Monday, November 17, 2014

An invisably rough evening

(I wish I would have been able to take a picture or two.  By the time I thought about it, and had the opportunity, the moment had passed.  You'll have to use your imagination.)

Last week I was at a church committee meeting.  The meeting was very productive albeit a bit long; I was there for over three hours.  Earlier in the day my husband and I had gone out to lunch.  We don't normally have the opportunity, but being Veteran's Day we both had the day off.  The lunch was wonderful (and the company even better).  I wasn't sure how my blood sugars were going to react to the difference in schedule and menu.  I bolused the best I could, but sometimes you just have to guess.

About half way into the meeting I started feeling.. weird.  It felt like a low was coming on.  I kept checking my CGM to see how I was trending.  Everything there looked good.  I was hovering right around 120.  I checked my blood sugars to confirm, and the difference was only a few points off.  I then checked my pump to see how much IOB (insulin on board) I had.  That's when things got more complicated.  I don't remember how much was on board, but I do remember it was a LOT more than I was hoping would be.  I reduced my basal for the next hour and munched on 4 Starbursts.  (One of each flavour.  I have to keep the package balanced.)  I kept checking my CGM about every 15 minutes to see if I had over corrected or started to drop.  No change.  I still hovered around 120.

At the point when my basal reduction ended I checked my blood sugars again.  It still confirmed that my CGM was being super accurate.  I also still had quite a bit of IOB.  Another temp basal and four more Starbursts and I kept watching my CGM.

The meeting wrapped up and everyone was leaving.  I had a little more business to take care of so I hung around.  I was listening in on a discussion but checked my CGM a couple times.  That's when it happened.

No, my CGM didn't show a drastic change.  It was still showing a near perfect flat white line.  One of the gentleman tapped me and quietly asked if I was okay.  I assured him that I was okay, that it was just a rough evening.

Just a rough evening. 

There was no proof of it being rough, unless you counted test strips and Starbursts wrappers.  If you looked at my meter and my CGM graph you would have seen a near perfect 4+ hours.  I had nothing to prove to anyone that it had been a rough time. 


Yet, I was tired and worn out from it. 

Diabetes is an invisible disease.  People can't see it.  They can see evidence of it, sometimes.  They see the insulin pump clipped to your belt or the CGM sensor on the back of your arm.  They see you pull your meter out at the lunch table.  They see all the technology but they don't see diabetes.

And sometimes, even that same technology doesn't see diabetes.

It may be invisible but I sure feel it.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

You are worth more

Late July of 2013, a dear friend of mine lost his youngest sister, Amber, to domestic violence. 

She was in her 30's with two small children.  These boys will now have to live their life without their mom... or their dad.    

A week after Amber was reported missing, her husband was arrested and charged with her murder.  This last week his trial began.  You may check out the details here.  (warning: some of the testimony revealed gruesome details.)  It may sound more like a CSI episode than real life, but I assure you, it is real.  The jury found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison.

A few days ago, while this trial was going on, there was a post to My Diabetes Secret that hit way too close to home.  The lady talked about hiding her diabetes.  She also addressed another poster who had wished they had an abusive father or boyfriend instead.  She stated that she was in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend... 
"It's not easy to leave and go get therapy due to so many different factors.  Most people in abusive relationships never leave and sometimes end up dead over it."
Domestic violence has a huge ripple effect, often larger than we can fathom.  Amber's boys will no longer have their parents.  Their children will not have her as a grandma.  Her siblings no longer have a sister, and their children no longer have their aunt.  Her friends, her coworkers, her neighbors, everyone she touched is affected by this.  Even those who didn't know her personally, but are friends with her siblings, are affected.  The ripple effect is far reaching.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month.  If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic violence, please PLEASE speak up and seek help.  No one should ever have to live in fear in their own home.  YOU ARE WORTH MORE THAN THAT.   You can get out. 


Monday, September 15, 2014

Endo Day and Really Trying

Today was the day.  My quarterly visit with my endo.

I was looking forward to it less than usual.  Don't get me wrong... I LOVE my endo.  Ever since I started seeing her instead of previous doctors, I feel the management of my diabetes is doing much better, but I wasn't looking forward to it today.

I was less than enthusiastic because I knew my A1C would be higher. 

I know the A1C is just a number, and that it doesn't always reflect the entire story behind the last three months.  That simple number didn't reflect:
  • My daughter's surgery and subsequent healing.  (Mom's worry it is that simple.)
  • The pain I'd been dealing with in my heel.
  • The ridiculousness that is called "cortisone".
  • The surgery and healing of previously mentioned heel.
  • The lack of my (usually) daily walks.
  • The mental lashing I've given myself lately.
As I guessed, it was higher.  Higher by .5.  Not as much as I was expecting, but still I wasn't pleased.  For me, getting my A1C to where I like to see it is harder and harder to do the closer I get to that goal.  Does that make sense? 

Days like today, knowing that I had gone in the opposite direction I wanted to, make me even more thankful for my endo.  She never expresses any type of judgment.  She encourages involvement with treatment decisions.  And, whether she realizes it or not, she is a huge boost to my emotional state when it comes to dealing with my diabetes.

With everything that has been going on lately, and the fact that my bgs are running higher than I like them to, I was wondering if I had given up a little.  I thought to myself, "Am I doing enough, or am I just going through the motions?  What will my doctor say?  Will she mark me 'non-compliant'?"  I know I hadn't given up because otherwise I wouldn't have cared if I cared or not.  Today, one small sentence from my endo, eased my mind completely.  "When I see someone who is checking their blood sugars an average of 7 times a day, I know they're really trying."

Really trying. 

I am really trying.  I am really trying to keep my blood sugars in range.  I'm really trying to have more steady lines on my CGM and less roller coaster blue prints.  I'm really trying to lose that weight that has snuck on over the last few months.  I'm really trying to do better with portion control and not do so much 'emotional eating'.  I'm really trying to not let my blood sugars dictate my mood.  I am really trying to keep it together on days when it feels like the slightest tremor will make it all fall apart. 

I AM REALLY TRYING.  Thank you Dr. Endo for recognizing that.  It means more than you know.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Observing at it's most unique

In my last post I talked about issues I was having with my heel.  The original plan was to give it a month and see how it did.  If the pain increased before the month was up, I was to go back in.

That weekend we moved our daughter back to college for her sophomore year.  Thankfully, her apartment is on the ground floor, so there were no stairs to climb.  This benefitted not only me, but her as well.  She had foot/leg surgery over the summer and is still healing.  If either of us would have had to climb stairs it would have been a painful and comedic event.

