Tag Archive | medications

Past, Present, Future

I just finished writing on my other blog about my Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) diagnosis.  I try not to overlap my blogs too much.  One is for fertility struggles, one is for my diabetes drama.  PCOS is something that does cause some overlap though.  

When Cody and I started the journey to try and have a baby, I was given a half-assed diagnosis of PCOS, which causes fertility struggles.  I’d researched this problem before and I thought that I had it.  When my fertility specialist mentioned the syndrome, I said I didn’t know what it was because I didn’t want her to think I was a self-diagnoser.  Even though I am.

There is no single test to diagnose PCOS. Only a doctor can test for PCOS. Some common signs and symptoms to look for are:

Source:  http://www.pcosfoundation.org/?gclid=CMuCjuezrLcCFadcMgodOxgA1A

I have about 10 of those symptoms.  Half.  You can see why I’d think I had the syndrome before it was official.

The thing is, all of my blood work does not have typical signs that point to PCOS.  My ultrasounds did not reveal any cysts either.  You can see why I have trouble accepting the diagnosis even though it’s official.

Ok, Ok.  You’re on the Diabetes blog, not the fertility blog.  What does all of this PCOS info have to do with my Type 2 Diabetes?

Friends, we both know I’ve always kind of been looking for a reason as to why I got diabetes so easily.  I am overweight – not morbidly so.  I can stand to lose quite a few pounds, but my weight alone should not have sent me info sky-rocketed sugar readings.  Having PCOS could be the reason I’ve been looking for.

We all know I have trouble accepting responsibility for my diabetes.  I will tell you that I’m overweight, but that it can’t be the only reason why I’ve developed diabetes.  I will tell you that I eat shitty food, but that it’s not so often that my sugars should be so crazy.  Diabetes is something that runs rampant in my family – so I always thought that I would just end up having it.  It would be something that would happen no matter what.  It was out of my control.

I’ve gotten better with acknowledging that my lifestyle hasn’t always helped me to control or banish the disease.

I remember the first time that my sugars were creeping into a dangerous zone.  I was 22 and had gone to the doctor to address my irregular periods.  I had a cyst on my ovary (“common”, he said) and my sugars levels labelled me “pre-diabetic”.  I wanted to talk about the cyst, the doctor wanted to focus on my sugars, and I walked out of there determined to never see that doctor again.  And I didn’t.

I’m a little pig-headed and stubborn.

Anyway, that might have been the moment when I could have been given the PCOS diagnosis.  There was a cyst.  I had been struggling to lose weight.  I was becoming insulin resistant.  

I can’t help but wonder what my life would be like if I’d left the office that day and seen a different doctor.  Would I have been put on Metformin sooner and able to control my weight earlier?  Would I have been able to keep my sugars under control?  Would I have been able to avoid some of the damage my body has been through?

Shoulda.  Coulda.  Woulda.

I might not be able to control my PCOS, but I can control my diabetes.  Slowly, but surely and with steady feet, I am making changes to help me, help my relationship, and to help my yet-to-be-conceived baby(ies).

“Trying to manage diabetes is hard because if you don’t, there are consequences that you will have to deal with later in life.”  — Bryan Adams

I wish I wasn’t so stupid at the age of 22. 

beanie

After a Brief Intermission

Hello!

It’s been a while.  I know.  And I’m sorry.

I have been all too consumed with my fertility issues.  I’m not going to dwell on that or even get into it much further.  If you’re interested, though, please feel free to check out my other blog, “Baby Brain… Sans Baby”.

Anyway, I had my follow up appointment with Dr. Poon after what felt like 6 months on the diet, when it was really only 2 weeks.  And here’s the results:  13.5 lbs lost!!! I knew I’d done well, I knew I’d lost a significant amount.  To hear that it was this much, though, was amazing.  I am very proud of myself.  Not only that, but I also didn’t feel like I’d suffered for nothing. All of the days spent longing for cheezies while I cried and laughed 35.7 seconds between each other:  not a waste.

My doctor was happy with me.  Cody was happy for me.  I was over the moon. 

In addition to this weighloss, I’ve removed one of my diabetes medications (the Diamicron).  I’m one step further from needing insulin, in my opinion.  My doctors too, I’ll bet.

Since my appointment, I’ve fallen off a little bit.  Cody and I moved (finally) and it’s extremly difficult to try and stay “on track” when your food is packed up, your dishes are in a box, and you’re stressed with a thousand little things.  I did well, for the most part.  I admit, there were some nights when Cody and I went our to eat and it was very easy for me to order a burger with fries.  That being said, I’ve made mostly good food choices and I haven’t gained a pound.

