Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Crochet my anxiety away.

I can see a bit better now. As such, I have been crocheting less by feel and actually seeing what I'm working with. It makes it a lot easier. I'm almost finished with the scrap yarn blanket. I have about a foot to add on to it. Since that is nearly complete and Cuddle Bear's hat is almost complete, I have started a new project.

Using sport weight acrylic from Red Heart that wasn't super scratchy, I have started a shawl. It is going to be a little bigger than the last time I made this very basic shawl. It is 60 stitches in half double crochet until it is as long as it is for you to reach from fingertip to fingertip with your arms spread wide. The last time I made this pattern, I was in a state of crisis. I worked on it with woolen yarn, that soon was felted by the kind staff at the hospital where I stayed. I am still a bit irate that they ignored me when I told them my shawl was wool and they were surprised that it shrank.

I only have the first ten rows done. When I get it finished, I'll post a picture up.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Monday Menu & thoughts.

Here's this week's menu:

Date Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Sun scrambled eggs
w/ bacon &
sandwiches /
Mon kids: cereal & fruit
me: cereal, fruit
hard boiled egg
Kids: school
Hubby: leftovers
Me: leftovers
carrot salad
tater tots
Tues kids: french toast
me: oatmeal w/
fried egg & bacon
Kids: school
Hubby: beef noodle bowl
Me: soup
turkey tacos
salsa & fixings
mexican rice
Wed kids: cereal & fruit
me: cereal, fruit &
Kids: school
Hubby: burrito bowl
hard boiled egg
Me: taco salad
spaghetti &
meatballs w/ salad
& garlic bread
Thurs kids: french toast
me: oatmeal w/
yogurt & bacon
Kids: school
Hubby: garlic bread pizza
Me: leftovers
kids: ez mac

salad and/or
Fri kids: cereal
me: poached egg
w/ fruit & toast
Kids: school
Hubby: leftovers
Me: sandwich & salad
kids: ez mac or

Sat pancakes, bacon
& fruit
leftovers ham, roasted
potatoes, green

My day has been fits and starts of activity. I have gotten most of my to do list done. What's left are small tasks that I can complete in the evening. I discovered that in losing weight, my shoe size has changed by half a size. Those snow boots that were too tight at the beginning of the season fit me properly now. Oddly, however, my feet hurt like I've been standing on them all day. I don't think I spent that much time on my feet. I don't know if it is the fact my shoes are the wrong size, I don't have enough support in them, or if there's something else entirely different going on. But my achey feet are not making me happy. They're annoying me almost as much as the effects of drinking tons of water today.

Today was a tough day diet-wise. I had a small breakfast that was mostly protein and the required number of carbs. I was still hungry, but 1/3 cup of cheerios really isn't that satisfying so it made sense. I made myself wait until three hours later to eat a small snack of a cheese stick. When I was looking up possible salad recipes for dinner tonight (I wound up making a cucumber onion salad and eating a third of a head of romaine lettuce.) I saw that one of the goals with diabetic diets was to have three meals a day and a snack at bed time. I felt somewhat demoralized by this bit of research. I have been hungry all day. It made me sad to see that I apparently should be feeling this way as per the 'experts'. I did my best to stick to the 30 carbs per meal rule and 11 to 15 carbs for a snack. I think I did a reasonable job of it. I think.

I'm still trying to figure out this stuff about carb exchanges and the wonky math that goes into finding out how much makes one serving. I was before doing the 'plate portions' with a 9 inch plate. After being so hungry, I moved back to a regular sized dinner plate and made 2/3rds of my plate vegetables.The scale didn't move much when I started doing that, but I found that I felt less hungry and my pants size started to change. I am now looking at the very small portions that equate to single servings and realizing that the 9 inch plate makes the portions look larger. The care coordinator told me that 30 carbs can mean two starch servings. The difficulty is everybody has different measurements for what is a serving on their packaging. And the serving sizes all have different amounts of carbs.

So, I have started a new binder of recipes that I can eat with out worrying too much about it. Just prepare everything as per recipe and I can eat the serving size listed with the amount of carbs and everything listed. It equates to a good amount of research that needs done. I've a section just for notes and I'm going to be making a list of carbs per measured amount for ingredients in that list. Thus, if I am having a salad with two tablespoons of homemade ranch dressing on it, I will know it has 5 carbs and point whatever protein plus whatever amount of fats because I will have done the math already and have it noted down. One problem with this process, honestly, is I am overwhelmed by how much I don't know.