By Monday morning I had given up on counting how many sharp stabbing pains I had had.  By noon on Sunday alone, there had been more than 10.  Monday afternoon I called my foot doctor. 

Wednesday morning was my appointment.  It was agreed that we needed to surgically fix my foot.  The problem was getting worse and we didn't want the nerve to sustain permanent damage, if it hadn't already.  Surgery was set for the following Thursday, the 28th.  I could survive one more week, right?  I was keeping my fingers crossed.

I've always said that if there was a positive to having diabetes it is that any surgeries are usually scheduled for the first of the day.  This one was at 11:30am.  I know that isn't first on the list, but the fact that it was going to be done with just a local anesthetic, I didn't need to alter my eating and starve after midnight.  I also was allowed to watch and take pictures.  (Don't worry.  I won't post any during surgery pictures.)

I know that not too many people would want to watch a surgery, let alone one being done on them, but I was looking forward to it.  I grew up hearing surgery stories told at the dinner table, so this was not going to be a problem for me at all.  The one fear I had was that he would get in there, and realize more needed to be done that couldn't be done with just a local.  Thankfully, the surgery was complication free.  In fact, my doctor even said he saw exactly what he expected to see.  That was very comforting to me.  I wasn't glad that I had to have the surgery, but I was really glad that there weren't any other problems.

I enjoyed watching and talking with my doctor during my foot surgery.  I did not get too many pictures, as the surgery was only about 15 minutes long, from start to finish.  The hardest part I had about watching, was keeping my leg relaxed.  My heel was numb, so that wasn't a problem, but I was afraid that I would tense my leg so much by trying to hold it still that it would twitch.  No such problem though.  No twitch, no error, and again no complication.

It has now been a week and a half since my nerve was given more room.  The sharp stabbing pains vanished that day, so did the bruised heel feeling.  I have been able to walk since that afternoon, but not well enough to go on my daily walks in the morning.  I am looking very much forward to Dr. Foot giving me the green light for those walks, and a normal shoe.  Post surgical shoes are just not that cute. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Not a first I wanted

Last month I blogged about a pain in the heel I had been dealing with.  I thought it was plantar fasciitis setting in again.  That was something that I had dealt with before and knew what to expect.  I didn't like it, but at least I knew I would heal.

However, it is not plantar fasciitis. 

My first appointment with my foot doctor he injected a numbing solution as a diagnostic.  If my random sharp stabbing pains and constant tenderness eased, then it would confirm his suspicion. 

It did.. and didn't.  The stabbing pains stopped, but the tenderness didn't.  It also felt REALLY WEIRD to be walking around with a completely numb stripe across the bottom of your heel. 

One week later, I went back to Dr. Foot and his suspicion was confirmed.  I have "Medial Calcaneal Nerve Entrapment".  So we tried the next step.  A small solution of cortisone.  He assured me that the entire injection was only about 30% cortisone (it was about 1ml worth in the entire injection) and to watch my blood sugars, but he hoped that with the smaller concentration that I wouldn't stay in the 200's for very long

Now, I don't like cortisone.  Even before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I didn't like cortisone.  Years ago I received an injection in my hip to help with my bursitis.  It wore off in two days.  Since then I have never really needed any more, but if it was every mentioned (like with my pain in my lower back ) I would request other options.  I knew that cortisone will raise blood sugars, but I never knew how bad it would effect me.

Holy cow!!!  The next day my blood sugars were in need of an oxygen mask they were so high.  I increased my basal by 50% (hindsight tells me I should have done more) and was adding a few units to each meal, as well as eating less.  I still ran in the upper 300's to low 400's.  I was miserable.  Thankfully, the cortisone did exactly what it did the previous time I had it.  It wore off in two days.  I can almost tell you the exact hour because of what my blood sugars did.  I had finally been able to get them in the 200's and then all of a sudden, the next thing I knew my CGM was yelling at me that I was low.  I checked with my meter, and yup... 49.  I ate (read: inhaled) food and sat and waited.  While waiting, I had a sharp stabbing pain in my heel.  The tenderness, which had never really gone away, was a lot more noticeable too.  Have you ever been running barefoot and hit a rock with your heel?  The tenderness you have in your heel for the next couple days is what mine felt like.

It's been two weeks since that injection.  I still get the random stabbing, but they have decreased to maybe 2-3 a day instead of 5-6 and they are much less intense.  The tenderness is still there but not quite as pronounced.  I visited with Dr. Foot yesterday and we decided to watch it and see if it continues to improve.  I really don't want to have foot surgery (again) but know that if I don't see marked improvement I will have to.  The longer I wait, the more likely the nerve could "give up" (Dr. Foot's words), stop working, and die.  I don't want a dead nerve anywhere, especially in my feet.  I asked him what I did to have caused this.  Was it because I was walking more?  Could a pair of shoes be irritating it?  Maybe there is a voodoo doll somewhere and a small child is chewing on its foot. 

He smiled at me, that crooked smile that says so much more than any words ever spoken, and said, "In people with diabetes the nerves can build up sugar alcohols, like sorbitol, and become swollen."  I held it together and listened closely.  I asked if there was anything I could do to assist the swelling in going down.  I knew ice wouldn't do it as it wasn't "normal" swelling.  To boil it down, there really isn't anything I can DO to make it better faster, or at all.  The fact that it isn't as painful now as it was two weeks ago is GREAT news and shows that healing is taking place.  We wait and we watch. 

In the next little while, about a month at the most, if I don't see any more improvement, or if it worsens again, then we will discuss the surgical option.  It's a simple and highly successful procedure.  Just a couple little cuts that give that nerve more room to maneuver.  I don't like the idea of surgery, but I don't like the idea of a dead nerve even more.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Goose and Gander

I started this post well over a month ago.  I have come back to it a couple time and added a few things, and taken away others.  I even debated clicking "publish".  I tend to ramble in a few spots, and for that I apologize. 

This may be something that I've made up in my own head, but often times I feel that my opinions are viewed as invalid, irrelevant, errant, or just plain wrong.  I've even been told I am ignorant, stupid, and crazy for believing the way I do.  "What kind of person are you to think that way?"

