About Me

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I'm a glass-half-full type of girl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, grave's disease and celiac disease in 2010 and life-altering allergies in 2013. I believe having a positive attitude is the only way to live with dis-ease. I also believe that life doesn't have to be PERFECT for it to be WONDERFUL. Dis-ease is expensive, so I live a frugal yet healthy lifestyle. This is just my blog; my day-to-day story.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Diabetic & Celiac Friendly Menu Plan

Well, it's Sunday and I am just about to start my chopping/prepping for my weekly menu plan. The recipes were taken from the cookbook "Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook" by Sarah Fragoso. As you know, I try to eat Paleo about 6 days a week, with one day where I allow myself to eat some less-than-healthy carbs. That day is Saturday. Last night I had a gluten free pizza with pepperoni and pineapple. I paid for it, too: high blood sugars overnight and a high reading when I woke up. Thus why I don’t eat a lot of unhealthy carbs! I’m always sorry later!

I base my weekly menu plan on what I already have on hand. Right now I have a surplus of ground turkey, so a few of the recipes this week are going to use it up.

Monday: Mini Meatloaves (made in a muffin pan) with homemade Sweet Potato Chips

Tuesday: Curry Burgers (ground turkey burgers with a curry sauce drizzled on top) with Carrot French Fries

Wednesday: “Meatless Wednesday” Homemade egg salad served on top of quartered red peppers and served with a side of veggie slices and hummus.

Thursday: Slow cooker day! Slow Chicken Curry (one of my FAVORITES)! served with a side of a frozen veggie (TBD)
Friday: Leftover buffet!

Saturday: Cheat day- TBD

The key is to make the next day’s dish the night before, so for example, I’m making Monday’s meal tonight so it will be ready when I come home from work. I do most of the prep work/chopping for the week today, so I won’t have to do it when I get home after work. Also pick, easy (realistic) recipes that won't take a lot of time OR money to make. The recipes that I like, I keep them in future weekly rotations.

Tonight I have my Financial Peace University class. I’m on week 5 of 9. I’m learning so much about managing my finances and on the right path to be debt-free and learning how to budget for expected and unexpected medical expenses. If you are interested in learning more about these classes and where they are being held in your area, go to www.DaveRamsey.com .

Monday, March 18, 2013

Every little ailment MUST be related to your disease, right?

Shit my head hurts. I've had this persistent migraine since saturday night/sunday morning-ish, it woke me up around 3:30am. I woke up right after a nightmare, in which a person (I don't remember if it was male or female) was about to pass me walking on the side walk, and in an instant I knew that s/he was going to pull out a long knife out from under his/her open beige trench coat and stab me as s/he walked by. I woke myself up screaming "NOOOOOO!!!!!" Then I checked my blood sugar, and it was 211. Awesome. I needed to pee, but my head hurt so bad that I couldn't get up to go to the bathroom. So I laid there for at least an hour awake, trying not to move my head, with a full bladder. I couldn't hold it anymore and got out of bed, headed toward the bathroom. But my migraine was so powerful that I actually swayed and ran into my dresser (F#@#@&^#(@&#*@^#^!!!!).

For the rest of the day, I laid on the couch, until 4:30pm Sunday night. Too nauseas from the migraine to eat; too painful to get up and do anything. I closed all the blinds in my house and wore my eye covers (see below), listening to the tv on volume level 2. And it seemed LOUD.



Then it went away. Whew!

So this morning I got up and got ready for work. I had an appt with the dermatologist first, to get my skin patch (allergy) test, since my skin has taken turns between hives and eczema spots every where. Despite the BLIZZARD (yes, blizzard) weather we had on my drive to the clinic, I made it there in one piece. Forty-five minutes into the appointment, I looked like this:




I can't shower until Thursday (sorry, co-workers), cause those little patches can't get wet. So afterwards I drove to work. And then my migraine came back. It progressively got worse throughout the afternoon, so I skipped lunch and contemplated whether I'd look weird wearing my sunglasses at my desk. The light above my head suddenly seemed really BRIGHT.

I called my endo and asked him to call in a migraine Rx for me, which he graciously did. So I took it and now I'm just waiting for it to kick in. I hope it will soon, cuz even looking at this computer screen right now is killing me, and I have it muted to the darkest setting.

The awesome thing about having chronic diseases is that you think it causes everything that's wrong with you. I can't help but think that the cause of my migraine is from being glutened, even though I ate at home yesterday and made all my food from scratch. But I start wondering "was the seasoning I bought truly gluten free?" "Maybe it was the sour cream? The new salsa I bought?" Or maybe I got a migraine for an un-related reason. All I know is I mentally equate migraines with ingesting gluten because I get migraines whenever I get glutened. And that's the suckiest part, I'll never truly know what caused this migraine.

