Still alive–

I know it’s hard to tell the way I am NON-posting lately, but there is a reason & I’ll share with you as soon as I have time for more than just catching up on sleep & housework!

I hope everyone had a beautifully blessed Christmas and is gearing up for a fantastic New Year! 

God bless and I’ll be back to tell you all the crazy happenings soon!

Mwah! 😘

Easy Flow Chart for High BG Management

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…

Source: Easy Flow Chart for High BG Management

lollygagging…

So, I’m kinda having a spa day today… See?

Facial!

Don’t get too excited. This doesn’t happen on any sort of schedule. Just when the mood hits me. Ha. And I’m just using some of my MK stock that I ended up with after I quit being a “Mary Kay girl”. Ha ha!

I really like to use natural stuff when I can…or rather, when I “take a notion”. (who has heard their granny or mom say that?)

I have used things like oatmeal and egg whites masks. What kinds of natural recipes have you used for skin care? I wanna know!

soon and very soon…

I’ll be launching my new website!! Sorry if you thought I had busted out with a gospel hymn…

I’m just EXCITED!!

yay

And scared!

As you might recall, I want to make this new place “work”, “earn its keep”… at least generate a little income.

It better because it’s gonna cost a bit to get this started right. 🙂

So what will the new place consist of? Pretty much the same thing it does now, only Lord willing, more cohesive and more of it!

I’ll be posting about my experiences in homeschooling,

homeschool-house

my various and sundry medical issues (type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, migraines, old age (LOL!))

health-wellness

I’ll also post about my faith

faith

and I HOPE there will be lots of people who will come alongside and discuss things! I miss that the most, I think.

comment

The blog I had years ago that was so active had several regular readers and they were not only readers, but COMMENTERS!! We had lots of great discussions about all kinds of topics, so that’s what I’m looking forward to most.

I hope that I might be able to do some reviews and possibly some freelance writing too. That pesky book I’ve been thinking about for years and finally sorta-kinda started…

writing the first chapter

….well, maybe I’ll be able to flesh it out to the end here, who knows?!

Anyhow… stay tuned and if you think of it, pray with me that this will be a success! THANKS!

*mwah!*

Blessings,
G~

going profesh…

Okay, folks. (haha… I should probably say “folk”?) I am considering doing the domain thing again but with the intent of doing this for mon-nay! (that’s money, for those who don’t get my slang and made-up words!)

I really don’t want to change the format/style of my content other than to be MUCH more regular with it. I want to share my life experiences, my thoughts, my health experiences and struggles with people in the hopes that it either encourages them or helps them or maybe just makes them think about something in a way they never had before.

So, is this feasible? I just don’t know, but I’m researching and praying about it.

After thinking for several months about taking courses to become a medical coder with the hope of working from home, but then I started having doubts. As I’ve been researching, praying and even making moves to enroll in our community college, I’ve begun feeling that this isn’t the path I’m meant to be on.

As I was making this realization, an idea that’s been a vague thought in the back of my mind for decades began to push to the front. I ran upon a blog post all about making money with a blog.

You may not be able to tell now, but I used to blog a LOT. I had my own domain name and had a decent following for a hobby-blog about nothing in particular. I didn’t do or write anything in particular, kinda like here. I just shared about my life and my thoughts.

I am positive I can’t do a “niche” type of blog, so I’m mulling over whether I’m interesting enough to build a site around that would make even a small amount of money. I need to contribute some to our income so that we’re not struggling each and every month to afford the mostly-basic stuff.

Anyhow, that’s all for the moment. IF you are reading this and have an opinion, please share!!

THANKS!

G~

Image

girly-girl

So this is gonna be a post about nail polish, uhkay?

nail-polish
Today’s Topic: NAIL POLISH!

If you don’t like nail polish or talk of “doing nails”, then you should probably just move along right now. *heh*

I stopped getting tips put on about eighteen months ago. I love them, but they were destroying my natural nails and that made it impossible to leave them off every other month or whatever so they could “rest”. There was nothing but mush left and it took about 8 months for them to get back to a normal texture/strength and to grow any bit of length.

I have short, fat, pudgy fingers (thanks, Dad) and scars all over the backs of my hands with bulgy, knotty knuckles… so I don’t normally attempt to showcase my hands, y’know?