I was raised to always let the other person talk as much as I do, that their opinion is just as important as mine.  After all, it is an opinion (a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge).  In fact, quite often, by listening to the other person's point of view you may end up learning something, or at the very least, seeing the situation from a different perspective.  It can be a disservice to the other person to NOT express your opinion.  I had an argument with someone once who withheld their input on a very important decision that needed to be made even after multiple requests to chime in.  It wasn't until weeks later when he expressed his dislike of the outcome that I asked him why he didn't speak up.  His reasoning?  He didn't want to change anyone's mind and show how weak they were.  I explained that he wouldn't necessarily have changed anyone's mind, and definitely not because of any weakness, but he would have shared a different perspective and perhaps enlightened the others.  As it was, since he didn't give input he didn't have "skin in the game" and therefore couldn't really argue his displeasure in the outcome.  "I don't like how it turned out!"  "No?  Well, you should have said something when you were asked and before a decision was made.  It is too late now to change events."

To listen and hear both sides is not always easy.  I will be the first to admit that I have failed as much, if not more, than I have succeeded.  On the flip side, I know I have frustrated many different people multiple times from simply saying, "I hear what you are saying.  Have you considered looking at it from the other side?"

Over the years, and a lot more lately, I have attempted to stretch and express my opinion on more topics.  I try my darndest to be careful in my words so as to not be insulting, belittling, or over-inclusive.  Words such as "stupid", "ignorant", "asinine", "idiotic", "crazy" are just a small sampling of words I try to avoid, especially    All I expect is for the same respect be shown to me.  I don't believe that is too much to ask for.

It all boils down to mutual respect. 

"What's good for the Goose is good for the Gander."

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Family Reunion #DBlogCheck

Can you believe that it has been a year since the last #DBlogCheck??

I was scrolling through my blog posts a little while ago and came across my post from last year.  I know that time flies when you're having fun, and changing infusion sets, but A YEAR?! 

Today is somewhat of a family reunion.  Ya.. I like that.  Every year my husband's family has a reunion the second Saturday in July.  I was not raised with annual reunions like that.  In fact, I don't ever recall having an official "reunion".  My family would get together every Thanksgiving and Christmas for dinner and games.  Nothing worked off dinner and readied you for pie like a game of horseshoes with my grandpa.  I bet you can still see the scars in the yards from where the poles were placed.  My husband's family has done a reunion every year.  It is a perfect time to catch up with everyone, meet new loves and children, pick on cousins, and try to get as many hugs as possible.  Not to mention all the food!

Not everyone in the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) is related by blood or marriage (some are and some will be), but that doesn't mean we aren't family.  Alana of Life on T1 put it best in this post:
"And that's what a chosen family is. It's a group of people who are there for you no matter what happens, who are there and they say "I get it, I understand, me too.""
Let's view today as our DOC Family Reunion.  Let's catch up with everyone, check in to see how we are all doing, and pass around those virtual hugs.  After all, you can never get too many hugs.

Bear hugs for all
Image credit

Monday, July 21, 2014

Change would be good

This month's DSMA Blog Carnival asks, "If you could change one thing about diabetes, (besides not having it), what would you change? Why?"

I have thought about this for quite some time.  There are many things that I would LOVE to change about diabetes.  

Finger sticks - I know that it is the easiest location to get blood for a bg check, but my fingers get sore sometimes.  I have calluses so thick that I've used them as a thimble.  

List of conditions that I'm now at risk for -  Going to a new doctor is never fun.  Filling out the medical history paperwork and seeing "Diabetes" printed in red is not a comforting sight.

Multiple doctor's appointments - I'm thankful for having a job that gives me quite a bit of "sick time" so I don't lose any pay for all my appointments, but I would love to take time off for something a bit more enjoyable.

Cost of medications - I feel very blessed to have the insurance coverage that I do, and that I don't have to argue with them (too much) to have everything covered (read: test strips), but I still have deductibles and co-pays that have to be paid.  

Each one has it benefits and downfalls, but there is one that stands out above all others.  

If there was only one thing I could change about diabetes would be the emotional aspect. 

There are days when the blood sugar roller coaster is too much and I don't want to do it anymore.  There are other days when blood sugars are level all day, but at a low level, or high level, and no matter what you do it won't come up or down.

There are days when you begin to question yourself and your ability to manage this disease.  The feeling of failure can be very overwhelming.

However, it's the emotions that sneak up on me during a high or a low that are the most frustrating, and heart breaking.  I know I am very grumpy and short fused when I am running high.  Sometimes I don't know that I'm running high, but when it seems like everything is getting on my nerves and no one can do anything right, I try to remember that it is not them, but quite possibly me.  If I have been running high all day, when I get home I walk in saying, "I've been high, and I can't get it down, so I'm very grumpy.  Consider this your warning."  

I don't know about you, but I wish I didn't have to do that.  I try my darndest to keep my emotions, and my mood swings, in check but sometimes I'm caught off guard.  It's not my family's fault but they are the ones that pay the price, and it is not fair.

So if there was one thing I could change about diabetes (other than not having it) would be that my emotions would not be so effected by my blood sugar levels.  There are enough things in the world that effect my emotions... I just wish diabetes wasn't one of them.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Pain in the foot

I try to get a walk in every work day (I take the weekends off from walking as we usually do much more yard work instead).  During the late winter - late spring, I was able to walk at about 2pm each day.  It was GREAT!  Not only did it help with my post lunch bgs, but it also made the afternoons seem to go faster at work.  Once the afternoons started getting too warm, I switched to walking at 10am each day.  That time wasn't so bad.  I was able to walk off my coffee but the rest of the day went so much slower.

Then full on summer hit.  Even 10 am was too warm.  If I tried to walk any earlier, after getting to work, I would be setting my stuff down and walking right back out the door.  Not only is that silly, but it was too hot then too, and we don't have a shower at work for me to use.  So I decided early morning walks would be better.  I set my alarm for 5:30 and vowed to not hit snooze. 

I've not been as consistent as I wish I was.  I know that the walk does me so much good.  Not only do my blood sugars behave more throughout the day, it really helps my mood too.  I've had a difficult time getting to bed before midnight lately, which of course makes 5:30 really REALLY early.  However, the last two days I've been able to do it.  I even got sprinkled on yesterday.  Real rain drops!!  We've not had any measurable rain since early May here, so every rain drop is sacred.  Anyways, my pace in the mornings isn't as fast as I was getting in the afternoons, but at least I'm walking, right?  But for how much longer, is the question.

