocation.

    And as I left his office, what made me laugh once again – as I hear this too often with my medical team over the past few years since I started the thyroid and peri-menopause aka hormonal plunge  …

     “EAT LESS, EXERCISE MORE”

    PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE

     VERTICAL LINES_ Anthony McCall

    NB: If you’re looking for any good books on understanding thyroid disease  – I’ve managed to find  some good books from my local library.  I will probably purchase a few – as long as I have the latest edition.  The ones I feel are the best to start off with go in order.  Also, Dana Trentin of HypoThyroidMom just recently posted an excellent blog about books that are worthy of reading – I encourage you to follow her – as I have found her VERY helpful!!

    1. Living Well With Hypothyroidism by Mary J. Shomon – even though it was published in 2005 – it’s still very informative
    2. The Complete Thyroid Book 2nd Edition 
    3. 3The Everything Guide to Thyroid Disease  – it’s fairly basic – but may be easier to read for some folks who don’t like to read :)
    The Secret Diary of FatCatAnna, aged 53 and a half
    Posted: Apr 28, 2014 13:13:23 0 Comments.
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  • This blog post is dedicated to Susan Townsend who died of a stroke on April 10th.  She’d become a diabetic in the 1980’s, and she struggled with it, she admits that she thought she was the “ world’s worst diabetic. Diabetes eventually lead her to become blind in 2001 and almost 10 years later she suffered kidney failure and her eldest son Sean donated his kidney after she’d waited a few years for a donor (now is that a son or what?).   I thoroughly enjoyed reading her books over the years – if you’ve never heard of / or read ‘The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 ¾ “– I am saying “shame on you “ – go to your library, bookshop, get thyself a copy – and keep on reading all of her fantastic books.

    Picture of Sue Townsend courtesy of Brunchnews

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Wednesday, February 19th

    I’ve sort of been out of the loop lately – especially with diabetes discussions on the Internet – and composing my entertaining blogs.  My life lately has been overwhelmed by dealing with thyroid issues – or at least that’s what I think it is – with my lab work for endocrinology showing the signs. My endo I see for my diabetes (the one that was against my going onto a pump, etc.) – has been telling me for years that “eventually you’ll be on meds” – that’s despite my asking him if he agreed with the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) new guidelines for TSH normal range and recommended to change it from 0.5-5.0 to 0.3-3.0 (this was back in 2002!).  He rolled his eyes – end of discussion.  At that time - I was over the 3.0 range - and feeling like crappola (lose weight - eat less - exercise was his basic advise).

    Today – after my lab work from the previous week for my GP – where I had ticked off extra tests for my thyroid panel rather than just the TSH which really doesn't reveal all the dirty details.  I pay 20% out of pocket for these tests to be done in a lab rather than government run clinic - wher they don't allow the patient to have a copy of their results - ssshhh - if only I lived in France).  My feelings are, it's my body - I want to know how to make things better along with my health team.  This time - thank goodness - my GP obliged me with giving me a prescription for Synthroid– the lowest dose possible – it’s a start - to hopefully regaining a normal life again.

    Dare I mention that it’s helpful to have your DH with you on a doctor’s visit – because I think otherwise she might have dismissed my pleas for help (I was getting desperate - to the point of jumping out of a tall building and going splat).

    Photograph by Ahn Junn

    Wednesday, March 5th

    I’m really behind on keeping up my journal.   actually have to admit – that I now understand how an adult – being diagnosed with diabetes feels.  It’s very daunting – when you don’t know what the heck you are dealing with.  For myself – by doing research – trying to learn all the terms that are associated with my thyroid are just the same as diabetes.  It’s mind boggling!!!  Personally, I’m finding having diabetes – even with the roller coaster ride I’m going on currently with my blood sugars (#BGnow) going wacko (oh – did I mention I’m peri-menopausal right now – I’m a constant bleeding and emotional pig – which I’m trying to cope with so I don’t worry my DH).  Diabetes is the easy part of my life at the moment compared to what I’m dealing with having had it since I was a child – it’s like riding a bike.  Thyroid disorder – is like learning how to surf (whack goes the board into my head – do people wear helmets when they’re learning I wonder.

    Monday, March 17th

    Heart burn city!!!  Never experienced this before.  I don’t know how people put up with this when it’s caused by eating.  Mine I think is caused by the Synthroid.  So far, no success with having GP  return my call for advise - just her RN - saying she'd follow up.  Nothing.  Mint flavoured calcium packed Tums - delicious - semi affective on the pain.  I’ll keep on popping the Synthroid pill – which I’ve discovered – tastes slightly sweet (reminds me of baby aspirins – that some kids used to pop like candy – bad, bad, bad).

    Tuesday, April 1st

    April Fool's Day

    Urrrhhhh!!!  Of all days - April Fool's -  I’ve had enough of this – doubling my dose – did I tell you some of the symptoms I’ve been having over the years???  Sit back – have a drink – gonna tell you a story about a man call Jed

    Weight gain!!!!  I’m afraid to pull out the scale – at my GP’s visit – I’d gained 10 pounds (4.5 kg) over a few months. I have rolls of fat on my back now – never had that before) Muu Muu dresses are my fav thing to wear – except difficult in winter months when you have to go out!  And with my difficulty with staying warm (I’m frozen all the time – so unlike me – I even wear a hat inside the house – brrrhh – it’s Spring time!!!).  Therefore, I’m actually not going out much anymore – no energy – I want to sleep like I’m Sleeping Beauty.  To be happy about waking up in the AM – would be oh such a wonderful thing to appreciate again.  It’s been close to 3 years since all of this started (and the happy pills did nothing (you can see my talking about it in this vlog I did a few years ago) – they are a common thing given to undiagnosed thyroid patients – sad to say)

    Maxine - I'm Out Of Bed cartoon

    Friday, April 25th

    New labs – TSH level is down – but other levels have changed – along with my antibodies (TPO) now being even higher.  I’d tried posting my results in a few groups I belong to online – but no replies (they mostly are more concerned with a natural thyroid medication aka Canadian Bacon/CB that I’ve been told to go on – but again – one step at a time with my health team).  It is made from desiccated pig thyroid that has a balance of T3/T4 – unlike the T4 Synthroid.  The only problem I’m finding – it varies on how it works depending on the manufacturer – and sometimes isn’t covered by health insurance plans  I think due to my being on the synthetic one – that they think I’m a whack job (just like pumpers think of folks who do MDI – aka multiple dose injections).   Also, I do know that the Canadian units in our lab work differ from USA – but so far – like with blood sugar conversion rate – I’m not having much luck (or time) to locate anything.  So for now, I’m happy with what I have found in a great article written by Dr. Marina Gutner at Outsmart Disease.

    Monday, April 28th

    What I’m learning from all the research I’ve been doing with pro-CB folks – and folks on combinations of T3 / T4 meds – like diabetes – YMMV (your mileage may vary).  None of us are the same on medications – like Levemir insulin (insert blog).  I did try it again after my GP told me that Lantus causes weight gain.  I have an allergic reaction to Levemir – it pools up in a hard  lump – despite the small dose).

    I think having patience to find the right combination of meds / diet / exercise – like any health problem – takes time.  I am trying to be optimistic here – as I meet up with my GP tomorrow – and hope she understands all my babble - if not - it's onto my endo the following week.

    Hmmm, maybe I should give her this blog?  So, she’ll understand what I’m going through.  That’s a plan … that’s a plan.

    Picture of peacock courtesy of MyCrappyHouse.com

     

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