Chronic disease makes you a little paranoid. When I don't feel right, I immediately equate it to type 1 diabetes, grave's disease or celiac disease. Even though before I was diagnosed I got colds and stomach bugs like every one else, nowadays I ALWAYS think that it's related to one of my illnesses. If I have a headache, is it from blood sugar? A stomach ache- it MUST be from celiac disease... it certainly couldn't be because I ate too much. Nope. I need to get out of this mode of thinking; it makes me paranoid. Sometimes you can just be sick and it NOT be related to any of your diseases. But I'm not a doctor, so how do I really know?

Do you do this, too? When you get sick, do you automatically assume it's your diabetes or celiac disease (whichever one you have)?

Well, back to the couch, eye covers and the almost-on-mute tv volume. Cheery-O.











Friday, March 15, 2013

Happpy Friday!

This week has turned out to be a good week. Nothing in particular happened, and sometimes that is exactly WHY it's a good week. I really think the description words "uneventful" and "boring" are really blessings. To me, there's nothing better than having a weekend of nothing-ness. Life gets busier and busier as you get older, doesn't it? There always seems to be something that needs to be done.

The past few weeks have been a little tougher for me than usual, but I would say that this is normal for anyone who is managing one (or more) chronic illnesses. It's NORMAL to have periods of time where you are stressed out, down, and wonder how you are going to manage your disease every day, for the rest of your life. It can feel overwhelming sometimes. Most days I'm fine, but every so often I feel overwhelmed. And lucky for me, when this happens, I have a wonderful DOC and celiac disease community to lean on and lift my spirits. Somehow the words that come from another diabetic or another celiac are often times more lifting than when they come from a person without the disease.

This weekend is going to be a low activity weekend. I had plans, but they fell through and I'm not disappointed by it. The weather is going to be awful again here in Minnesota, so I'll be happy being inside the house with my sweet-faced dog. Tonight I need to finish my menu planning for the next week, following by grocery shopping, and Sunday I'll complete all of the prep work. I am a huge FAN of menu planning. Let me tell you what happens when I don't menu plan (which I haven't done for the last 2 weeks): I eat BAD. I WASTE money. I eat processed, quick foods that are nutritionally void of anything good and are NOT cost-effective. As an example, one day this week I bought and ate an Amy's frozen meal, which was on sale for $3.09. This is no deal! It's expensive and I was still hungry afterwards. I could have stretched that money a lot further if I had used it at my discount grocery stores (Aldi, Walmart).

I've always been frugal with my money, but even more now that I am half way through the Financial Peace University class. I am learning many different ways to strettttch my dollars every month. Chronic disease is expensive, and I don't make a lot of money, so I am very stingy when it comes to making purchases, especially when it comes to food. Do you struggle with finding easy, healthy, inexpensive recipes you can make during the week? I am going to start posting at least one new recipe a week that I've made during that week. It will be easy, healthy and inexpensive to make. You can always alter them to fit your taste buds. I cook a lot with my crock pot; it's a life saver when you are short on time. I love taking a big chunk of meat (like rump roasts or chuck roasts that go on sale), rubbing it with seasoning (I like Lawry's Seasoning Salt and garlic powder), tossing it in the crock pot on low at night with a little bit of water and in the morning PRESTO! I have a few lunch and dinners. A quick add on is warming up some frozen veggies with some seasoning as a side dish, or make a salad if you have time. Voila, done.

Well, I'm at work and my lunch time is over. So that means this post is over, too. Hope you have a nice weekend! If I have time this weekend I'll share with you my upcoming menu plan and maybe some yummy food pics. :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Baby steps.

I've been in the dumps a lot lately, just a combo of anxiety from managing multiple auto-immune diseases while still recovering from the spinal cord injury (still going to physical therapy weekly but I get frustrated because I don't think I'm progressing fast enough; frustrated at my limitations), added on to the death of a friend two weeks ago, plus lack of sleep, and lately, major food anxiety. I just haven't felt like myself lately. I got to the point where I was numb and aloof; didn't care about anything and stopped caring for my diabetes the way that I should. I made the decision to begin working with a cognitive behavioral therapist. She is helping to change the way I think; to bring the positive thoughts back. I have "homework" that I do between our visits. She has upped my appointments to twice per week, so I see her after work. Maybe you've heard of "tapping" aka EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), meditation, and using positive affirmations daily. These are the things I am learning.

