Season Three: Episode Twelve

APRIL 11, 2022

So my A1C is at 10.2. That’s not good. Last Thursday I went to do my DOT physical for work. Because of my sugars, the doctor only cleared me for three months then I have to go back in and do a recheck.

I have to get my sugar under control in that time or I will be disqualified. Also, I can’t take injectable insulin because that’s another thing that could disqualify me. But the doctor did say I can take Ozempic so I let my endocrinologist know on Friday during that appointment.

I have another appointment with my endocrinologist next month to check up and see how things are going. Right now my fasting sugar was not great so I have to seriously rethink everything because I want to keep this job.

I got one of those weighted hula hoops to hopefully help with weight loss and lose some inches around my waist. I’m pretty active while on tour, but until tourism is back full force, which I’m not looking forward to, tours will be a little less frequent for now.

I’m hoping I can do what’s necessary to keep my job. I need to get a new glucose monitor. The one I have has to be replaced every year, but I’ve had mine for two years now. I just wanna make sure it stays fresh.

Tomorrow, I have a dentist appointment for the first time in a couple years. I hope my teeth are doing okay and diabetes hasn’t affected them in the mean time. I don’t think I’ve been to the dentist since my diabetes diagnosis in 2017.

I hope I can do this. I really like my job a lot. I can do this.

7 Little Ways to Care for Your Diabetes

Whether you are newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or have been living with it for years, you can make small changes to your life that could potentially turn your life around. You could come off the insulin injections, you could stop taking tons of medications, you could potentially reverse your diabetes.

Be warned, it will not happen right away. You will need to have patience and persevere. You need to set your goals, keep them in your heart the entire time. It will be hard. You will feel devastated and tired and frustrated, but you can do this. My favorite quote from wherever I had heard it, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

1. Lose (Just A Little) Weight

As your body gains weight, it can have more difficulty regulating blood sugar levels with the insulin your body naturally produces. This leads to insulin resistance, your pancreas will produce more and more insulin to move the sugar from your blood into your cells. But it will become less effective and can cause damage to your pancreas.

Insulin promotes fat storage and weight gain. It causes an infinite cycle of weight gain, insulin resistance, more insulin production, more weight gain. But modest weight loss, 5 to 10% of your body weight, can lead to huge improvements. Just a 7% loss can improve insulin sensitivity by 57%!

2. Water Down Blood Sugar

The more dehydrated you are, the more concentrated the sugars in your blood become. Those who drink less than 16 ounces of water per day have a higher risk of developing elevated blood sugar levels compared with those who drank more. You can drink water, herbal tea, and milk. Coffee should be limited to three cups a day, caffeine can dehydrate you.

3. Try Exercise Snacking

Instead of doing 30 consecutive minutes of exercising, try to spread the physical activity throughout the day. Maybe three 10-minute walks throughout the day. Research suggests that these bite-size bits of activity can help control blood sugar better than one longer workout.

Don’t forget to do various types of exercise, like aerobics and strength training. Adults naturally lose 8% of their muscle mass every 10 years between ages 40 and 70, diabetes can double that. Try spending 10 minutes a day building strength by using weights, resistance bands, or body weight moves.Another 10 minutes doing aerobic activity such as fast walking, swimming, jogging, etc. Then another 10 minutes of stretching, which will improve joint movement and reduce chances of injury.

Walking as much as possible throughout the day matters!

4. Muscle Up With Protein

Protein is important for maintaining muscle and stimulating several hormones that contribute to blood sugar regulation. Focus on fish, white-meat chicken, plant-based sources, and lean cuts of beef. Make sure you’re eating protein at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

5. Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

People with diabetes, obesity or both are at increased risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19. Research suggests that COVID can worsen diabetes by causing damage to the pancreas and system-wide inflammation that increases insulin resistance.

Even if you get COVID after having been vaccinated, it should indirectly result in less COVID impact for preexisting diabetes. You can get a milder case of COVID with the vaccine. Also don’t forget to stay up to date with your other vaccines as well.

6. Don’t Focus On Sugar

After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes for the first time, people often go to extremes, like drastically limiting carbs. But too few carbs can lead to fatigue, nutritional deficiencies and dangerously low blood sugar. Women should aim for 30-45 grams per meal and men should get 60-75 grams.

