Diabetes

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Welcome to the Second Decade

Published April 26, 2021 by Malia

If you’re new to the blog, or it’s been awhile since you visited, let me catch you up on what life has been like.

Ten years ago, I started this blog when I moved from Nebraska to North Dakota. I was going through a bad time. I was lost and heartbroken, and I needed to get as far away from Nebraska as I could. North Dakota may not sound like the optimal place to run away to, but I fell in love with Grand Forks. By the December of 2012, I found myself moving back to Nebraska. There were a few reasons that prompted the move, but the main ones were a type 2 diabetes diagnosis and running out of money for school (I was working on my bachelor’s for the umpteenth time).

January 2013-January 2016 saw the following happen:

-I worked in a medical lab.

-I began dating, and got married to the boy. That’s how I referred to him on here for the longest time. His name is actually Tom, and to this day I firmly believe that the best choice I ever made was agreeing to go on a date with him.

-Early Term miscarriages 1 & 2.

January 2016-February 2017

-Tried being a homemaker, it was a bit of a disaster.

-We blew up our car engine by throwing a rod. This led to a giant headache trying to replace the engine. Pretty sure by the time we sold the car we had replaced the engine 4 times. Important lesson kids, always stay on top of your car’s oil levels and changes. It’s and expensive problem you don’t want to deal with.

-We were so broke, and I completely lost hope that things would ever get better. It was a really dark time.

February 2017-April 2018

-I went to work in the lab at our local pediatric hospital.

-I was sick all the time, mostly with respiratory infections.

-Was officially diagnosed with PCOS. I’d been fighting to get someone to officially diagnosis it since 2012. It’s awful trying to get female reproductive health issues diagnosed and treated.

-Decided to leave the job mainly due to my rapidly deteriorating health.

-Adopted an 11 year old Puggle. She’s my first dog ever, and she’s my baby.

-Early term miscarriage 3.

April 2018-August 2019

-Attempt #2 of being a homemaker, again was a bit of a disaster.

-Got officially diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and depression. I already knew I was struggling, but it was really helpful to finally have an actual diagnosis.

-It was a dark time, but also a time where I learned quite a bit about myself.

August 2019-March 2020

-Went back to the hospital lab job as a casual employee.

-My grandmother passed away.

-Early term miscarriage 4.

March 2020-Now (April 2021)

-At the end of February 2020, my job was going really well. I was getting healthy, and was finally losing weight. I was on top of the world, and when a full time position opened up I decided I was ready. Let me just say right now, if I had known what was going to hit by mid-March, I would’ve never gone to being full time.

-Working in a hospital lab, during the first 9 months of Covid was a special level of Hell. Eventually, I may be able to write more about it, but I’m not mentally or emotionally in a place where I can do that yet.

-The last week of December 2020, my mental/physical/emotional health bailed on me. I’d been trying so hard, for months, to hold it together. I kept telling myself if I could just keep going eventually things would better. At 2 a.m. on 12/28 I was sitting in the shower, sobbing, and I knew I was officially at my breaking point. Months of barely sleeping, high stress, panic attacks, crying all the time, and constant nightmares when I would manage to sleep had all taken their toll. I was put on leave through January, with the intention that I would be heading back to work. I had countless doctor appointments, and by the end of January I came to the realization that there was no way I would be ready to go back to work. So, I chose my health and my sanity over my paycheck and benefits. I know I made the right choice, but it wasn’t an easy choice.

-Early term miscarriage 5.

What does the second decade look like?

I’ll be completely honest with you, right now I qualify a good day as one where I get out of bed and put pants on. Overall, I’m not doing very good. I am starting to heal from last year, but it’s slow going. Right now, I can only manage baby steps, but I’ve decided baby steps of progress are better than no progress at all.

I’ve been encouraged in therapy to return to writing, and right now the easiest writing for me to do is this blog. And since it’s important to have goals, I will end this post with a small list of goals I have for the next few years:

Goal 1: Getting healthy so that expanding our family (whether biologically or by adoption) is an actual possibility.