Also the nightmares are back again. Back to back, all night long, wake up sweaty, nightmares. I'll pop a sleeping pill so I can sleep soundly and deeply enough to keep the nightmares at bay. But I need a more lasting solution to my stress and anxiety. I believe the CBT Therapy will provide me with what I need to get back on track.

Chronic diseases cause anxiety. Celiac disease does so by causing difficulty in trying to have normal social interactions/outings with people (because everything usually evolves around food/dining). You feel like the odd man out; the problem child, because you can't just eat anywhere. There's a new restaurant that everyone wants to try... except you can go there because they don't have anything safe for you to eat, so the plans are changed to accommodate you, and you feel AWFUL. Or you eat at the same 3 restaurants that you know have safe food options, but your friends are sick and tired of eating there (can't blame them).

Diabetes causes anxiety because it's a difficult disease to manage, sometimes impossible to manage. It's a disease where effort rarely equals outcome. A game you never win. A game that changes it's rules from day to day, or even hour to hour. It's EXHAUSTING. And the burden to stay ALIVE is on YOU, every day, every hour. There's just no break from it.

I could go on, but you get the idea. I know I can handle this. I just got overwhelmed but I'll get back on the saddle. I'd rather tackle these challenges with a smile on my face than with a scowl. You can't change your situation; you can only change how you react to it. Right? I choose happiness. I'm working on it. I'll get there.



Week in Review.

WHAT'S THE WEATHER IN MY NECK OF THE WOODS?



MY WEEKLY SIMPLE PLEASURE.

I am taking part in Deepak Chopra's 21-day meditation journey. It is free! You can sign up on Oprah's website. It is very relaxing and wonderful! Each audio clip is about 16 minutes.


ON MY BEDSIDE TABLE.

Sunset with God (devotional)
The Mystical Magical Marvelous World of Dreams (dream interpretation book)
Diabetes Forecast magazine
iPhone, which doubles as my alarm clock AND my flashlight for night time blood testing
my D-supplies bag
lavender essential oil lotion (gluten free of course)


ON MY TV.

I Survived, DVR'd from Sunday night.

ON MY TO DO LIST.

Financial Peace University class homework
Read up on EFT (tapping)
Run to Sam's to pick up Rx (tomorrow)
Send my cousin a (late) birthday card (oops)


ON THE MENU TONIGHT.

Tyson's gluten free chicken nuggets and frozen veggies (easy, although not healthy).

NEW RECIPE I TRIED LAST WEEK.

OMGosh, I made the BEST homemade gluten free cinnamon rolls with icing. They tasted JUST LIKE Cinnabon. I will DEFINITELY make these again. And again! Let me know if you want it; I will send you the link. Be forewarned; they are a little bit of work but oh-so worth it.

LOOKING FORWARD TO.

Hmm. I'm neither dreading nor looking forward to anything in particular right now.

TIP FOR THE WEEK.

Iron your clothes the night before because you know you won't do it in the morning before you go to work. You'll either wear it wrinkly or you'll find something else to wear.

LESSON LEARNED IN THE PAST FEW DAYS.

Make small batches of unhealthy food (if you make it at all), because the "extras" will never make it to the freezer like you planned.

ON MY PRAYER LIST.

I am praying for the family that used to live in my house. Apparently their dog just passed away, because tonight I received a flower bouquet delivered by a local florist addressed to the family, with the card expressing sympathy for the loss of their beloved dog Molly. They had no way of finding the family's new address, so they told me to keep the flower. It is a single yellow rose with baby's breath in a pretty thin vase.





Monday, March 4, 2013

Food Anxiety.

Do you experience food anxiety related to having celiac disease or diabetes? Read below; I'm looking for some advice.



For those of you who have diabetes, the numbers on the insulin pump above will make sense to you. I haven't eaten much today, as demonstrated by today's insulin totals. I had one grapefruit today, half at breakfast time and the other half at lunch, which totaled 1.55 units of Novolog. The remaining total was comprised of my basal insulin, which by the end of the day will total 5.4 units. For some reason, my basal needs have always been very low since my type 1 diabetes diagnosis in 2010. But my insulin to carb ratio is currently 1/10 in the morning and 1/15 in the afternoon and evening. It used to be 1/32 all day, but obviously what remaining beta cells I had leftover after diagnosis are slowly dying. Sad face. Oh well, I knew they would die eventually. I've been lucky to have held on to them as long as I have (3 years after diagnosis). I was told that they usually die within 6 months of diagnosis. And I must still have a few left, if my basal rates are that low. Unfortunately there is no way to preserve the remaining beta cells. My immune system is eventualy gonna get 'em all.

