“One Flew Over The Chicken Coop”


My situation at the moment is that the Vein and Artery surgeon who did the ultrasound on me to determine that my swelling leg and foot wasn’t caused by a blood clot, has been trying to get back with me for months. We miss each other due to me being sick or feeling bad or him being out of town. We finally got together and I was anxious to hear why he wanted another visit after he determined I had Lymph edema and moved me on to home health care for a couple of months. Come to find out, he had discovered I had some varicose veins under and around my right (bad leg) knee. You can’t see them until you pull the skin tight so I had no idea. He said it seemed to be interfering with the blood exchange up and down in that leg. He wants me back in a month and we are going to do another ultrasound to make sure and then go into his office and have a “talk”. When a Dr. says we are going to have a “talk”, to me it isn’t going to be a fairy tale, more like a horror story. To top this mess off, last night I was sitting and slowly rubbing my hands up and down on the outside of my thighs and to the back a little. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea, I guess it was just something to do.  At the back of the top of my thigh, I felt something soft and weird.  I grabbed a round hand mirror I have and put it behind me and looked. Lo and behold the entire top 1/3 of my thigh was a network of varicose veins sticking out mind you!!! I was shocked. How did I not know this??!  I then went to my husband who was lying back in his chair watching some tv show and turned around to show him. He was quiet and I turned a little to look at him and said “what do you think of that??!!” He just smiled and patted my backside and I jerked away and said “You have GOT to be kidding!!!” I am trying to get some sympathy here! I am in a motorized wheelchair!!!! I have varicose veins!!!!”  He just smiled and said “I love you.”  MEN!!!!  Truthfully, he has been working himself to a frazzle. He has been worried sick about me and wearing himself out going to work and then taking care of me when he gets home. Then I worry about him.

I am assuming that the Dr. knows they are there due to the ultrasound. When I left that day he said, “No matter you look great!” I thought, “so…. why does that matter in the big picture of things?” Now I know he probably thought I knew it and was covering up and feeling embarrassed. Jeesh. My life really has turned out to be a circus side show. Thursday I go to the diabetes Dr. and my numbers while better, still aren’t good. Then Friday to a new specialist…..what fun!! The neurologist sent me to an orthopedic surgeon because I have a knee that hurts and I can’t stand on it much. They took x-rays and she says it’s riddled with arthritis. So he is going to…get this….give me a SHOT in the knee!!!! I think I have mentioned most of this before. Well, you are a captive audience after and have to hear my stories and songs while I am wondering just where to get off this silly bus ride.

Kath

I Go Out Walkin’


♫ ♪  I’m always walkin’
After midnight
Searching for you
I stopped to see a weeping willow
Cryin’ on his pillow
Maybe he’s crying for me
And as the skies turn gloomy
Night winds whisper to me
I’m lonesome as I can be
I go out walkin’
After midnight searcin’ for youuuu  ♫ ♪

An old fave by the late great Patsy Cline. Did she sound depressed?? Before I go off on that tangent, the latest medical update straight from Dr. Kildare’s office. By
the way did anyone else notice that name and feel someone was playing little tricks on us… like do YOU want your Dr.’s name to be Kill – Dare? Not I said the little red hen.  Medical forecast from the skinny little island in the Gulf. Late next week a fun filled two days spent at the diabetes doc’s and the shot in the knee capping it off with more pain and less comfort. Sounds like a bust to me. Oh well…I will keep you informed since I shouldn’t have to bear this alone.

Now, back to the great subject to end the week on while we supposedly enter into a hilariously fun weekend – Depression & Stress. (I knew you’d like ’em) Some people cover with baking, some with mindless hours spent on the computer, (huh?), some with humor (double huh?) But stress, heart attacks, stroke and related illnesses are dropping us like flies in this fast paced (better?) world we inhabit.

Quote from:

Human Diseases and Conditions * Stress-Related Illness

Stress is an intense physical and/or emotional response to a difficult or painful experience. Stressful events can range from taking a test in school to dealing with a loved one’s death. Reacting to such events, the body’s stress response system can cause a rapid heartbeat, a rise in blood pressure, and other physical changes. Stress-related illnesses are physical or mental problems that sometimes seem to be brought on by or made worse by stress. They can include headaches, stomachaches, sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, and many other conditions.