A nice set of nails (or my own longish ones when I used to be able to grow them) helped them not look quite so troll-ish. I can grow probably a quarter to a third of an inch of length now, but I tend to tear them off pretty easily. Even with top coats, I am rough on them and they’re not nearly as strong as they were when I was in school.

But… I have tons of nail polish.

LOTS of polish
I don’t have QUITE this much, but y’know…

More like this:

my stash of polish

At one time, my DIL-1 and I would attempt to do our own tips so I have a big supply of them along with all the powders, solutions and gels to do that too. I love the colors available these days, so I try to keep my nails painted or at least my toe nails in summer time.

I often have trouble choosing just one color, so I will do dots. I normally do a base coat, then three other colors with a row of dots in each color. I get comments and compliments on them every time. People think I’ve had them done or that they are nail wraps.
nails-purple dots
It’s actually pretty simple and when you are completely done, any off-center dots or different sized ones are not even noticeable.

my dotting tools

I just break the point off a toothpick, dab out a drop of the “dot” color on a piece of shiny junk mail (lol–reuse/repurpose, right?) and use the toothpick to make a vertical row of dots on each nail. Then I do the same with the other two colors and end up with something like this. This is my very favorite way to do my nails when I have the time because there’s an endless possibility of color combinations and it’s fairly simple and casual and shoot, it’s just cute. Seriously, I’ve never done them like this that at least one person doesn’t make a point to comment on them.
nails-peachy dots
So a few weeks ago I bought some green, red and white polish in the hopes that I could do some sort of Christmas nails. I actually had in mind to do dots again but just with two colors and in a random pattern instead of rows.

My Christmas polishes
You can see, I’m not a brand snob when it comes to polish.

I hadn’t decided which would be my base color til I got started and decided to check and see how well the white polish was going to cover. I’d never used stark white polish before so I wanted to see how it was going to work. I was surprised to see how well it covered. In one coat, I was all but done. The second coat was mostly to go over a few thin spots. So white ended up being the base color. I figured the red and green would show up best on it.

Before I show you my finished product, let me give you an idea of what I would LIKE to be able to have or do on my nails.

nails-snowmen nails-snowflake nails-santa nails-reindeer nails-red & green swirls nails-Christmas misc nails-Christmas lights

See? THAT’S what I wish I could do. However, I am a realist, at least enough of one to know that I ain’t gonna be able to do those! So I was gonna do my little dots, mind my own business, y’know? But once I put a couple of red dots on, an idea struck me…

Don’t laugh, okay?

holly-nails

YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO LAUGH!!! 😉

Okay, so my holly leaves aren’t whatcha would call fancy. But if you don’t look this close at them, they look fine enough.

I’m going to a Christmas dealie with my reunion group gals tomorrow, so I thought I’d do some festive nails. We’ll see how many of them laugh. 🙂

I’m sure I’ll be trying some other ideas with my sweet Christmas colors, so I’ll post those when it happens!

Toodles!

on the upswing…

Things have been going much better at least depression-wise. I’m not sure why, I mean, physically I’m not doing anything really different…no new meds or vitamins. I’ve decided it’s just the good Lord pouring His favor on me.

I’ve been in such an awful place over this house. Ever since the horrible bout of depression for most of 2014, I have just not taken care of the house. I did what laundry HAD to be done, kept enough dishes clean to eat off but that’s about it. Seriously, this place has really gone to the dogs.
`
It’s hard for me to admit that “out loud”, but there are plenty enough people who know it either first hand or because I told them. But I guess because of the way my mother is, the way I was raised, having a messy or dirty house is a direct reflection of your character. Your worth as a human being. I’ve worked a long time, a lot of years, to be able to deal with the indoctrination that because I didn’t keep a pristine house, I was a lousy person.
house-hatemorethan
My mother is an immaculate housekeeper. My dad always had his own businesses and so Mom always did the bookkeeping and such instead of having a job outside the home. She apparently was almost OCD about cleaning when she and Dad first got married. Her older sister laughingly told me that she caught my mom ironing Dad’s underwear when they were newlyweds. I guess she laughed at my mom then too, but it seems to be Mom’s way of showing love. The love language of service.

She once told me that as a child, her mother, my grandmother, wasn’t a great housekeeper. She seemed to not even take into account that Grandmother had 7 kids, an unsupportive, cheating husband and always lived in a rented home with little money to live on. After I learned those things about my Grandma, I realized she was probably really depressed!

