Monitoring Blood Glucose = #1

Seriously, what could be more fun than stabbing yourself three times a day???

Okay, nobody ever said it was going to be fun, but it’s important — no — imperative! If you’re new to this “game,” trust me, JUST DO IT! It’s the only real way to know exactly where you’re at, in terms of your blood sugar and, your glucometer WILL tell the truth. In truth there is no denial.

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Monitor glucose regularly

It’s easy to be in denial when you have Type 2 Diabetes —

  • you look like most people,
  • you sound like many people,
  • you think like your friends (or not),
  • you eat like everyone else…

WAIT!!!  You EAT like everyone else? You do? I sure hope you’re surrounding yourself with healthy eaters. 🙂

I’m meeting friends for lunch tomorrow, and there’s a routine I follow prior to going out.

  1. I go onto the website of the restaurant.
  2. Check out the menu and pay attention to the healthy choices. Usually, I decide what I’m going to order, but I also give myself the option of choosing one or two of the other acceptable alternatives. This process gives me a range of possibilities that will allow me to make a good decision. I IGNORE THE REST OF THE MENU!
  3. Remember: You’re in charge of your decision. Grilled chicken is usually an option in any restaurant and be sure to add lots of veggies to your dinner plate — it will be colorful and appetizing!   IMG_4432
  4. Before I leave home, I drink a glass of water and take my blood sugar. And then — I’m off, and destined to have a delightful meal with my friends.
  5. When the conversation turns to DESSERT, “No thank you. I’m full.”  [By the way, you will be full.]  GREAT decision, congratulate yourself! While they’re piling on the pounds, and adding toxins to their bodies while sifting through their dessert, feel free to enjoy a cup of steaming hot tea/coffee or an ice cold glass of water (something to look at, instead of their dessert). It’s also nice to ask the waiter to add a wedge of orange, lime or lemon, or even a strawberry or two to your water — you deserve it!

    I find that adding fruit to my water makes it look and taste so much more refreshing.

  6. Once home — sometimes, in the car before I leave the parking lot of the restaurant,  🙂 I check my blood sugar. If it’s elevated, as soon as I get home, I grab my sneakers and go for a quick walk, even if only for 30 minutes — walking will bring that number right down — never fails!

So there you have it folks. CHECK THAT BLOOD SUGAR — no matter what. NO EXCUSES! You’ll be glad you did.

I promise.

 

UGH! What happened? –OR– Back to the Basics! Burnout..?

February 18, 2017

No matter what I do with my Type 2 Diabetes, all roads point back to the BASICS! I know what to do, we all do, correct?

  • Monitor my blood sugar
  • Eat properly
  • Exercise
  • Blah, blah!

It’s just NOT all that difficult, folks, so why my frustration? Sometimes, I just don’t know which direction to go… 

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London

Maybe it’s the repetitiveness of it — day in, day out… But, c’mon. People have WAY worse diseases/conditions than diabetes. So much of it is simply an inconvenience, the real issue for me is the cravings. Yes — it’s ALL a pain in the butt, but not an earth-shattering nightmare. Is it diabetes burnout? Is there even such a thing? Yes! (See link)

Look at that! — not really a surprise, but I haven’t read about it (burnout) in a  l o n g  time.

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It’s the answers that count. Here are a few, if you’re “feeling the pain” — (not literally pain, but feeling the burnout of T2D:

*Accept the damn diagnosis! Again.  I do think it has to be accepted every day, otherwise, the denial builds up. (Faster than a speeding bullet!)

*DO monitor blood sugar regularly and, yes, a chart helps to keep track. [Putting my big girl pants on and just charting it AGAIN.]

 

*Put on the damn sneakers and move your butt. (That’s called EXERCISE, which in my world is walking, and walking, and walking.)  If your exercise of choice is the gym — go for it!

 

                                                             [A little levity never hurt.]     🙂

*Eating properly — yeah, yeah, yeah. I think the answer to that might just be changing it up a bit. “It” being the menu. I KNOW I need to work on that, because I’ve been bored to tears with what I’ve been eating lately — and, a lot of the time I’ve been eating on the run. “On the run” has never worked for me, so I’ll be doing some extra planning.

Many posts back, I ended by listing my blood sugar level and my weight. Somewhere along the line, I stopped doing it. What was I thinking? It’s certainly a good practice to keep me on track and accountable. So, I’ll be doing it again — starting right now:

Blood Sugar:     109          Weight:     149 lbs.

There — I did it!

I have a doctor’s appointment on the 24th, so I’ll see what she has to say about my A1C. 

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                 Good luck, folks! From your very DEDICATED  and  DETERMINED DIABETIC.