Proper nutrition is so important after a diabetes diagnosis, meaning consulting with a registered dietician or certified diabetes care and education specialist is very important.

7. Let The Meds Come As Needed

It’s common for people who are trying to their diabetes to feel like failures if they can’t get off their medications. Even if you do manage to come off your medications, medications could still play an important role in your life, like insulin. Don’t feel defeated by the amount of medications you have, hopefully one day, you’ll knock them out. You can do this!


References

AARP Magazine, Dec 2021/Jan 2022

Season Three: Episode Seven

FEBRUARY 27, 2022

So far this nothing to report. I have a PCP appointment next week to refill my prescriptions and then an eye appointment later in March to check my visual field.

I have noticed my left eye’s periphery is starting to decrease but I’m still able to see okay. My left eye is definitely my concern as I notice my eyesight getting blurrier as time goes on. I’ve had to depend on my glasses more and more now when they used to be when I drive at night, now I need them during the day too.

My eye pressure has been elevated for the last couple of years and I’m sure that has to do with my diabetes. I have to get my diabetes under better control so the pressure in my eye hopefully can go down without the need of prescription eye drops.

Let’s see what else is there? I have a WordPress blog goal! I want to reach 300 followers with WordPress or email. Hopefully if I reach that goal, I’ll be able to set up a Patreon that way I have the ability to create even more content and reach even more people. I’d love to offer exclusive things to my patrons, including the freedom to choose what you want to read about as well as vote what sticker designs come next and I would love to send you folks stickers every month. Something to think about.

I have a 2022 reading goal of 50 books. Not going to lie, I think I’m going to reach that goal way before the end of the year. I read ten books in January and almost ten in February. I forgot how much I love sitting on my bed and reading a really awesome book. Of course, I also forgot about how it feels to come across BAD books. Like this one I just finished. I’m not even going to bother doing a review on the blog for it, it’s so bad.

My weight loss goal is to make it to 150 pounds by the end of the year. So far the first two months haven’t gone the way I want. I gained some weight, but this week I was able to get down to what I started at at the beginning of the year. So hopefully it keeps going down.

I’m on my last pen of Ozempic from my old insurance. I don’t think my new one covers Ozempic as far as I know. I still hate needles. Not looking forward to insulin that’s for sure.

I’m thinking I want to add something else to my physical activity besides just walking. I’m thinking about skateboarding. I like the idea of cruising down the road. My sisters used to have skateboards in school and they hardly used it so I’d go out and try them out. I didn’t know much and stayed on flat roads for safety reasons especially since I didn’t have a helmet or anything because I didn’t like their heads. But it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do since then.

The days are getting hotter in Hawaii and the nights are also getting warmer. I’m going to have to put away the thick blankets and sweatpants pajamas now. It’s going to be a hot summer.

Otherwise that’s pretty much it. I don’t think there will be much to report next week. Tuesday is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, or in Hawaii, Malasada Day! My husband and I will be in Kona on Tuesday so I’m looking forward to getting malasadas from somewhere. Thursday is World Book Day and I will celebrate by reading. Check out my Twitter to see what I’m currently reading.

Hope you all had a great February and I hope you all have a BETTER March. Mahalo! 🌺

Season Three: Episode Five

FEBRUARY 13, 2022

For the 15th year in a row, my Super Bowl luck has come through. For the 15th year in a row, the team I rooted for LOST. Without fail, I root for the loser. I tell my family, “If last year was any indicator, if you want a team to win, tell me to root for the other team!” I really was hoping the Bengals would win.

Now I’m sitting in my room at 10pm recounting the past Super Bowl halftime shows. This year’s was great it was like all the concerts I’ve always wanted to see rolled in to one. I wish it was longer though. Last year’s was awesome even mid-pandemic. Maroon 5 though. I’ll leave it at that.

Let’s see, I still haven’t set an appointment with my endocrinologist because I only just got my insurance cards a couple days ago and I have to update my profile eventually and see what’s available, probably nothing in the near future.