The last few days my heel has been downright killing me!  I've dealt with plantar fasciitis before and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.  I fear that it may be setting in again.  Unfortunately, if I remember correctly, there isn't a whole lot that can be done.  Last time I had my heel and foot taped for a couple weeks, and that helped a lot.  Will they do that again?  Will he suggest it's time for a cortisone shot?  *cringe*  I have no problem with shots, but the thought of one in my heel gives me the heebie jeebies.  Or will there be a miracle cure that happens as I walk through the door?  I'm not holding my breath or anything, but THAT would be nice.

I will be calling my foot doctor later today to make that appointment.  In the meantime, please pass the ice pack.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I realized that a typical Throwback Thursday is a photo of some sort.  I do have a photo included, but that isn't the throwback.  A smell is my throwback for the day.

I know that the smells can be a very powerful memory trigger, both good and bad.  Just the other day I was talking with my daughter about the t-shirt she was wearing.  She had commented that it smelled funny.  I knew it was clean because I had washed it not three days prior.  So I leaned over and smelled it.  She was right, it had a different smell to it.  First, it was dried out on the line.  (Side note: many people LOVE the smell of clothes dried on the line.  The freshness you get just can be beat.  However, living in the desert you risk getting the smell of dust, especially if it hasn't rained for two months.  I have tried to find a fabric softener that will last through the extra heat and wind we get at my house, but so far no such luck.)  Second, it had been in my daughter's wood (maple?) chest of drawers she inherited from my grandmother.  It is not cedar lined, but I'm thinking that should be added to my list of indoor improvements.

I laughed a little and told her that there was a bit of a stale smell, but that the shirt was fine.  In fact, it reminded me of my grandfather.  I don't know why, but all of his clothes had that same stale, stored in the closet near not the best wood, smell.  Even though my grandmother did all the laundry together, his clothes were the only ones with the smell.  I will agree that it isn't the most pleasant smell, and thankfully isn't the ONLY smell I associate with my grandfather, but it still brought back his memory.

Then this morning at work after putting an extra dose of lotion on my feet and rubbing them a bit (we could all use an extra foot rub a day, right?), I went to the kitchen to wash my hands.  The bottle of hand soap in there is Dial Gold antibacterial.  Nothing fancy really, but after just two pumps the memories came flooding back! 

My grandmother strongly believed in hand washing.  There is nothing wrong with hand washing.  I insist on hands getting washed at my house too.  In fact, when I tend my great-nieces they're so used to it now, that when they get down from the dinner table they walk to the bathroom like a scrubbed up surgeon; hands in the air so they don't touch anything until they are clean.  I warned my husband about my grandmother's hand washing requirements before I took him to meet her.  He didn't believe me, until he experienced himself.  He asked me later if I ever had skin grafts done, because he couldn't see how I could still have skin on my hands after being raised by her.  We had to wash our hands at all the normal times; before and after meals, after using the toilet, etc, but also other times you wouldn't normally think of.  For example, if we had sat down to dinner and the phone rang or someone came to the door, we were not allowed to answer the phone/door OR sit back down to our plate until we washed our hands again.

The only soap grandma would use was Dial Gold.  For anyone who has used it, they can attest to the fact that it has a very distinct smell.  There was a bar in the kitchen, one at the bathroom sink, and one for the bathtub.  Grandpa didn't like it, so his bathroom had bars of Palmolive instead. 

So while washing my hands after lotioning my feet this morning I was reminded of my clean handed childhood.  What smells remind you of your childhood?

Now, before I go on to my next task, I need to wash my hands....again.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why are my fingers bruising?

I'll be the first to admit that I am not the best at changing out my lancet.  To be honest, I don't think I know of anyone who actually changes it after or before every use. 

I have mainly used the lancing device that came with my Animas Ping pump/meter remote.  I do have spare meters in various places of my life stops (ie: work, car, daughter, etc.) and each one has its own lancer.  My spare meters actually came with a more up to date lancer that uses the larger gauge (and by larger guage it really means smaller metal piece jabbing into your fingertips) lancets, the OneTouch Delica.  I wasn't overly fond of them because I didn't see where they actually worked any better.  They also didn't hurt any less... and I couldn't get the lancets in different colours.  You know.. the important things in life.  Also, they weren't the matching lancer to my meter.  I don't like breaking up sets of anything. 

Recently I was gifted a large supply of lancets (THANK YOU!!) and they are all for the newer lancers.  So I switched.  Who wouldn't?  Why continue to use something that you have to pay for when you have a large free supply sitting in the box in your closet? 

One thing I've noticed is that the new lancer seems to be leaving bruises.  It completely baffled me as to why.  I mean, it is a smaller gauge than what I was using, so why is it bruising?  Is it because my fingertips are callused and therefore need a larger gauge?  If my finger isn't bleeding enough and I squeeze it to help, am I squeezing too hard?  Do I have the depth dial set too high?  Since it is a smaller poker, I don't know if it should be set at a higher or lower depth.  I'm just hoping that I figure it out soon.

(I've tried to get a picture of the bruises, but they aren't dark enough to show up on a picture, unless I squeeze my finger and make it turn white and then click really quick before the white goes away hoping that the camera is in focus.  It doesn't work, you'll just have to use your imagination.) 

Friday, June 20, 2014

I'm glad I was sitting down

Of all the different medical professional people I have to see I will say that the eye doctor is one of my least favourites.  I've ALWAYS hated going to the eye doctor, well, almost always.

It all stems back to my freshman year high school.  One day during PE we were inside playing soccer.  I didn't run real well so no one wanted me on their team out on the 'field', so I usually ended up as the goalie.  There is nothing wrong with goalie, until someone from the other team doesn't like you (I don't know why.. it was high school after all so it could have been any reason.)  The ball came into the goal area, but not hard enough to actually score.  So, as the goalie, I did my part and bent down to pick up the ball to throw it back in the game.  That's when it happened.  The girl on the other team came up to the ball and kicked as hard as she could.  My face was on the other side of that ball.  It hurt.  A lot. 

I was taken to the eye doctor to see if there had been any damage done.  I had so many tests ran, images done, things stuck to my eye, etc.  I was NOT a happy camper.  Thankfully there was no damage but I wasn't off scott free.  The pressure in my eye was rather elevated because of the swelling.  Think glaucoma levels of pressure.  For the next year, I had to go back every few months to have it checked.  Each time I went the pressure was tested, and the back of my eye looked at.  My eyes were dilated, numbed, and had a something stuck to it so the doctor could see inside it.  The thing that was stuck to my eye reminded me of a small jewelers microscope.  Even though I couldn't feel it, I didn't like it. 