It’s been a challenge trying to get used to living with a roommate.  The kitchen is often being used by him and/or his girlfriend, which makes it harder to cook.  More like awkward, actually.  I think I’ve found a solution though – I plan to cook our meals during the day and then reheating them when Cody comes home.  Sundays will also be dedicated to coming up with a meal plan, doing groceries, and cooking up what we can.  Mini-crisis averted.

I have a whole lot of other mundane things that have been happening.  Not many of them related to my diabetes.

“Make your life a mission – not an intermission.” – Arnold H. Glasgow

 

beanie

False Advertising

I am miserable. And now that I have to write this for the second time, I’m even more miserable.

I made every effort to avoid failing at this diet over the weekend. Before you guess WRONG, I did manage to stay on track over the weekend and I’m still on track up to and including this very moment that I am typing. I went to the ONS like I said I was going to do. I “splurged” and bought some Dr. P approved treats; I bought some muffin and bread mix, and even a protein powder to make breakfast not only doable, but enjoyable. I got more than one option for breakfast just in case one wasn’t so fantastic.

So why am I miserable, you ask?

Because this diet sucks today. It took every ounce of strength, determination, and will power not to put that loaf of garlic bread in the freezer out of its misery. Those cheddar cheese bites in the freezer were also calling to me, and it was really, really hard to continue with the silent treatment.

It all started with breakfast. I think I mentioned it before, but breakfast is a hard meal for me. I struggle with it. My first step to make breakfast tasty and filling was to try a protein shake. I got one that tastes like peanut butter and is very low carbs – and didn’t come in a 3 pound tub for half of my life savings. Well, my friends, it’s gross. Yeah, it tastes like peanut butter – which is it’s only good point, so far. On this phase of the diet, I am not allowed dairy – so this powder gets mixed with water. Somehow, it defies all logic and is thick but watery all at the same time. I’d give it a go with mixing it with some milk – but like I said, that’s a no-no for me right now… unless I want to try it with Almond Milk, which I’m not so keen on. The other thing is that this “shake” is so fucking lumpy. I’ve tried mixing it with a spoon. I’ve tried shaking it in a container and pouring it into a glass. I’ve tried whisking it. No matter what I do, there are still lumps!! To get this down, I have to pour this into a mug so that I can’t see the disgusting color of this drink. I then resort to one mouthful at a time, with my eyes closed and my nose blocked and using every part of me to swallow and not gag. Once again, probably dramatic, but this stuff is nasty.

Then the “bread”. Just because it’s compared to bread does not mean it is going to taste like it – I found that out the hard way this morning. I decided to get this mix and I was going to make some buns/muffins to eat for breakfast. After some research, I opted to add some Turkey Pepperoni (overrated and nothing like it’s salty counterpart), Allegro cheese (I found out lactose is apparently what makes cheese taste good), and some jalapeno, which would make this a doctor approved breakfast! Well, the level of salt in the buns was terrible. I also discovered that soy flour and ground flax does not make any bread I’ve ever tasted before or have a desire to taste again anytime soon.

So with breakfast a complete flop, everything seemed to go downhill from there. I didn’t have a plan for lunch, so I made a quick chicken noodle soup… and found that it was missing everything I know and love about the soup – the noodles specifically. Dinner was chicken kabobs, spiced with some weird shit. I resorted to spicing down the kabobs with a mixture of organic fat-free, salt-free, taste-free Cesar dressing with a dash of Frank’s Red Hot. Diet friendly and made the kabobs edible. Between lunch and dinner I was starving. I ended up snacking on Jell-O and other sweets – again, all which are allowed on this diet. I felt guilty about eating these, even though I didn’t overeat anything and it was all within the diet guidelines.

Cody (poor soul) came home to Ranting Wife. I was angry, hungry, deprived and annoyed. I ended up bawling my eyes out, telling him I hated this diet and I didn’t want to do it anymore. 20 minutes later, I got up and looked for some more recipes which are Dr. P approved. I realized two things:

1. This is going to take a lot more planning and effort than I originally thought.

2. It is going to take a lot more to break me.

I need a meal list. I need better snacks. I need to do groceries. I need alternatives in case something isn’t what I want at that very moment.

I also cannot argue with results. It’s only been 5 days and I’ve lost 5 – 6 pounds. Sure, a lot might be water. I don’t know. But it’s off… and every day a little more comes off with it. In addition to that, I am also off of my Diamicron medication. I was on the daily maximum before – and now, my sugars are stabilized and in perfect range. If this is just part of the results in 5 days, I can’t even imagine what things will look like in another 2 weeks, a month, a year.

So while I may have been crying like a baby ready for food time, I didn’t veer off of the path. And for that, I think I deserve a sugar-free, guilt-free snack.

“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” —T.S. Eliot

Hungry,

beanie

Let’s Start Again

I hate breakfast.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I don’t do well trying to eat breakfast.  Normally, I’d have yogurt with some raspberries and granola – always seemed “better”… I mean, I could get a bagel, eat half a pound of bacon, or fill up on chocolate.  I see now that my “parfait” was pretty carb-heavy, considering.