My foot doctor appointment went well. Nothing strange or crazy with my feet thankfully. I hope I can keep my appointments annually for a long time. Not gonna lie, I do get some pains and tingles. I have a suspicion that my big toes are losing some feeling but I can still feel and the pains aren’t long lasting and they aren’t frequent. So until they get worse, I’ll keep going. If something changes, I will head straight to my doctor.

So far everything else is going okay health-wise. I have gained a couple pounds since the year started. But I have plateaued and I haven’t gained anymore weight thankfully. But I’m not losing it either. I’m at 191lbs now. And I wanted to badly to be at 180 by now. My weight loss goal is to lose 15 pounds since starting which was a start of 195. If I reached 180, then I would be rewarded by my husband. He was gonna build another Gunpla model for me to display and it’s a pretty one.

But alas, I didn’t lose the weight. I’m still trying though. I think I stopped when I left my job and started working from home again. With access to food at my fingertips instead of being too bust to eat, I’ve gained some weight back.

I’m still making the time to walk my dog every day, but with the rainy season and all the slippery sidewalks and roads, I’m pretty limited but I still try to stay active by walking around in my house every so often. So I’m not sitting and vegetating. I’m also drinking water with the occasional juice and staying away from soda completely.

It’s a work in progress, but I’ll keep working at it. I can and will get down to 130 lbs and make healthier choices. Also remember to tell your loved ones that you love them. Life’s too short not to love the people closest to you. Happy Valentine’s Day.

Season Three: Episode Two

JANUARY 17, 2022

Things are slow going. I’m still trying to get health insurance through Healthcare Marketplace. I’ve got it but they need to verify my credits used towards it and that takes a hot second. I’ve already got my dental plan going. I have to wait until after February 1 to do any doctor appointments.

I haven’t seen my endocrinologist since, I think, last September. I haven’t gotten my current A1C done since then.

I saw my eye doctor last month and I can push my appointments to four months apart instead of three but I need a visual field test in March first. Not gonna lie I think my visual field is a bit bad. My peripheral has some blank spots, not good. It’s mostly my left eye that’s giving me problems. If I don’t get my diabetes under control I’m gonna need eye injections and those don’t look fun AT ALL!!

My feet have been okay lately. I still get random cramps but I can still feel things so that’s a good sign. I don’t want to lose feeling in my toes.

I can’t wait to find a dentist. I haven’t seen one in three years. My teeth may need some help to be honest. I found our my family on my mom’s side has teeth problems. Not sure if it’s genetic or not but my mom, her siblings, and her mom all have missing teeth for whatever reason. I need to take care of my teeth.

I’ve lost two pounds last week since the week before. Weigh in days are Thursday mornings so we’ll see if I’m still losing. I am taking advantage of being at home and having a dog. Yesterday we went on a half hour walk around the neighborhood. It’s the longest walk we’ve taken in a while and we were both exhausted afterwards. I need to make it a regular thing. She needs to lose weight too.

Thanks for sticking around. I really appreciate you.

The Journey: Episode Thirteen

JUNE 8, 2020

So I had my doctor appointment on May 28. I was given an insulin limit of 85 units. On May 29, I went up to 75 units and decided to stay at that dose, mostly because my pens have about 300 units each and that gives me four doses per pen. Since I have to pay about $100 per box of five pens, I can’t really afford to increase.

I have tried out taking my insulin literally within an hour of going to sleep and I have seen my blood sugar go down in the morning. Not down to the goal level, but pretty close. So far I have been under 150 mg/dL so that’s at least a win.

I kind of hit a plateau. My weight, my medication, my blood sugar, all kind of hit a level plateau for the last couple of weeks. It’s not great, but it’s not bad either. Now I just need to bring all of these numbers down instead of going up. I hope that I can do that. I need to get my health and diabetes under control.

This pandemic isn’t doing me any favors and not being able to work is really bringing me down, but I can get through this. I can make it through this and come out for the better. I know I can.

On another note, my sister is back home from visiting with her husband. The plan is for her to completely move out and in with her husband by the end of July. Then my husband and I can move in to her room and we can actually sleep on a bed again with a little bit more privacy. I think I’m going to miss her, but she’s so annoying that I think it’s going to take a while before I miss her at all. I know I’m going to miss her cat, Penny, because she hunts the cockroaches in this house and she does a good job at it.