At the end of the year, the pressure in my eye had finally gone down enough to be in normal range.  Whew!!  The lasting effect was my hatred of the eye doctor.

Fast forward to yesterday.  My annual eye exam was once again on my calendar.  I knew the dilation would last 8+ hours so I scheduled the appointment as late in the day as possible.  (I really should think about moving it to the winter time, the sun sets earlier.)  My doctor is a great doctor and very competent.  He just needs to work on his sense of humour.  In fact, everyone in his office does, in my opinion.  Everyone is pleasant enough.  It's just that they are so serious and are rarely smiling or laughing. 

At my last year's eye appointment my A1C had been up from the previous year.  Dr. Eye wasn't pleased and said, "You need to work on that.  We don't want complications."  Duh!!  I wanted to throw something at him.  This year, my A1C was lower (and below 7.0 *woohoo*) and I was wondering if he would comment on it.  He did... with a smile.  I'm glad I was sitting down.  In fact, he was rather pleasant.  He smiled and was more chatty than normal.  He even chuckled at some funny response I had made to one of his questions. 

As his assistance was walking me back to the front after the exam, she commented that I was his favourite patient of the day.  Evidently, he'd been having a really rough day up to that point.  I don't know what made it rough.  Maybe he'd seen nothing but complications all day.  Maybe he'd been griped at by just about everyone.  Maybe the equipment had been giving him fits.  Who knows.  All I know is that he smiled and laughed during my visit, and I hope that the rest of his day went better.

Don't we ALL feel better after a good smile and a laugh?

{To answer your question, my exam came back with a clean bill of health.  No complications, or even signs of possible issues.}

Friday, June 13, 2014

Quarterly visit

It has been so long since I've written a post that I must admit, I am having a hard time writing.  It's like keeping up with a friend or family member.  If you talk every day, you CAN talk every day.  If you don't, you end up with these long awkward silences on the phone after commenting about how hot/dry/rainy/cold/windy it has been lately.

I've been going through a bout of "I have so much I want to write about but.... maybe it isn't a good idea."  I don't know if it's the introvert in me that is being more dominant and restraining me in a corner, or if I'm just hesitant because of some irrational fear.  Either way... it's time for me to dive back in.


Wednesday was my quarterly visit with my endo.  I was truly hoping that things had improved from my last visit.  My a1c had been on an incline for the previous six months, and I knew why.  I had been dealing with a lot of pain in my back and as we all know, pain raises blood sugars which in turn raises a1c's.  It's an evil cycle.  My pain has subsided significantly, and I do my best to keep up with my home exercises, so I was keeping my fingers crossed for an improvement but I wasn't holding my breath. 

I had been watching my numbers and kept noticing a trend of running high in the afternoon after lunch.  I didn't used to, but then I was also walking at 2pm every day.  That helped my afternoons at work go by faster... and helped me walk off any post lunch spike I may have.  Now that summer is here, a walk at 2 in the afternoon is just not possible.  One of the joys/curses of living in the desert southwest is the high summer temps.  Let's take today for example.  When I got up and started the coffee at 5:45 this morning, it was already 78F outside.  Yesterday at 2pm it was about 95F with a light wind.  When temperatures are that warm, and humidity is in the single digits, wind doesn't cool you off, it acts more like a convection oven.

I switched my walk to the mornings, around 10-10:30.  It is still warm, but tolerable.  I pop in my ear buds, queue up the chapter I'm on (audio books are my newest craze), and head out.  These morning walks are great, but have a couple downfalls.  First, my afternoon bgs are higher because my walk has already taken place.  And second, my afternoons drag!  I used to only have a couple hours left of my day when I would return from my walk, now I have more than half the day.  The first couple days were the worst for that, but it has been doing better.

To combat the difference in my walk time, my endo suggested creating a summer basal profile.  Since all my other rates were showing to be working properly, and the times of those rates worked perfectly with my cooler temperature walks, she didn't want to mess with that profile.  Even though I keep a log book of all my settings and changes from each visit, there was no need to have to redo it all in the fall.

I am now on day 2 of the new profile, with the afternoon basal time adjusted.  So far so good.  I still ran higher than I was wanting to, but by no means as high as I had been.  I will give it a week and see if I need to do a little more fine tuning.  Who knows, by the end of that week I may have to adjust my walk time even more.  This summer is just beginning to heat up, and I may end up having to walk while still in my jammies just to catch the coolness of the day.

Oh, and yes, my a1c had improved. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Don't bring me down

May is Mental Health Month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes.  What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and/or your loved one, and how do you cope?

This is a loaded topic.  There are so many things on a day to day basis that can get people down whether they have diabetes or not.  There isn't a day that goes by that something doesn't happen that could make a person blue.

Who hasn't had a proverbial Monday on any day of the week? 
  • The fuel light on the car turns on the morning you're running later than usual to work.
  • While walking into work the elastic on your slip breaks and proceeds to end up around your ankles right as you walk in the building.
  • Your child's school calls to let you know that they have been caught doing something they shouldn't.
Any one of those can bring a person down. 

Dealing with diabetes on a daily basis just adds to the possibilities of downers.
  • You drop the bottle of insulin you've used once, and it shatters on the kitchen floor.
  • Your insulin pump gives you the "low battery" or "motor error" warning just before you sit down for dinner.
  • Your insurance company limits the number of test strips they will cover.
It's the little things that pile up that bring me down.
  • Purposely poking my finger multiple times per day.
  • Really wanting to be able to sneak a cookie from the pantry but knowing I can't without someone knowing about it and me paying for it later.
  • The amount of time each day that I loose because of checking blood sugars, dosing insulin, calculating carbs, taking pills, etc.
  • Usually being the last one to sit down to dinner because I'm bolusing for what is on my plate.
  • Always having something attached to me to monitor, or control, my health.
  • The amount of money that is spent to keep me alive instead of on a family vacation.
  • Knowing that my family worries about me more than usual.  Am I not answering my phone because the battery died? or because my blood sugar is very low and I am unresponsive?
  • That long stubborn high that you can't explain and can't bring down no matter what you try.  The ones where you look at your pump cartridge after filling it and wonder if even that would be enough insulin to bring you back into range.
The list could go on and on, and I'm sure it wouldn't even begin to scratch the surface of all the things that can bring you down. 

