Friday, January 30, 2009

The Story of the Brain Tins



Ok, so I teased George about my funny story about brains. He waited patiently, (well, I think he went to do other things off-line), while I fiddled around with the camera nonsense for the vlog.

So...here it is!

A long time ago, my mother-in-law, a staunch Scrubby Dutch South St. Louis German housewife, inherited old-fashioned tins where brain meat were kept (in old-fashioned days where people had ice boxes). They were her mother's.

Ever since I've known my mother-in-law, she kept opened packages of crackers, cookies, snacks, etc... in those tins in her pantry. Her mother used them for storage, and she felt they kept opened packages pretty fresh. So she did this as well.

When my daughter began going over to their house, she rarely wanted to stay to eat there. She would come home famished, and whenever my mother-in-law would offer DD something, she would refuse it.

Over the years, my DD would cry and inquire if Grandma thought she was as smart as the rest of the family, and she pondered if Grandma really loved her. I had no earthly idea where this was coming from.

It wasn't until years later, into her teens, that my DD explained that she would NEVER eat at Grandma's house, because she saw Grandma taking out the tins that said, "B-R-A-I-N-S." My DD thought Grandma was trying to feed her brains, because she wasn't smart enough.

It wasn't until she saw her brothers or her dad eat out of those tins that she ventured to try it.

I would never eat out of the tins, nor would her Grandpa, because we were diabetic and cutting carbs. So she figured if Mom won't eat it and Grandpa won't it, it must be bad.

We all had a resounding laugh at the holiday meal table when we found this out.

I'll never forget Brain Tins from now on.

My First Vlog

I linked this to the actual YouTube video also, but here it is....it's goofy, but heck, I got it done! Landileigh says I sound like Bonnie Hunt, but I'm thinking a little Sarah Palin-ish?? I guess I never dropped the Chicago accent! :-) And it's reallll short!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Top of the Morning to Y'All

Well, after two days of respite due to weather (as one of my colleagues and friends, Paige Hereford, says: Snow Days are like powdered donuts - you have one, but then you want one more... - ha, can't we all relate!), I'm back at school working.

Yesterday, my sugars rebounded quite well after the pizza episode. I waited until 2:30 when my sugar was at 101 to eat lunch, and then I watched my carbs pretty well.

This morning, I had a great appointment with Barb, my CDE. She's always so helpful, loves that I'm such a self-advocate, and asks me questions she knows I might lie about, but then helps me to feel good about telling the truth. My numbers were excellent, and I am down 10 lbs. from December 23 when I last saw her when my equally wonderful endo put me on Byetta. She's good at evading my questions, when I ask her since my BS has been down closer to 100 if I could get off the BP meds and statins, and not yelling at me when I don't adopt everything right away that maybe Doc wants me to. She also totally understands when I get frustrated at the internist who still insists that I can do this without meds.

So I talked with her about my charlie horses, my short of breath while walking, my edema in my hands, some female issues, and the urination deal. She thinks some of that is due to perimenopause (I've been waiting for this for A LONG TIME). She chuckled when she suggested I go see the perinatologist I went to in order to deliver my kids when I was last down at the Center for Advanced Medicine (a couple of them argued as to who was going to tell me that I shouldn't have any more kids).

And even though I'm doing well, they're still going to up the Byetta to the 10mcg because they said I'll probably plateau and then not be able to maintain the good sugars as this rate.

Uggh - another roller coaster ride of nausea and dizziness. But...hey...I lost 10 lbs when they did this the first time. I guess I'll try it again.

She questioned why I wasn't on more Metformin, and I told her about my infamous GI issues. So, we'll see - I'll keep in close contact with her to see if I tolerate more Byetta or see if they want to do more Met, which I would not relish.

I have bloodwork this Saturday - Vitamin D and Lipids again. Hopefully, those lovely oily Vitamin D's I've been mainstreaming (I feel like that - it's such a high dose) will help. She pointed out some research that might be confirming that Vitamin D may help diabetics get off BP meds.

I'm pretty satisfied. I'm glad I got aggressive and begged my internist to go down there.

I owe some people a vlog about me exercising, most especially my brave friend, Jaimie, plus I want to show you all the snow before it leaves (especially for my friend, Gaelyne, down under).

I'll try to get on that later this afternoon. I have to get in a walk tonight, too...so I'll take you all to the gym with me perhaps.

Next step: water....ugh......

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I am Paying for a Carbo Overload This Morning


So, because of the snow day, I ordered pizza. Now, I can't have - really AT ALL - my favorite Chicago-style thick crust pizza that I love so dearly. So instead, I order one of our local pizzerias, one of our favorites, Cecil Whittaker's. It's very thin crust, and usually, it doesn't affect my BS in the way I'll pay for it later.

So after I've been on the Byetta, I'm thinking, wow - I feel good today, I can eat some more pizza (more than my allotted two pieces), and I do. Combined with the salad dressing, which I know was high-fat, and the excess pizza, I woke up with a rock in my stomach today.

I haven't had a bout with loose stool on Byetta yet, but this morning was a close as it's come so far.

However, it still is not as bad as with the Metformin alone, so I guess I should be thankful that my carb binge didn't put me on the couch on a touchie donut all day.