Goal 2: Moving The Banana Gift from being a dream to a reality.

Like I said, it’s a small list. I’ll be back tomorrow!

Chocolate: 1, Me: 0

Published February 6, 2020 by Malia

People do many things when they feel down. Shop, sleep, drink, sleep around, send text messages to people they absolutely should not be texting. You get the idea. Me?

I eat.

Sometimes I shop, but 98% of the time, I turn to food. It’s been my go to for decades. Does it make me feel better? Yeah. Well, at least it does for a few minutes. And then regret seeps in. Followed by shame. Then I feel even more down than I already did. Which usually leads to more eating. It’s not a unique story by any stretch of the imagination.

Almost a month ago, faced with out of control blood sugar numbers, and severe anxiety about my weight I decided to make one more attempt at losing weight. And since January 14th, I’ve done really well. I’ve lost twenty pounds and stayed completely on plan. I’ve eaten tons of veggies. My blood sugar numbers have been awesome! I’ve resisted pizza, Wendy’s, Arby’s, a giant bowl filled with leftover Christmas chocolate, and piles of baked goods. That’s the short version of an incredibly long list. I have seen myself exercise self-control I really didn’t know I was capable of.

Last Saturday night, I had an incredibly realistic dream. I was tearing my house apart, devouring every little bit of chocolate I could find. I woke up with the most intense chocolate cravings I’ve ever had. I fought it all day Sunday, ending the night by sticking my head in the previously mentioned giant bowl of chocolate and just smelling the chocolate fumes. But the important thing is, I didn’t give in. I didn’t actually eat any. The cravings continued for days. To top it off, I’ve been feeling a lot of stress about work, my stupid fertility issues, and my upcoming root canal. The cravings and stress have started dragging me down into the dark place I don’t like to think or talk about.

I hate the dark place. I know I’ll climb out of it eventually. I’m just hoping I’ll crawl out in a few weeks, instead of a few months. This isn’t my first visit to it, and I know it won’t be my last. I’m not a strong person, but knowing I’ve gotten out of the dark place countless times over the years, helps me hold on. I may sound flippant, but honestly I feel anything but.

Knowing all this, I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise that last night I gave into the cravings. I ate a ton of chocolate and gummies, both from a Japanese snack box I ordered before deciding to get healthy. A strawberry ice cream popsicle, and three bites of a truly disgusting frozen chimichanga. I came very close to going to Taco Bell and ordering 3/4 of the menu, but it was after 10 pm, and would’ve required the wearing of pants.

By 11 pm the regret and shame had settled in, and I realized that I had two options. Clearly the first (and hopefully last) binge of 2020 hadn’t magically drug me out of the dark place or really made me feel any better. The only good that came of it was that my chocolate cravings were no longer driving me mad. So, my two options were:

A. Fall back into my old norm of binge, feel even worse, binge, feel bad, and repeat ad naseum.

B. Accept that I fell off the wagon, suck it up, and remember the important words from Gone With The Wind, “After all, tomorrow is another day!”

So, I woke up today, checked my blood sugar and weight, and hopped back on plan. Nothing magically changed overnight. I’m still in the dark place. I’m still stressed, and honestly I would much rather have had a bagel than my breakfast drink. I can’t promise that I won’t give into my cravings again, because I’m smart enough to know I probably will. I’ll keep facing the same battle, but hopefully I’ll do better the next time I fall off the wagon.

Drumroll Please…

Published March 24, 2018 by Malia

To quote Professor Hubert Farnsworth, “Good news, everyone!”

I had my fasting blood drawn this morning and after several stabs…

(That’s four, four painful sticks of a needle. I’m a nightmare draw.)

…my blood was drawn. And this afternoon I got the result of my A1C (and of my chem 14, but I wasn’t nearly as anxious about that result).

At the end of December, my A1C was 10.2. That was the A1C that got my surgery cancelled. The A1C that legit scared me.