Stress Is Not All in the Head

Imagine Alicia, the goalie on the traveling soccer team, with the opposing team barreling toward her with the ball in possession. Imagine Eduardo at 7:59 a.m., running for the school bus that leaves at 8:00 a.m. Imagine Maria, whose dog has just been run over by a car. Anyone who has been in situations such as these knows what stress feels like: The pulse quickens, the heart races, breathing becomes heavier, and muscles tense. Some people feel nauseated and start to sweat. Others freeze and feel a sense of dread.

hormone is a chemical that is produced by different glands in the body. A hormone is like the body’s ambassador: it is created in one place but is sent through the body to have specific regulatory effects in different places.

The stress response

All these changes in the body happen because stress sets off an alarm in the brain. This alarm triggers the release of hormones , which trigger the release of oxygen and glucose, which send emergency energy to the brain and muscles. This is called the “fight or flight” response because it prepares the body to fight or run.

The stress hormone response: When the brain perceives stress, the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) (1), which triggers the release of adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) (2) from the pituitary gland. ACTH (2) travels through the bloodstream and (along with signals from the brain sent through the nervous system) stimulates the adrenal glands to release cortisol and epinephrine into the bloodstream (3). Cortisol and epinephrine (3) help provide energy, oxy-gen, and stimulation to the heart, the brain, and other muscles and organs (4) to support the body’s response to stress.

The hypothalamus is a part of the brain that produces hormones. When the stress response begins, the hypothalamus sends a hormone called corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) to the pituitary gland, which then sends a hormone called adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) through the bloodstream to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands produce cortisol (in response to ACTH) and epinephrine (in response to signals sent from the brain through the nervous system), which help the body produce emergency energy and support the “fight or flight” response. As long as the brain perceives stress, it continues to produce CRF. The body’s stress response ends when the brain relaxes, allowing hormone levels to return to normal. Scientists think the “fight or flight” response developed because it helped primitive humans deal with such threats as attacks by wild animals. In many cases, the stress response is still helpful—it may help Alicia react more quickly to block the ball and Eduardo race to the bus stop in time. And a certain amount of stress helps keep life exciting and challenging. But in other cases, like Maria’s grief over her dog, the natural stress response may not be helpful at all.

Chronic stress

Events that trigger the stress response usually do not last for very long. When long-term problems with school or family or illness create chronic stress, however, they keep the body’s stress response system activated over too long a period of time. This can contribute to many psychological disorders. Doctors think it also can lead to physical problems, such as chest pain, headaches, and upset stomach. Researchers suspect that, over time, high stress levels can contribute to more serious illnesses, such as high blood pressure and heart disease. They also suspect that chronic stress may suppress the immune system, the body’s natural defense against infection, leaving people more prone to illness, perhaps even to some forms of cancer. Much work must still be done, however, to determine whether those suspected links are real and to unravel the complex relationships between physical and psychological factors in health.

chronic (KRON-ik) means continuing for a long period of time.

Which Illnesses Are Stress-Related?

It is hard for researchers to establish a definite cause and effect relationship between stress and specific physical symptoms or illnesses. Not only do people’s minds and bodies react differently to stress, but there also are other factors at work when someone gets sick. The following conditions are known or believed to be stress-related (as opposed to stress-caused):

  • Pain caused by muscular problems, such as tension headaches, back pain, jaw pain, and repetitive stress syndrome. Pain of many kinds seems to be caused or made worse by stress.
  • Gastrointestinal (gas-tro-in-TES-ti-nal) problems, such as heart-burn, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
  • Insomnia, or difficulty sleeping.
  • Substance abuse, including smoking, drug addiction, and heavy drinking of alcohol. Substance abuse, in turn, can lead to other ill-nesses, including heart disease and cancer.
  • Asthma attacks in people who already have the condition or who are susceptible to it.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental disorder in which people repeatedly relive a terrifying experience in dreams and memories long after the event has passed; and acute stress disorder, in which they have similar symptoms immediately after the event.
  • Other mental disorders, including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and possibly schizophrenia.
  • Cardiovascular (car-dee-o-VAS-kyu-lar) problems, such as irregular heartbeat, hardening of the arteries, and heart attack. Stress makes the heart beat more quickly and increases blood pressure temporarily. Although long-term effects have not been proven, many scientists suspect that they exist.

The Mind-Body Connection

Why do scientists believe that stress plays a role in causing illness? Although they still are unraveling the complex relationship between physical and psychological health, many studies suggest links between stress, illness, and the immune system’s ability to fight off illness. Some examples:

Studies have found that people who recently lost a husband, wife, or other loved one—which causes intense stress—are more likely to die themselves, from a wide variety of causes.