“Tick-tock, tick-tock — Excuses, excuses, around the clock”

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Are you a procrastinator? An excuse-maker? A clock-watcher?  Join the group! I try, I really do try to make the most of the time I have each day. NOTHING frustrates me more than to look at my list (Yes, I’m a list maker too!) at the end of the day and see that I haven’t accomplished what I set out to do! It makes me crazy.

My brother used to say that we have the “procrastination gene.” We were a family of last-minute doers! When I was in school, I thought it was the rush to get a paper done that gave me a “rush.” Now, though, I’m not interested in that; I want completion. Period.

I listened to a wonderful TED Talk on the subject of making the most out of the time we have. Funny, but true; it smacked me right in the face with the fact that I waste time. I detest the thought of that — I feel strongly that we’re put on this earth for a purpose and wasting time is the worst thing I can do. The TED Talk helped to set me back on track — including in terms of my ” life with diabetes.” SO many things are important to fit into my day, to care for my T2D. They bear repeating:

  • PREPARE MEALS  a h e a d  of time. Cooking two meals and freezing one may seem like it takes a lot of extra time but, that’s simply not true. It’s such a pleasure when, a week later you can defrost the (second) meal, heat it up without the rigamarole of the chopping, cooking, etc., that you did the first time around. Give this gift to yourself — you WON’T regret it. I promise. If you’re working full time and can devote a couple of hours on a weekend, you can probably get four or six meals done and frozen for the weeks to come. Sheer joy. 🙂
  • MONITOR my blood sugar. Two to three times a day “depending,” is what my doctor suggests. It’s so annoying, I tell myself. Put your big girl pants on and just DO IT! is my next thought. I’ve devised a chart and just fill in the numbers. There are also websites that accommodate this issue, but I believe in keeping mine simple. I include the date, times of testing, and the resulting blood glucose number. I have, at times, included the food that was consumed. Discuss it with your doctor. My purpose in bringing up the subject of monitoring is that, for ME, it keeps me aware and pushes away that damn denial. The NUMBERS DON’T LIE! 
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    Monitor glucose regularly
  • EXERCISE. The time I spend walking keeps me a lot healthier than time vegging out in front of the t.v. When I schedule “hoofing it” into my calendar, I KNOW that I’m doing the right thing for me.

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    Start WALKING!
  • TICK-TOCK folks — let’s make the BEST use of the time we have!

IMPORTANT: If you didn’t listen to the TED Talk, noted above, I strongly urge you to do it now. Take the “TIME!”   🙂

Effect of Weather on Appetite?

 

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Welcome to Winter in New York

Ha! Not MY favorite time of the year, that’s for sure. We got hit with eight inches on Saturday — beautiful, but messy and dangerous.

I was in NYC with my children, celebrating my birthday (NOT revealing the number!). 🙂  We went to the Met to see the exquisite Christmas Tree, sometimes referred to as the Angel Tree, and Neapolitan Baroque Creche. It’s a sight to behold, regardless of the religion you profess (or don’t). It’s art, at its finest. Put it on your calendar for next year. You won’t regret it — I promise!

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“Angel Tree” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

While we were strolling through the museum,  enjoying the VALETIN DE BOULOGNE — BEYOND CARAVAGGIO Exhibit, it was snowing outside; like CRAZY! We were warm, relaxed, and hungry, so we headed to The Petrie Court Cafe, one of the Met’s restaurants, for lunch — so, Let It Snow! 

We had worked up an appetite and feasted on food fit for royalty. Most museum food doesn’t do it for me, but our lunch was deeeelicious! I won’t write the specifics — just the thought of our epicurean delights is making me salivate!  We were full, and moved on to the remainder of our journey in the museum. Evidently, we walked off that full feeling, because…

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View of Central Park from Petrie Court Cafe, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Later, after viewing some other exhibits, we returned for dessert. Yes, you heard me right — DESSERT! Something I normally skip when out to lunch/dinner; but, C’mon, it was my birthday. I indulged in a serving of dark, chocolate fudge cake with a small scoop of cappuccino gelato — there go my salivary glands, again! Joking, I said to my kids, “What! No candle?” They chuckled, as my daughter reached into her purse and pulled one out. I laughed knowing they couldn’t light it, but just to be on the safe side, I said, “We’ll get thrown out, if you light that!” At that very moment, my son lit a match and they quickly sung Happy Birthday to You, as I made a wish and blew out the candle!

🙂  That was one of many laughs we had on Saturday. More took place in two Uber rides through the snow (to and from Penn Station), along with a serenade — Happy Birthday to You, just prior to my train’s departure. They made sure that the guests at the restaurant, the visitors and employees at the Met, and the passengers on the train wished me a HB! My stomach hurt from laughing; a multitude of thanks to my chickadees for making yet another birthday — SO much fun. Contrary to research, we believe that a sense of humor is genetic — actually, we know that for sure.