I went to my first appointment with Dr. Poon yesterday.  I was given a sample menu and everything, LITERALLY, had eggs incorporated into the breakfast!  I HATE EGGS.  Loathe, despise, even fear (…fear might be a slight eggaggeration. ha!).  I can cook with eggs, but I don’t eat them on their own.  One of the “suggestions” for breakfast was cooking an egg white and using it as a wrap for some protein.  I actually read it and cringed – I kid you not.

Anyway, Cody was going to the store the store last night to grab some things for me to make it though Day 1 successfully – and I realized that I had NO IDEA what I was going to eat.  After a lot of thought and research, I decided I’d eat some low sodium turkey bacon and mushrooms.  Well, that was an hour ago and I am convinced I’m starving.  Let’s face it – though I can eat bacon on this diet, I can’t eat a lot.  So I didn’t eat a lot and now I’m lost, trying to figure out what to munch on.

I’m going to be visiting the Ontario Nutrition Store (http://ontarionutrition.ca/) very soon.  There are a couple of things that might make breakfast a lot easier for me.  I am also realizing that eating healthier is going to be expensive!  I’m hoping it’ll balance out with the lack of fast food I’ll be eating – which was much more often than I’d like to admit.

So back to the appointment:  First, I met with a nurse who was so super nice.  She took a measurement of my neck (not sure why, but alright – painless).  My height was taken – 5′ 4.5″ (I lost half an inch?  Why couldn’t it have been from my waist instead??).  Then my weight – which I’ll keep to myself for the time being.  Let’s just say that it’s a high number, but still lower than it used to be, which is nice.  My BMI is so freaking high and my body fat percentage was a little disturbing!  Griping and sad realizations aside, I’m moving forward.  I have a goal to meet, and I intend to do just that.

I then met Dr. Poon – who was blunt but very nice.  He seemed to think I’d be successful, but that I needed to know it was going to be work – HARD work – and a lifetime commitment   We briefly went over the plan:  eat as much lean protein as you want, all the green leafy veggies you want, all the egg whites you want, even all the Jell-O Light you want.  You can eat some other veggies – cool – but there’s a limit.  Everything else is pretty much off-limits:  milk, root vegetables, fruits – but for Phase 1 only (a hopefully 2 week only period)  I was concerned because I take Diamicron, which causes my sugar to be stabilized after eating half a bag of chips, but with no carbs, I’ll bottom out.  So the plan for me will be to still have very little carbs, but test before eating and if I’m under 7, don’t take the Diamicron.  Everything else will be the same.  Sounds restrictive – but I need that right now.  I need this to restart my system.

Next, I went to have my metabolism testing.  My results showed that my metabolism is faster than normal – which is a good thing.  Essentially, if I eat the way the good doctor wants me to and I incorporate some exercise, I should lose weight at a good pace.  Fingers crossed, knock on wood, scratch your head.

At the end of the day, I was exhausted and had a very good “Farewell Bad Food” meal.  This morning I woke up and started to cook the turkey bacon on my George Foreman grill and I was so tempted to finish the last english muffin we have sitting on the toaster.  But I didn’t!  I cooked the bacon (it was surprisingly tasty.. though I’m not entirely sure it’s allowed on the diet.) and had a side of mushrooms.  Now, I’m making a tea and telling myself that my salad with tuna for lunch will be great!  Even if croutons are not included.

“This one step – choosing a goal and sticking to it – changes everything.” — Scott Reed

beanie

Doctors, Diets, and Diabetes

TOMORROW!!  I will be meeting Dr. Poon tomorrow, who is going to be a huge part of me losing weight.  I’m nervous, excited, and more nervous.  In addition to see Dr. Poon, I’ll be heading off the the fertility specialist, lawyers, and the bank.  Weird combo?  Yes.  But, Cody and I sold our condo over the weekend!  Now the fun starts… pack, find an apartment, deal with eating drastically different, and trying to get pregnant.  I won’t get into much more than my struggle with with dumping my disease, but if you’re interested in reading more about the fertility journey Cody and I are on, you can check out my other blog “Baby Brain…Sans Baby”.

I know I am going to be successful in following this diet to the letter.  I’m changing my thinking, which is how I’m going to be able to stick on the right track.

1.  Healthy food isn’t going to be bad!  It’s not flavourless or tasteless – in fact, many of the food have a stronger taste and leave you feeling fuller, longer.  I normally saw myself as being deprived with healthy food, but I’ve changed this perspective.

2.  Exercise is not going to be a punishment either!  I love to swim; I enjoy yoga.  These two activities alone are going to be much more enjoyable when I don’t have to haul 40 extra pounds around.