I’m pleased to report that as of this morning, my A1C is down.

It’s not 9.5.

It’s not 8.5.

Wait for it…

….

It’s 7.8!

You have no idea how excited I was to see that number. Especially since I know I didn’t apply myself nearly as much to the getting healthy process as I should’ve. But, as much as I blame the flu for me falling off the wagon of eating right and logging of food & blood sugar numbers, I’m thinking the flu actually deserves my thanks. See, I spent almost all of February sleeping, and when I ate, it wasn’t tons.

Now, I just have to try even harder to be good.

The only bad news? I’ve lost no weight. Zero. So, I’m sure that’s not going to thrill my doctor, but she should be happy about that 2.4 point (really hoping my mental math is right) drop of my A1C, right? Hopefully, this’ll keep me from having to go on insulin. Plus, since I’m below 8.0 my ob-gyn is going to be willing to consider doing my surgery again!!!!

Pin one recipe aimed at pregnant ladies, and suddenly Pinterest has made way off-base assumptions about my current child expectancy situation.

Published February 4, 2018 by Malia

I’m in a quandary.

If you’ve been here over the last month, you know that I’m starting the process of bringing my blood sugar down and getting my diabetes back into the realm of “Controlled.”

I’m making sure I’m taking my meds religiously (even though they make me feel like crap 24/7). Since January 8th, I’ve not had one sugar reading over 200. I’m seeming to stay between 120-140. I know there’s room for improvement, but considering that I was consistently in the 220-240 range a little over a month ago, I’m happy to be where I am.

Not only am I supposed to be lowering my blood sugar numbers, I’m also supposed to be losing weight.

And that’s not happening.

I’m stuck. I’ll lose 5 pounds, and then those five pounds immediately come back. And then I’ll lose them again, just to find them back a few days later. It’s a frustrating, brutal cycle.

I’m stressing out so much about the weight not cooperating (and stress is really, just about the best thing for blood sugar numbers…not!). I’ve only got until the end of March to show improvement, or I’m facing insulin.

I don’t want to go on insulin! It’s not even something I can afford to think about having to do.

So, that’s my quandary. How do I get the weight to come off and stop coming back? It’s not like this is a new challenge, either. I’ve been fighting this losing weight battle for so long now, I’m at my wit’s end.

A 4 a.m. rant about lancets.

Published January 18, 2018 by Malia

Um…no. I’m sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but the “special contact mask” does NOT distract attention from the fact that I’m literally pushing a freaking needle into my finger. Y’know what would be great? How about a button that triggers the needle, instead of some fancy extra bit of plastic that has a ridiculous, super-impressed with itself name? There are days that I find myself staring at my fingers going, “Which one of you is gonna be the victim?” and then it takes me minutes to talk myself into pushing the needle into my finger. Sometimes the fact my stupid fat fingers require me to not use fine lancets make me truly sad.

Dear Bread, it’s not you, it’s me and my inability to metabolize sugars properly.

Published January 15, 2018 by Malia

I have 3 months, kids. 3 months to make good progress on my weight and my A1c, and keep my doctor from putting me on insulin. That may seem like a lot of time, but trust me, it’s not. And I’m terrified and overwhelmed.

It wasn’t until tonight that it really hit just how much this is. I went to the doctor this morning, and I was 100% there, completely motivated to make this happen. However, as the day has worn on, I’ve found myself wanting to run and hide from this reality. I don’t want this to be reality. I’ve been trying to keep it from being reality for nearly six years.

So, I had my last pizza, for the present foreseeable fiture, and went to a movie with my girlfriends. We were a bit loud, a bit inappropriate, but we laughed so much and it was just the best. Then, I came home and the true enormity of all this just hit.

I wish I could just hop in the car and drive across the state to where the boy is working this week. I wish he was sitting here, telling me that I’ve got this. That I can do this. For now, I just have to accept that text messages and phone calls are going to get me through until Friday, and thank God that he’s not gone more than he is.