All my mom remembers is how embarrassed it made her to have people see their messy house, so she would clean it as best she could. She was the youngest girl and next-to-youngest child of the seven, so her older sisters were either about to get married, busy dating and going to high school and really didn’t care about the house the way Mom did.

Somehow, even as an adult, Mom didn’t realize that more than likely the biggest reason Grandma didn’t worry about keeping the house nice is because she was depressed.

I mean, I think you’d have to be depressed if your husband was running around on you and left to you deal with seven children on your own. Oh, he didn’t walk out on them…he just cheated on her and then came home expecting to be welcomed and respected.

Anyway, I think that’s why Mom connects the way you take care of things with your self-worth. She’s made me feel like dirt many times over the years, just ragging on me because my house wasn’t clean enough to suit her.

When I was a child I had chores of course, but most of it only involved my own room. As I got older, she’d have me do other chores around the house…mostly washing dishes or loading and unloading the dishwasher or vacuuming. The times she wanted me to do anything else, though, like cleaning windows or mirrors, I never did it “right” and she would just go behind me and do it over. The only things she didn’t complain about or do over were the vacuuming and dishwasher. I guess there’s not many ways to mess that up.
neither do I
I think it really messed with me the way both my parents tended to not be really generous with compliments or encouraging words. Add the way Mom never thought I did anything right with those tasks and how mad it made her, and I ended up with a huge deficit in the confidence department.

Years ago when the kids were young, any time she came over, she’d never sit and chat like normal people. She would start cleaning. Because even if I’d just cleaned, it was never clean enough for her.

Now I admit, I’ve never been a super-duper housekeeper, but I used to do just fine when the kids were home. Even after my youngest moved out, I could do okay.
burglar obstacles
Then last year happened. A lot of things just came to a head. I think there were many “little” things that all worked together to send me to the bottom of The Pit and because I’d gone off my anti-depressants, I ended up in a horrifically dark place for over eight months.

And during all that time, it was all I could do to get out of bed. I avoided people, going only to church and not much else. I certainly didn’t worry about or feel like cleaning or taking care of the house.
i-don-t-care
Now, it never got quite THIS bad:
nasty
in case you’re picturing an episode of Hoarders or some other equally nightmarish reality show.

It was probably more like this:
house-clutter
Except with a LOT more paper. Paper/mail/documents are the bane of my existence!

So anyway, somehow, some way I have had more determination and energy to tackle the long-neglected chores around here. The hubby helped me get a bunch of items out of the house that were causing clutter too. We even got the Christmas decorations out and finished putting up the tree AND have the mess from all that cleaned up already.

I’ve dusted and swept and vacuumed and mopped in places that haven’t had any attention in a long time. I have all the laundry caught up and most of it put away. I did a major decluttering and cleaning in the bedroom and really all I need to get done is the kitchen (where most of the papers are) and master bath.

It’s crazy how much better I feel just knowing I have started to get some “control” over the state of this house. It’s crazy how I KNOW it makes me feel better, but when I’m depressed/tired/frustrated, I just don’t care. It doesn’t matter how much I know it’ll make me feel better…I just can’t make myself do it. It just seems too overwhelming.

Now, to just finish these last rooms (we will talk about my two spare rooms that need major work at another time) so I can start planning a menu for our traditional Christmas breakfast at our house!
messy house prayer
I’ve prayed this prayer many times before in my life. I can’t imagine ever NOT needing to pray it, though!

dirty low down

Okie dokie, folks. For the one or two of you that read here… if you read my last post about all the allergy and sinus meds I was put on last week, this is a weird and wacky update to that.

The very next day after starting all those meds, I began to have repeated severe hypoglycemic episodes.  (that just means “really low blood sugar“)
fading face
Since I’ve had type 1 diabetes for over 40 years now, I tend to not always know when my sugar goes low.  My body simply doesn’t show signs or symptoms of a hypo, which is bad.  It’s REALLY bad.
23316310372_7dff9163ef
Usually, the body gives you some clear and strong signals that the blood sugar is getting too low.  The above chart shows some of those. Over time, however, your body starts going,

“Meh, low-shmow…I don’t have time to process that crap!”
Sincerely,
Your Body

and doesn’t tell you that your sugar is or has dropped.  That means you’re left walking around, feeling normal (or as close to it as you get) with no idea that you’re in danger of passing out or dying because your sugar is way too low.