After I eliminated the pizza and high-fat salad dressing, breakfast this morning was 6 oz of diet crangrape Ocean Spray juice (only 1.5 g carb for 1/2 of 12 oz serving), 3/4 c non-fat cottage cheese with 1/3 c sliced no-sugar added frozen strawberries, and two whole-wheat English muffin halves (yes, that's a lot of carbs), smeared with sugar-free peanut butter, non-fat strawberry cream cheese and a smidge of Smucker's sugar-free grape jam.

Hopefully, my pp and before lunch tests will be ok - but I'll update later!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thanks to Gina for the nod!


So one of my friends from the Diabetes OC and Biggest Loser - D Style has given our new podcast a nod. I thought I would return the favor. Gina is a fun-loving gal who doesn't let her Dness stop her from trying anything. I am quite entertained by her Tweets, and she keeps my spirit high in this friendly competition. Thanks, Gina! And guess what???? We're now listed in the iTunes directory! YAY!



Monday, January 26, 2009

Yeah! We're on the air!


So....I have returned to broadcasting....

What? You might ask...you thought I was a teacher.

Well, I've made two great friends on tudiabetes.com, and we are now doing a podcast.

Mike Lawson is incredibly talented - and he works with kids in learning how to access and produce digital media - way to go! I love his casual wit and humor.

Landileigh Nelson is so very informed and intelligent on the issues, and she and I stay up late talking some nights.

I'm so fortunate to have found these two new friends and recorded this podcast.

But we need listeners - so hop on over, and subscribe!

See ya on iTunes or on http://www.sweettalk.org every Monday for our Sweet Talk podcast!




Sunday, January 25, 2009

OMG - My Nemesis


Okay - this is a corner cafe by my house, started by a former student in the Rockwood Schools. Love Russell, love his mom, Kate, and I used to eat there like every week. Of course, I had to partake of his patisseries - he's a pastry chef, for crying out loud.

Well, last year, I started only coming in on the weekends. It really doesn't help that at the end of the day, Kate usually marks the breakfast muffins and such as buy one get one so they can make a fresh batch the next morning. Kate noticed...and now?

I ate one of their decadent chocolate covered marshmallows before I saw the endo...and I haven't been in since.

This ad is a lure to the devil for me! I refuse to NOT eat a chocolate covered strawberry for Valentine's Day - my hubby has known since he has met me that these delicious treats are the key to my heart...and probably anything else he wants that day.

I am going to make a mini-challenge for me to eat ONLY one or two...notice I did NOT qualify myself to eat only one. There's no way I can do that. Two at the most - ok???

FDA Petition from the Diabetes Community

So Kerri Morrone - who is the author of the award-winning SixUntilMe patient blog on diabetes wrote a great summary of what the diabetes community is asking.

Take myself for example: I am on Byetta, a new drug that has caused some 6 patients to die as a result of pancreatitis. I am frightened to be on this drug, yet it works.

So many drugs for diabetes have been linked to heart conditions and other life-threatening side effects. I want the safest, yet most effective treatment out there for both me and my fellow diabetics.

The FDA needs to have balance in including voices from the Diabetes Community on a committee which would assist in making decisions and advocating for action.

This will be part of our focus on a new podcast project with Landileigh Nelson and Mike Lawson, two prominent people in the diabetes community.

Stay tuned for more info!



Saturday, January 24, 2009

Still Chugging Away at 43things

I took the 43 Things Personality Quiz and found out I'm a
Self-Improving Healthy Extrovert

Finding My Way

So....I think I'm finding my way again. It took me until today, when all the kids and hubby were gone, to hear myself talk. I'm almost comfortable being alone again, when now, I have to go get ready to go to a friend's hubby's 40th birthday. I feel like being alone.

So I've definitely been better about my eating habits and my lifestyle, and I feel like I'm just getting reacquainted with life. I'm feeling more energetic, so therefore, I feel like I can clean and organize my life a little more (if my husband reads this, pretend I'm feeling sick today)!

My life seems to have roadmapped itself this way: teens - angst and passion for my identity, 20's - following and belonging, 30's - lost and tethered, 40's - rushing and bustling, and now, maybe I can look forward to a Renaissance during my 50's?

I sure hope so, because this shuttling kids, volunteering, losing my body image and fitness, getting sick, falling apart kind of middle age truly sucks!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Biggest Loser - "D" Style


I'm participating in a weight loss/lifestyle management contest with Landileigh and other fellow diabetics.

Wanna join?

Click on the title of this entry or the graphic to go to Landileigh's page for more information!




So I Just Learned....

that Joe's cousin has cancer - all throughout her body. When I read the email she sent, and her Caring Bridge page, I cried. She's 10 years older than me. Joe was in her wedding. With Father Gerry having lung cancer, and now Joe's cousin, mortality is all too real for me.

I shouldn't be focusing on the negative. I'm not that kind of person. But I'm scared to die like my Uncle - dropping dead of a major coronary infarction at the age of 47. I mean that's only 4 years away for me.

I like being active in the diabetes community, and I'm relishing my podcast opportunity with Mike and Landileigh, but I want to live - whole heartedly. I don't want to focus on my disease.

So I went to a new internist, and she's pretty holistic. I'm going to try to lose 20 lbs just this year. And walk - every day. And eat better and take my vitamins and supplements. If I can give my body its fuel, and if I can take better care of my body, I'm hoping to outlive my diabetes until my pancreas or my heart gives out.

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Twitter Canvas