I know this one is a little short, but I have to take my dog to the salon now. Thank you for sticking around and enjoying the content. Stay safe out there!

The Journey: Episode Eleven (Memorial Day)

MAY 25, 2020

I want to take the time right off the bat to thank all the men and women who are serving our country past and present. Because of their selfless sacrifice, we are able to enjoy some of the freedoms and liberties we have today. Take that how you will, I still have mad respect for those who are willing to put their lives on the line for their country. I could never make that sacrifice even though I had wanted to join the Navy or Coast Guard when I was in high school.

Memorial Day, in my eyes, has kind of lost its meaning especially this year. Our mayor just reopened the county beach parks and everyone has flocked to the beaches, regardless of the rainy weather, and they’d all much rather enjoy the freedom they have from quarantine than the freedom they always had because of our veterans. Now it’s all about beaches and BBQs. I mean at least everyone is spending time with family right now, but it feels a little lackluster for our veterans.

But I digress. Today, I’m spending it working. Not just on my blog but also at my Office Manager job. We have a meeting this afternoon and I’m going to be busy.

Now about my health. It’s not going so well. I woke up this morning with a fasting blood sugar of 161! That’s pretty high considering I ate before 6:30pm last night and I took 1000mg of berberine before bed so I’m very suspicious of my blood sugar right now. Something is wrong. I think I may need to monitor more for the next week or two and that means I have to monitor at bedtime, 3am in the morning, and when I wake up to see if I’m being affected by the Dawn Phenomenon or the Rebound Effect. I suppose I should do a post about those two just in case for those who want to know, but that’ll be at a later time.

On the bright side, I’ve re-clarified my weight loss goals. I am currently 210 pounds, which is very disappointing, but I can’t let that get me down. I want to lose 30 pounds by the end of the year. There are about 31 weeks left in the year. For a healthy and sustainable weight loss, I need to lose and keep off one pound per week to make my goal by the end of the year. That means weekly weigh ins, daily exercises, healthier food options, and portion control. I’m starting to get the hang of it while I’m stuck at home so I think this is completely do-able.

I will need to do a lot of hard work from here and I’m not going to lie, it will be really tough for me to follow through with all of this. But I have a lot of dreams that I want to accomplish one day and I need to see these through.

I’m going to be losing a part of my support system soon though. My sister is going to be moving in with her husband by August. So because she won’t be able to support me as much as before, I would love to get your support, fellow diabetic, and I would love to support you too. Please feel free to reach out to me and we can support each other.

The Journey: Episode Nine

APRIL 25, 2020

So I just got my new glucose meter and MyID Medical ID. I’m super excited about both of them. This Thursday I’ll post a review of the One Drop Meter. I’m very excited about it. If you want to see the unboxing video, I posted it up on my Instagram. Besides that, it’s pretty much business as usual.

Thanks to the One Drop app, I have a diabetes coach named Rachel. This past week she’s been getting to know me and my diabetes a little more to see exactly how she can help. I’ve learned a bit about diabetes from her too.

With 55units of insulin as my current dosage, I can inject about 5 days per pen and I’m down to my last three pens before my next appointment this Thursday and I don’t know how long after that I’ll be able to get my next prescription.

Unfortunately, 55units isn’t working. My doctor said that my max should be 65 units so I’m getting pretty close to that. I’m a little afraid of upping it to 60units because 55 takes so long to inject as it is and it hurts even if I go slowly. Last night was weird, I injected on the right side of my piko (belly-button) and it was a little sore, but when I tried to push the plunger down, it was having trouble going down and started to hurt a lot. I think I managed 5 units before I couldn’t push anymore. So I stopped and pulled it out before trying in another area close by. There was a bit of blood from the first site. The second site went in less painfully and was easier to push down. I wonder what was blocking the first injection that it didn’t go down well.

I had my A1C blood test this past Thursday and I should know the results during my appointment, which will be done over the phone because my doctor is on Oahu and they’ve had a lot of cases in the past month and a half. Super scary to travel to Oahu with diabetes right now. Plus I’m unemployed now and couldn’t afford a plane ticket.