The other reason for not eating much lately is out of food anxiety. I've developed a real anxiety as it relates to food (mainly thanks to celiac disease but definitely diabetes as well). I get so stressed out about how food will affect me that I simply lose my appetite altogether. Add on regular life stress, and that is just a bad mix equating to no appetite.

Over the past few months I have been sticking to the Paleo diet, which has done WONDERS for my blood sugar stability and A1c and my weight loss goals. My A1c on 2/18/13 was 6.0 ... a much-wanted improvement from previous A1c's. It's difficult sometimes because I miss carbs, I LOVE carbs, especially the bad ones like bread, pasta, pizza. But it's no fun when I see the blood sugar spiral out of control as a result of eating those things, the bathroom scale go up and my pants not fit anymore, or the occasional gluten-ing I get from eating those foods out of the house. In the end, it turns out to be a very temporary gratification, with longer-term consequences to my overall health and appearance. Sorta takes the fun out of food.

It's all part of my food anxiety, and I'm not sure how to get a handle on it. I don't like that food has become a source of stress and panic for me and no longer is a source of enterainment and enjoyment. Is there a way to still enjoy food????

I was at a gathering over the weekend that involved food (what gathering doesn't?) and I was completely stressed out. Because I couldn't eat what they were serving (celiac disease). They were eating wheat spaghetti with sauce, whole wheat cracker/cheese appetizers, and a regular cake for dessert. Nope, not one thing I am able to eat. It's hard to sit around and watch everyone around you eat and enjoy and bond over food...while you can't. I brought baked chicken and cauliflower and no dessert. Not exactly "fun" birthday party food, but part of my Paleo diet. I could have elected to bring my own gluten free spaghetti and sauce, but then my blood sugar would spike for the rest of the night into the overnight hours and I pay for it for 8+ hours. It guarantees me I will be waking up a few times throughout the night to correct high blood sugars. No thanks, I'll stick to my chicken and cauliflower.

I guess the question I have for you is do you have any sort of food anxiety? Whether you have celiac disease or type 1 diabetes, does food ever stress you out? Do you avoid certain foods? Does your anxiety only happen in certain situations? How to handle it? I could use a few tips.






Title? Hmm, nothing's coming to mind.

After having a friend pass away last Sunday in a fatal car accident on his way home from work, I just haven't felt much like posting lately. I spent last week reflecting on his life, and trying to figure out what, if any, lessons I can find to change my life. It's hard to find any lessons when a healthy, young friend dies tragically. I think it's because having multiple auto immune diseases, in particular type 1 diabetes, I always think about MY mortality; it didn't occur to me that a healthy, happy friend could just... die. His wake was yesterday, his funeral today. Seems fitting on this horribly blowing snow-stormy Monday in Minnesota. The weather seems angry; as if it, too, disagrees with God's decision to call Dave home so early.

To keep things light, because I can't really handle heavy conversation right now, I am going to post a list that sums up the happenings from the prior and current week. I think I may do this every Monday. I got the idea from reading a homemaker's/budget blog www.blissfulanddomestic.com.

THE WEATHER IN MY NECK OF THE WOODS:

Winter storm warning; horrible road conditions, blowing snow, lots and lots of snow. Grey skies. Current temp: 25 degrees.

ONE OF MY SIMPLE PLEASURES:

A quiet house, hot cup of tea, my dog on my lap, and a good book.

ON MY BEDSIDE TABLE:

Diabetes Forecast magazine, Diabetes Living magazine, The Magic (by Rhonda Byrne). Hand cream, lamp, candle and kleenex box.

ON MY TV:

Our America with Lisa Ling.

ON MY TO DO LIST:

Laundry, cooking for the week, eating, catching up on sleep. Things I haven't done much of in the last week.

ON THE MENU TONIGHT:

I might eat the salad that I made for lunch, since I didn't eat it.

LOOKING FORWARD TO:

A good night of sleep. A quiet, warm bath tonight. A quiet, uneventful evening.

TIP FOR THE WEEK:

Fully slice through all the little segments of your grapefruit BEFORE you get to work. It makes a hell of a mess on your desk if you try to do it at work. I have sticky spots on everything now.

LESSONS LEARNED IN THE PAST WEEK:

It sounds cliche but live life everyday to the fullest; be happy every day no matter what.

ON MY PRAYER LIST:

Dave's parents and family, my family, my cute little stinker butt dog, who I pray everyday lives forever.