BACK TO WEATHER AND APPETITE and T2D.  I don’t know about your inclinations, regarding food and the change in weather, but I know that I definitely BULK UP in winter. Let’s face it, if you live in the “change of season” states, you’ll be cold in the winter months and looking for a nice warm soup or stew, hot coffee or tea. For me, the warm summer weather signals salads and cold drinks.

That being said, it’s been really cold here in the Northeast of the U.S. and so, along with donning my long johns, I HAVE been drinking a lot of herbal tea and eating heavier meals (while monitoring my blood sugar, I might add).  HOLY METEOROLOGY! Our temperatures ranged from the 20’s on Saturday (with 8″ of the white stuff), moving up to 46 degrees today (Wednesday), to a predicted possibility of 60 tomorrow!

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Jones Beach, of course!

CRAZY! BEACH WEATHER! So where will that put our food cravings tomorrow? Chicken salad, tuna salad, big fat Greek Salad? Dare I say, ice cream? NOOOOooooo. I won’t go that far. Just as the outdoor plants are getting confused with the roller-coaster weather, our internal barometers may not know which way to direct us in terms of food. But fret not, It’s “suspected” that the thermostat will take a dive into the 20’s come Saturday, and then rise up once again during next week.

What to eat? That is the question — not Shakespeare!

It matters not the weather (feeling British), the bottom line is that this Type 2 Diabetic must stay on track — regardless of the barometer.

  • Monitor blood sugar levels
  • Exercise — in my case, walk, walk, WALK
  • Eat properly (Yes, we ALL know what that means!)

Enjoy the journey, folks. We’re going to be just fine,   🙂   despite the weather.

Day #2, 2017! 5 Steps to Keeping on Track

Can you believe it? 2017!

It’s so cliché, but time REALLY does fly. My plan is to make the most — on EVERY level — of 2017. This T2D will beat the hell out of her A1C.  🙂

Cleaning out my refrigerator and freezer is how I started my day. Then, I moved on to food shopping to be sure my cupboards are filled with healthy choices. NO excuses!

I made a batch of sugar-free raspberry Jello, in an effort to be prepared when the sugar beast invades my brain! Sugar-free jello seems to calm “him” down.

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“SUGAR BEAST”

I have visions of him “dancing in my head” — NOT “sugar-plum fairies,” the Sugar BEAST! But, it’s okay. I’m prepared to “take care of him” in 2017. BRING IT ON, BEAST!  🙂

Next on my agenda is to create a pot of piping hot Vegetable Barley Soup. It’s threatening to get colder here in the Northeast, and I’ll be ready.  I love to make soup and freeze individual portions. It just makes life easier, and the individual portions help to keep my blood sugar levels in check.

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Exercise = IMPORTANT

My walking buddy and I conferred and we’re starting 2017 off on the “right foot” (pun intended)!  We’ll have to walk the mall, but it really doesn’t matter as long as one foot is planted firmly in front of the other! Walking is the #1 way to lower my blood sugar — works EVERY time.

Monitoring my blood sugar has to be at the top of my list, even though it’s a ROYAL pain in the butt. The bottom line is that I know when I write it down (my definition of “monitoring”), I have a MUCH better chance of staying on track.

 

So, here’s how 2017 is shaking out thus far. I will be keeping on track by following these 5 STEPS:

  1.  Keeping diabetes-friendly foods, not just in the cabinets but, prepared to eat at any time.
  2. Maintaining awareness of the SUGAR BEAST lurking around every corner.
  3. Preparing and freezing individual portions of foods. Portion control is imperative, if I am to succeed on this journey.
  4. Exercising: God bless my “walking buddy,” Maureen,  — she keeps me accountable. You too can have one — ask around!
  5. Monitoring my blood sugar.

There are MANY PATHS we can take on this journey

with lots twists and turns and forks in the road but, with the support of other Type 2 Diabetics, I believe we can make healthy choices and be successful.

There are a multitude of  choices — let’s take the right path towards a healthy diabetic life!

GOOD LUCK in 2017, folks!

 

 

 

 

 

Bringing Down My A1C in the BIG APPLE!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Aside from the obvious (eating appropriately), NOTHING brings down this T2D’s blood sugar level faster than WALKING!  It never fails. Never.

I may have taken it JUST A TAD over the top on Tuesday night. It was a gorgeous night in the city, the sky was “Starry Night” clear, just a slight breeze and in the low 70’s. Perfect for walking in the “Big Apple.”

A friend and I went into NYC to see the preview of a unique show called “The Flatiron Hex.” The New York Times gave it a great review (at the time of the Times review, it was being performed in a different space). Last Tuesday night’s preview was at the Henson Carriage House.

