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!

 

What’s on Your Plate? (#2)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

“Plate” #2

As stated in my prior post, I read a great article in Everyday Health, titled “Sizing Up Your Plate:  Why Portion Control Matters.” This post (#2) is a continuation of #1!

Along the course of my (diabetes) blog journey,  the topic of dining/eating out has come up a few times. Because this was discussed in the article in Everyday Health, I’d like to revisit it. Some important bullet points that were brought up–

  • NO Supersizing!  You and I know this is common sense, BUT — sometimes the challenge of the “good deal” gets in the way. It’s obvious, right? If you can get double the size of an item for only a few cents more, why not do it?  Why not? Because it’s a deadly decision. More food, more carbs is NOT what we need. It will cause weight gain and elevated blood glucose.
  • NO Entree, Please — A great tip to help with portion control, calorie consumption, and monitoring blood glucose, is to order a combination of soup and an appetizer — skip the entree. Trust me, it will be enough. I’ve had some wonderful meals by exercising this tip.
  • “Doggy Bag” WHY is the take-home container called that???  When I was kid and my parents went out for dinner, oftentimes they would bring home the proverbial “doggy bag.” Funny thing — the dog never got the contents. Why then, was it implied that the contents of the container was for the dog? I think it was a way for people to bring home their leftovers, without being embarrassed. Was it a case of “waste not, want not?”  OR was it a case of “I’m no millionaire; I can eat that tomorrow!” (They’ll just throw it out.)  My theory is that the “doggie bag” originated to save face — feed the dog; no embarrassment there. What’s your opinion?          Diabetics would be wise to look to the “doggie bag” (or take-home container) as a way to cut down on calories as well as carbs. Here’s a tip that my sister gave me a long time ago and I found it to be very helpful.  Ask the waiter/waitress for a take-home container, when placing your order. That way, when the food arrives at your table, you can immediately place half into the container. Voila! Out of sight, out of mind. (Thanks, Jean!)  It works perfectly. The following day, you can enjoy your leftovers for any meal you like. [See my next post for a history lesson on doggie bags  🙂 ]
  • The Dreaded Wedding (or other catered affairs) — Why do you dread them? Obviously, catered affairs are the Sodom and Gomorrah in the life of the Type 2 Diabetic. Seriously, it’s an orgy of food. Every catered affair that I’ve ever gone to has included an open bar, followed by food, food, and more food. Between the cocktail hour, the smorgasbord, and/or the sit-down dinner, you’re counting 17 courses topped off with a flaming Viennese table!  🙂  Ugh. They pull out all the stops — there ARE NO stops, no boundaries.  Here are some tips to help you get through these unavoidable fiascos.  Plate #1 — Choose low calorie, low carb foods (shrimp, raw vegetables, etc.). Plate #2 — WAIT! Gauge your time. Remember it takes 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that you’re full. Whether you decide to venture forward or not, remember NOT TO PILE FOOD on your plate. Take a reasonable amount. It’s better to go back a second time, if you really want more food. Take your time.  By the way, nowhere is it written that you HAVE to eat the wedding cake. A bite of it is all the “good luck” that the bride and groom will need.
  • My last and most important tip for the wedding-goer is DANCE!!! Dance, dance, dance — you’ll burn calories, lower your blood glucose, and you’ll feel really good with those endorphins “dancing” through your body.

 

 

 

 

Lessons Learned… (A.)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

My last post, I believe, was written on April 3.  It was a period of time during which I was feeling beyond stressed out. From that point until today, I haven’t been able to write a word. Nothing.

My brother was very ill and passed away on April 6th. (R.I.P., Joseph D. Masterson). My life came to a screeching halt. Those of you who have experienced profound loss, know that there’s a fog that seems to descend upon you and engulf your very being. You walk, talk, function, but it’s amid a bubble that seems to envelop you — at least that’s the way it’s been for me.

My “writer friends” told me to write it out; I couldn’t. They said it would be cathartic. I didn’t want that — I wanted him back.  Now.  For just one more conversation, one more laugh. Of course, that’s not going to happen.

In the part of his eulogy that I wrote, I thanked him for the impact he had on my life. It was huge.  He taught me not only to understand Shakespeare, but to LOVE him. I mentioned Hemingway, Steinbeck and a host of other authors to whom he “introduced” me. He taught me to fight AGAINST discrimination and FOR feminism. Respecting the opinions of others is a great lesson to learn from an older sibling.  There was that — and SO much more.

My brother was a Type 2 Diabetic  (insulin dependent) who chose not to control his diet. I only hope that I learn from his mistakes. I promised myself that I will follow a healthy diet and exercise, in a effort to control my diabetes — as a tribute to him.

This segment of Lessons Learned (A.) is about the impact of the loss of a loved one on the monitoring of my diabetes.  Maybe I should say the LACK of monitoring. No appetite. NONE. I forced myself to eat to the best of my ability during these weeks. I learned that sadness robbed me of my appetite, my everything. I kept telling myself that I HAD to eat because of this damned disease — and I did. Not much, but I did.

24 days have passed since my brother left this earth, and as I write this post, I realize that I’m doing exactly what he would NOT want me to do. So, as of tomorrow, May 1st, I will do what I need to do to stay healthy.  I’ll do it, with tears in my eyes; but, I’ll do it.