That’s what started happening to me last week.  I mean, I’ve been quite hypoglycemia-unaware for many years now, but last week, the lows just kept coming in quick succession!  (you can click the link in this paragraph to learn more about hypoglycemia unawareness)

I haven’t had any lows like this, (under 30) in quite awhile, so it was shocking when I saw that first one in this Episode Of Lows that was 27!  Keep in mind that the brain needs sugar/glucose to function (thus the confusion often experienced during a hypo) and since a normal level is between 70-100 (possibly up to 150 after a meal), getting that low means your brain is not functioning properly.   We all know the brain runs all our automatic systems such as the lungs, heart, and circulation therefore, if the brain stops working, we are not far from death.  Zero (0) blood sugar doesn’t necessarily mean instant death, but you would be close enough to it that your chances of getting out without at least coma are slim-to-none.
blood-sugar-range
Here’s the thing, though…I had helped my husband load a heavy-ish, awkward piece of exercise equipment to take to my mom’s, then helped him unload it and chatted briefly with Mom before returning home and beginning to show the first signs of fatigue and slight confusion.  I felt absolutely no symptoms up to that point.

That was the beginning of my almost-week-long roller coaster ride. I had many more of those severe, scary, unrecognized lows. I was testing my blood sugar about 10 times a day at this point. I called my endocrinologist to ask what to do by the time I had struggled through 3 days of this. Obviously, you don’t call the doc every time you have a low, but these were beyond my ability to pinpoint, explain or control, so we had to get some help!

I spoke with the DNE (diabetes nurse educator) who happens to be my doc’s wife, and she had me lower all of my basal rates (I have five rates set currently) .05 units each. So that would have been a total of 1.2 units per 24-hour period. Not much. But she told me that I should do it again if I was still having lows the next day. I was, so I did. That was now 2.4 units/24 hours lower. After another day of struggling, I lowered the basals another .025 each. That put me at 3 units/24 hours lower.

Like I said, by this time, I was testing what seemed like constantly. My low-lows were always 50 and below, with most of the being in the 30’s.
glucometer reading 38
I finally broke down and called again after I had such an awful low that I thought I was dying.

Hubby and I had run a couple of errands…our baby son and his wife were asked to go back to Haiti and needed so much that the church raised the funds to send them, so they had left the day after Thanksgiving. We went to pick up Baby Son’s truck so it wasn’t sitting in the church parking lot all week and to pick up a few things at Lowe’s. My sugar was 53 when we left, so I was nursing a can of Coke to raise it. I sat in the truck while Hubbs ran into the store. Mom was calling wanting us to come up and eat leftovers for supper, so I explained what we were doing and told her we’d be there when we got back.

We drove out to pick up the truck, I moved over to the driver’s side and we started home. I was feeling really tired, but that’s not at all unusual. It was dark and I hate driving in the dark, so I didn’t dilly-dally around. I drove straight up to Mom’s, which is the drive just before ours and is also where the Baby Kids live in a basement apartment. For some reason, I thought we were taking his truck up there. When I realized Hubby had driven home, I turned around and drove back down the hill to pick him up. We got to Mom’s and started filling plates to heat in the microwave.

My dad was sitting in the next room watching TV and peeling something or other for Mom while she, Hubby and I were in the kitchen.

I got my plate out of the micro and started to eat when Hubby insisted that I test again. *sigh* So I did, and lo and behold, it was 32!! GAH!