3.  I am not embarrassed about having to go on a diet.  You eat what you want, and I’m going to eat what I should.

4.  Food is a necessity.  That doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable – but it does mean that I don’t have to eat until I need a nap.  It means I eat to survive.

5.  Doing what I’ve been doing has not helped one bit.  It’s time for a change and I’m ready for it!

I’ve told my cousin about going on this diet and she was so negative!  She told me that it sounds horrible to have to go to a doctor and have him tell you what to do; she told me that all of the food I’m going to have to eat will be boring and unsatisfying.  Good thing she doesn’t have to do it right along with me.

I’ll be tested on DAY 1 of the diet – we have a guest coming over for dinner that night.  I’m prepared though.  How does this menu sound:

  • Lemon and thyme chicken breasts
  • Mini red potatoes with garlic (for my husband and his guest)
  • Broiled asparagus
  • Steamed broccoli

…Doesn’t sound like deprivation to me!

“Positive thoughts are not enough. There have to be positive feelings and positive actions.” — Unknown

I’m on the right track!

 

beanie

beanie, Meet the Metabolic Diet

I was laying in bed unable to fall asleep… again.  I was thinking about my baby drama (see my other blog:  Baby Brain…Sans Baby) and how I was going to make this year different from last year.  And I had a light bulb moment:  Dr. Poon.

(If you ever get the chance, check out his website http://www.poondiet.com.)

I’d first heard of Dr. Poon from one of my ex co-workers.  He’d seen Dr. Poon and while he lost weight, he did not like the way the doctor addressed him and had implied that his 4lbs weight loss in a week was insufficient.   I then had seen my family physician last year who said that if I wanted help in trying to lose weight, then he’d be able to refer me to Dr. Poon, who had great success in helping people lose weight and keep it off. I told my GP that I’d hear Dr. Poon was “tough” and my doctor bluntly told me that sometimes that’s what you need.  I was still in denial that my diabetes was mainly due to poor eating habits, so I told him I’d think about it – and I walked out and let the idea of being referred over fly away in the wind.

The next morning, I got on my computer and started researching the Metabolic Diet and the doctor.  I read blog entries from those who had been on (and still were on) the diet.  I joined the Dr. Poon Facebook group.  I determined to myself (and later to my husband) that this was going to be something I was going to do, it was going to help, and I was going to stick with it.  My husband didn’t seem entirely convinced that I’d go through with it, and to admit – I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to either.

Maybe a lot of it had to do with me thinking that Cody didn’t think I’d follow through.  Maybe it had even more to do with the fact that I’m sure no one believes I’ll be with the diet or the doctor for very long.  But this week, I told Cody I was going to make an appointment with my doctor so that I could be referred to Dr. Poon.  I am proud to say, readers, that I made the appointment with my GP, and I went (there were a few times that I tried to talk myself out of it!).  I updated him on my current medications; I updated him on my fertility issues; finally, I asked for a referral to Dr. Poon.

I came home and not even 2 hours later, I received a call from the Metabolic Clinic.  I’ll be walking through their doors on Jan 30th at 2PM.

I honestly believe that this will be a push in the right direction.  Not only will I look better, but I’ll feel better and my health issues will be alleviated a little (no – I am not expecting any miracles!).  I hope the meeting goes well and that I can connect with a doctor at the clinic.

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination; and hard work.”  Colin Powell

It’s going to be anything but easy.  But it’s the first step of many more to come.

 

 

beanie

One Small Step At A Time

I am proud of myself.

I usually am proud of myself.  I have my moments of self-doubt, but I like to try and think about my good qualities and my accomplishments.  I am smart, articulate, and have amazing intuition.  I’ve won a literary award.  I graduated college with honours.  I’m artistic and started a small business.  I have a creative flair with hair.  I make awesome turkey cutlets and pasta sauce.  I am organized and keep an amazingly clean house.  Most importantly, I strive to be a good person and I believe I am a good wife.  One day, I’ll be an awesome Mama.

This last week though, I am proud of myself for a different reason.  I set out a goal to make sure to take all of my medications on time, every day.  I met that goal, which means I am one week successful in the fight to get my life back.

I’ll admit, it was hard.  I was cranky and frustrated.  The side effects are still doing a number on me.  But, I’m winning!  And I’m proud.

“Do not let your grand ambitions stand in the way of small but meaningful accomplishments.”
Bryant H. McGill

I want to come off of medications completely.  I want to lose all of my excess weight.  I want to be healthy, in control, and happy.  So maybe taking medication for one week might seem like a very small accomplishment in comparison to my grand end goals.  But without this one week of eating better and taking my medications like I should, I’ll never make it to two weeks, 3 months, 4 years, or a decade of meeting the same goals.

So, yes.  I am proud of myself.

Fighting my fight today and tomorrow,

beanie