It was a long walk from Penn Station (33d and 7th) to 67th and 3d Avenue. Whoa, baby, my feet were cursing at me. BIG TIME! But it was a gorgeous night and the rest of me didn’t mind at all. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Pennsylvania+Station,+New+York,+NY/3rd+Avenue+%26+East+67th+Street,+New+York,+NY+10065/@40.7584233,-73.9957349,14z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c259ae15b2adcb:0x7955420634fd7eba!2m2!1d-73.993519!2d40.750568!1m5!1m1!1s0x89c258e97a456739:0x61d13a67f652353a!2m2!1d-73.9629317!2d40.7665612!3e2

I’m a lowly blogger and not a writer of reviews for the NY Times, but I recognize an unparalleled presentation when I see one. BY THE WAY,  it’s beyond me how ANYONE can execute a one-person performance — kudos to James Godwin! Bravo and best of luck to all the members of The Flatiron Hex, an exceptional, one-of-a-kind group of artists.

Back to Type 2 Diabetes and the benefits of walking:  After the preview of Flatiron Hex, we revised our route and hoofed it back to Penn, via 5th Avenue — window shopping MAY have slowed us down a bit but, all-in-all, it was a good 5 miles + walk and worth every step. My blood glucose was happy, as was my A1C.

So, here’s what I did for Kathy:

  • I brought down my blood glucose, by simply walking.  "WALKING BUDDY"This is a good thing because, let’s face it, this body is never going to see the inside of a gym again (Being realistic.)  Again? ??  LOL!
  • My A1C will benefit from my “hike.” That miserable test is the truth-teller. It shows all!!! Every freakin’ 3 months — it’s like a computer that spits out the details of your (diabetic) behavior. My doctor loves it. 🙂
  • I was good to my heart.  (It’s thrilled when I walk my brains out!)  IMG_4358
  • I passed each and every bakery, patisserie, and au bon pain on the route. (More bonus points for my blood sugar and my heart.) THAT wasn’t easy!  😦
  • Slept like a rock — exercise will do that…

Me?  I’m a happy camper to have spent a spectacular night walking the sidewalks of my beloved NYC    (I ❤ NY)   and, seeing an outstanding preview! What could be better?

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It’s in the ATTITUDE!

 

REVERSING Diabetes? Progress!

August 26, 2016, Friday

The goal of this Type 2 Diabetic has been to GET OFF THE MEDICATION!!! Yes, I AM screaming — at myself.  My frustration level when my doctor increased the dosage of Metformin to three a day, was overwhelming. I did this to myself kept popping through my head, and it was true!  I had been playing games — how much can one piece of cake hurt?  The answer is…PLENTY!

FINALLY, I’ve been making progress. It is due in part to my “dental dilemma” — hard to gain wait, if you can’t chew.  The problem is that during that time period, I realized that cake’s easy to chew. 🙂

Bottom line is that I was determined to get my act together.  I worked on eating healthy foods, portion control (MOST important), and exercise.  Don’t get excited. In my world, exercise does NOT include going a gym.  Get a grip. No, there will be no sweating, weeping, and gnashing of teeth. NO, no, no — I walk.  That’s it — just walk. But, guess what?  It works!  Try it. Take your blood sugar prior to walking and then again when you return.  It’s pretty amazing. It’s been brutally hot here in the

"WALKING BUDDY"
Exercise = IMPORTANT

northeast, which gave me a great excuse to stop hoofing it. However, I let my conscience be my guide and got back on track. I’m not a 5-days a week yet, but I’m building my way back up. Truth is, I live near a mall which is air conditioned. It’s a perfect place to walk in the difficult weather of both winter and summer — so there is NO excuse.

When I’m truly determined to do something, I can move mountains — and believe me, I was determined. Here’s what happened:  I went to my doctor last week who was ecstatic. Why? My A1C was 5.8!!!! I practically jumped off the table, I was so excited. She shared my joy. She asked how I did it, and I told her. (Not wanting to take all the credit for my disciplined behavior, I explained the effect my dental dilemma had on my appetite.) She was thrilled. I explained that I had lowered the dosage of Metformin from 3/day to two, because the three, along with what I was doing, was too much and I wasn’t feeling well. For the most part, I was taking just two. She told me to continue consistently with two and, if that became too much (I’d know it), decrease it to one. In three months we’ll see where I am and what the next step will be. Here were her words, and they were MUSIC TO MY EARS — “At this moment, you are in a non-diabetic state.” Did she say non-diabetic?  YES, she did!

Of course, that doesn’t mean I’m not a diabetic — it simply means that the blood work indicated those results at that moment. What did this do for me? It made me even more MOTIVATED! Now I’m really on a roll. The thought that there’s a real possibility that I may be able to get off the medication, brings tears to my eyes. I have been working hard to hear those words, but I’ll be working even harder now.

Wish me luck!