He went to garage to get a single-serve bottle of Coke for me, Mom put ice in a cup, poured it full and slid it to me. I drank a bit of it down and started eating the dumplings, broccoli casserole and dressing on my plate (fairly carb-laden foods) when I started to feel just weird.
fainted
Of course, I didn’t pause to think about it, I just kept trying to eat. Kept trying to appear “normal”, like I was okay…and I really thought I was at that point. I don’t know if I was really participating in the conversation or not at this time. I had drunk almost the whole glass of Coke when a wave of dizziness hit me and I got that panicky feeling of knowing my sugar is really bad low. I remember sort of grabbing at the glass and downing the last bit of Coke in it. I then tried to go back to eating, then I placed my fork back on the plate. (I dunno why those things seem so clear to me) I can remember the thought that I needed to stop acting so out of it flashing through my mind and for some reason, I took off my glasses and laid them on the bar in front of me. I remember Mom telling me I needed to chew. (??–Yeah, that’s something I might forget to do, but why she thought telling me was going to help, I dunno)
fading woman
That’s when things got really weird, really scary… I got extremely aware that something was seriously wrong with me, but couldn’t formulate what it was. I guess I knew it was a low, but I couldn’t complete a thought unless it raced 90 miles a minute through my brain. I recall thinking, I need help. and then realizing that Mom and Hubby were with me. I guess that was a relief to me, and then I noticed that they weren’t talking. Like, at all.
invisible-girl
I looked over at the two of them, both sitting to my left and there was no expression of acknowledgement. Just silence. I recall thinking, They can’t see me!! What’s happened? Where am I if they can’t see me? Am I already dead? Then the thought that, no, I think surely Hubby would be a bit more emotional if I was really dead on Mom’s kitchen floor. (it’s amazing what the glucose-starved mind will come up with) I heard Mom in the other room saying something about checking my blood pressure, so I thought, Maybe I’m in the hospital already?
vortex
About that time, I got this bizarre sensation of being sucked into nothing…like I was being pulled out of the room, but not to another place, just OUT. The thought that I was actually dying at that very moment was beginning to stir up a panic when my dad walked up on my right site and plopped his blood pressure monitor on the bar and said, “Are you gonna let me do this?” I think then I realized that I wasn’t gone, dead, or invisible and so I stuck my arm out. After that, I slowly returned to normal, Hubby and Mom started talking to me, I ate a little more of my food and BOOM! I was ‘back’.

But the feeling that I had been dying hasn’t left me yet.

Contrary to what people say, my life didn’t flash, I didn’t instantly think of my children or loved ones. That makes me feel like a turd because, c’mon, I didn’t think about who I was leaving behind? Maybe that’s because, thank my gracious God, I wasn’t actually dying? I hope that’s it. My brain was obviously WAY busy trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with me and how to fix it.

Anyway, I’m happy to report that the past couple days have been severe-low free!! After the above incident, we called my doc again that night. He happened to be on call, so we got to talk directly to him. He had me lower the basals another .125 each. That made a total of 6 units per day that I lowered my insulin use. He confirmed what we suspected, this is very rare. He said it seemed as if I had become more sensitive to the insulin, which is awesome. less insulin saves money and makes it easier to lose or maintain weight.

I’m thrilled. Puzzled as to why it happened, but thrilled that it has. I had asked my friends and family to pray because it was getting really scary. Who knows how low my sugar was on that drive up to Mom’s the evening after Thanksgiving? Even after treating a moderate low! That’s the reason why, when my boys were much younger, I would keep my blood sugars a bit high…I couldn’t stand the thought that I might go low when I was in the car with them. I mentioned to a few people the thought that God might be healing me.

That’s a frightening thing to say “out loud” (or in a text). Because, what if He isn’t? And then, I felt like a failure as a Christian for doubting. But it wasn’t that I doubted He could, because for a short period of time after a traumatic accident, He DID take away my need for insulin altogether! So I know He can, I guess it’s scary to hope He will when He might not, ya know?

Anyhow, my belief is that God is healing us all…it just may not happen here in this life. Ultimately, every child of God will be in perfect health with no pain or worry.

Ahhhh, I am eager for that!

Hebrew 7:11“Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron?”

EDIT::: I feel like I need to clarify a bit. Sorry to expand an already long post, but for those who want to know more, read on…

So when I say, “BOOM! I was ‘back’.” it isn’t quite like that normally. Maybe I seemed to bounce back a little quicker because I was at my parents’ house because I fret a lot about making them worry about me/the diabetes.

Case in point: the other day, right in the middle of this whole “too many severe lows” situation, Mom and I were supposed to go out for breakfast with my mother-in-law and one of Hubby’s aunts who was in town visiting. So all four of us had planned to meet that morning at a restaurant. I don’t know if she called just to remind me or if it was some other reason, but apparently, she called and all I would say to her is, “I’m alright. I’m alright. I’m alright.” over and over. Obviously, I was NOT alright because I have absolutely no recollection of even answering the phone. She ended up having to come to the house and get me out of bed and nurse me out of a low. Apparently I worry SO much about making her worry that I’ll lie even when I’m all-but unconscious! So, that COULD be why I “came back” so fast the other night.