Workers who reported high levels of stress were estimated to incur nearly 50 percent more in health care expenditures.

Researchers reported that two groups of people under stress—medical students taking exams and people caring for Alzheimer’s disease patients—showed decreases in their immune system activity.

Learning to Deal with Stress

Stress is inevitable, but people can learn how to cope with it. Doctors sometimes suggest the following strategies for managing stress:

  • Exercising takes the mind off stressful thoughts, and causes the release of chemicals called endorphins (en-DOR-fins) in the brain that provide feelings of calmness and well-being.
  • Making time for hobbies and enjoyable activities outside school and work can decrease stress levels.
  • Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, visualizing pleasant images, meditation, and yoga can lower the heart rate and blood pressure while reducing muscle tension.
  • Scaling back on activities and responsibilities and managing one’s time effectively can head off stress-causing situations.
  • Participating in support groups or sessions with professionally trained counselors or psychologists can help provide an outlet for emotional stresses.

Using drugs, alcohol, and smoking to cope with stress can make stress-related problems and illnesses worse.

Relaxation Meditation

Many people find that relaxation meditation is a good way to relieve some of the stresses of everyday life. People who meditate regularly recommend the following:

  • Finding a quiet room or place away from disturbances.
  • Sitting in a comfortable position with the spine straight.
  • Repeating a special word or phrase throughout the session.
  • Keeping eyes closed or eyes focused on an object.
  • Clearing the mind of distracting thoughts, repeating the chosen phrase, and concentrating on the chosen point of focus.

Read more: Stress-Related Illness – body, last, causes http://www.humanillnesses.com/original/Se-Sy/Stress-Related-Illness.html#ixzz27lgV7lXw

Where does this leave us?? I feel we are standing in the middle of the road, headlights bearing down on us and we are in the “fight or flight” mode. We need to get a handle on all of this stress and take back control of our lives. Do you know how once in awhile we remember something we did as a kid and how it makes us smile wistfully wishing we could have that peace and fun again? That is because our lives at that time was short a basket load of something. What were we short on? “Ya got stress, my friends, stress right here in River City. With a capital “S,”
And that rhymes with “Mess” and that stands for STRESS!” (Forgive me for butchering a song from “The Music Man”.

What can we do?? I think the starting place should be “Simplying” our lives. Just give a good old heave ho to the complications in life. Don’t feel like going to Aunt Bessie’s for a huge meal and hours of mindless babbling after? Don’t go. Don’t feel like getting upset over your co-workers smirking at the water cooler over how you lost out on that promotion? Whisk them away like yesterday’s dust bunnies under the couch. Kids in too many activities at school or out and they have you doing a road race to get to all of them on time?? Cut them back to 1 or 2  a ctivities that don’t require instrument fees, miles of travel that YOU have to do, sessions held during the dinner hour. And speaking of the dinner hour, and I was, make it a point, as in have a family meeting and lay down the law, no radio, no tv, no ipods, no cel phones during mealtime. We will all attend all meals unless otherwise excused by YOU and YOU alone. We will not bring up any touchy subjects that are sure to be the Prologue to a fight of the year. Now, that is just a start. Will you be the most favored parent of all time or will you be the recipient of dirty looks, tongues sticking out and “the hand” up showing they do not want to engage in anything with you. Isn’t the peace and quiet at mealtime a dream come true??? Ahhhhh………….

Kath

♫ ♪ She’s so Vein, I’ll Bet She Thinks This Song is About Her. ♪ ♫


Well, here we are home from the medical house on the beach. This was the vein and artery surgeon. He wasn’t happy when he saw that poor swollen lower leg and foot. Neither am I Doc. I have been worried about my discolored foot, it’s almost black in spots, but when you look closely it’s tons of tiny blue red and purple veins. He said it isn’t caused by the diabetes, but by the lymph edema and then he reached up and pulled the skin tight above and below my knee and as I stared at it with disbelief, there were large blue veins that had shown up. He said those were varicose veins and they had played a part in the problem of the incoming and return of blood since it was obviously involved. End result, on the 8th of Oct. he will do another ultra-sound and make sure and then we will go into his office to talk. He sounded like he was pretty certain that it would end in the leg surgery.

