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.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Sometimes your body breaks.

I returned home after spending all last week at my moms house, to spend time with our loved one, whom we lost at home last Tuesday. The whole situation is difficult to talk about. It was a long week of planning and executing funeral arrangements, what felt like hundreds of telephone calls, and nonstop visits from friends and family. Early mornings, late nights, and not much sleep. Also, there was a lot of running around- errand things to do. There wasn't always healthy, low carb and gluten free food options available everywhere I went, so I either skipped eating altogether or would eat a gluten free high carb junk food snack. The combo of no sleep, no down time, high emotions and anxiety, poor nutrition, definite dehydration and the stress of all the future stuff one has to plan when losing a loved one left me worn to the bone, sick, weak and exhausted. Sunday (yesterday) after being around a total of 4 different cats on Saturday (a bad allergy for me), my body just couldn't take it anymore and it gave out. I had a severe allergic reaction along with an asthmatic attack. I took Benadryl and used my inhaler, took a shower and changed clothes. But it did not improve overnight and turned into chest pain accompanied by light headedness. I landed in the emergency room, diagnosed with pneumonia and exhaustion. I missed what should have been my first day back at work today, and I'm hoping the antibiotics work at loosening this crap stuck in my chest so I can return to work, because as a contractor, it's all unpaid time off.

Today I slept. I mean really slept. I got up at some point, ate 3 egg whites, plopped down in the recliner chair and slept for another 4 hours. I'm working toward returning to good health by eating lots of lean protein, giving what my body needs to heal itself from illness, also getting 8 hours of sleep and resting through the day, and drinking lots of water.

I'm in the process of returning to me and returning to health and happiness. Things will get better from here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Self-Care while under stress.

Well a lot's been going on. I'm tired, slightly crabby and a bit anti-social. As a result of not striving to take awesome care of myself like I normally do, I have experienced blood sugar swings, swelling in my feet, chronic neck/shoulder pain and noticable bags under my eyes. Going through stressful times can make you put self-care on the back burner. But when you have chronic diseases, that's never a good idea.

So starting tomorrow, I've set a goal of getting myself back on track. Eating regularly, eating healthy food, hydrating myself with lots and lots of water, and the hardest- trying to get more sleep every night. Between blood sugar swings, CGM and pod alarms, high anxiety, and oh- a dog that clearly has her days and nights mixed up right now- I don't think I've slept more than 2 or 3 hours straight in several weeks. I'm waking or getting up 4+ times a night. Then my alarm goes off at 5am and it's time to get up for work and I'm dragging.

So tomorrow I won't be working (my first Saturday I haven't worked in a long time) and I won't be putting much on the schedule. I was planning to drive over to the Minneapolis Diabetes Expo, but I'm so dang tired that the thought of walking around the Expo all day exhausts me. And my feet hurt, A LOT, because I am a person who incessantly paces when I talk on the phone and I've been on the phone A LOT lately. So instead, I put sleeping in (as late as my dog will let me)and catching up on non-medical related reading on tomorrow's agenda. And a scheduled oil change for my car in the afternoon. And that's it. Weather pending, I'm going to sit on my deck, drink tea, read and watch the leaves fall from the trees. Phone off for a few hours. Just me, the dog, and nature.

When things are stressful, I've noticed that with most people what gets neglected is self-care. But long after the stressful event is over, you will have to live with the consequences of not taking care of yourself. I've always been a big fan of Martha Stewart and when I saw she had a new book out, Living the Good Long Life- A practical Guide to caring for yourself and others- I bought it. It was kind of expensive and if I had the patience I would have ordered it for cheaper online. Oh well. I'm thinking now that I've started reading it that it might be targeted more toward people older that I, it says it's for "living your healthiest life after 40," but I think it might be for an older crowd than that. Either way, she has great tips in the book that apply to people of any age. It talks about sleep, mindful eating, developing healthy rituals, creating a healthy outlook regardless of your health status and of course, gardening. It also talks about taking care of yourself while you are tasked with taking care of others who may be ill, or aging parents.

I also want to say a big thanks to everyone who has sent awesomely nice notes and messages of support. Thank you! I am lucky to have a great online community of friends.

Well, it's 9pm and I think it's time for me to wind down for the evening. Time to take a quick bath to wash the day off. Then snuggle time with the 4-legged furry monster who has been under the kitchen table this whole time licking my feet and begging for attention.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

"You have Stage 4, metastatic cancer."

This is the news delivered to my family two weeks ago today. I got the call at work, right after lunch. A call from my mom so hysterical she can't speak. I don't know what's wrong. She is just screaming, and eventually inhales enough air to say "HE'S GOT CANCER...EVERYWHERE." She's in a public place when she gets the news and I hear a woman in the background asking her "Ma'am, are you okay?" The answer to that, is no, we are not okay.

I feel faint and my heart starts to beat weird. Physically sick to my stomach. I can't go back to my desk. I don't know where to go. I run to the bathroom and stay. And stay. And then drive home.

Diagnosis: Stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma of the right kidney that has metastasized to his other kidney, both lungs, brain and trachea. The PET scan today will tell us if it has spread to his bones. But it won't matter either way. There's no treatment available. "Palliative treatment only." Prognosis: 2 months. He's only 63 years old.

I make a call to the Mayo Clinic; a plea for help. A second opinion. Hope. Anything. Their review yields the same outcome.

He had no symptoms, no warning. No signs of trouble until two days before the diagnosis. A healthy person with no health issues. We never suspected that kind of news.

A family in mourning. Grief strucken. Disbelief. Tears to the point of dehydration headaches. No sleep. Nightmares. Praying for a miracle, but would settle for more time. Lots of I Love Yous. Sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication prescriptions. Funeral arrangements.

Please pray for my family.