I was originally planning on using this cute little binder with the roses all over it as a mini-home binder. Not a new cookbook. I have a shelf full of cookbooks. I didn't think I needed another one. Then I got this diagnosis and found the diabetes cookbook at the library. As I was reading it and I saw the notation about the recipes, I realized that having a cookbook like that with different recipes would be helpful for me. So, I'm making my list of foods with all their data. And copying a few choice recipes from the diabetes cookbook. At the back of the notes/reference section, I'll be making a list of what cookbooks I reference. At the front of this thing, I have a page where I note my dietary goals. It's a really rough looking page because I don't have a complete picture of what I need to be doing here. We're still figuring that out.

I feel like I'm stumbling around in the dark. It's cold and unpleasant outside. My feet hurt. I'm hungry. And I still can't see straight, despite the fact that I'm taking a mouthful of pills every morning and afternoon to correct various issues that contributed to this problem. I'm trying really, really hard not to fall back into the starve-binge eating pattern I had as a kid. This measuring everything and constant hunger is making that difficult. But, at least Cuddle Bear's orthodontist appointment went ok and my parents-in-law were able to help us out with getting to it and minding Snuggle Bug.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Oiy, this is insane.

I am still not feeling well. I have a new medication that I can't remember the name of but I keep wanting to call it Gympie Gympie. I'm not thrilled to have another pill in my pill sorter. At the same time, if it works to bring my blood sugar down and get my pancreas working properly, I'll take the hit to my pride. I haven't much of a choice, to be honest. My vision is still awful. I 'hacked' my eyeballs by adding a pair of reading glasses to my normal glasses. I can see almost normally this way, if I look through the part of the glasses that is specifically for reading and close up work. Along with the vision being off kilter, I'm having a constant headache.

Apparently this is because high blood sugar sucks water out of other parts of your body, like your eyes and ears. So, my eyes are literally shriveling up because my blood sugar is high. It was only slightly less horrifying and repulsive to type than it was to hear the description. The solution to this is drink tons of water, exercise, and eat protein. I'm doing my best to get that going. I'm presently taking a break to let lunch get into my system before I do my afternoon exercises. I'd be walking right now but it is raining and I can't see across the room. Going out for a walk wouldn't be the best idea under these conditions.

I am trying to make sense of food options. This has been nothing but confusion. I think I've got some answers now. I'm not entirely sure what I can do to make my diet changes work for the kids and their food issues. Dan's willing to work with me and give making the diet changes a try. Our goal is for me not to have to make three separate meals when ever I am cooking. I already have several days where I am making two. It's hard to find the energy to fight the kids over what they're going to eat for dinner when I know that the food is going to be a change to their routine.

Adjusting to a new routine is going to be the hard part here. My mealtimes just got more regimented. This is less because of the fact that the people who are handling my care advised it and more because I have enough self-awareness to realize that if I restrict my diet and don't make sure I am eating regularly, I'm going to start starving myself. That's what started off the almost anorexic thing when I was a kid, restricting my diet. It's been a hard two weeks because I am very strongly tempted to just starve myself.

I'm not sure how I'm going to keep that at bay long term. I am pretty sure that a practice of prepping meals to correct measurements and eating at regular times every day is going to go a long way towards helping me not starve myself. The stress levels thing, however, is a different problem to solve. Again, I am hoping that the changes I'm making activity-wise are going to help with that. If you're tired from exercising, it's hard to get the energy to do stupid things.

Monday, April 09, 2018

Stupid diabetes, die in a fire.

It was a rough weekend. Hell, last week was rough. The kids were on break and I was trying to act as normal as possible. They are of mixed feelings about my having to check my blood sugar regularly. The eldest still feels that blood is disgusting. However, they both find the tech that is the meter pretty cool. The youngest wants to have one because he thinks it is awesome and wants to 'measure how much blood' he has. They have noticed, however, things like I didn't have the same thing for dinner as them most of the time or I was eating less than usual.

It's pretty frustrating. I am trying to figure out how much of what equals a correct portion size for me. I think I'm going to need Beloved to copy pages out of this cookbook I signed out from the library to give me a guide on this. Because I have gone to websites, the booklet they gave me at the doctor's office, and off of what the packages read. Between all of them (including the cookbook), I get different numbers. I'm going around hungry all the time and doing my best to ignore it. About when I am successful, it is time to eat a meal. Then I am eating like I am starving, though I am carefully measuring out servings and limiting them. I just wolf them down. After that, I have to force myself not to eat more.