The thing is that lows are not always the same. Obviously, I no longer always even feel them. In the early years of my diabetes, I could count on getting shaky and sweaty and nervous. Then later, those became intermittent with numbness around my lips and tongue. Then there were the “sleep lows”…when I went low in my sleep and would wake up or be awakened soaking wet from sweat. Sometimes I still do that and I don’t always wake up. But later, I’ll recall rolling over or half-waking and noticing that I’m sweaty. I’ll think to myself that the house seems really hot and usually just toss off the cover and go back to sleep. Sometimes Hubby will wake up and find me like that. Other times, I recoup from minor lows on my own.

One thing that’s become habit for my hubbs is to feel my face whenever he wakes in the night. Sometimes it’s less than gentle and irritates me but I try not to get really mad. It’s not fun to wake from a dead sleep with someone pawing your face while they aren’t fully awake either. Ha. But I know he’s just checking on me. Poor guy, I can’t count the number of times he’s gotten up in the wee hours to coax food and drink down my throat, sometimes with me fighting him. Then changing my soaked bed clothes, occasionally putting me in the tub and then even switching sides with me so I don’t have to sleep on the damp sheets til morning. He is my greatest support and caregiver.

Some people want their moms when they are sick, but I want my husband.

The other weird thing that’s stayed fairly constant is the bone-chilling freeze that I get after a super-low with mega-sweating. Once my sugar starts to normalize, I will feel as if my insides have turned to ice and I’ll be so cold that I want every source of warmth available on me. How many times has Hubby wrapped me in his arms to warm me up during The Freeze? I can’t even guess. How many times has he pulled blankets out of the closet to pile on me? Thank God, that doesn’t last long, but while it’s happening, it feels like I’ll never be warm again!

So, don’t think that lows just happen and then are over all at once. No two lows are the same and no two diabetics will have the same symptoms or react the same to treatment. That’s the insidious nature of type 1 diabetes. It tends to have a mind of its own and does whatever it darn well pleases.

My hope, in taking the time to write this stuff out, is that it might help someone understand more about diabetes and the diabetics in their life. Or perhaps it will make other T1D’s feel less alone in the daily battle that is our lives. Whatever else you deal with, however hard the days and weeks and years get, always know there’s hope. Don’t ever lose hope. ❤

mega X meds

Oh my goodness!  I came back from the recheck at my doc with a buttload of new or changed prescriptions and OTC meds.

Normally, I wouldn’t be very pleased about being prescribed a ton of meds for something, but I’m going on 3 (that’s THREE) months with this hacking, coughing, can’t-get-a-breath crud.

The allergist, as I’ve said, tells me it’s all allergies and asthma, but daggone!

Asthma

How come I can’t tell or don’t notice when something sets me off?  If it’s “seasonal” allergies, how come I have sinus problems (just milder) all year round?

Allergies word cloud

Understand, I take allergy medication year-round.  If I don’t, my sinuses become enraged snot factories wherein the snot is more like glue.  (sorry, you know I’m gonna be perfectly frank with you here!)  
green-slime1-500x357

I have a wad of said glue that will sit just behind my tonsils, being moved neither up nor down, no matter how hard or how many times I swallow.  It cannot be gargled out, nor dissolved with fizzy beverages.  Sometimes it’s hard to eat because I can’t swallow my food easily.  It’s an absolute pain in my neck, literally and figuratively!

I discovered about ten years ago that drinking milk made the glue factory worse.  And even that was gradual.  First it was just a slight increase in mucus, but eventually, it was like the milk turned to gelatin by the time it reached my tonsils.  Just YUCK, okay?  So, I stopped drinking milk completely.

no more milk

That helped a lot, but in the past couple years now, I have been noticing other dairy products doing the same thing.  So I gave up my beloved sour cream completely.  That was ROUGH!  I used sour cream ALL the time!

Processed cheeses didn’t seem to bother me and cream cheese wasn’t too hard on me.  I don’t know why, but so far, so good with those.  I don’t know WHAT I’ll do if I have to give up those too, so I’m praying it doesn’t happen!

So I’ve been taking a 24-hour anti-histamine for years. I started on plain ol’ Sudafed eons ago, but after I got married, I started using Claratin (rinatadine), then the -D formula, then when that stopped working, I used Zyrtec (cetirizine) and soon that stopped working, and now I take Allergra (fexofenadine). This week, the doc switched me from that to Xyzal (levocetirizine dihydrochloride).
xyzal
I’d never even heard of it before, so it’s new to me. I hope it will work though.

