As with my last post, here goes bad news: I put my dog down today. I'd had this dog for eleven years -- he's shaped so much of my life. The only reason I didn't commit suicide when I was 19/20 is because of Osiris. And when Jay and I used to fight, before we were married, we'd solve our problems while walking the dog. So he's saved both my life and my relationship. He was stinky and racist and unfriendly and didn't even like to be pet most of the time. But he was my baby and I love him very much.
I stayed with him during the first part, the sedation. I stayed alone with him hugging hm and crying and telling him how much I loved him. I made the vet take him away before I left the room so I didn't have to feel like I'd turned my back on him and just fucking left. And I keep seeing him sleeping in Jay's chair, curled into a little ball and huffing, like he always did.
I'm going to miss him.
I know I don't talk to most of you on here at this point, but I just wanted to let my friends out there who knew her know that my mom passed away yesterday.
So, I haven't been around in, um, ages. School was killing me, the play was killing me, and then my body decided to really have a go at killing me -- I've now racked up 3 chronic conditions, all of which affect my food -- how I eat, when I eat, how much I eat, what types of food I can eat. I'm getting really damn frazzled and every food decision has become so stressful that I swing back and forth between making myself sicker by trying to follow all the rules, and giving up on the rules and binging on crap out of sheer frustration and anxiety. I'm reaching low-level depression at this point -- not outright sad, but tired all the time, and losing interest in virtually everything except reading and knitting. I'm barely planning my lessons and am grateful that theatre is on a hiatus. I can't bring myself to CARE. I'm hoping it's temporary -- a side effect of my conditions, or the stress of my conditions, or simply lack of sunlight and exercise. If I ever lose the will to knit or read, I WILL see a doctor.
My issue right now is my meds. I'm going to paste what I've written in a few diabetes-support forums, because the explanation is the same:
I used to believe that, while I wasn't the best-controlled type 1 in the world, my insulin needs were at least very predictable -- if they went haywire, I knew exactly where things had gone wrong. Well, I'm on new meds now and LOSING MY MIND. I'm now on pancreatic enzymes, because my lazy sack-of-shit pancreas won't even help me digest food anymore. (Seriously -- can I kick it out of the basement and make it get a job, or at least pay me some rent??) I'm finally digesting fat again, which means.... NORMAL POOP!!! Sorry for the TMI, but after 3 years of diarrhea, I've had enough. Also, I suddenly feel satisfied again. I used to eat and eat and eat until I was sick and still feel this overwhelming horrible NEED to eat more, more more! I get now that my body was deficient in lots of stuff because of malabsorption.
Anyway, I've been really good (until today, shame on me!) remembering to take my meds with every single meal. I started taking them last Friday, and my sugars are acting strangely. It seems like I'm suddenly less resistant to insulin -- my highs fall faster, and sometimes lead to lows. I've had a low every single day since going on these meds, where I haven't had a single one in over a month before this. I've actually had a day this week with TWO lows under 50. I'm sure that this is now becoming a bad cycle, because my liver is probably depleted of glucose for now. Normally, I'd just think that suddenly absorbing fat means that my spikes will happen later, and maybe I should square-wave my insulin. But I've already tried that -- and there ARE no spikes, not immediately, and not later. The problem is that, after correcting the low, there is NO rebound high -- I've eaten (literally, not kidding) about a cup of pure brown sugar, and several large handfuls of those cool Valentine's Day conversation heart thingies that I love to get myself out of a low. Mostly because I felt like I was dying, honestly. All in all, that's over TWO HUNDRED GRAMS of fast-acting carbs. I took NO insulin -- and my sugar never went over 140 afterwards. This has absolutely never happened before. And I was only 55 when I first tested as low!
It seems connected, but how could the meds be causing this? All they do is help me digest fat and protien (ironically, my carb-digesting enzyme, amalyse, works PERFECTLY WELL!!) -- why would be able to metabolize more food help my sugars -- and maybe help them a little too much? Shouldn't it be the other way around -- shouldn't my sugars be higher, since I'm "getting" more out of my food?
While I don't expect everyone to understand this -- I've been spending way too much time researching my conditions -- it's just... frustrating. I'm not the type of person to say "why me?" -- with stuff like this, I tend to roll with the punches, but I feel like I'm being buried in my own problems. I'm becoming afraid of living for real -- I'm becoming molded to my recliner, because I know what to expect there. I'm just... tired.
What do I get out of overeating, or eating the wrong stuff? In this article I'm reading, it talks about how we wouldn't do these destructive behaviors unless we got something positive out of them. Everything we do, as people, is essentially selfish and designed to make us feel good or improve my self.
Essentially, my weight is destroying my health, bit by bit. My sugars are whack, my self-esteem is in the toilet, my knees suck and now my feet are starting to hurt. I feel like people stare at me if my shirt even touching my bulgy tummy. But if I didn't get something out of all this.... I wouldn't do it.
And just writing this post made me want to run to the 7-11 down the block and get some candy. So maybe that's my first clue. I just wish I really understood and could articulate what that clue meant.