#luckylittlesister

Lessons Learned (B.)  will be posted tomorrow…

DIABETES — I laugh in your face…

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Who knew?  Not me!  Evidently Tom Hanks was diagnosed with Type Two Diabetes and announced it on the David Letterman Show in 2013.  Guess I missed that episode.

As you know, I believe in using humor to help me through my day with diabetes. However, when watching the link (see below) about his diagnosis, I wanted to say, “Be careful, Mr. Hanks, guess who might just have the last laugh?”  

Tom Hanks is an actor whom I admire and was hoping that he was taking his diagnosis seriously, when I came upon an article in a magazine known as Diabetes Focus.

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The article mentioned his announcement on the Letterman Show,  but it also went on to explain the steps he and his wife (Rita Wilson) were taking to manage his T2D and improving their lifestyle as a whole. Those steps included limiting sugar and exercising on a daily basis. He took it seriously.

Hanks pointed out that genetics plays an important role and that he was “genetically inclined” to get the disease.  I wish I’d understood that, those many years ago when I was diagnosed.  I’d had two babies that weighed in at 9.3 lbs. and 9 pounds even, and I was informed that gestational diabetes simply meant that I “might get diabetes later in life.” It was treated as “nothing to worry about.”  Believe me, that “later in life” showed up much sooner than I’d anticipated!

The GOOD NEWS in this is that, SO much more is known about diabetes today and, it’s no longer treated as “nothing to worry about.” It’s an epidemic, and I’m hoping that parents world wide are paying attention to their medical history, the food that they and their children are eating and the exercise that takes place with their family members each day.

Should we LAUGH IN THE FACE OF DIABETES?  Hell yeah! BUT, only with the knowledge that we are controlling it with diet, exercise, and medication (if needed). It’s a serious matter, that can be dealt with a dose of humor — to get through the day.  🙂

Sometimes, Laughter is the Best Medicine!    🙂

 

 

 

 

DIABETES — It’s Complicated…

Thursday, March 24, 2016

…but, I’m using my BRAIN!  You know, to sort things out, organize my diabetic needs, in the interest of good health.  In my prior post, I spoke about responsibility.  Sleep habits, healthy foods, and exercise, fall into that category and MUST be a priority in my life and, I  accept complete responsibility for each sector.  This really IS the way to good diabetes management and great glucose levels.

I walked this morning — first thing.  Ugh. I hated every minute, but I did it; NO CHOICE.

IMG_3503
Started WALKING — again!

Food planning, I’ve FINALLY accepted it is imperative to avoid “slips.” I went shopping today with lunch and dinner menus a priority.  My freezer is chock full of chicken and fish, so my basket was filled mostly with vegetables and fruits.

Breakfast is the most difficult meal of the day for me. Why? Chocolate chip pancakes, waffles, of course!  Either would be my choice. This is the ONE MEAL that is a problem for me, and it’s not a new dilemma. I’m allergic to eggs, so there’s that. I like most foods, but my issue is the consistency of some of them — cottage cheese, for example, oatmeal, yogurt, anything mushy or gushy — I just can’t get them down.  What to do? Any suggestions? The “most important meal of the day” (or so THEY say) is the one that I can’t seem to resolve. HELP! PLEASE, I’m pleading with you! 

 

Regarding organization, new recipes are vital for me to keep interested in food preparation;  I’ve been scouting the Internet for different ones.  I’ll share of my T2D epicurean delights, as I make them  🙂  Variety is the spice of life!

I’m determined and dedicated to use my BRAIN to carve out my path to successful diabetes management!

IMG_4371

About my BREAKFAST DILEMMA, seriously, if you have any ideas, I’d be thrilled to hear them.  THANKS!!!

Blood Sugar = 86        Weight = 148

 

 

Spring — Holy Cow!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

This baby finally opened completely this morning.  So pretty.  For a moment, I actually believed that Spring had Sprung!

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But, Alas! It’s 10:00 p.m. and the view from my bedroom windows looks more like New Years than Spring.  IT’S SNOWING!  I know it was predicted, but I was in denial — Big time.  I just made a mistake and checked the weather station. What was I thinking???  My area is expected to get 2 – 6 inches of the white stuff!

 

My poor baby daffodil will probably be dead by morning, along with its “siblings” and the lone crocus, “twins,” cold and covered by the…”S” word.

 

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I’m telling myself, —it will be fine, soon it will be beach weather, and this will have just been a bad dream.  Soon.

AND, as the weather warms up, so will my diabetes management routine.  Lots of rough spots this winter; I’ve admitted it. I flipped and flopped like crazy, but I gave it my best shot.

I LOVE salads in the summer but they just don’t do it for me when the weather’s cold.  Tonight’s dinner was grilled swordfish, asparagus, and a slice of tomato. That’s it.  It was good and my walk, prior to dinner, added to my appetite. But, remember, it’s the walk after dinner that will help to lower blood sugar levels.

Looking forward to the “real” spring — it’s coming, I just know it!  🙂

Blood Sugar = 130   Weight: 150.2 lbs.