Also, if anyone can explain the Mediterranean diet to me, that’d be super helpful. Because apparently I’m supposed to be on it, and Pinterest and Google are only serving to overwhelm and confuse me even more regarding it. The only thing they seem to agree on, is that I should be using small, colorful tomatoes in all my cooking. Which is concerning since I only like tomatoes pureed and mixed with a ton of sugar and vinegar.

So, yeah, it’s gonna be a fun 3 months!

I didn’t stay up all night playing Heathstone. The keyword in that statement is “all.”

Published January 14, 2018 by Malia

I blame the Metformin.

Seriously.

Okay, so Metformin is the medicine I have to take for my diabetes/pcos. It’s supposed to help both things. I’m not sure it does, but I’m taking the pill anyway. I am sure that it hates me.

On a good day, I take it and just feel a bit off. The way you feel when you’re about to come down with something, but you aren’t truly sick yet. However, on a bad day, things get ugly.

And the bad days are far more frequent than the good days

Here’s a bad round with Metformin. It acts like I’ve come down with a stomach bug. I get achy (head and all over), lightheaded and dizzy, hot, exhausted, everything in me liquifies and comes out the southern end accompanied by intense abdominal pain, and then there’s the nausea. So much freaking nausea. The good news is, I only feel this way the first 12-24 hours after I’ve taken my meds. Usually, by the time it’s time to take my next dose (24 hours later) these symptoms have abated. Just in time, to start the whole process all over.

Believe me, I’ve tried to appease the Metformin deities. It doesn’t matter if I make good food choices or bad, it doesn’t matter if I’ve been in constant motion or just been a sedentary rock for the day. This med just hates me, so very much.

I’ve told every doctor I’ve seen about how the Metformin hates me, and I pretty much always get the sane response, “Well, you have diabetes and pcos, and this is the med we prescribe for both those things.” My ob-gyn’s solution was taking me off the non-extended release form and putting me on extended release (er) so that I take it at night, before bed, and will sleep through the worst of it. Some nights this works, and then some nights are like last night.

Last night, I took my medicine and headed to bed. Instead of waiting for me to fall asleep, the stomach pain started and I knew I needed a distraction, because sleep was probably not going to happen for a while. So, I hopped on Hearthstone, and it mostly kept me focused away from the pain. Then, though, I got into competitive mode.

I’ve been playing Hearthstone super casually for over a year. Mostly, I only played when the boy had a quest he needed to complete and it required playing against a friend, or having your game be observed by a friend. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I learned about ranked play. I knew that there were professional players, considered the best, but I hadn’t a clue how they had become ranked. Did the game just log that they played a ton? It was genuinely a mystery. Then the boy received an in-game reward, and when I questioned how he had gotten it, he explained that I could actually play and get ranked and vet free stuff. I like free stuff. I felt so dumb for not having figured this out on my own.

So, last night, I was actually doing pretty decently and making my rank slowly crawl up, and I got a little sucked into the game. At one point it suddenly dawned on me that when I’ve seen pictures of the best Hearthstone players, they’re all male. And suddenly, something inside me was very annoyed. Brcause I know I’m not the only female who plays the game. Which made me then more determined to climb the rankings. Maybe it was because it was the middle of the night, but suddenly I was rambling to the boy about how this game needed way more female representation on the leader board, and I really think I should make it a goal to be one of those females. And he, being the supportive husband went, “Ok, babe.” Which may not read supportive, but it totally was.

And then it was 3 a.m., and I was finally so tired, it outweighed my abdominal misery.

I slept for four hours, woke up and had a half-hour of quality time with the bathroom and my angry tummy, and then decided to share my pain and craziness with all of you.

Weirdly, that late night fervour I suddenly felt to excel at Hearthstone, didn’t pass like the contents of my stomach did. I’m awake, exhausted, but awake, and I still want to try to see if I can become, if not a top player, a really awesome player. (Wow, that sentence had a ton of commas. Believe it or not, I actually excelled in grammar back in high school.)

At least it would mostly distract me from the Metformin.