As a second thing, he wants me to get a stationary pedal contraption at Wal-Mart which costs $25. It is so good for people who can’t get out and exercise and walk and even losing weight. He has patients that have lost as much as 60 lbs. a year by just using it once a day during a tv show. Pedal through the commercials and rest during the show or vice versa. It probably will help after the surgery for getting the legs to heal inside and out. So if you are limited in mobility, check one out and use it, this Dr. says it works. 🙂

How Sweet it is


I woke up this morning like some other mornings… having dreamed of running a restaurant and Hiring all of my grandmothers, aunts and friends to cook and run the place. And it was so nice to see them all again doing one of the things they did best, feed me with love and agree to do it for my patrons. Let me tempt you with a few names and descriptions to whet your appetite in a high caloric, (no I didn’t say high colonic) fat laden, sugar filled delights. They are mostly German/Penn. Dutch recipes, but of course these can be loved and appreciated by anyone and are.

How about aromatic Penn. Dutch Snitz Apple Pie. Apples sliced, cinnamon, sugar, flour and butter mixed and when cold cream or half and half are added and a top crust, you know you have entered into a dream and when you eat your first bite with tasty apples and that cinnamon crunch with that thick layer of cream surrounding it all, wrapped in a light flaky crust, well…..

OKay, that’s enough. The pain of missing it is too much to bear. Am I the only one who dreams of sweets to die for. I guess that is the telling phrase we all need to listen for, “to die for”.  Enough said on that subject.

Think good thoughts, I am off to the vein and artery doc who first sent me to home health care for the lymph edema which I will have for the rest of my life, and atrophying of my muscles. He will see how I am doing and re-prescribe if necessary.

As always, film at 11. 🙂

Have a Shot on Me


This day has been the pits. I’ve had worse, but while this one is not right next door, it is definitely in the neighborhood and ranks up there on the same block actually. It began with my numbers in the 350’s upon awakening. I have no idea why, other than it has a mind of its own. :-/. My new specialist has me under some new rules and one of them is when my glucose reading is over 300, I am to immediately give myself a big shot of Novolog, the fast acting insulin, and the one most dangerous due to the fact that it can cause you to crash.

CRASH: Definition: Hit bottom, numbers lower than a pregnant Daschund’s tummy. Be shaky, become unconscious, and at the end if not treated…DIE!

So, following doctor’s orders and not for the first time, I took the 25 unit shot and sat back and relaxed. Within 20 min. I was feeling a little shaky but not to worry, it wasn’t bad and I knew that I would feel a little something from the numbers coming down. Soon after, it was more than shaky and I felt sick, weak and a bit spacey. I thought “no, I can’t be crashing” and promptly took another reading. I think my eyes bugged out a little when I saw the number had dropped like a stone and they were now 118. To drop from 353 to 118 in such a short time was why I was feeling like Mork of “Mork and Mindy”…just a bit out of my own personal galaxy.

After another 15 minutes another reading revealed 112. So, this wild ride was headed for a crash landing unless I stopped it. ROADBLOCK!! There was a dish of pasta in the fridge and I tossed it into the microwave. I made short order of that dish plus a couple of half teaspoons of sugar. At the fifteen minute mark afterward, the reading had slowly crawled up to 116. Finally! A U-Turn in the road to Hell. A bit later and we were up to 144, then 228. “Okay, you can stop now” I yelled as she flew past me in a cloud of dust and empty Splenda packets. When she finally slowed to a crawl, I checked again and lo and behold she tipped the scale at a big bold 329.  And what do we do if she is over 300 friends??? You are correct. We give her another shot of liquid gold…that pure nitro that goes into race cars…Novolog. And this time, she rests at 187 and all is well in for now in SugarLand. Except me who is worn to a frazzle from highs and lows and in-betweens.

Before I leave you to lick my wounds, Dick Edwards found a wonderful site and let me know about it. It is  where I will be spending a lot of time learning and enjoying some good solid facts and meeting people. Also, the second link is to a great informational site where a teacher will instruct you in why insulin therapy is not good and what is good for type 2 sufferers. You can also email him for his new book  (I believe it is an e-book) for free. I think you will be as surprised as I on the way insulin works, what it does and why it may be contra-indicated for diabetics.

See you next time,                                                                                                Kath

http://diabetesawarenesssite.com/?p=1165                 http://diabetesawarenesssite.com/?p=1141

What Happened to Doc Lyle?