I hope my A1C reflects well on my insulin usage. This quarantine has really messed me up. Before the quarantine, 45 units was doing really well for like three weeks and then it wasn’t working anymore and I had to up my dosage to 50 and now 55. I might have to up it to 60 units before my doctor appointment so I can see if that brings my numbers lower. My fasting glucose reading has been over 140mg/dL with a couple under 125. I don’t know if 60 units is going to help but I want to see anyway, even if I’m afraid of the paid of a prolonged injection speed.

APRIL 26, 2020

Last night, I upped my insulin to 60 units I first tried to inject and it was too painful so I stopped and removed the needle to inject in another site. That one was a lot easier and less sore. However, my fasting blood sugar was reading at over 170mg/dL. I am very upset with this reading. My weight has dropped 5 pounds in the past week so I’m glad about that which means I’m eating better and getting good exercise. I’m definitely eating more veggies, mostly pickled veggies but veggies nonetheless. I am so excited about the One Drop meter and the app.

So now I’m just waiting for Thursday’s doctor appointment to see how well I’ve been doing or not doing on my insulin. Not gonna lie, when I saw the plunger go up to 60 units I was like holy cow that’s a long way to go.

Other than that, quarantine is really messing with my eating habits and my mental and emotional health. I live in a house with zero privacy and can’t enjoy a night alone with my husband just relaxing and enjoying each other’s company. Our wedding anniversary was on Wednesday and it was the most alone time we’ve had in two months and it was spent not at home. Plus, we were both rejected for unemployment and the letter said we had to contact the office for an appeal, but I can’t get through on the phone and no one has answered my email. I’m getting very frustrated and losing hope.

BUT the other day we got approved for SNAP benefits and that is the best news we’ve gotten this year so far. We don’t have to worry about food now just the bills we still have to pay for unfortunately. We might have to cut off Netflix and Disney + and just stick with Amazon Prime, just to make bills easier for us. We’ve gotten deferments for most of our bills until July but there’s some that we can’t get deferments on, like our cellphone bill. We have to get in contact with our bank about deferments on our loans there.

This is a crazy time and we’re all just trying to survive. Be smart and be safe out there everyone.

The Journey: Episode Five

MARCH 29, 2020

I haven’t made any progress in losing weight lately. I’m very upset that I had regained all the weight I had lost. I regained about 16lbs from 183lbs. I’ve been eating healthier and exercising more, but I think portion control, my old enemy, is striking me again and again. Food is just so delicious!

My grandma was recently doing an ornish lifestyle program and she shared with me some of the food they had recipes for. I don’t think I could give up meat or animal by-products altogether, but I am contemplating taking red meat out of my diet and putting in more tofu. In fact, tonight my husband is gonna try to make Tofu Long Rice. If I remember to take a picture of it, I’ll post up the recipe. A couple nights ago, he made chicken long rice for us and it was so delicious, but I forgot to take a picture of it.

Whatever my husband and I try to make, I want to share that recipe with you folks so you can make it and eat it too. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to find all of the ingredients though, but I’d like to share them with you anyway.

For exercise, my sisters and I take my dog and my mom’s two dogs walking down at the park. If the weather’s good, we’ll go down, if not, then we just stay inside and I’ll use my sister’s resistance bands just to do something, you know?

Yesterday, we took our dogs down to a little island just off the shore called Coconut Island. With the lockdown/quarantine, the island was pretty much empty except for a homeless man, so we took the dogs off their leashes and let them loose on the island. They had so much fun. My dog had so much things she could sniff and smell. She even chased a couple of birds near the water and ran across the island three times! She’s 15 years old! I even ran with her one of those times. They had so much fun.

We were hoping we could take them again today but it was raining almost all day and there was even some thunder. So today is not a good day to go down, but the next clear day, I’d like to take them back to Coconut Island and let them run free.

Hopefully, this healthier diet and walking the dogs will help me lose some weight. But I also know that I need to watch what I’m eating. I’ve been so hungry lately and I’m not even doing anything! I need to tell my stupid self to stop being so damn dumb and stop eating!

I’m kind of glad I have this Journey blog to keep me accountable and be able to put it out in writing to keep track of my thoughts. If you’re ever thinking that your journey isn’t working, maybe you need to write it down in your own journal, diary, or even a blog. If you decide to make a blog, let me know, I’d love to follow along with your journey as well!


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