However, staying down is not an option.  Taking a deep breath, and quite often a nap, helps a lot.  Watching the sunrise or the sunset and sitting there peacefully taking it in.   Reminding myself that it really could be worse.  That I've been blessed, not by this disease, but because of the disease.  I have been blessed with having to learn more about how my body works than what is considered the normal.  I have been blessed with the knowledge that many people love me, and they show it.  I have been blessed with the opportunity to befriend a world of people that I would have never had the chance to even meet.

These blessings, and a whole lot of other little GOOD things that pile up faster than the bad things, is what helps me get through the bad days.  Some days it works, and other days I go to bed add to my prayers a request for a better day tomorrow and I sleep.  I know that when all else fails, God doesn't.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Let us Introduce ourselves

Today I'm choosing to use the wildcard option.  I am not much of a poet so the suggested post of 'Poetry Tuesday' didn't appeal to me, but speaking as someone else?  Totally workable!

Let us introduce ourselves:

I am Freeda the pump.  I came to be part of the family on November 1, 2010.  During my 3 1/2 years I have rarely been away from Miss Jennifer for more than an hour.  Sometimes I think those long soaking baths she takes would go a lot faster if she didn't take a book with her.  Who does that, anyway?   I consider myself to be the most important of the electronic family.  If it weren't for me Miss Jennifer would not have as much freedom for spontaneity as she does.  I do wish she would buy me some more clothes though, this green outfit is getting rather monotonous.  I'm thinking something with stripes or swirls.  After all, a girl has got to have choices.

I am Charlie the remote meter.  I also came to be part of the family on November 1, 2010.  In a way, Freeda and I are inseparable.  Ok, maybe that isn't entirely true.  There have been times when Miss Jennifer has left me at home.  I feel so lonely and useless when that happens.  I can just picture her consulting with someone else.  A smaller meter that may or may not know her history.  I don't know how that can help her much.  However, I am comforted that no matter how many other meters Miss Jennifer may be hiding, Freeda only speaks to me directly.  I recently was given a new mode of transportation.  The black one I brought with me was very functional, but boring.  This new one is roomier and colorful!  I did have to learn to share space with Mr. Lancet and his companions (in my previous model I was held securely in one place and no one could bother me there), but the trade off is totally worth it.  Now, if only Miss Jennifer would look into that rattle I've developed, I would be a lot happier.

I am O.D. the continuous glucose monitor (aka CGM).  I came to be part of the family late August 2013.  The stories I hear indicate that I replaced a previous CGM by the name of Daryl.  I don't know how life was for him, or why he decided this family wasn't for him, but I do know that I am happy here.  I believe I am the favored one as there are more pictures of me in Miss Jennifer's phone than the other two combined!  I may be the favourite, but there are times where I get yelled at for something I've done or said.  I think the buzzing and beeping exercises I do at 3am might get on her nerves, but a CGM has to stay in shape!  It's during those overnight hours that I finally have time to myself without her always peeking to see what I'm up (or down) to.  If there was one thing I could ask for that would make me happier, it would be a word of praise from time to time.  I hear a lot of "Shut up, I'm not that high!" and "Shush! I know I'm low, I'm working on it, be patient!".  I would like to hear, "That may not be as gorgeous of a graph as I'd like to see O.D, but thank you for keeping me informed."  Words of kindness go a long way.

There you have us.  We may be small and (we're told) expensive, but we are still part of a family.  A family that we love and devote our entire lives too.

Family Photo Circa 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

If I could change the world

If I could change the diabetes world I would start with myself.

I would change how I talk to myself.

I would stop telling myself that it's my fault and I should have done better.  While it's true that there are times it truly is my fault (that darn package of Oreos really wouldn't have gone stale) it is NOT my fault that my pancreas retired early. 

I would stop telling myself that I am high maintenance and not worth it.  The expense is so high and that money could be used for so many other things.  It's true, I could think of a hundred other things I could spend that money on, but none of it would make a difference if I wasn't here.

I would start telling myself that it's OK to have days where diabetes is put on the back burner, just as long as I don't turn the burner completely off.

I would start telling myself to stand up for myself more.  To speak up when I am confronted with a diabetes myth and correct it to the best of my ability. 

There are so many different things we do each day that can change the world in which we live in.  Even if it is only the world within our own walls that gets changed.

At church this Sabbath our speaker talked about being either a Thermostat Person or a Thermometer Person.  A thermometer person reflects the temperature of the room or situation, but a thermostat person can change it.

I'm working on being more of a thermostat.  Will you join me?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Life ran away with me

It seems like ever since the beginning of the year I have been running here and there with some sort deadline looming, project due, activity scheduled, company visiting, doctor's appointment, physical therapy, or an unexpected emotional event.  I feel I have been pulled every which way then left to rebound by myself.  I have under-slept, over-worked, under-fed, and over-fed myself. 

I am tired.

Here are the broad strokes:

  • January:  Recovering from the holidays is always tiring.  I also gave a talk at church that first week and had two weekends of company.  Not that big of a deal really, but I'm not a huge fan of public speaking.
  • February: The last day of February, as my daughter was packing up to head back to school after spring break, we discovered that our oldest cat, Flurrie, had not improved from the previous day.  The vet determined that there was nothing that could be done.  So with all of us there we made the toughest decision a pet owner has to make and had her put to sleep.  She was nearly 17 1/2 years old (86 in cat years).
  • March:  Another talk at church.  Lots of energy spent getting my CGM transmitter replaced. (see here and here ). 
  • April:  This month started out very relaxing.  A great trip to Flagstaff to meet up with some ladies I've "met" on Twitter.  Laddie of Test Guess and Go blogged about it here.  It was just what I needed to prepare for the following two weekends.  One was the JDRF walk for our area and the other was my church's annual Easter Outreach.  I sat on the organizing committee for the walk and was the primary contact for the Easter Outreach.

Here's to a month (or more) of no deadlines, projects, talks, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for no more unexpected emotionally sad events.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Replacement update

In my last (non wordless) post I talked about the adventure I was having in getting my CGM transmitter replaced.

I wish I could tell you that it was truly just two or three days later and I was back up and running.  It wasn't quite that simple.

Tuesday morning I called Mr. Supervisor to confirm that the fax had been received and that my new system would be shipped out that day.  All I got was his voice mail.  It wasn't until about 2:30 that afternoon that he called me back.  Yes, the prescription had been received and just about everything was in order.  The one problem... they didn't have any systems to send to me.

That's right, they were out.  Nothing but empty shelves.