I am really concerned that we have “improved” our medical care just a little too much. Being whipped back and forth and just when you think you are making headway, boom. Then no you aren’t. It gets old and tiring. A good friend of mine stated that we do have to work on figuring it out ourselves since they are not making headway.

I find myself telling them things to help them figure it out…like I have fallen 4 times in the last 24 hrs. He says…you did?:!” Yes I did and I don’t know if it’s connected to the diabetes or something else. “Hmmmm” he says and then immediately goes back to telling me now much insulin, when, etc. and that in three weeks we should have this under control. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

My thought is that like the title alludes to, where are all the doctors of yesterday who weren’t  specialists? Where are those doctors who didn’t concentrate on just one thing but the entire treasure trove of information and clues as to what is wrong with someone. There is no real overview for specialists even though they are faxed patient’s charts to see what they are being treated for, and unlike the old family doctor who knew that person and their families for most if not all of our lives. They have the complete overview, the full story of who you are and what you are prone to in medical or pharmaceutical treatments. And therefore have a better understanding of what might be building to a head in you. I guess all we can do is hope for the best.

Kath

Some More Tips For You – Managing Blood Glucose Levels


 

I don’t know if I am off in Goofy  Landor if I am not the only person who struggles with this. But I struggle with it daily. It’s up, it’s down, it’s all over the place. One minute I am thrilled that it’s lower than the reading before and in the very next reading it will shoot to the sky. I mentioned before that they said I am insulin resistant. Finally they had some sort of a reason that The only thing wrong with that is while things have improved, they are still shooting straight for the moon. Undoubtedly trying to frantically for someone in this universe to restore sugar with its good name.   Never happen.  Too much evidence on the other side. 

I have gathered some good links below to help you   not only learn how to manage the levels, but the levels themselves may need adjusting. If you have any oddities you have noticed, holler out in a comment .Thanks for dropping by!

Kath  

 

Managing Blood Glucose Levels

Insulin Basics

Types of Insulin

You have many insulin options to help manage your diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes take insulin. Article gives insulin basics, including types of insulin and examples of insulin.

Blood Glucose Monitoring Tips for People with Diabetes

How Often and Where to Test Blood Glucose Levels

People with diabetes have to frequently test their blood glucose levels, but they need to know where and when to do it, so they can manage their diabetes with insulin and other treatments. Article gives blood glucose monitoring tips.

How to Choose a Blood Glucose Monitor

Get the Right Blood Glucose Meter for Your Lifestyle

A blood glucose meter can dramatically improve your diabetes blood sugar control (blood glucose control). There are many features to choose from when purchasing a glucose meter. Get the features that make your blood glucose meter work for you.

How to Avoid Diabetic Ketoacidosis

A Diabetes Complication Caused by Hyperglcyemia

Learn to recognize the symptoms of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). People with type 1 diabetes should know the symptoms and how to test their blood glucose to detect DKA. Article also discusses diabetic ketoacidosis treatments and prevention.

Hyperglycemia: Treat It Early

How to Treat High Blood Glucose

To maintain acceptable blood glucose (blood sugar) levels, you need to recognize when you have a high blood sugar level, which is hyperglycemia. To thrive with diabetes (either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes), you need to learn to avoid high blood glucose episodes.

Blood Glucose Monitoring: What Is the Right Number?

Also: Choosing the Right Blood Glucose Monitor

Blood glucose monitoring is an important part to treating your type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Learn about goal blood glucose ranges and the differences in blood glucose monitoring devices.

Carb Counting and Insulin Math in Diabetes

When managing diabetes (either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes), carb counting can help you stick to your blood glucose level goals. Carb counting estimates the number of carbs you will eat during a meal. You match your carb counting with the right amount of insulin to maintain the proper blood glucose and manage your diabetes.

How to Avoid Hypoglycemia During Exercise

Exercise Tips for People with Diabetes

Exercise is great for maintaining diabetes health, but you need to avoid hypoglycemia when exercising. Article has tips on hypoglycemia prevention during exercise for people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.

Oral Diabetes Medications

Type 2 Diabetes Medications List

People with type 2 diabetes can take oral diabetes medications to help control their blood glucose levels. Article includes list of diabetes medications and explanations of how they work.

Basal and Bolus Insulin for People with Diabetes

Diabetic insulin administration around meal times requires work, but it helps diabetics control their basal rate and live better with diabetes. People with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes may need to use bolus and basal insulin.