I know, on some level, I'm afraid of being successful, which is why I gave up writing. I know that I only like self-reflection that already fits my current knowledge of myself.
I know I like rebellion and comfort, and food is both. With my medical problems, food really is poison or cure. (Or, if not cure, at least part of it!). If I were told to take a pill, I'd take it. If I were told to add some veggies to my diet (and only that) I'd do it. But being told to take away things that bring me pleasure -- and occasionaly joy -- I can't do it.
I guess there's a bit right there. Why does junk food bring me pleasure and joy? Obviously, the taste factor. Junk food lights up the same addiction areas of the brain as heroin, so I guess addiction is part of it. The "bliss point" of food I eat is obvious -- that great mixture of sweet, salt, and fat deliberately designed to create a near-orgasmic state. Obviously junk food creates a kind of physical joy. But that's not enough, really. There has to be emotional joy, also.
I know that food is relaxation and comfort to me. Food gives me an excuse to sit and just chill and read a good book. Food is a breather. Sometimes, hitting Panera for dinner is the only downtime I get in a day. And that's kinda sad. I tried bringing my knitting to work, trying to find a small window of time to use my new fave hobby to relax a little. But I'm so tired that knitting simply can't compete to brainless books and Pop-Tarts.
Okay, so food represents downtime and relaxation, both of which are sorely lacking in my life. Lacking so badly that, despite unraveling finances, J and I are considering getting me accupuncture and/or massage because my tenseness is getting to be a bad issue. I am so stressed and tense that I clench my muscles when I sleep, instead of relaxing them. I squeeze them up so tight that my entire body often hurts in the morning. So, yeah, anything that even sniffs of downtime and relaxation is hard to give up.
Food has been my reward system. Have a bad week? Get some ice cream. Period cramps? Chocolate. Didn't get enough sleep? Well, sugar will get me through! And so forth. I've thought about other forms of comfort, but really can't think of anything. I don't have kids, so "quiet alone time" isn't that much of a draw when I can get it when I want anyway. My tub is too small for a nice bubble bath (which sucks because that would help with the relaxation/tense problem too!). We don't have the money for recreational shopping, not that I really want to anymore. I don't want to buy books, or shoes, or anything, really.
I like to knit -- LOVE to knit -- but I don't find it relaxing, really, I find it engaging and challenging and wonderful . . . but not relaxing at all. I don't find video games relaxing, I find them also challenging and funny, but high-adrenaline activities for me.
I'm really at a loss as to what to do. Yoga stresses me out because I can't get the poses right on my own. Pilates is high exercise to me. Walking can work, but only sometimes.
If I'm supposed to take a bad behavior -- eating food I shouldn't/eating when I'm not hungry -- and replace it with a good one, how can I if I can't find a good one?
My parents are hard workers. It doesn't surprise me that I developed a pretty decent work ethic -- what no one could have expected, I suppose, was the twisted, distorted way it affects my life. I can't call out sick without being wracked with guilt -- unless, say, I have a horrible temperature or illness. Being sick involves active problems: coughing, vomiting, pain, etc. It involves being flushed, or pale, or visibly ill. I always feel like an absolute fraud when I tell someone I don't feel well, because I always LOOK bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. If I look well, then I AM well.
I constantly forget -- or will myself to forget -- that I am sick every day of my life.
I'm still learning what that means. While I was trolling the Internet last night, I found this interesting site: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com
. It's a site by and for people with "invisible illnesses" -- for me, that's my diabetes (now plus a hiatal hernia and lactose intolerance). For many on the site, it's about fibromyalgia, or lupus, or anything that makes someone feel shitty inside but look perfectly fine outside.
The woman who runs the site wrote an essay about the Spoon Theory. I really recommend everyone read it, because I know several people on my f-list with issues, and pretty much everyone knows someone with a condition, whether they know it or not.http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/navigation/BYDLS-TheSpoonTheory.pdf
In short, the spoon theory discusses the difference between someone who is sick, and someone who is healthy. Healthy people do things without thinking about it -- sick people don't have that luxury. Sick people only have so many "spoons" -- or units of energy, I suppose -- and have to spend them carefully. Every day is a decision about what can get done, and what can't. You can "borrow" spoons against tomorrow, but that makes tomorrow even harder. It's a life of details -- for me, that means knowing my sugar constantly, knowing what foods I can eat at different times of day, testing constantly, adjusting the settings on my pump, remembering to give myself insulin, being on top of how I feel EVERY SECOND because any deviation can mean a dangerously high or low blood sugar.
It means a life of vigilance.
And I'm fucking sick of it.
And I'm tired.
So I won't find out the results of my endoscopy until September 3 (my gastro doc only works Thursdays, and I'm on the other side of the country on vacation until Friday
). In a weird way, I've actually been hoping that I have celiac, because then there's a really solid (if restrictive) way to fix what's wrong with my stomach. In fact, there's a possiblity that going GF could fix my "random" symptoms, also -- constant exhaustion, muscle weakness, joint pain, migraines, etc. One book I read quoted it well -- the author said she was alwats "half sick" but never enough to go to the doctor. That's how I feel all the time -- like I'm not really sick, but I'm certainly not well.