Supposedly they had placed a large order of all supplies and equipment that was supposed to be delivered that day, but it was delayed.  They were hoping to get it on Wednesday.  That meant if I was lucky, I would see it on Friday.

Knowing how shipments usually work, I highly doubted that even if theirs came in on Wednesday that they would have it unpacked, logged, and ready to be shipped to customers the same day.  So I called Mr. Supervisor Thursday morning to see if it was sent the day before, or would be sent that day.  I tried again Thursday afternoon.

Messages left on voice were never returned.

I tried again Friday morning.  I left another message.

No phone call back.

Needless to say, I was LIVID!! 

The more the day progressed the more angry I got.  I had been trying to get my transmitter replaced for nearly two weeks by this point.  I had done everything I could without driving there myself and sitting there in the office.

By 2:30 Friday afternoon I had totally given up on Mr. Supervisor.  I called back to the main number to talk to one of the "regular people".  The gentleman that answered was truly that, a gentleman.  He didn't have any record of an order for me in his system, but since it was for equipment and not supplies that didn't surprise him.  He logged into the equipment section and saw that my order had been placed and shipped.  He confirmed the tracking number and said that it was listed as being "on the truck out for delivery".  I thanked him for being extremely helpful.

I called my husband to let him know that a box requiring signature, would be delivered soon.  He made sure he was at the house and called me as soon as it arrived... about an hour later.

After I got home from work and had all necessary chores done, it was time to start things back up.

Two hours later I was back up and running.  I never felt so comfortable having a wire stuck in me and tape everywhere.
I learned a few things during my week of flying blind... but THAT is for another post.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Flowerly Wordless Wednesday


Purple Tiger Rose
Chrysler Imperial Rose
Purple Tiger Rose and bud

Monday, March 17, 2014

Adventures in Replacement

I've been working on a post about my latest endo visit, but that will have to wait for a day or two.  This latest issue has me frustrated and wanting to throw angry ducks.

Last Saturday afternoon (March 8th), as I was relaxing in my favourite post church location (the couch with my book) my CGM buzzed.  It was a longer buzz than I was expecting, about the length of the "Hey.. I need charging" buzz.  When I checked him I saw the "Low Transmitter Battery" warning.  Sigh.  I knew this was inevitable and that I had been living on borrowed time.  In fact, my transmitter is over a year old.  He turned 1 in January. 

So, I hunted down my manual and found the phone number.  I called Dexcom to order the replacement transmitter.  I was informed that my transmitter was well outside the warranty and that I would need to purchase a new one.  However, since my insurance company requires that I go through a third party supplier I would need to contact them.  Not a problem.  Ok, well, one minor problem:  It was Saturday and my supply company wouldn't be open until Monday. 

Monday morning finally arrived.  My CGM had warned me two more times over that weekend that the transmitter battery was low.  I may or may not have told it to shush... each time.  I called my supply company and they said they would fax over the prescription request to my doctor.  Once they had that back they would order my new transmitter and all would be good to go.  I happened to have my three month endo appointment that afternoon, so I doubled checked with her to make sure she received the fax.

Now, my endo's office HATES the supply company I use.  They won't even put their brochures out on the counter because of the problems they've had working with them in the past.  The only reason I use them is because I have to.

I love my insurance company and fully understand and appreciate that I am truly blessed to have all the coverage I do with very very little fight (only the amount of test strips, but one appeal letter and all was good).  The one thing that irks me the most is that the supply company I first started with is not on my current insurer's panel, and my insurance isn't interested at all in adding it.

Anyways, back to the saga.

My endo never received the fax.  I called back to the supply company on Tuesday and was told that they would send it again.  I checked on Wednesday and was informed that my benefits had been checked and it looked like I was "good to go".  I requested a call back from the individual, Mr. B, who was working my case so I knew when to expect the box or if there was anything else I needed to do.  He never called.  On Thursday, I did the mistake of letting everything sit.  I figured that it was in the works and why should I be a pest?  I should have been a pest. 

Friday morning my transmitter died. 

Friday morning I called for a status check.  I was told that Mr. B would have that update for me and that he should be in any minute.  I was transferred to his voicemail and I left a message.  This was 9:15am.  At 1:15pm I called directly to Mr. B's extension and left another message.  At 4pm I left yet another message.  At 5:30 I was livid!  I called to the main number and asked for the status on my order.  I was informed that the most recent order they had for me was from January.  UGH!!  I explained my story and the gentleman that I had was about ready to transfer me to Mr. B.  I told him that under no circumstances was he to do that as I had already left a total of 5 message for him this week and received no call back.  Mr. Nice Man told me that the supervisor was still in and he would transfer me to him.  Yay!!  Progress.  I then proceeded to sit on hold for 10 minutes. 

Mr. Supervisor came to the phone and apologized for keeping me waiting for so long.  He said he was checking my benefits and that a new transmitter would cost me $62 but a new system would be $100.  Since my receiver was also out of warranty he recommended doing the new system.  I didn't have to use the new receiver right away, but it would give me a backup so I didn't have to deal with this hassle again anytime soon.  This was the first news I had been given on my benefits.  I was finally getting somewhere.  We agreed to the new system and I was informed that as soon as they received the prescription from my doctor the order could be processed.

I blew!  I told Mr. Supervisor that that was where my initial frustration began.  The prescription request that was supposed to be faxed to my doctor on Monday.  He apologized once again and said that they had been having "internal issues" this week that had made it a very long and tough week.  He acknowledged that it was no excuse for the run-around I'd been dealing with,.  He sent the prescription request to both the fax numbers they had on file for my doctor, as well as a copy to my email.  I was pleased.  IF.. heaven forbid.. but if my doctor never got the fax I could at least print it up and walk it in myself.

I checked with my doctor first thing this morning.  They hadn't had a chance to go through all the faxes from the weekend, but would call me if it wasn't there.  In their defense, I did call just 5 minutes after they opened.  I love my endo's office though, and I know they will call if they don't have it.  They did exactly that last week.

After all this I do believe that I may actually have a new CGM in the next two to three days.  I sure hope so.  I know people do it all the time, I even used to, but this "flying blind" business.. well, it is for the bats!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Physical therapy

This morning I finished my fifth appointment with the physical therapist.  I must confess, it isn't as bad as it's made out to be.  I have heard, and said, many a joke about physical therapists.  The physical therapy center locally is even in the bottom of the medical building.  I've commented that it makes sense, after all that is where torture chambers belong: in the dungeon or the basement.