For the past year or so, I’ve been taking Singulair (montelukast) to help with the asthma.
singulair

When I saw an ear, nose & throat doctor a couple years ago, she told me to use a netti pot to help keep my ears from getting repeated infections. She said it’d keep my eustachian tubes open and the fluid from collecting in there.
netti pot in use
Okay, so if you don’t know about netti pots, you can just click & learn about these little oddities. This was one of the most ‘tasteful’ images I found. Ha ha ha! Except for the fact that she’s way too upright, this is how you do it. You dissolve fine salt in warm purified water then pour it into one nostril so that it runs out the other. Yes, it feels as awkward as it looks, but the effects are worth it.
netti pot song
Well, Doc has been insisting that I get a nasal saline mist instead. I figured it was just like those bottles you squeeze to splatter saline solution up your nose, which is really gross. This is more like an aerosol so it is a little better, but I couldn’t figure out how that was supposed to be better than the netti. She explained that with the spray, I could use it anywhere and even if I wanted to use it “20 times a day” that was okay. She said to use it any time I was around something that triggered the coughing, like cigarette smoke or heavy perfume. She said that washed out the irritants to slow the histamine release.
A&H simple saline
I hadn’t even thought about that. I will still use the netti when I’m really congested or getting cold. It does a much more ‘heavy duty’ job of rinsing stuff out of there. But she suggested I keep several cans of the saline: in the car, my purse, by the bed, in the shower… so that way I can use it as often as needed.

Something else I was prescribed by another doctor years ago is Flonase (fluticasone propionate),
flonase
but it tasted nasty when it would run down the back of my throat and I didn’t notice that it helped much. Could be because I didn’t use it consistently since it was so nasty. Then that doc showed me to spray it pointed toward my ears, and that helped, plus not using two sprays in each nostril at once. But I would still forget to use it more often than not because I didn’t understand what it was for.

My current doc explained that it was a steroid and would decrease inflammation in my nasal passages. So now, I am making a concerted effort to use that stuff.

Okay, on to the rest of the stuff she has me using…
Of all things, she wants me on Sudafed D (pseudoephedrine) for awhile. So…
sudafed

And then Mucinex (dextromethorphan guaifenesin), which I hadn’t used before.
mucinex dm
She has me taking 1200 mg right now and says I need a maintenance dose after I get better. Says it’s to “thin that snot”. Bahaha..and yes, she uses those exact words. I just love how down-to-earth and plain spoken she is.

The allergist has had me on this Qvar inhaler (beclomethasone dipropionate HFA) for asthma maintenance for about 3 weeks now.
Qvar 80
I will not complain about it because the first stuff they gave me tasted waaaay nasty and my insurance wouldn’t cover it, so now I have the Qvar, which doesn’t taste bad at all compared to the Aerospan. *blech*

The allergist also has me using my nebulizer
nebulizer
with an albuterol/atrovent (ipratropium) mix.
albuterol
I was using it twice a day while the coughing was so bad, but now I’m just doing it as needed.

I also got my first-ever B12 shot. I hope it helps up my energy as much as people say it does!

So I know this has been terribly boring, but I’m hoping if I put this out here, dated and with all the generic names and such, maybe I can remember what I’ve taken and what works in the future. If you don’t take a lot of meds, you have no idea how easy it is to forget the names of medicines and doctors and the dates you used and saw them… By this point in my life, I scarcely remember those kinds of things unless I see or use them for years at a time.

I am hoping the jittery-ness will decrease soon. Not including the nebulizer treatments, these meds make me SO jittery it’s not even funny. I need to check my blood pressure, now that it’s crossed my mind. That’s something else the doctor gave me…catapres (clonidine), a blood pressure medicine to take if mine ever gets above 160/90 since many of the meds she’s got me on right now can cause the blood pressure to rise.

Oh, I hope I don’t have to take it! *reaching for the bp cuff*

Stay healthy, y’all!

harder than I thought

So I have thought for years about writing a book.

There. I said it.
you-have-one-life-set-bigger-goals
Actually, I really did say it out loud in a Bible study at my church several weeks ago. The leader asked us about what we’d do that we had thought about for a long time but just never done for lack of time or courage or whatever.