I've also been reading that gluten intolerance can cause the exact same symptoms, but not leave enough of a trace to be officially diagnosed. So, if I'm diagnosed, I'm GF forever. If I'm not diagnosed, I'll be doing GF for the month of September and then reevaluating how I feel. If I still feel like ****, then I'll go back to non-restrictive (well, as non-restrictive as diabetes makes it!) eating.
I've already got one recipe book, and we've tried one recipe and liked it. I'm hoping that's a good sign
So last night, while I was bowling with friends, I got a "low battery" warning on my pump. No biggie, really, I still get 2-3 days of use out of the pump before it dies, but I usually try to change it immediately when that happens. Being, you know, out with friends made that impossible. By the time I got home, I had forgotten.
Had more fun with friends at home. Went to bed with a sugar of 131 around midnight. Woke up this morning and went to check the time. I have no clock I can see from the bed, and I hadn't brought my cell phone in with me, so I got my pump and pressed the "light" button so I could read the time. Nothing. Put the pump as close to my eyes as I could, and saw nothing still -- no numbers, no symbols, nada. Dead battery. God knows how long I've been without insulin.
First order of business: change battery. Thankfully, all my settings (basals, ratios, etc) are still intact. Then I test my sugar -- 176. Not bad. Definately not as bad as it COULD have been. I was expecting to be over 300. Take bolus.
Lesson learned. Change battery as soon as the message pops up.
So, for those who don't know (which may be all), I am on an insulin pump. I like my insulin pump. I'm thinking of naming it. It keeps my sugars stable and me happy. I still hate having to wear it, however, and this is one of the reasons.
( Cut for ick factorCollapse )
I can finally breathe again and I'm ready to continue the exercise program I started last week. While I was sick (and surfing the Internet) I found the idea of SMART goals -- goals should be Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely. So I've been trying to picture my health goals along that line -- and I realized that they failed almost every single criteria. My goals are VERY vague -- "lose weight", "get healthy", "lower blood sugars", etc. And when I DO make them specific, I make them WAY too grandiose. "Lose 60 pounds" "do 100 push ups" etc with NO middle plan of mini-goals or how I'm going to get there!
So I decided to sit back, drink lots of fluids, cough out bits of my lungs, and rethink. I can still have an end-goal of "lose 60 pounds" but maybe I should have some smaller goals in there. Some little things to celebrate -- some smaller goal with smaller steps that I can be proud of quickly. Magazines always talk about "the first 10%" but for me that was 20 pounds, which still seems far away. So I decided to make ALL my weight goals 5% of my body weight. 10% of 202 is approx 10 pounds -- which would put me at 192. 5% of 192 is 9.6 pounds... etc. My whole goal system looks like this:
Start - 202 (as of 4/26/09)
Goal 1 - 192 (10/10lbs) (5/31)
Goal 2 - 182.4 (9.6/19.6) (7/5)
Goal 3 - 173.4 (9/28.6) (8/9)
Goal 4 - 164.8 (8.6/37.2) (9/13)
Goal 5 - 156.6 (8.2/45.4) (10/18)
Goal 6 - 148.8 (7.8/53.2) (11/22)
Goal 7 - 141.4 (7.4/60.8) (12/27)
I'm 5'7" and kinda Amazonian, so I don't really want to go below 141. In fact, I have no clue what my final goal truly is, which is why I never really got there. I was 168 last year, and a size 8, and was pertty happy -- so 141 may be way too low. But having mini-goals allows me to reassess quite often. It calms me to have this mapped out, but the only thing I want to focus on is my first goal -- 192 pounds by May 31. I'm going to develop other goals -- bike 100 miles in a week, do a whole yoga video without pausing, etc, but for now I want to focus on little, concrete steps.
Specific -- 5%, 10 pounds. I think that's specific :)
Measurable -- very much so, set in numbers.
Achievable -- I gave myself 5 weeks to lose 10 pounds... a little tight, but doable, especially since weight tends to drop off me quickly in the beginning.
Relevant -- Even a 5% loss can lower my insulin resistance and thus my insulin needs. If my insulin needs drop, it becomes easier to lose weight. Not to mention stabilizing my numbers so I don't die young. Let's not even talk about dress sizes and my CA trip in August :)
Timeliness -- close enough to keep me motivated, far enough away that I can plan and even screw up a little.
Steps I will take:
- Completing 40 miles a week for the Tools To Keep You Active site -- by biking, blading, walking, DDRing, whatever, so long as I get some mileage in.
- Keeping my carb intake under 50g/day (and keeping those carbs consisting of veggies, wild rice, etc. Few if any processed carbs!).
For my first goal, that's what I want to focus on. For my second goal, I'll be adding yoga/pilates/weight training as well. I may do some of that now, but it's not counting as my goals.