I'm going back to old habits and some of those habits are not good for me. One of them is if I feel hungry and it isn't meal time, have a drink of some sort. I've been drinking lots of water. I allow myself a snack between meals but it is approximately in the middle of the times between meals and it is a struggle not to inhale the food. I'm finding myself making my portion sizes smaller and smaller. You'd say that was a good thing, except if I keep this up I'll fall back into the semi-anorexic eating habits I had when I was younger.

The constant hunger is already enough to evoke a pretty consistent state of mild dissociation. I find myself struggling with the urge to 'sneak eat' food and feeling guilty when I do eat a meal. I was going to go over all of this and the stress of it all with my therapist tomorrow. There is one additional problem, however, my vision has gone funny. I have the screen set to 200% increased font sizes and I'm still dealing with blurry vision unless I'm looking through the portion of my bifocals with higher correction. I can't drive when I can't see across the room.

Looking across the street out my window, the houses across the way where I usually can see siding are a solid color and the tree branches are blurry. It's not because the window or my glasses are dirty. It's a new development over the last week. And it scares me. I tell myself that if I can be patient, Wednesday we will have some answers and a plan of action. It's hard to believe that right now, even though it is the truth.

I'd be marveling at how fast this is happening, but I think I know what's going on. I think my pancreas is just trying its hardest to produce enough insulin and effective insulin but it's taken too much of a beating from being on antipsychotics and a host of other medications for my mental health issues. Throw into the mix I have problems with insulin resistance due to PCOS, a history of gestational prediabetes, and a family history of diabetes, and it was just a time bomb waiting to go off. I just thought I had ten more years before this happened.

I just find myself hoping that we get this under control. And that the health insurance company will cover whatever the doctor prescribes. Along with the hope that we can afford it. I already am concerned that the cost of testing strips and lancets is going to be a problem. Anxiety is a bitch. Because all of this has my anxiety all over the place, kinda like my blood sugar, it's constantly high but it swings between near panic attacks and that state of you're so anxious that you're apparently calm.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

Wait, wut?

Only thirty posts to 1k posts? Damn, that's motivation right there! Now it's 29 posts. Next task, work on my planner and then a few pages on revisions to prep an eBook for publication. I'll post more about the eBook thing later. Right now, I'm getting a headache so I should drink some water and eat some sort of light snack.

Cold-brewed Chai Coffee.

Rocking the vintage 90s floral and chemistry mug!
I'm still pretty dependent upon my coffee to get through the day. I have given up coffee creamer because of all the sugar in it. I have given up on the mocha coffee mixes, because of sugar. I'm pretty sure that I am going to have to give up mulled cider for the same reasons. As such, I have pulled out my french press and I'm cold brewing coffee. For some reason, I can drink cold brewed coffee black with out any problem.

Today, I am drinking chai coffee. This did not involve adding a tea bag of chai spiced tea to the pot. In the press with the coffee grounds, I added 6 cardamom pods lightly crushed, a 1/4 teaspoon of garam marsala, and a generous pinch of anise. (If you are keeping score, you may recall I have a loathing for the flavor of black licorice, which is derived from anise.) I then filled the press with cold water and let it steep over night.

In the morning, viola! Cold coffee with some flavor. I forgot how well cardamom plays with coffee. I was surprised to find that the anise added a floral note that wasn't overly sweet. That cloying sweetness has always been my problem with licorice.

On the health front, I'm still trying to figure out what the hell I'm doing. My dosage of metformin has been doubled, again, because of how high my blood sugar numbers are. I've been told that the diet I have been following is really healthy for someone with diabetes and given a few suggestions on how to improve it when I was on the phone with the care coordinator for my doctor's office. She said that my efforts to work on daily exercise and yoga can only help. She actually said that she was impressed with how much I was doing before the diabetes diagnosis and that it was likely the reason why I wasn't worse off.

I got a gentle 'it may be your pancreas can't produce enough insulin' when I inquired if there was anything more I could do. I call that a soft 'if you don't respond to the metformin, we're going to have to give you insulin because your insurance company are dicks and not approving the medication we wanted you on to begin with.' I am resigned to this and realize that the damage to my pancreas is due to being on multiple antipsychotic medications for the last eight years. (At various times on two different ones at the same time.) Put that together with established insulin resistance and gestational pre-diabetes, it was just a time bomb.

Did yoga today before the weather hit. I think this was a good thing because my joints are really not happy right now. I did my walking in the apartment because it's 31 degrees F out there. As I was walking, I did my arm exercises with the super light free weights we've got. Tomorrow, I'll be wearing the ankle weights as I walk indoors. Now I'm watching the kids 'clean' as I type this and debate just how exactly I'm going to manage dinner. It's not entirely a case of making three meals for dinner, but it feels like that. Yay anxiety.