That was mine. So, after praying on it a bit, a very little bit, I just sat down and started writing. I had over 2000 words by the time I quit that day. After sort of hitting a wall, I quit for about a week and then started again and now there are almost 10,000 words and a lot of wondering, doubting and frustration.

The lady in that Bible study asked me details…she asked if I wanted to write a novel and if i had a title in mind. I answered no the first question and yes to the last.
impossible to possible
I’ve thought that a book about my life, the various medical situations and dealing with a chronic disease and depression might be interesting to some people and that it might help in some way.

Maybe you’ve figured out by now that I’m not really an ambitious person. I tried to be…back in “The Mary Kay Days”…I thought I could be a competitive sales woman. Yeah, I know…it was makeup and there have been MK ladies forever, yada yada.

I’m glad I tried that, but it definitely wasn’t for me. I feel like God probably used that time in my life to stretch me and show me some things about myself. I was so determined to be successful and it was hard and people would lie to you (not necessarily MK people, although some did, but potential customers and such) and I didn’t like the stress that made me feel. But that’s not actually why I quit, although it probably should have been. I had to get an unbelievably painful rash that made it impossible to wear clothes part of the time it hurt so bad. Then during all that, I developed a worse sensitivity to strong odors and chemical scents. Being all up in someone’s business while they are wearing perfume was no longer an option for me. I’ve spent the past year and a half dealing with all these new allergies and sensitivities, getting rid of chemicals in the house and all that. I really feel like that was God’s way of saying, “STOP” with MK. And ultimately, I had no choice.

One thing it did for me was make me have to set goals, which is something I had never done before. Honestly, other than small ‘to-do’ list type stuff, I’ve never set any grand goals in my life. I’d never really been encouraged to and I didn’t know how.

So like I said, this book thing has been in the back of my mind for probably fifteen years. It was like a joke I had with myself. I’d never told ANYONE about the idea because it seemed so ludicrous. So when I had to say it out loud, it kind of made it become a real possibility. I mean, I was sitting in a room with a doctor, a pharmacist, a teacher and writer, and several other women who had careers and families they were juggling. I felt so completely like the one thing that’s “not like the others…one of these things just doesn’t belong” (sorry, I had a Sesame Street flashback there) For me, doing this…
A list of my goals...yeah.
is terrifying. I become paralyzed and my mind goes blank.

But then I think wouldn’t it be encouraging for other people to know that life doesn’t have to end or be miserable when you have diabetes? Wouldn’t it help folks to know you can overcome the depression, even if it sometimes gets the best of you, you can still win? But there are many other things that have happened in my life and all those tend to work their way up through my story.

There’s the hurt and struggle of not being “the favored child” at home. The obvious preference given to my sister over me since we were children. There are the years, three or four of them, when my father’s preacher friend moved his family to our town and his son molested me repeatedly. And I never told anyone. Those are relatively minor things, I guess. I mean, in the big picture they are just a petty brushstroke, but they have made me what I am. They have shaped how I think and feel and how I see myself and others. I just imagine that finding out some of those things after years and years might be hard to take or hurtful.

Then there’s the act of actually putting into words the feelings, the hurt and wounds I carry. The reality of how my family will feel if they ever read my book. Thoughts like, “Do I leave out things that really matter because I might hurt someone’s feelings by telling how they hurt mine?” and “Do these things really even matter now?” go through my mind and now I’m once again stuck.
Should I be the bear or the bunny?
Fear speaks loudly in my mind… like I’m just wasting my time, why would anyone care about what I have to say? Even if I finished the book and by some miracle it was published, what kind of mess would it create with my family if they read it? Is telling MY story worth possibly hurting someone I care about?
analysis-paralysis
Well, no, of course not. But then I think, Should I omit things because someone else might potentially have hurt feelings? Even when it’s true? Even when I’ve actually toned the whole thing down a lot already? When I’ve left out details that would make it sound a lot worse to others?
I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not sure.
Argh! I drive myself crazy with these things!

I’m not sure what I will end up doing. I will keep working on the draft when the mood hits me, I guess, and see how the Lord leads me. He will have to direct me because I am completely stumped. I feel like the book could be so much more than just “how I live with diabetes and depression”…I want it to show the hope that I have in Jesus and to relate how it is ONLY by my faith in Him that I’ve made it this far. I want the book to reflect the life He offers, the peace He gives…but I feel like getting to that “chapter” is oh-so messy.

I just don’t want this to be true of me….
Indecision destroys dreams.