I have noticed a difference in my lower back since I've started.  The catching feeling is only there if I turn funny.  The 'hot' feeling is only there if I do all exercises, afternoon walking, AND physical therapy.  I call that major improvement.

One of the other benefits of all of this extra exercise is the effect it has on my blood sugar levels.
I have to start a lower temp basal about 15 minutes before I arrive and have it last for about 30 minutes after I leave.  Sometimes that works, and sometimes it doesn't.  Today I had to do a couple glucose tabs, where as last week I ran higher than normal.  Oh the science and fickleness of diabetes.

I have five more sessions that the doctor originally ordered.  The goal is to be nearly back to normal and pain free by the end.  If I keep up with my at home exercises that I've been assigned, I fully expect this to be an achievable goal.

Keep your fingers crossed for me. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Pain in the .. back?

Tomorrow begins a new adventure for me.

Tomorrow I begin physical therapy for my back... my butt... for my pain.

Last week I went to my orthopedic about a pain I've been dealing with in my lower back.  He went through all the regular questions.  He had me move this way, and that way, and walk, and balance on my toes, and spin in circles.  Ok, maybe not spin in circles, but I definitely felt like if there had been music I'd be dancing.  He pushed and poked and located the exact spot that I had been complaining about.  Why do they always poke the hardest on the spot that hurts the most?

I have trochanteric bursitis in my left hip so he wanted to confirm that the trochanter tendon on my right side was good.  It is.  One less thing to worry about.  He did find the spot that is giving me grief now, and it is technically a joint.  I say "technically" because it sure doesn't look like any joint I remember studying in biology.  It doesn't have a large normal range of motion either, only 1-3 millimeters.  It is the sacroiliac joint on my right side that is irritated.

How did I irritate it?  THAT is a good question, and one we've not been able to figure out.  We may never figure it out, but that's OK as long as I can work through it and make the pain stop.

Hopefully Miss Physical Therapy will do just that. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sweet water

We've all had those moments of blood sugar highs that are completely unexplainable.  We do everything we know we should.  We actually count the carbs in the meal instead of just SWAGing them.  Yet, we still run high.

This has been happening to me at night.  Admittedly, there have been a few nights where it was totally explainable.  Fresh baked soft molasses cookies (Grandma's recipe) sitting on the counter have a way of breaking down my will power to say 'no'.  However, normally I behave myself.

Let's take last night for example.  I had been cruising between 98-135 for three hours after dinner.  THREE HOURS!! We had even had tacos, which can be tricky sometimes.  I was just gathering everything up to head for a shower when I saw the cookies on the counter.  I checked O.D. (my CGM) and was 102 with a straight sideways arrow.  Who could ask for better?  I stayed strong and walked away from the cookies.  I wanted a night of uninterrupted sleep.  No high beeps thank-you-very-much.

I disconnected Freeda (my pump) for my shower and scrubbed the day away.  It was MAYBE 10-15 minutes.  I don't usually do really long showers.  Living in the desert my whole life and always watching my water usage has done that.  I even put my ice cubes from my drinks in my plants.  It's the little things after all.

Anyways.  When I reconnected Freeda and looked at O.D. I became convinced that someone has added sugar to my water supply and that I absorb it in the shower.

I was rather pleased with my 12 hour no hitter.
I corrected and went to sleep.  I woke up at 2am to beeps, I tested and corrected, and went to sleep.  My alarm went off at 5:45 so I tested and was content with the reading but frustrated with the whole night.  Not only did my shower seem to sweeten me up, but my bolus insulin seems to be water overnight.  My basals do a decent job of keeping me steady, but no matter how I correct, even over-riding how much my pump says I should correct with, my level's don't budge.

Frustration is an understatement.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Scuffed Fingertips

The other day I was sitting in a spot that allowed me to see the shoes of the person next to me.  I mean really see the shoes.  No, I wasn't sitting on the floor, but I could have.  The floor is comfortable and I haven't yet fallen off of it.  I digress.

I was looking at my friend's shoes and I noticed the toes were scuffed and it made me smile.  Not because it lessened the value of the shoe.. personally I don't think it did.. but because it increased the value of the man.

It showed me that he wasn't afraid to work hard.  He wasn't ashamed of the evidence of his work or the fact that it left scars.  He wasn't perfect and he was OK with it.

It's like my fingertips.  They aren't scuffed by definition, but they are no longer in the same condition they were when I first got them.  They have evidence of work and wear.  They are scarred.  They are valuable.

With a scuffed pair of shoes you can polish and buff them and make them shine again, but there will always be evidence of wear.  I can do the same with my fingertips.  I can soak them and buff them and lessen the calluses, but there will always be evidence of wear.

And I am OK with that.

Monday, January 13, 2014

It is all put away... well, the decorations at least.

It is that bittersweet time of year where all my Christmas decorations have been put away and my house looks a little less cluttered.  I love the echoy sound my entry way makes after getting the tree out and the sap scrubbed off the floor.  I love being able to see my mantel and the items I keep there year round.  I love the clean normalcy of it all.  I am still burning the Christmas scented candles, but pine trees are a winter smell not just Christmas.

Oh how I wish physical things could be put away like Christmas decorations.  Who wouldn't want to put away diabetes and only pull it one sometimes?  Then again.. who would ever pull it out?  Or back pain.  That's my most current issue, and one that I'm sure I will be told I should have taken care of earlier.

Off and on for the last year little while my lower back on my right side has felt like it needed a one on one with a chiropractor.  I have done the simple stretches, which although they look funny actually feel quite good.  I have laid over my exercise ball on my stomach and stretched.  Like I said, it looks funny.  I have rested it.  I have heating padded it.  I have ice packed it.  I have done both.  I have even gone to the chiropractor.  He couldn't get it to feel better either.  Lately, the painful feeling has been daily.  I have noticed certain things around my house that I would love to change.  The height of my counters are the biggest.  If only my kitchen counter were 2 inches higher.  That will be changed if/when I get new cabinetry.

I don't know why I haven't made an appointment with the orthopedic before today, but I haven't.  Contrary to all the doctors I see on a regular basis I don't like going when it's something I think I should be able to fix myself.  I did make the appointment this morning though.  So come February 4th I will be doing what I should have done since LAST February 4th and have it looked at by someone more knowledgeable than me.  I'm hoping it is something simple, and that I've just not been doing the right exercises or stretches. 

Stay tuned.